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Investigation of Dried Plums in the Treatment of Adults With Constipation

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01180725
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 12, 2010
Last Update Posted : August 12, 2010
California Dried Plum Board
Information provided by:
University of Iowa

Brief Summary:

Background: Constipation is a common problem that affects nearly 60 million Americans. The treatment of constipation remains challenging with one half of patients dissatisfied with current therapy. There is a need for a food-based, natural, convenient and tasty alternative to the currently available OTC laxatives and fiber supplements, particularly for patients with occasional and mild constipation. Dried plums and prune juice have been traditionally used for the treatment of constipation but has not been systematically assessed in patients with well defined constipation. Also, the efficacy, palatability and tolerability of dried plums in the treatment of chronic constipation have not been examined.

Aim: To investigate and compare the effects of dried plums and psyllium on the overall relief of constipation symptoms, taste and quality of life in adults with functional constipation in a randomized crossover controlled trial.

Methods: We propose to study 40 subjects with functional constipation in a single blinded, randomized, cross-over study comparing 3 weeks of dried plums with 3 weeks of treatment with Psyllium

Data analysis: The primary outcome measure will be the global relief of constipation symptoms as rated by the subject at the end of each phase of the study. Additionally, we will assess several secondary outcome measures that will include the number of Complete Spontaneous Bowel Movements (CSBM) per week, Quality of Life , psychological profile, patient rating of taste on a VAS scale, patient rating of bloating, distension, satiety and fullness and patient rating of constipation-related symptoms.

Expected Results: We anticipate that treatment with dried plums will improve symptoms of constipation compared to the baseline. This improvement will be comparable to that achieved with psyllium (Metamucil) treatment. Additionally, dried plums will offer a natural, food based, convenient and more tasty alternative to over-the-counter laxatives and fiber supplements.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Constipation Dietary Supplement: Dried Plum Dietary Supplement: Metamucil Phase 4

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Constipation

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Constipation as defined by Rome III criteria (3,4). Patients must have symptoms for > 3 days/month for the past three months and report at least two of the following symptoms ≥ 25% of the time: straining, lumpy or hard stool, sensation of incomplete evacuation, sensation of anorectal obstruction/blockage, use of manual maneuvers, < 3 bowel movements/week. Also, they should have insufficient criteria for IBS, and only rarely experience loose stools without the use of laxatives
  2. Adults between the ages of 18-75 years

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Patients taking drugs that are known to be constipating will be excluded or asked to discontinue medications for at least 2 weeks and reassessed. For example, we will recommend that patients taking calcium channel antagonists contact their respective primary care physicians to explore alternative medications for hypertension such as beta blockers or ACE-inhibitors. If the calcium channel antagonists can to be discontinued, patients will be re-screened at least two weeks after the medications are discontinued. If patients no longer meet inclusion criteria, they will be excluded from the study. Patients who remain constipated will be eligible for enrollment.
  2. Patients with co-morbid illnesses such as severe cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, or those with previous gastrointestinal surgery except cholecystectomy and appendectomy.
  3. Patients with neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, strokes, spinal cord injuries, and those who have problems with cognizance, i.e. a mini-mental score of <15 and/or are legally blind will be excluded.
  4. Patients with Hirschsprung' s disease, or active local anorectal problems such as anal fissures, bleeding hemorrhoids, etc
  5. Patients with alternating constipation and diarrhea and those who fulfill the Rome-III criteria for irritable bowel syndrome.
  6. Patients using fiber supplements, laxatives, PEG, Tegaserod or Lubiprostone and unwilling to discontinue these medications at least 2 weeks prior to the study.
  7. Subjects with a known allergy to psyllium or plums.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01180725

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United States, Iowa
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa, United States, 52242
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Iowa
California Dried Plum Board
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT01180725    
Other Study ID Numbers: Dried Plum
First Posted: August 12, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 12, 2010
Last Verified: August 2010
Keywords provided by University of Iowa:
To investigate and compare the effects of dried plums and psyllium on the overall relief of constipation symptoms
To investigate and compare the taste of dried plums and psyllium
To investigate and compare the quality of life of dried plums and psyllium
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Signs and Symptoms, Digestive
Gastrointestinal Agents