Small organisms that help maintain the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines, probiotics are of growing interest due to their potential to help treat Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and other similarly debilitating infections. Healthcare administrators are now turning to probiotics to combat and prevent deadly infections. A recent case showed that a daily serving of yogurt resulted in an 8.5% reduction of C. diff incidents. Although people with CKD are not typically encouraged to eat yogurt due to its calcium concentration, they too can take advantage of probiotics through fruit juices.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients are at increased risk of acquiring these infections because of their weakened immune system and often slow wound healing ability and may be able to greatly benefit from probiotics. Their disease also requires for people to frequently be in a clinical setting where difficult to treat super bugs such as C. diff tend to germinate; leading to chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and intestinal inflammation, which in severe cases can be life-threatening.
For all their infection-fighting power, antibiotics kill the good bugs along with the bad in the intestine which results in an imbalance in the gut that can leave patients susceptible to bacterial infections like C.diff. In fact, the Consumer Reports On Health magazine warn that C. diff infections are on the rise in admitted hospital patients. C. diff spores are hardy, surviving on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops. Soap and water can remove them from hands, but alcohol-based hand cleaners commonly used in hospitals do not effectively destroy them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. diff is linked to 14,000 deaths annually and is "rapidly" increasing.
Recommended Reading: C. diff is a Life Threatening Bacteria for those with ESRD
A new study in the Journal of Food Science and published by the Institute of Food Technologists, found that fruit juices could potentially be good carriers for two different kinds of probiotics. The study found that certain strains of probiotics are stable in a fruit juice, namely a mix of red-fruits. CKD patients can also get the appropriate amount of probiotics in the form of pills and powders. However, not all supplements are guaranteed to be effective. As always, KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to talk with your Nephrologist before making any changes to your diet or vitamin supplement intake.
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LANDRO, LAURA. "Hospitals Try Yogurt to Prevent Infections in Patients." Http://online.wsj.com/. Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
"Probiotics Could Help Ward off Some Stubborn Infections." Http://www.buffalonews.com/. The Buffalo News.
"Study Finds Fruit Juices Could Potentially Be Good Carriers of Probiotics." Study Finds Fruit Juices Could Potentially Be Good Carriers of Probiotics. News Medical.