A randomized controlled trial of a probiotic combination VSL# 3 and placebo in irritable bowel syndrome with bloating

H. J. Kim, M. I. Vazquez Roque, Michael Camilleri, D. Stephens, D. D. Burton, K. Baxter, G. Thomforde, A. R. Zinsmeister

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283 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the effects of a combination probiotic on symptoms and colonic transit in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and significant bloating. Methods: Forty-eight patients with Rome II IBS were randomized in a parallel group, double-blind design to placebo or VSL# 3 twice daily (31 patients received 4 weeks and 17 patients 8 weeks of treatment). Pre- and post-treatment colonic transit measurements were performed using scintigraphy with 111In charcoal. Symptoms were summarized as an average daily score for the entire period of treatment and separately for the first 4 weeks of treatment. Weekly satisfactory relief of abdominal bloating was assessed. Results: Treatment with VSL# 3 was associated with reduced flatulence over the entire treatment period (placebo 39.5 ± 2.6 vs VSL# 3 29.7 ± 2.6, P = 0.011); similarly, during the first 4 weeks of treatment, flatulence scores were reduced (placebo 40.1 ± 2.5 vs VSL# 3 30.8 ± 2.5, P = 0.014). Proportions of responders for satisfactory relief of bloating, stool-related symptoms, abdominal pain and bloating scores were not different. Colonic transit was retarded with VSL# 3 relative to placebo (colon geometric center 2.27 ± 0.20 vs 2.83 ± 0.19, P = 0.05 respectively). Conclusion: VSL# 3 reduces flatulence scores and retards colonic transit without altering bowel function in patients with IBS and bloating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

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Keywords

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Irritable bowel
  • Probiotic
  • VSL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology

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