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Herbal formula improves upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms and gut health in Australian adults with digestive disorders
- Ried, Karin, Travica, Nikolaj, Dorairaj, Ranjini, Sali, Avni
- Nutrition research 2020 v.76 pp. 37-51
- Aloe vera, Citrus, Clostridium, Lactobacillus, Ulmus rubra, adults, beans, caffeine, constipation, curcumin, diarrhea, diet, emotions, foods, garlic, gastrointestinal system, glutamine, guar gum, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, lactulose, mannitol, nausea, nutrients, onions, pectins, peppermint oil, proton pump inhibitors, quality of life, questionnaires, sleep, tomatoes
- Gastrointestinal (GI) problems affect half of Western populations. Symptoms can vary from frequent reflux to irritable bowel syndrome. The Nutrition Care (NC) Gut Relief Formula contains a combination of herbs and nutrients including curcumin, Aloe vera, slippery elm, guar gum, pectin, peppermint oil, and glutamine shown to benefit the GI system. The 16-week pre-post study tested the hypothesis that the NC Gut Relief Formula would be tolerable and effective in improving GI symptoms and gut health in adults with digestive disorders. A total of 43 participants completed the study. After a control phase, participants took 5 g/d and then 10 g/d of the formula for 4 weeks. GI symptoms and GI health were assessed by a series of validated questionnaires, for example, Leeds Dyspepsia Questionnaire, Bristol Stool Chart, Birmingham IBS Symptom Questionnaire, and by intestinal permeability and gut microbiota profile. The NC Gut Relief Formula significantly improved the frequency and severity of upper and lower GI symptoms by 60%-80%, including indigestion, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, and troublesome flatulence, and significantly improved physical functioning, energy levels, mood, and sleep by 60%-80%. All participants with normal stool, 90% with hard stool, and 66% with soft stool recovered from intestinal permeability, evident by normal lactulose to mannitol ratios. The NC Gut Relief Formula generally improved microbial profile, with a marked increase in Lactobacillus, Clostridium, and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Almost half of the participants with upper GI symptoms taking proton pump inhibitors for heartburn no longer required proton pump inhibitors at the end of the study. A third of participants were able to reintroduce food triggers, such as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols garlic, onion, and beans, or reflux-causing acidic/spicy foods, for example, citrus, tomato, and caffeine, in their diet after 3 months without symptom aggravation. The NC Gut Relief Formula significantly improved GI symptoms and associated quality of life over 3 months while reducing intestinal permeability, improving the microbial profile, reducing the need for reflux medication, and enabling the consumption of previous food triggers.