A call for quality studies on probiotics for IBS

Currently, there is no scientific consensus on the efficacy of probiotics to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Authors of this paper attempted a meta-analysis of 56 studies on single-strain and multi-strain probiotics for the treatment of IBS, but trials were so heterogeneous when it came to probiotic concentration, duration of treatment, and methodology, that the meta-analysis was abandoned. Instead, they undertook a systematic review and found some evidence for the efficacy of single-strain probiotics (mostly bifidobacteria) in treating IBS.

The group summarized methodological issues that need to be addressed in future studies on probiotics, calling for more studies that follow strict trial guidelines (i.e. Food and Drug Administration & European Medicines Agency guidelines for clinical trials). Mazurak N, et al. (2015) Probiotic Therapy of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Why Is the Evidence Still Poor and What Can Be Done About It? J Neurogastroenterol Motil DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5056/jnm15071

Paul Enck
Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.