Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that affects millions every year. Many believe that drinks that contain probiotics such as Yakult can help improve the symptoms of IBS. In this article, we will explore the potential benefits of Yakult for IBS and explore if there is any scientific evidence to back up its efficacy as a remedy for this troublesome condition.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short, is a chronic condition that affects the digestive system. Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Studies point out that IBS is not a single disease, but rather a cluster of symptoms resulting from diverse pathologies. The causes of IBS are also unclear. It is generally believed to be related to a combination of physical and psychological factors.
Common treatments for IBS depend on the severity of the condition but generally involve lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, increasing physical activity, avoiding certain foods, and eating smaller meals more frequently.
For more severe cases, medications such as antispasmodics, antidiarrheals, and high-fiber supplements can be prescribed. Sometimes, cognitive behavioural therapy may also be used to reduce the severity of symptoms. It is always best to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate plan of action to manage your unique symptoms.
Are probiotics good for IBS?
For a long time, the scientific discourse has been divided on the relationship between probiotics and IBS. However, newer studies have shown that probiotics could in fact be a good way to manage symptoms of IBS.
One published clinical trial found that 30% of patients who participated experienced an improvement in abdominal pain and at least “somewhat relieved” overall symptoms of IBS.
In addition to easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, it has also been suggested that probiotics could reduce the frequency of symptom flare-ups from IBS.
As research continues to explore exactly how probiotics impact IBS, more conclusive studies are certain to appear. Until then, trying out probiotic supplements for yourself could help ease your symptoms.
The Science Behind Yakult and IBS
Probiotics like Yakult contain beneficial bacteria and yeasts which when ingested can help restore balance to the digestive system. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how Yakult can help with symptoms of IBS.
Benefits of Yakult for IBS patients
Here are some of the potential benefits IBS sufferers may experience when drinking Yakult:
Balances gut bacteria and reduces bacterial overgrowth
According to one study, Yakult may help to balance out the good bacteria in the gut, reducing bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine in patients suffering from IBS. However, while it did not reduce bloating, it was found to improve the passage of gas.
May alleviate anxiety
As strange as it may sound, the unique probiotic strain found within Yakult called L. casei Shirota has also been found to have a positive effect on reducing feelings of anxiety. Yakult could regulate the secretion of cortisol, reducing the occurrence of anxious episodes. This is highly valuable information for individuals with IBS, as the link between anxiety and IBS has been established by many studies in the past.
A study which was conducted on a group of marathon runners found that 30 days of supplementation with 40 billion of L. casei Shirota helped to improve the immune response of the body and reduce inflammation. As inflammation may play a large role in IBS, the ability of the L. casei Shirota strain to reduce it sounds promising for those suffering from this condition.
It’s clear that Yakult could offer a wide array of benefits to individuals suffering from symptoms of IBS. However, it should be noted that the effects of Yakult on IBS can vary from person to person. Always take the necessary precautions if you intend on trying out any form of self-therapy for your symptoms.
Can Yakult cure IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition with no known cure. Treating symptoms of IBS is possible with various methods, one of which is certainly Yakult. However, there is currently no publicly available research to guarantee that Yakult will cure your IBS. Keep in mind that everyone’s response to treatment varies, so be wary of any remedy that claims to cure all symptoms of a specific condition.
How to Incorporate Yakult into an IBS Diet
Yakult can be easily incorporated into an IBS diet. If you do not have a diet protocol to manage your symptoms of IBS yet, it’s easy to create one.
The first line of defense when changing your diet to manage symptoms of IBS is the low FODMAP and gluten-free diet. The low FODMAP diet is an approach that eliminates the consumption of foods with specific sugars that cause digestive trouble.
In theory, Yakult does not fit into a low FODMAP diet as it is a dairy product that is considered high FODMAP. However, as the long-term effects of the low-FODMAP diet are not clear, it is only recommended for 2-6 weeks at a time. Once you are off the diet, Yakult recommends drinking one to two bottles per day for adults and one bottle per day for children and toddlers.
It is always recommended to take necessary precautions before adding Yakult to your IBS diet. Different individuals may have different tolerance for the probiotics found in it.
Can Yakult be consumed by IBS patients with lactose intolerance?
As previously mentioned, the benefits and side-effects of Yakult consumption highly depend on the ability of the individual to respond to the probiotics in it. While lactose intolerance prohibits individuals from enjoying many dairy products, some studies suggest that specific probiotics help to regulate symptoms of lactose intolerance.
For example, a study found that consuming L case Shirota strain probiotics and B breve Yakult improves symptoms of lactose intolerance. While there is not enough research to suggest that it is a cure for lactose intolerance, consulting with your healthcare provider about trying out Yakult would be a good idea.
Can Yakult be combined with other IBS treatments and medications?
As far as medications go, probiotics are generally considered safe and do not have many interactions with other medicines. However, one should always check for possible interactions beforehand.
For example, combining Yakult with antibiotics could impede its efficacy. For that reason, it is recommended to have at least two hours before or after taking antibiotics before drinking Yakult.
How long does it take for Yakult to show its effects on IBS symptoms?
The time it takes for Yakult to produce visible improvements will depend on the specific symptoms you are trying to mitigate. As previously mentioned, Yakult can begin to show signs of inflammation decrease within only 30 days, while it may take around 8 weeks for other symptoms such as abdominal pains. In the end, it will mostly depend on the unique response your body has to the probiotic strains in Yakult.
Potential Risks of Consuming Yakult for IBS Patients
Drinking Yakult as an IBS patient can bring many potential benefits, but it is also not without risks. The most common side effects of probiotics in patients with IBS include gas, bloating, abdominal pains, and diarrhea.
It is also important to note that not all probiotics are created equal, and some may have different effects on individuals depending on their unique gut microbiome. This means that while Yakult may work well for some IBS patients, it may not be effective or even exacerbate symptoms for others.
IBS patients who are immunocompromised or have other underlying health conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before starting to take probiotics, including Yakult.
If you experience any of the listed side effects taking a break from Yakult is advised. For symptoms that do not go away after stopping probiotic consumption, always contact a medical specialist.
Final thoughts – Is Yakult good for IBS?
Overall, Yakult can potentially be a beneficial part of an IBS diet for some individuals. The probiotics in it can help reduce inflammation and improve other symptoms such as abdominal pain and gas. However, it is still important to note that the effects of Yakult may vary greatly between individuals and it is not a substitute for other IBS treatments.
Before consuming Yakult, consulting with your healthcare provider is always recommended to make sure that it is safe and effective for you. Also, be aware of the potential side effects, as some probiotics may exacerbate IBS symptoms and worsen underlying health conditions.