Probiotics in Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy: Systematic review and network meta-analysis

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep;41(4):466-475. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2017.04.004. Epub 2017 May 25.


Background: Several probiotics were effective in the eradication treatment for Helicobacter pylori (Hp), but their comparative efficacy was unknown.

Aim: To compare the efficacy of different probiotics when supplemented in Hp eradication therapy.

Methods: A comprehensive search was conducted to identify all relevant studies in multiple databases and previous meta-analyses. Bayesian network meta-analysis was performed to combine direct and indirect evidence and estimate the relative effects.

Results: One hundred and forty studies (44 English and 96 Chinese) were identified with a total of 20,215 patients, and more than 10 probiotic strategies were supplemented in Hp eradication therapy. The rates of eradication and adverse events were 84.1 and 14.4% in probiotic group, while 70.5 and 30.1% in the control group. In general, supplementary probiotics were effective in improving the efficacy of Hp eradication and decreasing the incidence of adverse events, despite of few ineffective subtypes. In triple eradication therapy, there was no significant difference among the effective probiotics, and combined probiotics did not show a better efficacy and tolerance than single use. In triple therapy of 7 days and 14 days, Lactobacillus acidopilus was a slightly better choice, while Saccharomyces boulardii was more applicable for 10-day triple therapy.

Conclusions: Compared to placebo, most probiotic strategies were effective when supplemented in Hp eradication therapy. In triple eradication therapy, no probiotic showed a superior efficacy to the others. Compared to single use, combined probiotics could not improve the efficacy or tolerance significantly.

Keywords: Eradication therapy; Helicobacter pylori; Network meta-analysis; Probiotic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Helicobacter Infections / therapy*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*