While it has long been understood that precautions must be taken when travelling to avoid whenever possible exposure to food or water that may be carrying pathogens, ongoing research is demonstrating that improving the state of one’s digestive health and overall wellness with clinically-proven probiotics before travelling is effective at reducing the incidence and severity of Travellers' Diarrhea (TD)1. Probiotic bacteria contribute to a robust flora, strengthening the immune system which responds to the pathogens that can cause Travellers' Diarrhea. By aiding in digestion and providing the epithelial cells lining the colon with a source of energy to restore themselves, probiotics help to maintain the integrity of the mucosal barrier. Certain pathogens associated with TD try to cross this barrier to reach the blood vessels beyond. In the case of bacterial infection, probiotics also reduce the inflammation and the hyper-secretion of water in the intestines. Diarrhea from this illness usually lasts a few days. In certain circumstances it lasts longer and may mean that a more serious infection has occurred. The loss of fluids associated with diarrhea leads to dehydration as well as the loss of beneficial bacteria and their by-products. Restoring a balanced and healthy microbial flora is both part of the recovery and a sign of the return of good health.
- 1. McFarland L. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2007 5:97-105.