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Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 324–333 | Cite as

Probiotics for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Ganesh R. Veerappan
  • John Betteridge
  • Patrick E. YoungEmail author
Gastrointestinal Infections (W Coyle, Section Editor)

Abstract

Probiotics are organisms which provide a desired and beneficial effect on human health. With recent evidence implicating a disruption in the balance of the gastrointestinal microbiome and intestinal immunity as a potential trigger for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), there has been growing interest in using probiotics as an adjunct to standard anti-inflammatory and immune suppressing therapy. Animal models describe potential and plausible mechanisms of action for probiotics to counter inflammation of colonic mucosa. Although there are insufficient data to recommend probiotics in ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, good evidence supports the use of specific probiotics for maintenance of remission in pouchitis. Although there are limited regulatory standards for the agents, probiotics are relatively safe with minimal reported side effects or contraindications. More rigorous studies need to be published supporting efficacy and safety of these agents before they become a mainstay of IBD medical treatment.

Keywords

Inflammatory bowel disease Probiotics Pouchitis Ulcerative colitis Crohn’s disease Efficacy Review VSL#3 Sacchromyces boullardi Pathophysiology Flora Commensal Microbiome Therapy Treatment Evidence Trials Bacteria Mechanism of action Bifidobacterium Lactobacillus Alternative therapy Recommendations Dysbiosis Studies 

Notes

Disclosure

No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

The opinions are solely those of the authors and do not represent an endorsement by the Department of Defense. This is a U.S. Government work. There are no restrictions on its use

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ganesh R. Veerappan
    • 1
  • John Betteridge
    • 1
  • Patrick E. Young
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Gastroenterology Service, Department of MedicineWalter Reed National Military Medical CenterBethesdaUSA

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