Looking for a little bacterial protection at the start of the school year and with the holiday around the corner? Make sure your diet contains both pre and probiotics. A recent study found that both microorganisms protect the body from harmful bacteria and they do it in distinct ways. Specifically, probiotics help defend the intestines by adhering to the intestinal wall, inhibiting damaging bacteria from binding at the same sites and causing harm. While prebiotics protect the body by directly interacting with pathogens, inhibiting them from colonizing and/or binding with cells within the GI tract. For a deeper dive on pre- and probiotics, head on over to our BLOG to learn about how to up the protection.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are among the most popular over-the-counter pain relief drugs [they include Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, and Aleve]. These are often taken without a second thought for minor aches and pains, and in many cases, in large, frequent doses. Recent research suggests we probably should think twice before heading to the medicine cabinet, since these drugs may be harming our digestive tracts. In fact, about 70% of long-term users of NSAIDs exhibit small intestinal inflammation, while 30% have erosions or ulcers. NSAIDs increase intestinal permeability which leads to low-grade intestinal inflammation and damage to the mucosa and cells which protect the intestine and help with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Looking for an aches and pains alternative click HERE to read all about the pain relieving power of turmeric over on our blog.
We saw earlier the protective effect pre- and probiotics have on gut protection but can they do even more? While once believed to be a mere theory, the gut-brain axis has been receiving lots of attention recently. In a recent study, researchers tested prebiotics and probiotics as potential treatments for anxiety and depression. It was discovered that probiotics had a positive effect on anxiety and depression [specifically depression], while prebiotics had minimal effects on either condition. It should be noted that Bifidobacteria probiotics exhibited the most beneficial results on anxiety and depression. In case you missed it above, click HERE for a deeper dive on pre- and probiotics.
If you are on the hunt for ways to support your digestive system you have probably come across bitters, but do they work? A recent study looked at the effects of gentian [Gentiana lutea L.] and wormwood [Artemisia absinthium L.] on the digestive system. The study showed both of these bitters increasing saliva and stimulating the digestive organs to assist in digestion. Gentian and wormwood were also found to increase peripheral vascular resistance [which, in turn, supports cardiac function during digestion] and may be used to prevent and/or relieve indigestion. But does it matter when you take them? Probably not. While it was originally believed bitters should be taken 15-30 minutes prior to eating, this study suggests there is a similar benefit to taking bitters before, during, or even after a meal. For a crash course in what bitters are and how to use them, head over to the BLOG for more.