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      Effects of 28-day Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis HN019 supplementation on colonic transit time and gastrointestinal symptoms in adults with functional constipation: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, and dose-ranging trial

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          Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis HN019 (HN019) ameliorates chronic idiopathic constipation. Our aim was to determine the efficacy and safety of 28-day supplementation with 1 × 10 9 or 1 × 10 10 CFU of HN019/day for constipation. A total of 228 adults who were diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria were randomized in a double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. Colonic transit time (CTT), the primary outcome, and secondary outcomes that were measured using inventories—patient assessment of constipation symptoms (PAC-SYM) and quality of life (PAC-QoL), bowel function index (BFI), bowel movement frequency (BMF), stool consistency, degree of straining, bowel emptying, bloating, and pain severity—were assessed. Ancillary parameters and harms were also evaluated.

          There were no statistically significant differences in the primary or secondary outcomes between interventions. A post hoc analysis of 65 participants with fewer than 3 bowel movements per week (BMF ≤ 3/week) showed a physiologically relevant increase in weekly BMF in the high- (+2.0) and low-dose (+1.7) HN019 groups—by RMANOVA, the HN019 groups with BMF ≤ 3/week, pooled together, had a higher BMF versus placebo ( P value = 0.01). Thus, improving low stool frequency could be a target of future interventions with HN019. High-dose HN019 also decreased the degree of straining at Day 28 versus placebo in those with BMF ≤ 3/week ( P value = 0.02). Three unlikely related AEs—2 with low-dose HN019 and 1 with placebo—were followed until full recovery. In conclusion, although there were no differences in the primary analysis, HN019 is well tolerated and improves BMF in adults with low stool frequency.

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          Rome III: New standard for functional gastrointestinal disorders.

          The publication in the April, 2006 issue of Gastroenterology of Rome III has made available to the scientific world an enhanced and updated version of the Rome criteria and related information on the functional GI disorders. It is expected that the criteria will be adopted and used by physicians, pharmaceuticals and regulatory agencies worldwide, just as the previous Rome II became the standard for clinical practice and research. In this issue of J Gastrointestin Liver Dis, these Guidelines, the Rome III, are presented. Also included are some of the differences between Rome II and Rome III criteria as well as the rationale for publishing this new version.
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            Do stool form and frequency correlate with whole-gut and colonic transit? Results from a multicenter study in constipated individuals and healthy controls.

            Despite a lack of supportive data, stool form and stool frequency are often used as clinical surrogates for gut transit in constipated patients. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between stool characteristics (form and frequency) and gut transit in constipated and healthy adults. A post hoc analysis was performed on 110 subjects (46 chronic constipation) from nine US sites recording stool form (Bristol Stool Scale) and frequency during simultaneous assessment of whole-gut and colonic transit by wireless motility capsule (WMC) and radio-opaque marker (ROM) tests. Stool form and frequency were correlated with transit times using Spearman's rank correlation. Accuracy of stool form in predicting delayed transit was assessed by receiver operating characteristic analysis. In the constipated adults (42 females, 4 males), moderate correlations were found between stool form and whole-gut transit measured by WMC (r=-0.61, P<0.0001) or ROM (-0.45, P=0.0016), as well as colonic transit measured by WMC (-0.62, P<0.0001). A Bristol stool form value <3 predicted delayed whole-gut transit with a sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 82% and delayed colonic transit with a sensitivity of 82% and specificity of 83%. No correlation between stool form and measured transit was found in healthy adults, regardless of gender. No correlation was found between stool frequency and measured transit in constipated or healthy adults. The correlation between stool frequency and measured transit remained poor in constipated adults with <3 bowel movements per week. Stool form predicts delayed vs. normal transit in adults. However, only a moderate correlation exists between stool form and measured whole-gut or colonic transit time in constipated adults. In contrast, stool frequency is a poor surrogate for transit, even in those with reduced stool frequency.
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              Inability of the Rome III criteria to distinguish functional constipation from constipation-subtype irritable bowel syndrome.

              The Rome III classification system treats functional constipation (FC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) as distinct disorders, but this distinction appears artificial, and the same drugs are used to treat both. This study's hypothesis is that FC and IBS-C defined by Rome III are not distinct entities. In all, 1,100 adults with a primary care visit for constipation and 1,700 age- and gender-matched controls from a health maintenance organization completed surveys 12 months apart; 66.2% returned the first questionnaire. Rome III criteria identified 231 with FC and 201 with IBS-C. The second survey was completed by 195 of the FC and 141 of the IBS-C cohorts. Both surveys assessed the severity of constipation and IBS, quality of life (QOL), and psychological distress. (i) Overlap: if the Rome III requirement that patients meeting criteria for IBS cannot be diagnosed with FC is suspended, 89.5% of IBS-C cases meet criteria for FC and 43.8% of FC patients fulfill criteria for IBS-C. (ii) No qualitative differences between FC and IBS-C: 44.8% of FC patients report abdominal pain, and paradoxically IBS-C patients have more constipation symptoms than FC. (iii) Switching between diagnoses: by 12 months, 1/3 of FC transition to IBS-C and 1/3 of IBS-C change to FC. Patients identified by Rome III criteria for FC and IBS-C are not distinct groups. Revisions to the Rome III criteria, possibly including incorporation of physiological tests of transit and pelvic floor function, are needed.

                Author and article information

                Gut Microbes
                Gut Microbes
                Gut Microbes
                Taylor & Francis
                8 February 2018
                8 February 2018
                : 9
                : 3
                : 236-251
                [a ]E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., DuPont Nutrition and Health, Global Health and Nutrition Science , Kantvik, Finland
                [b ]Eurofins Optimed SAS, Clinical Research , Gières, France
                Author notes
                CONTACT Alvin Ibarra, PhD alvin.ibarra@ DuPont Nutrition and Health, Danisco Sweeteners Oy , Sokeritehtaantie 20, 02460 Kantvik, Finland

                Supplemental data for this article can be accessed on the publisher's website.

                © 2018 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 6, Equations: 0, References: 50, Pages: 16
                Research Paper


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