Source: Phytother Res. 2021 Mar 16.

Purpose: Gastrointestinal discomfort (GD), which often includes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common disorder in healthy adults affecting 40% of the worldwide population. The symptoms related to GD can have a negative impact on the quality of life (QoL). Current treatments for GERD are associated with side effects. We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to assess the effect of a standardized extract of Opuntia ficus-indica L. cladodes and Olea europaea L. leaves on the symptoms and QoL of healthy adults with GD.

Materials and methods: One hundred healthy participants with GD were enrolled in the study and divided into two groups: 60 participants taking verum (400 mg/day) and 40 taking the placebo for 4 weeks. The Gastrointestinal Quality of Life index (GIQLI) and GERD Symptom Assessment Scale (GSAS) questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the study and after 4 weeks.Results: The group treated with verum experienced a statistically significant improvement of GIQLI and GSAS scores (p < .001). Moreover, the effect size measured revealed a clinical significance. A day-dependent improvement of symptoms was also observed.


The standardized extract represents a fast, effective, and well-tolerated treatment for improving symptoms related to GD and GERD.