Probiotics are live organisms (bacteria and yeast) that have beneficial effect on health. They are found in many food sources, such as yogurt, kefir, many cheeses, miso, sauer kraut and other fermented vegetables. They are also available in many different forms of over-the counter supplements.
Probiotics are also part of the healthy intestinal flora. Studies, related to inflammatory bowel disease, have discovered that people with IBD often have a disrupted gut flora. This is where the probiotics come into play – the theory is that probiotics may help shift the gut flora from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory.
3 Ways in Which Probiotics Help With IBD:
- Probiotics help to calm down the inflammation in the gut by suppressing pro-inflammatory substances
- Probiotics produce chemicals that enhance and stabilize the gut barrier function
- Probiotics fight pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria by producing antimicrobial substances and preventing pathogens from adhering to the intestinal lining
Various studies have been made that attempted to change the gut flora with the help of probiotics. They show promising results for people with IBD.
Probiotics seem to be most helpful for patients with ulcerative colitis and pouchitis that developed after an ileo-pouch procedure.
Clinical Trials Of Probiotics and IBD Have Shown:
- Lower relapsed rate and longer remission periods
- Reduced severity of the symptoms
- Decreased inflammatory activity in the intestinal lining
- Normalized gut barrier function