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Corn Extract May Help Mature Adults Relieve Constipation

Researchers at the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan have found that an extract made from corn may help mature adults ease constipation. Their findings were published in the July 2010 issue of the journal Nutrition.

The study included 13 mature adults with frequent constipation and an average age of 82.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive 10 grams per day of a corn extract (isomalto-oligosaccharide) or a placebo (fructose) for eight weeks.

After 8 weeks, the researchers found that the number of bowel movements per week among the participants given the corn extract increased from 1.2 times/week to 2.0 times/week. The researchers also found a decrease in cholesterol from 4.1 mmol/L at the start of the study to 3.6 mmol/L at the end of the study.

Isomalto-oligosaccharides are naturally found in fermented foods such as miso and soy sauce. They are also commercially produced from corn starch and used as an added food ingredient.

There are already a number of other well known ways to relieve and even altogether avoid constipation such as frequently drinking fluids and eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Sometimes relieving constipation is more about what you don't consume than what you do consume. For instance, soft drinks, processed food and coffee can all contribute to constipation.

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