Research-Overview

Research Overview

Health Food Symmetry Ltd (HFS) is an Australian owned specialty health & medical food supplier that manufactures & researches functional ingredients for global health and food industries. HFS has recently acquired the assets of KFSU LTD including processing, research and IP.

Health Food Symmetry claims are backed by University Research (human clinical studies, animal model studies, in-vitro studies), Weight loss lifestyle trials, and Anecdotal evidence. HFS is continuing its research designed to demonstrate the health benefits in accordance with food health claims regulation and complimentary medicine regulation.

HFS’ claims are based on extensive evidence in respect to its whole of plant dietary fibre/prebiotic and the health functions it impacts:

  • Microbiome Support – Nourishment of gut microbiota & SCFA synthesis
  • Digestive normalisation – Microbiome / prebiotic & polyphenolics
  • Dietary regularity – prebiotic & microbiome support
  • Dietary Bloat & indigestion – gastric emptying & microbiome changes
  • Satiety and weight maintenance – Low GI, microbiome & fibre feedback
  • Low FODMAP – suitable for food sensitive diets

HFS has contributed its sugarcane prebiotic fibre to many studies including the successful PhD completion of 3 students to become doctors (scientific) with great characterisation and knowledge of sugarcane prebiotic knowledge of human health within their respective thesis:

  • Dr Hasinika Gamage – PhD Thesis – Investigating the impact of dietary fibre on the gut microbiota (microbiome) – Macquarie University
  • Dr Daniel Bucio Noble – PhD Thesis – Nutraceutical properties of whole dried sugarcane extracts studied by proteomics – Macquarie University
  • Dr Tanvi Shinde – PhD Thesis – Synbiotic efficacy of probiotic and prebiotic food ingredients for gut health – University of Tasmania

There are a significant number of studies that link dietary fibre, prebiotics and subsequent microbiome changes & SCFA synthesis to digestive health outcomes – the links below are only summary of research directly involving HFS sugarcane fibre.

Microbiome & Short Chain Fatty Acid Research

SCFAs are produced when dietary fibres are fermented in the colon by the fibre-digesting microbial members. Major SCFAs – butyrate, propionate and acetate have diverse physiological roles and functions in the body. Specifically, butyrate for instance is important for the colon health as it is the primary energy source of colonic cells and linked to its normal function. Additionally, SCFAs act as a link between the microbiota and the immune system with capacity to modulate immune and metabolic functions.

Kfibre has been demonstrated in an in-vitro study1 to undergo fermentation at a uniform rate and produced much higher proportions of butyrate compared with arabinoxylan.

Studies conducted in two animal models of gut inflammation demonstrated excellent efficacy of Kfibre in imparting anti-inflammatory effects thus conferring beneficial health outcomes in acute1 and chronic2 gut inflammatory condition. Both studies confirmed excellent anti-inflammatory effects in attenuating acute and chronic IBD. The outcomes of these studies confirmed Kfibre supplementation in IBD models leading to reduction in local & systemic inflammatory markers, reduction in disease severity index, improvement in gut barrier functions and augmented production of short chain fatty acids along the entire colon (cecum, proximal colon and the distal colon) as well as increased microbiota diversity. These benefits observed in studies were noted to be amplified when Kfibre was used in combination with probiotic as synbiotic.

Sugarcane fibre research links: (Each study involved HFS Sugarcane fibre)

  1. Synbiotic Supplementation Containing Whole Plant Sugar Cane Fibre and Probiotic Spores Potentiates Protective Synergistic Effects in Mouse Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30979002/
  2. Modulating the Microbiome and Immune Responses Using Whole Plant Fibre in Synbiotic Combination with Fibre-Digesting Probiotic Attenuates Chronic Colonic Inflammation in Spontaneous Colitic Mice Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32784883/
  3. In vitro fermentation of sugar cane fibre – porcine model
    a. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijfs.14069
  4. Fiber Supplements Derived From Sugarcane Stem, Wheat Dextrin and Psyllium Husk Have Different In Vitro Effects on the Human Gut Microbiota
    a. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01618 (The primary active in this trial was HFS sugarcane fibre blended with a sorghum flour for mouthfeel).
  5. Changes in dietary fibre intake in mice reveal associations between colonic mucin 0-glycosylation and specific gut bacteria
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32991816/ (The primary active in this trial was HFS sugarcane fibre blended with a sorghum flour for mouthfeel).
  6. Dr Tanvi Shinde – PhD Thesis – Synbiotic efficacy of probiotic and prebiotic food ingredients for gut health – University of Tasmania

Anti-Heartburn Research

Acid Reflux and related indigestion is a dietary outcome suffered by many individuals at some point in their lives, with some estimates suggesting 60-70% of the population suffering from reflux in any 12-month period. Acid reflux disease or GERD is a chronic digestive disease with symptoms of oesophageal burning and heartburn.

A clinical study1 of 40 participants experiencing reflux for the first time was carried out to determine how effective Kfibre is for dietary indigestion and reflux after many anecdotal reports & testimonials.

The investigation into the effects of Kfibre through a pilot randomised, placebo-controlled trial showed a significant reduction in self-reported reflux symptoms (heartburn, regurgitation, bloating/gas pressures, indigestion, gastric emptying, etc.) after 3 weeks of consumption.

“After three weeks there were significant differences in symptoms for heartburn, regurgitation, and total symptoms scores (p < 0.05) between the sugarcane flour and placebo. Mean GERD-HRQL scores increased in the placebo group for regurgitation (mean increase 1.7; 95% CI 0.23 to 3.2; p = 0.015) and total symptom scores (2.9; 95% CI 0.26 to 5.7; p = 0.033). In contrast, there were significant reductions in heartburn (mean decrease −2.2; 95% CI −4.2 to −0.14; p = 0.037) and total symptom scores (−3.7; 95% CI −7.2 to −0.11; p = 0.044) in the intervention group. This pilot study has shown significant positive effects of sugarcane flour in the reduction of GERD symptoms, and a larger randomized controlled trial is warranted.”

This study was funded by HFS using sugarcane fibre, however all – design, protocol, administration and conclusions were independently developed and published by the University of Tasmania. Research in this area is continuing based on the positive outcomes and anecdotal reports to date.

Sugarcane fibre research links:

  • Anti-Heartburn Effects of Sugar Cane Flour: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study
  • HFS holds a relevent patent for sugarcane fibre and anti-heartburn effects.
    • The patent lists several individual case studies recording the positive impacts of sugarcane prebiotic use and anti-heartburn effects.
    • A follow up study is in planning to determine the extent of therapeutic capability vs general dietary “food-health” benefits.

Regularity & Dietary Constipation Research

Everyone knows we need fibre in our diets for normal digestion and Kfibre packs more fibre punch than any other source out there. It’s made of soluble and importantly insoluble fibre that is both prebiotic; indigestible to you, but digestible by your gut bacteria. When your body is moving waste through at a healthy rate and your bacteria are happily digesting these prebiotics your body you will know the difference.

Sugarcane fibre research links:

  1. Evaluation of the structured bowel management program in inpatient rehabilitation – a prospective study
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26043750/
    b. Bowel function improvements were reported by 85% of participants
    c. No financial connection with trial – supply of sugarcane prebiotic
  2. Efficacy of a defined food product (Nutrikane D) in improving blood sugar level and bowel dysfunction in adult diabetic subjects: a randomised controlled trial
    a. Efficacy of Dietary Sugarcane Product on Bowel Function and Blood Sugar Level in Adult Diabetic Patients: A Randomised Controlled Trial
    b. The primary active in this trial was HFS sugarcane fibre blended with a sorghum flour for mouthfeel.
    c. No financial connection with trial – Virgin sugarcane prebiotic supply only
  3. Rehabilitation outcomes in persons with spina bifida: a randomised controlled trial
    a. https://doi.org/10.2340/16501977-1999
    b. Study reports bowel function improvements & general wellness benefits for the participants using a combination of sugarcane fibre (active) & red sorghum flour (mouthfeel) versus control.
  4. Synbiotic Supplementation Containing Whole Plant Sugar Cane Fibre and Probiotic Spores Potentiates Protective Synergistic Effects in Mouse Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30979002/
    b. Animal study demonstrating a maintenance of bowel function when challenged with chemical trigger of bowel inflammation.
    c. HFS funded a University of Tasmania PhD program, research, & publications.
  5. Modulating the Microbiome and Immune Responses Using Whole Plant Fibre in Synbiotic Combination with Fibre-Digesting Probiotic Attenuates Chronic Colonic Inflammation in Spontaneous Colitic Mice Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32784883/
    b. Animal study demonstrating improvements of bowel function in mice with gut inflammation due to genetic dysfunction.
    c. HFS funded a University of Tasmania PhD program, research, & publications.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research

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.

Supplementation of Kfibre as prebiotic and as synbiotic (in combination with probiotic) in two separate IBD models have confirmed excellent prophylactic and therapeutic outcomes. Kfibre supplementation was noted to reduce Diseases Activity Index (DAI), preserve and/or improve gut barrier (architecture & function), reduce local & systemic inflammatory markers as well as augment short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) production and modulate gut microbial diversity under gut inflammatory conditions. 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 several inflammation-related markers including cytokines & C-Reactive Protein (CRP) biomarkers. Reductions in CRP inflammation marker was also noted from the pathology performed during the 90 person Kfibre weight loss study.

While HFS holds a patent in IBD synbiotics, HFS does not support any health claims against conditions like IBD as it is an ongoing area of research and beyond the scope of dietary management alone.

Virgin sugarcane prebiotic & IBD research:

  1. Synbiotic Supplementation Containing Whole Plant Sugar Cane Fibre and Probiotic Spores Potentiates Protective Synergistic Effects in Mouse Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30979002/
  2. Modulating the Microbiome and Immune Responses Using Whole Plant Fibre in Synbiotic Combination with Fibre-Digesting Probiotic Attenuates Chronic Colonic Inflammation in Spontaneous Colitic Mice Model of IBD
    a. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32784883/
  3. In vitro fermentation of sugar cane fibre – porcine model
    a. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijfs.14069
    b. Uniform rate of fermentation compared to other prebiotics impacts gas production/ gastric emptying rates in mammals.

Satiety & Weight Maintenance

HFS Ltd. Virgin sugarcane prebiotic fibre has completed a 90 subject weight loss study that demonstrates significantly improved outcomes for a weight loss program that included Kfibre compared to a control group.

On an 8-week program the weight loss recorded for females in the control group was 5.7 kgs, and for the Kfibre group it was 10.06kg.

“Outcome of the use of Kfibre against not using Kfibre and comparing weight loss” by Marissa Pilla – Pharmacist N.H.A.A / P.S.A / A.A.C.P / S.M.A.

This is an in-home lifestyle study carried out by an independent healthcare practitioner, it is not peer reviewed, however the HFS was not involved in the design, management, operation, or collation of the results.

Virgin Sugarcane prebiotics & satiety research:

  1. “Efficacy of a defined food product in improving blood sugar level and bowel dysfunction in adult diabetic subjects: a randomised controlled trial”
    a. Efficacy of Dietary Sugarcane Product on Bowel Function and Blood Sugar Level in Adult Diabetic Patients: A Randomised Controlled Trial
    b. The primary active in this trial was HFS sugarcane prebiotic fibre blended with a sorghum flour for mouthfeel.
    c. No financial connection with trial – Virgin sugarcane prebiotic supply only.
    d. Reductions in fasting blood glucose, reductions in body mass index (BMI), and HbA1c reductions were reported.
  2. “Outcome of the use of Kfibre against not using Kfibre and comparing weight loss”
    a. Marissa Pilla – Pharmacist N.H.A.A / P.S.A / A.A.C.P / S.M.A. – Lifestyle patient study – (unpublished/not per reviewed).
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Low FODMAP & Food Sensitivities

All HFS products contain virgin sugarcane fibre. HFS removes almost all the sugar content while retaining the phytonutrients and minerals through its unique manufacturing process. The product Kfibre has low sucrose content and has been independently certified as FODMAP Friendly.

This doesn’t make sugarcane prebiotic fibre an active management of any food sensitivity, but what it does provide is a Low FODMAP / gluten free dietary fibre. We would simply call it a non-trigger fibre in this space as a gluten free / Low FODMAP diets can make access to dietary fibre for normal bowel function a difficult prospect – Kfibre fills this gap.

FODMAP Friendly website listing:

General Modes of Action

  • Prebiotic
  • Short Chain Fatty Acids
  • Effects on general metabolism
  • Modulation of the microbiome
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