This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was performed to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis in adults with functional constipation.
40 patients diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria, were randomly assigned to supplementation with two chewable tablets of either Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis (2×10^8 cfu, n=20) or corresponding placebo (n=20) daily for 28 days.
At the end of treatment at week 4, the mean increase in bowel movements/week was 2.6 (SD ±1.14, 95% CI:1.6-3.6) in the L. reuteri group and 1.0 (SD ±1, 95% CI:0.12-1.88) in the placebo group (p=0.046). The mean number of bowel movements/week was 5.3 ±1.93 in the L. reuteri group and 3.9 ±1.79 in the placebo group. There was no difference in stool consistency between the two groups.
L. reuteri Protectis was more effective than placebo in improving the frequency of bowel movements in adult patients with functional constipation, as previously demonstrated in children, while it did not seem to affect stool consistency.