A review of the literature found 249 clinical trials investigating 22 different types of probiotics for various types of diseases. What we found was that not all probiotics were effective for all types of diseases. Only specific types of probiotics were effective (called 'strain specificity') and the same strain/mix was not equally effective for all types of diseases (called 'disease specificity'). Some diseases (prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and treatment of acute pediatric diarrhea) have several types of probiotics that are effective and safe.
It is difficult for the general public and for healthcare providers o find information on which probiotic is the most appropriate for their patients and many reviews simply lump all different types of probiotics together and conclude that probiotics are or are not effective. This practical guide gives the information the public and physicians need to choose the best one for their patient.
When healthcare providers suggest their patient take a probiotic, or the patient searches online for probiotic products, the choice is dizzying in its diversity. Because of varying regulations, the health claims on the label often add to the confusion. This guideline provides the tools everyone needs to choose the best probiotic for them.Lynne V McFarland, PHD
PLoS One 2018 26;13(12):e0209205. Epub 2018 Dec 26.
RM Alden Research Laboratory and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States of America.
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