Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probiotics shorten diarrhea episodes, review suggests

Date:
November 10, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Probiotic bacteria given as therapies for diarrhea reduce the length of time sufferers are affected and lessen the chance of episodes continuing for more than four days.

Probiotic bacteria given as therapies for diarrhea reduce the length of time sufferers are affected and lessen the chance of episodes continuing for more than four days. These are the findings of a new systematic review by Cochrane researchers.

Every year, diarrheal diseases kill nearly two million people in developing countries, mostly young children. The main treatment is rehydration fluids, but these do not tend to reduce the length of illness, which is crucial in reducing the risk of persistent diarrhea. Probiotics, so-called "good bacteria," may help in a variety of different ways including eliminating the bacteria, viruses or parasites responsible, for example, by competing for the same nutrients. A previous Cochrane review showed benefits with probiotics in diarrheal disease, but the current report reviews data from a far larger evidence base.

The researchers reviewed data from 63 trials involving a total of 8,014 patients, over four times the number involved in the previous study. 56 trials focused on infants and young children. Giving probiotics in conjunction with rehydration fluids reduced the duration of diarrhea by around a day and reduced the risk of diarrhea lasting four or more days by 59%. No serious adverse effects were reported in the trials and although vomiting was quite common it also occurred with placebos.

"A striking finding of this review is that most trials reported that probiotics reduced diarrhea," said lead researcher Stephen Allen of the School of Medicine at Swansea University, UK. "The beneficial effect was consistent and significant across many different types of trials."

"There were no adverse effects, so these therapies can be used safely in addition to rehydration fluids. However, more research needs to be carried out on the specific strains of bacteria that are effective in treating diarrhea and on preventing the progression from short-term to persistent diarrhea," Allen said.

A second review, by a separate group of Cochrane researchers, examined the use of probiotics for treating persistent diarrhea reviewing data from trials undertaken exclusively in children. The review found that probiotics can reduce the length of an episode of persistent diarrhea, however, the authors stress that the review was based on just four trials involving 464 patients and therefore provides only limited evidence of benefit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Probiotics shorten diarrhea episodes, review suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109191748.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, November 10). Probiotics shorten diarrhea episodes, review suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109191748.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Probiotics shorten diarrhea episodes, review suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109191748.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins