Can probiotics evolve in gut & cause harm? + Vitamin C might cut time spent in ICU

Could probiotics evolve in the gut and cause harm?

EXCERPT: . . . Recently, much hype has surrounded the presumed health benefits of probiotics. Some of these benefits include aiding digestion, lowering blood pressure, improving cognitive function, and alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. However, are probiotics an unmitigated good? As more and more people begin to consume them, emerging research cautions that probiotics may not work in the same way for everyone, and that some strains of probiotics may not even be safe.

Now, a new study offers a critical look at the therapeutic benefits of probiotics. Scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, have investigated the behavior of a strain of Escherichia coli in the intestines of mice. Gautam Dantas, Ph.D. [...] led the new research. [...] the results of the new study suggest that a probiotic that is beneficial to one person might adapt and become harmful in another. "There is no microbe out there that is immune to evolution," continues Prof. Dantas. "This isn't a reason not to develop probiotic-based therapies, but it is a reason to make sure we understand how they change and under what conditions." (MORE)

Vitamin C can cut time spent in intensive care units

EXCERPT: . . . A pooled analysis of data from a dozen trials found that giving patients vitamin C reduced time spent in the intensive care unit (ICU) by an average of 8 percent. The authors are not claiming that the evidence is enough to justify changes to ICU practice. They do, however, maintain that their findings serve as "proof of concept" and call for further research to investigate the effect of vitamin C on ICU patients. "In further studies," they write, "the dose-response relationship should be carefully investigated, and oral and intravenous administration should be compared directly." (MORE - details)

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