HEALTH

Study: Probiotic strain effective in alleviating IBS

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND A new study published in the March issue of Postgraduate Medicine found that a strain of probiotic bacteria, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, PTA-6086 was effective in relieving abdominal pain and bloating in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome.

As many as 25% of the U.S. population suffer from IBS, a condition characterized by a number of digestive problems. The new study adds to the growing body of evidence that certain probiotics can help with IBS and provides hope for IBS sufferers of a new option.

“IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder and represents a tremendous public health problem,” stated Nicholas Talley, author of a scientific review article about the impact functional gastrointestinal disorders have on society.

The study found that subjects taking the Bacillus coagulans probiotic strain experienced statistically significant reductions in abdominal pain and bloating versus baseline at each of the weekly measurements taken throughout the 8-week study. Subjects taking placebo experienced statistically significant reductions in just two of the weekly abdominal pain measurements and saw no statistically significant effect in bloating.

“This study helps confirm that Bacillus coagulans is effective in IBS,” stated Larysa Hun, author of the 44-subject study. “A combination of Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Streptococcus thermophilus was previously shown in a clinical trial to significantly improve IBS symptoms, but it was not possible to determine what effect, if any, each strain had by itself.”

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Study: Higher doses of Vitamin D reduce bone fractures in seniors

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO A meta-analysis published Monday in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” determined that higher doses of vitamin D supplementation, of more than 400 International Units daily, could reduce the number of fractures in seniors by at least 20%.

The meta-analysis was performed on the efficacy of oral supplemental vitamin D in preventing nonvertebral and hip fractures among older individuals, and included 12 double-blind randomized controlled trials for nonvertebral fractures and 8 RCTs for hip fractures comparing oral vitamin D, with or without calcium, with calcium or placebo.

The higher dose reduced nonvertebral fractures in community-dwelling individuals by 29% and institutionalized older individuals by 15%, and its effect was independent of additional calcium supplementation.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Influenza activity levels off as flu season nears its end

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA This year’s flu and cold season is nearing its end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday, as influenza activity decreased slightly in the United States for the week ended March 14.

Influenza-like illnesses decreased nationally and in 8-of-the-9 regions, compared with the previous week, the CDC reported.

A total of 30 states reported widespread influenza activity, while 18 states reported regional activity. Two states reported local influenza activity; and Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia reported sporadic influenza activity.

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