Probiotics to prevent a sore throat
BMJ Group Medical Reference
Probiotics are the 'friendly' or 'good' bacteria that live in your gut and help to keep you healthy. They are often added to dairy products like yoghurt, and promoted as being good for you.
Scientists wanted to find out whether bacteria related to the ones that cause sore throats could be used as a probiotic to stop people getting so many sore throats. These bacteria live in some people without causing any illness. Doctors took these bacteria from people who weren't ill and grew them in a laboratory. They then made the bacteria into a spray that people could squirt into the backs of their throats.
Some studies found that using the spray reduced the number of sore throats people got. In one study, only 1 in 17 people who used the probiotic spray got a sore throat in the next three months. Out of people who used a dummy spray, 11 out of 19 got a sore throat. There were no side effects.
But this treatment is still experimental and we need more studies to know whether it works. The research so far looks only at using probiotics to prevent a sore throat, not to treat it once you're ill.
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