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19 Nov 2014 - 09:00

DuPont Nutrition & Health Ingredient Provides Gentle Relief from Constipation

Scientists at DuPont Nutrition & Health have documented the ability of lactitol to relieve adult constipation on a par with the recognized gold standard in the osmotic laxative market.

The study is the first meta-analysis to quantify the effect of lactitol supplementation, collating the findings of 11 clinical studies that involved 663 patients in total.

Well-tolerated effect

No significant difference was apparent when comparing the efficacy of lactitol with lactulose, one of the most commonly used osmotic laxatives. However, lactitol does show a tendency to increase stool frequency, the analysis concludes. The evidence, although limited, further suggests that lactitol is superior to stimulant laxatives.

"The study documents what has long been suspected – that lactitol relieves the symptoms of constipation. Importantly, it shows that lactitol is very well tolerated," says Arthur Ouwehand, research manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health and one of the scientists behind the study.

Manufacturer interest

Published in the international journal Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, the meta-analysis is of interest to manufacturers of pharmaceutical and over-the counter medicines targeting the many adults – up to 27% - who regularly suffer from constipation.

At DuPont, which manufacturers its own brand of lactitol under the OsmoAid™ brand, it is hoped the findings will encourage further research into the use of lactitol as a constipation treatment.

"We know that current treatment options provide insufficient relief for around half of patients. While the efficacy of a daily dose of 10-20g lactitol has been proven, there is still a need for more research into the effects of long-term lactitol use," says DuPont Scientist Julia Tennilä, who also worked on the meta-analysis.

FAO and WHO approved

OsmoAid™ Lactitol is a disaccharide sugar alcohol approved by the FAO and WHO as an ingredient for use in food products and dietary supplements, that is also approved by several pharmaceutical  authorities as an osmotic laxative. Its gentle action makes its suitable for all age groups. Additional studies suggest lactitol may also provide relief from adult constipation attributable to surgery or hospitalization.

The full title of the published meta-analysis report is 'Efficacy and tolerance of lactitol supplementation for adult constipation: a systematic review and meta-analysis.'


DuPont™ Danisco® is the brand for a range of ingredients that help provide enhanced bioprotection, an improved nutritional profile, and better taste and texture with greater cost efficiency and lower environmental impact, meeting the needs of manufacturers of food and beverages, dietary supplements and pet food. Through the work of the global network of food scientists and technologists in DuPont, the Danisco® range is supported by a uniquely broad spectrum of know-how across applications and processing. For more information on DuPont™ Danisco®, go to: www.danisco.com.

DuPont Nutrition & Health addresses the world’s challenges in food by offering a wide range of sustainable, bio-based ingredients and advanced molecular diagnostic solutions to provide safer, healthier and more nutritious food.  Through close collaboration with customers, DuPont combines knowledge and experience with a passion for innovation to deliver unparalleled customer value to the marketplace. Follow us on LinkedIn.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.



Corrina Shaw
Marketing Communications
+44 (0) 1737 22 77 39
Reigate, United Kingdom