December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG Reduces Abdominal Pain in Children With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Reference: Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011;33(12):1302

An estimated 4% to 25% of school-age children complain of recurrent abdominal pain, the majority of which have no identifiable organic cause. These functional gastrointestinal disorders comprise a constellation of conditions, which include functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal migraine, and functional abdominal pain. Because the pathoetiology of these conditions remains unknown, management is challenging, and affected children and their parents often try many different treatments, sometimes to no avail.

The absence of effective therapies has led researchers to investigate the benefits of probiotics for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Probiotics consist of live microorganisms administered orally to treat a variety of conditions. Studies focusing on the effectiveness of probiotics to treat IBS in adults have produced equivocal results A Cochrane review, furthermore, found no clear evidence in support of the effectiveness of lactobacillus for recurrent abdominal pain in children (two trials with 168 children, odds ratio for improvement of symptoms was 1.17 [95% CI 0.62?2.21]).

In an effort to update these findings with subsequently published trials, the authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of three randomized trials comparing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) versus placebo in 309 children with functional gastrointestinal disorder-associated abdominal pain. The authors chose LGG specifically because of its demonstrated efficacy in children with other gastrointestinal disorders (ie, acute and antibiotic-associated diarrhea). LGG dosing was 1 × 109 colony-forming units (CFUs) twice daily for six weeks in one trial and 3 × 109 CFU twice daily for four weeks in one trial and for eight weeks in another trial. In a planned subgroup analysis of children with IBS, LGG was associated with no or diminished pain intensity in three trials with 167 patients (risk ratio 1.7; 95% CI 1.27-2.27, NNT 3-8), as well as reduced pain frequency and severity (P < .003) in two trials with 117 children. The greater dose of LGG (3 × 109 CFU) was associated with significant improvement in treatment response in the two high-quality IBS trials, whereas the lower dose LGG was not in the low-quality IBS trial. LGG did not appear to benefit children diagnosed with dyspepsia or functional abdominal pain.

The results of this review suggest that LGG may be helpful for abdominal pain associated with IBS, if not from other functional gastrointestinal disorders, in children. To their credit, the authors restricted their systematic review to a single probiotic microorganism, recognizing their strain-specific effects. Although these results are far from definitive and the mechanism underlying the usefulness of LGG (and other probiotics) in functional illness remains obscure, the favorable safety record of probiotics makes it a reasonable option to raise with parents whose children suffer from recalcitrant IBS.



Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


Earth Medicine TM

Web: www.EarthMedicine.com

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EarthMedicineHealth


Helping you achieve optimal wellness, hormonal balance and disease prevention with personalised, professional naturopathic health care, clinical pathology testing and high-quality herbal medicines and supplements 

Sar Rooney is a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner specialising in Anxiety and Depression |Women’s Health| Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Genetic Polymorphisms (MTHFR/Pyroluria) | Nutritional Medicine | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention 

Want to keep up to date on the latest in health and wellbeing? Join Sar on Facebook by clicking this link: http://www.facebook.com/EarthMedicineHealth and “Like” our page to receive updates

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.

Comments are closed.