Colonoscopies are an incredibly common medical procedure these days, and millions are carried out in Europe and the USA each year. Studies have found that in the days following a colonoscopy, 1 in 5 patients experience abdominal discomfort. This is thought to be related to the intensive preparation of laxatives that are carried out prior to the procedure that may disrupt the gut microbiota.

A new study, published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery, prepared a study model to investigate whether probiotic supplementation prior to a colonoscopy could reduce abdominal pain in the days after a colonoscopy.

Researchers split 320 study participants that were due to receive a colonoscopy into two groups. The first group received a probiotic supplement and the other received a placebo. Participants were asked to record their symptoms in the days following their procedure. The probiotic group received Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, both found in For every day EXTRA Strength.

Results showed that the probiotic group experienced an average of 1.99 days of pain days post procedure, compared to 2.78 days in the placebo group. No statistical difference was recorded between the groups in relation to bloating or bowel movements. However, in a subgroup of participants with pre-existing abdominal pain, those in the probiotic group experienced reduced pain days from 4.08 to 2.16.

The study shows that there is potential for probiotics to be given as a therapeutic following up for post-colonoscopy patients.

Check out some further interesting reads on our blog:

New review questions FODMAP diets for IBS
OptiBac Probiotics 'For women' wins natural health award
Saccharomyces boulardii granted IBS health claim in Canada

Reference: D'Souza, B. et al. Randomized controlled trial of probiotics after colonoscopy. ANZ Journal of Surgery. Findings presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Singapore 2014.

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