Two recent trials with probiotics suggest that they may offer a way forward for sufferers from intractable bowel conditions.
In one trial the probiotic AB-Cap-10 (a mixture of LA-5 and BB-12 bacteria) was used with 29 Danish patients with collagenous colitis - a form of irritable bowel disorder which is characterised by chronic diarrhoea.
A significant improvement in bowel function was noticed over the long term with no serious side effects. (Wildt S, et al, Inflamm Bowel dis, Vol 12, No 5 May 06)
In the other trial a remission/response rate of 77% over six weeks was noted among 34 patients with active ulcerative colitis using the probiotic mixture VSL#3 - with, once again, no adverse effects.
(Bibiloni R, et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul: 100(7): 1539-46)