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Probiotic eases lactose intolerance symptoms

15 Dec 2020

Supplementation with the i3.1 probiotic is safe and beneficial to patients with lactose intolerance, markedly reducing symptoms despite a nonsignificant change in the lactose hydrogen breath test (LHBT) compared with placebo, as shown in a study.

Current evidence has yielded mixed results regarding the role of probiotics in preventing and improving lactose intolerance symptoms. To close this gap, a team of Mexico-based researchers randomized 48 patients to receive i3.1 probiotic (n=33) or placebo (n=15) for 8 weeks.

All patients had LHBT ≥20 parts per million (ppm) and a lactose intolerance symptom score of ≥6 upon lactose challenge. Demographic characteristics were similar in the treatment groups.

At week 8, the change from baseline in total symptom score after a lactose challenge was much greater in the probiotic group than in the placebo group (−5.11 vs −1.00; P<0.001). All subscores significantly improved in the probiotic group, except for vomiting. Specifically, subscores for abdominal pain (p=0.045) and flatulence (p=0.004) were more favourable with the probiotic vs placebo.

The area under the curve of the LHBT dropped substantially in the probiotic group (p=0.019), although the change was not significantly different than in the placebo group (p=0.621).

Adverse events were mild in severity, occurring similarly in the two treatment groups. None of the patients overall developed any serious adverse events.

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