The randomised controlled trail, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, investigated the potential of Lactobacillus casei Shirota in the form of Yakult Light for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) and C. difﬁcile associated diarrhoea (CDAD) during a course of antibiotic use in hospital patients with spinal cord injuries.
Led by researchers at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK, the study findings indicated that the daily commercial probiotic drink (containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota) significantly reduced incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in spinal injury patients.
Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea developed in 54.9% of the patients not given probiotic, but in only 17.1% of those taking receiving the drink, the team found.
"We were surprised at how strong the study results were," commented Dr Samford Wong, principal investigator of the study. "It is important to remember that the probiotic effect is strain and condition specific, we don’t know if this will apply to other strains."
"We are now preparing a larger placebo-controlled study to confirm these findings, as this could be a significant benefit to our patients," he said.