Category Archives: gut flora

Heal the gut with these five superfoods


by Derek Henry 

(NaturalNews) In a world where digestive problems run amok, it’s little wonder that people are desperately looking for remedies that will help fix their gut issues. Although it is not simple, these five superfoods can help clean up the ‘internal trash’, balance your bacteria, and heal any damage that has been done, so you can get your gut back to normal.

Garlic

Garlic is an amazing superfood that can dramatically alter your inner ecology with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Quite simply, it helps safely remove all those little critters that are destroying your digestive system.

In fact, Washington State University has confirmed that garlic is far more effective than pharmaceutical antibiotics in fighting a common bacteria known as campylobacter bacterium, which currently infects 2.4 million Americans per year.

Keeping your gut clear of these harmful bacteria will go a long ways to healing your digestive system.

Coconut kefir

Coconut kefir is somewhat of a lesser-known superfood, but is powerful nonetheless.

Coconut kefir is the simple process of using young coconut water and fermenting it to a state that leaves it teeming with billions of beneficial microorganisms. These friendly bacteria help balance your inner ecosystem, which in turn facilitates digestion, nutrient absorption, and toxin removal.

Bottom line, if you want to clean up your gut, repopulating it with beneficial bacteria is a requirement. Taking an ounce of kefir in the morning, at meals, and before bed is a great way to start.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage, which contains a vast array of nutrients and a hardy strain of probiotics, and does an exceptional job of cleaning and ‘furnishing’ your gut with beneficial bacteria so that it can heal and work efficiently again.

Add it as a side to any meal, or get creative and incorporate it into dishes where you would normally add vegetables.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a highly medicinal plant, and most of the benefits seem to come from the gel.

Aloe gel contains active compounds that help temper inflammation and block bacteria from infecting various areas of our body, including our digestive tract. They are also believed to help regenerate cells for faster healing times, which is vitally important in healing your gut after significant damage has occurred.

Aloe gel has also showed promise in healing gastric ulcers. According to a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in April 2006, when given internally, aloe gel reduced gastric inflammation and generated ulcer healing in mice.

Sangre de drago

Sangre de Drago is a latex-like red sap that comes from the Croton species of tree in the Amazon rainforests. This medicinal sap has been used for a variety of ailments, including ulcers in the stomach and intestines.

The two main phytochemicals responsible for its healing properties are an alkaloid known as Taspine (documented as anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorous, and antiviral) and a lignan known as Dimethylcedrusine, which plays a central role in sangre de drago’s wound healing capabilities.

When smeared onto a sterile plate and allowed to dry, then doused with E. coli bacteria, it was found that the bacteria promptly died in the presence of the sangre de drago.

A clean gut can create a clean bill of health

Eighty percent of our immunity, and conversely, where 80 percent of things go wrong, starts in the gut. It is perhaps the most important factor to consider when deciding to clean up your health.

Start with these five superfoods, and continue to add to your arsenal in order to keep your gut free of damaging pathogens, and full of beneficial bacteria.

My gut says go for it.

Sources for this article include:

http://news.wsu.edu

http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/279/1/G192.full

http://www.rain-tree.com/sangre.htm#.Ucifa-BQPTQ

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Type 2 diabetes breakthrough: Imbalance in gut bacteria likely cause

by Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor 

(NaturalNews) We’ve all heard the news about the enormous, world-wide epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Not only is this form of diabetes (which results from the body’s inability to effectively use insulin) soaring among adults, it is now hitting children and teens as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the cause is primarily excess body weight and weight physical inactivity.

But breakthrough research just published in the journal Nature strongly indicates another, bottom line cause has been discovered – an imbalance of “good” versus “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract appears to trigger type 2 diabetes.

Sound familiar? Natural health advocates have long insisted that a healthy digestive tract is crucial to preventing and treating diseases and that making sure there’s a healthy balance between the “good” bacteria and the disease-promoting kind is key. In recent years, this concept has been backed up by numerous studies linking the overuse of antibiotics, which wipe out the “good” germs in the gut, to serious ills. Researchers have also found that promoting a healthy internal flora rich in the “good” kind of bacteria is beneficial in a myriad of ways – including boosting the immune system to fight flu and treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And research recently published by Austrian scientists in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests an unhealthy balance of gut flora could cause obesity and metabolic syndrome which have long been linked to type 2 diabetes.

“We have demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines,” lead researcher for the Nature study, Jun Wang from the University of Copenhagen’sDepartment of Biology and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, said in a media statement.

The research team pointed out the 1.5 kilograms of bacteria that each of us carries around in our intestines have a huge impact on our well-being. If the equilibrium of what is known as this “microflora” in the gut is disrupted, health can suffer. For their study, the scientists zeroed in on the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China. The 171 research subjects who had type 2 diabetes were found to have “a more hostile bacterial environment in their intestines” than those not suffering from the disease. The study suggests this kind of out-of-balance gut flora could increase resistance to different medicines as well as likely be the trigger for type 2 diabetes. The scientists identified specific biological indicators in the gut flora that could eventually be used to identify those at risk of type 2 diabetes as well as to diagnose the disease.

“We are going to transplant gut bacteria from people that suffer from type 2 diabetes into mice and examine whether the mice then develop diabetes,” another of the lead scientists behind the project, professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen from the University of Copenhagen, stated.

What can you do to keep your internal flora healthy and balanced? For starters, avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Also, eat a healthy diet that includes prebiotics (naturally occurring substances found in thousands of plants species that foster a healthy environment in the colon that’s hostile to the “bad” bacteria) and probiotics (the “good” bacteria that is found in fermented foods like kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut that can crowd out bad bacteria and replenish the “good” kind that can be wiped out by antibiotics).

Change your gut flora and lose weight


by Eric Hunter 

(NaturalNews) Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. The gut microbiota of mice and humans are similar, with Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominating. At this point it’s not clear exactly which species are important in weight management. Some studies show reduced numbers of Bacteroidetes in obese subjects, while others point to lower levels of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus.

Even though diet will affect gut flora composition, most studies conclude that gut flora on it’s own has an effect on weight. Alteration of the gut microbiota can be an important part of a weight loss program.

Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how gut flora regulates weight. Inflammation, energy from polysaccharides, insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure and storage are all affected by gut flora.

What you eat affects the gut flora composition, but it can also be hypothesized that it can happen the other way around; that gut flora partly determines what you eat. People with gut dysbiosis and especially yeast overgrowth often feel sugar cravings. Gut flora can probably influence food cravings and thereby play a part in determining dietary choices.

Obesity is hereditary, and the importance of gut flora shouldn’t be underestimated. Flora is passed on from mother to child during birth, breastfeeding and early years. The child also comes in contact with microorganisms from other family members. “Obese gut flora” is passed on to the child.
Children born via caesarean have double the risk of becoming overweight, according to research by Harvard scientists. The obesity increase has been linked to a lack of exposure to good bacteria which may be found in the vaginal wall.

Differences in intestinal microflora during the first year of life have been associated with higher risk of obesity later in life. Especially low levels of Bifidobacteria make children more susceptible to weight gain.

Obese individuals usually have a dysfunctional gut flora with higher numbers of LPS-containing microbiota and methane-producing bacteria. LPS, Lipopolysaccharide, is linked to obesity, leaky gut and low-level chronic inflammation.

Colonization of germ-free mice with gut flora from either obese or lean mice, leads to significantly greater increase in total body fat in those colonized with “obese microbiota.” Animal studies further show that probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species help maintain a healthy bodyweight and promote weight-loss. Cattle treated with antibiotics store a lot of fat, and this is one of the reasons why these drugs are used so frequently in feedlots.

How to incorporate this info into your weight loss program

A healthy diet with reduced consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates, most vegetable oils, anti-nutrients, etc. will on it’s own promote weight loss and a healthier gut flora.

Additional gut flora modifications can also be an important part of a weight-loss plan. Simply eating yoghurt will not make any substantial difference in most people. Minimally washed organic plants and plant products, fermented foods and probiotic supplements are all good sources of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, soluble fiber that feed good bacteria, can be found in leeks, onions, apples etc.

Sources for this article include

http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.no

Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.Ley, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Aug 2; 102(31):11070-11075.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Vael C, Verhulst SL, Nelen V, et al. Intestinal microflora and body mass index during the first three years of life: an observational study.
Gut Pathog. 2011 May 23;3(1):8.

Kalliomaki M., Collado M.C, Salminen S., et al. Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight
Am J Clin Nutr March 2008 vol. 87 no. 3 534-538

Kondo S, Xiao JZ, Satoh T, et al. Antiobesity effects of Bifidobacterium breve strain B-3 supplementation in a mouse model with high-fat diet-induced obesity.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(8):1656-61. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

Takemura N, Okubo T, Sonoyama K. Lactobacillus plantarum strain No. 14 reduces adipocyte size in mice fed high-fat diet.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Jul;235(7):849-56.

Chen JJ, Wang R, Li XF, et al. Bifidobacterium longum supplementation improved high-fat-fed-induced metabolic syndrome and promoted intestinal Reg I gene expression.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Jul 1;236(7):823-31. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Karlsson CL, Molin G, Fak F, et al. Effects on weight gain and gut microbiota in rats given bacterial supplements and a high-energy-dense diet from fetal life through to 6 months of age.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):887-95. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Human originated bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamonosus PL60, produce conjugated linoleic acid and show anti-obesity effects in diet-induced obese mice.Lee, et al. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1761(7):736-744

Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance.Cani, et al. Diabetes. 2007 Jul;56(7):1761-1772

http://www.cedars-sinai.edu

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