The company recently announced its prebiotic supplements are available nationally at Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and Meijer. “We have full national distribution in Vitamin Shoppe, and we’re in a portion of stores nationwide for CVS and Walgreens,” Rob Wotring, CEO of Greenteaspoon told NutraIngredients-USA. The products was previously available through the company's website and on Amazon.com for the past year.
The company’s three products are Goodgut Rescue (provides rapid help for the sudden onset symptoms of diarrhea, upset stomach, gas and bloating), Goodgut Balance (alleviates digestive distress and is designed to help balance daily health), and Goodgut Boost (helps to strengthen the immune system).
The products are formulated with Greenteaspoon Inc’s Preliva polyphenol blend, which is a proprietary blend of pomegranate, green tea, goji berry, bilberry, chokeberry, grape, cranberry, mangosteen, apple, and blueberry. A daily dose may produce significant and sustained improvements in multiple symptoms of digestive health, according to results of a double-blind and placebo-controlled study with 244 subjects with upset stomach, gas and bloating, diarrhea, or heartburn, compared with placebo (World Journal of Gastroenterology).
While the products work as prebiotics and Greenteaspoon does use the term in its marketing, the conversation with consumers is more about what the product does versus what it is, says Wotring.
“Consumers don’t get prebiotics yet,” he said. “We talk much more about symptoms and relief at the bottom of the funnel. Having said that, we’re experiencing week over week pick-up within every chain. In the retail space, our sales continue to grow consistently, and online we have a 50% repurchase rate. The reason for that is efficacy. People feel a benefit.”
Prebiotics are defined as: “A substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit” (ISAPP 2017).
This study used the liquid product, and the company has repeated these findings using Preliva in powder form delivered in capsules. Greenteaspoon is also working on launching a microencapsulated form by the end of this year, which would open up the opportunity for the company to sell Preliva as an ingredient.
The company has also released preliminary data from animal studies conducted in Palo Alto, California in partnership with PMI Preclinical CRO, which involved rats being divided into two groups: One group was fed a normal rat chow diet and the other was fed a high-fat, high sugar Western diet with Preliva or a placebo.
The preliminary data indicated that the animals receiving Preliva experienced markedly reduced accumulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin, indicating a major reduction in systemic inflammation.
Metabolic endotoxemia is also known as “leaky gut”, which is an undesirable situation when toxic bacterial components can pass from the gut lumen into the blood. It is increasingly recognized as a driver of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, and immune dysfunctions.
Because LPS cannot be accurately measured directly in the blood in order to determine systemic levels of inflammation, scientists instead measure LBP (lipopolysaccharide binding protein). In the 2017 Preliva rat study, LBP levels in the group of rats whose Western Diets were supplemented with Preliva were significantly lower than the group of rats fed a Western Diet without Preliva supplementation, and nearly identical to LBP levels in the group of rats who received a normal, low fat, low sugar diet.
The study also looked at levels of FABP-2 (Fatty Acid Binding Protein-2), which is made by the cells lining the digestive tract. Higher levels of FABP-2 indicate more extensive damage. Results showed that, based on the FABP-2 levels, the polyphenol blend was preventing damage to the digestive tract caused by a Western diet.
“This means Preliva is doing something to the cells or something to the mucus layer overlaying the gut epithelium,” said Wotring. “We think we are affecting the mucus itself and helping to stop “leaky gut” and curtailing the inflammatory process. This could have a potentially game-changing impact on not only the probiotics/prebiotics supplement industry, but also at a fundamental level on our continued quest toward understanding and finding solutions to managing runaway human whole body inflammation on a systemic level.”
Wotring told us that the complete results of this study will be released to the peer review journal community in the fall of this year.