Study: probiotics could help against diarrhea
Washington, D.C, United States (AHN) – They are in vitamin stores, lining shelves in supermarkets. Consumers have been inundated with commercials touting them–probiotics, those live microorganisms meant to boost health.
A new analysis of some 82 previous studies finds that probiotics, such as the bacteria in some yogurts, and used most frequently to prevent and treat digestive problem, have the potential to alleviate the diarrhea that afflicts nearly one-third of people treated with antibiotic medications.
According the study released Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, probiotics reduced the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42 percent. Diarrhea is more common with certain antibiotics, most often with doses needed to treat serious infections.
The study does not offer specific guidelines for patients or doctors. However, it underscores the importance of maintaining a proper balance of microbes in the digestive tract.
Health experts say that until more studies are done, people should be careful about what they buy, especially when contemplating probiotics for children.
While foods such as yogurts are safe, probiotics could pose risks for children with weakened immune systems, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports.
The Food and Drug Administration says that dietary supplements such as probiotics are not approved by the government for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.