November #65 : Chug-A-Bug - by Lark Lands

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Grin and Cast It

City of Love

Down and Out in L.A.

As Cool as Ice

The Secret Life of Syphilis

Easy Rider

Wheel of Misfortune

Raising Lazio

Neg & Pos

Love Connection

Pick Me!

Comic Belief

Daytime Drama

Catching Up With

La Quinceañera de Allgo

Survivor: The Sex Episode


A Watched Pot Boils

Herb Of The Month

Staying Syphi-less

Shelf Life

Pure Gene-ius


Time for T

Delayed Reaction

Comfort Zone

The Alopecia Trail

Commanding Heights

Patriot's Day

Micro Money

11.3.89 Film Noir

Athletic Supporters



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

November 2000


by Lark Lands

Bugging your kids may turn out to be the right thing to do if they're living with HIV. Cornell University research has found that 13 HIV positive children experiencing "failure to thrive" -- meaning that, for their age, they were low in weight and short in height -- improved when given probiotic (beneficial) bacteria in a fruit juice drink. The bug called Lactobacillus plantarum 299v -- a bacterium normally found in the gastrointestinal tract and a cousin of the acidophilus found in yogurt -- was chosen because it would reproduce well. As it grows, it pushes out such harmful organisms as Candida albicans (the cause of yeast infections such as thrush). The end result, hypothesizes Cornell immunologist Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, PhD, is a helpful retuning of the immune system. "The microorganisms you take orally affect your immune response, probably via the effects on cytokines [immune-system messenger chemicals]." And with this push toward immune normalization in children comes improved growth.

In this placebo-controlled trial, researchers found that kids who sipped the bacteria drink had statistically significant increases in height (considered the best measure of "failure to thrive" in HIV positive children; see "Commanding Heights") during each month of the five-month study. Significant weight gain was seen in two of the monthly measurements. In addition, those previously suffering from thrush -- the fungal overgrowth in the mouth that can cause pain and difficulty eating -- saw the problem disappear. Children were given packets of the powdered plantarum bacteria and instructed to mix half a packet in half a cup of juice or water and drink it twice daily. Since the powder has little taste and can be mixed with a kid's favorite juice, no noses were turned up at the bacterial blend. Although the study used a Swedish product not available in the U.S., Cunningham-Rundles says that other probiotic Lactobacillus products such as Culturelle tablets could be substituted. Gee, kids, this may be the only time your mom tells you to eat bugs.

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.