USA: probiotics don’t help children with acute gastroenteritis

08 February 2019

A study across 10 paediatric A&E departments found that giving probiotics to children with gastroenteritis did not help their recovery.

Researchers enrolled more than 900 children aged between three months and four years with a diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis. They were randomly assigned a course of either a probiotic or a placebo.

Results published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed no difference in length of vomiting or diarrhoea with or without probiotic use. A second study, run in Canada using a different probiotic strain, showed similar results.

Study leader Dr David Schnadower said: ‘Because of the popularity of probiotics, it was important to make sure their use is worth the cost. In this instance, probiotics added no measurable benefit.’

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