Kiwifruit-derived supplements may boost bowel health for healthy people: RCT data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Kiwifruit-derived supplements may boost bowel health for healthy people: RCT data
Daily consumption of supplements containing kiwifruit-derived nutritional ingredients may increase bowel movements in healthy individuals, says a new study from New Zealand.

Four weeks of taking supplements containing Actazin or Gold kiwifruit-derived ingredients increased daily bowel movements by more than one bowel movement per week, wrote researchers from The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited and the University of Otago.

“An increase of greater than one bowel movement per week in a symptomatic population is considered a clinically meaningful magnitude of effect,”​ they wrote in Nutrition Research​.

“The consumption of Actazin and Gold demonstrated this degree of efficacy in the healthy responders in the present study. This suggests that kiwifruit bioactive components present in these products (i.e. fiber, polyphenols, and the enzyme, actinidin) improved regularity and laxation without affecting the stool form.”

Study details

Led by Juliet Ansell, the researchers recruited 19 healthy and 9 functionally constipated people to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Subjects were randomly assigned to consume supplements containing Actazin (600 mg or 2,400 mg per day), Gold (2,400 mg per day) or placebo (isomalt) for 28 days. Each intervention was followed by 14 days of no intervention (a ‘washout’ period) before crossing over to another intervention.

Kiwifruit and pills - portrait

“Actazin and Gold are powdered ingredients derived from whole New Zealand green (​Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’) and gold (​Actinidia chinensis ‘Zesy002’) kiwifruit from which the skin and seeds are removed and the remaining flesh cold processed for use in food and dietary supplements,” ​explained the researchers.

Results showed that all three kiwifruit interventions resulted in significantly increased daily bowel movements in the healthy participants, compared with the washout periods. On the other hand, stool form was not significant affected by the interventions.

No significant effects were observed in the functionally constipated cohort, said the researchers.

While earlier studies have reported potential laxation improvements from green kiwifruit, this is the first study to evaluate the effect of gold kiwifruit products on laxation in humans, said the researchers.

“The evaluation of other digestive health markers such as immune function and microbiota composition could provide further evidence for the roles of Actazin and Gold in enhancing gastrointestinal comfort and health beyond laxation,” ​said the researchers.

“These kiwifruit derived supplements demonstrated a clinically meaningful increase in bowel movements in healthy individuals,” ​they concluded.

The study was funded by Anagenix Ltd (New Zealand), Stratum Nutrition (USA), and Callaghan Innovation (New Zealand).

Source: Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.04.005
“Kiwifruit derived supplements increase stool frequency in healthy adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”
Authors: J. Ansell, C.A. Butts, G. Paturi, S.L. Eady, et al​. 

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