News article

New Position Paper for the use of Probiotics in the Management of Gastroenteritis in Children

Posted:  Friday, April 11, 2014

The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) has released a new position paper for the use of Pro- and Prebiotics in the management of Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE).  This document provides recommendations based on a systematic review of a previously completed systematic review and of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

This position paper confirms that rehydration is the primary recommendation for the management of AGE and should be administered as soon as possible, while feeding should continue as normal. However, for previously healthy children and infants this course of action can be supplemented by certain probiotics to help reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms. 

However, due to the fact Probiotic effect is strain specific, the recommendation is that the efficacy and safety of each strain be established. They also stress that the safety and clinical effects of one probiotic microorganism should not be extrapolated to others. 

Of the many strains assessed in the position paper, those worth considering for the management of AGE in children, alongside rehydration therapy, are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, S boulardii , L.reuteri DSN 17938 (and original strain ATCC 55730) and heat-inactivated L acidophilus LB 

The new position paper has been developed by the ESPGHAN Working Group (WG) on Probiotics and Prebiotics and supplement ESPGHAN’s previous update of the guidelines on the management of AGE in children in Europe in previously healthy infants and children

Read the Full ESPGHAN  position paper for the Use of Probiotics for Management of Acute Gastroenteritis