What is the role of probiotics in the treatment of pediatric constipation?

Updated: Dec 14, 2018
  • Author: Stephen M Borowitz, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Although some evidence suggests that gastrointestinal flora is important in gut motility, no evidence suggests that gut florae are different in children with constipation than gut florae in healthy controls. While both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been shown to increase stool frequency and decrease stool consistency in healthy adults, there is little evidence that probiotics are effective in treating constipation in either adults or children. [26, 27]  However, a study that investigated whether oral supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 during the first 3 months of life can reduce the onset of colic, gastroesophageal reflux, and constipation in term newborns reported that prophylactic use of L reuteri DSM 17938 during the first 3 months of life reduced the onset of functional gastrointestinal disorders and reduced private and public costs for the management of this condition. [28]

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