Synbiotics Shown To Ease Constipation
It is estimated that constipation affects as many as 16% of adults across the world, and that women and the elderly are particularly susceptible. A recent study suggests that taking synbiotics may help alleviate slow transit constipation.
Participants in the study included 100 people with slow transit constipation who were given either a synbiotic containing pectin fiber, Enterococci, Bifidobacteria, and Lactobacilli, or a placebo of malodextrin twice daily for 12 weeks.
At week four of the study, the participants in the synbiotics group had clinical remission rates of 37.5%. This rose to 45.8% by week twelve. The placebo group had remission rates of 13.3% and 16.7% at weeks four and 12, respectively.
Over the course of the 12-week study, 64.6% of the supplement group showed clinical improvement, compared with 29.2% of the placebo group. The synbiotics group also had increased stool frequency, improved stool consistency, decreased colonic transit time, and improved constipation-related symptoms.
Researchers from Jinling Hospital at the Medical School of Nanjing University and the Zhejiang University in China conducted the study. It was published on September 28, 2016, in Nutrients.
Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut.
While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.