Probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Although Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) does not seriously affect our bodies, it is still an uncomfortable chronic disease, which symptoms can be very annoying. Until today, there is no medical evidence of its organic cause, but very often changes in diet, lifestyle, and stress level can alleviate the symptoms of IBS. According to medical experts, there is the link between the brain and bowel movements that in case of IBS can cause an imbalance in the gut flora. For patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there is no known, unique remedy that can cure this disease in IBS patients. However, when it comes to probiotics, gastroenterologists have noticed their positive effect on patients’ gut flora and gastrointestinal tract. According to them, probiotics – especially the ones from the group of Bifidobacterium infants – can alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in many patients. The excerpt from the article “Effect of Multispecies Probiotics on Irritable Bowel Syndrome” explains the results of researching the efficacy of treatment with probiotics on Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Methods This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 49 IBS patients (probiotics: 25, placebo: 24) diagnosed according to the Rome III criteria. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups: either to receive multispecies probiotics (a mixture of Bifidobacterium longum, B. bifidum, B. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, andStreptococcus thermophilus ) twice a day for 4 weeks or to receive a placebo twice a day for 4 weeks. The primary efficacy end-point was the proportion of participants whose IBS symptoms were substantially relieved at week 4. Secondary end-points were the intensity of abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, stool frequency/consistency, alterations in fecal microflora over the 4 weeks. Fecal microflora were analyzed in 34 patients (probiotics: 17, placebo: 17) by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays.

Results The proportion of patients whose IBS symptoms were substantially relieved at week 4 was significantly higher in the probiotics group than in the placebo group: 68.0% (17/25) versus 37.5% (9/24) (P < 0.05). Secondary end-points such as improvement in abdominal pain/discomfort and bloating occurred in the probiotics group but not in the placebo group. Fecal analysis revealed that B. lactis, L. rhamnosus, and S. thermophilus had increased significantly in the probiotics group after 4 weeks and that B. lactis had increased in the placebo group.

Even though probiotics showed their positive impact on gastrointestinal flora in patients with IBS, there are a significant number of patients that do not react on probiotics. According to researchers, patients with symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation have a far better chance to experience the benefits of probiotics‘ activities. They can benefit not only from probiotic supplements but also from foods that contain probiotics. One of the most beneficial foods for IBS is yogurt. However, many patients with IBS can react negatively to this type of food, because of lactose and casein, yogurt’s protein. Consequently, experts suggest fermented food that showed even better than yogurt in practice. As with the majority of diseases, the IBS also represents a call for huge changes for a patient on various levels. Sometimes, the changes are necessary to affect the patient’s lifestyle, sometimes include adjustments in a diet, and frequently, influence our inner level of peace and happiness. The most often, necessity of changes encompasses all these areas.

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