How Probiotic Yogurt Can Prevent Diarrhea in Children on Antibiotics

What Is the Common Side Effect of Antibiotics?

One of the most common complications of antibiotics, especially β-lactams, clindamycin, and vancomycin, is gastrointestinal (GI) upset like diarrhea. These antibiotics can affect the function of normal bowel flora, causing overgrowth of unfavorable species such as Staphylococcus, Candida, Enterobacteriaceae, Klebsiella, and Clostridium. This condition can lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), distressing patients and carers, resulting in poor compliance with antibiotic therapy. The frequency of AAD is estimated to be between 11% and 30% for children on oral antibiotics.

Can Probiotics Aid in the Treatment of Diarrhea?

Studies have often recommended probiotics because they can help correct gut microbiota imbalance and diarrhea. However, the results from different studies have been mixed, and it is not clear which probiotics work best for preventing diarrhea. Some studies have shown that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and Saccharomyces boulardii may help reduce diarrhea symptoms. The participants in these studies took probiotics in varied forms (capsules, tablets, or yogurts) and doses. 

In this study, the researchers defined diarrhea in different ways to see how severe the disease is and how it compares to other studies. We also looked at how yogurt with these bacteria, namely LGG, Bifidobacterium lactis (Bb-12), and Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-5), reduced diarrhea in children on antibiotics. 

The Study Method on Probiotic Yogurt for Diarrhea

Of the 70 children taking antibiotics, 34 were randomly chosen to take a yogurt containing the probiotic mixture of LGG, Bb-12, and La-5 (2×100 g tubs/day); the other 36, a placebo pasteurized yogurt containing S thermophilus  and L bulgaricus for the same amount of time as their antibiotic treatment.

The parents recorded their child’s stool frequency and consistency, and the researchers classified these data into different levels of diarrhea severity.

The Results

There were no incidents of severe diarrhea in the probiotic group, while the placebo group had six cases. One episode of minor diarrhea was noted in the probiotic group compared to 21 in the placebo group. The probiotic group reported fewer adverse events (1 had abdominal pain, 1 vomited, and 1 had a headache) than the placebo group (6 had abdominal pain, 4 had a loss of appetite, and 1 had nausea).

The Conclusion

This study found that a yogurt combined with LGG, La-5, and Bb-12 effectively reduces the incidence of AAD in children.

Reference

Can Probiotic Yogurt Prevent Diarrhea in Children on Antibiotics? A Double-blind, Randomised, Placebo-controlled Study

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