Probiotics, the gut bacteria widely thought to be a key to healthy digestion, also may help ease diarrhea.
Probiotics are living microorganisms found in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and some cheese, along with power or pill supplements.
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Probiotics shortened diarrhea by an average of one day, according to an analysis of 63 studies conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration.
The study, which didn't distinguish which probiotic foods or products are most effective, found "hardly any" side effects of probiotics but noted a chance that probiotics could cause infection in rare cases.
Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast probiotic, may improve diarrhea associated with antibiotics or travel, according to Healthline. The publication urged caution among people with compromised immune systems and suggested talking with a doctor before taking probiotic supplements.
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Probiotics work by restoring the balance of "good" versus "bad" bacteria in the body, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotic treatments, and eating yogurt has been shown to lessen this effect, the Cleveland Clinic said.
Probiotics also may improve inflammatory bowel disease, chronic stomach inflammation and ulcers, constipation, acid reflux, and other conditions.
FDA approval is not needed for dietary supplements such as probiotics, and opinions vary about their safety and efficacy, the Cleveland Clinic noted, adding that more research is needed.
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