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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2011 Apr;33(7):822-8.
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04594.x. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Randomised Clinical Trial: Dried Plums (Prunes) vs. Psyllium for Constipation

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Randomised Clinical Trial: Dried Plums (Prunes) vs. Psyllium for Constipation

A Attaluri et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. .
Free article

Abstract

Background: Treatment of chronic constipation remains challenging with 50% of patients dissatisfied with current therapy. There is an unmet need for natural and safe alternatives. Dried plums (prunes) have been used traditionally for constipation but their efficacy is not known. Aim To assess and compare the effects of dried plums and psyllium in patients with chronic constipation.

Methods: Subjects were enrolled in an 8-week, single-blind, randomised cross-over study. Subjects received either dried plums (50 g b.d., fibre=6 gm/day) or psyllium (11 g b.d., fibre=6 gm/day) for 3 weeks each, in a crossover trial with a 1-week washout period. Subjects maintained a daily symptom and stool diary. Assessments included number of complete spontaneous bowel movements per week, global relief of constipation, stool consistency, straining, tolerability and taste.

Results: Forty constipated subjects (m/f=3/37, mean age=38 years) participated. The number of complete spontaneous bowel movements per week (primary outcome measure) and stool consistency scores improved significantly (P<0.05) with dried plums when compared to psyllium. Straining and global constipation symptoms did not differ significantly between treatments (P=N.S.). Dried plums and psyllium were rated as equally palatable and both were safe and well tolerated.

Conclusion: Dried plums are safe, palatable and more effective than psyllium for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation, and should be considered as a first line therapy.

Comment in

  • Dried plums vs. psyllium.
    Stanghellini V, Cogliandro RF. Stanghellini V, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 May;33(10):1180-1; author reply 1181-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04639.x. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011. PMID: 21488922 No abstract available.
  • Do dried plums really help constipation?
    Lau S, Donnellan CF, Ford AC. Lau S, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jun;33(11):1258-9; author reply 1259. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04649.x. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011. PMID: 21535058 No abstract available.
  • Prunes vs. psyllium for chronic idiopathic constipation.
    McRorie JW. McRorie JW. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jul;34(2):258-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04713.x. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011. PMID: 21679210 No abstract available.
  • Dried plums, constipation and the irritable bowel syndrome.
    Halmos EP, Gibson PR. Halmos EP, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Aug;34(3):396-7; author reply 397-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04719.x. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011. PMID: 21726250 No abstract available.

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