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A Prospective Study Evaluating the Role of Homemade Yogurt as a Treatment Option for Irritable Bowel Disease


Chandran, Manju Girish MBBS1; Varghese, Resmi MBBS1; Thoppil, Anoop Jose MBBS1; Joseph, Marina MBBS1; Augustine, Thomas MD1; Varghese, Roy MD2

American Journal of Gastroenterology: October 2017 - Volume 112 - Issue - p S238–S239

1ARH Hospital, Hyden, KY;

2University of Louisville, Hyden, KY

Introduction: Irritable bowel syndrom (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, with no definite diagnostic test or treatment. Dysregulation of the gut - brain axis has been accepted as an important mechanism of IBS. Alterations in the stability and composition of gut microbiome is seen in patients with IBS.Manipulation of microbiota have shown to improve the symptoms in IBS patients[1]. We have hypothesized that daily consumption of homemade yogurt containing lactobacilli can supplant the GI microflora, and can be used for treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Methods: We prospectively included consecutive patients diagnosed with IBS, who consented for participation from January 2014 to May 2017 at two centers in Eastern Kentucky. IBS was categorized based on patient's predominant bowel habit. Handouts for homemade yogurt preparation from milk were provided, and patients were advised to take 2-3 cups daily. Patients were followed up every 2 months for 6 months. Daily consumption of yogurt and symptom improvement were recorded on a self reported chart. Complete remission was defined as relief of pre existing IBS symptoms and 1-2 normal bowel movements per day.

Results: 189 patients with IBS were included in the study.All patients tolerated yogurt well. 5 patients discontinued therapy prior to 6 months(3 due to inconvenience; 2 due to unpleasant taste). Study population included predominantly females (63%) and the mean age of the cohort was 49yrs. 93% (169) of the cohort acheived complete remission with no side effects (Table 1). The average consumption was 2 cups per day in both groups. 46% of patients had previous coloscopy. Concomitant probiotics usage was 2.6% and not statistically significant in both cohorts. On logistic regression analysis, duration of yogurt consumption for at least 6 months was associated with complete remission (95% CI: 5.69 -6.51, P<0.00001) (Figure 1).

Conclusion: Contrary to the popular adage of avoiding milk based products in patients with IBS,our study is the first prospective study showing benefits of homemade yogurt for complete remission of IBS. Yogurt is a nutritious,preservative free, cost effective treatment option for IBS.





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1. Paul J Kennedy, Gerald Clarke. Irritable bowel syndrome: A gut microbiome-gut brain axis disorder, WJG; 2014 Oct21;20(39):14105-14125.
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