Effect of waxy barley, Kirarimochi, consumption on bowel movements of late-stage elderly residents at Roken nursing home.J Physiol Anthropol. 2017 Feb 20; 36(1):17.JP
It is very important for the late-stage elderly to have the least stressful bowel movements for maintaining a good quality of life. It is generally accepted that consuming adequate dietary fiber is a promising method for the prevention and management of stressful bowel movements such as those during constipation. Therefore, we examined the effect of long-term consumption of waxy barley, which is high in dietary fiber, on the bowel movements of the late-stage elderly living at Roken nursing home (a geriatric health services facility), Japan.
We compared the defecation and laxative administration frequencies of the subjects before and after waxy barley consumption, for which we served 28 residents a boiled mixture of rice and waxy barley (variety name, Kirarimochi) as the main meals for 5 months, from November to March. In October, all residents were served boiled rice as the main meals.
The residents were categorized into "constipated" subjects and "non-constipated" subjects according to their weekly defecation frequency during October. Among the 14 residents categorized as constipated subjects, monthly number of days with defecation in November, January, and March significantly increased in comparison to monthly number of days with defecation in October. In addition, monthly number of days with laxative administration significantly decreased in December and February in comparison to monthly number of days with laxative administration in October. In contrast, the defecation and laxative administration frequencies did not change after waxy barley consumption among the 14 residents categorized as non-constipated subjects.
Consumption of waxy barley, Kirarimochi, for 5 months improved the bowel movements of the constipated subjects; however, the consumption had no effect on the bowel movements of the non-constipated subjects at Roken nursing home. These results indicate that consuming waxy barley, Kirarimochi, is beneficial for the management of constipation in the late-stage elderly residents at Roken nursing home.