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Probiotics study

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Administration of probiotics in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis must be regarded as unsafe, according to research published in The Lancet online Feb. 14. Conducted by Hein Gooszen, University Medical Center, Utrecth, Netherlands, et al., the double-blind, placebo controlled trial involved 296 patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis - 152 were in the probiotics group and 144 in the placebo group. The probiotic preparation or placebo was administered directly to subjects' digestive tract twice daily for two weeks. Researchers found infectious complications in about 30 percent of patients in both groups. While 16 percent of the probiotics group patients died, 6 percent in the placebo group died. "Our findings show that probiotics should not be administered routinely in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis, and that the particular composition used here should be banned for the present indication," Gooszen et al. note. "Most importantly, probiotics can no longer be considered to be harmless adjuncts to enteral nutrition, especially in critically ill patients or patients at risk for non-occlusive mesenteric ischaemia"...

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