Synbiotic supplement targets women who are at particular risk for low fiber intake, dietitian says

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image © iStockPhoto
Image © iStockPhoto

Related tags: Nutrition

Registered dietitian Felicia Stoler, a consultant on the newly launched Regular Girl synbiotic dietary supplement, doesn’t mince words when it comes to why she believes the product is needed.

“Women definitely have problems with bowel movements. I’ll say that right off the bat,”​ Stoler told NutraIngredients-USA. “A lot of it has to do with hormones.  They can have difficulty when they’re going too much or not enough.”

Women at particular risk for low fiber intake

While the same might be said for many millions of the male gender in the United States, Stoler said the problem can be especially acute for women, many of whom are attempting to watch their caloric intake. While the low carb craze seems to have pretty much run its course, it has now been replaced by the gluten free frenzy. And the paleo diet has made significant inroads into the eating landscape. In all cases, Stoler said, it puts women at particular risk for not getting enough fiber.

“In the typical American diet you do not get enough fiber,”​ Stoler said. “You would think if people would eat all of the fruits and vegetables you tell them to they would get enough, but it’s not true.”

Ample intake of whole grains are the real key to a fiber rich diet, Stoler said, but people don’t eat enough whole grain servings, despite admonishments to do so.  Complicating the issue is the fact that modern machine and information system assisted life places few caloric demands on the body. Recent research suggests that 100 years ago people got as much as five times as more exercise as they do today just in the course of daily life. Only the most focused and dedicated workout fanatic can be expected to make up that gap. It requires many fewer calories to supply the body’s daily needs in the modern scenario, but the body’s fiber demands don’t diminish in lockstep along with caloric needs.

Fiber has many benefits beyond its immediate effects in the gut.  Dietitians used to speak of “roughage,” a term seldom used today, as it speaks mostly toward fiber’s mechanical role in stimulating and making more effective the peristalsis of the gut’s smooth musculature. Researchers now understand that fiber’s main role is to foster the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria interact with the gut’s nervous system in beneficial ways and also excrete chemicals with health promoting properties of their own.

Relying on Sunfiber benefits

The idea behind Regular Girl was to help fill in these fiber needs with Sunfiber, a clinically-researched prebiotic fiber supplied by Taiyo International shown to lower glycemic index, improve mineral absorption and maintain digestive health. The product is also shown to limit the gas and bloating that some consumers experience when switching to a fiber supplement.

“That’s a concern. But we have 20 years of data backing Sunfiber,” ​said Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo. The fiber also preferentially feeds the product’s bacterial component, 8 billion CFU of a Bifidobacterium lactis ​strain supplied by Danisco, Smith said.

Stoler said she had had experience with Sunfiber in her private practice before consulting on the Regular Girl product. The ingredient’s unique properties help in compliance, always the bane of long term nutritional interventions.

“What I love about the Sunfiber is it has no taste, it’s clear, it doesn’t gel. You can really put it into almost anything.  The new product is packing in single serving stick packs (it also comes in multiple-serving pouch form) so you can put it into something else that you are already going to take in a day.  I sometimes have trouble getting people to swallow pills,”​ she said.

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