Probiotics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Ganesh R. Veerappan, John Betteridge, Patrick E. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Probiotics are organisms which provide a desired and beneficial effect on human health. With recent evidence implicating a disruption in the balance of the gastrointestinal microbiome and intestinal immunity as a potential trigger for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), there has been growing interest in using probiotics as an adjunct to standard antiinflammatory and immune suppressing therapy. Animal models describe potential and plausible mechanisms of action for probiotics to counter inflammation of colonic mucosa. Although there are insufficient data to recommend probiotics in ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, good evidence supports the use of specific probiotics for maintenance of remission in pouchitis. Although there are limited regulatory standards for the agents, probiotics are relatively safe with minimal reported side effects or contraindications. More rigorous studies need to be published supporting efficacy and safety of these agents before they become a mainstay of IBD medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Gastroenterology Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Commensal
  • Crohn's disease
  • Efficacy
  • Evidence
  • Flora
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Microbiome
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pouchitis
  • Probiotics
  • Review
  • Sacchromyces boullardi
  • Therapy
  • Treatment
  • Trials
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • VSL#3


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