Live liquid bacteria reduces intestinal inflammation in ulcerative colitis

May 17, 2015

Washington DC, 17 May 2015: People with ulcerative colitis ¬may benefit from taking the live, multi-strain probiotic drink, Symprove, to reduce intestinal inflammation, according to the results of a new study presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2015.1

Researchers from King's College Hospital in London and Darent Valley Hospital in Kent in the UK conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Symprove on patients with clinically-stable inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and found that patients with ulcerative colitis had significant reductions in faecal levels of calprotectin - a protein released by white blood cells in the intestine when it is inflamed. These findings suggest that Symprove may help patients with ulcerative colitis to remain in clinical remission.

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a life-long relapsing-remitting intestinal condition in which the colon and rectum become ulcerated and inflamed. The acute symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal cramping, bloody diarrhoea, and urgency to pass stools. Effective treatments for acute flare-ups include steroids, immune suppressants and biologics, but there remains a need for effective maintenance treatments to prevent clinical relapse of the disease.

Probiotics have been thought to be symptomatically useful in patients with ulcerative colitis, with 51% of sufferers taking them in a bid to help manage their condition2. However, not all probiotics contain multiple strains of live, active bacteria. Symprove, the only liquid probiotic preparation that contains 4 strains of live bacteria, has previously been shown in scientific studies to survive the harsh acidic environment of the stomach in order to flourish in the gut 3 and to improve symptom severity in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).4

Symprove in ulcerative colitis: latest data

In the latest study, 80 adults with ulcerative colitis (all in remission at the time of study entry) were randomized to receive either Symprove or a matching placebo drink for 1 month. Faecal calprotectin levels were measured before and after treatment. Reductions in calprotectin levels (intestinal inflammation) were observed in the majority (76%) of patients with ulcerative colitis who took Symprove for 4 weeks and the decrease in intestinal inflammation was significantly greater than in the placebo group.

Professor Ingvar Bjarnason, consultant gastroenterologist and Principal Investigator of the study, noted "This is an interesting result showing that Symprove reduces intestinal inflammation in this group of patients, without any observed side effects. There is now a need to see if these reductions in intestinal inflammation are maintained with long term ingestion and whether this reduces the incidence of symptom flare-ups."
World IBD Day - 19 May 2015. Five million people living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis all over the world are encouraged by leading global patient organisations to share their story in a short video with the theme of "United We Stand." See

For further information or to interview the study author, please contact:
Polly Cooper/Mortimer Pockett
Tel: 01444 811099
Email: /

Editors Notes:

What is Symprove?

Symprove is a live multi-strain liquid bacteria derived from barley. The unique water-based formula allows the bacteria to survive the low pH of the stomach and bile salts of the upper digestive tract.

A month's supply costs £79 and a 12 week programme is recommended.

Available from or by calling 01252 413 600.

Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 16-19, 2015, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC. The meeting showcases more than 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. More information can be found at


1. Sisson G, Hayee B, Bjarnason I. Assessment of a multi strain probiotic (Symprove) in IBD. Poster presentation at Digestive Disease Week 2015 (DDW2015), 16¬-19 May 2015, Washington DC, USA.

2. Hedin C, Mullard M, Sharratt E, Jansen C, Sanderson J, Shirlaw P, How L, Stagg A, Lindsay J, Whelan K. Probiotic and Prebiotic Use in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case-Control Study. Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2010.

3. Fredua-Agyeman M, Gaisford S. Comparative survival of commercial probiotic formulations: tests in biorelevant gastric fluids and real-time measurements using microcalorimetry. Benefic Microbes 2015;6(1):141-51.

4. Sisson G, Ayis S, Sherwood RA, Bjarnason I. Randomised clinical trial: a liquid multi-strain probiotic vs. placebo in the irritable bowel syndrome - a 12-week double-blind study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014;40:51-62. Available at:

Spink Health

Related Irritable Bowel Syndrome Articles from Brightsurf:

Giant spider provides promise of pain relief for irritable bowel syndrome
Molecules from the venom of one of the world's largest spiders could help University of Queensland-led researchers tailor pain blockers for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

An aspirin a day keeps the bowel doctor away
A regular dose of aspirin to reduce the risk of inherited bowel cancer lasts at least 10 years after stopping treatment, research has revealed.

Mindfulness program may benefit patients with irritable bowel syndrome
Adults with irritable bowel syndrome experienced fewer gastrointestinal symptoms after they participated in a mindfulness program meant to reduce stress.

The Lancet Gasteroenterology & Hepatology: First clinical trial finds probiotic treatment with dead bacteria is better than placebo at alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Probiotic bacteria that have been killed by heat can significantly improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) compared to placebo, and are not associated with any safety risk, according to a new 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 443 patients published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.

Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease?
Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months.

New, noninvasive test for bowel diseases
Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialized countries.

HKBU discovers mechanisms underlying early life stress and irritable bowel syndrome
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University have found that the abnormal rise of a soluble protein called Nerve Growth Factor is a key factor linking early life stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.

Microbiome science may help doctors deliver more effective, personalized treatment to children with irritable bowel syndrome
To improve the treatment of children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyze the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut.

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Hypnotherapy could help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Gut-directed hypnotherapy delivered by psychologists appears as effective in group or individual sessions, potentially offering a new treatment option for irritable bowel syndrome in primary and secondary care

Early source of irritable bowel syndrome discovered
Michigan State University scientists have identified an early cause of intestinal inflammation, one of the first stages of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, which afflict around 11 percent of the world's population.

Read More: Irritable Bowel Syndrome News and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to