Taiyo, maker of branded ingredients Sunfiber and Suntheanine, has recently published two human studies on their ingredients.
One study, published in Nutrients, was performed on 44 adults. In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, adults took either 5g of Sunfiber per day or a placebo for 12 weeks. The findings: Those having loose stool returned to normal; stool frequency was unchanged; and Bifidobacterium levels in the gut improved. The placebo group showed none of these improvements. Another surprising outcome: Those who took Sunfiber “showed significantly higher social functioning at both 8 weeks and 12 weeks,” according to Derek Timm, Ph.D., RDN, Taiyo’s functional ingredient technology expert. “This demonstrates that Sunfiber’s benefits go beyond gut health and may interact with the gut/brain axis.”
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The other study, also published in Nutrients, was a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, which took place over an eight-week period—four weeks spent taking 200mg daily of Suntheanine, four weeks taking a placebo. The 30 study participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety and self-rated depression during the period when they were taking Suntheanine. Sleep latency and sleep disturbance scores improved as well, and during the Suntheanine period, subjects took fewer sleep aid medications. Moreover, subjects on Suntheanine had improved executive function, verbal fluency, and letter fluency. “We know that Suntheanine stimulates activity in the brain known as alpha waves, which are associated with a relaxed but alert mental state,” says Timm. “It is quite likely that this calming alpha wave action is what leads to these improvements.”