Regular calcium milk or milk with added Lactobacillus casei CRL431 did not reduce diarrhea, but L. reuteri DSM17938 may prevent diarrhea, especially in children with a lower nutritional status, according to study results published online.
Rina Agustina, MD, of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Food and Nutrition at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, and colleagues conducted a 6-month double blind, placebo-controlled study of 494 healthy Indonesian children aged 1 to 6 years to determine whether probiotics could play a role in reducing diarrhea and/or respiratory tract infection incidence.
The researchers said 124 children received low-lactose milk with low calcium content, 126 children received regular calcium content, 120 children received regular calcium with L. casei CRL431 and 124 children received regular calcium with L. reuteri DSM17938.
Among the three study groups, the incidence of diarrhea was significantly lower in the L. reuteri group, especially among children with poor nutrition, Agustina and colleagues said, noting that acute respiratory tract infections were not affected.
“Supplementation of L. reuteri, at least on a diet including regular calcium milk, is one of the potential interventions to reduce the burden of acute infectious diarrhea in children,” the researchers wrote, adding that their data must be confirmed in other studies.
Disclosure: This trial was funded by the Top Institute Food and Nutrition, FrieslandCampina Research, and Unilever Research and Development. Dr. Agustina received a doctoral scholarship from the International Nutrition Foundation.