Clinical trial: the effects of a fermented milk containing three probiotic bacteria in patients with irritable bowel syndrome - a randomized, double-blind, controlled study

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Jan 15;31(2):218-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.04183.x. Epub 2009 Oct 26.


Background: The effects of probiotic bacteria in IBS remain controversial.

Aim: To study the effects of a probiotic product on IBS symptoms.

Methods: We randomized 74 IBS patients to receive 8 weeks of daily treatment with 400 mL milk fermented with the yoghurt bacteria and containing Lactobacillus paracasei, ssp. paracasei F19, Lactobacillus acidophilus La5 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (Cultura; active) or acidified milk without these bacteria (control). The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects reporting adequate relief of their IBS symptoms at least 50% of the weeks. IBS symptom severity, psychological symptoms and quality of life were assessed.

Results: The proportion of responders was 38% (14/37 patients) in the active group and 27% (10/37 patients) in the control group (P = 0.3). IBS symptom severity improved significantly in both groups during the treatment period. This change was greater in the active group during the first 2 weeks, but thereafter, no significant group differences were seen.

Conclusions: We could not detect a clearly positive effect of fermented milk containing three probiotic bacteria on GI symptoms in IBS patients compared with the control treatment. However, a trend towards a more favourable effect during the first weeks was seen in the active group.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult