A recent study strongly suggests that regular consumption of yogurt can decrease the incidence of diarrhea.

Many people who are given antibiotics will later develop diarrhea because large numbers of the bacteria normally found in the colon are killed by the antibiotic — and other less-friendly bacteria take their place.

A study published in the October 2003 edition of Digestive Diseases and Sciences shows that daily consumption of yogurt cuts the cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in half.

About 100 hospitalized patients ate 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt every day, and another group of 100 ate no yogurt. All patients received some type of antibiotic. The groups were followed for 8 days. Of those eating yogurt, 12 percent developed diarrhea, as opposed to 24 percent of those who didn't eat yogurt.

Although the study was conducted with food-based bacteria, probiotic supplements may produce the same benefit. And remember: Yogurt bacteria don't remain in the intestines for long, so they should be replenished daily if diarrhea is a problem.

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