Irritable Bowel SyndromePainPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Probiotics and early studies of abdominal pain control

Animal studies are usually too early in the drug development process to be of interest to this blog, but here’s an interesting study in the news.

After giving rats Lactobacillus the number of mu-type opioid receptors and cannabinoid receptors in the intestine increased. It also had an effect on the analgesic functions in the gut that were similar to the effects of morphine.

These results suggest that the microbiology of the intestinal tract influences the perception of pain. Someday we might be able to use this information to treat stomach pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

For now, remember that these are rats, and they didn’t have IBS.

The researchers concluded that studies are needed to confirm the current findings and clarify the underlying mechanisms.

12/19/06 20:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.