A new study of Greek patients shows that overgrowth of bacteria in the gut is definitively linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is the first to use the “gold standard” method of examining gut bacterial cultures to connect bacteria to the cause of a disease that affects some 30 million Americans. The researchers say their findings confirm antibiotics are a successful treatment for IBS.
Previous studies have suggested a link between gut bacteria and IBS, but they have been based on testing methane (a byproduct of bacterial fermentation) in the breath.
The findings, published in the May issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, corroborate those of previous clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai that showed antibiotics are effective against IBS.
Study author Mark Pimentel is director of the Cedars-Sinai GI Motility Program. He commented in a statement to the press released on Friday that: