Effectiveness of Lactobacillus reuteri for prevention and treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders in infants, children and adolescents (Review)
Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) with their extremely high prevalence and important influence on patients’ quality of life and health costs represent a major problem. Their etiopathogenesis is multifactorial and disturbances in a composition of intestinal microbiota as well as specific potentially pathogenic microorganisms seem to have crucial role in it. Probiotics with their broad spectrum of actions, including strengthening of colonisatiton resistance against pathogens, enhancement of barrier function, regulation of intestinal immune response, alleviation of inflammation, and both direct and indirect influence on gut motility or sensitivity, represent one of the most promising therapeutic strategies for these disorders. Numerous clinical studies revealed their efficacy in different FGIDs. However, the pathogenesis of different types of disorders is not similar, and neither are mechanisms of action of different probiotic strains. Several Lactobacillus reuteri strains exhibit various characteristics such as secretion of antimicrobial reuterin, production of short-chain fatty acids, down-regulation of inflammatory immune response, and direct influence on enteric nervous system among the others, which render them good candidates for prevention and treatment of various FGIDs. This paper reviews clinical studies on the effectiveness of Lactobacillus reuteri in the therapy of FGIDs in infants, children and adolescents. Results of multiple studies support its use for prevention and treatment of infant colic and improvement of delayed gastric emptying and regurgitation. In addition, individual studies suggest potential usefulness of specific Lactobacillus reuteri strains for the alleviation of constipation and functional abdominal pain.
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