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Dr. Oz explains how probiotics reduce cough and cold symptoms by 50 percent

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It's the season for suffering from colds, coughs and related unpleasant conditions. If you think that getting one of these ailments is inevitable, it's time to find out how holistic supplements can battle the misery, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Dr. Oz says that "a new study reveals that taking probiotics twice a day for six months helps kids chase away cold symptoms."

Kids who took the probiotic acidophilus NCFM, children had 53 percent fewer fevers, 28 percent fewer runny noses and 41 percent fewer coughing spells compared with kids getting a placebo. And for those who got sick, recovery time was reduced by more than half.

In addition, kids given a combo of acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis had reduced incidences of fever, coughing and runny noses.

Tips on finding these probiotics: Read the labels carefully to find ones that specify NCFM, such as Metagenics - Ultra Flora Plus (click for details).

For those reasons, Dr. Oz suggests that you follow these guidelines for yourself and your family:

  • Wash hands frequently. The easiest way to catch a cold is to transfer the virus from hands to your face.
  • Keep indoor air humidified; many cold viruses thrive in low humidity.
  • In addition to probiotics, take a multivitamin, 1,000 international units of vitamin D-3 and 900 IU of anti-inflammatory DHA omega-3 daily. Tip: You can find chewable DHA to make it easy for kids, such as L'il Critters Omega-3 Gummy Fish with DHA - click for details.
  • Aim for nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding those with added sugars; limit natural fruit juices to one 4-ounce glass a day; get the rest of your juice from whole fruits.
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