Probiotics with magnesium oxide found effective in managing constipation in children – BioGaia study

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

A study has found that consuming probiotics together with magnesium oxide is effective in managing constipation amongst children. ©Getty Images
A study has found that consuming probiotics together with magnesium oxide is effective in managing constipation amongst children. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Probiotics, Constipation, Children, Biogaia

A double-blind, randomised clinical trial has shown that the supplementation of probiotics with the laxative magnesium oxide is effective in managing constipation in young children.

Findings of the trial which was conducted in Japanese young children, were published in the scientific journal Nutrients.

The probiotic used for the trial is lactobacillus reuteri​ DSM 17938 and was supplied by Swedish probiotic firm BioGaia.

The researchers recruited the subjects from five paediatric outpatient clinics.

Sixty patients between the age of six months old and six years old and diagnosed with functional constipation were randomised into three groups.

The first group received the probiotic and lactose hydrate as a placebo of magnesium oxide, the second group received the probiotic and magnesium oxide, and the last group received a placebo of the probiotic and magnesium oxide.

Throughout the four-week study, the probiotic, which came in the form of an oil suspension, was administered in five drops 30 minutes after feeding twice a day.

Whereas magnesium oxide was administered at 30mg/kg of body weight each day.

Using a diary, the subjects’ defecation frequency and stool consistency were recorded. 

All three groups showed a significant increase in the frequency of bowel movements during the second and fourth week when compared with the baseline condition.

However, only the combination of the probiotic and magnesium oxide showed a significant increase in both the defecation frequency and a decrease in stool consistency when compared to the baseline.

For instance, the mean defecation per week increased from 1.35 to 1.71 in subjects which consumed the probiotic and magnesium oxide, while this figure only grew from 1.51 to 1.68 in the group that received the probiotic and lactose hydrate.

Lastly, for the group which received probiotic and magnesium oxide placebo, this figure grew from 0.82 to 1.50. 

‘We postulated that magnesium oxide would be effective in improving the stool consistency and that L. reuteri DSM17938 would increase the defecation frequency.

‘Our results showed that both had an effect on the defecation frequency and magnesium oxide improved stool consistency,’ ​the researchers said.

Future studies

The researchers said that further studies are needed to confirm the most efficacious dosage and the length of treatment.

In the current trial, the amount of the probiotic L. reuteri DSM 17938 ​administered was twice as much as the recommendation. A higher dosage than recommended was tested in this trial due to the safety profile of the probiotic.

On the other hand, the trial showed that there were concomitant changes in the gut microbiome.

For example, the higher the defecation frequency, the lower the amount of the Clostridiales-belonging bacteria in the subjects’ gut microbiome.

Magnesium oxide also significantly suppressed the presence of the genus Dialister.

Building on the current observation, the researchers said there was a need to further find out the relationship between probiotic treatment and its effects on the gut microbiome.

As the study did not assess lifestyle factors, including the subjects’ diet, water consumption, and exercise frequency, they also pointed out that further studies on these aspects were required.

‘Although the evidence is currently insufficient to support a general recommendation concerning the use of probiotics to treat functional childhood constipation, this therapeutic option is generally considered safe,’ ​the researchers concluded.

 

Source: Nutrients

Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Magnesium Oxide in Children with Functional Chronic Constipation: A Double-Blind and Randomized Clinical Trial

DOI:10.3390/nu12010225

Authors: Megumi Kubota, et al

Related topics: Research, Supplements, Gut/digestive health

Related news

Related products

show more

HRB are ideal probiotics for human health

HRB are ideal probiotics for human health

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. | 13-Jan-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Evidence is accumulated that the physiological benefits of probiotics bifidobacteria are not only strain-specific but also dependent on their residential...

Fermented Soy for Natural Digestive Support

Fermented Soy for Natural Digestive Support

Lallemand Bio-Ingredients | 22-Apr-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Lallemand is running a new clinical trial for Gastro-AD® in spring 2019. Gastro-AD® is a clinically studied food supplement based on non-GMO soy fermented...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars