Basic remarks: Among travellers to distant countries with a low socioeconomic status and poor hygiene, traveller's diarrhea is a major problem. Once this epidemiological fact had been recognized, intensive efforts were made to reduce the incidence of this illness by prophylactic medication. Among non-antibiotic substances investigated, Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) appeared to show promising results in earlier studies.
Method: In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study, various dosages (250 mg and 1,000 mg SB) were administered prophylactically to 3,000 Austrian travellers to distant regions.
Results: A significant reduction in the incidence of diarrhea was observed, with success depending directly on the rigorous use of the preparation. A tendency was noted for SB to have a varying regional effect, which was particularly marked in North Africa and in the Near-east (Turkey!); in addition, the effect also proved to be dose-dependent. The medication can be classified as low on side effects.