Discipline: dairy & health; Key words: probiotics, functional dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal symptom, healthy adult.
People occasionally experience digestive discomfort such as abdominal pain, stomach heaviness and acidic regurgitation. These symptoms can occur in the presence or absence
of abnormalities such as gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. Those who have mild and temporary symptoms often prefer to get relief without having to receive medical treatment. Probiotics, which are living microorganisms that confer health benefits in the host, may be an option as some of them have beneficial effects on not only the gut but also the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 is a typical probiotic with benefits claim on upper GI symptoms such as H. pylori-associated gastritis and gastric symptoms of serious functional GI disorders. Dr A. Gomi and co-workers decided to test this claim using fermented milk as base substance. They published the results in the Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 101 of 2018, page 4830 to 4841. The title of their paper is:Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 fermented milk exerts beneficial effects on gastrointestinal discomfort and symptoms in healthy adults: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.
In a preliminary trial by their group, Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 (YIT10347) relieved gastric symptoms in patients with functional gastro-intestinal disorders. In the present study, the effects of YIT10347 on GI symptoms were studied in healthy adults. A total of 100 healthy individuals subsequently were randomly assigned to a YIT10347 or a placebo group. They received 100 mL of YIT10347-fermented milk or placebo fermented milk, respectively, every day for four weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms were evaluated by using the modified Frequency Scale for Symptoms of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (m-FSSG) and Gastro-intestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) as primary endpoints. Mental symptoms, quality of life, salivary stress markers and gastric emptying were evaluated as secondary endpoints. Efficacy and safety were also tested.
In the m-FSSG evaluation, the YIT10347 group had a significantly higher relief rate of post-drinking discomfort and greater changes in post-drinking gastric pain score from baseline than the placebo group. In the GSRS evaluation, the YIT10347 group had significantly higher relief rates of overall GI symptoms, upper gastro-intestinal symptoms, flatus, and diarrhoea than the placebo group. There were no significant differences in scores or relief rates of mental symptoms and quality of life, salivary stress markers, or gastric emptying between the two groups. No severe adverse events associated with test beverage consumption were observed in either group.
These findings suggest that daily consumption of milk fermented with B. bifidum YIT 10347 will help to relieve GI discomfort and symptoms such as post-drinking discomfort and gastric pain in healthy adults, with no risk of side effects. The approach is less burdensome and less expensive than medical treatment.