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Carmen, there own studies showed it can be effective.
This was not a controlled study.FYIAbstracts CHANGES IN SYMPTOMS, DISTENTION-STIMULATED COLONIC MOTILITY AND IN FECAL MICROBIOLOGICAL FEATURES AFTER ORAL BACTERIOTHERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH DIARRHEA-PREDOMINANT IBS (D-IBS) OR WITH FUNCTIONAL DIARRHEA (FD)Gabriele Bazzocchi, M.D., Pier F. Almerigi, M.D., Paolo Gionchetti, M.D. and Massimo Campieri M.D.Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.Purpose: Evidences supporting changes in intestinal microflora as basis for altered gut function in IBS are strongly emerging. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of a preparation containing 300 billion per gram of 8 viable different probiotic bacterial strains (VSL#3, Gaithersburg � USA) on clinical picture and mechanical distention-induced colonic motility in adults with well documented functional origin of diarrhea.Methods: Fourty nine pts with D-IBS and 19 with FD according to Rome II Diagnostic Criteria were evaluated: number and type of stools according to Bristol Stool Form Scale, abdominal pain, bloating/distention and urgency sensations on a 0-10 non-graduated Visual Analogic Scale (VAS) were measured on a weekly basis. In 15 pts, Motility Index (MI), High Amplitude Propagating Contractions (HAPC) and Painful Threshold (PT) were manometrically measured in the left colon after distentions of the splenic flessure wall by a latex ballon inflations. In 10 of these pts, fecal samples for microbiological analysis and PCR detection on the VSL#3 strains B. infantis and B. breve were taken. Clinical, manometric and microbiological assessment were carried out before and after 20 days of treatment with VSL#3, 3g/daily.Results: A decrease in evacuation frequency and in VAS score for symptoms occurred in both the groups after treatment. Watery and mushy stool decreased from 91% and 92% to 34% and 42% of weekly defecations in D-IBS and FD respectively (p<.001. Wilcoxon signed-rank test). Before treatment colonic distention induced an increase in MI and in HAPC frequency, while no significant changes occurred after VSL#3, as well as an increased balloon air volume eliciting PT. � �D-galactosidase activity and concentrations of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria increased significantly after treatment in fecal samples: PCR signals showed that that this increase was related to VSL#3 bifidobacteria specific strains presence.Conclusions: This was an open, non-controlled trial, but it is the first observation showing clinical improvement related to changes in the composition of fecal bacterial flora, in fecal biochemistry and in colonic motility induced by probiotic administration in pts with well defined functional diarrhea.Am. J. Gastroenterol 2002; 97 9:A847
 

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I find it interesting that eric's study shows that beta-D-galactosidase activity increased. I think that means it helps to digest fiber. I have tried it and found it useful for reducing flatulence and odor. I found that I developed a damp hay like odor so I discontinued it.Here is a double blind placebo controlled trialThe American Journal of Gastroenterology Volume 97, Issue 9, Supplement 1 , September 2002, Page S273 doi:10.1016/S0002-9270(02)05313-3 Cite or link using doi Copyright � 2002 Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology. Published by Elsevier Science Inc. Abstract Effect of a probiotic, VSL#3, in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial H. Jae Kim M.D., Michael Camilleri M.D., F.A.C.G.*, Sanna McKinzie M.S., Duane Burton, George Thomforde and Alan R. Zinsmeister Ph.D. Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational & Epidemiological Research (C.E.N.T.E.R) Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA Available online 17 October 2002. Purpose: Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that the probiotics are efficacious in treating various diarrheal illnesses. The influence of probiotic on gastrointestinal transit in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unclear. We investigated the effect of VSL#3 on the gastrointestinal transit and symptoms of patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.Methods: Patients fulfilling the Rome II criteria with diarrhea-predominant symptoms and without a history of organic gastrointestinal disease were recruited. Twenty-five patients were randomly assigned to VSL#3 powder or matching placebo twice daily for 8 weeks after a 2 week baseline period to assess symptoms. The VSL#3 group received 450 billion lyophilized bacteria per day. Pre- and post-treatment gastrointestinal transit measurements were performed in all patients. Patients recorded their bowel function and symptoms daily for the entire study. The primary endpoint of the study was colonic geometric center at 24 hours, and secondary endpoints were; gastric emptying at 2 and 4 hours, colonic filling at 6 hours, colonic geometric center at 48 hours, proportion of responders, and individual symptoms and bowel functions.Results: There were no significant differences of the mean gastrointestinal transit measurements between the two groups, pre- and post-therapy. Overall, individual IBS symptoms and satisfactory relief of IBS were not different between VSL#3 and placebo group; however, abdominal bloating was significantly reduced in the VSL#3 group (post vs pre, P = 0.04) and not in the placebo group (post vs pre, P = 0.78). The scores for flatulence, abdominal pain, and urgency were not significantly reduced in patients treated with VSL#3. All patients tolerated the VSL#3 well. One patient, who was later shown to be randomized to placebo, withdrew from the study due to a severe abdominal pain.Conclusions: VSL#3 appears promising in the relief of abdominal bloating in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS. This effect is unrelated to alteration in gastrointestinal or colon transit.
 
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