Taking probiotic bacteria reduces the length of time diarrhoea sufferers are affected, according to Cochrane researchers from Swansea University.
Data from 63 trials involving a total of 8,014 patients was reviewed.
Giving probiotics in conjunction with rehydration fluids reduced the duration of diarrhoea by about a day and cut the risk of diarrhoea lasting four or more days by 59 per cent.
No serious adverse effects were reported. Vomiting was quite common but also occurred with placebos.
The authors said: “The beneficial effect was consistent and significant across many different types of trials.
More research needs to be carried out on the specific strains of bacteria that are effective.”