"Dead Probiotic" Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

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"Dead Probiotic" Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients
"Dead Probiotic" Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

Video: "Dead Probiotic" Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

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"Dead Probiotic" Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

The health of the gastrointestinal tract is largely dependent on the beneficial bacteria that are in it. Scientists have found that eating even dead probiotic bacteria can improve gut health.


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Certain probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are known to improve the health of people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They help relieve pain and other symptoms (flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and others).

In a new study, published in The Lancet Gasteroenterology & Hepatology, scientists have shown that even a “dead probiotic” can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It turned out to have beneficial qualities that set it apart from a regular, live, probiotic.

In the study, the scientists used the bacteria Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMBb75. The positive effect of their live form in irritable bowel syndrome has been well studied. For the new study, the scientists used bacteria of this strain that were killed by high temperatures.

Why does “dead probiotic” work? Scientists cannot give an exact answer. They suggest that the cells of the killed bacteria can interact with the wall of the gastrointestinal tract in the same way as live bacteria do. At the same time, killing probiotic bacteria may be a safer alternative, since common probiotics rarely trigger infections.

The study involved 443 patients with irritable bowel syndrome and lasted 12 weeks. People were divided into two groups: participants in the first received capsules with an inactivated probiotic, the second - a placebo.

In 74 (34%) patients receiving the probiotic, the period of abdominal pain was reduced by at least 30% during treatment. Their symptoms became significantly milder during about half of the study period. The probiotic was about 1.7 times more effective than placebo. The scientists noted that it worked slightly better for patients in this study than the live probiotic in other studies.

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