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aqblickley
aqblickley asks:
Q:

What are probiotics good for?

I've been hearing a lot about probiotics lately, and I keep seeing them mentioned on products at the grocery store. What are they good for? Are they just a fad?
In Topics: Nutrition
> 60 days ago

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Expert

mheyman
Sep 23, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Several randomized, controlled trials have reported on the use of probiotics to treat a wide variety of disorders, including constipation, colic, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), allergies (atopy and eczema), Helicobacter pylori (the bug that can cause stomach ulcers) colonization and eradication, antibiotic related diarrhea, urinary
tract infections in preterm infants, and others. However more studies are needed before firm recommendations can be made, especially for infants and children.  One problem is that the forms and types of probiotics used varies tremendously.  Production is not as regulated as drugs that are monitored by the FDA.  Additionally it is known that if one stops using a probiotic after 'loading' their intestine with these organisms, the intestine quickly reverts back to its basal state (with whatever organisms it is programmed to hold).

However the question of whether this is a 'fad' is easier to handle.  In the future, once we have more information including studies underway now to study the intestinal bacteria (the 'microbiome'), we may be able to use taylored probiotics for specific disorders.  Thus, while the evidence to use probiotics at this time is minimal, the field involving probiotics (and prebiotics) is likely in its early stages and will likely open further exciting areas for future research and treatment strategies.
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Additional Answers (1)

Dr.Monika
Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as live organisms, usually bacteria, that are used to change or re-establish the intestinal or gut flora and improve our health.

There is scientific evidence that probiotics are beneficial in certain diseases in adults and children, such as viral diarrhea and diarrhea caused by antibiotic use.


Suggested readings:

Probiotic use in children

http://www.pluggedinparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=412&Itemid=0

Best regards.
> 60 days ago

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