Colonoscopy is one of the most common medical procedures, used to screen for a variety of bowel pathologies (e.g. polyps, ulcers, inflamed tissue, cancer, etc.). Most colonoscopy research has focused on improving technologies during the procedure, and more study is warranted to improve post-procedure complications. Following the colonoscopy procedure, some people experience abdominal pain, which may be related to gut dysbiosis that results from the bowel cleansing preparation for colonoscopy.
An Australian study in 320 colonoscopy patients (~60-62 years old) sought to improve the gastrointestinal microbiota environment with combination of probiotic strains consumed post-colonoscopy.1 This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study’s intervention arm provided 25 colony-forming units (CFU) per day of 2 probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis subsp. lactis Bi-07.1
Significant findings include a pain reduction of ~19 hours in those consuming the NCFM + Bi-07 probiotics; specifically, the number of pain days post-colonoscopy decreased from 2.78 to 1.99 (p=0.032).1 Patients with pre-existing abdominal pain receiving the probiotic intervention experienced fewer pain days (2.16 vs. 4.08, p=0.0498).1 There were also statistically non-significant reductions in bloating (2.52 vs. 2 days, p=0.111) and time to return to normal bowel habits (3.42 to 3.05, p=0.280).1
The D’Souza et al. publication demonstrates a specific GI-health application for the NCFM and Bi-07 probiotic strain combination, for the attenuation of pain post-colonoscopy.1
- D’Souza B et al. Randomized controlled trial of probiotics after colonoscopy. ANZ J Surg. 2017;87(9):E65-E69.