The intestinal microbiota and the role of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: A review | Microbiota intestinal e função dos probióticos na síndrome do intestino irritável: Uma revisão Review uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Probiotics


  • Irritable bowel syndrome is a common, chronic relapsing gastrointestinal disorder that affects 7%-22% of the population worldwide. According to Rome III Criteria, the disorder is defined by the coexistence of abdominal discomfort or pain associated with an alteration in bowel habits. Its pathophysiology is not completely understood but, in addition to some important abnormalities, the disturbed intestinal microbiota has also been described supported by several strands of evidence. The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is based upon several therapeutic approaches but few have been successful or without adverse events and more recently the gut microbiota and the use of probiotics have emerged as a factor to be considered. Probiotics are live micro-organisms which when consumed in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host, such as Lactic bacteria among others. An important scientific rationale has emerged for the use of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome, although the data regarding different species are still limited. Not all probiotics are beneficial: it is important to select the specific strain which should be supported by good evidence base. The mechanisms of action of probiotics are described and the main strains are quoted.

publication date

  • October 2015



  • Review



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1590/S0004-28032015000400015

PubMed ID

  • 26840477

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 331

end page

  • 8


  • 52


  • 4