Probiotic Shown to Boost Gut Health of Infants
A recent study suggests that supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 may boost gut health in infants by lowering the amount of build-up of pathogenic bacteria.
Participants in the study included 30 infants who had previously taken 100 million colony forming units per day of the probiotic supplement and 30 who had not. The researchers did not notice any difference between lactobacilli and bifidobacteria populations between the two groups. However they did note an association between L. reutri supplementation and total anaerobic gram-positive counts.
They also noted higher counts of gram-negative anaerobic bacteria in the control group when compared with the probiotic group. High levels of gram-negative anaerobic bacteria are associated with an increased susceptibility to necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis.
Researchers from the University of Turin conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 19, 2015, in Clinica Chimica Acta.
Lactobacillus reuteri is a specific strain of probiotic that previous studies have linked with improving symptoms of diarrhea, improving symptoms of urinary tract infections and a lower risk of ulcers.