Background: Recent evidence found probiotics could inhibit Helicobacter pylori colonization from both in vitro and in vivo studies.
Aim: To systematically evaluate whether adding probiotics to anti-H. pylori regimens could improve eradication rates and reduce side effects during anti-H. pylori treatment.
Methods: Eligible articles were identified by searches of electronic databases. We included all randomized trials comparing probiotics supplementation to placebo or no treatment during anti-H. pylori regimens. Statistical analysis was performed with Review Manager 4.2.8. Subanalysis/Sensitivity analysis was also performed.
Results: We identified 14 randomized trials (n = 1671). Pooled H. pylori eradication rates were 83.6% (95% CI = 80.5-86.7%) and 74.8% (95% CI = 71.1-78.5%) for patients with or without probiotics by intention-to-treat analysis, respectively, the odds ratio (OR) was 1.84 (95% CI = 1.34-2.54); the occurrence of total side effects were 24.7% (95% CI = 20.0-29.4%) and 38.5% (95% CI = 33.0-44.1%) for groups with or without probiotics, especially for diarrhoea, the summary OR was 0.44 (95% CI = 0.30-0.66).
Conclusions: Our review suggests that supplementation with probiotics could be effective in increasing eradication rates of anti-H. pylori therapy, and could be considered helpful for patients with eradication failure. Furthermore, probiotics show a positive impact on H. pylori therapy-related side effects.