What role do prebiotics and probiotics play in treatment of acute diarrhea?
The use of probiotics for the treatment of acute diarrhea remains controversial. The rationale is based on the idea that probiotic organisms compete for binding sites and also may produce metabolites and acids harmful to enteric pathogens. Evidence for and against the approach is difficult to evaluate because of the variety of probiotics and formulation types in existence ( Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, etc.) as well as methodological factors. A Cochrane review published in 2010 included 63 studies and did demonstrate a shortening of diarrheal episodes with the use of probiotics and a low likelihood of adverse events.