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, 3 (2), 101-7

Effect of Probiotics on Symptoms in Korean Adults With Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Effect of Probiotics on Symptoms in Korean Adults With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Kyoung Sup Hong et al. Gut Liver.


Background/aims: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a troublesome disease. Some strains of probiotics reportedly exert remarkable immunomodulatory effects, and so we designed a prospective double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical study to assess their effects in Korean adults with IBS.

Methods: IBS patients who met Rome III criteria were randomly assigned to receive composite probiotics or placebo. A total of 20 billion lyophilized bacteria were administered twice daily for 8 weeks. Primary outcome variables were symptom scores consisting of abdominal pain, flatulence, defecation discomfort, and sum of symptom scores. A visual analogue scale was used to quantify the severity. Secondary outcome variables consisted of the quality of life and bowel habits including defecation frequency and stool form.

Results: Thirty-six and 34 patients were randomized to the probiotics and placebo groups, respectively. Intention-to-treat analysis showed significant reductions in pain after 8 weeks of treatment: -31.9 and -17.7 in the probiotics and placebo groups, respectively (p=0.045). The reductions in abdominal pain, defecation discomfort, and sum of scores were more significant in 58 patients with a score of at least 3 on the baseline stool-form scale.

Conclusions: Composite probiotics containing Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4, Lactobacillus acidophilus AD031, and other species are safe and effective, especially in patients who excrete normal or loose stools.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium bifidum; Irritable bowel syndrome; Probiotics.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Pain and flatulence scores analyzed over 4- and 8-week treatment periods.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Defecation discomfort and sum of scores analyzed over 4- and 8-week treatment periods.

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