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Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is among the most frequent functional disorders in children, consuming immense healthcare resources. Therapeutic approaches are difficult and often unsatisfying. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are perceived to benefit the host beyond their inherent basic nutrition. They have been shown to have beneficial effects on various aspects of human health, and their success in treating childhood diarrhoea and certain chronic inflammatory bowel diseases has led to increased interest in their use in patients with RAP. The rationale is based on trials suggesting a role for intestinal infection, inflammation and food allergies in the pathogenesis of the disorder and observed beneficial effects of probiotics on these pathomechanisms.1 Despite growing interest in and availability of probiotic foods and products, data from systematic trials …
Competing interests MAR has received lecture fees and unrestricted scientific grants from Symbiopharm, Danone and Infectopharm – manufacturers/distributors of probiotics.