Troy, VA—Bio-Cat Inc. is sponsoring a clinical trial at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) intended to investigate the efficacy of a digestive enzyme blend that aims to improve protein digestion and gastrointestinal tolerance.

The trial will examine a mixture of six fungal enzymes, referred to as BC-006, as a supplement in older adults.

"As one of the largest enzyme distributors in the US, we have a duty to innovate and substantiate," said BIO-CAT Director of R&D Sean Garvey in a press release. "We're bringing new, advanced clinical science to old enzymes, and UIUC has a great team in place to test how well the BC-006 enzyme blend can promote digestive health."

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial will examine participants aged 50 to 75 years, who will take either BC-006 or a placebo twice a day with meals for three weeks, followed by a one-week washout period, after which participants will swap: Those who took the supplement will take the placebo, and those who took the placebo will take the supplement.

The study will examine outcomes including change in gastrointestinal symptoms, bowel function, and sleep quality. Additionally, at the end of each test period, participants will return to the clinic to undergo a mixed meal tolerance test—they’ll be fed chicken, green peas, and potatoes. Participants will have blood drawn just before the meal, and throughout five hours after the meal. Blood samples will be analyzed for amino acids, fats, glucose, and iron, to test whether the enzyme blend can increase blood nutrient levels after a meal.

Protein metabolism expert Dr. Nicholas Burd is the principal investigator (PI) for the study. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Community Health at UIUC, as well as Director of the Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group. Dr. Burd has previously served as lead PI on 14 clinical research studies.

"We are looking forward to beginning the new clinical trial with BIO-CAT,” Dr. Burd said in the press release. “The opportunity to test the efficacy of a digestive enzyme blend provides exciting possibilities of improving the current understanding around digestive health. Being that many individuals struggle with gastrointestinal-related issues, the practical implications are wide-reaching.”

Related: Update! Digestive Health Category Acacia Gum Fits Definition of Dietary Fiber, FDA Rules Probiotics Show Potential In Pregnancy-Related Nausea, Vomiting

Bio-Cat CEO Chris Schuler added: "At BIO-CAT, we're always on the lookout for ways to stay at the forefront of enzyme innovation. We hope this trial can be a huge step toward promoting optimal nutrition and digestion-related issues in older adults. We can't wait to see the results."

The study is currently recruiting. Those looking formore information can go here.