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Common Cold: Probiotic (Yogurt Type) Bacteria Reduced Cold Symptoms by Over 20%: In a 3-month DB PC study of 479 healthy adults during winter/spring months, that receiving Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3, B. bifidum MF 20/5 (5x10(7)cfu/tablet) had a lower total symptom score, the duration of common cold episodes, and days with fever: 79.3 vs. 102.5 points (P=0.056), 7.0 vs. 8.9 days (P=0.045), 0.24 vs. 1.0 days (P=0.017). The intake of probiotic bacteria during at least 3 months significantly shortened common cold episodes by almost 2 days and reduced the severity of symptoms. Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3, B. bifidum MF 20/5 on common cold episodes: A double blind, randomized, controlled trial. de Vrese M, et al. Federal Research Centre of Nutrition and Food,  Kiel, Germany. Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;24(4):481-491

Common Cold: Probiotic-Multivitamin-Mineral Supplement Slight Benefit Against Common Cold: In a 3-5 month DB PC study of 477 healthy adults, those assigned to take daily the probiotic multivitamin and mineral supplement had 13.6% fewer viral respiratory tract infections (p = 0.07), a relative reduction of 19% in the total symptom score (p = 0.12), 25% in influenza symptoms (p = 0.09), and 54% in the number of days with fever (p = 0.03). The duration of infections was not affected. Effect of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals on common cold infections and cellular immune parameters. Winkler P, et al. Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Food, Kiel, Germany. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul;43(7):318-26. For more, see The Common Cold

Gonorrhea Inhibited: Epidemiologic studies show that women eating yogurt are considerably less likely to be infected with gonococcus even when their partners have gonorrhea. This in vitro study showed that Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii, the most common lactobacilli in the female genital tract, inhibit gonococci in both acidic and neutral pH conditions. Inhibition was neutralized by bovine catalase, suggesting that H(2)O(2) is the primary mediator of inhibition. Edward Hebert Med School, Bethesda. Inhibition of Neisseria gonorrhoeae by Lactobacillus species that are commonly isolated from the female genital tract. St Amant DC, Valentin-Bon IE, Jerse AE. Infect Immun. 2002 Dec;70(12):7169-71

H. Pylori: Yogurt Suppresses Ulcer-Causing H. Pylori: Evidence suggests that ingesting lactic acid bacteria exerts a suppressive effect on Helicobacter pylori infection in both animals and humans. Supplementing with Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt (AB-yogurt) was shown to improve the rates of eradication of H. pylori in humans. 59 adult volunteers infected with H. pylori were given AB-yogurt twice daily after a meal for 6 wk. Eleven were treated with milk placebo. Bifidobacterium exerted an in vitro inhibitory effect against H. pylori, whereas Lactobacillus did not. AB-yogurt decreased the urease activity of H. pylori, i.e., suppressed H. pylori, after 6 wk of therapy (P < 0.0001). Effects of ingesting Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt in subjects with colonized Helicobacter pylori. Wang KY, Li SN, Liu CS, Perng DS, Su YC, Wu DC, Jan CM, Lai CH, Wang TN, Wang WM. Taiwan. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):737-41

H. Pylori: Yogurt Bacteria Lessens Harm: In a Swiss DB PC 16-week, 70-patient study, L. johnsoni fermented milk reduced the severity and activity of antral gastritis was reduced from an inflammatory cell score of 6.0 to 5.3; P=0.04). H. pylori density decreased in the antrum from 4.5 to 4.3 log10 colony forming units; P=0.04). Mucus thickness increased after 16 weeks in the antrum 0.6 vs. -0.2 in controls, P=0.01; and in the corpus: 0.3 vs -0.6, P=0.03). Favourable effect of regular intake of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus johnsonii on Helicobacter pylori associated gastritis. Pantoflickova D, Corthesy-Theulaz I, Dorta G, Stolte M, Isler P, Rochat F, Enslen M, Blum AL. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Oct 15;18(8):805-13

H. Pylori: Live Yogurt Bacteria Helps Kill H. Pylori; Yogurt Better than Bacterial Capsules: In an MD Anderson study, the yeast and lactobacilli found in the yogurt studies formed a hardy symbiotic culture that secrete soluble factors capable of killing H. pylori. These yogurt-derived food preparations could become simple and inexpensive therapies to suppress H. pylori infections. Folk yoghurt kills Helicobacter pylori. Oh Y, Osato MS, Han X, Bennett G, Hong WK J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(6):1083-8; In a Taiwan study of 160 ulcer patients with H. pylori, those taking one week of triple therapy with live lactobacillus and bifidobacterium yogurt had a significantly higher intention-to-treat cure rate than those on triple therapy alone (91% vs. 78%). Impact of supplement with Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt on triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Sheu BS, Wu JJ, Lo CY, Wu HW, Chen JH, Lin YS, Lin MD. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Sep;16(9):1669-75; However, a Canadian study of 27 asymptomatic women with H. Pylori found that live yogurt consumption alone failed to eradicate the H. pylori in 26 of the 27. Digestion. 2002;65(1):16-20; A literature review found 13 studies, six using just probiotics on 180 patients with two reporting some cures and five encouraging results. In the other seven with 682 patients, probiotics were combined with antibiotics with two aiding the cure rate and four reducing side-effects.  Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003 Oct;22(4):360-. Yogurt or whole cultures did better than the bacteria alone. 

HIV Infectability and Pre-Term Labor Might be Decreased by Yogurt: Complications arising from bacterial vaginosis (BV) include increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases including human immunodeficiency virus and elevated risk of preterm birth (PTB). Antibiotics have not been optimally effective and have failed to reduce the incidence of PTB. The absence of lactobacilli in the vagina, a specific feature of BV, suggests the use of yogurt can restore the normal flora and improve the chances of having a healthy term pregnancy. The potential for probiotics to prevent bacterial vaginosis and preterm labor. Reid G, Bocking A. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Oct;189(4):1202-8; Ed: Several other studies have reported evidence that bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of getting infected with HIV. While this does not appear to be a major risk factor, it is one very easily treated.

HIV Infectability of Infants Might Be Prevented: In a University of Illinois, Chicago, College of Dentistry lab study, researcher Lin Tao found six Lactobacillus strains that produced proteins capable of binding the particular type of sugar found on the HIV envelope, called mannose. The binding of the sugar normally enables the bacteria to stick to the mucosal lining of the mouth and digestive tract, forming colonization. Further screening identified two strains capable of trapping live HIV viruses by binding with glycoprotein receptors, called gp120, in their viral envelope composed of protein spikes and a sugar "dome" rich in the mannose sugar. The sugar "dome" prevents HIV from being recognized by the human immune response, but it is the target of these lactobacilli. Each HIV virus has about 72 such glycoprotein receptors. Worldwide, mother-child transmission of HIV results in 800,000 new infections each year. 5/25/04 American Society for Microbiology. New Orleans.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Death Dramatically Reduced in Neonatal Unit by Yogurt Bacilli: In a Bogota, Columbia, study, daily doses of 250 million live L. acidophilus and 250 million B. infantis were given to all 1237 newborns admitted to the unit during 1 year, until they were discharged from the hospital. The 1282 patients hospitalized during the previous year were used as controls. There were no complications attributed to the L. acidophilus and B. infantis. The study groups were compared for place of origin, clinical, and demographic variables, and there was no statistically significant difference in those variables. In the historic control group, there were 85 NEC cases compared to 34 cases in the group that received probiotic prophylaxis (P < 0.0002). In the historic control group, there were 35 NEC-associated fatalities compared to 14 fatalities in the group that received probiotic prophylaxis (P < 0.005). Reduced incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis associated with enteral administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis to neonates in an intensive care unit. Hoyos AB. Int J Infect Dis. 1999 Summer;3(4):197-202

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Not Decreased by Lactobacillus GG: In a DB PC study in 12 Italian ICUs with 585 children treated for 48 days average, the lactobacillus had no impact on enterocolitis, UTIs, or other infections. Probiotics feeding in prevention of urinary tract infection, bacterial sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. A prospective double-blind study. Dani C, Biadaioli R, Bertini G, Martelli E, Rubaltelli FF. Biol Neonate. 2002 Aug;82(2):103-8. Ed: L. acidophilus might be better. Also, treating all of the children on the unit at the same time would be more effective at preventing the spread than just treating half of the children at any one time.

Pancreatitis (Acute): Lactobacillus Plantarum Reduced Infections and Abscesses: In a 45-patient DB PC study of lactobacillus twice a day or the same supplement heat treated to kill the lactobacilli found Infected necrosis and abscesses occurred in 1/22 (4.5%) in the treatment group vs. 7/23 (30%) (p = 0.023) in the control group. The length of stay was 13.7 days in the treatment group vs. 21.4 days in the control group. Early jejunal nutrition with combined pre- and probiotics in acute pancreatitis--prospective, randomized, double-blind investigations. Kecskes G, Belagyi T, Olah A.  Magy Seb. 2003 Feb;56(1):3-8

Respiratory Infections Less in Children on Yogurt: In a University of Buenos Aires study of 100 children randomly assigned to three winter months of yogurt vs. milk, the yogurt group had 20% fewer upper and lower respiratory tract infections (1.55 vs. 1.92/child) and their infections were more mild.  Lower respiratory were decreased more than upper. The nutritional status change the effectiveness of a dietary supplement of lactic bacteria on the emerging of respiratory tract diseases in children. Rio ME, Zago Beatriz L, Garcia H, Winter L. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2002 Mar;52(1):29-34

Respiratory Infections: Lactobacillus Milk Decreases Upper Respiratory Infections in Children: In a Finnish study of 571 children, they were given either normal milk or milk with an added strain of Lactobacillus - a type of bacteria which can be found naturally in the gut. Children drank at least 200 ml of their milk every day. Children given Lactobacillus had on average a day less absence from day care. There was also a 17% reduction in those suffering more serious respiratory tract infections and were prescribed fewer antibiotics. There was no difference in allergic or abdominal pain symptoms. Brit Med J 6/2/01

Respiratory Infections: Winter Infections in Elderly Reduced 20%: In a randomized study of 360 elderly with half given live-culture yogurt for 3 weeks found no difference in the number of infections, but a 20% decrease in the number of sick days (7.0 vs. 8.7). Effect of fermented milk containing the probiotic Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 on winter infections in free-living elderly subjects: a randomised, controlled pilot study. Turchet P, Laurenzano M, Auboiron S, Antoine JM. J Nutr Health Aging. 2003;7(2):75-7. 

Tinea Cruris Case Better on Yogurt: This unpublished report is of an athletic adult male exercising as average of twice a day who had recurrent inguinal, scrotal, and penile fungal skin infections inadequately controlled despite repeated use of topical anti-fungal creams. The problem completely resolved within two weeks of starting daily oral yogurt and applying yogurt topically several times during the first week to the inguinal, scrotal, and penile regions previously infected. Topical anti-fungal cream was used just twice early in the yogurt treatment period. Honey seems as good or better and more convenient. T. Radecki 3/2004. 

Urinary Tract Infections Not Prevented by Lactobacillus GG Drink, But Cranberry Juice Helped: In a randomized trial of 150 women recovered from an E. Coli UTI, at six months the cranberry group and 16% recurrences vs. 39% LGG drink five times per week and 36% for controls. Randomised trial of cranberry-lingonberry juice and Lactobacillus GG drink for the prevention of urinary tract infections in women. Kontiokari T, Sundqvist K, Nuutinen M, Pokka T, Koskela M, Uhari M. BMJ. 2001 Jun 30;322(7302):1571

Urinary Tract Infections Prevented by Intravaginal Lactobacilli: In a study of 41 women treated with an antibiotic for a urinary tract infection, post-therapy vaginal administration of lactobacillus suppositories resulted in a recurrence rate of UTI of only 21%, while in patients given sterilized skim-milk suppositories the recurrence rate was 47%. Univ. W. Ontario. Reid G, Bruce AW, Taylor M. Influence of three-day antimicrobial therapy and lactobacillus vaginal suppositories on recurrence of urinary tract infections. Clin Ther 1992; 14: 11-16

Urinary Tract Infections: Yogurt, Cheese, Juice Reduce Recurrences: women who drank at least one daily glass of fresh juice--either freshly squeezed or from concentrate, with no additional sweeteners--were 34% less likely to have experienced a recent UTI. Juices made from berries was best. Women who reported eating milk products that contain helpful microbes known as probiotic bacteria--such as yogurt and cheese--at least three times each week were almost 80% less likely to have recently developed a UTI than women who ate similar foods less than once per week. 139 women who had developed a UTI within two weeks prior, vs. 185 women who had not experienced UTIs within the past five years. Study participants' average age was 30. Kontiokari, Finland, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003;77:600-604.

Thomas E. Radecki, M.D., J.D.