Effect of beta-glucan, inositol and digestive enzymes in GI symptoms of patients with IBS

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Jun;15(6):637-43.


Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common functional gastrointestinal (GI). Diagnosis of IBS is based on the fulfilment of the Rome III criteria. Common GI symptoms are lower abdominal pain, bloating and disturbed defecation, such as urgent diarrhoea and/or episodes of chronic constipation. Many agents have been employed in the management of IBS, although only few have been demonstrated to show a relevant efficacy.

Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the administration of a mixture of beta-glucan, inositol and digestive enzymes (Biointo) in improving GI symptoms in patients affected by IBS.

Patients and methods: 50 IBS patients (20 males, 30 females; mean age 51 +/- 19) were treated with Biointo (group A) while another group consisting of 40 IBS patients (15 males, 25 females; mean age 50 +/- 18) did not receive any therapy (group B).

Results: Biointol administration improved significantly bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain, with a slight increasing of urgency for bowel movements. On the contrary, Biointol did not show any significant effect on the other IBS symptoms.

Conclusions: Currently, only few agents used in the management of IBS have been proven to be effective. Biointol administration has shown to improve some IBS symptoms, such as bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain, all connected to the presence of gas inside the intestinal lumen.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / drug therapy
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drug Combinations
  • Enzyme Therapy*
  • Enzymes / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Flatulence / drug therapy
  • Flatulence / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inositol / administration & dosage
  • Inositol / therapeutic use*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • beta-Glucans / administration & dosage
  • beta-Glucans / therapeutic use*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Enzymes
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • beta-Glucans
  • Inositol