Probiotics can help relieve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome

Doctors don’t know what causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but emerging evidence suggests a healthy microbiome—good bacteria in the gut—may help prevent the condition.

In this study, 30 men and women with IBS took a placebo or a comprehensive probiotic combination plus the prebiotics fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, and slippery elm bark. After eight weeks, while there were no changes for placebo, those taking the probiotic and prebiotic combination reported significantly less abdominal pain and bloating, more frequently well-formed stool, and less fatigue.

Discussing the findings, doctors said there was a trend toward greater improvement in symptoms as the dose of the probiotic combination increased.

In summary, this study indicates that high-dose probiotic and prebiotic combinations containing lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and fructooligosaccharides are effective and safe for the treatment of abdominal discomfort, abdominal bloating, formed stool frequency, and fatigue symptoms in IBS.

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