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Probiotic Drinks can Stave Off Hospital Infection

s (including lactose) and other carbohydrates into lactic acid. Experts found that drinking Actimel, a yoghurt-type drink, reduced the chance of people over 50 getting diarrhoea linked to the potentially-lethal bug. It also cut their risk of diarrhoea related to antibiotic treatment and researchers predicted it could save the NHS money.

Those given the probiotic drink had suffered far less diarrhoea. Only 12% developed antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, compared with 34% of the group given the long-life milkshake. No-one in the probiotic group had diarrhoea linked to C diff, compared with 17% in the long-life milkshake group.

C diff is responsible for around 15 to 25% of all cases of diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use, mostly occurring in older people after they have stopped taking their antibiotic course, the researchers noted.

Dr Hickson said: "We are not saying that a probiotic can cure C diff because the trial was to prevent the diarrhoea associated with it from happening. The trial found no cases of C diff diarrhoea among those who received the probiotic. It will reduce the risk of getting diarrhoea and this would apply not only to patients taking broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospital but also those taking them at home."


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