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Constipation and Probiotics
Constipation is a top gastrointestinal complaint among adult Americans today. Over 4 million adults in the US have FREQUENT constipation, which translates into 2.5 million visits to the doctor every year.
Research conducted over the past decade or so has shown that probiotics is beneficial in treating constipation — despite the fact that it was previously regarded as a diarrhea treatment.
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as live microorganisms that give health benefits when taken by a host. In short, they're friendly or good bacteria that aid your digestive system when you take them.
Probiotics come in the form of health drinks and over the counter (OTC) products, which are available at your health food store.
An example of a commercially available probiotic strain is Lactobacillus casei Shirota , found in the beverage, Yakult. There are also OTC products, such as PoopDoc's Probiotic , which has several excellent strains yielding billions of organisms.
Constipation and Probiotics – What Clinical Tests Reveal
In 2002, scientists at Finland 's University of Turku studied the effects of probiotics on constipation and fecal conditions among the elderly. The probiotic L. rhamnosus/P. freudenreichii in juice form was found to increase bowel movement by 24%.
In a study published in a 2001 European medical journal, the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota , was found to improve the symptoms of constipation in 89% of the subjects, such as:
- Constipation severity decreased
- Bowel movement became more frequent
- Stool consistency improved
However, symptoms of gas and bloating remained the same. This probably indicates the need for a dietary changes or another type of probiotic that cures flatulence. Lactobacillus casei Shirota alone can't cure stomach irritants that cause gas and intestinal swelling, despite its positive effect on constipation.
Constipation and Probiotics – 10 Advantages
Given the many side effects of OTC meds like laxatives and other stomach irritants, more Americans are now looking at probiotics to solve constipation, as well as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Crohn's disease.
Following are the benefits of probiotics in fighting constipation, boosting overall digestive health, and enhancing well being.
- Fights bad bacteria, which cause bloating, gas, stomachache, and constipation or diarrhea
- Protects intestinal lining and helps fight infection
- Assists digestive enzyme production
- Reduces toxic substances in the stomach
- Reduces the chances of eczema and allergies in infants when taken by pregnant/breastfeeding mothers
- Treats skin problems, like acne, psoriasis, and yeast infections
- Fights body odor and halitosis
- Normalizes cholesterol levels
- Helps treat Fibromyalgia (muscoskeletal pain and fatigue common in women)
- Reduces frequency of colds/flu