In May 2012 the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that probiotics are associated with a reduction in antibiotic associated diarrhea.
They reviewed 82 randomized clinical trials of patients receiving antibiotics that compared the effects of a probiotic to no treatment, a placebo, or a different probiotic or probiotic dose. There were 63 trials with 11,811 participants. They concluded that the use of probiotics was associated with 42% lower risk of developing diarrhea as a result of antibiotic use compared to not consuming probiotics.
According to Dr. Shekhar Challa’s book Probiotics For Dummies, antibiotics often cause diarrhea because these medications tend to “wipe out” good bacteria, thus allowing bad bacteria (normally present in small quantities and kept under control by the good bacteria) to proliferate. One such “bad” bacterium is Clostridium difficile, commonly called C. diff.
Historically, health care providers have routinely recommended that patients eat yogurt when they take antibiotics, and many doctors now are beginning to prescribe probiotics along with antibiotics. Pediatricians have been among the first to recognize the validity of this practice and have been moving quickly to prescribe the two together.
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According to Dr. Shekhar Challa’s book Probiotics For Dummies eczema is the first sign of allergy in the early days of life and is attributed to the immune system’s delayed development. Eczema causes the skin to become swollen, irritated and itchy. This common inflammatory skin disorder in early childhood sometimes continues into adult life.
Probiotics have been successfully used in treatment of eczema. Bacteria studied include Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Research studies indicate that if a pregnant woman with eczema takes probiotics during pregnancy, and the newborn is also given probiotics for several months, there is a decreased chance the baby will get eczema.
A study from New Zealand studies the same issue. Mothers continued taking probiotic supplements for up to six months (if they were breastfeeding), while their infants received the supplementation from birth to age two.
The study was a follow-up to a previous one which helped reduce the occurrence of eczema symptoms in children by almost 50 percent when they took the probiotics up to two years of age. The international journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy has shown that this reduction in symptoms continues through four years of age, even though the children stopped taking the probiotic at two years of age.
“Eczema affects millions of children worldwide, with around half the cases being diagnosed before one-year of age,” said Dr. James Dekker, Fonterra Nutrition Senior Research Scientist. “This study adds support to the theory that the placement of beneficial bacterial cultures in the diet, through probiotics, may allow more control over infant conditions such as eczema even after supplementation has ceased,” he says.
Probiotics are successfully helping those with eczema and research on the same subject will continue.
The Probulin Team
According to Dr. Shekhar Challa’s book Probiotics For Dummies Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – also called spastic colon, irritable colon & sensitive gut – is the most common chronic medical condition in the western world. It is estimated that 15-30 million people in the United States have IBS.
How do patients with IBS deal with the symptoms? Doctors believe that managing the bacteria in the colon can help ease patients’ symptoms which may range from abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc. A recent study investigates the use of a probiotic treatment to balance the colon bacteria in patients with IBS.
A study conducted in Shanghai, China involved sixty participants with IBS who were randomly assigned to receive a probiotic treatment or a placebo. 37 of the participants took two capsules three times per day, and 23 participants took 200 mg of placebo capsule per day. All participants ingested capsules for a total of four weeks.
Before and after the study, participants completed questionnaires to determine IBS symptoms. Both groups were similar in IBS severity & symptoms, bowel habit, gender & age. Fecal samples were collected from the participants that measured probiotics at the beginning and end of study, while participants in the placebo group submitted a fecal sample only at the beginning of the study.
When the study was complete, a significant difference was seen between the two groups. Frequency of pain, abdominal bloating, and bowel habit satisfaction were all measured. The probiotic group showed an effective rate of 64.86 percent on symptom reduction, whereas the placebo group showed an effective rate of 30.43 percent. This was statistically significant.
This study adds to the existing evidence that Probiotics are beneficial to patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
—The Probulin Team
Are you an athlete? Do you exercise often? Did you know taking daily supplements of a probiotic blend may improve your gut function & may help provide a way of reducing gastrointestinal complaints?
There are a high number of gastrointestinal complaints including nausea, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea by athletes. These symptoms are due to changes in the blood flow because of increased demand from muscles to the heart, which reduces blood in the gut.
An Austrian study focused on the levels of a particular protein called zonulin, which plays a key role in the intestines. The study consisted of 23 men with an average age of 38 who were to receive either the probiotic blend (contained Bifidobacterium bifidum W23, Bifidobacterium lactis W51, Enterococcus faecium W54, Lactobacillus acidophilus W22, Lactobacillus brevis W63, and Lactococcus lactic W58) or placebo for 14 weeks.
Results showed that zonulin levels decreased significantly in the probiotic group compared with placebo. Markers of inflammation tended to be lower in the probiotic group. “The probiotic treatment decreased Zonulin in feces, a marker indicating enhanced gut permeability,” wrote Dr. Lamprecht.
“These results demonstrate promising benefits for probiotic use in athletic men.”
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