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Updated 30 January 2014

Diarrhoea: probiotics protect

Lactobacillus therapy is safe and effective as a treatment for acute infectious diarrhoea (including rota-virus diarrhoea) in children, researchers say.

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Every year, diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis cause 18,8% of deaths worldwide. In South Africa, it is one of the top five causes of death among children under the age of one.

Two recent meta-analyses concluded that Lactobacillus therapy is safe and effective as a treatment for acute infectious diarrhoea (including rota-virus diarrhoea) in children.

Clearly evaluated strains include L.rhamnosous, L.reuteri and L.acidophilus.

A Cochrane database review concluded that certain defined probiotic strains reduced the mean duration of diarrhoea by 30,5 hours.

Prof. Bengt Björkstén MD, PhD
Prof.em. of Paediatrics and Allergy prevention
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

 
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