Healthy, plant-based diets, rich in fermentable residues, may induce gas-related symptoms. The aim of this exploratory study was to assess the effects of a fermented milk product, containing probiotics, on the tolerance of a healthy diet in patients with disorders of gut-brain interactions (DGBI), complaining of excessive flatulence. In an open design, a 3-day healthy, mostly plant-based diet was administered to patients with DGBI (52 included, 43 completed) before and at the end of 28 days of consumption of a fermented milk product (FMP) containing Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CNCM I-2494 and lactic acid bacteria. As compared to a habitual diet, the flatulogenic diet increased the perception of digestive symptoms (flatulence score 7.1 ± 1.6 vs. 5.8 ± 1.9; p < 0.05) and the daily number of anal gas evacuations (22.4 ± 12.5 vs. 16.5 ± 10.2; p < 0.0001). FMP consumption reduced the flatulence sensation score (by -1.6 ± 2.2; p < 0.05) and the daily number of anal gas evacuations (by -5.3 ± 8.2; p < 0.0001). FMP consumption did not significantly alter the overall gut microbiota composition, but some changes in the microbiota correlated with the observed clinical improvement. The consumption of a product containing B. lactis CNCM I-2494 improved the tolerance of a healthy diet in patients with DGBI, and this effect may be mediated, in part, by the metabolic activity of the microbiota.
Keywords: B. lactis DN-173010; digestive symptoms; disorders of gut–brain interactions; fermentable carbohydrates; flatulence; microbiota; probiotics.