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Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable?

Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Translational Sciences and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Clinical and Experimental Medicine–Rheumatology Unit, University of Pisa, 56100 Pisa, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Toshifumi Ohkusa
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3386;
Received: 2 August 2021 / Revised: 12 September 2021 / Accepted: 20 September 2021 / Published: 26 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Pearls and Pitfalls of Gastrointestinal Diseases)
Chronic constipation (CC) is one of the most common gastroenterological diagnoses in clinical practice. Treatment includes several steps, depending on the severity of symptoms. Lifestyle modifications and increased intake of fiber and water are suggested by most health professionals. Unfortunately, the recommendations in this regard are the most varied, often conflicting with each other and not always based on solid scientific arguments. This paper aims to clarify this topic by providing practical indications for the management of these patients in every day clinical practice. The literature available on this topic is scarce, and dietary studies have important methodological biases. However, fiber, mainly by binding water and acting as bulking agents and/or as prebiotics for the intestinal microbiota, and mineral water, especially if rich in magnesium and/or bicarbonate, are useful tools. An adequate, well-designed diet should be a cornerstone of any effective treatment for chronic constipation. High-quality studies on larger samples are mandatory to give scientific validity to the role of the food in CC therapy and to enable professionals to choose the best approach for their patients, combining nutritional and pharmacological agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: chronic constipation; food; fiber; water; diet; nutrition chronic constipation; food; fiber; water; diet; nutrition
MDPI and ACS Style

Bellini, M.; Tonarelli, S.; Barracca, F.; Rettura, F.; Pancetti, A.; Ceccarelli, L.; Ricchiuti, A.; Costa, F.; de Bortoli, N.; Marchi, S.; Rossi, A. Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable? Nutrients 2021, 13, 3386.

AMA Style

Bellini M, Tonarelli S, Barracca F, Rettura F, Pancetti A, Ceccarelli L, Ricchiuti A, Costa F, de Bortoli N, Marchi S, Rossi A. Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable? Nutrients. 2021; 13(10):3386.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bellini, Massimo, Sara Tonarelli, Federico Barracca, Francesco Rettura, Andrea Pancetti, Linda Ceccarelli, Angelo Ricchiuti, Francesco Costa, Nicola de Bortoli, Santino Marchi, and Alessandra Rossi. 2021. "Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable?" Nutrients 13, no. 10: 3386.

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