Digestive Health - Let’s talk about Constipation!

Posted on Wed, 09 May 2018  Comments: 1

by Michael J. E. Greff, MD

It’s ok to talk about constipation because we all have bowel movements!

Constipation happens when we experience hard to pass or infrequent bowel movements, hard or lumpy stools, or when our bowel movements leave us with the feeling of being incomplete. Irregular or difficult bowel habits can be uncomfortable, disruptive to our daily routines, and decrease our feeling of wellbeing. Added together constipation can affect our mood, decrease our comfort and restrict our quality of life.  In recent years there has been lots of media coverage and corporate advertising giving attention to gut-health including the use of pre- and pro-biotics.

The first step towards improving digestive health is understanding what is normal for you and that not everyone needs to have a bowel movement each day. Perceptions of constipation often vary based upon our own personal experience, family, and culture. While approximately 38% of the Canadian population reports symptoms of constipation it is normal for all of us to experience some of these symptoms from time to time depending on the foods we are eating.

In most cases constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can contribute to the symptoms of constipation. Often constipation can be managed through changes to your diet, drinking more fluids, and exercise. There are even some new and exciting natural health products that offer solutions to improve bowel health and regularity. 

Online Constipation Survey

At KGK we are studying how kiwi fruit can improve digestive function by using two daily supplements, Actazin® and Livaux®, sourced from non-GMO New Zealand whole kiwi fruit. Kiwi offers several mechanisms by which it can improve gut bacteria while gently offering laxative effects. Kiwi fibre acts as a prebiotic promoting good gut bacteria. Additionally, research has shown kiwi fibres have the capacity to swell up to 12x greater than traditional wheat bran adding much needed bulk to stool. Actinidin, an enzyme found exclusively in green kiwifruit, acts to enhance the digestion of food proteins.

These supplements have the potential to offer naturally sourced alternatives to many traditional over the counter laxative treatments. Ideally laxatives should only be used occasionally as needed for short periods. Frequent and long-term use can have unforgiving repercussions on digestive health including resulting in laxative dependency. This may decrease the ability of the gut to function normally making the symptoms of constipation worse. Some types of laxatives can adversely interact with the medicines we require and/or disrupt normal electrolyte balance affecting several bodily functions including in the colon, heart, and nervous system.

KGK is currently conducting a clinical research study to evaluate the ability of whole kiwi fruit to improve digestive health. We are interested in assessing the effectiveness of these supplements to improve bowel regularity in both women and men aged 18 to 60 years who currently experience three or less complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM). These are bowel movements which are not interrupted or split between bathroom visits. Returning to the bathroom does not constitute a separate bowel movement but the continuation of an interrupted visit.

When you participate in one of our studies you’re taking part in cutting edge nutrition research. Throughout our studies we take steps to ensure participants are treated with the utmost levels of respect and confidentiality. For scientific purposes, each study has its own set of eligibility criteria such as age, gender, weight, height, and/or your previous medical history.

Additional study information will be determined upon telephone or online screening. During your study visits parking at One London Place will be validated, or bus fare provided. Participants will be compensated $600 for their time.

KGK is also recruiting for studies to evaluate the effect of natural health products to improve cholesterol, blood pressure, immune function, muscle health, and weight loss. We also have many studies coming soon including antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, salmon protein, and cannabis. If you are interested in participating in this or any of our studies you can complete our online screening questions by visiting our online survey, calling 1-833-JOIN-KGK (564-6545) or emailing participate@kgkscience.com.  

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  • Jennifer Greene

    By Jennifer Greene Tue, 19 Jun 2018

    I am interested in this, or any study that I qualify for. You have my personal information as well as list of medications on file.

    Please call me after checking my medication list.

    thank you
    Jennifer Greene 519 657 7392