New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Critical Care shows that including probiotics with nutrients, supplied via the patient’s feeding tube, increased interferon levels. Probiotics reduced the number of infections, and even reduced the amount of time patients spent in intensive care after traumatic brain injury suffering hyper-inflammation, due to the brain releasing glucocorticoids in response to the injury.
A small trial of 52 patients was done in China on patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries. By day 15 the patients who received the probiotics had significantly higher levels of both IL-12 and IFNy than the control patients. They also showed a decrease in the Th2-associated factors IL-4 and IL-10.
The probiotic therapy reduced the number of infections occurring after seven days, reduced the number of different antibiotics needed to treat infections, and shortened the length of time the patients were required to stay in ICU according to Prof Jing-Ci Zhu, the supervisor of this study from the Third Military Medical University School of Nursing in China.
Something simple and inexpensive as probiotics could save lives and money spent on intensive care treatment in hospitals. It would also curtail the over use of antibiotics.
Would you consider probiotic treatment for your patients?