Probiotic can’t help in diarrhoea caused by SalmonellaApril 20th, 2010 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, April 20 (IANS) While probiotics are often cited as the cure for various stomach problems, the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum has no effect on Salmonella which causes diarrhoea, research says.
A new thesis at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, studied 163 Salmonella patients, 90 percent of whom had picked up the infection abroad.
Acute infection caused by Salmonella is generally followed by a lengthy period of stomach troubles such as diarrhoea, stomach ache, wind and constipation.
“Antibiotics are used in serious cases of Salmonella, but there isn’t a good treatment for the acute diarrhoea and the more protracted symptoms,” says Elisabet LÃ¶nnermark, doctor and researcher at the Department of Infectious Disease, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Probiotics are currently being trialled as a treatment for a number of different conditions, but few studies have investigated whether they have any effect on patients with Salmonella.
“We wanted to see whether probiotics, in this case a lactic acid bacterium, could be used to treat diarrhoea in patients with Salmonella,” LÃ¶nnermark says.
Out of the 163 Salmonella patients, half were treated with the probiotic lactic acid bacterium, while the other half were given powdered skimmed milk.
The outcome was that the group on the probiotic did not have less diarrhoea or a shorter period with the Salmonella bacteria in their gut.
“We could see that the men who were treated with the probiotic bacterium were less constipated than those who were given the powdered skimmed milk,” LÃ¶nnermark says.
“Whatever the treatment, the women felt ill to a greater extent and also had diarrhoea for longer than the men, though they got rid of the Salmonella bacteria slightly more quickly,” she says.
There is a rising public interest in the role of gut bacteria in our health and how we can affect these bacteria by taking probiotics, a Sahlgrenska University Hospital release says.
“The bacteria we have in our gut seems to be important for our health, and probiotic bacteria could ease and prevent various symptoms. But it’s a matter of finding the right bacterium for the condition you’re treating, and perhaps combining several different bacteria,” LÃ¶nnermark says.
“What’s more, the effects can differ between women and men,” she adds.
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Tags: 163, acute diarrhoea, acute infection, antibiotics, constipation, gothenburg sweden, gut bacteria, infectious disease, lactic acid bacterium, lengthy period, plantarum, probiotics, public interest, sahlgrenska university hospital, salmonella bacteria, salmonella patients, stomach ache, stomach problems, stomach troubles, university of gothenburg