Abstract

Background and Aims: The mineral compound Luvos Healing Earth (LHE) is a commercially available remedy empirically used for a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible effect of prolonged LHE therapy on gut microbiota in healthy individuals and in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D).


Methods: In this prospective exploratory study, a total of 20 participants, including 12 healthy controls and 8 patients with IBS-D, received treatment with LHE (Magenfein Granulat, 1 sachet bid) for 6 weeks. Fecal samples were collected for microbiota analysis in the morning fasting state at regular intervals at 6 different timepoints: 2 weeks before starting therapy (Screen), and every 2 weeks during LHE therapy (V0-V3). Additionally, a follow-up visit was scheduled 4 weeks after the end of treatment (V4). Microbiota analysis was performed using the GA-map® Dysbiosis Test Lx v2. Dysbiosis Index, bacterial diversity, as well as the balance or imbalance of functionally important bacteria were assessed.


Results: The microbiota analysis revealed an overlap in gut microbiota profiles between healthy controls and patients with IBS-D. Bacterial communities were consistently stable during the entire treatment period, and no significant variations in composition were observed 4 weeks after the end of the therapeutic intervention. There was a remarkable stability of microbiota profiles over time within each individual and a high inter-individual variation. The majority of fecal samples exhibited profiles, reflecting an eubiotic state, with no significant changes in dysbiosis index, functional bacteria profiles, or bacterial diversity.


Conclusion: Our findings indicate intraindividual resilience of microbiota consortia during the entire study period. Prolonged intake of LHE does not cause significant alterations in fecal microbiota profiles in healthy controls and patients with IBS-D. Luvos Healing Earth does not affect the stability of gut microbial diversity and bacterial functions.

Keywords

gut microbiota, mineral loess, healing earth, microbiota modulation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome