NewsWise reports the results of 3 studies presented during the American College of Gastroenterology’s 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando.

Highlights of the reports on probiotics used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) follow.

Probiotic review

  • 19 studies in 1628 IBS patients were reviewed.
  • Probiotics are effective in IBS.
  • But it’s not clear whether 1 probiotic or combinations of probiotics are required.

Effect of a multi-strain probiotic on the frequency of diarrhea

  • 84 IBS patients with diarrhea were studied for 28 days.
  • Bowel habits in IBS patients normalized compared to those who received the placebo — a significant difference.

Children with IBS

  • 59 pediatric patients received either a probiotic agent (VSL#3®) or placebo for 6 weeks, and then the other treatment for 6 weeks more.
  • Results were based on responses to a questionnaire.
  • The probiotic was safe and significantly more effective than placebo in alleviating IBS symptoms (abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, stool dysfunction) in children and teenagers.

10/6/08 14:59 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.