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Updated 30 January 2014

Going on holiday? Pack your probiotics

Probiotics are particularly beneficial during the holiday season, when many of us take time out to visit unfamiliar destinations, where the quality of food and water may be poor.

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Probiotics have become widely recognised as the ‘must-have’ supplement to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

These supplements are particularly beneficial during the holiday season, when many of us take time out to visit unfamiliar destinations, where the quality of food and water may be poor.

Preventing traveller's diarrhoea

Yeast-based probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii can help prevent traveller's diarrhoea, as well as reduce the severity of this viral infection.

While most of us prefer not to contemplate the down-side of travelling, diarrhoea is a very real threat to travellers. It is usually caused by bacterial infections picked up from contaminated food and water, including ice cubes and inadequately cooked food. Infection can also be passed on by unhygienic handling of food and flies.

However, infection is not always the cause – especially during the holiday season when too much sun and fruit can also cause diarrhoea.

Special care is therefore advisable when visiting remote or exotic holiday destinations or high-risk developing countries such as Africa, Latin America and the Far East.

Yeast-based probiotics are particularly beneficial when travelling because they:

  • don't require refrigeration;
  • keep toxins out of the body’s sensitive digestive area;
  • significantly ease the severity of acute diarrhoea in children;
  • rapidly stop diarrhoea in children;
  • can be safely taken together with antibiotics;
  • may be taken with other anti-diarrhoeal medication;
  • are suitable for the whole family – from infants (capsule contents sprinkled over cereal) to grandparents.

Speedy recovery for kids

A recent clinical study conducted by Ege University in Turkey showed that probiotics containing the yeast type Saccharomyces boulardii effectively speeds up the recovery of children with acute diarrhoea.

The researchers also found that Saccharomyces boulardii significantly reduces the duration of acute diarrhoea in children after only two days of therapy, thereby reducing their stay in hospital.

(Photo of traveller tourist from Shutterstock)

 
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