‘Good’ Bacteria Help Kids with Diarrhea

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Supplements containing two different strains of lactobacillus, a bacteria commonly found in yogurt, can help ease bouts of severe diarrhea in children and reduce their hospital stays.

Such treatments, with so-called good bacteria,” are commonly referred to as probiotics. They are thought to work by altering the microbial ecology in the gut of the person who ingests them.

The probiotic treatment cut the amount of time children with diarrhea spent in the hospital. Probiotic-treated children spent 1.6 days in the hospital, on average, versus 2.6 days for the patients given placebo.

And children who received treatment within 60 hours of when their diarrhea began spent an average of 1.7 days in the hospital, versus 3.5 days for kids who received placebo within this time.

The research team also found that children given lactobacillus were less likely to show signs of infection with rotavirus, the leading cause of diarrhea in infants, than youngsters who did not receive the bacteria treatment.

From:The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Dr. Mercola‘s Comment:

Although one less hospital day may not seem very significant, there clearly was a difference between the two groups. These are the types of studies that traditional doctors require before they adopt these simple measures more broadly.

It is likely that even more impressive results would have been achieved had the babies been put on the eating plan and eliminated wheat and dairy during their infection.

I have seen these probiotics work in many intractable diarrheas in a matter of hours. The trick is to use HIGH doses (which were not used in this study), which likely explains the small difference between the two groups.

Probiotics are the only supplement I advise nearly every patient to start. Once their food choices are cleaned up they can stop taking it. While it is not necessary to take them forever, I do believe it is wise to use one bottle of a good probiotic a year, as most of us are less than perfect with our food choices.

There are probably many other good brands in your local health food store. However, be careful because some brands do not contain what the label claims. A good probiotic will work very well most types of acute diarrhea. I recommend one capsule, or ¼ tsp of the powders, every 30-60 minutes until the diarrhea is gone. It usually resolves in about four hours. These products are quite impressive.

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