Anyone who experiences the chronic symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) knows to always keep a bathroom within sight. The gas, cramps, bloating, and bouts of diarrhea or constipation are seemingly never-ending and can bother you most when it's least convenient.

What is IBS?

It’s clinically defined as reoccurring episodes of abdominal pain associated with altering bowel movements. At the moment, there are no blood markers used in its diagnosis, although the condition’s origination is believed to occur from a variety of factors and mechanisms. Therefore, clinicians' hands are tied – they can only listen to patient symptoms and deploy the “trial and error” method of medications and/or supplements.

Most individuals complain of altered gastrointestinal motility – either diarrhea, constipation, or both, plus abdominal pain. Possibly arising from a bacterial or a viral infection, IBS can alter one’s gut microbiome, affect gut-brain interactions, trigger bacterial overgrowth, or initiate food sensitivities, in addition to intestinal inflammation. Carbohydrate malabsorption has also been associated with IBS-like symptoms.

Fortunately, these symptoms can be objectively evaluated with the advanced analysis obtained from a gut microbiome test that uses whole-genome shotgun analysis, like Thorne's Gut Health Test. The in-depth precision and sensitivity of the test’s sequencing identifies and measures every microorganism down to the strain level, uncovering the bacterial culprits at the root cause of IBS-related symptoms. 

The Clinical Trial

Onegevity has fine-tuned its recommendations through the trillions of data points within its machine learning system, including the findings from their recently conducted clinical trial. The Onegevity clinical trial team evaluated the gut microbiomes and related symptoms from 96 subjects before and after a 30-day intervention, during which many subjects continued to follow a gluten-free, dairy-free diet they had been following prior to the trial and also implemented the dietary supplement recommendations from their individual Gut Health Test results.

Seventy-five percent of the study participants were female, the average age was 49, and at the time of enrollment, subjects reported experiencing diarrhea, constipation, or both (totaling 64 subjects), or were one of 32 healthy controls. The trial results are in the process of being published, so this is a preliminary sneak peek!

The Symptom Scores

An overall symptom score was calculated based on nine self-reported core symptoms: abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting; participants recorded the severity and frequency of each symptom. Those with IBS-related symptoms reported an average pre-score of 198 compared to an average pre-score of 66 from the non-symptomatic controls. 

While the gluten-free, dairy-free diet seemingly helped some individuals who were previously not following it, interestingly, there was not much difference between those who started it for the trial versus those who continued it through the trial. By day 15, most all subjects noted improved changes in the way they felt. 

Throughout the 30-day study duration, all subjects (including the healthy controls) reported some symptom improvement, although the symptomatic group experienced the most significant improvements as much as 100 points in some cases. The biggest improvements were seen in symptoms of bloating (by everyone), and diarrhea and constipation by subjects experiencing those symptoms prior to the start of the study.

The Personalized Supplement Protocol

The dietary supplements in the trial protocol were statistically efficacious, and included probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins, botanicals, and single nutrients. Two supplements in particular achieved consistently optimal results:

  1. Thorne’s Arabinex®, a prebiotic fiber consisting of larch arabinogalactans, resulted in significantly larger decreases in individual constipation scores compared to other supplements (26 points better on average).* Arabinex also increased short-chain fatty acids – mainly butyric acid – the primary fuel for the colonocytes (the cells of the large intestine).* Butyric acid is produced in the colon by the fermentation of fiber, such as the fiber provided by arabinogalactans.* High levels of butyrate in the colon help provide a healthy colonic environment.*
  2. Thorne’s Enteromend®, a powder blend for maintaining a healthy inflammatory response in the GI tract, worked significantly better in the group noting they had diarrhea.* On average, it helped those individuals feel 11 points better. Enteromend’s ingredients (a blend of Meriva (curcumin phytosome), L-glutamine, Boswellia, aloe, and hydrolyzed guar gum) are designed to support colonic permeability and bowel regularity.*

Watch for the published trial results and an in-depth description of how specific individuals fared on their personalized supplement regimen. Complete details will be out soon.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing occasional bouts of alternating diarrhea and constipation, consider trying Thorne's Gut Health Test to receive the same personalized recommendations based on your symptoms and gut bacteria as the study participants did.

You will receive a full report of every microorganism in your gut and how your bacteria levels contribute to your risks for diarrhea, constipation, inflammation, and more. Based on your results, your report will include a variety of recommended dietary supplements that you can incorporate into a nutrition plan, as well as specific diet and lifestyle changes that will support your symptoms and help you feel better.