The company reported the findings at a symposium on neurogasterentology and motility, taking place this week in Toulouse, France.
Researchers at INRA and the Pierre Fabre Research Institute tested the formulation called Lacidofil (Lactobacillus acidophilus rosell-52 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11) on two common IBS symptoms, that were induced in rats through stress - increase in colonic permeability and hypersensitivity of the gut.
Henri Durand, scientific director at Institut Rosell, told NutraIngredients.com that the findings confirmed previous research showing that some strains can act against this type of disease.
In March a team from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at Ireland's University College Cork reported that IBS patients who consumed a malted milk drink containing the Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 bacteria everyday for eight weeks experienced fewer overall symptoms, abdominal pain and discomfort.
IBS is a long-term condition that usually involves cramping, diarrhoea and constipation. It affects between 10 and 15 per cent of the Irish population and a similar proportion of people in other western countries.
However the precise cause of IBS is not fully understood and there is no cure yet. Treatments are aimed at alleviating symptoms but medication, for those with moderate to severe forms of the disease, does not work for all patients.
Preliminary science has suggested the potential of probiotic bacteria to protect the gut against the condition, although there are only a handful of probiotic products on the market claiming to target the condition.
The French study used two rat models that have been designed by a Toulouse lab to measure the sensitivity and function of gut health.
In the first, scientists implant electrodes into the abdomen muscles of the animals to measure contractions in response to a balloon inserted into the rectum. Increasing the volume usually causes hypersensitivity but in animals pre-treated with the probiotic formulation, no increase in sensitivity was observed, said Durand.
"This is a well-accepted model for gut sensitivity," he said.
A second experiment measured the permeability of the gut after a stressful situation (restraint of the rats). Inflammation of the gut, a common IBS symptom, increases the permeability of the gut and therefore risk of infection.
The French team tested the strength of the gut wall by looking at how much of a chromium compound could be recovered in the urine.
Again, the probiotic rats were found to have higher protection against increased gut permeability.
"This is a promising step. We are planning a human study to verify these findings," said Durand. It is likely to start by the end of the year.
The Rosell probiotic is currently used against diarrhoea, another IBS symptom, in markets including central and eastern Europe, the US and Canada.