Jun 05, 2009 - 10:28 am
While this study relates to particular chemo drug, the same would apply to many other drug treatments as well given nausea and related gut problems are common. The bacteria referred to (and others) is available in the form of a probiotic yogurt that is available in supermarkets. For those who are currently undergoing chemo, and having similar problems, it might be worthwhile trying. It's quite likely that the chemo drugs have an adverse effect on normal gut flora and that it might help to re-balance that gut flora mix by consuming probiotic yogurt. Certainly wouldn't hurt to try and might help a tub of probiotic yogurt if suffering similar symptoms.
Lactobacillus supplementation for diarrhoea related to chemotherapy of colorectal cancer: a randomised study.
5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy is frequently associated with diarrhoea. We compared two 5-FU-based regimens and the effect of Lactobacillus and fibre supplementation on treatment tolerability. Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer (n=150) were randomly allocated to receive monthly 5-FU and leucovorin bolus injections (the Mayo regimen) or a bimonthly 5-FU bolus plus continuous infusion (the simplified de Gramont regimen) for 24 weeks as postoperative adjuvant therapy. On the basis of random allocation, the study participants did or did not receive Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplementation (1-2 x 10(10) per day) and fibre (11 g guar gum per day) during chemotherapy. Patients who received Lactobacillus had less grade 3 or 4 diarrhoea (22 vs 37%, P=0.027), reported less abdominal discomfort, needed less hospital care and had fewer chemotherapy dose reductions due to bowel toxicity. No Lactobacillus-related toxicity was detected. Guar gum supplementation had no influence on chemotherapy tolerability. The simplified de Gramont regimen was associated with fewer grade 3 or 4 adverse effects than the Mayo regimen (45 vs 89%), and with less diarrhoea. We conclude that Lactobacillus GG supplementation is well tolerated and may reduce the frequency of severe diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort related to 5-FU-based chemotherapy.