Kiwi to treat gastrointestinal disorders, scientists report

A recent study indicates that kiwifruit helps to improve bowel functions among individuals. The study was published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It states that kiwi can serve as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation.

The research employed experts from School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan. The study evaluates the potential of the fruit in relieving the symptoms of gastric disorders like IBS and constipation.

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome also suffer from constipation and diarrhea. Some remedies for the former might encourage the latter and vice versa. However, the researchers observed that eating kiwi improves overall bowel function without the risk of aggravating either of the symptoms. Moreover, the kiwifruit also prevents the production of inflammatory chemicals thus it can be effective against inflammatory bowel disease as well.

The kiwifruit is a sweet and creamy fruit commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has significant potential to promote proper digestion. The researchers have continuously been exploring the fruit as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal problems such as chronic constipation.

Constipation affects more than 20 percent of the American population. Common characteristics of the condition include less than three bowel movements per week and difficult passage of stools. The problem usually arises due to physical inactivity, poor diet, and aging.

Most of the time, it is naturally resolved. However, if the condition persists for more than a few weeks, then it is considered chronic. In such a case, healthcare professionals recommend taking laxatives. However, these medications offer side effects like diarrhea, cramps, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration. Thus people are advised to opt for natural remedies instead.

Kiwi has its unique brown fuzzy exterior and bright green flesh. It has long served as a folkloric treatment for gastrointestinal problems. Recent studies link kiwi with improving the softness and bulk of stools, making it easier for the intestines to pass them through the body and excrete them.

Kiwi is equally beneficial for the people who don’t have constipation. They can regularize their bowel movement by eating kiwi daily. It won’t offer any side effects such as diarrhea.

Scientists attribute the therapeutic potential of kiwi to the phytochemicals, like actinidin and pectin, present in it.

Actinidin is an enzyme that eases and accelerates the flow of substances through the digestive tract. On the other hand, pectin is a fiber that bulks up the stool for a smoother passage. Moreover, these two compounds also serve as prebiotics. They provide foods for beneficial gut bacteria and prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

Researches state that kiwi-pectin inhibits the growth of Salmonella by reducing their ability to stick to the gut. Moreover, it promotes the growth of Lactobacillus by increasing its stickiness. Since 70 to 80 percent of the immune system is found in the gut, thus these properties of the kiwifruit don’t just benefit gastrointestinal health, but immune functions as well.

Apart from its gastrointestinal benefits, kiwi fruit offers various other health benefactions including,

  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Protection of DNA from damage
  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Prevention of macular degeneration
  • Improving skin
  • Maintaining blood sugar level

Concluding the whole story, studies show that kiwifruit has potential use against various gastrointestinal disorders. If you want a healthy gut then kiwi might be the fruit for you.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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