Probiotic Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome

59 children (aged 4-18 years; mean, 12.5 years) with IBS were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, (a probiotic) VSL#3 or placebo for 6 weeks.
After a 2-week washout period, each child received the alternate treatment for an additional 6 weeks.

Ages 4 through 11 were given 1 sachet of VSL#3 per day and ages 12 through 18 were given 1 sachet twice a day.

Compared with placebo, active treatment resulted in a significant improvement in symptoms, as measured by the global assessment of relief (p < 0.05).

In addition, active treatment was significantly more effective than placebo for 3 of 4 secondary endpoints: abdominal discomfort/pain, abdominal gassiness/bloating, and family assessment of life disruption. Active treatment was nonsignificantly more effective than placebo for improving stool pattern.

7 July 2011