A new study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) may help relieve many of the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women, including diarrhea and constipation(1).

IBS, the most common functional bowel disorder diagnosed by physicians and gastroenterologists, is estimated to affect up to one in five Americans(2). Bifantis(TM) is the first and only probiotic, or "good" bacteria, that has been clinically proven to help manage the full range of symptoms of IBS in a large scale, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The study was sponsored by P&G Health Sciences Institute.

"We are pleased and excited with the results of this study, as it represents an advance in the treatment of IBS which can cause such embarrassing symptoms, often on a daily basis," said Dr. Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester (UK) and lead author of the study.

About the Study

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study, 362 women between 18 and 65 years of age who had been diagnosed with IBS (per Rome II criteria) received placebo or freeze-dried, encapsulated Bifantis once daily for four weeks(1). Throughout the study, patients daily recorded how they felt related to abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating/distension, sense of incomplete evacuation, straining at stool, urgency of bowel movement, passage of gas and mucus and bowel habit satisfaction(1). Patients also recorded their global assessment of relief for both abdominal pain/discomfort and their IBS symptoms(1).

At the end of the four week study, Bifantis was observed to be significantly superior to placebo for abdominal pain as well as bloating, bowel dysfunction, incomplete evacuation, straining and the passage of gas(1). Overall, improvements in symptoms experienced were highest in the 1x10(8) cfu dose group(1). Patients' global symptom assessment was superior to placebo by more than 20 percent. No significant adverse events were recorded(1).

About Bifantis

Bifantis is the trademarked name for the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium infantis 35624(3). These normal, friendly bacteria play an important role in basic digestion, proper metabolism and overall well-being(3). Bifantis works within the digestive system to restore intestinal balance and maintain normal digestive health(3). Bifantis is a calorie- and lactose-free natural dietary ingredient that is similar to the active cultures found in some yogurts and fermented milks(3).

Bifantis may be especially helpful for people who experience one or more of the symptoms commonly associated with IBS, including diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, urgency and abdominal discomfort(3).

For additional information on Bifantis, visit http://www.bifantis.com or http://www.pghsi.com.

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional bowel disorder, and it is characterized by a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating and altered bowel function (constipation and/or diarrhea)(2).

IBS, most often diagnosed by a primary care physician or gastroenterologist, is second only to the common cold as a leading cause of workplace absenteeism in the United States(2). Significant morbidity is associated with IBS, as patients suffering from IBS-related symptoms endure a decreased quality of life as they are prevented from participating in activities they would normally enjoy(2). The impact on quality of life has been estimated to be greater than that of diabetes and similar to that of clinical depression(2).

The current goal of therapy is management and reduction in the frequency and severity of episodes or symptoms(2). The management of IBS currently ranges from dietary (increasing fiber and reducing dairy products) and behavioral changes (restricting diet and slowly adding in new foods) to medications (over-the-counter and prescription)(2).

About Probiotics

The word "probiotic" means "for life." Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, or "good, friendly" bacteria that can help strengthen the body's natural defenses, and help restore the appropriate balance of healthy bacteria. Research still is being conducted on how probiotic cultures may influence a wide-range of health conditions, however, it has been established through controlled scientific investigations that probiotics ingested in certain numbers exert health affects beyond inherent basic nutrition(2,3).

About P&G Health Sciences Institute

The P&G Health Sciences Institute is a conglomerate of P&G research expertise and capabilities including state of the art research facilities dedicated to identifying, developing, and using leading health care technologies in the development of effective products for both the developing and developed world. Procter & Gamble has a long history of scientific research both internally and through collaboration with external partners in the areas of health, hygiene, and nutrition, dating back more than 50 years. Please visit http://www.pghsi.com for more information on the P&G Health Sciences Institute as well as http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

(1) Efficacy of an Encapsulated Probiotic Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624 in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, July 2006

(2) http://www.pghsi.com/gastrointestinal/probiotics.html, accessed on 6.16.06

(3) http://www.usprobiotics.org/basics/ , probiotics and dairy products section, accessed on 6.16.06

P&G Health Sciences Institute