Consumption of 2 Green Kiwifruits Daily Improves Constipation and Abdominal Comfort-Results of an International Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

Am J Gastroenterol. 2023 Jun 1;118(6):1058-1068.doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000002124. Epub 2022 Dec 20.


Richard Gearry 1Shin Fukudo 2 3Giovanni Barbara 4Barbara Kuhn-Sherlock 5Juliet Ansell 6Paul Blatchford 6Sarah Eady 7Alison Wallace 7Christine Butts 7Cesare Cremon 4Maria Raffaella Barbaro 4Isabella Pagano 4Yohei Okawa 2Tomohiko Muratubaki 2Tomoko Okamoto 8Mikiko Fuda 9Yuka Endo 3Michiko Kano 2Motoyori Kanazawa 2 3Naoki Nakaya 10Kumi Nakaya 10Lynley Drummond 11


Author information

1Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.

2Department of Behavioral Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

3Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan.

4Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

5BKS Consulting Limited, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.

6Zespri International Limited, Tauranga, New Zealand.

7The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, Palmerston North and Christchurch, New Zealand.

8Department of Nutrition, Sapporo University of Health Sciences, Sapporo, Japan.

9Department of Clinical Nutrition, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan.

10Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.

11Drummond Food Science Advisory Limited, Killinchy, Canterbury, New Zealand.


Introduction: Consumption of green kiwifruit is known to relieve constipation. Previous studies have also reported improvements in gastrointestinal (GI) comfort. We investigated the effect of consuming green kiwifruit on GI function and comfort.

Methods: Participants included healthy controls (n = 63), patients with functional constipation (FC, n = 60), and patients with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C, n = 61) randomly assigned to consume 2 green kiwifruits or psyllium (7.5 g) per day for 4 weeks, followed by a 4-week washout, and then the other treatment for 4 weeks. The primary outcome was the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM) per week. Secondary outcomes included GI comfort which was measured using the GI symptom rating scale, a validated instrument. Data (intent-to-treat) were analyzed as difference from baseline using repeated measures analysis of variance suitable for AB/BA crossover design.

Results: Consumption of green kiwifruit was associated with a clinically relevant increase of ≥ 1.5 CSBM per week (FC; 1.53, P < 0.0001, IBS-C; 1.73, P = 0.0003) and significantly improved measures of GI comfort (GI symptom rating scale total score) in constipated participants (FC, P < 0.0001; IBS-C, P < 0.0001). No significant adverse events were observed.

Discussion: This study provides original evidence that the consumption of a fresh whole fruit has demonstrated clinically relevant increases in CSBM and improved measures of GI comfort in constipated populations. Green kiwifruits are a suitable dietary treatment for relief of constipation and associated GI comfort.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02888392

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