A standardized extract of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill and Olea europaea L. improves gastrointestinal discomfort: A double-blinded randomized-controlled study.
Phytother Res. 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16. PMID: 33724592
Giuseppe Antonio Malfa
Gastrointestinal discomfort (GD), which often includes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common disorder in healthy adults affecting 40% of the worldwide population. The symptoms related to GD can have a negative impact on the quality of life (QoL). Current treatments for GERD are associated with side effects. We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to assess the effect of a standardized extract of Opuntia ficus-indica L. cladodes and Olea europaea L. leaves on the symptoms and QoL of healthy adults with GD. One hundred healthy participants with GD were enrolled in the study and divided into two groups: 60 participants taking verum (400 mg/day) and 40 taking the placebo for 8 weeks. The Gastrointestinal Quality of Life index (GIQLI) and GERD Symptom Assessment Scale (GSAS) questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the study and after 4 and 8 weeks. The group treated with verum experienced a statistically significant improvement of GIQLI and GSAS scores (p < .001). Moreover, the effect size measured revealed a clinical significance. A day-dependent improvement of symptoms was also observed. The standardized extract represents a fast, effective, and well-tolerated treatment for improving symptoms related to GD and GERD.