The Pros and Cons of Probiotics

The following summary is an excerpt comparison of common probiotic products taken from the Pharmacists Letter detail document #220704 2006;22(7):220704:



Promoted Use

Labeled or Recommended Dose


Activia yogurt (Dannon/Danone)

Bifidobacterium animalis

Regulate digestive system

One to three 4 oz servings daily for at least 10 to 14 days. Effects last at least two weeks after consumption.

Activia speeds gut transit time, but product has not been studied for any disease or symptom.

Align(Proctor & Gamble)

Bifidobacterium infantis

4 mg/capsule

Maintain digestive health

1 capsule daily.

Possibly Effective for abdominal pain, bloating, and difficult bowel movements associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Culturelle (ConAgra Foods)

Lactobacillus GG 10 billion bacteria per capsule

prevent traveler's diarrhea, prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea, strengthen body's defenses

traveler's diarrhea: 1 cap twice daily 2-3 days before travel and continued for duration of trip.       antibiotic-associated diarrhea: 1 cap twice daily during treatment and for 1 week after.

Likely Effective  treatment of rotavirus diarrhea Possibly Effective prevention of antibiotic associated or traveler's diarrhea, adjunct to treat and prevent recurrence of C.difficilecolitis;treatment of eczema in infants allergic to cow's milk

DanActive (Dannon)

Lactobacillus casei

Strengthen the body's defenses

At least one bottle daily.

Possibly Effective for shortening the duration of acute diarrhea in infants and young children.

FLORA SOURCE (Golden Health Products)
(Requires refrigeration)

Fifteen species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Lactococcus, and Streptococcus


Strengthen immune system; prevent yeast infection, constipation, diarrhea, and skin problems; improve cholesterol

Capsules: 2 daily for 2 weeks, then 1 daily for children 12 and older.

There is Insufficient Evidence to determine efficacy of FLORA SOURCE.

Florastor (Biocodex)

Saccharomyces boulardii 250 mg (5 billion bacteria) per capsule or packet

Promote intestinal health and maintain bowel function

Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: 2 caps twice daily begin within 3 days of antibiotics, continue for 3 days after.Prevention of traveler's diarrhea: 1-2 cap daily beginning five days before travel and continued for duration of trip.To prevent C.difficile recurrence: 2 caps twice daily for 4 weeks (with appropriate antibiotics).       Tube-feed diarrhea: 2 caps 4 times daily; for up to 28 days.

Possibly Effective for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, traveler's diarrhea, and diarrhea in tube-fed patients; prevention of recurrence of C.difficile colitis; and treatment of diarrhea in infants.


Content varies. Choose a product with the National Yogurt Association's seal to assure the product contains 100 million live and active bacteria per gram (e.g., Dannon, Yoplait)


Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: 8 oz twice daily.7

Recurrent vaginal candidiasis: 6 oz daily of a yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.7

Yogurt is Possibly Effective for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea; and prevention of recurrent vaginal candidiasis.