Keys to gut health

Probiotics have been shown to decrease chronic intestinal inflammation (leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis), and manage lactose intolerance; lower cholesterol; improve immune function; prevent infections; and manage urogenital health.

by Dr. Denise Grobe — 

You have probably heard that probiotics are good for you, but do you know why? It is because these microorganisms in the digestive tract not only improve the function of the digestive system, but overall health as well. The most common of these microorganisims are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus.

Probiotics have been shown to decrease chronic intestinal inflammation (leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis), and manage lactose intolerance; lower cholesterol; improve immune function; prevent infections; and manage urogenital health. The health benefits are many. Probiotics can be taken to supplement the ones the body produces naturally.

These days, you will also hear about prebiotics, which are beneficial carbohydrates or dietary fiber that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system.

The most common prebiotic associated with probiotics is fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Two types of FOS have been identified as beneficial to gut flora: oligofructose, which typically provides nourishment to the bacteria in the right side of the colon, and inulin, which typically provides nourishment to the bacteria in the left side of the colon. Oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI) is a full-spectrum prebiotic that nourishes the entire colon.

Ask your physician or health care provider if prebiotics or probiotics would be beneficial supplement for your diet.

 

Dr. Denise Grobe is a naturopathic physician at the Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine. She specializes in gut health and women’s medicine. www.trueharmonywellness.com or 480-539-6646.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 2, Apr/May 2010.

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