There's nothing more irritating than arriving at your travel destination with a cold or, worse, the flu. Which is probably why I write about it a lot. Which is certainly why I was sent a couple of packets of Culturedcare probiotic gum to try out.

As I understand it, the gum stocks the mouth and throat with friendly bacteria which attack the unfriendly bugs that cause colds and, as a bonus, bad breath. Whatever, if it reduces the risk of catching a holiday-destroying bug, I'm for it.

Needless to say it's hard to test such products but my wife and I did try the gum out on a trip to Niue. The peppermint version - the other packet I was sent was mango-flavoured - tasted fine and I can testify that Chris's breath was fine (I didn't ask about mine).

More importantly, neither of us caught colds on the way to Niue. Nor, despite the flight being a couple of hours late, did we get one on the way home. That was a big advance on the previous trip when I got colds in both directions.

Of course that doesn't prove that probiotic gum stops colds. But it certainly does leave open the possibility. And if nothing else it's a good way to clean your teeth in flight. For further information see