Taking probiotics may be helpful in preventing diarrhea, but a review of more than 63 studies by the Cochrane Library suggests that it can help to get rid of diarrhea quicker.
This review of nearly 8,000 patients — including 56 focused on infants and young children — concluded the use of probiotics shortened the course of diarrhea by a day, and reduced the duration of diarrhea lasting more than four days by 59 percent.
Also, probiotics decreased the chances of spreading the diarrhea infection and relieved discomfort.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum — both critical strains of beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior, –were among the strains of probiotic bacteria used in the studies.
Researchers found no difference between the strains of probiotic bacteria used as all the strains proved to be safe and beneficial to the study participants.
“A striking finding of this review is that most trials reported that probiotics reduced diarrhea,” said lead researcher Stephen Allen of the School of Medicine at Swansea University, UK, according to a press release. “The beneficial effect was consistent and significant across many different types of trials.”
Be wary of standard diarrhea treatments
Unfortunately, three of the more popular ways to treat diarrhea — taking an antibiotic or an over-the-counter medication or eating specific foods — may not be as safe or reliable and create more health complications you’ll want to avoid, especially if your child is at risk.
For example, some health experts advise taking antibiotics, but only if bacteria or parasites trigger diarrhea. Yet, antibiotics can cause great harm not only by disrupting the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut but by promoting the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like C. diff infections.
Also, taking an over-the-counter drug like loperamide (Imodium) or bismuth-subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol) only treats diarrhea, but not the underlying cause of the problem. Plus, you should be very careful if your child has the flu or chickenpox that you don’t treat him/her with medicines that contain bismuth-subsalicylate due to their link to Reye syndrome, a rare but very serious disease.
Plus, the verdict is very much mixed about the value of following the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast), particularly for children because it doesn’t contain enough nutrients to help their guts recover from diarrhea.
However, taking a probiotic is one of most effective ways, not only to shorten the duration of diarrhea, but to give your body a healthy boost to its natural defenses to prevent it altogether.
The real trick about probiotics: There’s a huge difference between taking a probiotic containing single or multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.
A growing number of studies have shown taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune — containing 10 strains beneficial bacteria plus a prebiotic– are effective in treating a host problems in addition to diarrhea, including IBS, respiratory tract infections and immune functioning. More information about traveler’s diarrhea can be found here.