Tilley L, Keppens K, Kushiro A, Takada T, Sakai T, Vaneechoutte M and Degeest B (2014)
International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics 9 (1/2): 23-30 ISSN 1555-1431
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) on the bowel habit (with emphasis on stool consistency) of subjects suffering from hard stools. Secondly, it was tested whether the probiotic strain (LcS), was able to survive throughout the gastrointestinal tract. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study was carried out over an eight-week period in subjects with symptoms of constipation (n=120). To all subjects, 65 ml/day of a probiotic fermented milk drink containing LcS or a placebo was administered. Patients completed a questionnaire to assess the consistency of their stools. In half of the study population, the survival of the probiotic strain (LcS) was tested using (i) culture and (ii) an LcS specific monoclonal antibody to identify the cultured colonies as LcS (ELISA). There was a significant decrease in stool hardening when consuming a fermented milk drink containing LcS. The observed clinical effect went hand in hand with the observed microbiological effect as the number of viable LcS bacteria in the faeces increased when consuming fermented milk drink containing LcS and decreased during wash-out.