Oral administration of probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota relieves pain after single rib fracture: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2018;27(6):1252-1257. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.201811_27(6).0012.


Background and objectives: Probiotic treatment has proven to increase the density of bone mass, prevent against bone loss, and improve bone formation. We aimed to assess the effect of oral administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) on pain relief in patients with single rib fracture.

Methods and study design: A total of 283 eligible patients who had a single rib fracture were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive skimmed milk containing either a commercial probiotic LcS or placebo every day through oral administration for 1 month after the fracture. The pain relief effect was assessed during activities that elicited pain; meanwhile, sleep quality and sustained maximal inspiration (SMI) lung volumes were monitored.

Results: Patients in the LcS group had more effective pain relief than those in the placebo group during deep breathing, coughing and turning over the body. Between the two groups of patients, increase in SMI lung volume was larger in LcS group patients than that of patients in the placebo group. Sleep quality did not show significant improvements after 1 month LcS treatment.

Conclusions: In patients with a single rib fracture, oral administration of the probiotic LcS could exhibit alleviating effects on pain intensity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Animals
  • Cough / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus casei*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk
  • Movement
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Placebos
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Respiration
  • Rib Fractures / physiopathology*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos