Little is known about the effects of natural mineral water on constipation in adults.
Dr Christophe Dupont and colleagues from France assessed the effect of a magnesium sulfate–rich natural mineral water (Hépar; Nestlé Waters, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France) on gastrointestinal transit in constipated women.
The research team performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Hépar in outpatients with functional constipation.
The study included 244 female patients, age 18 to 60 years, identified by 62 general practitioners throughout France.
After a washout period, control subjects in Group 1 drank 1.5 L natural low-mineral water daily for 4 weeks.
Subjects in Group 2 drank 0.5 L Hépar and 1 L natural low-mineral water daily for 4 weeks.
|At week 2, constipation was reduced in 38% in Group 3|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Subjects in Group 3 drank 1 L Hépar and 0.5 L natural low-mineral water daily for 4 weeks.
The researchers collected information on the number and types of stools, abdominal pain, rescue medications, adverse events, and volume of water consumed.
The team observed no significant effect at week 1.
At week 2, constipation was reduced in 21% of patients in Group 1, in 31% in Group 2, and in 38% in Group 3.
Group 3 also had a decreased number of hard or lumpy stools, and a substantial decrease in the use of rescue medication.
The team found that patient responses correlated with magnesium sulfate concentrations.
The researchers observed that safety was very good.
There were no serious adverse events among patients who drank Hépar.
Dr Dupont's team comments, "In a controlled trial, daily consumption of 1 L Hépar reduced constipation and hard or lumpy stools in a greater percentage of women with functional constipation than natural low-mineral water, as early as the second week of treatment."