Table 4 

The effect of probiotic treatment on the number of, duration of use, severity and combined load of medications usage 

Effect of probiotic relative to placebo (mean; 99% CI) 



Probiotic group (mean ± SD) 
Placebo group (mean ± SD) 
Ratio 
Difference 
Qualitative inference 



Males 

Number of medication episodes 
0.37 ± 0.72 
1.26 ± 1.90 
0.29; 0.04 to 0.89 
Very likely ↓ 

Total days of medications 
5.0 ± 20.8 
7.2 ± 14.8 
0.70; 0.01 to 2.3 
Unclear 

Mean # of medications per episode 
1.14 ± 0.24 
1.29 ± 0.44 
0.15; 0.57 to 0.24 
Possibly trivial 

Total # of medications 
5.2 ± 20.8 
9.1 ± 17.3 
0.57; 0.01 to 3.1 
Unclear 

Females 

Number of medication episodes 
1.98 ± 2.63 
1.08 ± 1.32 
1.83; 0.38 to 6.5 
Possible ↑ 

Total days of medications 
10.7 ± 18.2 
5.8 ± 7.9 
1.86; 0.31 to 8.5 
Likely ↑ 

Mean # of medications per episode 
1.15 ± 0.24 
1.53 ± 0.99 
0.39; 1.32 to 0.24 
Possible ↓ 

Total # of medications 
12.7 ± 20.9 
7.4 ± 10.4 
1.70; 0.27 to 7.8 
Possible ↑ 



SD, standard deviation; CI, confidence interval. Smallest clinically important values for assessing effects qualitatively: ratios, ×/÷1.20; differences, ± 0.5. 

West et al. Nutrition Journal 2011 10:30 doi:10.1186/147528911030 