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Probiotic Use May Reduce Kids’ Need for Antibiotics
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— May 27, 2019

Probiotic Use May Reduce Kids’ Need for Antibiotics

By Energy Times Team
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Probiotic Use May Reduce Kids’ Need for Antibiotics

The use of probiotic supplementation has become a nearly standard recommendation when someone has to take antibiotics to fight an infection. Now it appears that boosting a child’s microbiome may reduce the need for microbe-killing drugs in the first place.

A study team led by the Georgetown University School of Medicine analyzed the results of 12 previously conducted studies and found that children were 29% less likely to have been prescribed antibiotics if they had been given supplemental probiotics on a daily basis.

Reducing antibiotic usage is crucial to avoid the runaway infections that can occur when bacteria become resistant to the drugs. According to government statistics, at least 2 million Americans fall ill to antibiotic-resistant infections each year, leading to at least 23,000 deaths.

“We don’t know all the mechanisms probiotic strains may leverage,” said lead author Daniel Merenstein, MD, a member of the GUSM faculty. “But since most of the human immune system is found in the gastrointestinal tract, ingesting healthy bacteria may competitively exclude bacterial pathogens linked to gut infections and may prime the immune system to fight others.”

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