Once again the benefits of probiotics are showing up in news. This time researchers have discovered the specific benefits that the “good bacteria” can yield with certain patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). According to scientist at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, the therapeutic use of probiotics on critically injured patients reduced incidences of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) by roughly 50%. The study will be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. With around 30% of ICU patients having complications with VAP and doctors warning that “patients with VAP have increased morbidity, mortality and hospital costs as well as prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital lengths of stay, and increased costs,” there is great urgency to find ways to prevent infections such as those that cause VAP. “We chose to study probiotics in this context because VAP is increasingly caused by pathogens associated with antimicrobial resistance and the supply of novel antibiotics is essentially nonexistent for the foreseeable future,” explained Lee E. Morrow, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of medicine at Creighton University and lead author. “The implication is that novel methods of prevention must be our priority.” After five years of research the data strongly suggests “that Lactobacillus may represent a novel, inexpensive (retail price, $2.13 per day for four tablets as administered per protocol), and non-antibiotic approach to prevention of nosocomial infections in properly selected ICU patients,” said Dr. Morrow. Find the full report here. Note: A top selling probiotic here at HEALTHandMED.com is called Primal Defense. Click here to see this popular probiotic.