Objective: Prodigest® is the standardized combination of artichoke and ginger extracts. This combination was safe and effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia. However, further evidence could be useful to shed new lights on the effect of Prodigest® on gastric motility. This pilot randomized study on healthy volunteers investigates the prokinetic activity of Prodigest®.
Subjects and methods: This was a randomized, cross-over study in healthy volunteers comparing Prodigest® versus placebo. Eleven healthy volunteers were enrolled. Each participant underwent two evaluations, at a 7-day interval. Ten minutes before the main meal, the baseline area of gastric volume was determined by ultrasonography. The subject was then given one Prodigest® or placebo capsule and, then consumed a standardized meal. One hour after the meal, the gastric volume was measured again. Two weeks after the second evaluation, three subjects repeated the above-mentioned procedures taking two capsules of Prodigest®.
Results: The mean gastric area at baseline was 3.2 ± 0.5 cm(2); after the meal, this figure was 8.4 ± 0.7 cm(2) with Prodigest® and 11.0 ± 1.5 cm2 with placebo (p<0.001). The after-meal gastric area was significantly smaller, with a -24% difference, following the combination of extracts, as compared with placebo (p<0.001). The effect of two capsules of Prodigest® seems to be more evident but due to the very small number of the patients sample further clinical data are necessary before confirming the dose-related effects.
Conclusions: This pilot study shows that Prodigest®, a standardized extract of ginger and artichoke, significantly promotes gastric emptying in healthy volunteers without being associated with notable adverse effects.