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J Nutr Health Aging. 2007 Jul-Aug;11(4):305-11.

Fermented cereal with specific bifidobacteria normalizes bowel movements in elderly nursing home residents. A randomized, controlled trial.

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K.H. Pitkala, Helsinki University Hospital, Department of Medicine, Clinics of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Po Box 340, Fin-00029 HUS, Finland.



To assess how fermented oat drink with two selected Bifidobacterium longum strains influences bowel movements among elderly nursing home residents.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


12 wards in two nursing homes in Finland.


209 residents.


Wards were randomized to receive daily a fermented oat drink with 1) 109 CFU/day Bifidobacterium longum strains or 2) 109 CFU/day Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 or 3) without viable bacteria (placebo) for 7 months.


Regularity of bowel movements (no movements or functioning) and consistency of stools (normal, soft or diarrhoea) were recorded for each resident on a daily basis.


The fermented oat drinks were well taken by the subjects, compliance being 85%. The groups receiving active products had more frequent bowel movements than did the placebo group (B. longum group normal functioning 28.5% of follow-up days, B.lactis group 26.9%, and placebo group 20.0%, respectively). The differences between the B. longum and the placebo group (mean 7.1, 95% CI 2.3 - 11.9, p=0.004) and between the B.lactis group and the placebo (mean 6.7, 95% CI 2.5 - 10.9, p = 0.002) were significant even when diarrhoea and constipation in the 3 months prior to the study were used as covariates.


It is possible to normalize bowel movements in frail nursing home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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