The ESPCG has today released updated guidelines that advise that specific strains of probiotics can help to alleviate the symptoms of lower gastrointestinal disorders. The new publication, an update to the original 2013 paper, was published today (20 February 2018) in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is part of the ESPCG’s ongoing commitment to providing clear advice and support to colleagues in the field of primary care gastroenterology. The report has been made freely available under an open access license to maximize availability to clinicians across the world (please see link below):
Practical guidelines based on the latest evidence
Following a comprehensive systematic review of the latest literature, a panel of eight ESPCG experts from the UK and throughout Europe reviewed evidence from 70 studies examining 54 different probiotic products (containing single or combinations of 108 strains). The modified consensus process was chaired by Professor Pali Hungin (OBE DL MD FRCP FRCGP FRSA) of the Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Professor Hungin explains:
“Our expert consensus panel made three general recommendations for practising clinicians. We recommend that specific probiotics have a role in the management of some irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and can also be used as an adjunct to conventional treatment. We also recommend that probiotic strains should be selected based on the patient’s symptoms, the clinical indication and the available evidence; no probiotic alleviates the full range of symptoms in IBS. Finally, we recommend that, when trying a probiotic therapy for a chronic gastrointestinal problem, the product should be taken for one month; dose selection should be based on available evidence and manufacturers’ recommendations.”
The updated guidelines are once again aimed at clinicians and emphasize the potential role of probiotics in the management of lower gastrointestinal symptoms. Supplementary Table S1 http://espcg.eu/systematic-review-probiotics-in-the-management-of-lower-gastrointestinal-symptoms-an-updated-evidence-based-international-consensus/ provides details of the availability of all strains of probiotics identified in the updated and original reviews, allowing for quick and easy identification of available strains by clinicians for treatment in the clinical setting (in Europe, the USA and China).