Kiwifruit supplement helps the 'bunged up', trials show
Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 2 September 2007

Our hairy, green national fruit is now proven to gut constipation worldwide.

Auckland based Vital Foods had to go overseas to conduct clinical trials of its kiwifruit-based product for unclogging colons after failing to find Kiwi volunteers were unsuccessful. The freeze- dried kiwifruit packaged in a capsule has just gone on the market as a dietary supplement.

Dr Iona Weir, a scientist with the Foundation for Research Technology, says she was forced to conduct the clinical research with 200 severely "bunged up" people at a constipation clinic at Beijing Medical University.

"New Zealanders are not willing to take part in these kinds of trials."

The Chinese volunteers began the trial having less than one bowel movement a week. After taking six capsules daily, within a week 30 formerly severely constipated guinea pigs were passing 5.5 bowel movements a week.

But it was the lack of side effects and the long-term benefit that excited Weir. "The beautiful thing was they didn't suffer cramps, spasms, or diarrhoea and when we followed up, two weeks after the trial, everyone's system had become regular."

Vital foods chief executive Trevor Wilkinson said the company had invested $7 million in research and development to create a product for a condition gastro-enterologists say 25% of us suffer from. Gastro-enterologist at North Shore hospital Dr Russell Walmsley said the benefits of kiwifruit for constipation were well known.

"It's used in hospitals in orthopaedic and rehabilitation wards where people are sitting around and get bunged up."

Walmsley recommends fluid, fibre and exercise to bring the body back into digestive balance and says for some people one bowel movement every three days is normal, for others, three a day.

From here .