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Are probiotics used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Evidence does exist that probiotics help IBS sufferers. Probiotics are bacteria that naturally live in the gut. Some people believe that several intestinal disorders may arise when there isn't enough good bacteria in the gut.

One study found that probiotic treatment significantly improved IBS symptoms and quality of life. In the study, researchers primarily used the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria infantis. People with IBS reported fewer symptoms and, in general, a higher quality of life after taking the probiotics for four weeks.

Just as significant, the probiotic therapy did not appear to cause side effects.

SOURCE: Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." About.com: "Herbs and Supplements for IBS." University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter Web site. Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

SOURCE: Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." About.com: "Herbs and Supplements for IBS." University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter Web site. Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

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