Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Probiotic Use?

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


March 12, 2018

The highest-quality evidence largely supports the use of probiotics in treating various forms of diarrhea, in particular antibiotic-associated diarrhea. According to one study, children who received probiotics had an 11% risk reduction in this form of diarrhea. Evidence to support probiotic use in Crohn disease is considerably weaker; evidence supporting probiotic use in acute pancreatitis is also insufficient.

Although some preliminary evidence has suggested moderate benefits in terms of probiotic use for weight loss, further studies are needed. The studies in which minimal effects on weight loss have been substantiated appear to be mostly from dairy probiotic products.

A recent summary of evidence found that probiotic use in ulcerative colitis was given an A rating, whereas use in irritable bowel syndrome was given a B rating. Probiotic administration at the initiation of disease onset is recommended in patients with ulcerative colitis. In those with irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics have been found to improve overall symptom response, quality of life, and treatment efficacy, although the evidence is not as strong.

For more information on clinical aspects of diarrhea, read here.


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