Lactobacillus reuteri in constipation in the elderly

An open, parallel study on elderly persons (70-96 years) living in an institution and suffering from constipation. The aim was to study whether orange juice with probiotics could reduce constipation.

The control group (n=6) ingested ordinary juice throughout the 10-week study period. Two groups were given probiotics, but began with ordinary juice for 3 weeks, then 4 weeks with probiotic juice and 3 follow-up weeks with ordinary juice. One group (n=12) was given juice containing Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 and another group (n=8) was given juice with a bacteria blend of Propioniibacterium freudenreichii and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

A modest positive effect on increased frequency of defecation was seen in both probiotic groups: during the active treatment period in the group ingesting the bacteria blend and during the follow-up period in the Lactobacillus reuteri group.

Conclusion: The ingestion of a probiotic-containing orange juice by elderly in an institution had a modest effect on relief of constipation.



Ouwehand AC, Lagström H, Suomalainen T, Salminen S. Effect of probiotics on constipation, faecal azoreductase activity and faecal mucin content in the elderly. Ann Nutr Metabol. 2002;46:159-162.

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