Objective: To determine whether oral administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus GG under randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled conditions would improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in children.
Study design: Fifty children fulfilling the Rome II criteria for IBS were given Lactobacillus GG or placebo for 6 weeks. Response to therapy was recorded and collected on a weekly basis using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS).
Results: Lactobacillus GG was not superior to placebo in relieving abdominal pain (40.0% response rate in the placebo group vs 44.0% in the Lactobacillus GG group; P=.774). There was no difference in the other gastrointestinal symptoms, except for a lower incidence of perceived abdominal distention (P=.02 favoring Lactobacillus GG).
Conclusions: Lactobacillus GG was not superior to placebo in the treatment of abdominal pain in children with IBS but may help relieve such symptoms as perceived abdominal distention.