Live bacteria and yeasts could be used to treat poorly children, after research by a consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Dr Morris Gordon’s study found certain types of probiotics are effective in not only maintaining normal gut function, but also as a method of treating conditions.
The children’s doctor, who also works at the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine, said: “For quite some time, probiotics have been used in products which are readily available to members of the public, such as yogurts and drinks and can also be found in foods such as dark chocolate and sauerkraut.
“But these findings are important because in addition to simply helping to maintain gut health, probiotics could potentially be prescribed to treat disease.”
Dr Gordon’s analysis of current published data found that, among 13 studies completed over the past two decades, patients responded well to treatment for stomach pain using probiotics, compared with no treatment or placebos.
His findings have been published in a report, while Dr Gordon has now been asked to speak at the World Congress of Gastroenterology in Florida in October, where his paper is up for the conference’s Paediatric award.
“Probiotics are a type of bacteria which can support normal digestive function, with wider health benefits, which is why they’re commonly referred to as ‘good’ bacteria,” Dr Gordon added.
“Further research is now needed to focus on the long-term impact and approach to probiotic use.”
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed.