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Kiwi: A Tasty New Option for Constipation and Gut Health

by Mila McManus, MD

Scientific studies have shown that Kiwi Fruit, has the ability to promote good digestion and to ease chronic constipation.

Many people struggle with constipation or other gastrointestinal maladies. Scientific studies have shown that Kiwi Fruit, a long valued traditional Chinese medicine, has the ability to promote good digestion and to ease chronic constipation. Most medications for chronic constipation are not very successful and have traditionally helped fewer than half of the patients. They are also associated with cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.  This makes more natural approaches appealing.

Kiwi is rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. A potent anti-inflammatory, studies show that daily consumption of kiwi fruit improves the softness and bulk of stools, thereby increasing the frequency and ease of bowel movements while reducing uncomfortable straining.  Unlike laxatives, kiwi does not cause diarrhea. In one study published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome consumed two green kiwi fruit a day for four weeks. The participants experienced significant increases in frequency of bowel movements, less colon transit time, and improved bowel function.[1] In another study,[2] kiwi fruit reduced straining better than psyllium fiber!

Much of Kiwi’s therapeutic power comes from actinidin, an enzyme that helps to promote digestive  motility. Kiwi also contains pectin, which adds bulk to the stool and helps to treat both diarrhea and constipation.  Actinidin and pectin are both prebiotics, providing food for your friendly gut bacteria that are essential for good gut and immune functions.  Researchers compared the effect of kiwi fruit pectin to other commercial prebiotics and found that kiwi was the most effective in reducing the intestinal adhesion (aka stickiness) of disease-causing Salmonella bacteria. Furthermore, kiwi increases the stickiness of good, favorable gut bacteria found in probiotics.[3]

Kiwi is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, E, and potassium, and has 2.1 grams of fiber for an average sized fruit. They contain antioxidant citric and gallic acids as well as vision-boosting carotenoids such as lutein. Kiwi is also rich in glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage to cells, and recycles vitamins C and E in the body. One kiwi a day has also been shown to lower the risk of stroke, blood clots, and heart disease.

A word of caution: For individuals who are allergic to pollen, rye, avocado, or bananas, you may also find that you react to kiwi fruit.  Additionally, those who are prone to kidney stones may want to limit it since they are moderately high in oxalates.

[1] Chang, Chun-Choa et al.”Kiwi fruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 19(4):451-7.

[2] Bayer, Simone B, et al. Two gold kiwi fruit daily for effective treatment of constipation in adults – a randomized clinical trial. Nutrients 2022; 14(4146). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14194146

[3] Naturalhealth365.com


By |2023-05-04T06:15:41-05:00May 4th, 2023|Articles, General|

Fulvic Acid: Your Doctor May Ask You to Eat Dirt

by Mila McManus, MD

Fulvic acid serves plants by activating nutrients for better absorption by the plant cells. .. taking fulvic acid is “eating dirt.”

Traditional medicine and modern research are claiming that fulvic acid (FvA) can modulate the immune system and influence the oxidative status of cells. Also, fulvic acid can improve gastrointestinal function according to a review article in the Journal of Diabetes Research[1]. Both oxidative stress and gastrointestinal stress are hallmarks of diabetes.  Scientists and functional doctors all over the world are discovering many other benefits of this organic compound found in soil, rocks, and sediments.  It is formed by the decomposition of plant and animal matter and is antioxidant rich and very alkaline. In the soil, fulvic acid serves plants by activating nutrients for better absorption by the plant cells.[2] So yes, technically speaking, taking fulvic acid is kind of like eating dirt!

A closer examination of fulvic acid points to its extraordinary potential. In the human body, it serves to carry nutrients throughout the body. It contains trace minerals, electrolytes, fatty acids, silica, prebiotics, and probiotics. It is deeply nutritious for us. Research indicates that it can transport over 60 minerals and other trace elements directly into the cells. Other benefits include:

  • Improves gut and immune function because of the pre-and pro-biotics found in it.
  • Helps to dissolve, enhance, and transport nutrients into the body for better absorption.
  • Serves as an electrolyte, balancing permeability of cells in the heart, muscles, brain, and digestive tract.
  • Combats free radicals, oxidation, and inflammation.
  • Increases enzymatic activities in the body.
  • Attracts and binds heavy metals and makes them water soluble for excretion.
  • The antioxidant properties help to protect the brain against degenerative cognitive conditions, such a Alzheimer’s.
  • Some evidence suggests fulvic acid can improve healing of wounds, rashes, and other skin infections.
  • As a result of detoxification, reduced inflammation, and increased absorption, energy is increased and pain is decreased.

Fulvic acid is available as a natural health product found in tablets, powder, and liquid forms. Care should be taken when starting fulvic acid since it causes a detoxification reaction as it helps to carry toxins away from the body.  It is important to have regular bowel movements before taking it to ensure the body’s ability to remove bound toxins quickly. It may be best to seek medical supervision before using it. Here at TWIHW, our medical providers are available to help you determine if fulvic acid is a good option for you and can guide you in its proper use.

[1] From “Therapeutic Potential of Fulvic Acid in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes,” by John Winkler and Sanjoy Ghosh, 2018, Journal of Diabetes Research, Volume 2018, Article ID 5391014, Copyright ©John Winkler and Sanjoy Ghosh.

[2] https://lindseyelmore.com/the-supplement-youve-never-heard-of-fulvic-and-humic-acid/

By |2022-11-01T10:40:27-05:00January 26th, 2022|General|