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The study included 87 people with occasional constipation, which is defined as having one or more symptoms at least 25% of the time, such as the need for straining to move bowels, hard stools, and sensation of incomplete clearing of stool, as well as having three or fewer bowel movements per week. They took either 5.5 grams (just over one teaspoon) of freeze-dried kiwi extract powder or placebo in a glass of water every day for four weeks while recording daily symptoms and movements.
Their diaries showed the following changes and differences:
Five people (12%) in the kiwi extract group dropped out of the study due to gas and bloating that may have been related to the supplement, as they are common side effects of fiber supplements and laxatives. Despite this, bowel function generally improved more in the kiwi extract users. "The results of this study suggest that this product may be of interest to generally healthy adults with occasional constipation and associated abdominal discomfort,” the study’s authors said.
The New Zealand–based manufacturer of the kiwi extract used in this study states that it contains kiwi enzymes, antioxidants, and various fibers. Like many other fruits, kiwis (especially the skins) are rich in pectin, a fiber that supports the growth of colonies of beneficial intestinal bacteria that contribute to better bowel and general health. Pectin and the other fibers found in fruits like kiwi may also help regulate bowel function by keeping the stool from drying. In addition, the enzymes found in this extract may aid protein digestion.
A healthy gut digests without discomfort and eliminates waste readily and regularly. If your gut is not working this way most of the time, here are some things to try:
(Nutr J 2013;12:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-78)