Background Dysbiosis of gut microbiota is postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome. A safe and affordable strategy to maintain gut microbiome homeostasis is by introducing cultured milk drink. This study aimed to investigate the effects of lactobacillus-containing cultured milk drink on clinical symptoms and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines in subjects with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C) as compared to controls.
Methods Subjects fulfilling Rome III criteria for IBS-C were recruited. Each subject had to drink three bottles of 12=cultured milk drink daily for 30 days, each containing 109 cfu of live bacteria consists of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus paracasei with 4.06 g/10=of fructose, 4.14 g/10=glucose, 0.29 g/10=sucrose,<0.1 g/10=maltose and 1.35 g/10=lactose. Intestinal transit time (ITT), clinical symptoms (Garrigues questionnaire), stool pH and serum IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α were assessed at pre and post 30 day consumption.
Results About 77 IBS-C with 88 controls (mean age: 29.71±8.79 and 29.27±7.64 years old respectively) were recruited. At 30 days of post-consumption, majority (97.4%) of IBS-C had improvement in constipation-related symptoms, and faecal pH was significantly reduced from 6.13±0.57 to 5.94±0.37 (p<0.05). ITT showed significant improvement in IBS-C group (45.82±28.89 to 30.64±20.07 hours) as well as in control group (15.73±9.28 to 10.82±5.34 hours) (p<0.05). Interestingly, there was also a significant difference in ITT between these groups (p<0.05). In IBS-C, the levels of TNF- α and IL-6 were significantly lower in post as compared to pre-consumption IBS-C group (p<0.05). While for IL-8, the level was significantly reduced post-consumption in IBS-C and controls (p<0.05).
Conclusions Daily consumption of cultured milk drinks for 30 days is beneficial to improve constipation-related symptoms, reduces faecal pH, ITT and pro-inflammatory cytokines among IBS-C patients. Consideration should be made to include cultured milk drink as an option in the treatment of IBS-C.
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