The Effectiveness of L. Plantarum 299v in Relieving IBS Symptoms

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

One condition affecting the digestive tract that is very uncomfortable is the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People with IBS have pain or discomfort in their abdomen, and they often have either diarrhea or constipation. The main goal of treatment for IBS is to relieve abdominal pain. Treatment options include antispasmodics or anti-depressants at a low dose and anti-diarrheal or laxative drugs. However, many people with IBS find that these treatments do not help to relieve their pain. The cause of IBS is not known, but it may be due to changes in how the intestine works, how sensitive the gut is to pain, or how the brain interacts with the stomach.

The Health Advantage of Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are healthful to humans when ingested in the right amounts. Clinical evidence suggests that some probiotic strains can improve IBS symptoms. How they act on these symptoms is not yet completely understood, but they may bind to the walls of small and large intestines, produce substances with antibiotic properties, reduce the onslaught of disease-causing organisms, enhance gastrointestinal immunity, and convert undigested carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids, which act as nutrients for cells and regulates muscle contraction in the stomach. 

One such probiotic is the Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (L. plantarum 299v) (DSM 9843). It is a probiotic that can live in the human colon. It also makes the stool more acidic, which is good for the health. This probiotic can also be antibacterial and regulates the function of the immune system. 

The present randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial aimed to assess the effectiveness of L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) in relieving IBS symptoms in a bigger population than in previous studies. 

The Study Method on L. Plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) for IBS Symptom Relief

The study followed the Rome III criteria for IBS in clinical trials. 204 participants with IBS who completed the study were aged 18-70. They were told to maintain their diet and exercise routine throughout the four-week study.

The test product given to 105 patients was in capsule form containing the probiotic strain L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843). The placebo has only potato starch and magnesium stearate. 

The patients were visited weekly to assess their symptoms — frequency and severity of abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, and the feeling of incomplete rectal emptying. The daily number of stools was also recorded. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of the study to assess blood cell counts, glycemia, blood urea nitrogen, and liver function tests. Physical examinations and verification of any adverse events were performed at each visit.

After four weeks, the patients and practitioners rated the treatment. They used a scale of 1 to 4 from “poor” to “excellent”. 

The Results

Abdominal pain frequency was significantly lower in the probiotic group at weeks 3 and 4. Overall, reductions in stool frequency, bloating, and feeling of incomplete emptying were also significantly greater with the probiotic. After the second week of treatment, a significant reduction in the daily number of stools was observed with the test product.

The severity of abdominal pain decreased weekly in both groups, but the L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) group showed significantly lower scores at weeks 2, 3, and 4. The end scores reduced by 45.2% in the test group and only 23.3% in the placebo group. The decrease of the scores on the severity of abdominal bloating and feeling of incomplete emptying were also significantly higher in the test group at weeks 3 and 4.

78.1% of patients in the probiotic group rated the efficacy of the treatment they received as good or excellent versus 8.1% in the placebo group. This difference was significant. The investigators observed similar results ((82.8% versus 11.1%).

The Conclusion

Treatment of four weeks with L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) proved effective in relieving IBS symptoms, particularly abdominal pain and bloating.

Reference

Clinical Trial: Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) Improves Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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