Diarrhea/ConstipationPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Normalizing bowel movements in frail nursing home patients

Professor Kaisu Pitkala from the Helsinki University Hospital in Finland used fermented oat drinks.

Professor Jeremy Hamilton-Miller of the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London explains why this research is important.

First, the details.

  • 209 residents from 2 nursing homes in Finland were randomly assigned to receive a fermented oat drink with either 109 CFU/day of Bifidobacterium longum strains, or Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12, or a drink without viable bacteria (placebo) daily for 7 months.
  • Neither the patients nor the researchers knew what was taken.

And, the results.

  • The fermented oat drinks were well-accepted by the patients, with a compliance rate of 85%.
  • Those receiving active products had more frequent bowel movements compared to the placebo group.
  • 29% of the B. longum group had normal functioning compared to 27% of the B. lactis group.
  • Each was significantly better than the 20% normal functioning in the placebo group.

The bottom line?
Professor Hamilton-Miller points out that “3 problems common in the elderly, namely, undernutrition, constipation, and the decline in efficiency of the immune system [lead] to reduced capacity to resist infection.”

He continues, they “may all be beneficially affected by appropriate probiotic organisms.” Furthermore, “these are most conveniently taken either as yoghurts or as specific supplements.” This study advances that research.

10/10/07 22:49 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.