Studies of probiotic treatment (any type or form) in children or adults patients with inflammatory bowel disease were eligible for inclusion. Patients could have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis; the disease could be active or in remission. Probiotics were defined as nutritional supplements that were made up of live microorganisms that were expected to have a positive benefit on the patient’s health. Studies of prebiotics or synbiotics were excluded.
The included studies evaluated adults or children with ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis or Crohn’s disease. The probiotic treatments included Escherichia coli (E. coli), Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces boulardii, bifidobacteria-fermented milk, and VSL #3 supplement. Patients with both active disease and remissive disease were included. The comparators included mesalazine or placebo (where applicable). Outcomes reported included remission rates, response rates, time to relapse, and exacerbation of symptoms.
The authors did not state how many reviewers were involved in study selection.