According to Dr. Shekhar Challa’s book Probiotics For Dummies Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – also called spastic colon, irritable colon & sensitive gut – is the most common chronic medical condition in the western world. It is estimated that 15-30 million people in the United States have IBS.
How do patients with IBS deal with the symptoms? Doctors believe that managing the bacteria in the colon can help ease patients’ symptoms which may range from abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc. A recent study investigates the use of a probiotic treatment to balance the colon bacteria in patients with IBS.
A study conducted in Shanghai, China involved sixty participants with IBS who were randomly assigned to receive a probiotic treatment or a placebo. 37 of the participants took two capsules three times per day, and 23 participants took 200 mg of placebo capsule per day. All participants ingested capsules for a total of four weeks.
Before and after the study, participants completed questionnaires to determine IBS symptoms. Both groups were similar in IBS severity & symptoms, bowel habit, gender & age. Fecal samples were collected from the participants that measured probiotics at the beginning and end of study, while participants in the placebo group submitted a fecal sample only at the beginning of the study.
When the study was complete, a significant difference was seen between the two groups. Frequency of pain, abdominal bloating, and bowel habit satisfaction were all measured. The probiotic group showed an effective rate of 64.86 percent on symptom reduction, whereas the placebo group showed an effective rate of 30.43 percent. This was statistically significant.
This study adds to the existing evidence that Probiotics are beneficial to patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
—The Probulin Team