Probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Tasty Food as Medicine

Topics: Drug Food Safety, Vitamins and Supplements, Wellness and Health

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, many of which live in your GI tract already.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also known as spastic colon and a hypersensitivity intestinal disease, affects at least 22 million Americans, women more than men. IBS patients have twice the number of healthcare visits per year as age-matched controls.

IBS symptoms are abdominal bloating, stool urgency, cramping relieved with going to the bathroom, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. People are often anxious, sometimes depressed and always uncomfortable, and too often written off as hard-to-treat.

A new 6 month IBS research study of 103 patients showed reduction in symptoms in the probiotic group by 42% compared with 6% in the placebo group.

Probiotics make immune factors, and are considered safe for both healthy and immunosuppressed people. If you have IBS, probiotics every day may help keep the gas away. Look for capsules with at least 1 billion CFU, or even better yet, 8 ounces daily of lowfat strawberry yogurt.