Probiotics confer health benefits to the host. However, its clinical effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is controversial.
This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of Saccharomyces boulardii on quality of life (QOL) and symptoms in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS.
Sixty-seven patients with IBS were randomized either to receive S. boulardii at 2×1011 live cells as a daily dose (n=34), or placebo (n=33) for 4 weeks. IBS-QOL was assessed at the beginning and end of the treatment phase. IBS-related symptoms, bowel movement frequency, and stool consistency were recorded on a daily basis and assessed each week.
The overall improvement in IBS-QOL was higher in S. boulardii group than placebo (15.4% vs 7.0%; P<0.05). All eight domains of IBS-QOL were significantly improved in S. boulardii group; however, placebo group only showed improvements in dysphoria and health worry. Composite scores for IBS symptoms were significantly reduced in both groups to a similar extent. Bowel frequency and stool consistency did not change in either group.
S. boulardii improved IBS-QOL better than placebo but was not superior for individual symptoms in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS.