Research behind Florasophy

Research behind Florasophy fiber supplements

Florasophy™ soluble fiber blends are clinician-developed to improve health outcomes by supporting optimal digestion, elimination, metabolism, blood sugar management, detoxification, hormone balance, microbiome health as well as cardiovascular and colon health. Clinically, Florasophy has been effective in reducing symptoms associated with IBS-D, IBS-C, hypercholesterolemia, hormone imbalance, glucose management and weight loss.

Florasophy offers three different formulas with a specific combination of soluble fiber to meet the needs of those suffering from IBS-D (Firm Up™), IBS-C (Loosen Up™) and to address health issues outside of those diagnoses (Daily Fix™). One serving (1 tablespoon) of Florasophy provides 4g of soluble fiber, and individuals can take up to three servings per day, depending on their dietary and health goals.

Dietary fiber has been defined as "remnants of plant cells resistant to hydrolysis (digestion) by the alimentary enzymes of man, whose components are hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, oligosaccharides, pectins, gums and waxes.”[1] In essence, dietary fiber is not broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream but instead moves into the colon. In the colon, dietary fiber has been found to improve the health of the microbiome, protect the colon cells, and enhance the excretion of bile salt-bound compounds. While insoluble fiber provides bulk to stool, soluble fibers bind bile salts and are fermented in the colon, serving as an energy source for microbiota. These soluble fiber resistant starches are prebiotic in nature and have been shown to support and improve the microbiome and their health-promoting byproducts [2]. The improvement in gut health and microbiome health have been shown to positively affect detoxification by increasing bacterial nitrogen metabolism and microbe-microbe and microbe-host cell interactions, leading to enhanced liver and kidney function [3].

Higher rates of dietary fiber intake are linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and hypercholesterolemia. There are three primary ways that soluble fiber reduces circulating cholesterol [4]: prevention of cholesterol-containing bile salt reabsorption from the small intestine resulting in increased bile salt excretion [5]; reduced insulin-stimulated hepatic cholesterol synthesis as a result of lowered postprandial glycemic response, and physiological effects of fermentation products of soluble fiber including fermentation by bacteria within the colon, increasing production of short-chain fatty acids resulting in a reduction of circulating cholesterol levels [6]. Higher intakes of fiber are associated with 26% reduced risk of stroke [7].

A high fiber diet has also been shown to reduce estradiol and estrone levels in premenopausal women, which is thought to reduce the risk of breast cancer [8] [9]. Studies show that diets higher in fiber result in increased fecal output and increased fecal excretion of estrogen, which results in lower plasma concentrations of estrogen, alongside reduced b-glucuronidase activity, which results in better estrogen metabolism [10].

While ancestral diets provided an estimated 100g of fiber per day, today the average American consumes only 16.2g of fiber per day [11] [12]. The Institute of Medicine suggests that children consume at least 19g per day, women should consume at least 25g per day, and men should consume at least 38g per day [13]. With the rise in popularity of paleolithic diets, fiber intake may be further reduced for individuals omitting grains and possibly legumes from their diet.

As a whole, Americans are falling short, and the diseases relating to reduced fiber intake are ever-increasing. Soluble fiber provides a variety of benefits for symptom relief and overall health with regards to digestion, detoxification, immune function, blood sugar balance, cardiovascular health, hormone balance, and metabolism [14] [15].

Florasophy ingredients

Each formula contains at least four of the following five ingredients: organic acacia fiber, organic chia seed powder, konjac root, organic partially hydrolyzed guar gum (trademarked as Sunfiber®), and organic psyllium husk powder.

Acacia fiber

Acacia or gum arabic (GA) is a dietary fiber, extracted from Acacia senegal. GA has been shown to reduce blood lipid levels, and in robust doses of 30g per day it has been shown to significantly reduce visceral adipose tissue, body mass index (BMI) and systolic blood pressure [16]. GA also exhibits prebiotic effects on the microbiome, increasing production of short-chain fatty acids [17].

Chia seeds

Chia seeds (Salva hispanica) provide a composition of healthy polyunsaturated fats, protein, and soluble fiber. Chia seeds dosed at 30g per day (2 tablespoons per day) have been shown to significantly reduce waist circumference and improve glycemic control when compared to 26g per day oat bran, another soluble fiber source in study participants eating an isocaloric diet [18]. In addition, when compared to the similar composition of flax seeds, chia was shown to better convert glucose into a slow-release carbohydrate and positively affect satiety [19].

Florasophy fiber supplement ingredient, chia seeds

Konjac root (Glucomannan)

Konjac root is an herb grown primarily in Asia that possesses a starchy corn from which glucomannan, the soluble fiber contained in the root, can be extracted. Glucomannan has been shown to significantly reduce body weight, blood lipid levels, and average blood sugar after a 28-day dose of 3.6g per day [20]. The mechanism for action is thought to be the binding of bile salts and elimination via feces. In a meta-analysis, 3g per day of konjac glucomannan was shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by 10% and HDL cholesterol by 7% [21]. Glucomannan slows digestion and gastric emptying, which in turn, slows the absorption of glucose and subsequent insulin production, resulting in increased insulin sensitivity.

Konjac has been shown to improve detoxification through the intestinal tract as well as provide a protective layer around the bowel wall [22]. Konjac has been found to positively affect acne vulgaris in tandem with probiotics by reducing the acne-stimulating bacterium, Propionibacterium [23].

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG), trademarked as SunfiberⓇ, is a resistant starch that forms a gel when hydrated. PHGG is used to increase fiber in clinical nutrition products due to its low viscosity. PHGG has been shown to effectively improve symptoms of IBD-D after three months of use, resulting in normalization of stool consistency based on the Bristol stool chart by means of regulating microbiome activity [24]. PHGG has also been shown to be as effective as lactulose in treating children with chronic constipation without the negative side effects of lactulose [25]. PHGG positively impacts the microbiome, increasing levels of short-chain fatty acids, Lactobacilli, and Bifidobacteria [26]. PHGG is also useful in supporting cardiovascular health. In four studies, an average of 15g of PHGG reduced LDL cholesterol by over 10 mg/dL [27].

Psyllium husk

Florasophy fiber supplement ingredient, psyllium husk

Psyllium husk powder is ubiquitous in fiber supplementation due to its low cost and general tolerability. Psyllium husk can be used to promote regularity, whether aiming to reduce the frequency of bowel movements, firm up stool, or relieve constipation. Psyllium husk provides a laxative effect at 8.8g fiber per day due to a portion of the fiber not being fermented in the colon and instead providing increased viscosity to the stool [28]. In contrast, 1 tablespoon BID was given to 23 children experiencing chronic idiopathic diarrhea resulting in improvement for 87% of participants after 14 days [29]. A 2014 meta-analysis confirmed that soluble fiber, specifically psyllium, is effective in improving symptoms of both chronic diarrhea and constipation, often diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome [30]. Continued research in 2019 found psyllium not only effective in relieving constipation, but also found significant improvements to the microbiota [31].

Aside from the benefits related to elimination, studies have shown that when psyllium husk is taken with meals, it slows gastric emptying, reducing postprandial glucose levels, and improves insulin response, leading to weight loss and improvements in hypertension [32]. There are also cardiovascular benefits with an average of 6g per day of psyllium husk reducing LDL cholesterol by 5.5 mg/dL [33].


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