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Probiotics: A Remedy for Ulcerative Colitis

So you’re not convinced that probiotic supplements and therapies are effective even against the most severe and worst digestive and intestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis and IBS?

Well, get this – in Digestive Disease Week back in 2003, a number of presentations done by numerous researchers show that probiotic therapy…especially those that take advantage of Lactobacillus acidophilus along with Bifidobacteria infantis, significantly improve the symptoms as well as the ease the discomfort and pain that victims of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and ulcerative colitis.

In an effort to determine the efficiency of probiotics alone and probiotics combined with antibiotics for treating patients with IBS and ulcerative colitis, Stephen Faber…hailing from Albermarle Gastroenterology Associates in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, evaluated the treatment for 44 patients. These patients are divided in 2 groups – 20 received probiotics alone and 24 received ciprofloxacin (at 500 mg twice daily for one whole week) and this is combined with probiotic formulations – Lactobacillus at 10 billion per gram as well as Bifidobacteria infantis at 10 billion per grams for four full weeks.

So what is the result of this study?

The patients who took in both probiotic and antibiotic formula scored an average of 67.6 before the treatment and 87.8 after the duration of the treatment. On the other hand, its SFI scored an average of 35 at the baseline and decreased all the way to 18 after the treatment.

On the other hand, for the probiotic only group, the scores are 69.3 before the treatment and it went all the way up to 86.4 after the treatment. Along with that, the SFI scores were 39 on average and it went to 17 after the treatment.

Looking back at the patients of IBS and ulcerative colitis who were treated with antibiotics and probiotics, it can be concluded that there is a huge deficiency of Lactobacillus in the gut flora of these patients.

In a separate study done by Richard N. Fedorak (Professor of Medicine at the University Of Alberta) to see if probiotics could provide remedy for ulcerative colitis, he has concluded that probiotic therapy does a great deal when it comes to improving symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

For this study, Dr. Fedorak used a probiotic formulation VSL #3 probiotic supplements (which contain 8 lactic bacterial species). Dr. Fedorak together with fellow researchers evaluated 30 patients who are suffering from active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis and are experiencing recent flares.

The probiotic treatment was taken in conjunction with current treatment which includes mesalamine, corticosteroids, and more. The patients who took in their current treatment along with VSL #3 sachets twice a day for six weeks straight performed better and their Ulcerative Colitis clinical scores are at its baseline after the treatment period that lasted for 6 weeks.

Patients took two VSL3 sachets twice a day for six weeks. Ulcerative Colitis Clinical Scores were measured and sigmoidoscopy performed at baseline and after the six-week treatment period.

While its true that probiotics have been recognized as beneficial and friendly components of the foods we eat, Dr. Fedorak pointed out that the trend is changing…probiotics are no longer just food products. They are now being used as a treatment.

And rightly so! Think about it, infantile diarrhea can be shortened by a day fromits usual course that lasts about 3 to 4 days. This is very crucial and helpful for infants. Along with that, it has noticed that probiotics are very effective against rotavirus symptoms and that is just to name a few of the benefits that probiotics supplements bring!

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