3855 Trueman Court | Hilliard, Ohio | 43026
Hilliard Pediatrics, Inc. - Dr. Tim Teller, MD
Probiotics are supplements or foods that contain live bacteria that change the types and number of healthy bacteria in our system. Prebiotics are supplements or foods that contain an ingredient that stimulates the growth or activity of healthy bacteria in our system. Breast milk contains prebiotics I am often asked what I think of probiotics. I will try to summarize what we know scientifically about probiotics and prebiotics. Most of what I know about them is from the "Clinical Report -- Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics", Dec. 2010, by Drs. Thomas and Greer and others.
Realize that when things are scientifically studied, the gold standard for studies about probiotics or prebiotics is randomized clinical trials (RCT). With RCTs, the patient and the doctor do not know whether they are getting the "real treatment" or the placebo. That way, when answering the "Was it really better because of the treatment?" question, the doctor, patient, and family are not biased by knowing what they were taking. If I think probiotics really help with diarrhea as a side effect from antibiotics, I may be more likely to say "Yeah, that diarrhea really was better that time I took the probiotics with the Augmentin!”. That is why it is so much more helpful to know that "80% of kids on antibiotics have less diarrhea if they take SuperPro [I am making this up as an example]" than "my sister's friend's child took SuperPro while on an antibiotic and they did not have any diarrhea".