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All Posts in Category: Gut & Digestion

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What are FODMAPS?

Are you suffering with IBS and/or strong Bloating? Perhaps the trigger is FODMAPS. What are they?

FODMAPS stand for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides Polyols Sorbitols. These are foods that have been found to exacerbate IBS symptoms as they are osmotic, meaning they attract water into the bowel and are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, which then leads to symptoms of IBS such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea.

Some researchers believe that in some cases IBS is actually a FODMAPS intolerance and there has been huge success with reducing symptoms of IBS when following a FODMAP diet. However, every person is different and not everyone with IBS will only react to FODMAPS. Other foods can include gluten or other grains which can also cause problems with digestion. It is important to speak with your practitioner in regards to what specialised diet you should be on. There are many triggers for digestive problems and your practitioner can help to distinguish between different foods and reactions.

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Note: Only follow a FODMAP diet if advised by your Practitioner

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Holistic Bliss Article: Is your gut smarter than your brain? October edition

Is your gut smarter than your brain?

Featured in the October 2018 edition of Holistic Bliss Magazine

Authors: Kate Mason and Suzi Le Fanue

Gut decision may seem reckless and impulsive but did you know you have more neurons in your gut than in your brain?

The gut brain connection is the communication between your digestive tract and the central nervous system.  This is known as the gut-brain axis which enables your gastrointestinal tract to send and receive signals to and from your brain.  The foods we eat and absorb translates to how we feel, think and act.

Our digestive system contains a large community of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi known as the gut microbiome. This microbiome is the key mediator between the gut and the brain.  These organisms feed on nutrients from foods we consume and produce compounds in the body that can affect the way we feel and function.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals and they are made from protein and nutrients we absorb from our diet.  If your diet is lacking sufficient protein and nutrient dense foods you may find yourself feeling more anxious, depressed, tired and unable to sleep deeply.

Approximately 95% of the body’s serotonin (our happy neurotransmitter) is produced by our gut microbiome. So when digestive bacterial balance is disrupted, a condition termed dysbiosis, you may be more prone to conditions associated with imbalanced happy chemicals such as anxiety, low mood, low energy and depression.  

Another factor that can affect the brain-gut connection is SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It is an extremely common digestive imbalance, however, is rarely investigated or diagnosed.

The digestive tract contains over one kilogram of microscopic bacteria, usually made up of good bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria and other bacteria that don’t provide benefit and/or cause harm, bad bacteria.

SIBO occurs when there is an overgrowth of BAD bacteria in the small intestine. This overgrowth means that before the villi can release enzymes to break down food, the bacteria will feed off the food you are consuming and cause it to ferment.

Do you have gas and bloating after meals? Cramping, diarrhoea or constipation?  This could be SIBO.

SIBO causes the release of gases, such as hydrogen and methane, which cause the IBS like symptoms of SIBO. These gases also cause damage to the fragile villi on the gut lining meaning that nutrient absorption is compromised, which after a period of time may exacerbate hormonal balance, neurological issues, fatigue and sleep problems.  

Many cases of IBS are actually cases of SIBO or both, they produce similar symptoms.

A breath test is a simple, non-invasive, and extremely accurate test that detects bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

We mustn’t forget the importance of addressing your mental wellbeing when working correcting gut imbalance. An imbalance in stress hormones such as cortisol is known to affect gut function and nutrient absorption.  

Essentially, it’s important to address both the gut and the brain when looking to correct an imbalance of either mental or digestive health as they both affect each other.

Kate Mason & Suzi Le Fanue Naturopaths at Integrated Wellness Clinic

www.integratedwellnessclinic.com.au

 

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What is the difference between IBS and IBD?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Vs. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – what is the difference?

You may have heard of these two common digestive disorders. They share many of the same signs and symptoms, but did you know there is a significant difference between the two?

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that causes a range of digestive signs and symptoms, most commonly altered bowel motions (diarrhoea and/or constipation) and abdominal pain. The cause is not well understood, and there is no diagnostic test, so IBS is usually diagnosed using a symptom checklist. Natural treatment of IBS can involve correcting gastrointestinal bacterial imbalance, identifying and avoiding foods that exacerbate symptoms, and reducing stress and anxiety. There are many medications that are prescribed to help control IBS signs and symptoms, however, there is no single drug that has proven to be effective.

IBD is an umbrella term for a range of diseases, including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. IBD is characterised by inflammation due to the fact that it is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells. In IBD, this response takes place in the digestive tract, causing debilitating signs and symptoms, such as abdominal pain/discomfort, diarrhoea, constipation or both, and blood in the stool. IBD can be diagnosed through blood tests and endoscopy examinations. Medical treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory medication, immunosuppressants, or sometimes surgery. A natural approach to IBD aims to reduce inflammation, regulate the function of the immune system, and address environmental and lifestyle factors that worsen signs and symptoms.

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Heard of SIBO ?

Have you heard of SIBO ?

 There are so many gut conditions that contribute to a range of symptoms experienced so often by many people who are otherwise “healthy”.
You may have heard of Irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel disease and Leaky gut syndrome just to name a few.
Diarrhoea, constipation, gas, bloating, pain, and indigestion are a few of the gut symptoms Im sure every one has experienced at one time or another.
Sometimes these symptoms may be present for weeks or months at a time and numerous doctors visits and treatments may end up with a diagnoses of IBS as nothing can be shown from tests.
SIBO
But have you heard of SIBO? or “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth” which basically means there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut.
SIBO has been found to be an underlying condition of IBS and other diseases. You’d be interested to know that our digestive tracts contain over one kilogram of microscopic bacteria! This bacteria made up of good and bad can be detrimental to our health if the balance is out.
Patients with SIBO have less good bacteria and more bad bacteria meaning that digestion and absorption of essential nutrients is comprised and eventually damage can happen in the gut lining. Patients with SIBO experience IBS like symptoms as the food they eat is actually being consumed by the bad bacteria! This also means, less nutrients for yourself!

There are many causes of SIBO, which is one reason it is so common in everyday humans. Some of these include:

  • Diet
  • Ageing
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Some medications
  • Injury
It is important to get SIBO under control if you do have it as complications can arise such as iron deficiency, B12 deficiency, Kidney Stones, Malnutrition, osteoporosis and damage to the intestinal lining. There are many treatment methods for SIBO such as antibacterial herbs, gluten free or FODMAPS diets and lifestyle changes.
Through a specialised diet and Naturopathic treatment SIBO can be treated and you can be back to feeling your best!
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Gut And Brain Depressed

Even if You Eat “Perfectly”, Not Knowing This Could Leave You Depressed

guthealth

Every human being serves as a home to thousands of different species of microbes. But scientists are now reporting that there are just three distinct microbial ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied.

The three “enterotypes” showed no particular link to ethnic background, sex, weight, health or age. One possibility is that the intestines of infants are simply randomly colonized by different pioneering species of microbes, which alter the gut so that only certain species can follow them.

The New York Times reports:

“Whatever the cause of the different enterotypes, they may end up having discrete effects on people’s health. Gut microbes aid in food digestion and synthesize vitamins … Enterotype 1 produces more enzymes for making vitamin B7 (also known as biotin), for example, and Enterotype 2 more enzymes for vitamin B1 (thiamine).”

This is an interesting finding to say the least, particularly in light of how nutritional typing is increasingly used by physicians who practice “individualized medicine.” For example, a customized meal plan based on the patient’s nutritional type is the cornerstone of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez’ highly successful non-traditional cancer treatment.

Tailoring your diet to your own biochemical needs is also the hallmark of my Total Health program.

I believe eating according to your nutritional type is so essential for optimizing your health that I now offer the entire online nutritional typing test for free. We’ve charged thousands of people $29 for this test in the past, but decided this was too important and therefore made a mission decision to offer this to everyone for free. So if you have not yet taken it I would encourage you to do so.

Please remember that it is not a test that will tell you the perfect foods to eat but more of a process to help you learn and discover the foods that will make your thrive and move toward optimal health based on your specific biochemistry and genetics. It will teach you, over the course of several months, how to determine the best foods for you.

In this study, which supports nutritional typing, lead researcher Peer Bork suggests that one of the “obvious” potential benefits of his finding is that doctors may someday be able to tailor diets or drug prescriptions based on their gastrointestinal enterotype.

Considering that the process for determining your nutritional type is currently heavily dependent on listening to your body and tracking how different foods make you feel, both physically and psychologically, it’s exciting to see the potential for using gut flora analysis as an aid.

Another exciting avenue is using gene typing. Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his son, Dr. Gregory Burzynski, already employ gene-target therapies in the treatment of cancer, and their approach also includes customized diets, tailored to the patient’s genetic makeup.

Three Types of Human Gut Ecosystems Discovered

When you consider that your intestines contain about 100 trillion bacteria, it may seem surprising that people would fall into one of just three distinct types of bacterial ecosystems—each composed of a different balance of various bacteria species. But it makes sense when viewed as part and parcel of your nutritional type.

As of yet, we don’t know which enterotype might correspond to which nutritional type, but I believe we will in time.

Remember, your body responds uniquely to food — your fuel — based on your genetics, biochemical makeup, family history, and your own interaction with your environment. Nutritional typing also divides people up into three groups:

  1. Carb/Veggie types normally feel best when the majority, about 60 percent, of their food is vegetable carbohydrate, along with about 25 percent protein and 15 percent fat, but this type may need as little as 10 percent fat and as high as 80 percent carb in exceptional times.
  2. Protein types do better on low-carbohydrate, high-protein and high-fat diets. A typical ratio might be 40 percent protein and 30 percent each of fats and carbohydrates, but the amounts could easily shift to 50 percent fats and as little as 10 percent carbohydrates depending on individual genetic requirements.
  3. Mixed are between the carb and protein types.

Since gut microbes aid in food digestion and absorption of nutrients, and help synthesize vitamins by creating specific enzymes, it actually makes perfect sense that different nutritional types might have the specialized gut flora required to optimize the utilization of their ideal dietary fuel…

The Powerful Connection between Your Gut and Brain

Most people fail to realize that your gut is quite literally your second brain, and in addition to digesting your food actually has the ability to significantly influence your:

  • Mind
  • Mood
  • Behavior

It’s not a widely understood or emphasized fact, but studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy gut reinforces a positive outlook and behavior, while depression and a variety of behavioral problems have been linked to an imbalance or lack of gut bacteria.

For example, a recent animal study published in the journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility, found that mice lacking gut bacteria behave differently from normal mice, engaging in what would be referred to as “high-risk behavior.” This altered behavior was accompanied by neurochemical changes in the mouse brain.

According to the authors, microbiota (your gut flora)  plays a role in the communication between your gut and your brain, and:

“Acquisition of intestinal microbiota in the immediate postnatal period has a defining impact on the development and function of the gastrointestinal, immune, neuroendocrine and metabolic systems. For example, the presence of gut microbiotaregulates the set point for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity.”

So, not only does this finding dovetail nicely with the theory that your gut flora may be a factor of your nutritional type, but it also helps explain how your diet and gut flora can impact your mental health, for better or worse.

Remember, your diet is largely responsible for your gut health, and when you feed your body the fuel it’s designed for, your gut flora will be able to maintain optimal balance, which then supports optimal physicaland mental health.

The intrinsic connection between your gut and your brain becomes easier to understand once you know that your brain and gut are actually created out of the same type of tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve; the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. This is what connects your two brains together.

Your gut and brain actually work in tandem, each influencing the other.

This is why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health, and vice versa. For an interesting and well-written layman’s explanation of the gut/brain connection, read through Sandra Blakeslee’s 1996 New York Times article Complex and Hidden Brain in Gut Makes Stomachaches and Butterflies.

Now, even more interesting is the fact that certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, can also be found in your gut—in fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain! Your bowels also contain some 100 million neurons—more than in either your spinal cord or your peripheral nervous system.

An excellent article by Adam Hadhazy, published in Scientific American last year, explains the intrinsic connection between your gut and your psychological well-being.

Hadhazy writes:

“The system is way too complicated to have evolved only to make sure things move out of your colon,” saysEmeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). For example, scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gutto the brain and not the other way around…

The second brain informs our state of mind in other more obscure ways, as well. “A big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut,” Mayer says…

Given the two brains’ commonalities, depression treatments that target the mind can unintentionally impact the gut. The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels. Because antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin levels, it’s little wonder that meds meant to cause chemical changes in the mind often provoke GI issues as a side effect.”

All of that said, it makes perfect sense to nourish your gut flora to achieve optimal serotonin function, as it can clearly have a profound impact on your mood, psychological health, and behavior.

Gut Problems Also Linked to Brain Disorders

There’s also no shortage of evidence of gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases, including autism, so in this way some forms of vaccine damage may also be explained.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is just one of many who have investigated the connection between developmental disorders and bowel disease. He has published about 130-140 peer-reviewed papers looking at the mechanism and cause of inflammatory bowel disease, and has extensively investigated the brain-bowel connection in the context of children with developmental disorders such as autism.

For example, gluten intolerance is a frequent feature of autism, and many autistic children will improve when following a strict gluten-free diet. Many autistic children also tend to improve when given probiotics, either in the form of fermented foods or probiotic supplements.

A large number of replication studies have also been performed around the world, confirming the curious link between brain disorders such as autism and gastrointestinal dysfunction. For a list of more than 25 of those studies, please see this previous article.

According to Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center; a neurogastroenterology expert and author ofThe Second Brain, the same genes that make synapses form in your brain are also involved in the formation of synapses in your gut. Hence, if these genes are affected in autism, it could help explain both the GI abnormalities suffered by so many kids with autism, as well as the elevated levels of gut-produced serotonin in their blood.

How to Optimize the Bacteria in Your Gut

Fortunately, regardless of your type, optimizing your gut flora (the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut) is relatively easy.

First, the MOST important step is to avoid consuming sugar and processed foods.  The sugars actually serve as fuel for the growth of pathogenic anaerobic bacteria, fungi and yeast, and competitively inhibit your good bacteria, tending to crowd them out of their appropriate niche. These pathogenic bacteria, fungi and yeast then produce metabolic waste products that will cause your health to deteriorate.

When you eat a healthy diet, based on your nutritional type that is low in sugars and processed foods, it automatically causes the beneficial bacteria in your gut to flourish. This is one of the many reasons why I highly recommend reducing, with the plan of eliminating, sugars and most grains from your diet.

Yet, even with an extremely low-sugar diet, there are other factors that influence your microflora, so you’ll also want to avoid some of the factors that destroy healthy bacteria, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Chlorinated water
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Pollution

Considering the many toxins that surround most of us on a daily basis, it’s generally a wise choice to “reseed” your body with good bacteria from time to time by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement or eating traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include:

  • Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
  • Fermented milk, such as kefir
  • Various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
  • Natto (fermented soy)

If you were to eat a diet rich in fermented foods that have NOT been pasteurized (as pasteurization kills the naturally occurring probiotics), then you would likely enjoy great digestive health without any additional supplementation.

However, if you simply do not like any of these types of fermented foods, your next best option is to use a high quality probiotic supplement.

I’ve used many different brands over the past 20 years and there are many good ones out there. I also spent a long time researching and developing my own, called Complete Probiotics, in which I incorporated everything I have learned about this important tool over the years and include it in my daily meal plan.

Source:Mercola
Image Source:PBS

If you are tired of your current health status and you are ready to take the next step contact us to make a FREE Introductory appointment with one of our Naturopath’s (07) 5458 4800 .

Our Naturopaths have patients locally, interstate and overseas, we can help by offering phone or skype consultations. 

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Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar?

Here Are Some AMAZING Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar?

15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

apple-cider

Apple cider vinegar is my new obsession. I recently began taking apple cider vinegar shots a few times a day for a quick and effective energy burst. However, I’ve since discovered so many other useful ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar (ACV) into my daily routine.

It’s effective for pretty much anything—your skin, your hair, your house, and even your pets can benefit from its qualities. Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar is so much more than a salad dressing!

 

1. Apple cider vinegar can detoxify your home.

It’s made from apple juice and is fermented to hard apple cider. It’s then fermented a second time to become apple cider vinegar. By using ACV in lieu of other products, we instantly decrease the consumption of unnatural chemicals in our homes and daily lives.

2. It can make your hair shine.

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing, and will boost your hair’s body and shine. I recommend recycling an old shampoo bottle, then filling it with 1/2 a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour the solution through your hair after shampooing several times a week for dramatic results.

3. Natural apple cider vinegar regulates the pH of your skin.

Dilute ACV with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball to replace your current toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. A dab of apple cider vinegar can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars.

It’s also a recommended agent for warts. For warts, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then fasten the cotton ball over the wart with a Band-Aid overnight. The skin may swell some as it reacts with the solution. However, the wart will fall off. Once it falls off, the treatment should be continued for a few more days, to make sure the wart doesn’t return.

4. It can remove stains from teeth.

Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar, and rinse with water.

5. It can soothe sunburnt skin.

Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath, and soak for 10 minutes to eliminate discomfort from sunburn.

6. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural aftershave.

Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and shake before applying to the face.

7. It’s an all-natural massage treatment.

Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your hands and feet will give massage-like benefits and relief to tired hands and feet.

8. Apple cider vinegar can aid in weight loss.

For daily weight management, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of water. This concoction can be sipped throughout the day. Data shows some limited, yet significant, weight loss benefits from sustained daily intake of acetic acid (which is a main ingredient in apple cider vinegar).

In a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, it was found that subjects that consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides. Triglycerides contribute to the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid.

apple-cider

9. Apple cider vinegar will balance your entire inner body system.

The body constantly strives to achieve a state of equilibrium. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection. Hence, my desire to sip some a few times a day for a natural boost of energy.

10. It can help you detox.

As part of balancing the body’s pH, apple cider vinegar creates an overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.

11. ACV is great for your lymphatic system.

This miracle vinegar helps to break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Believe it or not, research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucous and sinus congestion. When reducing the effects of allergies, it can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms, such as sore throats and headaches.

12. It can help your body get rid of candida.

This vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida—yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida also is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.

13. ACV can help you reduce heartburn.

Though it might seem like an oxymoron to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn. Natural remedy experts say you should begin to feel relief very shortly after taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar followed by a glass of water. Note that apple cider vinegar will not give relief if you have an ulcer.

14. The use of apple cider vinegar is effective in repelling fleas on your pets.

One part vinegar and one part water can be sprayed on your pets fur and rubbed in generously to the skin. Saturate the entire coat, and continue every day for a few days to a week. Any flea infestation will surely be gone.

15. It’s an all-natural room freshener.

Apple cider vinegar will clean your toilets and leave your bathroom smelling like apples! Just pour apple cider vinegar into the toilet, and allow it to sit overnight. It can also be used in dishwashers as a substitute for dish detergent. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water, and you can use this solution to clean microwaves, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors, too.

As you can see, apple cider vinegar is a miracle product that can be used in a multitude of ways. I highly recommend its use!

Source : http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=12&v=R8we1fTtcp4

 

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Probiotics & Prebiotics Neuropsychological Conditions

Probiotics and Prebiotics Influence Neuropsychological Conditions – 6 Surprising Facts About Microbes In Your Gut

gutbrainaxisdmicro

Researchers have long suggested a link between the gut-brain axis and neuropsychiatric disorders such asautism, depression, and eating disorders. Using probiotics and prebiotics to alter the gut microbiota and influence the gut-brain axis may open up new ways of influencing neuropsychological conditions, says a new review.

The majority of the science for probiotics has focused on gut health, but as the understanding of the gut and the microbiome increases, probiotics are increasing linked to a range of beneficial effects, from weight management to immune support and allergy response, and from oral health to cholesterol reduction.

The gut contains microorganisms that share a structural similarity with the neuropeptides involved in regulating behavior, mood, and emotion–a phenomenon known as molecular mimicry.

At the “forefront of current research” is work on the gut-brain axis – the two direction communication between the gut microbiota and the brain. Data from rodent studies has indicated that modification of the gut microbiota can alter signaling mechanisms, emotional behavior, and instinctive reflexes.

Researchers have long postulated that gut bacteria influence brain function. A century ago, Russian embryologist Elie Metchnikoff surmised that a healthy colonic microbial community could help combat senility and that the friendly bacterial strains found in sour milk and yogurt Website Designing Company in Goa would increase a person’s longevity.

Researchers have shown that under certain conditions, some types of normal gut bacteria can trigger disease. Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist at the California Institute of Technology, dubbed these elements “pathobionts”; the term “pathogens,” in contrast, refers to opportunistic microbes that are not normally part of the gut microbial community.

Communication

According to a new review in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment by Linghong Zhou and Jane Foster from McMaster University in Canada, communication channels between the gut and the brain include sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and the enteric nervous system (ENS).

“The role of the sympathetic nervous system in the gut-brain axis includes regulating motility, blood flow, barrier function, and immune system activation,” they said. “Bidirectional communication via the vagus nerve, a component of the parasympathetic nervous system, is a well-established pathway for gut-brain signaling and, in recent years, has emerged as an important microbiota to brain communication pathway.

“The ENS, sometimes referred to as “the second brain” comprises intrinsic primary afferent neurons, motor neurons, and glial cells contained within the myenteric plexus and the submucosal plexus that extends along the entire length of the gut. The ENS plays an essential role in normal intestinal function including motility and secretion.”

Gut-brain axis

The body can’t tell the difference between the structure of these mimics and its own cells, so antibodies could end up attacking both, potentially altering the physiology of the gut-brain axis.

The bacteria present in the gut affects the communication between belly and brain, they said, and the lack of healthy gut microbiota lead to dysfunction in the gut-brain axis, which in turn may lead to neuropsychological, metabolic, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Intervention trials with select strains of probiotics have revealed that supplementation may influence mood (Lactobacillus casei Shirota), and anxiety and depression (L. helveticus and B. longum).

There is also some data to support an effect with prebiotics, with improvements in stress hormone levels and attention in health volunteers taking oligosaccharides.

Neuropsychological disorders

The role of the gut microbiota in the development of neuropsychological disorders is also a focus for many researchers around the world, with data supporting an association between dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in the gut and disorders including depression and autism spectrum disorder, metabolic disorders such as obesity, and gastrointestinal disorders including IBD and IBS.

“Fortunately, studies have also indicated that gut microbiota may be modulated with the use of probiotics, antibiotics, and fecal microbiota transplants as a prospect for therapy in microbiota-associated diseases,” wrote Zhou and Foster. “This modulation of gut microbiota is currently a growing area of research as it just might hold the key to treatment.”

The Power of Probiotics

Probiotics offset other intestinal bacteria that produce putrefactive and carcinogenic toxins. If harmful bacteria dominate the intestines, essential vitamins and enzymes are not produced and the level of harmful substances rises leading to cancer, liver and kidney disease, hypertension, arteriosclerosis and abnormal immunity. Harmful bacteria can proliferate under many different circumstances including peristalsis disorders, surgical operations of the stomach or small intestine, liver or kidney diseases, pernicious anaemia, cancer, radiation or antibiotic therapies, chemotherapy, immune disorders, emotional stress, poor diets and aging

The best known of the probiotics are the Lactobacilli, a number of species of which (acidophilus, bulgaricus, casei and sporogenes) reside in the human intestine in a symbiotic relationship with each other and with other microorganisms (the friendly Streptococci, E. coli and Bifidobacteria). Lactobacilli are essential for maintaining gut microfloral health, but the overall balance of the various microorganisms in the gut is what is most important.

Another probiotic which has recently generated a great deal of interest is the friendly yeast known as Saccharomyces boulardii, an organism that belongs to the Brewer’s Yeast family, not the Candida albicans group. S. boulardii is not a permanent resident of the intestine but, taken orally, it produces lactic acid and some B vitamins, and has an overall immune enhancing effect. In fact, it has been used therapeutically to fight candida infections.

6 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT MICROBES IN YOUR GUT

1. What’s in Your Gut May Affect the Size of Your Gut
Need to lose weight? Why not try a gut bacteria transplant?New research published in the journal Sciencesuggests that the microbes in your gut may play a role in obesity.

2. Probiotics May Treat Anxiety and Depression
Scientists have been exploring the connection between gut bacteria and chemicals in the brain for years. New research adds more weight to the theory that researchers call “the microbiome–gut–brain axis.”Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows that mice fed the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus showed fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers theorize that this is because L. rhamnosus acts on the central gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system, which helps regulate emotional behavior.

L. rhamnosus, which is available as a commercial probiotic supplement, has also been linked to the prevention of diarrhea, atopic dermatitis, and respiratory tract infections.

3. The More Bacteria the Better
While bacteria on the outside of your body can cause serious infections, the bacteria inside your body can protect against it. Studies have shown that animals without gut bacteria are more susceptible to serious infections.Bacteria found naturally inside your gut have a protective barrier effect against other living organisms that enter your body. They help the body prevent harmful bacteria from rapidly growing in your stomach, which could spell disaster for your bowels.

To do this, they develop a give-and-take relationship with your body.

“The host actively provides a nutrient that the bacterium needs, and the bacterium actively indicates how much it needs to the host,” according to research published in The Lancet.

4. Gut Bacteria Pass from Mother to Child in Breast Milk
It’s common knowledge that a mother’s milk can help beef up a baby’s immune system. New research indicates that the protective effects of gut bacteria can be transferred from mother to baby during breastfeeding.Work published in Environmental Microbiology shows that important gut bacteria travels from mother to child through breast milk to colonize a child’s own gut, helping his or her immune system to mature.

5. Lack of Gut Diversity Is Linked to Allergies
Too few bacteria in the gut can throw the immune system off balance and make it go haywire with hay fever.Researchers in Copenhagen reviewed the medical records and stool samples of 411 infants. They found that those who didn’t have diverse colonies of gut bacteria were more likely to develop allergies.

But before you throw your gut bacteria a proliferation party, know that they aren’t always beneficial.

6. Gut Bacteria Can Hurt Your Liver
Your liver gets 70 percent of its blood flow from your intestines, so it’s natural they would share more than just oxygenated blood.Italian researchers found that between 20 and 75 percent of patients with chronic fatty liver disease–the kind not associated with alcoholism–also had an overgrowth of gut bacteria. Some believe that the transfer of gut bacteria to the liver could be responsible for chronic liver disease.

Sources:
sciencedaily.com
healthline.com
ehp.niehs.nih.gov
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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Fermented foods for gut health

Why Fermented Foods Are Fantastic For Your Gut Health


fermented food gut healthFermentation isn’t just good for making wine. Fermented foods, (often those jarred foods floating in their own juices that you see at grocery stores,) actually improve digestion due to the probiotics produced during the fermentation process. Natural fermentation preserves the nutrients in food, and breaks the food down to a more digestible form.

Fermentation Around The World

Fermentation is nothing new under the sun. Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years and reaping their benefits. For example, Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that is often consumed in the German community and was popular during the Roman era . A different variation of cabbage, kimchi, is a common food item in Korea.

 

You may have seen something called “fish sauce” in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. This is made from mashed up whole fish that’s packed, salted and fermented, though some fish sauces are created through chemical processes, (avoid these kinds!)

Asian cultures in general often eat pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots.

Bulgarians regularly consume fermented milk known as kefir.

What’s Wrong With The Modern Western Diet?

Aside from the loads of sugar and additives, the technological advancements of the western diet have decreased the amount of probiotics and enzymes we would get from our foods. Pasteurized milk has replaced raw milk, pasteurized yogurt has replaced homemade yogurt, and other traditionally fermented foods have been replaced by lacto-fermented versions.

 

It’s time that we started adding these fermented homemade treats back into the western diet.

Additional Benefits of Fermented Foods

Budget – Fermented foods can contain up to 100 times more probiotics than a supplement! This makes these foods a more affordable probiotic source.

Nutrients – Some fermented foods are amazing sources of a rare to come by, but essential vitamin called vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 can help to prevent arterial plaque buildup and heart disease.

Vitamin K2 can also minimize the negative bone effects of nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes. Cheese curds, a byproduct of sour milk, is an excellent sources of probiotics and vitamin K2. You can also get many B vitamins from fermented foods.

Immune System – Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut? The probiotics in fermented foods aid in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies that fight against pathogens.

 

Detoxification – The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods are highly potent detoxifiers that can draw out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals in the body.

The True Importance of Gut Health

fermented food gut health

There are a variety of areas where your gut plays a key role in that you probably wouldn’t expect! Here are some of them:

Behavior – a study published by Neurogastroenterology & Motility found that a lack of gut bacteria could change the neurochemical changes in the brain, provoking “high-risk behavior.”

Diabetes – A Denmark study indicated that type 2 diabetes in humans is linked to composition changes in intestinal microbiota.

Here’s a handy recipe to help you incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Always choose organic veggies to avoid harmful pesticides.

Fermented Vegetables Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 1 bag of carrots
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 apple
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • Turmeric

You will also need mason jars.

Instructions

  1. Set the outer leaves of the cabbage to the side. Wash, then shred, chop or grate your red cabbage and carrots (aside from the outer cabbage leaves of course.)
  2. Place your veggies in a big bowl and sprinkle pink salt on them.
  3. Massage your vegetables until osmosis allows you to see all the liquid from your veggies in the bowl.
  4. Take the apple, ginger and turmeric and blend them until you get a yellow paste. Turmeric stains, so be careful when handling it. You can wear gloves and an apron if you like.
  5. Mix the yellow paste with your veggies in the bowl, then transfer your mixture to the mason jars.
  6. Push your veggies down into the jar so that their juices rise to the surface. Leave a space at the top for your outer leaves.
  7. Roll or flow the outer cabbage leaves to fit inside the jar so that they act as a seal.
  8. Store your jars in a dark room at room temperature. Open the jar to release the gases every three days.

fermented food gut health

You will know that your veggies are ready by their smell. When you take the lid off after a few days, your jar will release a sour, but pleasant vinegary smell. Once the texture is to your liking, remove the outer leaves and start consuming your fermented veggies first by eating one to two teaspoons a day, then gradually building up to one to two tablespoons per day.

Sources:

http://www.mybodyzone.com/2015/05/17/fermented-foods-for-good-gut-health/

http://www.mybodyzone.com/2015/05/17/fermented-vegetable-recipe/

http://articles.mercola.com/fermented-foods.aspx

20 Common Fermented Foods That Are Good For You

Image Source:

http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-65436649/stock-photo-home-made-cultured-or-fermented-vegetables

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/413205334536116606/

How Gut Bacteria Affects The Brain And Body

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Good Mood Food!

We all know that food can affect our weight, skin, cardiovascular system and energy, but did you know it can significantly affect your mood and Sunshine Coast Integrated Wellness Clinicmind? There is always more that can be done in correcting your diet for mental stamina, calmness, clarity, motivation and happiness.

A diet centred around food for mood should include eating ideally grain free, increasing high nutrient value foods, significantly increasing the fats your brain loves and increasing fermented foods.

Neurotransmitters are made from a huge range of nutrient cofactors, but the most clinically significant nutrients that are often low are zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium. These nutrients are all essential for the formation of serotonin, dopamine and GABA. A naturally colourful, diversified vegetable loaded diet with a good level of proteins will ensure these vitamins are available.

Why reduce the grains for a happy mind? Grains contain lectins, a known gut irritant, and phytic acid, which inhibits bioavailability of nutrients needed for neurotransmitter production. Grains are often heavily farmed, so often are nutrient poor. And most importantly they almost always take place of what should be vegetables thus reducing mood boosting nutrient intake.

The first questions I often get asked is “Will I get constipated if I reduce grains?” Yes you may, but that is not normal. If you are constipated it is probably because you have either not increased your vegetable intake enough, you have not drank enough water or your gut flora and/or enzyme activity is out of balance. In which case it is best to see a Practitioner as there are many physiological factors that need addressing as one diet does not fit every single person.

Fermented foods are becoming so popular and for good reasons. Kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi are all superb examples of imputing good bacteria into your gut. Bacterias help with increasing your nutrient absorption, providing precursors for neurotransmitters, balancing inflammatory responses and digestion of your food. It is well documented that gut bacteria can indeed affect our mental state. The more of the good bacterias that are there the more in favour your microbiome is for a happy mental state.

Your brain is mostly made of fat so it is important to include plenty of good fats in your diet. Omega 3 fats fatty acids, naturally high in seafood, is a key nutrient in nerve function. Research shows us that omega 3’s can reduce significantly inflammation in the body, and inflammation has been implicated as a contributing factor of many psychological imbalances.

How you feed your gut, is how you are feeding your mind. Make your diet naturally colourful, eat foods that are not processed, eat plenty of vegetables, drink copious amounts of water, eat moderate protein & plenty of good fats.  The results can be transformational!

This article was written by Suzi Le Fanue and published in Holistic Bliss magazine April edition.

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