Constipation is a common gastrointestinal condition that affects individuals of all ages, but it is particularly prevalent among older adults. A clinical trial recently conducted evaluated the efficacy and safety of multistrain probiotics on functional constipation and laboratory blood parameters in elderly individuals residing in a nursing home.
The study included 60 participants, with a mean age of 77.9 years, who suffered from functional constipation. The participants were divided into two groups: one group was given a selected probiotic mixture, while the other group was given a placebo.
The study followed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design, and each participant received either the probiotic mixture or placebo for 12 weeks in addition to their usual diet and medications. The study results showed that the probiotic group had a slight but nonsignificant increase in cumulative stool frequency compared to the placebo group.
However, after the 71st day of the treatment, the cumulative number of stools was significantly higher in the probiotic group when the influence of laxatives was excluded. The trend towards an increase in the difference between the two groups, which began one week after the probiotic intervention, pointed out their prolonged effect.
Additionally, the probiotics were found to be safe and well-tolerated in the elderly participants, with no significant dependent or independent effects of treatment and time on most of the 27 laboratory blood parameters tested.