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Small bowel bacterial overgrowth and rice malabsorption in healthy and physically disabled older adults

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Abstract:

Abstract Aim 

To determine whether there are differences in small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO) and rice digestion between healthy and disabled older adults and to estimate the influence of physical activity on these nutritional statuses. Method 

Fifteen disabled adults who commute to a day-care centre and 11 healthy older adults participated in this study. SBBO and rice absorption were judged using a breath hydrogen test. Physical activity was estimated using a pedometer. Results 

The average number of steps taken per day by the disabled was 1056 ± 243, which was statistically lower than that of the healthy, 6904 ± 782 (P < 0.001). No SBBO-positive subject was seen in the healthy group, whereas five (33.3%) of 15 disabled older adults were SBBO-positive. After ingesting glucose solution, the ▵H2 of disabled subjects was higher than that of the healthy subjects (7.6 ± 2.7 versus 0.5 ± 0.3 p.p.m., P < 0.05). Rice malabsorption was seen in one (9.1%) of 11 in the healthy and two (14.3%) of 14 in the disabled groups, which was not statistically significant. Conclusions 

Disabled older people who have a physically inactive lifestyle are at risk of SBBO, probably because of a reduction in their intestinal motility. SBBO has no influence on absorption of rice, and some older adults, independent of physical condition, can not absorb rice adequately.

Keywords: breath hydrogen test; disabled older adults; physical activity; rice absorption; small bowel bacterial overgrowth

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-277X.2003.00424.x

Affiliations: 1: Research Center of Health, Physical Fitness and Sports, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusaku, Nagoya, Japan; 2: Masuko Memorial Hospital, Takehashicho, Nakamuraku, Nagoya, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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