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Ann Pediatr (Paris). 1992 Feb;39(2):79-86.

[Clinical consequences of replacing milk with yogurt in persistent infantile diarrhea].

[Article in French]

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Service de Pédiatrie, Oran, Algérie.


Persistent diarrhea is an episode of diarrhea that begins acutely but lasts longer than expected for this usually self-limited disease. Treatment of this ill-defined syndrome is not well standardized but immediate intervention is required to minimize the risk of malnutrition with its various consequences. This randomized clinical trial was undertaken to evaluate the clinical efficacy of substituting yogurt for milk, as the only treatment. After a one to two-day observation period during which a standard milk diet was given, 78 children aged 3 to 36 months with confirmed persistent diarrhea of more than 15 days but less than one month duration and negative tests for fecal blood were fed either milk (infant formula) or yogurt (infant formula fermented with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus). At inclusion both groups were comparable for age, nutritional status, diarrhea, and lactose hydrogen breath test results. Clinical treatment failure (weight loss greater than 5% in one day or persistent diarrhea after 5 days) was significantly less common in children fed yogurt (15 +/- 6%) than in children fed milk (45 +/- 8%). The beneficial effects of feeding yogurt were apparent within 48 hours in 67 +/- 8% of infants. In conclusion, these data confirm the clinical efficacy of substituting yogurt for milk in young children with persistent diarrhea. They also suggest that yogurt may be a good alternative for the initial treatment of persistent diarrhea.

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