A recent review (I Hojsak et al. JPGN 2018; 66: 3-9) examined published trials regarding the role of probiotics in the prevention of nosocomial diarrhea. The review was conducted by a working group on behalf of ESPGHAN.
- “Recommendation: If probiotics for preventing nosocomial diarrhea in children are considered, the WG [working group] recommends using L rhamnosus GG (at least 10 to the 9th CFU/day, for the duration of hospital stay).
- Quality of evidence: Moderate
- Strength of recommendation: Strong
- Number needed to treat (in order for beneficial effect in one): 12 patients
The authors do not recommend L reuteri DSM17938 due to lack of efficacy; other probiotics did not receive a recommendation either due to lack of data or lack of efficacy.
It is possible that there have been unpublished negative probiotic studies which would alter the calculation of a beneficial effect.
My take: While the working group recommends L rhamnosus GG if probiotics are used to prevent diarrhea, the absolute benefit is low.
Related blog posts:
- How Good is Your Probiotic for Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
- “Low quality of evidence; strong recommendation” for Probiotics in Gastroenteritis