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Prebiotics and probiotics for Crohn's disease


Researchers at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan. used a combination of probiotic and prebiotic supplements in the treatment of active Crohn's disease in ten young Crohn's disease patients who had not benefited from aminosalicylates and prednisolone. Patients were started on both probiotics (75 billion colony forming units daily) and prebiotics (psyllium 10 grams daily). Probiotics were mainly in the form of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria. After about a year, six patients had a complete response, one had a partial response, and three were non-responders. Two patients were able to discontinue their prednisolone therapy, while four patients decreased their dosage. The researchers says. "A high dose of a probiotic and prebiotic combination can be safely and effectively used for the treatment of active Crohn's disease."
   Comments: This was a small study of only 10 people, but it is encouraging and hopefully studies with larger groups of patients will be done soon. The probiotic dosage was quite high, and perhaps lower amounts would also be helpful. I have recently updated the web page on Crohn's disease. See You will find a link to probiotic and prebiotic web pages.

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Noni fruit has been used by Polynesians to improve energy levels. Researchers in China gave aged mice Tahitian Noni Juice and then compared them in the forced swim test to with young and aged mice who did not drink the noni juice. The mice drinking noni juice were able to swim longer and had more endurance, similar to the young mice. The researchers conclude, "These results confirm the reported use of noni juice to combat fatigue, improve endurance and increase overall physical performance."
   Comments: Perhaps noni supplements provide the same benefits as noni juice, however we need studies to compare a noni supplement to noni juice to see if there is a difference. One advantage of noni capsules is that they don't have the calories in the form of fructose that noni juice has.

Honey for cough in children
Dr. Ian M. Paul of Pennsylvania State University in Hershey compared buckwheat honey, a honey-flavored dextromethorphan preparation (dextromethorphan is found in over the counter cough syrups), and no treatment in 105 children who had sought treatment for nighttime coughs due to colds. Among the three groups, children given honey had the greatest reduction in cough frequency and severity, and the most improved sleep. The dosage was half a teaspoon for two- to five-year-olds, a teaspoon for six- to eleven-year-olds, and two teaspoons for children twelve and older. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, December 2007.


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