A review of the evidence available for the use and effectiveness of probiotic drinks and supplements for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

Botschinsky, Brinda, Botschinsky, David and Tsiami, Amalia A. (2011) A review of the evidence available for the use and effectiveness of probiotic drinks and supplements for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics, 6 (1). pp. 21-38. ISSN 1555-1431

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Abstract

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a
substantial burden on healthcare systems. There are
a plethora of probiotic products on the market that
target gastrointestinal problems. This review aims
to guide the healthcare practitioner to make an
informed judgment when prescribing pro biotic
products for alleviating the symptoms of IBS, as
conventional medication has been found to have a
few adverse effects. Six recent systematic reviews and
27 clinical trials were analysed. The microbial
content of twelve commercial products was
examined. All the extracted evidence was summarised
and critically reviewed. The quality of the research
was found to be limited and often contradictory. A
need for studies of longer duration and of larger
sample size was identified. Dosages in clinical trials
varied greatly as did the use of multi or single strain
products. Two parameters were selected (global
improvement and abdominal pain) and probiotic
species were scored according to their performance in
clinical studies. Lactobacillus rhamnosus scored the
highest for improvement of global symptoms and
Lactobacillus acidophiphilus scored the highest for
improvement of abdominal pain. Probiotics have few
adverse effects, and although they may not supply the
cure for all the symptoms of IBS, they could provide a
way to self-manage the condition. The increase in
research dedicated to understanding and proving the
efficacy of probiotics should mean that before long
current inconsistencies in research methods are
removed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medicine and health > Nutrition
Depositing User: Amalia Tsiami
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 10:50
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 16:06
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2658

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