A probiotic is a food-based supplement that repopulates the gut with 'good' or 'friendly' bacteria. Advocates argue that drugs, and especially antibiotics, pollutants, processed foods and stress all contribute to strip the gut of the bacteria that establish good health and allow us to absorb and process food properly.
A new meta-analysis of six studies, involving 836 children who were prescribed an antibiotic, discovered that those who were also given a probiotic suffered far less diarrhea than those who just took the antibiotic. The children took either Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacillus sporogens or Saccharomyces boulardii.
The finding supports the theory that the probiotic has a protective effect in the gut. Best of all, perhaps, none of the children reported having any side effects from the probiotic.
(Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2006; 175: 377-83).
E-news broadcast 28 September 2006 No.296 [Subscribe]