How to avoid getting sick this winter

There's plenty to love about the approach of winter. I know I can't wait to strap on the skis again.

But there's one thing to dread.

Cold weather means cold-weather bugs -- and, at some point this winter, you or someone you love is bound to get bit.

You know how it is.

When one person falls sick, everyone else seems to follow, like dominos.

It's time to make sure you're not one of them -- because today I'm going to share one of my secrets to avoiding respiratory infections, even though I'm exposed to the germs that cause them all that time here at my clinic.

New research shows that probiotics can prevent infection -- specifically, one of the very same probiotic supplements I depend on for my own immune system!

The new study finds this stuff is so effective that researchers are urging the public at large to take them -- saying these healthy bacteria work so well at fighting off infection that it'll lead to fewer days being sick overall and fewer people needing antibiotics.

That's in line with other studies, which show these supplements can fight off infections of the respiratory tract, gut, urinary tract and more.

They can even beat the common cold, helping you to avoid the condition and cutting the number of days sick by as much as a third if you do happen to get ill.

There's NO drug or vaccine that can help against the common cold. But probiotics can do the trick.

I know a probiotic supplement can seem like a big expense, since they tend to cost a little more than a multivitamin.

But this could save you money in the long run, since you won't have to make copays or buy meds -- and, if you work, you won't have to take any time off.

The report finds that if Canadians would simply take a probiotic supplement each day, the winter infection rate would plunge... saving the county some $100 million in medical expenses and lost wages.

Canada has a tenth of the population of the United States. On paper, that could translate into a billion-dollar savings here. Since Americans tend to be a little sicker, facing a higher risk of diabetes and other conditions that weaken the immune system, the savings here could actually be much bigger.

But forget the money, because as the study shows you could also save something else... something even better.

You can save yourself the misery of a nasty winter infection -- and you can't put a price on that.