In the last week this story has been quite shocking, though many have yet to understand the whole story and full implications of what actually happend.
Twenty-four patients with acute pancreatitis (a rare and very serious disease) were taking part in a trial procedure to treat their condition.
In total thirty-three participants died, twenty-four in the study group and nine in the control group.
The experiment was a double-blind study, hence neither the patients nor researchers knew whether they were in the control or experimental group. Therefore the results could and did only emerge at the end of the trial.
The actual cause of death has yet to be identified, but researchers have narrowed it down to three possible causes:
- The use of probiotics on intensive-care patients
- Administering probiotics through feeding tubes into the intestine
- Using the friendly bacteria in the acute phase of the disease
The European Food and Feed Cultures Association (EFFCA), which represents manufacturers of probiotic strains, said it is paying “serious attention” to the study and is awaiting the official publication of the findings. It also emphasized and reiterated the fact that acute pancreatitis sufferers have a high mortality rate and said the study had “no implications” for the ordinary use of probiotics in food, beverage or dietary supplements.
So contrary to the dubious headlines you may have seen or may see, the use of probiotic cultures in this study was on a group of people who had a serious and rare condition, where-in the mortality rate is high and the probiotic cultures administered in the study were done via a tube directly to the intestines (therefore this treatment was used as a drug as opposed to a nutritional supplement).
So what went wrong? Well we have to wait until the results of the investigation into the study are conducted and released. Until then, don’t be put off this valuable nutritional commodity.
Source: Decision News Media SAS
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