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Table 2 The effect of probiotic treatment on the number, duration, severity and combined load of gastrointestinal symptoms

From: Lactobacillus fermentum (PCC®) supplementation and gastrointestinal and respiratory-tract illness symptoms: a randomised control trial in athletes

    Effect of probiotic
treatment relative to
placebo
(mean; 99% CI)
 
  Probiotic
group
(mean ± SD)
Placebo
group
(mean ± SD)
Ratio Difference Qualitative
inference
Males
Number of episodes 1.01 ± 1.70 0.49 ± 0.90 2.06;
0.51 to 11
  Likely ↑
Duration (d) 3.3 ± 5.8 1.3 ± 7.7 2.57:
0.53 to 17
  Likely ↑
Severity (1-3 scale) 1.31 ± 0.33 1.78 ± 0.73   -0.47;
-1.21 to 0.28
Possible ↓
Symptom Load
(severity-days)
4.4 ± 8.1 2.5 ± 5.8 1.76;
0.34 to 15
  Possible ↑
Females
Number of episodes 1.44 ± 1.71 0.48 ± 0.71 3.02;
0.76 to 17
  Likely ↑
Duration (d) 3.9 ± 5.4 2.1 ± 4.3 1.85;
0.35 to 27
  Possible ↑
Severity (1-3 scale) 1.44 ± 0.68 1.75 ± 0.88   -0.31;
-1.39 to 0.79
Possible ↓
Symptom Load
(severity-days)
5.2 ± 7.08 2.9 ± 5.1 1.81;
0.37 to 24
  Possible ↑
  1. SD, standard deviation; CI, confidence interval.
  2. Smallest clinically important values for assessing effects qualitatively: ratios, ×/÷1.20; differences, ± 0.5