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A randomized clinical trial of Saccharomyces cerevisiae versus placebo in the irritable bowel syndrome.

  • 2015-02
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 47(2)
    • G. Pineton de Chambrun
    • C. Neut
    • A. Chau
    • M. Cazaubiel
    • Fanny Pélerin
    • Peter Justen
    • P. Desreumaux


Background: We aimed to evaluate clinical symptoms in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome receiving Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Methods: Overall, 179 adults with irritable bowel syndrome (Rome III criteria) were randomized to receive once daily 500 mg of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, delivered by one capsule (n = 86, F: 84%, age: 42.5 ± 12.5), or placebo (n = 93, F: 88%, age: 45.4 ± 14) for 8 weeks followed by a 3-week washout period. After a 2-week run-in period, cardinal symptoms (abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating/distension, bowel movement difficulty) and changes in stool frequency and consistency were recorded daily and assessed each week. A safety assessment was carried out throughout the study.

Results: The proportion of responders, defined by an improvement of abdominal pain/discomfort, was significantly higher (p = 0.04) in the treated group than the placebo group (63% vs 47%, OR = 1.88, 95%, CI: 0.99-3.57) in the last 4 weeks of treatment. A non-significant trend of improvement was observed with Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the other symptoms. Saccharomyces cerevisiae was well tolerated and did not affect stool frequency and consistency.

Conclusion: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well tolerated and reduces abdominal pain/discomfort scores without stool modification. Thus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae may be a new promising candidate for improving abdominal pain in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome.

Keywords: Abdominal pain; Irritable bowel syndrome; Probiotic; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Yeast.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Saccharomyces cerevisiaeImproved Tolerance to Saccharomyces cerevisiaeNeutral
Saccharomyces cerevisiaeReduced Abdominal Pain SeverityBeneficial
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