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Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a major cause of abdominal discomfort and gut dysfunction worldwide. It is a poorly understood functional gastrointestinal disorder for which no effective medication is available. It is a benign condition, but its social and economic burden is significant. The symptoms consist of abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and irregular bowel movements. Alterations in the intestinal microbiota and mucosal inflammation may contribute to the development of IBS and probiotics could thus relieve the symptoms. This review gives an overview on the existing data on the effects of probiotics on the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS.

METHODS

A PUBMED search was made to review the relevant literature, and additional studies were obtained from the references of the selected articles.

RESULTS

Clinical trials suggest that certain probiotics or combinations of bacteria have beneficial effects on the IBS symptoms. However the heterogeneity of studies, e.g. suboptimal study design, inadequate number of subjects, different doses and vehicles, inadequate length, make it difficult to compare the differences between probiotics and the effect may be strain-specific.

CONCLUSIONS

Though evidence is very promising, no general recommendations on the use of probiotics in IBS can be given yet. Further clinical trials and data on the mechanisms of action are needed. Probiotics are considered safe and if future scientific data is able to substantiate their efficacy in IBS, they certainly could be a treatment option in relieving the symptoms in IBS.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Medical Nutrition Physiology, Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23990830

Citation

Korpela, Riitta, and Leena Niittynen. "Probiotics and Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, vol. 23, 2012.
Korpela R, Niittynen L. Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2012;23.
Korpela, R., & Niittynen, L. (2012). Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 23, doi:10.3402/mehd.v23i0.18573.
Korpela R, Niittynen L. Probiotics and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2012;23 PubMed PMID: 23990830.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. AU - Korpela,Riitta, AU - Niittynen,Leena, Y1 - 2012/06/18/ PY - 2013/8/31/entrez PY - 2012/1/1/pubmed PY - 2012/1/1/medline KW - IBS KW - bifidobacteria KW - gastrointestinal symptoms KW - irritable bowel syndrome KW - lactobacilli KW - probiotic JF - Microbial ecology in health and disease JO - Microb. Ecol. Health Dis. VL - 23 N2 - BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a major cause of abdominal discomfort and gut dysfunction worldwide. It is a poorly understood functional gastrointestinal disorder for which no effective medication is available. It is a benign condition, but its social and economic burden is significant. The symptoms consist of abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and irregular bowel movements. Alterations in the intestinal microbiota and mucosal inflammation may contribute to the development of IBS and probiotics could thus relieve the symptoms. This review gives an overview on the existing data on the effects of probiotics on the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS. METHODS: A PUBMED search was made to review the relevant literature, and additional studies were obtained from the references of the selected articles. RESULTS: Clinical trials suggest that certain probiotics or combinations of bacteria have beneficial effects on the IBS symptoms. However the heterogeneity of studies, e.g. suboptimal study design, inadequate number of subjects, different doses and vehicles, inadequate length, make it difficult to compare the differences between probiotics and the effect may be strain-specific. CONCLUSIONS: Though evidence is very promising, no general recommendations on the use of probiotics in IBS can be given yet. Further clinical trials and data on the mechanisms of action are needed. Probiotics are considered safe and if future scientific data is able to substantiate their efficacy in IBS, they certainly could be a treatment option in relieving the symptoms in IBS. SN - 0891-060X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23990830/Probiotics_and_irritable_bowel_syndrome_ L2 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/23990830/ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -