May 5, 2010 — Physicians from UND School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic conducted a clinical case study to demonstrate whether using a multispecies probiotic could minimize the symptoms of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is estimated to affect 20 percent to 30 percent of the population with 30 percent to 50 percent of gastroenterology referrals related to IBS symptoms.
In western countries, women are two to three times more likely to develop IBS. The causes of IBS are thought to include food intolerance, imbalance of intestinal microflora and colonic malfermentation. For standardized diagnosis for clinical practice, Rome III criteria are used. Earlier studies using probiotics as a therapeutic agent have been promising.
Researchers evaluated 25 patients with IBS as defined by Rome III criteria over a period of 60 days. Patients were treated with a multispecies probiotic product (Multi-Flora Plus) containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS-1 strain), bifidobacterium longum, bifidobacterium bifidum, and bifidobacterium lactis with a combined potency of 12 billion CFU/g. Patients’ symptom severity was evaluated on a scale of one to 10.
Improvement was classified with at least 50 percent reduction in severity. The most significant improvements occurred after 60 days of treatment with 84 percent of the patients showing improvement in abdominal pain, 73.9 percent in bloating, 92 percent in belching, 88 percent in flatulence, 90.9 percent in diarrhea and 86.9 percent in constipation. No clinically evident side effects were observed.
Number of patients showing improvement at the end of month 1
Percentage of patients after 1 month treatment
Number of patients showing improvement at the end of month 2
Percentage of patients after 2 months treatment
*Diarrhea was noted in 22/25 patients, ** Constipation was noted in 23/25 patients
The GI tract contains both pathogenic and normal commensal bacterial flora. It is possible that an alteration in the balance between commensals and pathogenic bacteria might be responsible for the excessive gas production and lead to a diverse group of symptoms which are similar to IBS. The results of this study are consistent with the idea that probiotic bacteria can help to keep pathogenic bacteria in check.
Source: UAS Laboratories, www.uaslabs.com