Strong evidence for synbiotics and constipation relief

Clinical remission rates reached 37.5% at week four and 45.8% at week 12 in the patients given synbiotics. ©iStock/itman__47

Synbiotics can lead to significant clinical improvement in slow transit constipation, a Chinese trial has shown. 

The 12-week trial saw 100 patients with slow transit constipation given either the synbiotic BIFICOPEC containing a combination of pectin fibre and Enterococci, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli or a placebo of maltodextrin twice daily. 

The results published in the journal Nutrients show clinical remission rates reached 37.5% at week four and 45.8% at week 12 in the synbiotic group, compared to just 13.3% at week four and 16.7% at week 12 in the placebo group. 

Over the 12 weeks, 64.6% of the patients given synbiotics saw a clinical improvement, compared to just 29.2% of the patients in the placebo group. 

The synbiotics group experienced increased stool frequency, improved stool consistency, decreased colonic transit time (CTT) and improved constipation-related symptoms. 

“This randomised, placebo-controlled trial suggested that dietary supplementation with a synbiotic improved evacuation-parameters-associated symptoms and colonic motility in patients with slow transit constipation (STC),” wrote the authors from the Jinling Hospital at the Medical School of Nanjing University and the Zhejiang University in China. 

Novel therapies needed 

Past research has estimated chronic constipation affects almost 16% of all adults worldwide, with women and the elderly particularly perceptible. 

Most sufferers of chronic constipation are given laxatives or prokinetic agents to alleviate symptoms empirically. 

Yet these current treatments are far from perfect. 

“Although there is a wide range of medications, many patients are still dissatisfied with their current treatments, according to the results of a long-term survey, due to insufficient efficacy and some adverse effects,” the researchers wrote. 

One paper published this year reported side effects such as abdominal cramps, rash, excessive flatulence and dizziness for patients using the new pharmacotherapy for chronic constipation prucalopride. 

“From our clinical experience in constipation, laxatives or other agents could be efficient at the beginning of chronic constipation, but they gradually become largely ineffective. Therefore, novel effective therapies are still needed,” the researchers added. 

In the EU there are a few approved fibre health claims concerning stool frequency. 

In January last year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) backed a claim for prebiotic giant Beneo's chicory-based fibre inulin and improved bowel function.

The same year EFSA gave the thumbs up to DuPont's claim that its bulk sweetener lactitol can help people maintain normal defecation. 

However there has been no movement on health claims for probiotics, which remains a banned term in Europe without an approved claim. 

 

Source: Nutrients 

8(10), 605; doi:10.3390/nu8100605

“Efficacy of Synbiotics in Patients with Slow Transit Constipation: A Prospective Randomized Trial”

Authors: C. Ding, X. Ge, X. Zhang, H. Tian, H. Wang, L. Gu, J. Gong, W. Zhu and N. Li 

Related News

'Our core has always been dairy and food, now we’re going more into probiotics,' says supplier and member of new biotechnology network. ©iStock/Artsanova

New Italian-Swedish biotech network promotes probiotics

Probiotic supplement growth is outstripping glucosamine, multivitamins, calcium, omega-3s, CoQ10 and protein. ©iStock/kzenon

Probiotic supplements on rise in global €40bn market

Childhood constipation occurs in all paediatric age groups and its severity may vary from mild and short‐lived to severe and chronic, accompanied by faecal impaction. ©iStock/ilmoro100

Inulin-type fructans improve stool consistency in constipated kids: Pilot study

'Should this conclusion persist – the conclusion would have to be that it can’t be possible to get a health claim for probiotics,' says Probi CEO after claim rejection. ©iStock/benjaminec

310th probiotic claim rejection: EFSA throws out Probi claim for iron absorption

©iStock

Nestlé invests €9m in microbiome research

The study sheds light onto an often forgotten condition that affects 10–15% in the industrialised world (image: iStock.com)

Study links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with vitamin D deficiency

DuPont and Gelita apply for bowel and joint health claims

DuPont and Gelita apply for bowel and joint health claims

French prebiotic supplier expands operations

French prebiotic supplier expands operations

Constipation and bowel issues affect about 25% of the world’s population.

Probiotics deliver significant defecation benefits in healthy people: Study

Related Products

See more related products

Comments (1)

Lynn - 21 Oct 2016 | 04:14

That photo

Is this really the most appropriate photo you can pair with this article? A diagram of the intestine or a photo of a person with their hand on their stomach would have conveyed the same message in a more tasteful way than showing a person using a toilet.

21-Oct-2016 at 04:14 GMT

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.