After my friend Kate told me about the ibs relief she got from the Tu Zen capsules her Canadian doctor recommended (see IBS natural remedies) I started looking into who else had products that contained the valuable Lactobacillus plantarum 299v.
And there is a swag of them out there!
In the United States, TuZen contains 10 billion live bacteria. It is fairly new to Amazon so not many reviews yet.
In France there is Bion Transit which is available in both sachet (10 billion per sachet) and capsule. I have heard of Bion Transit also being effective for constipation as well as ibs relief.
In the Czech Republic there are capsules of Lp299v named Zenflo. I don't know the strength.
In Greece, Lp299v comes in sachets called Zenbis (Smart Intermed) which contain 10 billion live bacteria per sachet.
In Canada, there are the Tu Zen capsules which gave my friend such ibs relief.
In the United Kingdom there is Quest Lp299v which is guaranteed to contain 1 billion bacteria at the end of its two year shelf life but contains up to 5 billion bacteria on the date of manufacture.
UK residents can buy it online from their local Amazon. Quest L Plantarum - 90 Capsules
In Australia there is IBS Support made by Ethical Nutrients that contain 20 billion units of the 299v strain.
In South Africa there is a product marketed as LP299v which contains 5 billion colony forming units. It is available through the large chain-store pharmacy called DisChem. Try Clicks Pharmacies too.
If you'd like to share your experiences with any probiotic IBS treatment so that others interested in controlling IBS can stayed informed on what is available, I'd love to hear from you. Just click on that link.
When buying Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, remember it is the 299v bit of the name that is so important.
Lp299v has built up an impressive record in trials as easing the stomach pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome. In one study 95% of people who took Lp299v in liquid suspension noticed an improvement in all IBS symptoms compared with 15% in the group that took a placebo.1
There has been one trial where it "did not appear to alter colonic fermentation or improve symptoms in patients with the irritable bowel syndrome."2 Which just goes to show that probiotics are not a cure-all for everyone.
But if the results that my friend Kate experienced are the usual then it is well worth seeking out a source of this mighty little probiotic in your part of the world.
If your doctor tells you how much to take follow his/her advise - otherwise the dosage used in trials varies but is usually around 10 billion colony forming units a day. (Also written as 109.)
If your local pharmacy, drug store or health store don't seem to stock Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, just Google brand names until you find one that sells on-line to your country and see if it gives you the ibs relief it has for some people.
1. Niedzielin K, Kordecki H, Birkenfeld B. A controlled, double-blind, randomized study on the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299V in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Oct;13(10):1143-7.
2. Sen S, Mullan MM, Parker TJ, Woolner JT, Tarry SA, Hunter JO. Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v on colonic fermentation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Nov;47(11):2615-20.