Symbiotic mix provides relief for constipation

Consuming daily supplements of a symbiotic mix of prebiotic fibres and probiotic bacteria may provide relief for constipation without affecting abdominal symptoms.

According to a new study, the branded symbiotic Lactofos – a combination of fructooligosaccharides with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains – was linked to improvements in bowel movements of constipated volunteers while no such changes were seen in the placebo group.

From the University of Sao Paulo and Ganep, researchers report that the symbiotic was also associated with a reduction in constipation intensity following 30 days of supplementation.

According to the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.

Prebiotics are “nondigestible substances that provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favourable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria”.

Synbiotics are a combination of the two.

The research team examined 100 women suffering from constipation and randomly assigned them to consume two daily doses (6g) of the symbiotic or placebo (maltidextrin) for 30 days.

As the results came about, the frequency of the bowel movements rose in the symbiotic category but there were hardly any changes in the placebo category.

The consistency and shape of stools were improved and the intensity of constipation was somewhat minimised in the symbiotic group but not in the placebo group.

The researchers eventually decided: “Further studies, in particular large, randomised clinical trials, are needed to confirm these results and to define the clinical role of symbiotic administration in constipated patients”.


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