• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Effect of red sugar on functional constipation in children compared to figs syrup; a randomized controlled trial study

Pantea Tajik, Amir Hossein Goudarzian, Mahdi Shadnoush, Bahador Bagheri




Aim: The present study is aimed to investigate the effect of red sugar on functional constipation in children compared to figs syrup.
Background: Treatment of constipation in childhood improves gastrointestinal function in the future and regular bowel habit. Red
sugar is an effective ingredient in the treatment of constipation. Figs syrup is the other common natural substance used to treat
constipation in children. Conducted studies on these two substances and similar herbal substances have shown their beneficial effects,
but in a conducted study, it is reported that the effect of fig syrup is less than the chemical material.
Methods: This Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) Study was done in 2016. First, by performing an examination and filling out the
identifying form of the patient's health status, mothers respond to the designed questionnaire. 30 children with constipation were
treated with the usual drug, fig syrup, and 30 other children received red sugar. After a 4-week treatment period, the examination was
conducted again and the questionnaire was filled out again. The changes following the intervention were measured and the status
before and after treatment were compared as well. The analyses were performed using SPSS 20 (SPSS for Windows, SPSS Inc.,
Chicago, IL, USA).
Results: In this study, there was no significant difference between effects of red sugar and fig syrup in terms of the frequency of fecal
excretion, and pain at the time of excretion (p = 0.264). However, the fig syrup was more effective in reducing the anorexia (p <
0.001) and abdominal pain compared with fig syrup (p < 0.001). Also fig syrup was more effective in inducing diarrhea (p = 0.019).
Conclusion: In general, treatment by red sugar has been effective in improving the functional characteristics of constipation in
children; and did not show any complication and toxic effects. It is easily accessible at affordable prices to resolve childhood
Keywords: Constipation, Children, Traditional medicine, Iran.
(Please cite as: Tajik P, Goudarzian AH, Shadnoush M, Bagheri B. Effect of red sugar on functional constipation
in children compared to figs syrup; a randomized controlled trial study. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench


Constipation; Children; Traditional medicine; Iran


Chaidez V, Hansen RL, Hertz-Picciotto I. Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2014;44(5):1117-27.

Peery AF, Crockett SD, Barritt AS, Dellon ES, Eluri S, Gangarosa LM, et al. Burden of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic diseases in the United States. Gastroenterology. 2015;149(7):1731-41. e3.

Van Den Berg MM, Benninga M, Di Lorenzo C. Epidemiology of childhood constipation: a systematic review. The American journal of gastroenterology. 2006;101(10):2401.

Peery AF, Dellon ES, Lund J, Crockett SD, McGowan CE, Bulsiewicz WJ, et al. Burden of gastrointestinal disease in the United States: 2012 update. Gastroenterology. 2012;143(5):1179-87. e3.

Buie T, Campbell DB, Fuchs GJ, Furuta GT, Levy J, VandeWater J, et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010;125(Supplement 1):S1-S18.

Belsey J, Greenfield S, Candy D, Geraint M. Systematic review: impact of constipation on quality of life in adults and children. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2010;31(9):938-49.

Mugie SM, Benninga MA, Di Lorenzo C. Epidemiology of constipation in children and adults: a systematic review. Best practice & research Clinical gastroenterology. 2011;25(1):3-18.

Rajindrajith S, Devanarayana NM. Constipation in children: novel insight into epidemiology, pathophysiology and management. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility. 2011;17(1):35.

Mugie SM, Di Lorenzo C, Benninga MA. Constipation in childhood. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2011;8(9):502-11.

Wald A, Sigurdsson L. Quality of life in children and adults with constipation. Best practice & research Clinical gastroenterology. 2011;25(1):19-27.

Pijpers MA, Bongers ME, Benninga MA, Berger MY. Functional constipation in children: a systematic review on prognosis and predictive factors. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2010;50(3):256-68.

Lee-Robichaud H, Thomas K, Morgan J, Nelson RL. Lactulose versus polyethylene glycol for chronic constipation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;7(7).

Miraldi E, Ferri S, Mostaghimi V. Botanical drugs and preparations in the traditional medicine of West Azerbaijan (Iran). Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2001;75(2):77-87.

Parsaei P, Bahmani M, Naghdi N, Asadi-Samani M, Rafieian-Kopaei M. The most important medicinal plants effective on constipation by the ethnobotanical documents in Iran: A review. Der Pharm Lett. 2016;8(2):188-94.

Nimrouzi M, Sadeghpour O, Imanieh M-H, Shams-Ardekani M, Zarshenas MM, Salehi A, et al. Remedies for children constipation in medieval Persia. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine. 2014;19(2):137-43.

Brekhman IIso, Nesterenko I. Brown sugar and health: Elsevier; 2013.

Gillies B. Humidifier for brown sugar. Google Patents; 1998.

Austin MJ, Uggerhøj L. Helsinki statement on social work practice research. Work. 2014;56(3):284-8.

Levine MD. Children with encopresis: a descriptive analysis. Pediatrics. 1975;56(3):412-6.

Taitz L, Wales J, Urwin O, Molnar D. Factors associated with outcome in management of defecation disorders. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 1986;61(5):472-7.

Tabbers M, DiLorenzo C, Berger M, Faure C, Langendam M, Nurko S, et al. Evaluation and treatment of functional constipation in infants and children: evidence-based recommendations from ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2014;58(2):258-74.

van den Berg M-M, Dijkgraaf MG, van Wijk MP, Bongers ME, Liem O, Benninga MA. Rectal fecal impaction treatment in childhood constipation: enemas versus high doses oral PEG. Pediatrics. 2009;124(6):e1108-e15.

Noras MR, Kiani MA. Viewpoints of Traditional Iranian Medicine (TIM) about Etiology of Pediatric Constipation. International Journal of Pediatrics. 2014;2(1):89-92.

Mikaili P, Shayegh J, Asghari MH, Sarahroodi S, Sharifi M. Currently used traditional phytomedicines with hot nature in Iran. Biol Res. 2011;2(5):56-68.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ghfbb.v11i4.1321