Aim: To evaluate the effect of a probiotic, Lactobacillus acidophilus LB (LB), or a synbiotic, Saccharomyces boulardii plus inulin (SbI), on Helicobacter pylori (Hp) colonization in children.
Subjects and methods: A clinical trial was carried out in a school from a low socio-economic area of Santiago. Two hundred and fifty-four asymptomatic children (8.40+/-1.62 y) were screened for Hp by the (13)C-Urea Breath Test ((13)C-UBT). Hp-positive children were randomly distributed into three groups to receive either antibiotic treatment (lanzoprazole, clarythromycin and amoxicillin) for 8 d, or SbI or LB daily for 8 wk. A second (13)C-UBT was carried out at this time. Spontaneous clearance was evaluated in the same way in 81 infected, untreated children. The differences in the delta(13)CO(2) over baseline values before and after treatments (?DOB) were evaluated.
Results: 182 subjects (71.7%) were colonized by Hp, and 141 of them completed their treatment (22.5% dropout). Hp was eradicated in 66%, 12% and 6.5% of the children from the Ab, SbI and LB groups, respectively, while no spontaneous clearance was observed in the children without treatment. A moderate but significant difference in ?DOB was detected in children receiving living SbI (-6.31; 95% CI: -11.84 to -0.79), but not in those receiving LB (+0.70; 95% CI: -5.84 to +7.24).
Conclusion: S. boulardii seems promising as an agent that interferes with Hp in colonized individuals. More studies are needed to confirm these results and to elucidate the mechanisms by which Sb inhibits Hp.