Probiotics - Best Remedy for Constipation
Probiotics for Constipation - Does it work?
Constipation is one of those conditions that does not show preference with respect to age. They can affect persons of all ages whether young or old. The condition could mean that you are experiencing problems passing stool or you are completely unable to empty your bowel. It could also cause your stool to be lumpy and hard being either unusually large or small. The severity of the condition varies from one person to the other. There are those who experience it for a short period while there are those (suffering from chronic constipation) who suffer for a prolonged period of time. But regardless of the time spent in agony, one thing is for sure – it is extremely uncomfortable and painful for many. You should note that constipation, contrary to popular belief is not only caused by failure to take in enough fluids. Some medication have it as a side effect even. Do dont be so hard on yourself at times there is little you can do to avoid the situation.
So say you have the condition. What steps should you take? Of course taking in water at this point will not provide you with fast acting relief as you would like. This is where probiotics come in to save the day. They are a product of advanced technology and play a major role in alleviating constipation discomfort. They are so effective in what they do that many have made them their go to solution for the condition. This has caused an increase in demand which in turn causes a spike in supply. Now ideally, increase in supply of the product is a great thing. However, with the various options, choosing the very best in the market becomes confusing. In this piece, we seek to unravel the confusion and lay bare the facts that will guide you to the best product in the market. But first, some background on how they work their magic.
How probiotics work
This might be shocking but it is a fact. Our intestines are made up of billions of bacteria. We have what is referred to as a mutualistic association. To function normally we require these bacteria to be at certain levels. A disruption in these levels can cause digestive problems one of them being constipation. Many of the bacteria in the colon are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. As such, it only makes sense to have probiotics featuring these specific strains to help with your constipation.
There are some probiotics that work by producing lactic acid and some short chain fatty acids. These collectively work to lower the pH in the large intestines which in turn increases the muscle contractions in the colon.
Some bacteria of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species work to increase bowel movements by converting bound bile salts into some free bile salts. It is these free bile salts that cause the colon walls to absorb more water and soften the stool eliminating any constipation symptoms and discomfort.
But even with the different working of different probiotics in the market, you should note that there isn’t any specific trigger for constipation and as a result no one size fits all solution to it either. The good news, however, is that there are some probiotic for constipation that are effective in reducing discomfort.
Probiotics are all different
As stated above, there isn’t a one size fits all probiotic in the market. They are all designed unique in their working and effectiveness. When you are making your choice, it is recommended that you choose a probiotic strain that has undergone intense trials and have proven to be of great benefit. Speaking of trials, you should ensure that the stain you choose has been designed in a way that it can withstand the low pH levels in the stomach otherwise it will be useless.
And just like the probiotic strains are different, people are also different in how they respond to medication. So what may have worked for your friend might not necessarily work for you. It is therefore advisable (and this you cannot afford to forego) that you take your time doing your research for the best probiotic for constipation for you. That said, below are some probiotics you are bound to find suitable to relieving your pain and discomfort.
BB-12 is one of the most well researched product there is in the market. Its effectiveness curve is perfect meaning you are almost guaranteed to find relief using this probiotic. Several trials has been run on it to prove its effectiveness and it has come out on top. The tests includes IBS patients and another with elderly constipated patients 1, 3, 4.
B. lactis DN-173 010 is yet another strain from the B. lactis that has proven effective after several studies. In a study that is considered the largest there is with a whopping 256 patients, it recorded very positive results in their effectiveness reducing constipation.
Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus
LCG is a greatly researched strain that has greatly benefits to one’s health encompassing constipation. However, it is important to note that the results of the studies are mixed. A pilot study conducted on a combination of several different probiotics increased bowel movements while a study that followed showed no change upon administration to children who are constipated and who have been given lactulose (which is a common remedy for constipation). As such, more studies are required to seal the deal on the health benefits of this probiotic.
To come out clearly on the benefits of this strain, a parallel study was conducted. 70 adults (healthy) too part in the study. They each drank a combination of 375g of fermented milk on a daily basis for 11 days straight. The fermented milk contained the B.animalis strain DN-173 010 and reduced their colon time by a whole 20%. These results, interestingly enough were more pronounced in women patients that in men patients.
So to prove these results, the study was redone with persons suffering from constipation and as you would guess, it came out on top.
You might be in great discomfort at the moment and are looking for the fastest relief you can possibly get. This is understandable but even so, you should take your time in choosing the best probiotic for constipation available in the market.