Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation (CC) are common problems worldwide and are associated with significant impact on activities of daily living and quality of life. Recent interest, in IBS in particular, has focused on the potential roles of the microbiota and its interaction with the host's immune system. Recently, high-quality clinical trials have been performed on prebiotics and probiotics in IBS or CC. Although strategies that seek to modify the microbiota, such as the use of probiotics, offer much promise in IBS and CC, more high-quality trials and, studies of longer duration are required.
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