The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 215–220

Probiotics improve bowel movements in hospitalized elderly patients — The proage study

Authors

    • Harzfeld Geriatric Medical Center
    • The department of Epidemiology and Health evaluation, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev
    • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    • Harzfeld Geriatric Medical Center
  • E. Rimon
    • Harzfeld Geriatric Medical Center
    • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • H. Vardi
    • The department of Epidemiology and Health evaluation, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev
    • The S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition and Department of EpidemiologyFaculty of Health Sciences
  • M. Friger
    • The department of Epidemiology and Health evaluation, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev
  • A. Bolotin
    • The department of Epidemiology and Health evaluation, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev
  • D. R. Shahar
    • The department of Epidemiology and Health evaluation, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev
    • The S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition and Department of EpidemiologyFaculty of Health Sciences
JNHA: Clinical Trials and Aging

DOI: 10.1007/s12603-010-0323-3

Cite this article as:
Zaharoni, H., Rimon, E., Vardi, H. et al. J Nutr Health Aging (2011) 15: 215. doi:10.1007/s12603-010-0323-3

Abstract

Objective

To determine the impact of probiotics on the prevention of problems with bowel movements malnutrition and infection.

Design

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

Setting

Peripheral Geriatric Hospital. Participants: 243 elderly patients age≥65y who were hospitalized in a Geriatric Orthopedic Rehabilitation Department. Intervention: Participants were randomized into treatment or control groups (daily probiotics or placebo for 45 consecutive days, respectively).

Measurements

The main outcomes were: number of days of constipation or diarrhea and the number of days of laxative use. Secondary measures were nutritional status and blood measurements.

Results

Of 599 patients admitted to the Geriatric Rehabilitation ward, 345 were eligible and agreed to participate. During a 7-day pre-trial period, 102 patients dropped out (45 and 57 in the probiotic and placebo groups respectively). Out of the 243 patients who entered the study, 28 dropped out during the study (11.5%), leaving 215 patients. Throughout the 45 days of follow-up, the incidence of diarrhea was significantly lower among the study group (HR=0.42, p=0.04) with a more pronounced difference among participants aged ≥ 80y (HR=0.32, p=0.026). Laxative use (as an indicator of constipation severity) was significantly lower in the study group compared with the control group (HR=0.74, p=0.032). Serum albumin, prealbumin and protein increased significantly more in the treatment group compared with the control group among participants age≥80y (P=0.047, p=0.07, p=0.03 respectively) but not in the younger age group.

Conclusion

We showed that probiotic supplements may have a positive effect on bowel movements among orthopedic rehabilitation elderly patients.

Key words

Probioticselderlyconstipationdiarrheanutrition
Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2011