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Probiotics May Bring Relief to IBS Sufferers

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an uncomfortable condition affecting between 15 and 30 million Americans that manifests itself through abdominal discomfort and diarrhea or constipation. IBS currently has no cure, but a recent study suggests that taking a probiotic supplement may relieve symptoms by up to 30.5%.

Participants in the study included 49 individuals with IBS. Over the course of four weeks, half of the group consumed a probiotic supplement containing the probiotics Bifidobacterium longum, B. bifidum, B. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and Streptococcus thermophiles while the other half took a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, the 68% of the supplement group had improvements in IBS symptoms (including less abdominal pain or discomfort and less bloating), while only 37.5% of the placebo group could say the same.

Researchers from Hanyang University School of Medicine in South Korea conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 5, 2013, in Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.

Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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