June 5, 2010 (Newswire.com) - French researchers have shown that daily supplementation with Lactobaccillus plantarum 299v, a probiotic supplement, can ease symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain commonly called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Researchers from Institute Rosell, Rouen University Hospital, in France reported the results of their randomized, placebo-controlled study at the Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans May 1-5, 2010.
The study followed 214 people with IBS. All participants in the study fulfilled the Rome III criteria for diagnosis of IBS. The Rome III criteria include recurring digestive pain and significant changes in bowel habits for six months or more. Symptoms must be experienced for three days or more for three months or more, and two of the following three conditions must apply: 1) bowel movement relieves the pain; 2) stool frequency is correlated to pain onset; and 3) stool appearance changes with pain onset.
The study participants were randomly assigned to take a placebo or a capsule containing a supplement made by Institut Rosell-Lallemand of L. plantarum 299v. The daily dosage was 10 billion colony forming units, or CFUs, and the trial took place over a period of four weeks.
The research team, led by Professor Philippe Ducrotte, was designed to follow up findings that microbiota could be implicated in the pathology of IBS. Researchers explained, "The symptomatic efficacy of probiotics is strain-dependant. This study was purposely made to assess the symptomatic capability of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v if administered to a huge number of IBS patients."
When the study concluded, researchers reported a significant drop in the symptoms of IBS in the participants who were randomly assigned the probiotic supplement. Bloating and abdominal pain were the symptoms that improved most in these participants when compared with their own baseline values and results for participants in the placebo group.
Researchers concluded that "a four-week treatment with L. plantarum 299v has been shown to be effective for the relief of symptoms," particularly bloating and abdominal pain in patients who fulfilled the Rome III criteria for the diagnosis of IBS.
In the US, there are believed to be from 15 to 30 million people with IBS, though many people with milder symptoms do not seek the help of a physician. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a long-term malady that is more common in women than men. It involves abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Though it is not life threatening, there is no treatment for IBS, though doctors advise symptomatic treatment and management of symptoms.