Can Probiotics Treat Diseases?

Can Probiotics Treat Diseases?

There was a time when bacteria and yeasts, especially live ones, and especially bacteria, had such a bad rep that it would be impossible to argue that they could actually be useful, let alone be useful in treating and preventing diseases. As is discussed over at, they were actually perceived as actually the cause of diseases and illnesses. Thankfully with probiotics, those days are but a speck in our rearview mirrors. Probiotics are in a nutshell live bacteria and yeast that are in fact good for us, and our digestive systems especially. Our bodies are actually full of bacteria, some of them good, some of them bad. Probiotics are of the good variety as they play a major role in keeping our guts healthy. Probiotics are mostly found in dairy products like yoghurt and in dietary supplements as well, added to those that are naturally found within our bodies. Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of research on the usefulness of probiotics, and especially on whether they can be able to treat disease, with mixed results on the same. This article will look to explore whether or not probiotics can treat diseases.

One area in which probiotics have experienced some success in terms of treating diseases is on antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Research, as is discussed over at, has shown that giving probiotics to people when they are about to start on a course of antibiotics helps prevent diarrhea. Diarrhea by people on antibiotics is due to the fact that the antibiotics can wipe out both good and bad bacteria, leading to a state of imbalance in the intestines, causing bacteria. Taking probiotics replenishes the good bacteria and as such help treat the diarrhea. Studies have shown that there is great promise in terms of using probiotics to treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea, with Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus GG being the two most promising and best suited probiotic strains in these studies. 

Another disease that probiotics have been known to treat is infectious childhood diarrhea. Studies, as revealed over at, have shown probiotics to be quite useful in treating this form of diarrhea in children, especially the one caused by rotavirus, which is a bug that is easily spread in young children and babies. Places where children gather together like daycares, are known to provide a perfect environment for the infection to spread, especially when toys become contaminated with the virus. It can be quite harsh on children as they end up experiencing severe diarrhea, stomach pain and fever, with their chances of being dehydrated increasing exponentially. Probiotics have been known, however, to effectively treat this infection by easing the severity of the symptoms greatly and shorten both the duration and frequency per day of the diarrhea. Probiotics have also shown great promise in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, with Ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, being one that is particularly responsive to probiotics. However, research has shown that probiotics work well when used more as preventative measure than a treatment measure. Pouchitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the intestines especially for those who have had surgery to remove potions of the colon due to severe ulcerative colitis, is yet another disease that probiotics show a lot of promise in treating, preventing and sustaining remission. 

Yeast infection, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis is yet another condition that the use of probiotics have shown tremendous promise in, as per The ingestion of yoghurt, which has got active cultures of probiotics especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, has emerged as one of the latest treatment and preventative methods. Taking of yoghurt has been known to not only treat vulvovaginal candidiasis, but also reduce greatly more cases of the same for women with a history of recurrence especially those with diabetes. While there are a lot of promising cases, more research is still required in order to come up with products that can be authoritatively recommended to women with vulvovaginal candidiasis. The use of probiotics in the common cold is yet another area that has shown great promise. Studies have been able to ascertain that taking of probiotic products containing microorganisms such as a Bifidobacteriumstrain and a Lactobacillus strain not only reduces the number of common cold symptoms, it also reduces the cold duration significantly. The treatment of common cold using a probiotic is one that should gather pace over the next couple of years as scientists identify specific bacterial strains that are to be included in a probiotic treatment.

From the ensuing discussion, it is clear that while there may be lots of promise as far as treatment of diseases with probiotics and probiotic products go, more standardized clinical research needs to be done in order to come up with probiotic products that pharmacists can authoritatively recommend to patients. For more on this and other topics, please check out


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