The probiotic (or "good" bacteria) Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Bifantis) has proven effective in the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women. The randomized, double-blind, doseranging study of 362 women with IBS received either a Bifantis capsule or placebo once a day for 4 weeks. The patients, who ranged in age from 18 to 65 years, recorded any abdominal pain, bloating, incomplete evacuation, straining at stool, flatulence, and bowel habit satisfaction. They also assessed any relief of IBS symptoms. After 4 weeks, Bifantis had proved "significantly superior to placebo" for the relief of abdominal pain, bloating, incomplete evacuation, straining, and flatulence. No significant adverse events were recorded. The study appeared in the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.