Skip to content
Information for healthcare professionals

Search Research

Contact Us

Barrett et al (2008) Probiotic effects on intestinal fermentation patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Barrett et al (2008) Probiotic effects on intestinal fermentation patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Citation

Barrett JS, Canale KEK, Gearry RB, Irving PM, Gibson, PR (2008) Probiotic effects on intestinal fermentation patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology 14(32): 5020-5024

Objective

To investigate the effect of a probiotic (L. casei Shirota) on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Methods

In an uncontrolled, proof-of-concept study, trial subjects (n=18) fulfilled the Rome II criteria for IBS and were positive for ERBHAL (early rise in breath hydrogen after lactulose). Intervention was one bottle of Yakult (65ml; L. casei Shirota) a day for six weeks prior to breakfast, after which the ERBHAL test was repeated. A daily symptom diary was kept, which included subjective assessment of abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, stool consistency, passage of wind, tiredness and nausea.

Results

ERHBAL was reversed in nine of the 14 patients who completed the study (64%). Assessment of all the subjects showed that the probiotic intervention increased the median time to breath hydrogen rising following lactulose ingestion from 45 min to 75 min (P = 0.03, Wilcoxon matched pairs test).

Following the probiotic intervention, wind was the only symptom that was reported as significantly improved (P = 0.04). However, subjects who had at least moderate symptoms at baseline and who had reversal of ERBHAL at the end of intervention, showed greater improvement in the overall symptom scores compared to those who still showed ERBHAL after intervention. 

Conclusions

Fermentation in the small intestine was altered by consumption of the L. casei Shirota fermented milk drink (Yakult), suggesting a reduction in SIBO. Overall gut symptoms tended to improve when ERHBAL was normalised, indicating the need for further research.

 
Back to top