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Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019 May;22(3):270-281. doi: 10.5223/pghn.2019.22.3.270. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

The Magnesium-Rich Formula for Functional Constipation in Infants: a Randomized Comparator-Controlled Study.

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Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
KidZ Health Castle, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.



To compare the effectiveness of the magnesium (Mg)-enriched formula vs. control formula in constipated infants.


An open-label, interventional, and the comparator-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mg-enriched formula in formula-fed infants ≤6 months old presenting with functional constipation according to modified Rome IV criteria. Infants were randomized 1:1 to intervention or control formula for 30 days. Parents recorded stool consistency (hard, normal, or watery) and frequency on days 1-7 and 23-29. Physicians recorded patient baseline characteristics and performed the clinical examination at the time of three patient visits (baseline, day 8, and 30).


Of the 286 recruited infants, 143 received the Mg-rich formula and 142 received the control formula. After 7 days, significantly more infants had stools with normal consistency with the Mg-rich formula compared to the infants fed with the control formula (81.8% vs. 41.1%; p<0.001). The number of infants passing one or more stools per day was increased at day 7 in the Mg-rich formula group (86.7% vs. 68.2%; p<0.001). At days 7 and 29, >25% of infants responded completely to the Mg-rich formula compared to <5% of infants fed with the control formula (p<0.001). Parents of infants in the Mg-rich formula group were very satisfied with the treatment (80.8% vs. 10.2%), with the majority willing to continue treatment after 30 days (97.9% vs. 52.6%; p<0.001).


The Mg-rich formula significantly improved stool consistency and frequency compared to the control formula in constipated infants.


Constipation; Defecation; Infant formula; Infants; Magnesium; Nutrition therapy

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