Nagata S et al. (2016) Ann Nutr Metab. 68(1):51-59.
Aim: To clarify the usefulness of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) – fermented milk in the normalization of bowel movements and improvement of infection control for the elderly residents and staff of facilities for the elderly.
Methods: A randomized placebo-controlled double-blind test was performed among the elderly residents (average age, 85) and staff members (average age, 37) of facilities for the elderly. The participants randomly received either LcS-fermented milk or a placebo beverage once daily for 6 months. Clinical data and enteric conditions were compared between the 2 groups.
Results: A significantly lower incidence of fever and improved bowel movement was seen in the LcS – fermented milk group (n=36) in comparison to the placebo group (n=36). The numbers of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus were significantly higher (p < 0.01) whereas pathogenic organisms such as Clostridium difficile were significantly lower (p < 0.05), fecal acetic acid concentration and total acidity was significantly higher in the LcS group. A significant difference in the intestinal microbiota, fecal acetic acid, and pH was also observed between the LcS and placebo groups among the staff members.
Conclusions: The long-term consumption of LcS-fermented milk may be useful for decreasing the daily risk of infection and improving the quality of life among the residents and staff of facilities for the elderly.