This article discusses why probiotics are becoming popular to treat inflammatory bowel disease as well as to stay healthy.
When Kelly Karpa's two-year-old son was diagnosed with Clostridium difficile diarrhea in 2001, and his symptoms didn't disappear after antibiotic therapy, Karpa took him to Johns Hopkins University. There he was treated by a physician who had experience with probiotics. For 10 days Karpa's son was given six grams of bacteria as well as vancomycin, one of the prescriptions he had already been taking.
Probiotics are live microorganisms or "friendly" bacteria that when consumed in adequate amounts may provide health benefits. Classified as dietary supplements, they can also be found in a variety of fermented products, such as yogurt. The field of probiotics is exploding, fueled by studies published in the United States as well as an increased awareness among patients. David Sullivan, president of American Lifeline Inc., commented, "Healthcare professionals are finally recognizing that the benefits of quality probiotics are outweighing the risks."