Clinical Health Updates

Yogurt prevents antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Clinical Question:
Is yogurt effective in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea?

Bottom Line:
Dietary supplementation with Vanilla-flavored yogurt is a simple, effective, and safe treatment that decreases the incidence and duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) . Tell your patients to look for yogurt that contains active cultures. If they can’t find it, consider probiotic agents.

Beniwal RS, Arena VC, Thomas L, et al. A randomized trial of yogurt for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Dig Dis Science 2003; 48:2077-82.

Study Design:
Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded)

The authors determined the effectiveness of a dietary supplement of yogurt for prevention of AAD. Two hundred two hospitalized patients receiving oral or intravenous antibiotics were randomized to receive or not receive a dietary yogurt supplement, consisting of 227 grams of commercial yogurt, and followed for 8 days. Mean age of the study group was 70 years and 43% were male. Compliance and 8-day follow-up were 85% and 91%, respectively. Patients receiving yogurt reported less frequent diarrhea (12% vs 24%; P = 0.04), and significantly less total diarrhea] days (23 vs 60). The cumulative proportions of patients without diarrhea were significantly different (P = 0.02) between patients receiving and not receiving yogurt.