Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Gut Check on Prophylactic Probiotics and Diarrhea

We have been publishing more and more studies on the effects (positive, negative, or neutral) of probiotics in children. This week, we have another probiotic study that warrants your attention.

Lactobacillus. Photo by  Janice Carr via the CDC
This time the study performed by Gutierrex-Castrellon et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-0652) involves the prophylactic daily administering of lactobacillus reuteri for three months in a randomized controlled
trial to more than 160 infants and toddlers in day care centers as well as an equal number of controls. The outcome measure was the frequency and duration of diarrheal episodes up to three months after the medication was stopped. Respiratory tract infections were also monitored along with the number of doctor visits, antibiotics used and absenteeism from school for the child or work for the parents. The authors even performed a cost-benefit analysis.

With so much data to report, one would hope the findings would be well-worth reading about—and they are. Would you consider using lactobacillus reuteri in your practice? Why or why not? Share your comments with us below or via an eLetter on our website or commenting on Facebook or Twitter.

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