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Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938) in infants with functional chronic constipation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

  • 2010-10
  • The Journal of Pediatrics 157(4)
    • P. Coccorullo
    • C. Strisciuglio
    • M. Martinelli
    • E. Miele
    • L. Greco
    • A. Staiano

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the beneficial effects of Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938) in infants with functional chronic constipation.

Study design: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study was conducted from January 2008 to December 2008 in 44 consecutive infants at least 6 months old (mean age+/-SD, 8.2+/-2.4 SD; male/female, 24/20) admitted to the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Motility Unit of the Department of Pediatrics, University "Federico II" of Naples, with a diagnosis of functional chronic constipation. The 44 infants with chronic constipation were randomly assigned to 2 groups: group A (n=22) received supplementation with the probiotic L reuteri (DSM 17938) and group B (n=22) received an identical placebo. Primary outcome measures were frequency of bowel movements per week, stool consistency, and presence of inconsolable crying episodes, recorded in a daily diary by parents.

Results: Infants receiving L reuteri (DSM 17938) had a significantly higher frequency of bowel movements than infants receiving a placebo at week 2 (P=.042), week 4 (P=.008), and week 8 (P=.027) of supplementation. In the L reuteri group, the stool consistency was reported as hard in 19 infants (86.4%) at baseline, in 11 infants (50%) at week 2, and in 4 infants (18.2%) at weeks 4 and 8. However, there was no significant difference between L reuteri and placebo groups in the stool consistency at all weeks (P=.63, week 2; P=.38, week 4; P=.48, week 8). Similarly, there was no statistically difference in the 2 groups in the presence of inconsolable crying episodes. No adverse effects were reported.

Conclusions: The administration of L reuteri (DSM 17938) in infants with chronic constipation had a positive effect on bowel frequency, even when there was no improvement in stool consistency and episodes of inconsolable crying episodes. Because of their safety profile, probiotics may be an attractive option in the treatment of functional constipation.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus genseniImproved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus genseniImproved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus genseniReduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteriImproved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteriIncreased Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteriReduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri HA-188Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri HA-188Increased Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri HA-188Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri LRE02Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri LRE02Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri LRE02Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri MAK02L14RImproved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri MAK02L14RIncreased Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri MAK02L14RReduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242Increased Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri OsfortisImproved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri OsfortisImproved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri OsfortisReduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri SD-5865Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri SD-5865Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri SD-5865Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri UALg-05Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri UALg-05Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri UALg-05No Adverse Health EffectsNeutral
Large
Lactobacillus reuteri UALre-16Improved Bowel Movement FrequencyBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus reuteri UALre-16Improved Stool ConsistencyNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus reuteri UALre-16Reduced Inconsolable Crying EpisodesNeutral
Small
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