Category Archives: common cold

Microbiota Predictions and Probiotics Have Trouble Treating Diarrhea

Probiotics can shorten the duration of respiratory illness.
This week on BBS! A study in Indonesia fails to show probiotic usefulness for acute diarrhea, cold sufferers could reduce a day being sick by taking probiotics, and changes in gut bacteria appear to predict relapses in Crohn’s disease.

A Fail for Probiotic Treatment of Acute Diarrhea

Probiotic treatment studies in areas with prevalent pediatric diarrhea can be useful to determine probiotic effectiveness for acute diarrhea. One such region in Indonesia was used by Dr. Badriul Hegar of the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Indonesia to investigate the potential of adding Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and L. acidophilus R0052 to oral rehydration solution with added zinc. However, the probiotics proved ineffective. No differences were noted between the probiotic and control group. Many similar studies do show positive results, however, which could mean that the administration method or the strains used were suboptimal.

Good News for Cold Sufferers

The results of clinical studies often differ. To get a better handle on the real outcome of a particular treatment, researchers often perform systematic reviews of published trials to get a better bird’s eye view of the true situation. Dr. Sarah King of the York Health Economics Consortium in the United Kingdom recently investigated the beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria, specifically Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, on acute respiratory infections, like colds. After looking at a total of twenty randomized, controlled trials, she determined that probiotic use decreased the duration of respiratory illness by one whole day.

Gut Bacteria May Predict Crohn’s Disease Relapse

People with Crohn’s disease (CD) suffer from a chronic inflammation of the intestines. To control the disease, patients usually need to take drugs indefinitely, however, patients still have relapses. To find out if the bacterial composition of the gut could be used as a predictor of relapse, Dr. Sylvie Rajca of Sorbonne University in France carefully measured changes in the intestinal microbiota of CD patients after they stopped using their drugs. She then examined if there were correlations between the microbiota in those who relapsed and those who did not. Interestingly, she found that the intestinal bacteria significantly differed between the relapse patients and non-relapse patients. According to the results, the loss of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii may be useful in the future to detect CD relapses.