Chocolate biscuits containing probiotics could help to preserve microorganisms in the gut that decline with age and cause constipation and diarrhea, according to a study.
A report by Rampbellie et. al in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that biscuits containing particular strains of probiotics could counteract pathobiont components which usually decrease key microbiota with age, leading to elderly people struggling to control bowel functions.
Functional foods for the elderly
“Our data demonstrated that one month consumption of a probiotics-containing biscuit was effective in redressing some of the age-related dysbioses of the intestinal microbiota,” said the study.
“In particular, the probiotic treatment reverted the age-related increase of the opportunistic pathogens, “it continued.
The authors said the study opened the way for developing elderly-tailored probiotic-based functional foods to counteract the age-related dysbioses of the intestinal microbiota.
Method and results
To reach these conclusions, the authors split 32 elderly Italians with a mean age of 76 into two groups.
They instructed one group to eat a probiotic biscuit once a day for 30 days and the other group to eat a placebo.
The functional biscuit contained a mixture of probiotic strains Bifidobacterium longum (Bar33) and Lactobacillus helveticus (Bar13), which were chosen as they were believed to demonstrateimmune-regulative properties.
The researchers measured intestinal microbiota using the phylogenetic microarray platform HTF-Microbi.Array before and after intervention.
They found that the probiotic biscuit could help to preserve intestinal microbiota.
The authors added that a future study could evaluate the impact of the biscuits on the immune function of the elderly as they believe the probiotic mix could also preserve inflammatory responses that decline with age.
The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 2012
‘A probiotics-containing biscuit modulates the intestinal microbiota in the elderly’
Authors: S. Rampelli, M. Candela, M. Severgnini, E. Biagi, S. Turroni, M. Roselli, P. Carnevali, L. Donini and P. Brigidi