A recent item [subscription required] in Nature made me feel happy as well as healthy... For a while I've been telling some selected people about the wonders of probiotics on my health... I've always wondered though if I'm being duped or if there is some form of placebo effect at play. Now there seems to be some evidence and I feel far less of a "snake-oil-salesman-by-proxy".
"according to a study of Swedish workers who took supplements containing microorganisms: those on the 'friendly' bacteria pills stayed home sick half as much as their colleagues taking a placebo. The findings lend support to claims that foods with live bacteria can boost the body's immune system."
The interesting element of the study was that it wasn't only in gut health that there seemed to be an improvement, but a general improvement in health in shift workers who are often prone to illness. Off...

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