Full-fat milk may be associated with constipation but new research suggests that drinking fat-free milk could be a way of solving irregularity problems.
Writing in Nutrition a group of Turkish scientists investigated the effects of fat-free milk supplementation on constipation and levels of motilin and ghrelin – both of which affect intestinal mobility.
Studies have suggested that excessive milk consumption leads to constipation as unabsorbed fatty acids left in the intestines bind to calcium on the intestinal lumen, forming soaps.
But the scientists behind this latest study claim that fat-free milk may have the opposite effect, actually helping to relieve constipation.
In the research, individuals with constipation were supplemented with between 400 ml and 800 ml of fat-free milk daily, according to the severity of their cases.
Meanwhile, healthy control subjects were administered 400 ml of fat-free milk, which was followed a month later by of 400 ml of whole milk for 3 days.
Blood samples were collected from the subjects before and after milk supplementation for hormone analyses. Motilin and acylated and des-acylated ghrelin were quantified with ELIS assay.
In the results, the scientist found that fat-free milk supplementation resulted in an increase in regularity and an improvement in stool softness among chronic constipation patients.
Researchers also found that serum motilin and des-acylated ghrelin hormone levels were increased by a statistically significant amount after fat-free milk supplementation. As these are peptide hormones that stimulate intestinal mobility, the scientists said they may play a role in reducing the severity of constipation or giving total relief from the problem.
Concluding the research, the scientists said: “While confirmation of these results by independent laboratories using a greater number of subjects remains of considerable importance, we conclude that fat-free milk supplementation can help solve constipation.”
Fat-free milk as a therapeutic approach for constipation and the effect on serum motilin and ghrelin levels
Authors: S. Aydin, E. Donder, O.K. Akin, F. Sahpaz, Y. Kendir, M. M. Alnema