#### Fennel, A Herb and Food Which Optimizes Gastrointestinal Function in Absorbed and Distributed Nutrients and Fluids to the Body Needs

Kyle J. Norton

Herbal fennel may have a substantial and potential effect in optimized gastrointestinal function by balancing the ratio of bacteria in the digestive tract, some scientists suggested.

Today, intake of high amount of process foods such as junk foods with high on saturate and trans fat, sugars, altered meats,… and salts in our diet have a significant and strong impact to throw gut bacteria off balance, the major cause of digestive disorder.

According to the CSIRO Food and Nutrition Flagship, “Gut microbes are capable of producing a vast range of products, the generation of which can be dependent on many factors, including nutrient availability and the luminal environment, particularly pH” and “particularly, many enzymes produced by microbes influence digestion and health“(4)

Our diet particularly macronutrients, plays a major role in shaping the composition and activity of gut bacteria populations, unhealthy diet can lead to short- and long-term imbalance of the good and bad bacteria.

Unhealthy life style such as smoking that was found to increase Bacteroides-Prevotellain found in individuals with Crohn’s Disease (CD) and healthy individuals, lack of exercise and increased environmental pollution associated with industrialization can significantly impact the large bowel microbiota population, leading to irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), CD,… and colorectal cancer (CRC)(4).

Dr. Conlon MA, the lead author said, “Inter-individual differences in populations of the gut microbiota may lead to different capacities to utilize dietary components and to different levels of disease risk. For example, some individuals have consistently low stool levels of the microbial fermentation product butyrate, levels which generally remain lower relative to others despite concentrations increasing in response to a diet high in resistant starch (RS)”.

These results suggested that there is no one diet for all. Depending to each individual gastrointestinal needs, modified and change of diet may be necessary to achieve the balance of gut microbiota and improve digestive functions.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species of genus, belongings to Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), native to the Mediterranean.

The popular hern and food has been used in traditional and herbal medicine as warming, carminative, antispasmodic, antidepressant agent and to stimulate the appetite, ease indigestion, soothe coughing, reduce intestinal spasms,…..regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve PMS,…

In the examine the herbal extracts effect isolated fennel in inhibited the exertion of 15 gram-negative bacterium Helicobacter pylori (HP) in the gastrointestine tract, by compared to others including methanol extracts of Myristica fragrans (seed) had a MIC of 12.5 microg/mL; Zingiber officinale (ginger rhizome/root) and Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary leaf) had an MIC of 25 microg/mL. researchers found that methanol extracts of botanicals with a MIC of 50 microg/mL included Achillea millefolium, Foeniculum vulgare (seed). exert a significant effect in improved several aspects of digestive disorder by inhibited over expression of the gram negative HP in compared to other groups.

These results reaffirmed the use of the herbal fennel in traditional medicine for treatment of HP infections in induction of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease through stimulated immune response to activate cytokines to the site of infection and anti inflammatory activity in prevented over production of pro inflammatory factors that cause harm to the nearby healthy cells.

Furthermore, in the aim to find find a natural substance for treatment functional dyspepsia (FD), a functional gastrointestinal disorder, with low cost with tolerated adverse effect, researchers at the joint study lead the Keio University, found that in rodane models, anethole, a bioactive compound isolated from fennel essential oil demostrates a strong activity in improved clonidine-induced delayed gastric emptying but did not affect normal gastric emptying in mice.
Moreover, application of fennel oil and Anchu-san (a Japanese herbal medicine containing anethole) also restored fhe function of digestive system in delayed gastric emptying. 
These results suggested, oral administration of anethole and fennel oil could be beneficial for the treatment of FD. through theirs’ sustainable effect in stimulated gastric accommodation
Functional dyspepsia (FD),is characterized by persistent or recurrent postprandial upper abdominal discomfort and epigastric pain.
Additionally,  herbal formulation ColiMil (which contains Matricaria recutita flowers extract, Foeniculum vulgare fruit extract and Melissa officinalis aerial parts extract) has been used in herbal medicine to treat breastfed colic in infants,

Researchers at the University of Naples Federico II conducted a vivo study to reaffirm the viability of ColiMil  in upper gastrointestinal transit in mice showed that oral injection of the herbal formulation at doses of 0.4-0.8 mL/mice delayed upper gastrointestinal transit in dose dependent manner.

Application of Foeniculum vulgare (8.21 and 16.42 mg/mouse) alone also reduced motility significantly but lesser in compared to herbal components, Matricaria recutita extract (0.89 and 1.78 mg/mouse) and Melissa officinalis extract (6.46 and 12.92 mg/mouse).

These findings suggested that ColiMil could be considered as a function herbal formula to improve colic in breastfed infants through reducing upper gastrointestinal motility.

Taken together, there is no doubt that fennel and its bioactive compound anethole may be considered as a function food to promote gastrointestinal function in absorption and distribution of nutrients and fluids to the body.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrients, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to botanical extracts used traditionally for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders by Mahady GB1, Pendland SL, Stoia A, Hamill FA, Fabricant D, Dietz BM, Chadwick LR.(PubMed)
(2) Anethole restores delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric accommodation in rodents by Asano T1, Aida S2, Suemasu S2, Mizushima T3.(PubMed)
(3) Effects of the herbal formulation ColiMil on upper gastrointestinal transit in mice in vivo by Capasso R1, Savino F, Capasso F.(PubMed)
(4) The impact of diet and lifestyle on gut microbiota and human health by Conlon MA1, Bird AR(PMC)