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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 May 7;18(17):2067-75. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i17.2067.

Efficacy and safety profile of LCR35 complete freeze-dried culture in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized, double-blind study.

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Médecine Digestive, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire-CHU Estaing, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont Université, Inserm UMR 766, 63001 F-Clermont-Ferrand, France.



To assess the effects and safety of Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus LCR35 complete freeze-dried culture (LCR35) in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


A randomized, double-blind pilot study was performed in 50 patients complaining of IBS symptoms complying with Rome III criteria. Patients were allocated to receive either LCR35 (n = 25) at a minimum daily dose of 6 × 10(8) colony forming units or placebo (n = 25) for 4 wk. At inclusion, after treatment and 2 wk later, patients completed the IBS severity scale. Change from baseline in the IBS severity score at the end of treatment was the primary efficacy criterion. Changes were compared between groups in the whole population and in IBS subtypes (IBS with predominance of constipation, IBS with predominance of diarrhoea, mixed IBS, unsubtyped IBS). The presence of lactobacillus casei rhamnosus in stools was investigated at inclusion and at the end of treatment. The gastrointestinal quality of life questionnaire and the hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) scale were also completed.


Both groups were balanced for baseline characteristics. In 85% of patients, stool analyses showed that lactobacillus casei rhamnosus able to survive in the digestive tract. In the whole population, improvements in the IBS severity score did not differ significantly between treatments with a 25% decrease after 4-wk treatment, and a 15% decrease from baseline 2 wk later in both groups. In IBS subgroups, statistical analysis could not be performed due to small sample size, but a clinical response in favour of LCR35 was observed in IBS patients with predominance of diarrhoea: no change in the symptom severity score was seen with the placebo after 4 wk treatment, whereas a clinically relevant decrease occurred with LCR35 (-37% vs -3%). Furthermore, in spite of an increase in symptom intensity, the IBS severity score was maintained below the baseline value 2 wk later with LCR35 (-19% from baseline), whilst a slight 5% increase from baseline was observed with placebo. In the IBS subgroup with predominance of diarrhoea only, a clinically relevant decrease in abdominal pain severity score (-36%) was observed with LCR35, whereas no change occurred with placebo. In mixed IBS patients, the 20% and 30% decreases in the IBS severity score observed after treatment with LCR35 and placebo, respectively, were maintained 2 wk later in both groups. A clinical response slightly in favour of placebo was observed at the end of the treatment period in IBS patients with predominance of constipation (-41% vs -20%) and unsubtyped IBS patients (-47% vs -17%), with the same value maintained 2 wk later. In both groups, no clinically relevant changes were observed either for the gastrointestinal quality of life index or HAD score. Thus, these results suggest that sub-grouping of IBS patients may be important for optimizing treatment responses by the physician.


This pilot study suggests that LCR35 could have some efficacy in IBS patients complaining of diarrhoea. These preliminary results need to be confirmed in larger studies.


Irritable bowel syndrome; Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus; Probiotics; Symptom severity score

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