Probiotic Therapy: Level I Evidence for Acute Infectious Diarrhea Only

August 15, 2013

Probiotics have only been shown to be effective in well-conducted, well-controlled studies in treatment of acute infectious diarrhea.

Probiotics have been used to manage all of the conditions below. Which of the following is the only condition with Level I evidence (well-conducted, controlled studies)?

A. Acute infectious diarrhea
B. Irritable bowel syndrome
C. Hepatic encephalopathy
D. Clostridium difficile infection

Answer: A

Probiotics have been used in the management of several conditions, including all of the options listed here. However, several randomized controlled studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of probiotics only in acute infectious diarrhea. For the other conditions, studies have shown limited efficacy.