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A new study has found that athletes who consumed a probiotic daily may benefit by boosting immune function and recovery following strenuous training or play by reducing levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF- α), a pro-inflammatory compound. The study, called Effects of Probiotic (Bacillus subtilis DE111) Supplementation on Immune Function, Hormonal Status, and Physical Performance in Division I Baseball Players was recently published in the journal Sports.

The study sought to determine effects of probiotic (Bacillus subtilis DE111 in a dose of 1 billion CFU) in college-aged male athletes after 12 weeks. The double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study gave a group of division 1 male baseball athletes either the probiotic or placebo and looked at their markers of immune and hormonal status via blood and salivary samples, pre- and post-training.