The 12-week study, announced last week at Digestive Disease Week in San Diego, California, showed improvements in a double blind, placebo controlled trial involving 186 patients with moderate to severe IBS.
“The Symprove trial is a real breakthrough for IBS sufferers, as we now have robust evidence of a treatment that can reduce the severity of a range of IBS symptoms,” said lead researcher, professor Ingvar Bjarnason, from King’s College.
The 18-65 year old patients were either given Symprove or a placebo with the Symprove group showing better scores for IBS Symptom Severity Score (SSS) and pain and bowel habit.
There are four Lactobacillus probiotic strains in Symprove - L. casei, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and E. faecium.It contains 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per 50ml serving.
King’s College is running a second trial with Symprove focused on Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
It is estimated IBS affects more than 10 million people in the UK, with women more than twice as likely to suffer from it than men. Typical symptoms incluide stomach cramps and pain, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.
Symprove developed out of work using germinated grain which was fed to livestock as an alternative to other feeds that typically contained artificial supplements and hormones.
Pickling the germinated grain with lactic acids extended its shelf life and it was then noted that a beneficial side effect was the growth of probiotic strains drawn from the Lactobacillus genus.
Animals on this diet also exhibited greater lean weight gain and less digestive problems.
Digestive Disease Week
Presented at congress
‘Assessment of the probiotic Symprove in patients with IBS: a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial to full clinical standards (Rome III)’
Authors: Ingvar Bjarnason et al