Journal: European Journal of Nutrition
Diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder. Probiotics and synbiotics have been shown to improve symptoms of IBS, although mechanisms of action are currently not understood.
We investigated the effects of a 4-week oral synbiotic treatment (OMNi-BiOTiC® Stress Repair) in ten IBS-D patients on gastrointestinal mucosal and fecal microbiota, mucosa-associated immune cells, and fecal short-chain fatty acids. The upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts were compared before and after a 4-week synbiotic treatment using endoscopic evaluation to collect mucosal specimens for FACS analysis and mucosal 16S rRNA gene analysis. In stool samples, analysis for fecal SCFAs using GC–MS, fecal zonulin using ELISA, and fecal 16S rRNA gene analysis was performed.
Synbiotics led to an increased microbial diversity in gastric (p = 0.008) and duodenal (p = 0.025) mucosal specimens. FACS analysis of mucosal immune cells showed a treatment-induced reduction of CD4+T cells (60 vs. 55%, p = 0.042) in the ascending colon. Short-chain fatty acids (acetate 101 vs. 202 μmol/g; p = 0.007) and butyrate (27 vs. 40 μmol/g; p = 0.037) were elevated in fecal samples after treatment. Furthermore, treatment was accompanied by a reduction of fecal zonulin concentration (67 vs. 36 ng/ml; p = 0.035) and disease severity measured by IBS-SSS (237 vs. 54; p = 0.002).
Our findings indicate that a short-course oral synbiotic may influence the human gastrointestinal tract in IBS-D patients on different levels which are region specific.