Study finds no role of Probiotics in acute gastroenteritis in children
A randomized, controlled trial has demonstrated that probiotics don't exhibit any efficacy in acute gastroenteritis in children. The study has been published in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume and are supposed to help in diarrhea.
In all ninety-one otherwise healthy patients <5 years old with presumed AGE (defined as change in stool consistency, frequency, or both)- received a daily dose of either Lactobacillus reuteri or placebo for 5 days. The primary outcome was time to resolution of diarrhea (back to normal stool consistency or normal number of daily stools) and normal stool for 48 hours. Secondary outcomes included need for intravenous fluids and duration of hospitalization.
The researchers found that the duration of diarrhea was similar in both groups. All secondary outcomes were also similar in both groups, except for duration of hospitalization, which was 6 hours shorter in the probiotic group (95% confidence interval: 0.1–17.7; P=0.048).
This study confirms the findings of two much larger studies conducted earlier that demonstrated effect of L. rhamnosus GG (alone and in combination with L. helveticus) in pediatric patients with Acute gastroenteritis (NEJM JW Emerg Med Jan 2019 and N Engl J Med 2018; 379:2002 and 2015).