Evidence has shown beneficial effects of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); however, there is still a lack of data in this regard. We evaluated the efficacy of a multi-strain probiotic compound on IBS symptoms and quality-of-life (QOL).
Adult IBS patients (n = 132) were randomized to receive a probiotic compound containing seven bacteria species including Lactobacillus strains, Bifidobacterium strains and Streptococcus thermophiles or similar placebo, twice daily after a meal for 14 consecutive days. Improvement of IBS symptoms was assessed in categories of abdominal pain and distension and improvement of bowel habit. Improvement in patients QOL was assessed by the IBS-QOL instrument. Patients were evaluated for symptoms and QOL at baseline and then 1 month after completion of the treatment.
After treatment, there was a decrease in abdominal pain and distension severity in both probiotic and the placebo groups (P<0.001), but there was no difference between the two groups in this regard (P>0.05). Improvement in bowel habit was observed in 33.3% of the probiotic and 36.5% of the placebo group (P = 0.910). There was no significant difference between the two groups in QOL after the treatment (P >0.05).
We found no beneficial effects over placebo for a 2-week treatment with the above mentioned multi-strain probiotic compound in the treatment of IBS. Further, trials are yet required before a clear conclusion in this regards.