In response to a new study, “Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile diarrhoea in older inpatients (PLACIDE): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial,” published in The Lancet, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, today issued the following statement:
Statement by Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“This large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is well done, but it presents results that significantly conflict with previous studies that show a large positive effect of probiotics on the prevention of diarrhea in the general population. There are many possible explanations for the conflicting results of this single study including the age of the patients; the seriousness of their condition; the cause of the diarrhea; and the types of probiotics used.
“We anticipate this study will better inform future research designs that explore the effect of specific probiotics in different populations, but it doesn’t discount all of the positive research that has come before it.
“Diarrhea can be a serious, sometimes life-threatening, condition, and people should focus on preventive behaviors that can help them avoid it becoming a chronic problem. If you look at the totality of the research on probiotics, the evidence supports their use as a safe way of preventing digestive problems and maintaining good gut health. There are more beneficial bacteria than there are cells in the human body, and, like essential nutrients, probiotics are essential to good health.”