Study Finds No Benefit of Activia on Child Constipation

May 25, 2011

The probiotic-containing dairy product Activia was considered ineffective in reducing constipation in 74 children, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

The probiotic-containing dairy product Activia was considered ineffective in reducing constipation in 74 children, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Activia is a fermented dairy drink that contains the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium lactis. It has shown success in reducing constipation in women, according to the researchers.

Constipation affects an estimated 4% of children worldwide.

Led by Merit M. Tabbers, MD, PhD, a pediatric gastroenterology at Emma’s Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam, researchers assigned 159 children to two daily servings of Activia or placebo for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, stool frequency was compared to baseline.

After three weeks of supplementation, Activia provided no statistically significant improvement on stool frequency compared to placebo. Both placebo and Activia were associated with improvements in stool frequency.

The researchers concluded that they had not produced sufficient evidence to recommend fermented dairy products containing Bifidobacterium lactis for children. They urged that future studies on probiotic dairy drinks should focus on longer periods of use.