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Pediatrics. 2011 Jun;127(6):e1392-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2590. Epub 2011 May 23.

Fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010 in childhood constipation: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Emma's Children's Hospital Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Constipation is a frustrating symptom affecting 3% of children worldwide. A fermented dairy product containing Bifidobacterium lactis strain DN-173 010 was effective in increasing stool frequency in constipated women. Our aim was to assess the effects of this product in constipated children.


In this prospective randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, 159 constipated children (defecation frequency < 3 times per week) were randomly allocated to receive either a fermented dairy product that contains B lactis DN-173 010 (n = 79) or a control product (n = 80) twice a day for 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change in stool frequency from baseline to after 3 weeks of product consumption. Analyses were by intention to treat.


Eleven children did not return to any follow-up visit (5 in the probiotic group, 6 in the control group) and were therefore excluded from the final analysis. Thus, 74 children in each group were analyzed. The change in stool frequency from baseline to after 3 weeks of product consumption increased in both groups, but the difference was not statistically significant (2.9 ± 3.2 in probiotic group versus 2.6 ± 2.6 in control group, P = .35). There were no serious adverse events.


In constipated children, the fermented dairy product containing B lactis strain DN-173 010 did increase stool frequency, but this increase was comparable in the control group. There is currently not sufficient evidence to recommend fermented dairy products containing B lactis strain DN-173 010 in this category of patients. Future studies should focus on whether a longer period of probiotic products is more effective in children who have a short history of constipation.

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