Background: Patients with chronic liver disease generally have intestinal flora imbalance that is related to the development and worsening of the disease.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of probiotic yogurt on intestinal flora of patients with chronic liver disease.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial, pretest-posttest control group design, was used. Patients were randomized to an experimental group (41 patients) or a control group (40 patients). Patients in the experimental group were given probiotic yogurt (one cup each time, three times per day for 14 days) containing Bacillus bifidus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus within 2 hours after meals. Levels of fecal flora, symptoms and signs, and laboratory examination indexes were collected.
Results: After intervention, the experimental group had a lower Escherichia coli count and reduced intestinal flora imbalance (p < .05). Comparison of the experimental and control groups after the intervention showed that the former had improved symptoms and signs, including significant improvement in debilitation, food intake, appetite, abdominal distension, and ascitic fluid (p < .05).
Conclusion: Probiotic yogurt reduces the levels of intestinal flora imbalance and has an additional therapeutic effect on patients with chronic liver disease.
Jun-E Liu, PhD, RN, is Professor and Associate Dean; and Yan Zhang, MSN, RN, is Teaching Assistant, School of Nursing, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Jing Zhang, MD, is Associate Professor; Pei-Ling Dong, RD, MS, is Associate Professor; Ming Chen, BS, is Clinical Pathologist; and Zhong-Ping Duan, MD, is Professor and Vice President, Beijing You'an Hospital, Beijing, China.
Accepted for publication July 2, 2010.
This study was funded by the Basic-Clinical Cooperation Program of Capital Medical University (grant no. 2006JL59).
Ethical approval: The institutional review board of the Capital Medical University approved this study, and verbal informed consent was obtained from each subject.
Conflict of interest: None declared.
Corresponding author: Jun-E Liu, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).