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Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 466–477 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Probiotic Interventions for Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)

  • Matthew Corbitt
  • N. Campagnolo
  • D. Staines
  • S. Marshall-Gradisnik
Article

Abstract

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and irritable bowel (IB) symptoms have been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of these symptoms in CFS/ME, along with any evidence for probiotics as treatment. Pubmed, Scopus, Medline (EBSCOHost) and EMBASE databases were searched to source relevant studies for CFS/ME. The review included any studies examining GI symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or probiotic use. Studies were required to report criteria for CFS/ME and study design, intervention and outcome measures. Quality assessment was also completed to summarise the level of evidence available. A total of 3381 publications were returned using our search terms. Twenty-five studies were included in the review. Randomised control trials were the predominant study type (n = 24). Most of the studies identified examined the effect of probiotic supplementation on the improvement of IB symptoms in IBS patients, or IB symptoms in CFS/ME patients, as well as some other significant secondary outcomes (e.g. quality of life, other gastrointestinal symptoms, psychological symptoms). The level of evidence identified for the use of probiotics in IBS was excellent in quality; however, the evidence available for the use of probiotic interventions in CFS/ME was poor and limited. There is currently insufficient evidence for the use of probiotics in CFS/ME patients, despite probiotic interventions being useful in IBS. The studies pertaining to probiotic interventions in CFS/ME patients were limited and of poor quality overall. Standardisation of protocols and methodology in these studies is required.

Keywords

Chronic fatigue syndrome Myalgic encephalomyelitis Gastrointestinal symptoms Irritable bowel symptoms Probiotics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Gratitude is extended to Dr. Samantha Johnston for assistance with this manuscript.

Author Contributions

MC designed the study, search strategy, performed the searches and screenings, analysis, primary quality assessment, and wrote the draft and final manuscript. NC completed the secondary quality assessment and provided consultation on the writing of the manuscript. DS critically reviewed the drafts and provided input for the final manuscript. SMG supervised the study, critically reviewed the drafts and provided input for the final manuscript. MC, DS and SMG all critically reviewed the final version of the manuscript and approved it for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The lead author confirms that this manuscript is an accurate, honest and transparent account of the study undertaken and being reported, with no aspects being omitted and any discrepancies explained. The reporting of this work is compliant with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

12602_2018_9397_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 24 kb)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, Menzies Health InstituteGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medical ScienceGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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