The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. E. coli
Adults (over 18 years old)
Allergy: Bifidobacterium longum BB536 powder has been taken twice daily for four weeks.
Diarrhea (antibiotic-associated): 100 grams of a probiotics drink containing Lactobacillus casei, L bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus has been taken twice daily in combination with antibiotics. The drink was continued for one week after the antibiotics were finished.
Infections (gastrointestinal/respiratory): 373 kilojoules of LC1 fermented milk has been taken daily for 12 weeks. 250 milliliters of reconstituted skim milk that contained low, medium, or high doses of B. lactis HN019 has been taken daily for four weeks. 100 grams of yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) has been taken daily for four weeks. Pregnant women (27-36 weeks pregnant) have taken a formula that contained Bifidobacter lactis.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): 10 grams of lactulose has been taken daily in combination with standard medication for four months. Probiotic yogurt has also been taken for one month.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): A combination of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lc705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS, and Bifidobacterium breve Bb99 has been taken daily for six months.
Radiation-induced colitis/diarrhea: The probiotic preparation VSL#3 has been taken daily.
Thrush: Cheese containing 50 grams of probiotics has been taken daily for 16 weeks.
Vaccine adjunct: Probiotics have been taken two weeks before and two weeks after the flu vaccination.
Children (under 18 years old)
Diarrhea (acute): Children (3-24 months of age) have taken Saccharomyces boulardii for six days. Children (2-47 months old) have also taken Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) solution daily. The specific dose of EcN depended on the child's weight.
Diarrhea in children (nosocomial): One capsule of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (Culturelle, ConAgra Foods, Omaha, NE) has been taken daily until the patients were discharged from the hospital.
Early infections: Children (10 months-6 years old) who were at risk of developing ear infections have taken one probiotic capsule (containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and LC705, Bifidobacterium breve 99, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii JS) daily.
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Probiotics are generally regarded as safe for human consumption. Long-term consumption of probiotics is considered safe. Few side effects have been reported in studies.
Some people experience excessive production of gas due to the corrective activity of probiotics in the colon. This is patient-specific and normally will decrease with use. Gradual increase of dosing over time is recommended to minimize this.
Probiotics should not be taken in people who are allergic to any component of a probiotic-containing product. Lactose-sensitive people may develop abdominal discomfort from dairy products containing probiotics. Caution is advised when using probiotics in neonates born prematurely or with immune deficiency.