A relationship between Bifidobacterium and defecation has previously been reported. Our hypothesis on the effectiveness of alkaline electrolyzed water (AEW) proposes that ingestion of AEW, considered possessing antioxidative properties, increases the number of Bifidobacteria and improves stool hardness and gastrointestinal symptoms. A double-blind, randomized study was conducted to evaluate the connection between stool consistency and change in gut microbiota composition induced by drinking hydrogen-dissolved AEW. The participants drank 500 mL of purified tap water or AEW every day for 2 weeks. In this study, drinking AEW did not drastically change gut microbiota, but it appeared to act on a specific bacterial species. Drinking AEW was confirmed to cause an increase in Bifidobacterium. The AEW group also saw stool consistency significantly converge to Bristol stool scale Type 4 ("normal"). Therefore, it is highly likely that the gut microbiota will be changed by drinking AEW. This study was retrospectively registered in University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN ID: UMIN000039507) on February 18, 2020, and was approved by the Ethics Committee of University of Yamanashi (approval No. H30-25) on January 9, 2018.
Keywords: 16S rRNA; alkaline electrolyzed water; antioxidative properties; bifidobacterium; double-blind randomized trial; gastrointestinal symptoms; gut microbiota; hydrogen; next-generation sequencing; stool consistency.