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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 824605, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/824605
Research Article

Effect of Korean Herbal Medicine Combined with a Probiotic Mixture on Diarrhea-Dominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

1College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Cell Biotech, Co., Ltd., Gaegok-Ri, Wolgot-myeon, Gyeonggi-do, Gimpo-si 415-871, Republic of Korea
3College of Sookmyung Women’s University, Cheongpa-dong 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-742, Republic of Korea
4Kangnam Korean Hospital, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 18 April 2013; Revised 4 November 2013; Accepted 15 November 2013

Academic Editor: Kenji Watanabe

Copyright © 2013 Seok-Jae Ko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Although combination therapy with herbal medicine and probiotics is gaining popularity for controlling diarrhea-dominant irritable bowel syndrome (D-IBS) symptoms, few studies have investigated its clinical effects. Materials and Methods. Fifty-three patients with D-IBS were randomly allocated into 1 of the following 4 groups: herbal medicine (Gwakhyangjeonggisan; GJS) plus probiotics (Duolac7S; DUO), GJS plus placebo DUO, placebo GJS plus DUO, and placebo GJS plus placebo DUO. The study period consisted of a 2-week run-in, 8 weeks of administration, and 2 weeks of follow-up. The primary outcomes were weekly adequate relief (AR) of overall IBS symptoms and the proportion of responders (PR) during the administration period. The secondary outcomes included individual IBS symptoms, stool assessment, and quality of life. Changes of intestinal microbiota and intestinal permeability were also analyzed. Results and Discussion. Weekly AR was not different among the 4 groups throughout the treatment period. However, the 3 treatment groups exhibited significant improvements in PR compared to the findings in the placebo group. In the intestinal microbiota assessment, herbal medicine and probiotics synergistically increased beneficial bacteria counts. Conclusion. Combination therapy with herbal medicine and probiotics appears to relieve overall IBS symptoms by synergistically increasing beneficial intestinal microbe counts.