Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): How well do you understand?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): How well do you understand?

Mar 26, 2016


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is defined as a group of bowel disorder in which abdominal pain or discomfort is  associated with defecation or a change in bowel habit. The symptoms of IBS are very common such as pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, urge to defecate and incomplete bowel emptying. You may have suffered from IBS if you have recurrent symptoms mentioned for at least 3 days a month in the past 3 months1.

In year 2003, 1 out of 6 Malaysians is suffering from IBS2 with a female predominance3. Till date, the exact cause of IBS is unknown. Several factors such as food intolerance, gastrointestinal infections, stress and medicine might put one at greater risk toward developing IBS. 

IBS can be managed through lifestyle changes, dietary changes, medication and psychological treatments. Exercise regularly and reduce stress level may help to ease IBS symptoms. Try to eat small and frequent meals and avoid foods that contain fructose, lactose, sorbitol and fructan. Current medical treatments are only targeting symptoms by identifying and avoiding the individual triggers. For example, laxatives are used to treat constipation and antidiarrheal medicines are used to treat diarrhea. There are no other way to improve all the IBS symptoms.

Lactobacillus plantarum 299v is a clinically proven probiotic strain for effective relief of IBS. It has been used in Swedish research for 20 years with 60 published scientific papers and 30 clinical studies. Numerous studies have shown efficacy of Lp299v in IBS patients by reducing 44% of flatulence4, reducing 100% of abdominal pain and normalizing frequency of bowel movement in 60% of patients5. Also, 95% of the IBS patients reported overall improvement in their IBS symptoms after 4 weeks administration of Lp299v5.

Lactobacillus plantarum 299v has unique yet superior properties, leading to its significant positive effect on gastrointestinal health. Lp299v is one of the few probiotic strains that has unique binding for a mannose specific receptor6. This unique intestinal binding prevents attachment of pathogenic bacteria to the intestinal wall, thus allowing Lp299v to communicate with the host, which then strengthens the intestine and gut immunity7. Also, it is able to stimulate the growth of good bacteria8, produce short chain fatty acids to nourish the gut and modulate immune response9. All of these explain the contribution of this probiotic strain to a balance gut microflora, and maintain healthy gut function, especially relieving IBS problem. IBS can significantly impair the quality of life of IBS patients. Instead of relying on medicine, they can now improve all the IBS symptoms through a single yet powerful strain of probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 299v!

  1. World Gastroenterology Organisation Global Guideline, Irritable bowel syndrome: a global perspective. April 20, 2009.
  2. Tan, Y-M., Goh, K.L., Muhidayah. R. et al. 2003. Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in young adult Malaysians: A survey among medical students. Journal of Gastroenterology and hepatology 18: 1412-1416.
  3. Spiller, R., Aziz, Q., Creed, F. et al. 2007. Guidelines on the irriatable bowel syndrome: mechanism and practical management. Gut 56: 1770-1778.
  4. Nobaek, S., Johansson, M-L., Molin, G., Ahrne, S. and Jeppsson, B. 2000. Alteration of intestinal microflora is associated with reduction in abdominal bloating and pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 95(5): 1231-1238.
  5. Niedzielin, K., Kordecki, H. and Birkenfeld, B. 2001. A controlled, double-blind, randomized study on the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 13(10): 1143-1147.
  6. Mack, D.R., Michail, S., Wei, S., McDougall, L. and Hollingsworth, M.A. 1999. Probiotic inhibit enteropathogenic E coli adherence in vitro by inducing intestinal mucin gene expression. The American Physiological Society 276: G941-G9505.
  7. Mack. D.R., Ahrne, S., Hyde, L., Wei, S., and Hollingsworth, M.A. 2003. Extracellular MUC3 mucin secretion follows adherence of lactobacillus strains to intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Gut 52(6): 827-833.
  8. Karisson, C., Ahrne, S., Molin, G., Berggren, A., Palmquist, I., Fredrikson, G.N. and Jeppson, B. 2010. Probiotic therapy to men with incipient arteriosclerosis initiates increased bacterial diversity in colon: a randomized controlled trial. Atherosclerosis 208(1): 203-233.
  9. Johansson, M-L., Nobaek, S., Berggren, A., Nyman, M., Bjorck, I., Ahrne, S., Jeppsson, B., and Molin, G. 1998. Survival of lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 (299v) and effect on the short-chain fatty acid content of faeces after ingestion of a rose-hip drink with fermented oats. International journal of Food Microbiology 42: 29-38.