There are times in one’s life when they’re granted the rare and awesome opportunity to help guide, or even oversee, a significant contribution to society. My work conducting a Supergut clinical trial evaluating the impact of a resistant-starch-based meal replacement, has been one such time.
A few years ago, when I was leading the gut health and functional food work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we often discussed what’s called the “double burden of disease.” What this means is basically that in low and middle income parts of the world (e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia) we were seeing as much over-nutrition as we were malnutrition. Obesity and diabetes were as prevalent as wasting and stunting, and I became convinced that in order to address this “double-burden” we would have to short-circuit the problem at its original source in high-income countries like the United States.
The Spark for a Health Transformation
Fast forward to when Marc Washington, Founder and CEO of Supergut, presented to me his vision of impacting health by using functional foods like fermentable fiber as a way to help reshape metabolic nutritional health, and I was immediately hooked on the possibility that this could be something huge and transformational. Without any exaggeration, I wondered if this could be the spark that would lead the charge and inspire food companies everywhere to reintroduce the single most important ingredient that’s been largely missing from our food system: fiber.
For thousands of years, fiber was (and still is!) one of the most influential nutrients for achieving and maintaining metabolic health. Unfortunately, only about 5% of people get enough of it in their diets!
Food Is Medicine
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, summed it up best. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
This age-old wisdom is as true now as it was over 2000 thousand years ago. Food truly does have the power to transform our health. Unfortunately, so much of our modern ways of processing food has led to a concentration of simple carbohydrates that are too readily digestible and which contribute to conditions such as obesity, metabolic disease, and inflammation in the body.
Our Goal at Supergut
The inspiration behind what we are doing at Supergut is simple. We want to create functional foods that reintroduce the very fibers that have largely been stripped from our food system, or that appear only in low abundance, and to add them back into our diets. By adding these fermentable fibers back in, we truly have the power to steer our society back to health — one gut at a time!
As a gastroenterologist with a focus on the microbiome, I can tell you that fiber is what feeds our microbiome. And our microbiome — our “gut” — is what controls and contributes to a vast array of metabolic health processes. By feeding our microbiome superfoods like fermental fibers and resistant starch, we can harness the power of our guts and use their super powers (like butyrate) to promote a healthy gut, healthy metabolism and inflammation, and in effect a healthy body and brain.
In essence, our gut and microbiome can be our very own partners in health!
Why We Created a Controlled Clinical Trial for Supergut
In short, Marc and I were not content to leave the discussion of fiber and its transformative benefits as just a theoretical understanding of these processes. We wanted to put our actual Supergut products to the test, so we embarked on a gold-standard trial that would demonstrate, through real observable and measurable data, the effectiveness of our products.
Truth be told, trials like these are rarely done in the world of food. They’re conducted by pharmaceutical companies, sure, but seldom for consumer packaged goods. We wanted to do things differently and set a new standard for the food industry.
To that end, we designed a double-blind, randomized, and controlled trial where we compared our Supergut Shake to a placebo shake missing the primary active ingredients such as the resistant starch fiber blend. We weren’t content to have just a single control arm, however, and also included an arm where we recommended the usual dietary guidance that you might receive at a physician’s office. We did this for three months in one of the largest studies of its kind.
The Results of the Supergut Clinical Trial
One year after our initial conversations around designing the trial, we are delighted to announce that we have finished the study — and the results are very encouraging!
Among other findings, we are seeing noticeable improvement in measures of blood sugar levels that have never before been shown for a commercial food product, and that have even surprised some of the leading practitioners in the world of diabetes. What’s more is that we’re also seeing health improvement markers across numerous other dimensions of life quality including inflammation, gastrointestinal health, mood, energy, and even sleep.
Join the Health Revolution!
Many folks have described Supergut as a spark that leads to steps to transform their lives. We hope that Supergut might be a spark in your life, and a spark that might just help put the health of our world back on track!