Probiotics promote good digestion, reduce infection

Probiotics relieve constipation 

With age, changes in the gut microbiome can increase chances for constipation. Treating the condition in older adults is a challenge. the typical drug therapies prescribed by doctors have had inconsistent results, and sometimes produce harmful side effects. Here, researchers reviewed the literature for constipation studies in older adults that used probiotics as a remedy.

Doctors identited nine probiotics trials covering 778 men and women, aged 65 to 102, who were complaining of constipation. The studies lasted from two weeks to six months, with the most frequent probiotics being B. longum, L. casei shirota, or S. thermophiles. Overall, probiotics reduced constipation by 10 to 40 percent compared to placebo.

Probiotics reduce C. difficile infection

Earlier studies found that probiotics reduce the chances of developing the bacterial infection clostridium diffcile (C. diff) while taking antibiotics, but few studies have tested probiotics with antibiotics during an initial C. diff infection. C. diff is the most common hospital-acquired infection, and is also common during courses of broad-spectrum or long-term antibiotics, particularly in older adults.

In this study, 33 people with an initial mild to moderate C. diff infection took a standard antibiotic treatment with or without 17 billion total colony-forming units of the probiotics L. acidophilus and paracasei, and B. bacterium lactis.

After 28 days, those taking probiotics saw symptoms ease 24 hours sooner than placebo. Discussing the fndings, doctors said even a small decrease in the length of infection can have a large benefit in the cost of care and can improve the quality of life.

Reference Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics; 2017, July, 2017, Vol. 71, 142-9
Natural Insights for Well Being January 2018
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