Probiotics may help treat constipation in infants, a new study shows. A class of "friendly bacteria" naturally present in the digestive tract, probiotics are available in supplement form and often used to improve gut health.
The study involved 44 infants, all of whom were diagnosed with chronic constipation. For eight weeks, the infants received either a dietary supplement containing the probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri or a placebo. Study results showed that babies given the probiotic treatment had a significantly higher frequency of bowel movements over the course of the study (compared to those assigned to the placebo). What's more, no side effects were associated with use of the probiotic supplement.
Previous research suggests that probiotics may also ease constipation in adults, as well as help treat other common digestive complaints (such as diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems resulting from use of antibiotics)