Probiotics may lower the economic cost of respiratory tract discomfort

Father with two kids talking health economy and probiotics
6 Min read

Results from a high-quality study suggest that consuming probiotics might help reduce the costs associated with respiratory tract discomfort.1 In the US alone, consumption of probiotics was associated with lowering the number of missed workdays by over 54 million days per year.1


On average, people miss 1.7 days of work due to feeling unwell with respiratory tract discomfort.2

Respiratory tract discomfort is common and may place a burden on families & societies 

Respiratory tract discomfort is common. In the US alone, there are estimated to be 33 million instances of respiratory tract discomfort each year.3
Even when the costs of hospitalization are excluded, respiratory tract discomfort may place a burden on families, societies, and economies due to the costs associated with visiting a health care professional, the purchase of health care interventions, and loss of workplace productivity.4

Probiotics may support respiratory tract health

Studies suggest that probiotics may help lower the number of instances of respiratory tract discomfort.5, 6 Specifically, several clinical studies have demonstrated that consuming the Lactobacillus rhamnosus, LGG® and Bifidobacterium, BB-12® probiotic strains (hereafter referred to by use of the trademarks LGG® and BB-12®) may benefit respiratory health, for instance, by resulting in fewer and shorter episodes of respiratory tract discomfort.7, 8, 9, 10

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The LGG® and BB-12® strains may help reduce  respiratory tract discomfort

Clinical studies in children have demonstrated that daily intake of LGG® is associated with: 

  • Fewer upper respiratory tract conditions9
  • Fewer respiratory tract conditions lasting more than three days8, 9
  • Feeling unwell for less time9
  • Fewer digestive system issues lasting more than two days8

Compared to the placebo group, children supplemented with LGG® had significantly fewer days away from daycare.9 Read more about LGG® and probiotics and respiratory health.
A similar result has been seen in adults.7 Healthy college students who received a combination of the LGG® and BB-12® probiotic strains for 12 weeks had 33% fewer days with respiratory tract discomfort. They also felt less unwell than those who received a placebo.7 Read more about BB-12® and supporting immune health with probiotics.

Probiotics may help reduce the economic cost associated with respiratory tract discomfort

Results from a 2019 study suggest that consuming probiotics can help to reduce the costs associated with respiratory tract discomfort.1 The health economics study spanned five years and demonstrated that, in the US alone, the use of probiotics was associated with reducing the annual number of days off work by over 54 million.1 Interestingly, the study suggests that fewer health care interventions would be needed each year.1

Probiotics may have benefits for health and the economy

The studies discussed suggest that probiotics may reduce respiratory tract discomfort which could help reduce the associated economic costs. Therefore, supplementing with probiotics may not only be beneficial to health7, 8, 9, 10 but might also lower the impact that respiratory tract discomfort has on families, economies, and societies.1

Consult a health care professional to find out more, or read more about probiotics for supporting immune health.

LGG® and BB-12® are registered trademarks of Chr. Hansen A/S.

The article is provided for informational purposes regarding probiotics and is not meant to suggest that any substance referenced in the article is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.

men walking in the city with bike talking health economy and probiotics
Lactobacillus rhamnosus, LGG®

Lactobacillus rhamnosus, LGG® is the world’s most documented probiotic strain. The LGG® strain has demonstrated benefits across all ages and several health areas, including digestive, immune and oral health.

LGG® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S

LGG icon
Bifidobacterium, BB-12® 

The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is the world’s most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium. It has been extensively studied and has been associated with benefits for several areas of health.

BB-12® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S

BB-12 consumer logo TM

References Open Close

  1. Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10(980).(PubMed)
  2. Palmer LA, et al. Vaccine. 2010;28(31):5049-56.(PubMed)
  3. Biggerstaff M, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2018;187(5):1040-50.(PubMed)
  4. Putri W, et al. Vaccine. 2018;36(27):3960-6.(PubMed)
  5. King S, et al. Br J Nutr. 2014;112(1):41-54.(PubMed)
  6. Hao Q, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015(2):Cd006895.(PubMed)
  7. Smith TJ, et al. Br J Nutr. 2013;109(11):1999-2007.(PubMed)
  8. Hojsak I, et al. Pediatrics. 2010;125(5):e1171-7.(PubMed)
  9. Hojsak I, et al. Clin Nutr. 2010;29(3):312-6.(PubMed)
  10. Rautava S, et al. Br J Nutr. 2009;101(11):1722-6.(PubMed)
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