Human clinical study connects more of the dots between gut health and immune health
We all catch colds. This year, there’s promising news as we enter peak cold and cough season. New human clinical research, published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, suggests that by supporting a healthy gut microbiome, Taiyo’s Sunfiber may also help limit common cold symptoms. “While there are several exciting ingredient advances in the immune category, including water-soluble SunActive IsoQ for higher quercetin bioavailability, it is also important to continually study the proven ingredients such as prebiotic Sunfiber,” comments Derek Timm, PhD, RDN, who serves as Taiyo’s functional ingredient technology expert. “This new study connects the dots between regularity, postbiotics and immune support.”
Timely Clinical Study
These days, we’re more attuned to those “off” days when we just don’t feel quite right. Maybe we have digestive issues, a slight feeling of malaise or a few sniffles. Symptom-free days can mean greater peace of mind and greater productivity. This placebo-controlled, double blind, randomized, parallel-group comparative study was conducted over a 12-week period. Researchers in Japan followed 96 healthy adults who received either an immune product containing 5.2 grams of Sunfiber or a placebo. Participants kept diaries of their cold-like symptoms. The levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in stool and blood immune markers were measured at baseline and at weeks 6 and 12.
Researchers concluded that Sunfiber (PHGG) intake “may affect immune function and suppress cold-like symptoms through the production of SCFAs in healthy adults.”
Specific findings included:
The Sunfiber group had a statistically significant greater number of symptom-free days than the placebo group. “The rate of no symptoms was high among both groups. However, the Sunfiber group had more healthy, symptom-free days than the placebo, which is meaningful to most people. We all want more days where we feel good and are not dragged down by symptoms,” comments Timm.
There were significant differences between the Sunfiber and placebo groups for the vast majority of cold symptoms. “Sunfiber significantly reduced most general symptoms including runny nose, plugged nose, general malaise, arthralgia and chills. Additionally, Sunfiber reduced the number of days the participants experienced constipation or diarrhea. The overlap of improved digestive and cold-like symptoms demonstrates the connection between gut and immune health.”
There were steady increases in all SCFAs, most interestingly butyric acid levels were significantly higher in Sunfiber compared with the placebo group. “SCFAs are postbiotics that confer health benefits. In addition, total SCFAs and propionate were all significantly higher than placebo. We know Sunfiber produces SCFAs including high levels of butyric acid, but it’s exciting to corroborate earlier findings.” He adds, “Since 70 percent of the immune system is at the gut level, these increases speak to the potential mechanism of action. We observed some improvements in immunological markers; however, most did not reach statistical significance. Despite this, we do see an association between cold symptoms, SCFA levels and immune markers. They may help explain the decrease in cold symptoms within the Sunfiber group.”
Sunfiber is proven effective by more than 100 clinical studies for digestive health, gut health, glycemic control and satiety, without the typical side effects found with other fibers. It is organic, certified Glyphosate Residue Free, Kosher, Halal, Non-GMO Project Verified, Informed Ingredient, 100% gluten free and Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™. Plus, it is low calorie and suitable for vegan/vegetarian diets.