Study: Probiotic in Yogurt May Protect Against Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea


Individuals in a study who received the food with BB-12 probiotic retained beneficial metabolites produced by the microbiota.

Yogurt containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis, BB-12, may protect against antibiotic-associated diarrhea, investigators at the Georgetown University Medical Center, University of Maryland School of Maryland (UMSOM), and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy found.

“This finding provides important new insights into the mechanisms by which the probiotic, BB-12, may protect against antibiotic-associated diarrhea,” Claire Fraser, PhD, professor of medicine and dean’s endowed professor of UMSOM and director of the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences, said in a statement.

“The new insights that we obtained regarding BB-12 reflect the multi-omics approach that we used in our study. This was possible only because of the different expertise that each of the principal investigators brought to this collaboration,” Fraser said.

The study results showed that after taking antibiotics, short chain fatty acid acetate, a beneficial metabolite produced by the microbiota, was reduced in all individuals. However, the reduction was significantly greater in individuals taking the placebo yogurt than those taking the BB-12 supplement.

Individuals who received BB-12 also returned to baseline levels of the acetate in 30 days, while the control group remained below baseline.

In the study, 42 healthy individuals were randomly assigned to eat a daily serving-size container of yogurt containing BB-12 while also taking a standard-week long regimen of amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin). They continued the yogurt for a week after finishing the antibiotic.

Twenty other individuals served as the control group and were randomly assigned daily yogurt without the probiotic with the same regimen and continued the yogurt the following week, as well.

Antibiotics often disrupt the healthy gut microbiome, which could cause individuals to stop taking their medication early and cause the infection to persist. A small percentage of people could also develop C. difficile but can be kept in check by the good bacteria in the microbiome.

The National Institutes of Health will fund an additional follow-up study to further explore these results and decide when the best time to consume a probiotic is.


Probiotic-containing yogurt protects against microbiome changes that lead to antibiotic-induced diarrhea. EurekAlert. News release. September 14, 2021. Accessed September 15, 2021.

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