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: 23 May 2017 10:29
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2658

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