By Doc Don Davis ………………
Today I’d like to talk about Pre-Biotics and irritable bowel syndrome. That’s right PRE-biotics, not PRO-biotics. I made a previous video where I discussed probiotics, the microbes from natural fermented sources that help you to increase your good bacteria over bad bacteria. If you don’t remember or haven’t seen our video on that subject, probiotics can not only balance your beneficial gut bugs but can:
Directly regulate the immune system
Decrease the affects of lactose – or dairy intolerance
Decrease cancer promoting enzymes by bad bacteria
Help with constipation
Decrease upper respiratory and urinary infections
Increase the cleansing wave of activity of the intestines
Help you lose weight by decreasing inflammation.
Not only that, they make Vitamin K, folate and short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that feed the cells of the intestines. That’s lot to do, and that’s why we have 100 trillion of them on our side working 24-7.
But what if they’re not up to the job? What if you’ve already replenished them with your favorite PRObiotic, and you still can’t seem to make any headway to turning your intestines a healthy place to live. After all, there’s evidence that after you take probiotics the bacteria you installed in your gut will last only about a week. The reason for that is because you might have a leaky , called intestinal permeability, or a previous bacterial food poisoning, or intestinal inflammation from food sensitivities. There are so many reasons, but one of the most like likely is that the good bacteria you do have are hungry and need a little help.
It isn’t easy moving your family and making a new home in the large intestine. You see, the bugs that already live there have really messed the place up. There are trashcans in the street and old broken down cars on the dried out lawns. I think you get the idea. It’s a less than welcoming place for your young family and so you think about forgetting the whole thing and just move along to the next town down the road. The probiotic generated bugs in your gut do the same thing. If they can’t stick to the side of the intestinal wall and multiply, they just pass through without ever getting a chance to change things for the better.
One of the better options to get the good bacteria situated permanently, in the little depressions, or crypts that cover the wall of the intestine are PRE biotics. These provide un-digested soluble fiber to support and encourage specific kinds of good bacteria. These are foods that the human GI tract can not digest and so end up in the colon intact and act as food for our personal bacteria. Not only that, they act to stimulate the immune system of the gut providing extra protection from the bad bacteria.
PREbiotics come in 3 basic flavors: long-chain oligosaccharides that help bacteria ferment the left side of the colon. Short-chain saccharides that ferment the right side of the colon and medium saccharides that work in between. There’s evidence that these PREbiotic foods were eaten by our hunter/gatherer ancestors, also that they have a significant presence in breast milk, in the form of galactooligosaccharides (GOS). Clearly this a necessary item for young children and adults. In fact studies show that PREbiotics, increase magnesium and calcium absorption when needed. Specifically, the PREbiotic inulin, oligofructose, and xylooligosaccharides can inhibit pre-cancer cells and help control blood sugar and type II diabetes.
PREbiotics also increase the short chain fatty acids like butyrate in the colon that are extremely important in maintaining the cells that line the intestine. Commonly I’ll use these nutrients to repair the cell wall of the intestines that can be injured to the point that toxins and large molecules will travel through unchecked resulting in inflammation and immune reactions.
When it comes to the practical issue of decreasing the symptoms of IBS, PREbiotics clearly can be effective. Unfortunately, this comes with the same warning I gave in a previous video on PRObiotics and IBS. It’s about the condition where the bacteria begin to migrate up into the small intestine, causing SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. In that case PREbioitics should be avoided because they can increase all the bacteria of the small intestine resulting in gas, pain and bloating. Testing is required to separate IBS with a SIBO problems using a gut Ecology Profile or a SIBO breath test or an Organic Acids test. Once we know exactly what is going in in the large and small intestine, specific dietary approaches or targeted supplements can be instituted to get things back to normal.
There are several sources of PREbiotics in nature with Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onion, or leeks leading the list. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to make a real difference. For instance, you only need 1/3 oz of chicory root or one ounce of dandelion greens per day to get 6 grams of prebiotic fiber. That’s more than enough to get you on your way.
If you are interested in additional information about natural ways to solve your IBS problem, please visit our site and subscribe to make sure you are getting all our updates and new videos as they come online. And if you would like to work with me personally, you can let me know there too, so that we can get that set up as soon as possible. Heath is on the way.