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Functional gastrointestinal disorders including constipation affect up to 14 % of the world's population. Treatment is difficult and challenging resulting in a need for alternative safe and effective therapies. The present study investigated whether daily consumption of three gold-fleshed kiwifruit could alleviate constipation and improve gastrointestinal discomfort in mildly constipated individuals with and without pain. A total of thirty-two participants were enrolled in a 16-week randomised, single-blind, crossover study. Participants received either three ‘Zesy002’ kiwifruit or 14·75 g Metamucil® (5 g dietary fibre/d (a positive control)) for 4 weeks each with a 4-week washout between treatments. A 2-week washout period was included at the beginning and end of the study. Daily bowel habit diaries were kept throughout the study. The primary outcome measure was differences in the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM). Secondary outcome measures were bowel movement frequency and stool form as well as digestive symptoms and comfort. The number of CSBM per week was significantly greater during daily consumption of three kiwifruit compared with the baseline (6·3 v. 3·3; P < 0·05) and the Metamucil® treatment (6·3 v. 4·5; P < 0·05). Stool consistency was also improved, with kiwifruit producing softer stools and less straining (P < 0·05). Gastrointestinal discomfort was also improved compared with baseline for abdominal pain, constipation and indigestion (P < 0·05) during the kiwifruit intervention and constipation during the Metamucil® intervention (P < 0·05). This randomised controlled trial demonstrates that daily consumption of three gold-fleshed kiwifruit is associated with a significant increase of two CSBM per week and reduction in gastrointestinal discomfort in mildly constipated adults.
This study investigated the impact of ACTAZIN™ green (2400 and 600 mg) and Livaux™ (2400 mg) gold kiwifruit supplements on faecal microbial composition and metabolites in healthy and functionally constipated (FC) participants. The participants were recruited into the healthy group (n 20; one of whom did not complete the study) and the FC group (n 9), each of whom consumed all the treatments and a placebo (isomalt) for 4 weeks in a randomised cross-over design interspersed with 2-week washout periods. Modification of faecal microbiota composition and metabolism was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and GC, and colonic pH was calculated using SmartPill® wireless motility capsules. A total of thirty-two taxa were measured at greater than 1 % abundance in at least one sample, ten of which differed significantly between the baseline healthy and FC groups. Specifically, Bacteroidales and Roseburia spp. were significantly more abundant (P < 0·05) in the healthy group and taxa including Ruminococcaceae, Dorea spp. and Akkermansia spp. were significantly more abundant (P < 0·05) in the FC group. In the FC group, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii abundance significantly increased (P = 0·024) from 3·4 to 7·0 % following Livaux™ supplementation, with eight of the nine participants showing a net increase. Lower proportions of F. prausnitzii are often associated with gastrointestinal disorders. The discovery that Livaux™ supplementation increased F. prausnitzii abundance offers a potential strategy for improving gut microbiota composition, as F. prausnitzii is a butyrate producer and has also been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in many studies.
Carrying a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (L503F, c. 1672 C>T) in the gene for the Na-dependent organic cation transporter (OCTN1), increases the risk of Crohn's disease (CD) in some, but not all, populations. Case–control data on New Zealand Caucasians show no differences for CD risk between individuals carrying the L503F OCTN1 C-allele when compared with those carrying the variant T-allele. However, more of the New Zealand CD cases report intolerance to maize and mushrooms than those who report beneficial effects or no differences. The OCTN1 gene encodes a transporter for ergothionine, a fungal metabolite at high levels in mushrooms but not widely common in other dietary items. An inability to tolerate mushrooms showed statistically significant associations with the variant OCTN1 genotype. That is, among those individuals reporting adverse effects from mushrooms, there was a higher frequency of the variant T-allele when compared with the general population, or with CD patients overall. We believe that this is a novel gene–diet association, suggesting that individuals carrying the OCTN1 variant single nucleotide polymorphism may have an enhanced risk of adverse symptoms associated with consuming mushrooms. Nutrigenomic approaches to dietary recommendations may be appropriate in this group.
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