Inflammatory Bowel Disease & Colitis studies

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the collective condition label given to a number of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders that result in colitis of the GI tract, or chronic gut inflammation.

IBD is now considered an emerging global disease with increasing prevalence, severity and complexity especially in western societies.

The baseline treatment and avoidance of inflammatory events can be approached from a dietary perspective and studies demonstrate a role for prebiotics, probiotics and the synergistic combination administration, labelled synbiotics.

Kfibre is a unique prebiotic phytonutrient fibre extract from sugarcane, manufactured to preserve the cell wall components and phytonutrient bioactives providing a representative cellular fibre component from plant dietary sources.

These components target the normalisation of gut microbiota, the production of beneficial by-products of microbial digestion (such as short chain fatty acids) and the delivery of plant antioxidants to the colon. Kfibre delivers more antioxidant capacity than green tea.

Research Partner – University of Tasmania (UTAS) & University of Queensland

Health Food Symmetry‘s University research partner (UTAS) holds a provisional patent for the prophylaxis and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease using sugarcane cellular complex (Kfibre), and HFSYM has exclusive global rights for commercialisation.

Evidence supporting the patent comes from a scientific animal trial whereby Kfibre, as both a standalone treatment, and as a synbiotic (combination of Kfibre and a probiotic bacterial strain), significantly reduced or prevented gut inflammation (colitis).

Two models for anti-inflammatory effect have been used, DSS (a chemical trigger) and Winnie mouse model (a genetic variant that develops spontaneous colitis).

Use of both an environmental trigger and a genetic dysfunction provides the highest confidence that these results will be replicated in humans supporting the existing anecdotal evidence.

Both models resulted in significant reductions in inflammation on the Disease Activity Index (DAI). Pathology performed on the subjects also demonstrated large reductions in inflammation as measured by C-Reactive Protein (CRP) biomarkers. These inflammation marker reductions were also noted from the pathology performed during the 90 person Kfibre weight loss study.

The full paper to the published results in the journal “Nutrients” can be found at the following link:

  1. Synbiotic Supplementation Containing Whole Plant Sugar Cane Fibre and Probiotic Spores Potentiates Protective Synergistic Effects in Mouse Model of IBD o Nutrients 2019, 11, 818; doi:10.3390/nu11040818 +Synergistic+Effects+in+Mouse+Model+of+IBD


Disease Activity Index (DAI) data are presented below:

DSS Colitis model: Prebiotic Kfibre vs Control – efficacy to reduce DSS induced inflammation


The above graph represents the changes of the DAI in response to the chemical induction of colitis and the ability for the sample feed to reduce the inflammatory state. Mice fed normal chow and water presented no change from baseline on the DAI scale.

In all instances the effect of the DSS chemical colitis inducer raised the inflammation to a DAI average of 5.8, a significantly inflamed state that would be both symptomatic and chronically harmful. The subjects that were administered DSS + probiotic spores reduced the inflammation state to a DAI average of 3.1 (47% reduction in inflammation), a significant reduction.

The subjects that were administered DSS + prebiotic Kfibre also reduced the inflammation state to a DAI of 2.7 (53% reduction in inflammation, a significant reduction.

The subjects that were administered the synbiotic, combination of both the probiotic and the prebiotic reduced the inflammation state to a DAI of 1.6, a profoundly significant result equivalent to a 72% reduction in inflammation compared to the DSS only group.

Winnie model vs Prebiotic (Kfibre), Probiotic (B.Coagulans), Synbiotic (Kfibre + B.Coagulans)


This graph closely replicates the inflammation state reduction in the Winnie mouse model. The Winnie mouse model represents an animal gut that has a genetic dysfunction and therefore has negligible ability to recover from its inflammation state. All three treatments of Kfibre, Probiotic, and Synbiotic reduced the inflammation state significantly and prevented severe colitis. In this study the Kfibre appears to confer increased initial inflammation prophylaxis.

The below and images note the direct changes to the colon of the mouse models representing close correlation and overlap between Kfibre and the Healthy Control regarding the maintenance of normal size, structure and macroscopic appearance.


This is a detailed study highlighting the site-specific inflammatory and SCFA changes in a mice model of IBD as a result of synbiotic supplementation of the normal diet with prebiotic whole plant fibre and probiotic spores. The synbiotic pre-supplementation resulted in a substantial anti-inflammatory effect, reducing disease severity, colonic damage, and inflammatory mediators while modulating the metabolite and SCFA profiles of DSS-induced gut damage. The research has clearly demonstrated that the supplementation of whole plant PSCF and B. coagulans spores produced a synergistic combination that protected mice against acute damage induced by DSS in mice.

The results underscore the significant efficacy of synbiotic applications to increase the beneficial and preventive effects on the host by targeting different mechanistic approaches to resolve inflammation cycle. However, the differences in the evolved biology of humans compared to mice requires caution in translation of the results to impacts on human disease [81]. While mice models do allow the changes in gut microbiota, as a result of pre- and probiotic combinations to be studied in a controlled experiment direct human trials will be needed.

The delineation of the synergistic biological actions of probiotic B. coagulans spores and prebiotic PSCF in mouse model of IBD provides support for investigating their therapeutic and preventive effects in human IBD. However, the ability to reduce the severity of DSS-induced colitis was demonstrated using pre-supplementation. Human trials will be aimed at proactive prevention or after partial control of inflammatory disease, such as in association with drug treatment.

Conclusion – DAI & CRP inflammation reduction

The reduction values in DAI using Kfibre was clinically significant, and this result was replicated in CRP data.

“Prebiotic [Kfibre] combinations may be associated with a synergistic direct immune-regulating efficacy of the components, their ability to protect epithelial integrity, stimulation of probiotic spores by the prebiotic fibre, and/or with stimulation of greater levels of fermentation of fibres releasing SCFAs that mediate the reduction in colonic inflammation.

Additional data

A human weight loss study also recorded reductions in inflammation markers; CRP (supporting animal model conclusions) & Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) specifically dropped to normal levels over an 8-week diet program for the Kfibre group.

A porcine model in vitro study of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced from feed containing Kfibre vs barley, rye and wheat by the University of Queensland, revealed that the Kfibre was fermented at a more uniform rate and produced much higher proportions of butyric acid, which is associated with reduced inflammation, weight loss, and is noted as a promising therapy for IBD.

Given the increasing understanding of the role of the microbiome on gut health Health Food Symmetry feels that Kfibre can be positioned at the forefront of the prevention and treatment of microbiome associated lifestyle diseases. Patented treatment formats cover both functional foods and pharmaceutical approaches.

Provisional Patent Application (#2018902145)

The invention relates to the field of food supplement manufacture and therapeutic manufacture. In particular, the invention relates to use of a prebiotic whole plant fibre extract from sugarcane in the diet of an individual for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The invention also relates to a combination of the prebiotic whole plant fibre extract from sugarcane and probiotic strains, the synbiotic use of said combination in the diet of an individual, and the improved outcomes of the synbiotic approach in the prophylaxis and/or treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Prebiotic Kfibre alone or as synbiotic are effective in reducing severity of chemically induced colitis in mice. Preconditioning of mice with pre-, pro- and Synbiotic treatments prior to DSS-induction reduced the severity of disease symptoms. “Efficacy of probiotic and prebiotic combinations for improved gut health and ameliorating gut inflammation” – University of Tasmania (International Scientific Conference Probiotics, Prebiotics, Gut Microbiota and Health, 18th-21st June 2018 – Tanvi Shinde, Roger Stanley).

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