ChildrenDiarrhea/ConstipationPancreasPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Current status of probiotics to treat gastrointestinal infections

There have been lots of posts here on probiotics and their effects in a wide range of infections of the GI tract. Probiotics are an appealing concept given their favorable safety profiles.

Now, a summary of clinical trials has been published.

Here are the findings.

  • Some placebo-controlled trials show that lactobacilli suppress infections caused by Helicobacter pylori, but others fail to confirm this.
  • Controlled trials support the use of Lactobacillus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and the effectiveness of S boulardii used as add-on therapy for recurrent infections.
  • Several placebo-controlled trials show that Lactobacillus GG reduces the severity and duration of acute diarrhea in children.
  • Studies of probiotics to prevent traveler’s diarrhea report conflicting results, and their routine use cannot be recommended in this setting.
  • Conclusive evidence that probiotics prevent secondary pancreatic infections is not available at this time.

Another review that discusses the various bacteria and yeasts used as probiotics is available at

10/7/06 20:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.