Consumption of probiotics associated with reduced risk of diarrhea from antibiotic use

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th May 2012

New US research suggests that consumption of probiotics is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common adverse effect of antibiotic use.

The research was undertaken by the RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, which may occur naturally in foods such as yoghurt, intended to confer a health benefit when consumed.

Researchers evaluated available evidence on probiotic use for the prevention or treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Reviewers searched databases to identify randomized controlled trials involving antibiotic-associated diarrhea and probiotics.

Lead author of the research, Dr Susanne Hempel said, “Our review found sufficient evidence to conclude that adjunct probiotic administration is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.”

The researchers noted that there exists significant differences across previous study findings and the evidence is insufficient to determine whether this association varies systematically by population, antibiotic characteristic, or probiotic preparation.