Background: Problems with currently recommended Helicobacter pylori eradication therapies include unsatisfactory eradication rates and/or therapy-associated side effects.
Aim: To investigate the effects of Saccharomyces boulardii as supplementation to standard triple therapy on H. pylori eradication rates and therapy-associated side effects.
Methods: The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched in July 2010, with no language restrictions, for randomized controlled trials (RCTs); additional references were obtained from reviewed articles.
Results: Five RCTs involving a total of 1307 participants (among them only 90 children) met the inclusion criteria. Compared with placebo or no intervention, S. boulardii given along with triple therapy significantly increased the eradication rate [four RCTs, n = 915, relative risk (RR) 1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.21] and reduced the risk of overall H. pylori therapy-related adverse effects (five RCTs, n = 1305, RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.3-0.7), particularly of diarrhoea (four RCTs, n = 1215, RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.32-0.69). There were no significant differences between groups in the risk of other adverse effects.
Conclusion: In patients with H. pylori infection, there is evidence to recommend the use of S. boulardii along with standard triple therapy as an option for increasing the eradication rates and decreasing overall therapy-related side effects, particularly diarrhoea.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.