Good bacteria may relieve ulcerative colitis

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 15, 2005

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A probiotic mixture twice daily could relieve the symptoms of those with mild to moderate forms of ulcerative colitis, according to a paper published in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

"Bad bacteria" might have long been thought of as a culprit in this disease, but researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, treated 34 patients who had not responded to other treatments with "good bacteria" -- twice-daily doses of eight lactic acid bacterial species. Eighteen patients experienced remission, and another eight had a reduction in their symptoms. Three didn't get any better, and another three got worse. There were no adverse events.

This trial was "open label," and the authors since have launched a randomized placebo-controlled trial to further confirm the efficacy of this treatment.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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