Constipation is a common problem in males and females. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the laxative effects of fermented rice extract (FRe) on rats with loperamide-induced constipation. FRe (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg) was administered orally once per day for six days following 1 h loperamide treatment. The laxative effects of FRe were compared with those of sodium picosulfate (S. picosulfate). Following the induction of constipation in the rats, a marked decrease was observed in the fecal pellet number and water content discharged over 24 h, the surface mucus thickness in the colonic lumen, intestinal charcoal transit ratio, thickness of the colonic mucosa and the number of mucus-producing cells, while an increase was observed in the number of fecal pellets remaining in the colonic lumen and their mean diameter, as compared with the normal vehicle control rats. These conditions were significantly alleviated following the administration of the three doses of FRe when compared with the loperamide control group. However, the alleviating effects were lower than those of S. picosulfate, with the exception of the intestinal charcoal transit ratio. Similar effects on the intestinal charcoal transit ratio were detected for the three doses of FRe when compared with the S. picosulfate-treated rats. In conclusion, the results indicated that FRe exhibits a laxative effect without causing diarrhea, as compared with sodium picosulfate; thus, FRe may be effective as a complementary medicine in patients suffering from lifestyle-induced constipation.
Keywords: constipation; fermented rice extract; histomorphometry; laxative; rat.