Highlights, Summaries & Resources from "Keeping Current 2007"

Rather than recopy and wordsmith my notes,  I'll review my learning and transfer knowledge (I hope) by posting highlights, summaries  and online references. These brief blog entries cannot replace the inspirational, *real-time*, *in-person* experience of participating in and networking at the Nestlé Nutrition education day, but the information is so valuable and practical that I want to share it with colleagues who read my blog.  You still will have work to do -- reading and critically thinking -- before you can apply this information to practice, but I'll try to save you time by sharing the up-top-date references and "state-of-the-knowledge" as presented by the expert speakers.

Note: If possible, I've linked to full-text articles. If I've linked to an abstract only, a subscription or pay-per-view fee is needed to read the complete article.

Session 1: Pre-and probiotics: bugs as body armor against sick days. Speaker: Dr. R. Reimer, Associate Professor, University of Calgary.

Evidence for benefit in selected conditions

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Hedin et al, 2007 (abstract)
    • most compelling evidence is use of VSL#3 in pouchitis
  • Prevention of allergies: Precott & Bjorksten, 2007
    • at this stage, not appropriate to recommend probiotics for allergy prevention
  • Acute infections diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea: Lemberg et al, 2007 (abstract)
    • several systematic reviews provide evidence-based support for benefit of specific strains
  • C. difficile-associated diarrhea: Isakow et al, 2007 (abstract)
    • S. boulardii effective but often combined with antibiotics

Prebiotics as obesity treatment

  • Dr. Reimer shared positive, exciting results from her randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Research to be published in 2008.

Conclusions (excerpt)

  • Specific bacterial strains are needed for specific conditions
  • Probiotics appear to be well tolerated and have significant potential impact for improved gut function
  • Synbiotics (products containing both pre- and probiotics) may result in best delivery and survival of probiotics

Dr. Reimer also provided a list of foods in the Canadian marketplace containing pre- and probiotics and encouaged us to "enjoy" more of them. In a subsequent post, I will list these food items and supplements.

Also, in subsequent posts, I will share information from the other six sessions.