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June 23, 2020

Probiotics calm and heal the digestive systems


Probiotics reduced H. pylori


     About half the world’s population carries the H. pylori bacteria, most without the symptoms that can lead to ulcers. Side effects of standard antibiotic and antacid treatments are common and increasing, while the treatments’ effectiveness is decreasing.

     In this analysis of 40 studies covering 8,924 people with H. pylori, overall, 81.5 percent of those that took probiotics eradicated H. pylori compared to 71.6 percent for placebo.

     After an average of two weeks, 92.6 percent of participants taking probiotics were free of H. pylori. When doctors added antibiotic and antacid treatment, 99.9 percent in the probiotics groups were H. pylori-free. Side effects, which are common with standard antibiotics and antacids, were 18.9 percent for probiotics, and 39 percent for placebo. Lactobacillus and multiple probiotic strains were most effective.


Reference: Medicine (Baltimore); 2019, Vol. 15, e15180, Published Online


Probiotics for acid reflux


     Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid backs up into and irritates the esophagus, creating a variety of indigestion symptoms including regurgitation and heartburn. In this review of 14 studies lasting from one to 12 weeks, single or multi-strain probiotic doses ranged from 50 million to 46 billion colony-forming units per day.

     Eleven of the 14 studies reported positive results for probiotics reducing symptoms or eradicating GERD. Probiotic strains in the studies included bifidobacterium (B.) animalis, B. bifidum, B. lactis, and lactobacillus (L.) acidophilus, L. casei, L. gasseri, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, and L. rhamnosus.

     There is little research on probiotics for upper gastrointestinal health, and these beneficial findings suggest larger and longer studies to determine the best approach.


Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 1, 132


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