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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Efficacy of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Review published: 2008.

Bibliographic details: Nikfar S, Rahimi R, Rahimi F, Derakhshani S, Abdollahi M.  Efficacy of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2008; 51(12): 1775-1780. [PubMed: 18465170]

Quality assessment

This review evaluated whether probiotics could improve clinical symptoms of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The authors concluded that probiotics may improve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms compared to placebo. The review appeared well conducted and the authors' conclusions are likely to be reliable. Full critical summary

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study was designed to evaluate whether probiotics improve symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for studies that investigated the efficacy of probiotics in the management of irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical improvement was the key outcome of interest. Data were searched within the time period of 1966 through September 2007.

RESULTS: Eight randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trials met our criteria and were included in the analysis. Pooling of eight trials for the outcome of clinical improvement yielded a significant relative risk of 1.22 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.07-1.4; P = 0.0042).

CONCLUSIONS: Probiotics may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and can be used as supplement to standard therapy.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2012 University of York.

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