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.