Pharos-Tribune

Business

October 23, 2013

Consumer Reports: Can good bacteria fight growing medical threat?

A serious infection that has been on the rise in hospital patients is now being increasingly reported among people who work or spend time in health care settings, such as a doctor's office or clinic, Consumer Reports On Health warns. Caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, also known as C-diff, the infection can cause chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and intestinal inflammation, which in severe cases can be life-threatening.

The problem often affects hospitalized patients treated with antibiotics, which not only kill harmful bacteria but also can destroy protective ones, allowing C-diff to gain a foothold. But new research suggests that the bugs are now also infecting people outside hospital settings, including some who haven't taken antibiotics. In a study of 984 people with C-diff published online June 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine, about 60 percent had taken antibiotics within the previous 12 weeks — but more than 80 percent had been to some type of health care clinic.

While the odds of contracting a C-diff infection are low overall (about 1 in 100 for someone admitted to a hospital, and much lower for others), the consequences can be serious. That's especially true because the bacterium has been evolving into increasingly virulent strains that can resist drug treatment.

So how can you protect yourself from this threat? Research is finding that the answer might lie in probiotics — helpful bacteria that live in the human gut. A growing body of evidence suggests that those trillions of microorganisms play a critical role in defending us from illness, and that taking supplemental doses of probiotics might help prevent infections like C-diff by restoring the balance of "good bugs" in the gut.

HELPFUL BACTERIA

Found in pills, powders and fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir, probiotics are often said to help "balance" our internal microbial communities, or microbiome, by providing an infusion of health-promoting bugs that support the body's optimal functioning. Boosts may be especially important at times when our native bacteria are under assault from antibiotics.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • US companies increasingly fish for growth overseas SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Major U.S. companies are starting to reap their most rapid growth in fertile lands of opportunity far from home. Technology trendsetters Apple Inc., Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc. all mined foreign countries to prod

    July 28, 2014

  • Indiana Packers acquires Michigan facility, label DELPHI — Indiana Packers, which owns a large meat processing plant on Delphi’s south side, this month announced it had bought one of its top customers.Private-label food manufacturer Quincy Street Inc. in Holland, Mich., has done business with Indian

    July 27, 2014

  • Business news in brief, July 27 Diabetes education accredited at LMHThe diabetes education program at Logansport Memorial Hospital was recently named an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.The program at Logansport Memorial Hospit

    July 27, 2014

  • Shannon Niedzwicki.jpg ON THE JOB: Stand out in the paper crowd Preparing or writing the cover letter to go with your resume can be a scary proposition. This added piece is essential in the job search process and should not be overlooked. The only time a cover letter is not needed is when you are handing out resu

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Consumer Reports: Living well into your 80s and beyond Sixty years ago, an American who made it to 65 could expect to live an additional 14 years. Today, Consumer Reports notes, it’s 19 years. So how do we grow older healthfully so that we can actually enjoy those extra years? No matter whether you’ve ju

    July 27, 2014

  • Resilient Stocks [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Global tensions don't dent enthusiasm for stocks A war breaks out between Israel and Hamas. An airliner is shot out of the sky in Ukraine. A Portuguese bank's finances look shaky. And the U.S. stock market's response? After dipping briefly on the bad news, it climbs higher. The market's resilience

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORRECTION Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they're prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort th

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Earns General Motors [Duplicate] [Duplicate] GM profit 2Q falls 85 pct. on recall costs DETROIT (AP) — Recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, cutting its net income by 85 percent. The automaker, which is in the midst of the worst recall crisis in its history, posted a net profit of $190

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • China McDonald's KFC [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Boss of company in China meat scandal apologizes BEIJING (AP) — The chairman of an American meat supplier apologized Thursday for a Chinese subsidiary that is accused of selling expired beef and chicken to restaurants including McDonald's and KFC. Fast food chains in China suspended use of products

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMF sees US growth at weakest since recession WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. economic growth this year will likely be at the weakest pace since the Great Recession ended, the International Monetary Fund said, mostly because of a sharp, weather-related contraction in the first quarter. But the global len

    July 23, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.