Elderberry often gets pigeonholed as an “immune herb,” but groundbreaking new research in the Journal of Personalized Medicine shows that this polyphenol-rich berry also demonstrates impressive gut and digestive health benefits.
According to researchers, ElderCraft, a patented polyphenol-standardized extract made from European Black Elderberry, was shown to have prebiotic properties that support microbiome health. These are the first-ever scientific findings linking black elderberry polyphenols with overall digestive health.
The trial (aka the ELDERGUT Study) was designed to evaluate the effects of ElderCraft on the human gut microbiota. For the study, 30 participants were given 300 mg of ElderCraft twice a day for six weeks. At the end of the study, ElderCraft was shown to induce profound changes in microbial diversity measures (alpha and beta diversity). Additionally, the herbal extract resulted in elevated and lasting levels of Akkermansia muciniphila, a key gut bacterial strain associated with optimal health. No adverse events were reported during the study.
“It is becoming increasingly evident that polyphenols have strong prebiotic effects on the human gut microbiota,” says Melanie Bush, vice president of science and research at Artemis International. “This is consistent with increased understanding in the immune health space about the important relationship between gut health and immune health. Other studies have illustrated the immune-boosting and direct anti-viral benefits of ElderCraft. Now, this ELDERGUT study provides additional insight about the gut-health angle of ElderCraft’s immune benefits, further demonstrating its unique multifunctionality.”
The findings add to the benefits of ElderCraft, now positioned as a clinically validated ingredient in the pre- and probiotic market. The data also highlight elderberry’s new role in the immune-gut connection, in addition to its more typical cold-and-flu-focused options.
The ELDERGUT trial provided convincing evidence for the prebiotic properties of a polyphenol-rich black elderberry extract in healthy individuals. While intake of this extract was associated with specific and individualized taxonomic changes within the fecal microbiota, no convincing associations with baseline factors emerged in this analysis.