Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a very common condition among the population and can cause unpleasant or even debilitating symptoms, including depression. Probiotics can be a valid remedy for treating irritable bowel syndrome. However, this syndrome is varied and probiotics are not all the same, just as people vary by age and gender. The research we are talking about today has managed to establish the most effective mix of probiotics to treat the different conditions with which irritable bowel syndrome can occur (Ceccherini et al, Nutrients, 2022).
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome presents with an altered gastrointestinal motility, an alteration of the gut microbiota and the gut brain axis. In fact, intestinal health also affects the health of our brain and IBS can pave the way for depression and impaired emotional reactions. Irritable bowel syndrome can occur in various forms. In fact, it can cause diarrhea in some people, constipation in others, a mixed situation in still others, along with abdominal pain and cramps. Previous studies had already shown that probiotics can be a valid remedy for treating irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are live bacteria that reach the intestine and repopulate the intestinal microbiota, thus improving its health and functionality. Examples of probiotics are bacteria of the Bifidobacterium and Lctobacillus strains. However, probiotics are different, as are the symptoms with which IBS can be observed, as we have been able to see. Not only that, it can also be expected that the gender and age of the patient may play a role since the microbiota of a young adult is certainly different from that of an older person. At present, no study had investigated the effects of particular types of probiotics in the different forms with which irritable bowel syndrome can occur. This instead is what the scholars of the research we are talking about today have done.
The probiotics that can help, the study
Taking into consideration the data of the studies carried out from 2011 to 2021, the scientists evaluated, compared and applied decision-making techniques to understand if different probiotics could be more effective in the various forms with which irritable bowel syndrome can occur. Well, it turns out that the Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus mix is the most effective against all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including abdominal pain and bloating. This mixture is particularly useful in case of IBS with diarrhea or mixed, especially in young women. Instead, the Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis is most useful in case of IBS with constipation for all adults, males and females, and of all ages. The mixture which includes in equal parts all three strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis has been shown to be the least effective overall, while it has been shown to help only with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea in adult males.
Probiotics can be a valid remedy in case of irritable bowel syndrome, improving the quality of life and reducing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. However, the composition of the probiotic blend, to perform an optimal treatment, should vary according to the type of symptoms, gender and age of the person.