IBS and Probiotics: The Evidence
Research into changing the gut microbiome with probiotics and prebiotics have yielded favorable results with improved mood, normal bowel movements, and less pain.
Research shows that the colonic microbiome is altered in patients with IBS when compared with healthy controls. In addition, some IBS symptoms, such as bloating, slowed gastrointestinal (GI) transit, and early satiety, have been associated with specific gut microbiome profiles.
Fifty‐three randomized controlled trials were evaluated in a recent meta-analysis concerning the role of probiotics in IBS. It involved 5545 patients. Particular combinations of probiotics, or specific species and strains, appeared to have beneficial effects on global IBS symptoms and abdominal pain, but definitive conclusions about their efficacy could not be made.
Twenty‐nine studies used a combination of probiotics; eleven used Lactobacillus, five Saccharomyces,four Bifidobacterium, two E. coli, one Streptococcus ,and one either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.
There were 19 trials that evaluated 1341 patients, using combinations of probiotics that did suggest a significant improvement in IBS symptoms score with active treatment. In some of those studies, women enrollees were represented in higher percentages.
In terms of individual probiotics, Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843, E. coli DSM1752,and Streptococcus faecium appeared beneficial in the relief of someof the symptoms of IBS. There was also benefit found for Bifidobacterium,in terms of improvement of global IBS symptoms and pain scores.