Constipation is a chronic problem in many patients all over the world.
- To evaluate the effect of consumption of a probiotic fermented milk beverage containing Bifidobacterium animalis on the symptoms of constipation.
- This randomized, double-blind controlled trial included 49 female patients aged 20 to 50 years and diagnosed with constipation according to the ROME III criteria (Diagnostic Criteria for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders) and the Bristol Stool Form Scale. The patients were randomized into two groups: the intervention group received the probiotic fermented milk beverage and the control group received non-probiotic milk. Participants were instructed to ingest 150 mL of the beverages during 60 days. At the end of this period, patients were assessed again by the ROME III criteria and Bristol scale. The Wilcoxon test was used to evaluate pre and post-intervention results of the ROME III criteria and Bristol scale. The statistical significance level was considered as 5% ( P ≤0.05).
- The intervention group showed improvement in the following criteria: straining during a bowel movement ( P <0.001), feeling of incomplete evacuation ( P <0.001) and difficulty in passing stool ( P <0.014), in addition to Bristol scale results ( P <0.001). In the control group, improvements were observed in the following criteria: straining during a bowel movement ( P <0.001), feeling of incomplete evacuation ( P <0.001) and difficulty in passing stool ( P <0.025), in addition to Bristol scale results ( P <0.001). No statistically significant post-intervention differences were observed between the two groups for the Rome III criteria and Bristol scale.
- The results show that the consumption of milk resulted in the improvement of constipation symptoms, regardless of the probiotic culture.
Probiotics; Constipation; Cultured milk products; Functional food