Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS can affect and one’s work, sleep and relationships.

Most treatments for IBS consist of medications that are often ineffective and can have numerous side effects.

According to a study published last month in Nutrients, researchers investigated the efficacy of probiotics in patient with IBS. The efficacy of probiotic supplementation in treating irritable bowel syndrome has been supported by an increasing number of clinical studies.

Although the role of gut dysbiosis in IBS pathogenesis and probiotics are demonstrated, specific strains and a personalized medicine approach is still lacking.

This systemic review set out to identify the most effective formulation and to discriminate which probiotics are most efficient in treating different symptoms in IBS. This review investigated 104 clinical studies from 2011 to 2021 revealing a prevalence of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis. In addition, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) demonstrated that formulations based on Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus had the highest efficacy, especially on quality of life, bloating, and abdominal pain. The clinical studies classified based upon improvement in quality of life and decreases in all IBS symptoms are based on a patient cohort of 82% women with a mean age of 36 years and suffering from IBS-M and IBS-D subtypes.

This review shows that probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis subps. lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus are helpful in treating chronic and debilitating inflammatory diseases such as IBS. This is the first review to apply MCDA analysis of nutraceuticals for clinical applications with objective comparison of the beneficial effects of probiotic formulations in improving IBS symptoms was possible.

The gastrointestinal tract is the body’s ‘second brain,’ it is made up of a self-contained, complex network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and proteins embedded in the lining of the GI system. It is responsible for all aspects of the digestive process, from the esophagus to the stomach and small and large intestines and may be responsible for IBS symptoms.

There are other nutrients that can support patient with IBS. For example. Perilla frutescens is an herb native to Eastern Asia that demonstrates antispasmodic, prokinetic, and anti-inflammatory effects, which help normalize and promote health bowel function and provide relief from GI symptoms.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Ceccherini C, Daniotti S, et al. Evaluating the Efficacy of Probiotics in IBS Treatment Using a Systematic Review of Clinical Trials and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. Nutrients. 2022 Jun 28;14(13):2689.


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