The Effects of Complex Lactobacillus on Bowel Function in Nursing Home Elderly

Yu-Lai Liu, Shwu-Huey Yang, Chien-Hsun Huang, Chin-Hsiao Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lactobacillus is a gut microflora in humans that plays a helpful role in disease prevention and health maintenance. We evaluated whether a designed complex compound of lactobacillus, including Lactobacillus bifidus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bacillus subtilis natto, given in a total amount of 108 colony-forming units (CFU) daily, might improve the bowel function in nursing home elderly. Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled study among 38 nursing-home residents who were ≥65 years old at a community hospital in central Taiwan. The participants were randomized into either an experimental group who received the complex lactobacillus compound (6 g/day); or a placebo group who received glucose polymer (3 g/day). The 10-week study consisted of an initial period of 4 weeks, a 2-week wash-out period and followed by a final period of 4 weeks. We collected data on daily activities, bowel movements, and amount of enemas used. Participants did not change their diets or activity, and usual medications. Results: Stool frequency at week 1 was significantly increased and enema use was significantly decreased at week 2 in the experimental group (p<0.01). However, there was no significant difference in the amount or color of stool between these experiment and placebo groups. This study showed that adding complex lactobacillus compound into the diet improved bowel function among subjects, but these effects did not maintain after 2 weeks intervention. Conclusion: Providing 6 g complex lactobacillus compound per day improved fecal output frequency at week 1 and reduced the use of enemas at week 2 in nursing home for elderly. However, these effects were not observed with prolonged use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • 複合乳酸菌
  • 長期照護
  • 老人
  • 腸道功能
  • 便秘
  • complex lactobacillus
  • long-term care
  • elderly
  • bowel function
  • constipation


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