Bifidobacterium infantis M-63 improves mental health in victims with irritable bowel syndrome developed after a major flood disaster

Ma, ZF; Yusof, N; Hamid, N; Lawenko, RM; Mohammad, WMZW; Liong, MT; Sugahara, H; Odamaki, T; Xiao, J; Lee, YY

Lee, YY (reprint author), Univ Sains Malaysia, Sch Med Sci, Kota Baharu 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia.

BENEFICIAL MICROBES, 2019; 10 (2): 111

Abstract

Individuals in a community who developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after major floods have significant mental health impairment. We aimed to determine if Bifidobacterium infantis M-63 was effective in improving symptoms, psychology and quality of life measures in flood-affected individuals with IBS and if the improvement was mediated by gut microbiota changes. Design was non-randomised, open-label, controlled before-and-after. Of 53 participants, 20 with IBS were given B. infantis M-63 (1x10(9) cfu/sachet/day) for three months and 33 were controls. IBS symptom severity scale, hospital anxiety and depression scale, SF-36 Questionnaire, hydrogen breath testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and stools for 16S rRNA metagenomic analysis were performed before and after intervention. 11 of 20 who were given probiotics (M-63) and 20 of 33 controls completed study as per-protocol. Mental well-being was improved with M-63 vs controls for full analysis (P=0.03) and per-protocol (P=0.01) populations. Within-group differences were observed for anxiety and bodily pain (both P=0.04) in the M-63 per-protocol population. Lower ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes was observed with M-63 vs controls (P=0.01) and the lower ratio was correlated with higher post-intervention mental score (P=0.04). B. infantis M-63 is probably effective in improving mental health of victims who developed IBS after floods and this is maybe due to restoration of microbial balance and the gut-brain axis. However, our conclusion must be interpreted within the context of limited sample size.

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