Probiotics appear to be effective in treating acute diarrhea, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
They conducted a meta-analysis of 34 masked, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. One was carried out in a developing country, while the others were carried out in health-care settings in developed countries. They found that probiotics reduced:
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 52 percent
- Traveler's diarrhea by 8 percent
- Acute diarrhea of diverse causes by 34 percent
Further, risk of acute diarrhea among children and adults was reduced by 57 percent and 26 percent, respectively, when probiotics were used.
Several probiotic strains, including Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and others, were evaluated. No significant difference was found between the different strains used, alone or in combination.
Most people have no idea that the number of bacteria in your gut outnumber the cells in your body by about 10 to one and you have about 100 trillion bacteria in your colon. Many experts believe one of the major mechanisms of disease is related to the bacteria growing in your intestine.
This is one of the reasons why sugar really devastates your health. Not only does it disrupt your insulin and leptin levels but it is an incredible fertilizer for growing bad bacteria and yeast in your gut. It does far more than cause yeast and Candida to grow, the anaerobic bacteria it supports are probably even more dangerous than the yeast.
When you eat a healthy diet that is low in sugars and processed foods one of the major benefits it produces is that it causes the good bacteria in your gut to flourish and build up a major defense against the bad bacteria getting a foothold on your health.
A high-quality probiotic is the one thing I take myself and advise all my patients, family and friends to take with them when they travel overseas.
Although this recent study cited above only partly bears this out, I suspect there are reasons for this discrepancy. For one, there are many brands on the market, but many of them contain insufficient quantities of bacteria. In fact, a study a few years back found that one-third of the probiotics on the market were worthless and did not have the bacteria they claimed in the bottle.
Additionally, when treating acute infectious diarrhea, large therapeutic doses are required (typically an entire bottle over a day's time or about an eighth of a bottle every hour until the problem is resolved). Most often, the symptoms will subside within four hours.
Using a probiotic is one of the most amazingly consistent approaches to managing travelers' diarrhea I have ever seen. In addition to a lot of lousy products on the market, there are many good ones. One of the best ways to find a good one is to ask a trusted expert in a local health food store.
If you don't have such a resource, or simply want to take advantage of the five years we spent researching this new product, you can consider Rebalanced Probiotics, a probiotic now available in our Web store for your convenience.