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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|

Supplement Cocktail for Constipation

constipation cocktail 2

There are many possible solutions for the relief of constipation or sluggish bowel function.  If you struggle with constipation or difficult bowel movements, please see a health care provider for proper evaluation.  Constipation can be a serious health issue and can be caused by many factors (see main article).

Safe supplements to aid in relieving constipation include:

Magnesium citrate improves gut motility.

Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract and microbial community which promotes optimal digestion and regularity.

Digestive Enzymes help to promote complete digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats while also increasing nutrient availability and reducing food intolerances.

Aloe Vera helps to reduce inflammation and improves bowel frequency. Be sure to choose a pure, preservative free, organic aloe very gel or juice.

All of these supplements are available in our office at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness.

By |2016-07-06T07:38:52-05:00July 6th, 2016|Articles, General|

IBS is cured!

IBS is cured!

Anonymous post online:

If you want cutting edge medicine with great results, I highly recommend this doctor. Why do others state having issues related to yeast candida? The answer is simple in that a large number of people have this in varying degrees, with all of the related accompanying health issues. There again, reading can easily confirm this through some research if you are so inclined. And sticking with a smart diet can be difficult for many, as they want good health but aren’t willing to give up Aspartame soft drinks, hormone induced food, or mainstream food with all of the chemical additives. This is a Wellness center, meaning it focuses upon a lifestyle change, where you can remain well for the foreseeable future with the correct lifestyle modifications. Oh, and my list of IBS symptoms vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and constipation are all gone now. Do I take any prescriptions? Nope. And my vitals are now outstanding and my brain is alert along with regular bowel movements. The dietician was wonderful and our meals are excellent. This last week I had a number of ladies standing at the microwave with their processed foods, while I ate organic meat and vegetables; yes, they picked up on the difference. Yes, I do take supplements, and if you do some real due diligence you’ll understand why (i.e. Suzanne Somers writings). My wife’s and daughter’s health are both dramatically improved as well. And I cant remember missing a recent day to illness. So I highly recommend this doctor, facility, and process.

By |2016-07-29T08:47:13-05:00July 5th, 2016|General, Testimonials|

Are You Full of It?

frogby Mila McManus MD

Are your bowels moving at posted speeds? This article discusses various underlying causes of constipation and sluggish bowel function and how to address the issue naturally.  Laxatives are NOT the answer.  Read on to find out why.

OK, so not the cleanest or most fun topic we could come up with, but it’s an important one.  Sluggish bowel function and constipation are a serious matter with potential for contributing to, or causing, other health issues.  Toxic sludge, for one, will simply recycle back into your body, thereby increasing toxic load.  And toxic load is a cause of constipation!  The causes most people think of in relation to constipation are dehydration and lack of fiber in the diet.  While adding water and fiber to your diet are important for many reasons, I rarely find that these interventions alone will fix the problem.

Other causes of sluggish bowel function and constipation:

  • Inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  This includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, but these are usually accompanied by bouts of diarrhea, bloody stools, and other symptoms.
  • Dysbiosis.  This is a fancy word for “the bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites living in your GI tract are out of balance”.  Have you ever had a course of antibiotics? Of course you have.  This is one of the main contributors to dysbiosis.
  • Low thyroid function.  EVEN IF your thyroid levels are normal, this does not confirm that your thyroid function is normal or optimal.  Test your thyroid function here with our online symptom checker.
  • Food allergies and sensitivities. Unfortunately, conventional medical doctors typically test for only IgE reactions to foods.  It’s important to test for other types of food sensitivities, such as IgG reactions.  The most common food sensitivities include gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, yeast, and corn.
  • Certain supplements, particularly calcium and iron.
  • Congesting foods, particularly gluten (wheat, rye, spelt, barley) and dairy (cheese, ice cream, milk, yogurt, cream)
  • Colon cancer or other conditions affecting your anatomy, such as scar tissue from surgeries or endometriosis.
  • Side effect of medications, including narcotic pain meds (e.g., hydrocodone), calcium-containing anti-acids (e.g. TUMS), certain antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl), certain blood pressure medications including calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine) and diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide), and certain antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine, amitriptyline)
  • Dependence on laxatives. The more you use them, the more difficult it’ll be to stop using them
  • Diabetes.  Diabetes can affect nerve function, including the nerves that control the function of the GI tract.
  • Neurologic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Poor dietary habits in general.  This makes sense because eating a lot of processed food will contribute to inflammation, magnesium deficiency, low fiber, and other health issues that lead to the need to take medications such as those listed above which further contribute to the problem.


  • Heal your GI tract by working with our functional medicine specialists.  This usually involves a customized vitamin/mineral regimen, detoxification support, dietary changes, probiotics, and hormone balance and optimization
  • Test for food sensitivities and/or start an elimination diet (e.g., eliminate all dairy and gluten from your diet for 4 to 6 weeks to see if bowel function improves.)
  • Work with our functional medicine specialists to address the underlying causes of what ails you so that you can potentially wean off your medications that are contributing to your sluggish bowel function.
  • Clean up your diet.  Schedule a consultation with our nutritionist on staff for help.
  • Supplements that can be very effective in alleviating your constipation include probiotics, magnesium citrate, aloe vera, and digestive enzymes.  We highly recommend that you work with a functional medicine specialist for advice on brands, doses, etc.  It’s also important to be properly evaluated.
  • Fiber can actually make constipation worse.  This sometimes should NOT be your first line of defense.
  • A word about Miralax (and other laxatives with polyethylene glycol as the active ingredient):  The FDA has added “neuropsychiatric events” to the list of potential side effects in relation to the use of these laxatives.  “Neuropsychiatric events” would include conditions such as memory loss, autism, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, etc.  Polyethylene glycol is a string of ethylene glycol molecules.  Ethylene glycol is anti-freeze.  Need I say more?  Please remember that, just because you can get a drug over-the-counter, doesn’t mean it’s safe.
By |2016-07-06T06:40:59-05:00July 5th, 2016|Articles, General|