Consumption of natural immune strength ingredient EpiCor® fermentate results in beneficial modulation of the gut microbiome and improvement of gastrointestinal comfort and constipation, a new study finds. The research was recently published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
“The positive results with EpiCor in this study are very encouraging since an ingredient of this kind has never been evaluated for its role in gut microbiota shifts and effects on common constipation-associated symptoms,” says Massimo Marzorati, Ph.D., PostDoc at Ghent University and co-founder of ProDigest, the contract research organization that conducted the trial. “It’s a remarkable finding to see compelling prebiotic effects in a human study at a dose of only 500 mg per day.”
EpiCor is a natural, whole food fermentate made through a proprietary fermentation process researched, developed and manufactured by Embria Health Sciences, LLC, of Ankeny, Iowa, USA. EpiCor is self-affirmed GRAS and has a New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) on file with the FDA.
It is widely known that prebiotic fibers feed beneficial gut bacteria, but can also cause bloating and gas, which can make staying on these products difficult for many people. This new research shows EpiCor balances healthy gut microbiota levels, leading to an actual reduction in bloating and distention while improving stool consistency. “This could be a real breakthrough for millions of consumers looking for advanced solutions to remedy gut discomfort and manage occasional constipation outside of probiotics and prebiotic fibers,” says Larry Robinson, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Embria.
The randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted in Europe over six weeks and included 80 healthy adult subjects reporting moderate to severe constipation. A validated questionnaire recorded the improvements in constipation-associated symptoms and quality of life. A general stress survey showed EpiCor positively impacted perceived stress. Finally, stool samples taken from the subjects demonstrated healthy shifts in gut microbiota.
Specifically, members of the families Bacteroidaceae and Prevotellaceae, two groups of bacteria that have been previously reported to be deficient in constipated patients, were found to increase with EpiCor in the severe constipation subgroup. In the moderate subgroup, researchers observed a significant increase in Akkermansia muciniphila, a potentially beneficial species.
Constipation-associated results of EpiCor supplementation include:
- Significant improvement in bloating/distension (p<0.05)
- Significant improvement in stool consistency for total population (p<0.05)
- Near significant improvement in quality of life in the moderate supgroup (p=0.065)
- Near significant increase in stool frequency for the total population (p=0.083 and p=0.090) after two and four weeks, respectively
“In addition to the seven published immune health papers on EpiCor, more recent published studies on its prebiotic effects and gut integrity benefits led us to conduct this human clinical gut health trial,” says Dr. Robinson. “Science continues to prove the link between the immune and digestive systems and this new study helps to confirm that.”