3 Best Probiotic Treatment for IBS

Treatment for IBS with probiotics is a realistic choice with a large number of trials now having been done on various probiotic families and strains.

Far and away the 3 best probiotics have been Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis and Saccharomyces boulardii. But not just any member of these families. You must choose the right strain to ensure effective treatment for IBS (see lower on page for more detail).

The cells that line our intestinal tract (colon) play an active part in many of our immune responses1 so any problems can have far reaching effect.

It is known that probiotics can correct the intestinal microflora after too many of the wrong sort of bacteria set up home. It is not without cause that IBS often develops after treatment with antibiotics or an intestinal infection wipes out the normal flora.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include abdominal pain and bloating. There is also the discomfort and disruption of abnormal bowel habits - with all the distress and embarrassment THAT causes. With some people this is constipation whilst with others it is diarrhea.

Many suffers have to organize outings around toilet availability!

The symptoms can be a continual problem or a person may experience flare-ups. Many folk have trigger foods and IBS affects twice as many women as men.


Why use probiotics for IBS treatment?

Certain cell populations within the intestinal mucosa continuously monitor the gut flora. When they recognize pathogens they signal to other immune cells that either trigger an inflammation response or help to avoid inadequate stimulation.

Currently, medical thinking believes that;

  • IBS could be caused through inflammation of the intestinal tract (similar to IBD) and it is known that probiotics stimulate regulatory T cell response which decreases inflammation2

  • IBS could be caused through small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and it is known that probiotics produce chemicals that control bacterial overgrowth 3

When taking any probiotic treatment for IBS or any other intestinal or bowel problem you may well find that for a few days the symptoms actually seem worse.

This is because you are introducing more bacteria (but good ones this time) into the "trouble spot". Start cautiously until you know how your body is going to respond.

Within a week you should notice the beginnings of improvement.

SIBO happens when the bacteria that normally live in the large intestine move into the small intestine.

Some of the resident bacteria within the large intestine produce gas as they digest the fiber in our diet. Other residents absorb that gas. (As well, there is easy access for this gas to the outside world in the form of flatulence!)

But if those gas producing bacteria move into the SMALL intestine, then there are no gas absorbing bacteria in there so you experience bloating and distention.

Not only does this bloating cause pain but it is thought that the muscles and nerves of the intestines overreact to what should be normal stimuli causing more pain.

If this concept is correct (and many experts believe it to be so) then it is understandable that probiotics supplements containing the following three have had such good results as a treatment for IBS.

3 Best Probiotics for IBS

There are a lot of good reviews for Florastor - it is obviously helping a lot of people and cheaper than another top probiotic treatment for IBS VSL #3

Like to add your own comments about probiotic IBS treatment?

Fellow IBS sufferers have already written reviews on several probiotic IBS supplements - Flora Source, Align and Lp299v if you'd like to check out their experiences.


1. O'Mahony L, McCarthy J, Kelly P, Hurley G, Luo F, Chen K, O'Sullivan GC, Kiely B, Collins JK, Shanahan F, Quigley EM. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in irritable bowel syndrome: symptom responses and relationship to cytokine profiles. Gastroenterology. 2005 Mar;128(3):783-5. Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jul;2(7):304-5.

2. Caitlin O'Mahony, Paul Scully, David O'Mahony, Sharon Murphy, Frances O'Brien, Anne Lyons, Graham Sherlock, John MacSharry, Barry Kiely, Fergus Shanahan, and Liam O'Mahony. Commensal-Induced Regulatory T Cells Mediate Protection against Pathogen-Stimulated NF-?B Activation. PLoS Pathog. 2008 August; 4(8): e1000112. Published online 2008 August 1. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000112.

3. Huffnagle, Gary. The Probiotics Revolution. Bantam Books 2007.