There are several probiotics that have proved themselves against C diff infection.
Over a quarter of a million people get this infection each year in the US with between 15,000 and 30,000 deaths each year believed to be due to this aggresive bacteria.
There is no probiotic you can take that is half as effective as having a bountiful supply of intestinal bacteria in place BEFORE you meet up with this nasty.
"Usually, C. difficile that transits through the large bowel will be prevented from finding a niche by the normal colonic microbiota. Yet, if the microbial ecology of the colon is disrupted, perhaps through antibiotic treatment, C. difficile can colonize the large intestine."1
A 2006 review of a number of trials on probiotics against this particular bacteria believed that Saccharomyces boulardii was the only one effective2.
In a trial using high-dose vancomycin as well as Saccharomyces boulardii to prevent recurrent C difficile infection, only 16.7% got a recurrence of it compared to 50% of the people who did not take it4.
There have been many more studies on S boulardii that have shown very promising results but many of the studies were flawed through small numbers or not peer reviewed. It is still the most studied probiotic against this particular bacteria and the one with the best credientials.
You can buy this probiotic yeast online in Florastor.
In a more recent study people took either 50 billion or 100 billion cfu. of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R and both doses gave more protection against developing C diff infection than not taking it and the higher dose gave more protection than the smaller.
23.8% of the group which did not take probiotics developed C diff infection compared against 1.2% and 9.4% of the higher and lower dose probiotics group3.
The supplement was started within 36 hours of starting the antibiotics and continued for 5 days after the last antibiotic dose.
The above results were specifically against the Clostridium difficile. The figures against general antibiotic associated diarrhea were even more encouraging.
44% of the placebo group got AAD compared against 15.5% and 28% of the higher and lower dose probiotics group3.
As well, of those who DID get AAD, it ran it's course much quicker in the groups taking probiotics - 6.4 days in the no probiotic group and 2.8 and 4.1 days in the groups taking the supplement3.
You'll find these two probiotics in Bio-K+ Extra Strength Probiotic . There are 50 billion cfu in each capsules so easy to take the dose given in the trial. There are only 15 capsules in a box so it is expensive but worth it if you believe you might have been at risk.
Some encouraging results have been seen in animal studies for Bacillus Coagulans (BC30) but I'd still go for one of the above.
And check out this page about the best antibacterial washes for this infection.
1. Perry Hookman and Jamie S Barkin. Clostridium difficile associated infection, diarrhea and colitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 April 7; 15(13): 1554?1580.
2. McFarland LV. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea and the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;101(4):812-22.
3. Xing Wang Gao, Mohamed Mubasher, Chong Yu Fang, Cheryl Reifer, Larry E Miller. Dose–Response Efficacy of a Proprietary Probiotic Formula of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R for Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea Prophylaxis in Adult Patients. Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication 9 February 2010; doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.11.
4. Surawicz CM, McFarland LV, Greenberg RN, Rubin M, Fekety R, Mulligan ME, Garcia RJ, Brandmarker S, Bowen K, Borjal D, Elmer GW. The search for a better treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile disease: use of high-dose vancomycin combined with Saccharomyces boulardii. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;31(4):1012-7. Epub 2000 Oct 25.