Probiotics for Acute Diarrhea

Please note that each trial for acute diarrhea probiotics is not described in detail. In some trials, drugs, prebiotics and/or additional nutrients were provided that may help the beneficial bacteria be more effective. Also the setting, procedure, and dose for each trial are rarely similar. For more details, search for the reference in Google to find the original publication. The simplest way is to copy and paste the title.

There are good acute diarrhea probiotics. The trials for these products look at both prevention and treatment. In acute diarrhea prevention trials, individuals living in areas with acute diarrhea are given probiotics over a long period of time and the incidence of acute diarrhea is measured. In treatment programs, individuals are given probiotics daily—from the moment symptoms are noted and continued until they’re gone. Comparisons are usually made with groups being given a standard minimal treatment, like oral rehydration salts.

Probiotic SupplementsImprovements Seen in TrialReferences
VSL#3Reduced duration1
L. rhamnosus 19070-2
L. reuteri DSM 12246
Reduced duration2, 3
B. bifidumLess frequent stools4
L. caseiPrevention5
L. rhamnosus GGReduced duration/no improvement6-8
S. boulardiiReduced duration9

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


1.         Dubey, A. P. R., K.; Chakravarty, A.; Famularo, G. 2008. Use of VSL[sharp]3 in the treatment of rotavirus diarrhea in children: preliminary results. J Clin Gastroenterol 42 Suppl 3 Pt 1:S126-129.

2.         Rosenfeldt, V. M., K. F.; Jakobsen, M.; Larsen, C. N.; Moller, P. L.; Tvede, M.; Weyrehter, H.; Valerius, N. H.; Paerregaard, A. 2002. Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus strains on acute diarrhea in a cohort of nonhospitalized children attending day-care centers. Pediatr Infect Dis J 21:417-419.

3.         Rosenfeldt, V. M., K. F.; Jakobsen, M.; Larsen, C. N.; Moller, P. L.; Pedersen, P.; Tvede, M.; Weyrehter, H.; Valerius, N. H.; Paerregaard, A. 2002. Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus strains in young children hospitalized with acute diarrhea. Pediatr Infect Dis J 21:411-416.

4.         Sudarmo, S. M. R., R. G.; Rochim, A.; Soeparto, P. 2003. Management of infant diarrhea with high-lactose probiotic-containing formula. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 34:845-848.

5.         Pereg, D. K., O.; Tirosh, A.; Orr, N.; Kayouf, R.; Lishner, M. 2005. The effect of fermented yogurt on the prevention of diarrhea in a healthy adult population. Am J Infect Control 33:122-125.

6.         Guandalini, S. P., L.; Zikri, M. A.; Dias, J. A.; Casali, L. G.; Hoekstra, H.; Kolacek, S.; Massar, K.; Micetic-Turk, D.; Papadopoulou, A.; de Sousa, J. S.; Sandhu, B.; Szajewska, H.; Weizman, Z. 2000. Lactobacillus GG administered in oral rehydration solution to children with acute diarrhea: a multicenter European trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 30:54-60.

7.         Salazar-Lindo, E. M.-L., P.; Campos-Sanchez, M.; Chea-Woo, E.; Sack, R. B. 2004. Lactobacillus casei strain GG in the treatment of infants with acute watery diarrhea: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial [ISRCTN67363048]. BMC Pediatr 4:18.

8.         Basu, S. P., D. K.; Ganguly, S.; Chatterjee, M.; Chandra, P. K. 2009. Efficacy of high-dose Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in controlling acute watery diarrhea in Indian children: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Gastroenterol 43:208-213.

9.         Villarruel, G. R., D. M.; Lopez, F.; Cintioni, J.; Gurevech, R.; Romero, G.; Vandenplas, Y. 2007. Saccharomyces boulardii in acute childhood diarrhoea: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Acta Paediatr 96:538-541.