Efficacy of Probiotics in Patients With Functional Dyspepsia

Heather Mason

August 12, 2021

A study published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology shows that patients with refractory functional dyspepsia treated with spore-forming probiotics had a higher decrease in the postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) score than with placebo.

The analysis included 68 patients with functional dyspepsia and a baseline PDS score of one or greater, meaning they had at least mild symptoms. The participants were randomly assigned to receive eight weeks of treatment with probiotics (n=32) or placebo (n=36) twice per day, followed by an open-label extension phase of 8 weeks. The primary endpoint was a decrease of at least 0.7 in the PDS score.

The results show that the proportion of clinical responders was higher with probiotics (48%) than with placebo (20%). These beneficial effects were also maintained with probiotics during the open-label extension phase. The number of patients with adverse events was similar in both groups.

Despite the absence of major shifts in relative or quantitative faecal microbiota community composition, the proportional increase in Faecalibacterium was also associated with probiotic efficacy, the authors say.

The changes in immune activation were more pronounced in patients with functional dyspepsia on proton-pump inhibitors, suggesting additional beneficial effects of probiotics as an add-on therapy.


Wauters L, Slaets H, De Paepe K, Ceulemans M, Wetzels S, Geboers K, et al. Efficacy and safety of spore-forming probiotics in the treatment of functional dyspepsia: a pilot randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2021:S2468125321002260. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00226-0

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: