Poo smells less with Grape Seed Extract supplement
Just half a gram of Grape Seed Extract every day is all it takes to make your stools less smelly. This gem of information comes from an older (and pretty weird) human study published in 2001 by researchers at the Kikkoman Corporation.
If you take Grape Seed Extract, your digestive system absorbs just over half of the active ingredients – the proanthocyanidins. The rest of them stay in your gut, according to an animal study done in the 1970s. [Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokin 1978; 1: 15–30.]
So what would the effects of this curious fact be on faeces? That's what researchers at the Japanese Kikkoman wondered. So they did an experiment in which they gave 9 healthy people 500 mg Grape Seed Extract for two weeks.
The researchers repeated the experiment twice, but giving the subjects half a gram of mushroom extract or green tea daily.
The researchers collected the subjects' stools and then got a panel to evaluate the smell. During the first week of the yucky experiment the smell declined to almost undetectable.
Grade 0 = no smell; Grade 1 = almost no smell; Grade 2 = pretty smelly; Grade 3 = very smelly.
The researchers also measured the amount of the volatile substance methyl mercaptan [structural formula at right] the subjects' faeces gave off. Methyl mercaptan smells of sweaty feet and rotting cabbage.
The Japanese discovered that Grape Seed Extract supplementation reduced the amount of methyl mercaptan the subjects' big jobbies exuded.
Grape Seed Extract also reduced the concentration of other substances with an unpleasant smell that are found in faeces, like skatol [top structural formula] and p-cresol [lower structural formula].
Skatol has a typical poo smell, p-cresol is a component of human sweat.
The researchers suspect that proanthocyanidins in Grape Seed Extract make the gut more acid, and as a result inhibit the micro-organisms that produce substances like skatol, p-cresol and methyl mercaptan.
Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 2001;13:25–31.
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