Probiotics and prebiotics in ulcerative colitis.Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2016; 30(1):55-71BP
The intestinal microbiota is one of the key players in the etiology of ulcerative colitis. Manipulation of this microflora with probiotics and prebiotics is an attractive strategy in the management of ulcerative colitis. Several intervention studies for both the induction and maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis patients have been performed. Most of these studies evaluated VSL#3 or E. Coli Nissle 1917 and in general there is evidence for efficacy of these agents for induction and maintenance of remission. However, studies are frequently underpowered, lack a control group, and are very heterogeneous investigating different probiotic strains in different study populations. The absence of well-powered robust randomized placebo-controlled trials impedes the widespread use of probiotics and prebiotics in ulcerative colitis. However, given the promising results that are currently available, probiotics and prebiotics may find their way to the treatment algorithm for ulcerative colitis in the near future.