No more oopsy daisies: Taking a probiotic drink can prevent diarrhea

Good news for yogurt lovers and people who consume probiotic drinks: A recent study has revealed that taking a probiotic drink can prevent diarrhea. In the study, published in the journal Nutrients, researchers from Canada identified a probiotic yogurt drink called Danactive contains 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of Lactobacillus casei sp. Paracasei CNCM I-1518, which can reduce symptoms of diarrhea caused either by antibiotic intake or bacterial infection.

The team involved a total of 32 patients, all of which were housed in the intensive care unit (ICU) undergoing antibiotic treatment. Then, the research team matched them with contemporary controls. They gave the study patients two bottles of the probiotic drinks every day, which was administered through a feeding tube. They recorded the participants’ tolerance to probiotics and enteral nutrition, development of adverse events, and incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Incidences of Clostridium difficile infection were also monitored for 30 days after antibiotic treatment.

Results of the study revealed that 12.5 percent of the probiotic treatment group had antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared to the 31.3 percent that of the control group. In addition, the probiotic drink consumption did not cause any adverse effects compared to those in the control group. Although a patient in the probiotic group developed C. difficile infection, no serious adverse effects were reported. On the contrary, three patients in the control group who developed C. difficile infection experienced severely adverse events. Two of them developed C. difficile while receiving antibiotics, while the third patient developed C. difficile infection on the 30th day after being transferred to the ward while continuing antibiotic treatment.

The research team suspected that the limitations of the study – the unknown osmolality or concentration of the particles dissolved in a fluid and the flavor of the probiotic drink – possibly affected the three incidents of vomiting in the probiotic group.

The findings of the study indicated that a Lactobacillus probiotic drink could prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. difficile infection and is safe for ICU patients.

The research team suggested that a cost-effectiveness analysis is needed to confirm if a commercially available probiotic drink added to patients’ oral diets or EN is effective and provides an alternative to probiotic supplements for fighting against antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. difficile infection in ICU and hospitalized patients.

This study is not the first study to focus on the use of a probiotic drink to reduce bacterial infection. Earlier studies revealed that the consumption of probiotic drinks resulted in lower incidence of diarrhea. (Related: Probiotics help offset some of the negative effects of antibiotics.)

More on probiotic drinks

Probiotic drinks contain live and active cultures. They can be found as fermented teas like kombucha, milky yogurts like kefir, or sparkling flavored water. In general, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help balance the bacteria in the gut. They are helpful for people with gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance. Although probiotics can be obtained through supplements, foods, or drinks, most experts say that real foods and drinks are the best sources. This is because stomach acid can destroy supplements before they get to the intestines.

Although drinking probiotics is an excellent way to increase good gut bacteria that support healthy gut function and bacterial diversity, it is also important to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes managing stress – because chronic stress kills healthy bacteria, getting a good sleep, and exercising regularly.

In addition to diarrhea prevention and treatment, probiotics also provide other health benefits. Studies have suggested that they may help improve symptoms of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, stress, and memory problems, while others have indicated that they may support heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure. Some studies also suggest that they boost the immune system, help lose weight and belly fat, and reduce the risk and severity of allergies like eczema in infants.

Read more news stories and studies on the benefits of probiotics by going to

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