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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Mar 1;29(5):508-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03911.x. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Clinical trial: the effects of a trans-galactooligosaccharide prebiotic on faecal microbiota and symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Academic Surgery, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK. David.Silk@nwlh.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gut microflora-mucosal interactions may be involved in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

AIM:

To investigate the efficacy of a novel prebiotic trans-galactooligosaccharide in changing the colonic microflora and improve the symptoms in IBS sufferers.

METHODS:

In all, 44 patients with Rome II positive IBS completed a 12-week single centre parallel crossover controlled clinical trial. Patients were randomized to receive either 3.5 g/d prebiotic, 7 g/d prebiotic or 7 g/d placebo. IBS symptoms were monitored weekly and scored according to a 7-point Likert scale. Changes in faecal microflora, stool frequency and form (Bristol stool scale) subjective global assessment (SGA), anxiety and depression and QOL scores were also monitored.

RESULTS:

The prebiotic significantly enhanced faecal bifidobacteria (3.5 g/d P < 0.005; 7 g/d P < 0.001). Placebo was without effect on the clinical parameters monitored, while the prebiotic at 3.5 g/d significantly changed stool consistency (P < 0.05), improved flatulence (P < 0.05) bloating (P < 0.05), composite score of symptoms (P < 0.05) and SGA (P < 0.05). The prebiotic at 7 g/d significantly improved SGA (P < 0.05) and anxiety scores (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

The galactooligosaccharide acted as a prebiotic in specifically stimulating gut bifidobacteria in IBS patients and is effective in alleviating symptoms. These findings suggest that the prebiotic has potential as a therapeutic agent in IBS.

Comment in

PMID:
19053980
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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