Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9048574, 16 pages
Research Article

Probiotics and the Microbiome in Celiac Disease: A Randomised Controlled Trial

1Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2NatMed-Research, Division of Research, Southern Cross University, Military Road, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
3University Centre for Rural Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 61 Uralba Street, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia

Received 2 April 2016; Accepted 22 June 2016

Academic Editor: Toku Takahashi

Copyright © 2016 Joanna Harnett 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.


Background. There is limited research investigating the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota in individuals with celiac disease (CoeD) reporting only partial symptom improvement despite adherence to a strict gluten-free diet (GFD). The aim of this research was to determine if the gastrointestinal microbiota could be altered by probiotic bacteria and provide a potential new therapy for this subgroup. Methods. A multicentre RCT was conducted between January and August 2011 in Australia. Participants included 45 people with CoeD reporting only partial symptom improvement despite adherence to a strict GFD for a minimum of 12 months. Participants took 5 g of VSL# probiotic formulation () or 5 g placebo () orally twice daily for 12 weeks. The main outcome measured was the efficacy of the probiotic formula in altering faecal microbiota counts between baseline and week 12. Safety was determined by safety blood and monitoring adverse events. Results. SPSS multivariate repeated measures analysis (95th confidence level) revealed no statistically significant changes between the groups in the faecal microbiota counts or blood safety measures over the course of the study. Conclusion. The probiotic formula when taken orally over the 12-week period did not significantly alter the microbiota measured in this population. The trial was registered with Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register ACTRN12610000630011.