Cassani E, Privitera G, Pezzoli G, et al. Use of probiotics for the treatment of constipation in Parkinson’s disease patients. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol 2011;57(2):117-121.
The aim of this paper was to assess the effects of milk fermented with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota on constipation in Parkinson’s disease patients. Constipation is a common secondary symptom in patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease (PD), generally treated with dietary therapy, soluble fiber supplements and macrogol laxatives without sodium sulfate. There are no studies on the use of probiotics in the treatment of constipation in these patients. The effects of the administration of Lactobacillus casei Shirota on gastrointestinal symptoms have been assessed in two randomized controlled trials on patients suffering from chronic constipation.
Forty PD patients suffering from constipation according to Rome III criteria were recruited. We compared the characteristic of intestinal function during two periods with different treatments: in the first week the patients treated constipation only with dietetic therapy; in the following 5 weeks the patients treated constipation not only with dietetic therapy, but also taking a 65 mL fermented milk drink containing 6.5×109 CFU of Lactobacilus casei Shirota daily.They completed a daily diary for 6 weeks, recording details related to their intestinal function.
After probiotic intake we observed a statistically significant increase in the number of days per week in which stools were of normal consistency (P<0.01) and significant reductions in the number of days per week in which patients felt bloated (P<0.01), experienced abdominal pain (P<0.01) and sensation of incomplete emptying (P<0.01).
This pilot study showed that a regular intake of probiotics can significantly improve stool consistency and bowel habits in Parkinson’s disease patients.