InfectionPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Probiotics to treat C. difficile-associated diarrhea?

 Drs. Kennon Miller and Thomas Fraser from the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio tell us, “Overall, the evidence does not support using probiotics to treat Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.”

Here’s why.

  • Few clinical studies have tested probiotics in C. difficile-associated diarrhea.
  • 2 reviews did not find a clear benefit to adding probiotics to antibiotics to treat.
  • Data from 6 studies included in a 2006 meta-analysis failed to find a benefit.
    • Most of the data was derived from 2 studies of Saccharomyces boulardii.

Issues with yogurt as a probiotic dietary supplement.

  • Unclear how many of the bacteria added in the manufacturing process are alive once on store shelves.
  • Labeling of the products doesn’t reliably reflect what’s in the yogurt.
  • There’s no testing by the FDA to guarantee manufacturing and labeling standards.

A more positive summary is here.

7/8/09 15:52 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.