Discover a common cause of poor digestion and nutrient absorption

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digestion-problems(NaturalHealth365)  Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, affects 15 to 30 percent of the American population, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  Why is this a serious problem?  Most NaturalHealth365 readers would already know the answer: poor digestion represents a core reason for most chronic health issues.

Unfortunately, the “solution” offered by Western medicine (pharmaceutical drugs) may offer temporary relief of symptoms, they can feature toxic side effects and do nothing to address the root cause of poor digestion.

The fact is that insufficient levels of digestive enzymes, coupled with bacterial overgrowth, can cause a shortage of stomach acid – without which proper digestion can’t occur.  Fortunately, a real solution does exist.

Supplemental digestive enzymes – along with probiotics – can deliver a “one-two” combination punch against GERD (and even help to ease other gastrointestinal complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease).

Keep reading to discover the surprising results of a scientific study on probiotics.

Clinical studies reveal how to safely eliminate problems with digestion

Emerging research supports the ability of Bacillus coagulans, a strain of lactic acid-forming bacteria, to balance the gut microbiome and alleviate gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

SHOCKING PROBIOTICS UPDATE: Discover the True Value of Probiotics and How to Dramatically Improve Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing with ONE Easy Lifestyle Habit.

A recent study looked at whether a probiotic called Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856, also known as LactoSpore, could help reduce symptoms of gas and bloating in healthy adults.  The researchers found that those who took the probiotic had fewer problems with gas and bloating compared to those who took a placebo pill.  Both groups also saw improvements in their bowel movements.  The probiotic was safe to use and didn’t cause any negative side effects.

This suggests that a high quality probiotic can be helpful for people dealing with gas and bloating issues.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Nutrition Journal, researchers evaluated the benefits of probiotics – specifically, of the B. coagulans bacteria – for patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Using a strain known as MTCC 5856, the team gave 2 billion spores of colony-forming units a day for 90 days to patients diagnosed with diarrhea due to IBS.  A control group received standard care and a placebo.

Remarkably, the B.coagulans group experienced improvements in every measure – including reductions in diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and vomiting.  Impressed researchers deemed the treatment both safe and effective.

As an added bonus, because it helps to normalize and regulate bowel function, B. coagulans is also effective against constipation.

In a study published in Alternative Medicine Review, 70 percent of participants with chronic constipation experienced decreased abdominal distention – and were able to pass normal bowel movements after taking the probiotic for 10 days.

Deficiencies in digestive enzymes lead to nutrient malabsorption

Natural digestive enzymes – found in saliva, gastrointestinal fluid, stomach, and pancreas – help to break down food.  This means converting proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to smaller molecules, such as amino acids, fatty acids, simple sugars, and nucleic acids.

Each type of enzyme has a specific – and vital – task.

Protease breaks down proteins, which can otherwise become undigested, toxic fragments, while lactase helps to digest milk sugar or lactose.

Amylase breaks down starches and sugars, and lipase – needed to digest dairy, meat, eggs, and oils – breaks down fats and facilitates the absorption of vitamins D, K, E, and A.

Finally, cellulase helps to break down cellulose, a beneficial but notoriously hard-to-digest plant fiber.

Clearly, shortages in any of these enzymes can lead to poor digestion, with uncomfortable – and even dangerous – consequences.

Undigested food in the colon not only results in gastrointestinal distress but can cause incomplete absorption of nutrients and even – in extreme cases – malnutrition.

Unfortunately, levels of indispensable digestive enzymes can decrease with normal aging.  Autoimmune conditions can also cause deficiencies, and some experts warn that chemicals – such as fluoride in water – may contribute to insufficient digestive enzymes.

Alleviate deficiencies with supplemental enzymes

Double-blind clinical studies – dating back to 1971 – have demonstrated that supplemental digestive enzymes can reduce heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and flatulence.

Holistic physicians tend to suggest these enzymes for a wide range of digestive disorders, including leaky gut, GERD, IBS, Crohn’s disease, liver disorders, diverticulitis, age-related enzyme deficiency, and hypochloremia (or low stomach acid).

Look for a full-spectrum, high-quality blend that includes a wide variety of enzymes, particularly alpha-galactosidase, amylase, cellulose, lactase, lipase, protease, and pectinase.

Digestive enzymes are normally sourced from both plants and animals, but vegans and vegetarians can also purchase them in strictly plant-derived formulations.  While probiotics can be taken after meals – or between them – digestive enzymes should be taken right before eating.

Of course, you should first consult with your doctor before supplementing with enzymes or probiotics.

The best foods to support good digestion

Some foods – such as organic pineapple, papaya, mango, bananas, and kiwi fruit – contain natural digestive enzymes.  For maximum benefit, eat them fresh, raw and unprocessed.

Ayurvedic practitioners often advise a tea made with equal parts cumin, coriander, and fennel to stimulate enzyme function and promote digestion.

Of course, you can also obtain probiotics – including B.coagulans – by eating fermented products such as raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso and yogurt.

Along with consuming healthy amounts of probiotics and raw foods, you can promote good digestion by eating food at room temperature (or slightly above) and allowing at least three hours between meals – and two hours before either sleeping or exercising.

Bottom line: Do NOT overeat.

Simply put, supplemental digestive enzymes and probiotics can work together to relieve stress on the digestive system and support good digestion.  In the process, they can help safely eliminate a laundry list of gastrointestinal disorders.

Sources for this article include:

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