The ProFIBS study aims to understand how and why probiotics and fish oil benefit lower gut functioning in people with IBS. We are recruiting 74 participants with IBS to take part. The study involves taking a capsule containing probiotic and fish oil, or placebo, for 12 weeks. We will study symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, anxiety and memory loss, and we will measure bacteria and stool characteristics at the start and end of the 12 week trial.
Each participant will participate for 14 weeks, with up to four study visits to The Medical School, University of Sheffield:
Visit 1 (30 mins): we will explain the study to you and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about taking part. If you agree to take part, we will ask you to sign a consent form. After this, we will ask about your IBS symptoms.
Visit 2 (45 mins): This visit takes place 2 weeks after visit 1. We will ask about your IBS symptoms, diet in the last 24 hours, recent antibiotic use and we will ask you to complete a short anxiety and memory questionnaire. We will also ask some willing volunteers to provide a stool (poo) sample at this visit. For the next 12 weeks we will ask you to consume supplements containing fish oil and probiotics, or placebo, once a day.
Visit 3 (10 mins): After 6 weeks of taking the supplement or placebo, we will ask you about your IBS symptoms. You can post this questionnaire if it is more convenient than meeting us in person.
Visit 4 (45 mins): After 12 weeks of taking the supplement or placebo we will ask about your IBS symptoms, diet in the last 24 hours, recent antibiotic use and we will ask you to complete a short anxiety and memory questionnaire. If you provided a stool sample at visit 2 we will ask you to provide another sample at this visit.
Participants will be compensated for their time.
If you are interested in this study, please contact the team at Sheffield University at the following contact details - email address: firstname.lastname@example.org number: 07437350047.
The study also has an active Twitter feed: @profibs