Probiotics for functional colopathy: the role of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome - Microbiota Care
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Introduction

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, disturbed bowel movements and a general feeling of malaise. Although the exact causes of IBS are not fully understood, intestinal dysbiosis has been identified as a key factor in the development and progression of the condition.

Pathophysiology of IBS

The pathophysiology of IBS is complex and multifactorial. Recent studies have highlighted a link between intestinal dysbiosis - an imbalance in the normal bacterial flora present in the intestine - and the symptoms observed in IBS patients. This imbalance can lead to chronic inflammation, damage to the intestinal barrier and visceral hypersensitivity, all of which contribute to the clinical manifestations of IBS.

The mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of IBS include the following:

  • Impaired intestinal motility: disruption of the peristaltic movements responsible for transit.
  • Visceral hypersensitivity: abnormal increase in sensitivity to internal stimuli, particularly from the digestive tract.
  • Previous gastrointestinal infections: certain infections can trigger or aggravate the development of IBS.
  • Stress and psychological factors: these can play a role in the onset and aggravation of IBS symptoms.
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The role of probiotics in the treatment of IBS

Probiotics are live micro-organisms that are beneficial to digestive health and can help restore the balance of disturbed intestinal flora in IBS patients. By promoting the growth of good bacteria and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, probiotics can help reduce inflammation, strengthen the intestinal barrier and improve the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with IBS.

Eligibility and efficacy criteria for probiotics

According to Véronique Vitton, a specialist in gastroenterology, certain criteria should be taken into account when choosing a probiotic to treat IBS. It is advisable to favour specific strains that have demonstrated their effectiveness in this indication, such as Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 or Lactobacillus plantarum 299V. What's more, it's important that probiotics are administered at a sufficient dose to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect.

Main eligibility criteria :

  • Specific strain: choose a strain with a proven track record in the treatment of IBS.
  • Sufficient dose: the quantity of probiotics must be adapted to ensure a therapeutic effect.
  • Quality and stability: the product must contain live bacteria in constant numbers throughout its shelf life.
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Effective probiotic strains in France

In France, several probiotic strains have been studied for their efficacy in treating IBS. In addition to Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 and Lactobacillus plantarum 299V mentioned above, other strains such as Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG have also shown significant benefits in patients suffering from functional colopathy.

Probiotic strain Benefits observed
Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 Reduces abdominal pain and improves intestinal transit.
Lactobacillus plantarum 299V Reduced bloating and improved overall quality of life.
Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Regulates intestinal transit and reduces abdominal pain.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Improvement
general symptoms and reduced abdominal pain.

Practical use of probiotics

IBS patients taking probiotics are advised to follow the instructions for use given by their doctor or pharmacist to the letter. The optimal duration of treatment varies according to each individual, but it is generally advisable to continue for at least 4 to 6 weeks in order to observe a significant effect on digestive symptoms. Potential drug interactions should also be taken into account before initiating treatment with probiotics.

Tips for optimum use:

  • Follow the dosage recommendations prescribed by your healthcare professional.
  • Continue treatment for a sufficiently long period (at least 4 to 6 weeks).
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines at the same time.
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Glossary

  • Intestinal dysbiosis : Quantitative or qualitative imbalance between different microbial species present in the intestine.
  • Bacterial flora : All the micro-organisms (bacteria) that naturally colonise our digestive tract.
  • Chronic inflammation : Prolonged immune response that can cause various pathological disorders.
  • Visceral hypersensitivity : Increased sensitivity to internal stimuli, particularly from the digestive tract.
  • Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 : Specific strain known for its beneficial effects on digestive health.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum 299V : Another probiotic strain widely studied for its positive impact on the intestinal microbiota.

In conclusion, recent research highlights the crucial importance of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome because of their ability to restore the disturbed intestinal balance in these patients. Thanks to a judicious selection of appropriate strains and strict adherence to dosage recommendations, it is possible to significantly improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from functional colopathy.

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