Home » Archive » Volume 2 (2011) » Issue No.1 » Use of probiotics in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea in children

Use of probiotics in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea in children

Ioannis Nikitidis, Dimitris Kassimos

Pages: 23-30


Functional foods consist one of the faster developing sectors of food industry. Apart of their nutritional value they have beneficial effect in human health. Lately many studies have been conducted in order to prove the value of these foods in the prevention and treatment of different diseases. Probiotics, which are live microorganisms, have a major role in functional foods. Their consumption can have positive effects in the course of specific disease entities. The regular use of probiotics contributes significantly to the manipulation of the gut microbiota resulting in the predominance of beneficial bacteria over the pathogenic ones. There are many species of beneficial bacteria with probiotic function, belonging mostly to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium such as: L. casei, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. reuteri, Bifidobacterium lactis και B. bifidum. However all the strains of these species do not function in the same way and as a consequence do not have the same benefits .Probably, the consumption of a certain probiotic strains or even the use of combined probiotics containing two or more strains might have better results, but all these issues need to be further investigated. A number of paediatricians include probiotics in the therapeutic regime of diarrhea in neonates, infants and children. Recent studies support the beneficial contribution of probiotics in the treatment of acute diarrhea, infectious diarrhea and diarrhea related to antibiotics. They also confirm that probiotics have a beneficial effect in the reduction of frequency of diarrhea, its duration and severity. These findings are very promising for their broader use.


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