Prebiotics and Probiotics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Where are we now and where are we going?

Author(s): Maliha Naseer, Shiva Poola, Syed Ali, Sami Samiullah, Veysel Tahan*

Journal Name: Current Clinical Pharmacology
Continued as Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology

Volume 15 , Issue 3 , 2020

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor

Graphical Abstract:


The incidence, prevalence, and cost of care associated with diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease are on the rise. The role of gut microbiota in the causation of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis has not been established yet. Nevertheless, several animal models and human studies point towards the association. Targeting intestinal dysbiosis for remission induction, maintenance, and relapse prevention is an attractive treatment approach with minimal adverse effects. However, the data is still conflicting. The purpose of this article is to provide the most comprehensive and updated review on the utility of prebiotics and probiotics in the management of active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis/pouchitis and their role in the remission induction, maintenance, and relapse prevention. A thorough literature review was performed on PubMed, Ovid Medline, and EMBASE using the terms “prebiotics AND ulcerative colitis”, “probiotics AND ulcerative colitis”, “prebiotics AND Crohn's disease”, “probiotics AND Crohn's disease”, “probiotics AND acute pouchitis”, “probiotics AND chronic pouchitis” and “prebiotics AND pouchitis”. Observational studies and clinical trials conducted on humans and published in the English language were included. A total of 71 clinical trials evaluating the utility of prebiotics and probiotics in the management of inflammatory bowel disease were reviewed and the findings were summarized. Most of these studies on probiotics evaluated lactobacillus, De Simone Formulation or Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 and there is some evidence supporting these agents for induction and maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis and prevention of pouchitis relapse with minimal adverse effects. The efficacy of prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides and Plantago ovata seeds in ulcerative colitis are inconclusive and the data regarding the utility of prebiotics in pouchitis is limited. The results of the clinical trials for remission induction and maintenance in active Crohn's disease or post-operative relapse with probiotics and prebiotics are inadequate and not very convincing. Prebiotics and probiotics are safe, effective and have great therapeutic potential. However, better designed clinical trials in the multicenter setting with a large sample and long duration of intervention are needed to identify the specific strain or combination of probiotics and prebiotics which will be more beneficial and effective in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Keywords: Prebiotics, probiotics, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease (CD), ulcerative colitis, pouchitis.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 15 December, 2020
Page: [216 - 233]
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.2174/1574884715666200312100237
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 40