The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Probiotic effects on cold and influenza symptoms

    An international group of researchers report that taking a dietary probiotic for 6 months reduced the signs and symptoms of colds, and prescription drug use in children.

    First, the details.

    • 326 children (3 to 5 years of age) were randomly assigned to treatment group.
      • Placebo
      • Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
      • L. acidophilus NCFM + Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-07.
    • The children were treated twice daily for 6 months during the winter.
    • Neither the children nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results compared to placebo.

    • Significantly reduced incidence of fever by 53% and 73%, coughing by 41% and 62%, and runny nose by 28% and 59% with single and combined probiotics, respectively.
    • Significantly decreased duration of fever, coughing, and runny nose by 32% and 48%, with single and combined probiotics, respectively.
    • Antibiotic use significantly decreased by 68% and 84% with single and combined probiotics, respectively.
    • Children taking probiotics had significant 32% and 28% reductions in days absent from group childcare with single and combined probiotics, respectively.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age.”

    An article on discusses the potential mechanism of action of probiotics when used for this purpose.

    Caution related to the use of probiotics is discussed here.

    8/2/09 19:30 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.