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Taming those tummy troubles

Taming those tummy troubles | Mr Vitamins
Tummy troubles such as bloating, indigestion, a feeling of fullness, heartburn, nausea, excessive flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea or general digestive discomfort can be a sign of poor digestive function. Problems with poor digestive function tend to accumulate, leading to a number of chronic health conditions.

Healthy digestive function

tends to rely on these three important aspects:
  1. Maintaining a healthy digestive tract
  2. Your body’s ability to breakdown the foods you eat
  3. Maintaining healthy, balanced digestive flora

Maintaining a healthy digestive tract

Your small intestine is heavily involved in digestion and absorption and plays a vital role in healthy digestive barrier function. Healthy digestive barrier function selectively allows nutrients from the foods you eat and other compounds to move from your digestive tract into your bloodstream. Imagine a healthy digestive barrier resembling a ‘silk lining’ compared to an unhealthy digestive barrier that resembles a ‘hessian sack’. In leaky gut, your digestive barrier resembles a hessian sack, where function is compromised, and many more compounds are allowed to pass directly from your digestive tract into your bloodstream. Leaky gut promotes systemic low-grade immune activity and inflammation, and disturbs the balance of digestive flora, placing you at greater risk of pathogenic infections and many other chronic health conditions. For a healthy digestive tract try:
  • Licorice, Calendula, Slippery elm andAloe vera foranti-inflammatory activity and to soothe the irritated mucous membranes of the digestive tract
  • Glutamine to help prevent and reverse intestinal mucosal damage to support normal digestive barrier function and healthy digestive function
  • Lactoferrin for antibacterial and antiviral activity, and immune modulating effects
  • Quercetin to enhance digestive barrier function with its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial activity
  • Zinc to support gastrointestinal integrity and immunity, and healthy digestive function

Your body’s ability to breakdown the foods you eat

Eating large amounts of food or eating different types of food places stress on your body’s ability to produce the right amount of digestive enzymes needed to break down your food. Digestive enzymes not only help to unlock important nutrients from your food, they also reduce your risk of feeling bloated, windy and uncomfortable. Digestive enzymes speed up and supercharge the process of digestion, allowing you to digest food more easily. For healthy digestive enzyme activity try:
  • Protease and bromelain to break down proteins
  • Amylase to break down carbohydrates
  • Lipaseto break down fats
  • Cellulaseto break down fibre
  • Lactaseto break down lactose

Maintaining healthy, balanced digestive flora

Eating too many of the wrong types of food, antibiotics and consuming alcohol can lead to an imbalance in your digestive flora creating mild digestive symptoms such as bloating, pain and bowel irregularity.  Probiotics can help here. Probiotics are dynamic, living micro-organisms that benefit your digestive health by helping to maintain balanced, healthy digestive flora, inhibiting the growth of unwanted digestive flora and helping to re-establish friendly digestive flora. Probiotics help to maintaingastrointestinal integrity,support immune health and produce beneficial enzymes, vitamins and other highly bioavailable nutrients. For healthy, balanced digestive flora try:
  • Lactobacillus strains to help colonise and rebalance the upper digestive tract
  • Bifidobacterium strains to help colonise and rebalance the lower digestive tract
  • Saccharomyces boulardii (SB), a live yeast with probiotic-like activity that helps maintain a healthy digestive tract and supports healthy immune function


References

  • Alternative Medicine Review, 2003, vol.8, no. 2
  • Braun, L & Cohen, M. (2008)Herbs & Natural Supplements-An Evidence Based Guide, Elsevier, Churchill-Livingstone
  • Bone, K (2003),A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs, Missouri, Churchill Livingstone.
  • Danisco. (2013). Retrieved 15/10/2013 from danisco.com/food-beverages/
  • Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 19th Edition, Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone.
  • Digestive diseases nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007447.htm
  • Maintaining a healthy digestive system gesa.org.au/content.asp?id=105
  • Mosby’s Medical, Nursing & Allied Health Dictionary, Sixth Edition, (2002), St. Louis, Mosby Inc.
  • Pizzorno JE & Murray MT (2013),Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th Edition, Missouri, Elsevier.
  • Rachman, B. (1997). Unique features and application of non-animal derived enzymes. Clin. Nutr. Insights, 5(10), 1-4.
  • Roxas, M. (2008). The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders.Altern Med Rev, 13(4): 307-14.
  • Junqueira, Luiz C.; Jose Carneiro (2003). Basic Histology. McGraw-Hill.ISBN 0-8385-0590-2.
  • West, NP, Horn, PL, Pyne, DB, Gebski, VJ, Lahtinen, SJ, Fricker, PA & Cripps, AW, 2013. Probiotic supplementation for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active individuals,Clinical Nutrition, published online ahead of print.

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