Ishaque SM, Khosruzzaman SM, Ahmed DS, Sah MP. A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of a multi-strain probiotic formulation (Bio-Kult®) in the management of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. BMC Gastroenterol 2018;18(1):71.
Probiotic supplements containing 14 strains of “gut-friendly” bacteria have been shown to not only dramatically improve abdominal pain in IBS patients ̶ but reduce anxiety too.
In the largest-ever double-blind randomised controlled trial (the gold standard for medical research) of probiotic supplements in IBS-diarrhoea type patients ever-conducted, dramatic improvements in symptoms have been reported.
- In the study of 360 patients who had IBS with diarrhoea as their predominant symptom (IBS-D); those patients who took the probiotic supplement Bio-Kult® reported a 69 per cent decrease in abdominal pain, compared to 47 per cent in a group who took a placebo.
- The four-month study conducted by the University of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, Bangladesh also found the number of patients who rated their symptoms as moderate to severe at the beginning of the study was reduced by 86 per cent in the Bio-Kult® group, compared to only 52 per cent in those who took a placebo.
- A total of 33.7 per cent in the Bio-Kult® group said all their symptoms had disappeared at the end of the 16 weeks compared to just 12.8 per cent in the placebo group.
Significantly though, as well as relieving IBS-D symptoms, Bio-Kult® was also shown to markedly improve all aspects of Quality of Life (QoL) evaluated using as 34 point IBS-QoL questionnaire. These included psychological issues such as anxiety about health, depression, lack of enjoyment of life, and feelings of having to avoid stressful situations.
Leading experts say the findings are a significant breakthrough in understanding the role bacteria play in not only physical gut symptoms, but also psychological symptoms of IBS too.
Dr Philip Burnet, Associate Professor at Oxford University, a leading UK expert on the gut microbiome/ brain axis, says that although several symptoms within the IBS-QoL survey in the study were significantly improved after taking probiotic supplements ̶ the reduction in dysphoria (unease or generalized dissatisfaction), and health worries were particularly noteworthy.
‘The influence of gut bacteria on the brain is a topical area of research in neuroscience and the microbiome-gut-brain-axis is considered a potential therapeutic pathway for brain disorders,’ says Dr Burnet.’ Using probiotics that influence brain function, or the so called “psychobiotics”, may in the future help alleviate conditions such as depression and anxiety.
‘Indeed, there is a strong link between depression and IBS, and some researchers have suggested that mood disorders themselves may arise from dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance within the body such as within the gut).’
Dr Burnet says another recent study by the University of Cork[i] has demonstrated that a single-strain probiotic, B.Longum, reduced depression scores in 22 IBS patients.
‘Importantly, the Bio-Kult® formulation not only contains B.Longum but also several other probiotic strains that have been reported to have psychotropic effects in both mouse models of anxiety and depressed mood, and in preliminary human studies,’ says Dr Burnet.
‘Therefore, the current trial not only demonstrated the therapeutic effects of Bio-Kult® in IBS, but has also alluded to its possible anxiety-lowering effects by reducing the incidence of health worries, social reactions and body image issues in participants. ‘
Professor Glenn Gibson, professor of food microbiology at the University of Reading said few effective therapies for IBS exist and it was extremely encouraging to see the positive results of the Bio-Kult® study.
‘The mechanism of action is likely to be positive influences of the probiotic on gut microbiology – known to be both positive and negative for health. This user-friendly and safe approach offers new hope for millions of IBS patients worldwide,’ he says.
Study leader Professor Shamsuddin Ishaque said: ‘Over a period of 16 weeks Bio-Kult® produced statistically significant improvements in all key symptoms of IBD- D compare to placebo; including the severity and frequency of abdominal pain. The magnitude of these changes with Bio-Kult® were also very impressive’.
“IBS is a significant problem that decreases quality of life and places an enormous economic burden on healthcare systems globally. In the UK alone as many as 8 million of us suffer with this chronic condition. A safe and convenient IBS treatment that is capable of reducing pain by nearly 70%, not to mention completely resolving symptoms in more than a third of patients, demonstrates a profound benefit and holds great promise for this major medical concern”. Says Dr Ashton Harper, Head of Medical Affairs, Protexin Healthcare.
The full paper, published in BMC Gastroenterology, can be accessed here: https://rdcu.be/PgyZ
- Bio-Kult® contains 14 strains of probiotics including: Bacillus subtilis PXN 21, Bifidobacterium (B. bifidum PXN 23, B. breve PXN 25, B. infantis PXN 27,B. longum PXN 30), Lactobacillus spp.(L. acidophilus PXN 35, L. delbrueckii spp. Bulgaricus PXN39, L. casei PXN 37, L. plantarum PXN 47, L. rhamnosus PXN 54 , L.helveticus PXN 45,L. salivarius PXN 57) Lactococcuslactis PXN 63, Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66].
- Bio-Kult® retails from £9.25 and is available from Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tesco as well as independent pharmacies, health food stores and online at Amazon.com and Bio-Kult.com
- For more information on Bio-Kult® please contact Hayley Milne on 01460 243230 or email [email protected]
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- IBS is a medical term used by doctors to describe a collection of gut symptoms which include diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, pain in the rectum, abdominal cramps and spasms often relieved by passing a stool and urgency to pass stools.
- IBS is estimated to affect up to 17 per cent of the UK population – around 11 million people.[ii] It’s much more common in women affecting an estimated 23 per cent of the UK population, compared to 11 per cent of men. The age group most commonly affected is the 20 to 30 age group.[iii]
- IBS accounts for an estimated 1.87 million health care consultations every 6 months in the UK. It is estimated to make up between 20 to 50 per cent of visits to GPs for gastrointestinal complaints.[iv] Gastroenterologists spend about 25 per cent of their outpatient appointments treating IBS.[v]
- Probiotic supplements contain strains of gut bacteria that live normally in the gut. The balance of these bacteria may be upset by infections, courses of antibiotics and stress. Supplements may help restore the balance in cases of infectious diarrhoea and IBS.
- There’s an emerging body of scientific evidence that suggests gut bacteria or may play a role in mood and anxiety and so-called “psychobiotics ” may in the future can be used to reduce stress and anxiety and influence mood.[vi]
- Protexin® the UK manufacturers of Bio-Kult, provided probiotic samples free of charge to the researchers in the Bangladesh study.
[ii] Kharibhai et al 2013
[iii] Nice 2017
[iv] Wilson et al 2004
[v] Peyton et al 2014
Hayley Milne –Brand Manager
Tel: 01460 243 230
Email: [email protected]