Probiotics fight diarrhea that results from antibiotic treatment

USA Today reports, “A new analysis of 82 earlier studies finds that probiotics have potential in alleviating the diarrhea that afflicts about one-third of people treated with antibiotic medications.”

Researchers found that “probiotics reduced the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42%.”

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “The team estimated that 13 people would need to be treated to prevent one case of diarrhea.”

MedPage Today (5/9, Phend) reports, “The trials where Lactobacillus probiotics was used exclusively were associated with reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, similar to that in the overall analysis (pooled RR 0.64, P=0.004), with a number needed to treat of 14.”

The researchers reported that “the 16 trials using only yeast as the probiotic, such as Saccharomyces boulardii [cerevisiae] or Hansen CBS 5926, also showed significantly reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea with a pooled relative risk of 0.48 (P<0.001) and number needed to treat of 10.”

HealthDay points out that “the study authors agreed that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to determine if the beneficial effects of probiotics vary by patient population, antibiotic characteristic or probiotic preparation.

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