The answer is a little complicated.
I have been experiencing some digestive discomfort, namely pretty severe constipation for the last few days. I have no idea why but it may be related to diet or changes in the weather, or my new pants. Who knows.
A recommendation was made for Digestive Advantage’s once daily Constipation Formula product, previously called Severe Constipation Therapy. Some details on what it contains:
Digestive Advantage (DA) Constipation Formula (CF) contains a patented probiotic, BC30 that can help support digestive function. BC30 are specially isolated cultures that are protected by a hardened layer of organic material that enables their survival through your acidic stomach environment and successfully arrive to your intestines – where they can have the most benefit. It also contains Glucomannan.
Glucomannan comes from the Konnyaku plant root (Konjac), which is grown in China, Japan, and Korea. It is often used in different foods in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine. It does not dissolve in water. Instead, it forms a gel when mixed with a liquid. It does not get digested by the body, so it is passed through the digestive system.
There are various health benefits of Glucomannan that have been studied. Glucomannan is high in fiber, which makes it very beneficial for the digestive system. It has been found to be helpful in treating obesity, helps lower cholesterol, helps treat constipation, and may also be beneficial in treating diabetes.
There are various studies that confirm the benefit of Glucomannan in treating constipation. In one study involving 7 constipated subjects, the participants consumed Glucomannan over 21 days. They found that bowel movement frequency increased by 30% and also helped improve colonic ecology in the constipated adults. Other similar studies have found that consuming Glucomannan significantly increased defecation frequency, and also increased the stool weight.
Studies have also found Glucomannan to be beneficial in the treatment of childhood constipation. In a study involving children with chronic constipation, the subjects were given either a placebo or a Glucomannan fiber supplement at 100mg/kg of body weight, up to 5g/day max. Treatment lasted 4 weeks. They found that of the 31 children who completed the study (16 boys, 15 girls) 45% were successfully treated for constipation (measured by having 3 or more bowel movements in one week). 68% of the parents had assessed that their child had better bowel movements while taking the Glucomannan. No significant side effects were reported during the 4 week treatment period.
I went to DigestiveAdvantage.com in order to print a $3.00 off savings coupon, as advertised on a blog. When I clicked the coupon link, DA’s web site reported that coupon page was no longer available (file not found). Upon further research on the DA web site, I noticed several broken page links and a sparingly placed Schiff Vitamins logo.
I couldn’t find any reference online to a connection between Schiff and DA, and the friend who recommended CF thought DA was made by a standalone private company. It took some time, but I figured out what happened:
Schiff buys into probiotic business
Acquires Sustenex, Digestive Advantage brands
June 2, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY — Schiff Nutrition on Tuesday announced its $40 million acquisition from Ganeden Biotech of the worldwide exclusive rights to use the probiotic technology GanedenBC30 in the over-the-counter and dietary supplement space, along with the brands Sustenex and Digestive Advantage, under which GanedenBC30 currently is sold.
“By acquiring the rights to the leading probiotics technology, we have entered a new, rapidly expanding category that creates accretive growth opportunities,” Schiff Nutrition president and CEO Tarang Amin said. “We intend to leverage this enviable technology and grow the Sustenex and Digestive Advantage lines. In addition, we plan to capitalize on Schiff’s brand marketing know-how, provide incremental marketing investment and use our well-established customer relationships to increase distribution.”
The assets and brands acquired from Ganeden generated net revenue of approximately $17 million for the year ended Dec. 31.
The probiotics category is growing at more than 20% on an annualized basis, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, as cited by Schiff.
So I went to SchiffVitamins.com and they have a coupons page. I printed a $1.00 off coupon for any Schiff product. I figured $1 is better than $0 savings, even if it isn’t as good as the $3 one.
I went to Walgreens, coupon in hand, and checked out. The cashier scanned the DA CF ($14.99) and the coupon. The register beeped. The cashier tried again. No go. She told me that the register was reporting my coupon was invalid because “item not found in transaction”. She said the any Schiff Product coupon didn’t apply to the DA CF. I explained that Schiff had bought out Digestive Advantage and even offered to bring up the press release and DA web site on my smart phone for her to see. She looked at the coupon and the DA CF box, and said the box didn’t reference Schiff at all so there was nothing she could do. She had no interest in browsing the web for information. I asked for a manager, and that manager agreed with the cashier. I was screwed.
So I guess we’ll have to wait for Schiff to transition its packaging to include both the Digestive Advantage brand name and Schiff ownership name, removing Ganenden Biotech. In the meantime, there is no way to save on any of the Digestive Advantage products. That is, unless you buy them online which I will be doing going forward since Amazon has the same product for $8.97. That’s over $6 plus tax cost savings per box of capsules, which might not sound like a whole lot but since I’m interested in pooping I plan on making this product a staple in my regimen.