Probiotics proven beneficial for childhood abdominal pain

Primary tabs

Probiotics proven beneficial for childhood abdominal pain

Worldwide, according to a survey, 13.5% of school-age children are affected by recurrent abdominal pain (RAP). This is a relatively benign condition, causing substantial morbidity, as well as concern for parents, and paediatricians.

Although the dietary approaches to RAP are available since 1950s Apley's original report condition, pathophysiology, accurate diagnosis and optimal management of it is stillunclear.

With the ray of hope, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis has identified at least one dietary intervention that seems beneficial probiotics. A total of seven randomised controlled trials compared probiotics to placebo, and trials were considered of moderate quality. Improvement in pain at 3 months post-intervention was significant, odds ratio (OR) = 1.63 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07, 2.47); number needed to treat (NNT) to benefit (NNTB) = 8. Benefit was sustained at 3–6 months post-intervention, OR = 1.94 (95% CI 1.10, 3.43); NNT = 7. In those children categorised as having irritable bowel syndrome, the OR was 3.01 (95% CI 1.77, 5.13); NNTB = 4.

Although the dose and type of probiotic widely differed, as did the measures of pain in this study, the results seems to be positive and encouraging. Also, probiotics did not seem to cause any adverse effects.


Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Probiotics for recurrent abdominal pain in childhood


Craig Mellis

Therapeutic, Pain, Abdominal, Prebiotics, Drug review
Log in or register to post comments