Probiotics May Help to Preventing Ulcerative Colitis, But Not to Treat The Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
People who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis often seek for probiotics to treat their discomfort in the stomach. However, the role of probiotics in ulcerative colitis may possibly be misunderstood by most people.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the studies reported that probiotics generally improve the symptoms in the inflammatory bowel disease such as bloating and flatulence. However, the lack of studies on the use of probiotics in ulcerative colitis makes it difficult to draw a firm conclusion, whether probiotics really help the ulcerative colitis.
Another clinical trial in 2013 reported that inflammatory bowel disease patients who were given probiotics did not show a better condition than those who were given a placebo. This study showed there was no effect of probiotics in ulcerative colitis patients, which was conducted in 131 patients for 6 months.
Probiotics have been acknowledged as a superstar in disease prevention and treatment according to Chicago Tribune. People believe the ability of probiotics in ulcerative colitis treatment as well as the prevention of ailment, which was shown by the global market of probiotic that reaches more than $35 billion in market value in 2015. However, according to the Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lee Kaplan, the currently available probiotic products in the market may not be useful.
"It's unlikely that the probiotics that are currently available will do that," Dr. Kaplan said about the role of probiotics in ulcerative colitis treatment and prevention of other inflammatory bowel diseases. "We probably don't have the right ones yet."
For decades, scientists have examined the microbe in the human body and tried to distinguish the good and bad bacteria and their role in maintaining health. Scientists have also found that microbiome is able to affect mood, bowel function, obesity, and inflammation, but they are not able to determine the exact impact of probiotics in ulcerative colitis treatment. Watch the animation of probiotics below: