Clinical trials of probiotics in patients with IBS - some points to consider

J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2022 Feb 22. doi: 10.5056/jnm22012.Online ahead of print.

Eamonn Quigley 1


Author information

1Lynda K and David M Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders, Houston Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College Houston, Texas, USA.


Probiotic products in various formulations are widely used world-wide for a seemingly limitless range of indications--from health maintenance to the alleviation of common intestinal ailments and on to the prevention and treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. The profusion of probiotic preparations, together with a very different regulatory climate compared to that which surrounds drugs and devices, leaves the consumer and the health care professional alike bewildered. How can they tell which products truly are what they claim to be? Which probiotics should be chosen for a particular clinical situation? These questions are thrown into stark relief when one evaluates the literature on probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome. To provide some guidance the current probiotic landscape is reviewed and some achievable steps to help bring light to a murky environment are proposed. The goal is to promote verifiable quality control and generate actionable evidence from well-conducted clinical trials of probiotic products in irritable bowel syndrome.

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