Small Pediatric Study: Probiotic Helping Some with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In a recent study (O Jadresin et al. JPGN 2017; 64: 925-9), 55 children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome were randomized (prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study) to either L reuteri DSM or placebo.

Key findings:

  • The intervention group had more days without pain: median 89.5 days vs. 51 days (P=.029)
  • Abdominal pain was less severe in the intervention group at some time points (second month, and fourth month)
  • The two groups did not differ with regard to duration of abdominal pain, stool type, or absence from school

Limitation: Small number of patients -the estimated samples size was not reached

My take: This study suggests that probiotics may help some pediatric patients with irritable bowel syndrome.  Trying to identify which patients should receive a probiotic and which probiotic should be selected remains unclear.

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