Study recommends diet with good bacteria

August 8, 2006

A British study says those over 60 should boost their daily intake of probiotics, or diet with "good bacteria," to prevent intestinal infections.

Such a regimen will also protect the individual from hospital superbugs, says the study done by food microbiologists at the University of Reading, The Times of London reports. The experts also called for tighter labeling requiring specific details about the bacteria in products.

The study said about half of the probiotics now sold especially through the internet are inaccurately labeled and some even contain unhealthy pathogens. Recently there has been an explosion in the use of probiotics, including yogurt-style drinks, supplements and powders, The Times reported.

The study said "friendly" bacteria aid digestion in the gut and reduce the chances of stomach upsets.

The study's leader Glen Gibson said in the worst recorded case of food poisoning by the stomach bug E.coli 0157, all those who died were elderly.

The study said probiotic products need to contain at least 10 million bacteria to be effective.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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