The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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  • Recent Comments

    A review of probiotics to treat IBS

    Recently, the use of tegaserod (Zelnorm) and alosetron (Lotronex) to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was restricted because of adverse events.

    Here’s what we know about probiotics for the relief of symptoms of IBS.

    First, the details.

    • The researchers searched for information on Bifido-bacterium and Lactobacillus.

    And, the results.

    • Overall, probiotics led to positive outcomes in the treatment of IBS.
    • 7 of 11 studies reported improved overall symptom relief.
    • 5 of 8 groups reported benefit in abdominal pain or distention.
    • 4 of 5 groups reported improvement in flatulence or intestinal transit time with probiotics.
    • The probiotics were safe, but quality of life was not evaluated in any studies.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Probiotics may be an option for relieving symptoms of IBS.” However, more studies will be needed to define their most appropriate role.

    Furthermore, “Probiotics are complementary alternative supplements and are not subject to rigorous standardization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, an individual may obtain a product that is ineffective.” In fact, there is evidence from one study that one dosage form failed to dissolve.

    “To circumvent this issue,” the authors state, “it is important for patients to use the specific probiotic formulation shown to be effective.”

    7/8/08 21:50 JR

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