Recent research shows how human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) can significantly suppress the symptoms of IBS. This research is a breakthrough that is quite beneficial for patients with IBS.
The findings of the study were presented at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting. That had shed new light on how some compounds, structurally similar to HMOs – human milk oligosaccharides can significantly improve the IBS symptoms within a short time period, almost four weeks.
Improvement in IBS symptoms
IBS is a chronic disease that affects the large intestine of a person. It can cause abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. According to ACG reports, approximately 10 – 15% of the adults in the U.S. are suffering from IBS.
But, on the contrary, only about 50% of them have been diagnosed. In recent years, research has associated IBS with imbalances in the gut microbiota. That is a community of bacteria, or microorganisms, present in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
About 317 patients got enrolled in the 12-week trials. Among these, 77% stated a significant improvement in the symptom severity within a four-week period. While, in the 12th week, 87% observed a clinically significant reduction in the severity of symptoms.
Some of the specific symptom reductions are:
- 59% reduction in bloating
- 59% decrease in abdominal pain severity
- 37% reduction in the number of abnormal stools
- 58% decrease in days with abdominal pain
Moreover, symptom reduction has also caused a 48% increase in quality of life.
Holigos IBS – a formulation containing HMOs
Patients in the study received a unique formulation of two different HMOs found in Holigos IBS.
Holigos IBS is a medical food produced by the Glycom company. The medical foods are intended to be used for the dietary management of a condition or disease that has unique nutritional requirements that can’t be met by a normal diet alone.
Though Holigos IBS is accessible even without a prescription, it should be used under medical supervision. Moreover, its active ingredients have been positively examined by the FDA and recognized as safe.
The results of the study have shown that the bacterial composition of the GI tract may differ in patients with IBS. HMOs can selectively promote the “good bacteria”. And enables them to improve the gut barrier of the body.
The findings of this new research support the increasing acceptance of HMOs in the medical community of microbiota-directed therapies. For instance, including prebiotic HMOs in the diet plans of IBS patients.
Magnus Simren, Ph.D., MD, is a professor and senior consultant at the department of internal medicine and clinical nutrition for the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, located in Chapel Hill.
Dr. Simren has presented this study titled “Human Milk Oligosaccharides Improve All the Central Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Multi-Center, Open-Label Trial,” at ACG 2019 during a plenary meeting.
ACG is the pre-eminent professional organization that works for the prevention, diagnosis, and cure of digestive disorders by providing compassionate, evidence-based care.