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Probiotic May Improve Gut Health, Relieve Discomfort

Constipation and bowel issues affect approximately 25% of the world’s population. A recent study suggests that taking supplements of the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalus BB-12 may help improve including defecation frequency and abdominal discomfort in people with mild constipation.

1,200 healthy people who were mildly constipated and experiencing abdominal discomfort participated in the study.  All were between the ages of 18 and 70. The participants were given 1bn CFU of BB-12, 10bn CFU of BB-12, or a placebo every morning for four weeks. They also filled out a diary on bowel habits, relief of abdominal discomfort and symptoms.

At the conclusion of the study, the participants who took the BB-12 supplements reported higher defecation frequency and improved abdominal comfort. There was not a noticeable difference in overall digestive comfort between the two different doses of BB-12, which suggests an efficacy ceiling. There was also a high placebo effect, which is common in self-reporting qualitative studies.

Researchers from Chr. Hansen in Denmark conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 18, 2015, in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Bifidobacterium animalus BB-12 is a probiotic that is trademarked to Chr. Hansen. Previous studies suggest that it may help people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. It can be found in dairy products as well as supplement form.

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