Probiotics – the ‘good bacteria’ that maintain the natural balance of microflora in the digestive tract – can reverse gut damage caused by antibiotics, and act as a natural anti-inflammatory for sufferers of ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
In a series of four research papers, scientists have discovered that probiotics could be the key to a range of gut-related disorders.
In a study of 3096 patients regularly taking an antibiotic, the probiotic S. boulardii reduced the risk of drug-induced diarhhea by 60 per cent.
The probiotic B.infantis 35624 is effective as a natural anti-inflammatory in patients with ulcerative colitis. The researchers surmise that shifting the balance in the gut seemed to re-establish natural anti-inflammatory processes.
However, in another study – this time of 35,624 patients with irritable bowel disease (IBS) – the probiotic B. infantis seemed to reduce abdominal discomfort and bloating in most cases, but only as much as a placebo.
(Source: American College of Gastroenterology 76th annual scientific meeting, Washington, November 1, 2011).