Thursday, February 28, 2008

HIV+ African Women Benefit from Probiotics

A new joint study by researchers from the University of Benin, Benson Idahosa University, and the Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics at the University of Western Ontario has found probiotics to ease symptoms of nausea, flatulence, and diarrhea experienced by some HIV+ Nigerian people in Sub-Saharan Africa who were not taking unavailable anti-retroviral drugs or other supplements. Two equal groups of twelve female study participants aged 18-44 with moderate diarrhea were given 100mL per day of either normal yogurt or probiotic boosted yogurt for a 15 day period. Normal yogurt contained Lactobacillus delbruekii var bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus while the probiotically boosted yogurt was fermented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14. Results from the study showed that all 12 women in the probiotic-boosted study group had a resolution of their symptoms, while only 2 out of the 12 in the normal yogurt group experienced resolution. Moreover, 92% of the probiotically-boosted wing of the study maintained average CD4 cell counts, compared to only 25% of the normal yogurt group. Researchers also found that overall white blood cells counts of the probiotic-boosted yogurt increased after 15 days of supplementation and decreased to below baseline 15 days after discontinuing the study. Earlier studies yielded positive results in alleviating diarrhea and preventing gastrointestinal infections in animal infants when their diets were supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. This supplementation protected the infants from rotaviral diarrhea after infection with the rotavirus.

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