Background: Probiotics confer health benefits to the host. However, its clinical effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is controversial. AIMS: This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of Saccharomyces boulardii on quality of life (QOL) and symptoms in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS. Methods: Sixty-seven patients with IBS were randomized either to receive S. boulardii at 2×10 live cells as a daily dose (n=34), or placebo (n=33) for 4 weeks. IBS-QOL was assessed at the beginning and end of the treatment phase. IBS-related symptoms, bowel movement frequency, and stool consistency were recorded on a daily basis and assessed each week. Results: The overall improvement in IBS-QOL was higher in S. boulardii group than placebo (15.4% vs 7.0%; P<0.05). All eight domains of IBS-QOL were significantly improved in S. boulardii group; however, placebo group only showed improvements in dysphoria and health worry. Composite scores for IBS symptoms were significantly reduced in both groups to a similar extent. Bowel frequency and stool consistency did not change in either group. Conclusions: S. boulardii improved IBS-QOL better than placebo but was not superior for individual symptoms in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS.
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