The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a multispecies probiotic on gut microbiota composition and constipation symptoms.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted with 35 individuals with constipation for 30 days. The individuals were randomized into two groups: the control capsule (CC) and the probiotic capsule (PC) groups. Constipation symptoms were evaluated by the ROME IV criteria and by evacuation diaries. Fecal microbiota was analyzed by 16 S rRNA gene sequencing.
The majority of participants were women (85.7%). There was a significant reduction in the percent of participants who had incomplete defecation (P = 0.034), blockage sensation (P = 0.025), and rarely present liquid stools without the aid of laxatives (P = 0.046) only within the PC group (but no significant difference between groups). There was a significant increase in the relative abundance percentage of Blautia faecis and Ruminococcus torques in the CC group (P = 0.003 and P = 0.011, respectively), although there was no significant change in the PC group (P = 0.794 and P = 0.958, respectively), with a significant difference between groups (P = 0.029 and P 0.013, respectively), suggesting that probiotic treatment prevented the increase of percent relative abundance of these two species.
These results suggest that multispecies probiotics in capsule form may modulate gut microbiota by reducing the bacteria that are commonly increased in patients with constipation, contributing to the balance of microbiota and, consequently, to the well-being of the individual. Future studies with larger numbers of patients are required.
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