To perform a systematic review on randomized controlled trials to examine the efficacy of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics in the treatment of IBD.
PubMed, Web of science, Scopus, and Google Scholar were systematically searched from January 2009 to January 2020 using the following keywords: “Inflammatory Bowel Disease”, “Probiotics” and “Clinical trial”. The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software version 24.0. A total of 1,832 articles were found during the initial search and 21 clinical trials were eligible. Studies comparing the effects of probiotics and placebo among patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC) showed a significant difference in clinical outcomes. Moreover, probiotics improved the overall induction of remission rates among patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). Probiotics significantly decreased the IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-8 levels. Also, the need for systemic steroids, hospitalization, surgery, as well as histological score and disease activity index significantly decreased in patients who used probiotic or pro-/synbiotics.
The use of probiotics, as food supplements, can induce anti-inflammatory reactions, balance the intestinal homeostasis and induce remission in IBD. The efficacy of probiotics on remission induction is more reported in UC rather than CD. Larger well-designed clinical trials are needed to further determine whether probiotics are of clear benefits for remission in IBD.

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