Nav: Home

Probiotic no better than placebo for acute gastroenteritis in children

November 21, 2018

While probiotics are often used to treat acute gastroenteritis (also known as infectious diarrhea) in children, the latest evidence shows no significant differences in outcomes, compared to a placebo. These results come from the large, double-blind, randomized controlled trial conducted at 10 geographically diverse U.S. pediatric emergency departments, including Kenneth & Anne Griffin Emergency Care Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"This study presents the most robust evidence to date that use of probiotics does not improve outcomes of acute gastroenteritis in children, which calls into question current recommendations," says author Elizabeth Powell, MD, MPH, pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Lurie Children's and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Recommendations to use probiotics for these patients were based on previous meta-analyses that have suggested probiotics may be beneficial, but the trials that were included had significant limitations. The rigor of our research design and our results warrant reconsideration of common practice."

Acute gastroenteritis, which can present with diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain, accounts for approximately 1.7 million visits to the emergency department and more than 70,000 hospitalizations per year in the U.S. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide in children younger than 5 years.

The study included 943 children, aged 3 months to 4 years of age. Two weeks after an emergency department visit for acute gastroenteritis, children in the study who received a five-day course of probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) fared no better than the placebo group in terms of illness severity, duration and frequency of diarrhea or vomiting, day-care absenteeism and rate of household transmission of the infection.
-end-
This study was funded in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago is conducted through the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children's is ranked as one of the nation's top children's hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 212,000 children from 49 states and 51 countries.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Related Probiotics Articles:

Probiotics could improve survival rates in honey bees exposed to pesticide, study finds
In a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and Western University, researchers have shown that probiotics can potentially protect honey bees from the toxic effects of pesticides.
Probiotics benefit in schizophrenia shaped by yeast infections
In a small pilot study of men with schizophrenia, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Sheppard Pratt Health System say they have evidence that adding probiotics -- microorganisms, such as bacteria found in yogurts -- to the patients' diets may help treat yeast infections and ease bowel problems.
Probiotics may not always be a silver bullet for better health
UNSW Sydney researchers have investigated the impact of probiotics on gut health and cognitive function.
Allergies? Probiotic combination may curb your symptoms, new study finds
As we head into allergy season, you may feel less likely to grab a hanky and sneeze.
Are prebiotics or probiotics effective against dermatitis?
Evidence supporting a key role for an altered gut microbiome in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) would suggest that the use of probiotics or prebiotics to correct microbial imbalances in the gut could help prevent or treat AD.
Common probiotics can reduce stress levels, lessen anxiety
Probiotics, or beneficial live bacteria that are introduced into the body, have become increasingly popular as a way to improve health and well-being.
Probiotics improve cognition in Alzheimer's patients
In a randomized double-blind trial, scientists show for the first time that dietary supplementation with daily dose of probiotic bacteria over a period of just 12 weeks is sufficient to yield a small but significant improvement in the cognitive performance of Alzheimer's patients.
Mix and match microbes to make probiotics last
Scientists have tried to alter the human gut microbiota to improve health by introducing beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Certain alternative therapies may help patients with bowel disorders
A new review looks at the evidence behind the effectiveness of complementary or alternative therapies -- including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, fiber, and herbal medicinal products -- for the treatment of bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation, and ulcerative colitis.
Global allergy epidemic -- new data on vaccines/probiotics and dairy allergy
Why is there a global allergy epidemic? Three of the world's experts in allergy present new data at the International Congress of Immunology including why children who grow up on dairy farms are immune to dairy allergies; how giving probiotics to pregnant women can protect their offspring against allergy and a long-acting vaccine against cats.

Related Probiotics Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...