Aim: To assess the symptomatic efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (L. plantarum 299v) (DSM 9843) for the relief of abdominal symptoms in a large subset of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients fulfilling the Rome III criteria.
Methods: In this double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-designed study, subjects were randomized to daily receive either one capsule of L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) or placebo for 4 wk. Frequency and intensity of abdominal pain, bloating and feeling of incomplete rectal emptying were assessed weekly on a visual analogue scale while stool frequency was calculated.
Results: Two hundred and fourteen IBS patients were recruited. After 4 wk, both pain severity (0.68 + 0.53 vs 0.92 + 0.57, P < 0.05) and daily frequency (1.01 + 0.77 vs 1.71 + 0.93, P < 0.05) were lower with L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) than with placebo. Similar results were obtained for bloating. At week 4, 78.1 % of the patients scored the L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) symptomatic effect as excellent or good vs only 8.1 % for placebo (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: A 4-wk treatment with L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) provided effective symptom relief, particularly of abdominal pain and bloating, in IBS patients fulfilling the Rome III criteria.
Keywords: Abdominal pain; Clinical trial; Irritable bowel syndrome; Lactobacillus plantarum 299v; Probiotics.