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Good Digestion - Probiotics eased irritable bowel syndrome

More regularity, less pain

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience chronic large-intestine abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, excess gas, and diarrhea or constipation. In this study, 330 adults with IBS, aged 18 to 70, took a placebo, lactobacillus acidophilus, or bifidobacterium animalis lactis, with each probiotic dose at 10 billion colony-forming units per day.

After six weeks, overall IBS symptom scores improved for both probiotics groups compared to placebo, with those taking probiotics reporting significantly less pain and more normal stool consistency. Also, more participants taking probiotics had a clinically significant response: 52.3 percent for lactobacillus and 28.2 percent for bifidobacterium, compared to 15.6 percent for placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said the high responder rates in the IBS study suggest probiotics may provide relief from occasional episodes of abdominal pain and irregularity in the healthy, general population, since the main difference between healthy people and those with IBS is the frequency and severity of symptoms.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 2, 363

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