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Are probiotics an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

ANSWER

There is also some evidence that probiotics, "healthy" bacteria normally found in the gut, help some people with IBS. A study of one type, Bifidobacterium infantis, found that it greatly improved IBS symptoms and day-to-day life after people took it for 4 weeks. Research on another type, lactobacillus, has had more mixed reviews.

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 09, 2016

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 09, 2016

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