Probiotics cut duration of stomach upsets

November 11th, 2010 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 11 (IANS) Probiotics cut the duration of stomach upsets like diarrhoea, says a comprehensive new review study.

A review of 63 studies involving more than 8,000 people found that when taken together with rehydration powders, probiotics cut the length of time patients had diarrhoea by one day, reports the Telegraph.

The likelihood of being ill for more than four days was cut by almost 60 percent, according to the journal Cochrane Library, which organised the review study.

Hospitals are being told to use probiotics for patients who are susceptible to Clostridium difficile, which can kill elderly patients who have been given large amounts of antibiotics.

It is thought the probiotics, often called ‘friendly bacteria’ and which come in yogurt drinks or capsules, work by competing for nutrients with the bad bacteria or other bugs which have colonised the stomach and guts in ill patients.

Lead researcher Stephen Allen of the School of Medicine at Swansea University, UK, said: “A striking finding of this review is that most trials reported that probiotics reduced diarrhoea. The beneficial effect was consistent and significant across many different types of trials.”

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