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Probiotic Formulas Fight Diarrhea in Infants

In a study comparing various formulas, those supplemented with probiotics -- specifically Lactobacillus reuteri (L reuteri) and Bifidobacterium lactis (B lactis) -- lowered the duration and incidence of diarrhea in babies who attended 14 daycare centers in Israel.

Doctors randomly tested formulas supplemented with Lactobacillus reuteri, Bifidobacterium lactis or no probiotics on some 200 healthy Israeli babies. Generally, infants who were given probiotics in their formulas had fewer problems with fever in addition to lessening the effects of diarrhea.

Not surprisingly, the Lactobacillus reuteri group had fewer visits to the doctor, antibiotics, days with fever and absences from daycare.

I wrote about the benefits of probiotics in infants based on a similar study some four years ago in Pediatrics. Although it's encouraging to see conventional medicine coming around, considering these beneficial qualities probiotics can have the health of babies, it's a bit disappointing to observe how slowly that transition is taking place.

Yahoo News January 12, 2005

Pediatrics Vol. 115 No. 1 January 2005, pp. 5-9

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