Introduction

GI disorders are treated primarily by symptomatic relief of conditions only and without consideration given to the underlying causes. Such disorders include dyspepsia, occasional constipation or diarrhea, alternating constipation/diarrhea episodes, abdominal pain, flatulence and heartburn.  The most common GI disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

A critique of current drug therapy is that drugs mask the underlying symptoms, are confined primarily to short-term usage and are responsible for occasional adverse events and drug interactions. An example of the latter concern is the use of proton-pump inhibitors and their propensity to display drug dependency and rebound effects[1]. Treatment for GI disorders involves a multi-drug approach. For example simethicone for relieving flatulence, antacids and histamine-2 blockers for excess gastric acid secretion, milk of magnesia and bisacodyl for constipation, loperamide for diarrhea, anticholinergics and proton-pump inhibitors for abdominal pain and antibiotics for bacterial imbalances.

Our approach in attempting to design a single product for helping to prevent and treat GI disorders was two fold: (1) identify major factors impacting these disorders through extensive scientific and medical literature searches and (2) identify and obtain high purity and all-natural ingredients capable of preventing and treating these factors. The major factors responsible for these disorders were determined to be imbalances in GI microflora, inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress. The criteria for the pure all-natural ingredients was that they reach the large intestine virtually intact, possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and selective antibacterial activities and be fermentable by GI microflora into ingredients capable of providing activities complementary to their parent compounds. These ingredients were ultimately identified as non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO), commonly referred to as dietary fibres or prebiotics, and include short chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS), oligofructose and inulin. The other ingredient is the major component found in green tea leaves called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Their role in alleviating these imbalances is covered in the Ingredient Role section.

 


[1] Reimer C et al (2009) Proton-pump inhibitory therapy induces acid-related symptom in healthy volunteers after withdrawal of therapy, Gastroenterology 137(1):80-87.

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