Probiotics strengthened liver function in alcoholics in a new study. For four weeks, doctors gave Lactobacillus casei Shirota three times per day to 12 participants with alcoholic cirrhosis. Researchers compared the participants to 13 healthy people and 8 other people with alcoholic cirrhosis who did not take probiotics. Investigators measured a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil that destroys bacterial infections. At the start of the study, neutrophils in participants with alcoholic cirrhosis were 73 percent effective compared to 98 percent effective in the 13 healthy people. By the end of the study, neutrophils returned to normal effective levels in those taking probiotics. There was no change in the alcoholics who did not take probiotics.