Search Term: " Divericuliis "
Red meat link to common bowel disease: study
January 20, 2017 07:59 AM
Watch out if your on a rich red meat diet! Studies show people on red meat rich diets have been linked to a heightened risk of a bowel inflammation called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a common condition in which small pockets lining the intestine become irritated. Diverticulitis causes 200,000 hospital admissions every year in the United States alone.
"Diverticulitis is a common condition which occurs when small pockets lining the intestine -- called diverticula -- become irritated."
Sooth Diverticulitis Marshmallow Root
Diverticulosis occurs when pouches form along the wall of the gastrointestinal wall, especially in the colon. Diverticulitis refers to the inflammation or infection of the pouches. The cause of diverticulosis is not yet clear, but medical experts suggest that it may result from the lack of sufficient fiber in the body. Due to insufficient fiber, the colon has to strain to push its contents forward, the pressure from the strain results in weak spots in the colon wall. The bacterial growth in the weak spots is thought to be the cause of the inflammation and infection.
Management of Diverticulitis with Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is obtained from Althaea Officinalis. It has both demulcent and emollient effects. The herbal remedy works by gelling and soothing the inflammation experienced in the colon wall.
Marshmallow root also has several other health benefits including:
Grapefruit Pectin And Soluble Fiber Health Benefits?
January 26, 2013 11:28 AM
Do you want to know, what are the benefits you're likely to reap from consuming grapefruit pectin?
If yes, then this write up is for you. Scroll down to know more on this.
Typically consumed as for break-fast, grapefruits usually are a favorite for the dieters who are tirelessly working on the various tactics that can assist them in the fat burning process. Grapefruits are well known for their minerals and vitamins, but they are also very great sources of fiber. Grapefruit pectin which is unique form of the soluble fiber has got a number of the health benefits that it carries along. Let us now have a look at some of these benefits that it carries.
Benefits of Grapefruit Pectin
The following are some of the benefits of grapefruit pectin. They include;
Last but not the least; as you have seen, grapefruit pectin fiber has got very many benefits. However, before you include grapefruit to your diet, ensure that you consult an experienced dietitian or doctor to know whether it is ideal for your diet or not.
What Are The Health Benefits Of GrapeFruit Pectin?
January 16, 2013 01:46 PM
Benefits of Grapefruit Pectin
Grapefruit is a very nutritious fruit that is known to be rich in vitamin and mineral contents. But aside from that, grapefruit also contains grapefruit pectin which is a unique form of a soluble fiber. Pectin is actually a unique form of soluble fiber that can be found among fruits and vegetables. Pectin, as a supplement, is mainly extracted from apples and citrus peels such as that from grapefruits.
The following information will present some of the most significant health benefits of grapefruit. The water-soluble dietary fiber from grapefruit pectin is a type of natural fiber that can absorb water inside the stomach tract and all throughout the intestines. Water soluble fiber can soften stools and eventually induce defecation. Some common problems related to digestive system in which pectin can greatly help include constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel disorder and some other diverticulitis diseases.
Grapefruit pectin is also considered as an excellent anticancer. Several studies have shown that pectin can inhibit the synthesis of the protein called gelatin-3 since pectin can easily bind with this protein. Taking fish oil supplements along with pectin supplement can suppress the development of colon cancer. Cholesterol reduction is yet another significant health benefit of grapefruit pectin. Pectin reduces LDL levels or low-density lipoprotein which is considered as bad cholesterol.
Therefore, taking pectin supplements is a good complimentary treatment for hypercholesterolemia or simply the case of having high cholesterol levels inside the body. Grapefruit has powerful antibacterial properties as well. They prevent problems caused by bacterial infections, internal fungi and some other harmful parasites. Grapefruit pectin can also slow down carbohydrate and glucose absorption. This helps to maintain a physically fit body and normal blood sugar levels. Although grapefruit pectin is truly beneficial for the body, this supplement must be taken properly.
Pectin soluble fiber just might interfere with other drugs and eventually leads to toxicity. That is why it is very important to consider seeing a doctor first before taking this natural supplement. Some people who are most likely not allowed to take pectin supplements are those that also take medications for hypertension, depression and diabetes.
December 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Glucomannan is derived from the extracted mucilage of the konjac root. This plant is part of the same family as yams, but does not have the calories. Glucomannan is a 100 percent natural form of fiber. The principle use of this herb is as a bulking agent to promote the feeling of fullness.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. This nutrient is considered to be a dietary fiber. Often, glucomannan is a food additive that is used as both an emulsifier and thickener. Products that contain glucomannan are marketed under a variety of brand names, but are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris, and type II diabetes. Glucomannan can be found making up about forty percent by dry weight of the roots of the konjac plant. This nutrient is also a hemicellulose, which can be found in large amounts in wood of conifer plants and in smaller amounts in the wood of dicotyledons.
Glucomannan helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain regularity, and promote intestinal health. The herb also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, relieving stress on the pancreas, and discouraging blood sugar abnormalities such as hypoglycemia. Glucomannan also absorbs toxic substances that are produced during digestion and elimination. The herb binds toxic materials and eliminates them before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Research has determined that glucomannan and lecithin together reduce cholesterol levels. Lecithin is responsible for breaking down fat and cholesterol, and glucomannan eliminates those broken-down particles from the body. This herb expands to about fifty times its original volume when it is taken with a glass of water.
Diabetic patients have reported that they experienced benefits with glucomannan. One study, in which patients were given glucomannan daily for ninety days, found the mean fasting glucose levels to have fallen by 29 percent by the end of the ninety days. At the end of the period, the mean fasting glucose levels fell by 29 percent. Most participants in this study reduced their insulin requirements. Glucomannan may also help cholesterol levels. Animal studies have determined that there is a significant reduction in cholesterol levels when given this herb.
Before supplementing with glucomannan, it is important to speak with your health care provider. In the same sense, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices that you use. It is important to give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This ensures both coordinated and safe health care.
The root of the glucomannan plant is used to provide anorectic, antacid, cholagogue, digestive, nutritive, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, and zinc. Primarily, glucomannan is extremely helpful in treating blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol, constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and obesity. Additionally, the herb is very beneficial in dealing with atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric problems, hypoglycemia, and pancreatic problems.
March 29, 2009 10:08 AM
Constipation occurs when one has difficulty passing stools, or infrequently passes hard, dry stools. This is the result of food moving extremely slowly through the large intestine. From time to time, most people experience constipation. However, lifestyle changes and better eating habits can help to relieve the symptoms and prevent recurrences. Constipation usually results from insufficient amounts of fiber and fluids in the diet. Fiber can be found in plant foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber that is water-soluble takes on a soft texture and is helpful in softening the stools. Insoluble fiber goes through the large intestine unchanged and is helpful in adding bulk to the stools to stimulate bowel contractions.
Other factors that can cause constipation include inadequate exercise, advanced age, muscle disorders, structural abnormalities, bowel diseases, neurogenic disorders, and a poor diet, especially a heavy consumption of junk food. Constipation can also be a side effect of iron supplements and some drugs, like painkillers and antidepressants. It is also common during pregnancy. High levels of calcium and low levels of thyroid hormone can also lead to constipation. Those with kidney failure are also prone to having problems with constipation. Constipation is often caused by dehydration in older individuals, with depression being a factor in people of any age. Some medications, like cough syrups, pain medications that contain codeine, antidepressants, iron supplements, blood pressure and heart medicines, calcium supplements, and some antihistamines can also cause constipation.
A small percentage of people with spinal injuries and other similar problems have constipation because the nerves that usually regulate bowel movement have been damaged or destroyed. A condition referred to as Hirshsprung’s disease makes the normal excretion of feces impossible because the nerves inside the bowel are missing. The nerve cells in the colon can also be damaged by long-term use of laxatives, which makes constipation inevitable. A thrombosed hemorrhoid, anal fissure, or a pocket of infection at the anus can create a spasm of pain that is strong enough to contract the muscles and prevent the evacuation of stools.
Constipation can cause a variety of other ailments such as appendicitis, bad breath, body odor, coated tongue, depression, diverticulitis, fatigue, gas, headaches, hemorrhoids, hernia, indigestion, insomnia, mal-absorption syndrome, obesity, and varicose veins. It may even be involved in the development of other serious diseases like bowel cancer. It is important to have regular bowel movements in order to remove toxins from the body. Toxins from bowel bacteria and undigested food particles play a part in the development of diabetes mellitus, meningitis, myasthenia gravis, thyroid disease, candidiasis, chronic gas and bloating, migraines, fatigue, and ulcerative colitis. People can have bowel movements as infrequently as three times a week and still not be constipated, but there are some health practitioners that believe that it is important to have a bowel movement every day.
The following nutrients are very helpful in dealing with and preventing constipation: garlic, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, apple pectin, chlorophyll liquid, essential fatty acids, a multi-enzyme complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: alfalfa extract, fennel seed, aloe vera, ginger, milk thistle, triphala, cascara sagrada, goldenseal, rhubarb root, senna leaves, and yerba mate.
Adding a good fiber supplement as well as the above mentioned supplements can help one stop constipation and start normal bowel movements again. Natural fiber, vitamins, and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands such as Source Naturals, Solaray, Kal, Planetary Formulas, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and safely of all your natural supplement needs.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, herbs, and fibers are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
August 06, 2008 11:21 AM
Traditionally, Cat's Claw has been used to treat arthritis, gastritis, tumors, dysentery, and female hormonal imbalances. Today, the plant has shown the ability to treat viral infections, minimize inflammation, and provide therapeutic action for stomach and bowel disorders including arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis, parasites, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, several types of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, herpes, allergies, lupus, diabetes, PMS, yeast infections, hypoglycemia, prostatitis, bursitis, and rheumatism. European studies are currently looking at Cat's Claw for its ability to treat AIDS and cancer. Additionally, the herb has been used for Athlete’s Foot, Ear infections, back pain, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, canker sores, sinus infections, and asthma.
Peruvians have trusted the anti-inflammatory abilities of Cat’s Claw for many generations, as it was traditionally used for any type of rheumatism or arthritic joint condition. Many studies on the plant metabolites found in Cat’s Claw have found that it does inhibit inflammatory response for a fact. The plant sterols that are found in Cat’s Claw have the ability to reduce artificially induced swelling. After extensive research, scientists have found that the strong anti-inflammatory activity is due to the presence of all the compounds together. These same compounds have an intrinsic anti-inflammatory effect as well.
These findings confirm what herbalists have advocated for many generations: the fact that plants are designed to be used in their whole form in order to be biochemically effective. Pharmaceutical synthetic versions of herbal medication shave so many bad side effects because they have been chemically extricated and isolated, which eliminates the very crucial role of other compounds that are vital to the function of the plant.
Natural botanical remedies, on the other hand, have been designed by nature to work together. Natural anti-inflammatories are extremely important for treating diseases such as allergies and arthritis because they have a lot less side effects than the prescription NSAIDs that are currently being used by thousands of individuals. Back pain, joint pain, inflammation caused by histamine release, and a whole lot of other maladies have resulted in millions of dollars worth of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to be purchased.
Diseases such as AIDS and flesh-eating viruses have received a good amount of press coverage over the last several years. Although a lot of us may not feel immediately threatened by these viruses, we may not be as strong as we could be immunologically. Most of us are battling a never-ending list of ailments such as colds, flu, sore throats, earaches, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and colitis.
With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, our country as a whole is in poor health. Our immune systems, which are our build-in defense mechanisms, need to be kept in optimal working condition as infectious microorganisms and carcinogens constantly surround us. A healthy immune system has a great ability to fight off disease or at least minimize its stay in our body. By fortifying our defenses with certain herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants, we can greatly promote wellness in our bodies.
July 28, 2008 03:47 PM
As a society we are undoubtedly suffering from a lack of dietary fiber. Although it is true that we are constantly warned that diets low in fiber can actually kill us, most of us continue eating the way we always have. Our diets are full of empty calories, refined foods, sugar, and very little when it comes to whole foods. As far as fiber is considered, many of us believe that a daily bowl of cereal is more than enough fiber. Sadly, the food in many of our houses consist of white flour products, cooked and canned vegetables, cookies, chips, all of which are fiber-less and artificially altered from their original state, making them less and less like actual food. The typical American eating habits have led to issues of chronic constipation, intestinal gas, bowel disorders, and a variety of infections all leading to colon cancer.
If we want to increase our fiber intake, we must first recognize what exactly fiber is, where it is found, and how it works. A lot of us would not even recognize certain foods in their whole, natural state. For the most part, whole foods from plants offer us a great amount of dietary fiber. Although food producers add natural and synthetic fiber to foods, they cannot improve on the natural fiber that is found in plants. Since ancient times, whole grains have been considered staples of the diet were consumed by the lower-class societies who could not afford the fatty, sweet, high protein diets of the upper class.
It is no coincidence that as our intake of fiber decreased, certain bowel diseases including colon cancer and diverticulitis increased. Physicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries prescribed the worse possible treatment for these bowel disorders, which was eating a bland, highly refined diet. Now today, there are over 85,000 cases of colon cancer that have diagnosed in our country each year, with the number growing.
The science of fiber began in the early 20th century, when studies were initiated on the laxative action of bran, as well as other subjects. Researchers in the sixties noticed that certain diseases, which were devastating our societies, were relatively rare in third world communities. It was concluded that all the diseases of our civilization were caused by our over-consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Thankfully, the medical establishment has become more aware nowadays.
Today we know that the condition of the colon is related to all body systems and can influence numerous chronic diseases, which include cancer. A bacterial flora imbalance may be the cause of many diseases, with this condition being referred to as autointoxication. Autointoxication is caused by the array of poisons that an unhealthy colon can harbor and is based on the belief that what you eat determines the kind of bacteria which will inhabit your bowel.
It has been found that we rarely replenish the good flora by eating good sources of acidophilus and routinely kill the friendly bacteria by using antibiotics and other drugs and alcohol. This creates the perfect habitat for pathogenic bacteria to flourish and leaving our colons as a toxic waste dump. Intestinal microflora can be altered by increasing your intake of dietary fiber in as little as two weeks. Since fiber affects several vital metabolic processes, eating enough of it is extremely important in maintaining good health and preventing disease.
Brown Rice Protein
April 14, 2008 01:05 PM
Did you know that the world produces over 1.3 trillion pounds of rice annually? Brown rice grows in over 40,000 varieties, if you are one looking for the health benefits of rice, the type of rice you choose makes a huge difference.
The USDA recommends that more than half your daily grain diet should be from whole grains (less processed grains) which retain more of their natural nutrients.
When brown rice is processed the outer shell is removed. Brown rice is milled and polished into white rice removing all the valuable nutrients giving the rice its health benefits and fiber. Processing destroys 67% of vitamin b3, 80% of vitamin b1, 90% of vitamin b6, 50% of magnesium and phosphorus, 60% of its iron, and all the fiber giving rice its colon health benefits. Processing destroys the essential fatty acids in rice as well.
One cup of brown rice supplies 88% of the daily recommended manganese, a mineral essential for energy production as well as supporting the nervous system and aids in the production of antioxidants and enzymes that improve over all health. The same cup of brown rice provides 27% of the daily needed selenium and other vital minerals to support a health immune system and thyroid function. Brown rice is an excellent source of B vitamins. One can obtain 14% of their daily fiber from one cup of brown rice, so what’s stopping you from adding it to your diet.
April 08, 2008 11:58 AM
Celiac disease also known as sprue, is an autoimmune disorder that often goes un-detection. It mimics the symptoms of other conditions including: irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, parasitic infections, skin disorders, iron-deficiency anemia caused by menstrual blood loss, and various nervous system conditions. All of which are very uncomfortable for anyone to experience.
To complicate matters, between fifty to sixty percent of celiac patients have no obvious symptoms, which makes this disease particularly difficult to diagnose. This has led to the assumption that the disease was uncommon in the United States. However, recent estimates suggest that one in one hundred and thirty three people have the disease. Do you know if you have it?
In the Year 2000, a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the incidence of Celiac disease among 1200 children and adolescents tested for the disorder ranged from one in fifty seven to one in thirty three. Symptoms in children differ somewhat from those of adults in that fatigue, irritability and behavior changes are more common in children with Celiac disease. Infants with Celiac disease may lose weight and "fail to thrive."
Older children may have delayed growth or unexplained anemia due to malabsorption. Like adults, Celiac disease children have abdominal gas, pain and foul smelling stools. Liquid Supplements are recommended for individuals with Celiac's Disease.
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine
November 08, 2005 06:29 PM
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine by D. Paul Barney, M.D.
1. Infertility (Damiana Ginseng Blend) (SP-1) – Impotency, Hot flashes, hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems.
2. Arthritis (Devil’s Claw Yucca Blend) (SP-2) – Rheumatism, Bursitis, Gout.
3. Respiratory Distress (Pleurisy Root Blend) (SP-3) – Bronchitis, Asthma, Pneumonia, T.B. Cough, Sore Throat, Colds, Hay fever.
4. Skin Disorders (Herbal Skin Blend) (SP-4) – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rash.
5. Diabetes (Uva Ursi Dandelion Blend) (SP-5) – High Blood Sugar.
6. Water Rentention (Cornsilk Blend) (SP-6) – Edema, Cystitis, Gout.
7-A. Yeast Infection (Goldenseal-witch Hazel Blend) (SP-7A) – Vaginitis.
7-B. Heavy Mentral Flow (Cranesbill Blend) (SP-7B) – Menorrhagia, Menorrhea.
8. Heart Trouble (Hawthorn Motherwort Blend) (SP-8) – Weak heart muscle, Arrythmia, Angina, Short of Breath, Palpitations.
9. High Blood Pressure (Garlic Valerian Blend) (SP-9) – High cholesterol, blood pressure.
10. Pain (White Willow Blend) (SP-10) – Headache, Migraine, Pain for Backache, Inflammation, Spasms, fever.
11-A. Blood Health (Dandelion Yellow Dock Blend) (SP-11A) – Infections, Acne, Gout, Exposure to Toxins.
11-B. Poor Circulation (Cayenne Blend) (SP-11B) – Phlitis, Cold Extremities, Varicose Veins, Diabetes.
12. Constipation (Butternut Cascara Blend) (SP-12) – Constipation.
13. Liver (Dandelion Milk Thistle Blend) (SP-13) – Hepatitis, Jaundice, Alcohol Cirrhosis, Sluggish Bile Flow, Gallstones, Psoriasis.
14. Nervous Tension (Valerian Blend) (SP-14) – Anxiety, Emotional, Fear, Hysteria, Restlessness.
15. Low Energy – Fatigue (Cayenne Ginseng Blend) (SP-15) – Boost Energy, Reduce Fatigue.
15-B. Male Stamina Blend (SP-15b) - Boost Libido.
16. Prostate (Saw Palmetto Blend) (SP-16) – Prostate cancer, Slow Urination.
17. Insomnia (Valerian Hops Blend) (SP-17) – Improve Sleep.
18. Obesity (Chickweed Celery Blend) (SP-18) – Reduce Weight.
19. Glandular & Nervous System Tonic (Goldenseal Gentian Blend) (SP-19) – Support Proper Glandular function and strengthen the nervous system.
20. Gastrointestinal (GI Blend) (SP-20) – Ulcers, Flatulence, Upset Stomach, Colic, Diverticulitis, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
20-B. Stomach Blend (Mastic gum, Marshmellow) (SP-20b) - Aids in digestion, stomach problems.
21. Infections (Echinacea Goldenseal Blend) (SP-21) – General infections, Flu, Fever, Sore Throat.
22. Caugh & Sore Throat (Bayberry Horehound Blend) (SP-22) – Colds, Bronchial Congestion, Inflammation.
23. Eyes (Eyebright Blend) (SP-23) – Eyestrain, Infection, Conjunctiuits, Dry/Inflamed.
24. Parasites – Worms (Garlic Black Walnut Blend) (SP-24) – Reduce Worms in colon.
25. Environmental (Algin Blend) (SP-25) – Pollution, Heavy metal, Recovery from illness.
26. Thyroid (Kelp Blend) (SP-26) – High, Low, Goiter.
27. Digestion (Papaya Peppermint Blend) (SP-27) – Dyspepsia, Colic, Gas, Heartburn, Antibiotic use, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Dependence on Laxatives.
28. Health & Body Tonic (Sarsaparilla Ginseng Blend) (SP-28) – Stress, Malaise, Fatigue, System Imbalances, Debilities.
29. Degenerative Disorder (Red Clover Blend) (SP-29) – Cancer, Addisons, Skin, Rheumatism.
30. Mental Stamina (Peppermint Ginseng Blend) (SP-30) – Memory Loss, Dementia, Poor Concentration.
31. High Cholesterol (Apple Pectin & Herbs Blend) (SP-31) – Control Cholesterol.
32. Hemorrhoids (Aloe witch Hazel Blend) (SP-32) – Phlebitis, Periodontal Swelling.
33. Allergy (Clay &Herbs Blend) (SP-33) – Hay Fever, Allergies.
34. Healing (Horsetail-Plantain Blend) (SP-34) – Ulcers, Broken Bones, Cuts, Wounds, Lacerations.
35. Low Blood Sugar (Licorice Gota Kola Blend) (SP-35) – Hypoglycemia.
36. Motion Sickness (Ginger Blend) (SP-36) – Nausea, Upset Stomach, Poor Digestion, Morning Sickness.
37. Antioxidants (Antioxidant Herb Blend) (SP-37) – Scavenge free radicals.
38. Hair (Herbal Hair Nutrients Blend) (SP-38) – Feed your Hair.
39. Depression (St. John’s Wort Blend) (SP-39) – Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Mononucleosis.
40. Immune Deficiency (Astragalus Blend) (SP-40) – Weakness, Chronic Disease, AIDS.
You Are What You Digest
June 10, 2005 04:50 PM
You Are What You Digest
by Anthony J. Cichoke, DC Energy Times, September 2, 1999
Does your dinner creep back to haunt you in the ghostly morning hours? Does a mere glance in the direction of the local Mexican cafe or barbecue palace fill you with dread (to say nothing of internal discomfort)?
We tend to ignore our digestive systems-the ever-ready, always reliable iron-clad stomachs of our youth, into which we stuffed pizza, peppers and beer-until diarrhea, gas, heartburn, bloating, constipation, stomach pain or other, much more serious, problems develop.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 62 million Americans experience some type of digestive distress. More than 10 million people suffer from hemorrhoids, nearly 3 million from gastritis and duodenitis, 2.3 million from inflammatory bowel disease, almost 4.5 million from constipation and 1.4 million from irritable colon. (Statistics from Digestive Diseases in the United States: Epidemiology and Impact, edited by James E. Everhart and published in 1994 in Washington, DC, by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.)
Many conditions such as hemorrhoids or constipation are relatively benign, while others, notably chronic liver disease, malignancies and ulcers, can be life-threatening.
In my long career as a chiropractor with an intense interest in nutrition, I have studied and written about the powers of enzyme therapy to prevent and treat the common and related problems of indigestion, heartburn, gas, lactose intolerance and constipation.
Poor Digestion: The Costs
Impaired digestion takes a dangerously high toll in causing nutrient deficiencies. For example, the stomach needs sufficient hydrochloric acid to activate the digestive enzyme pepsin, a substance which helps break down the proteins you eat into the short chains of amino acids (protein building blocks) that go into strong muscles, fight disease and produce a healthy supply of blood.
Poor digestion can also impair your absorption of carbohydrates and fats as well as many vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, for example, is fat soluble, that is, stored for long periods in the body's fat cells, rather than rapidly excreted like the water soluble vitamin C.
Impaired pancreatic function, or insufficient lipase or bile production, will inhibit fat digestion, possibly causing insufficient absorption of vitamin E, according to the book Present Knowledge in Nutrition (International Life Sciences Institute, Nutrition Foundation, Washington, DC), which is edited by Myrtle L. Brown.
Thus, any difficulty in digesting and absorbing dietary fat can appreciably decrease vitamin E digestion and absorption. In fact, insufficient fat intake coupled with troubled digestion and absorption can affect the body's use of all the fat soluble vitamins-A, D, E and K.
The Enzyme-Digestion Team
Enzymes are molecules naturally produced by the body. These dynamos are involved in all physiological functions but are probably best known for the many jobs they perform during the process of digestion.
Digestive enzymes break the food you eat down into smaller particles so the body can better absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Unfortunately, in many cases, we may become deficient in digestive enzymes. Or, on the other hand, the enzymes we do produce may be inadequate for proper digestion. Luckily, supplemental enzymes can compensate for nature's shortfalls.
Supplemental enzymes, available in tablets, capsules, powders and pills, can help enhance the digestive process. The most popular enzymes for this use include:
Proteases help the body digest proteins by breaking them down into their component amino acids.
Lipases break down fat molecules into smaller pieces for better digestion.
Amylases break down carbohydrates.
Digestive enzymes also function in a wide variety of ways:
They detoxify and cleanse the colon and stimulate the beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby helping relieve a number of digestion-related disorders.
They help mobilize and remove toxic products from the body.
Supplemental enzymes can be used in basically three ways: as digestive aids, taken with or just prior to meals to help break down foods, freeing their nutrients for absorption and use by the body; as systemic enzyme therapy taken between meals and intended to be absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body to work intensively and thoroughly at the cellular level. They are consumed between meals to avoid mixing them with food as it is consumed.
Enzymes used systemically can energize the digestive, immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems. In addition, they can also help fight viruses, bacteria, toxins and inflammation, a common symptom with many digestive disorders including diverticulitis and gastritis.
The third way to take supplemental enzymes is in a form I call Enzyme Absorption System Enhancers (EASE), commercially produced enzymes combined with herbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients designed to improve their activity, absorption and bioavailability (readiness and ease with which the body can take them up).
Enzymes for Common Conditions From my extensive research and experience, enzymes as digestive aids, in systemic enzyme therapy as as EASE, can treat more than 150 common health conditions.
Choose your enzyme supplements carefully, scrutinizing the label thoroughly for:
directions for use formulation (coated or uncoated) the enzymes in the formulation and their sources; a vegetarian would want to avoid enzymes from animal sources and those with allergies should ensure that the formulation is free of potential allergens. However pervasive digestive problems are, there's no reason why they have to get you down, ruin your digestion or inflate you. These are very useful substances: Enzymes can set your digestive system - and most of your body's functions - back on track.
Remember, enzymes are essential keys to the smooth, efficient function of that wonderful machine, the human body. Because enzyme production and activity decrease with age, trauma and illness, make a firm commitment to daily enzyme supplementation for a healthier, happier, longer life.
Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.
May 27, 2005 09:24 AM
Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.
The Standard American Diet (or S.A.D.) is exactly that ? sad! Sadly lacking in essential nutrients and sadly loaded with an excess of the wrong things, like fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. How can we improve our diets and truly nourish our bodies?
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Why are fruits and vegetables so important? Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain bioflavonoids?naturally occurring plant constituents that act as antioxidants and support the integrity of our connective tissue. And fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so crucial in maintaining our digestive tract health.
What fruits and vegetables don't contain is just as important as what they do contain: fruits and vegetables are free of cholesterol, additives and preservatives, contain no added sugar or salt, and are low in fat?nature's perfect foods. All you have to do is look at the bright, crisp colors?the vibrant greens, yellows, oranges, reds and purples?to know how good fruits and vegetables are for you.
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains, like oats, brown rice and barley, help us meet important nutritional goals. They are low in fat and high in fiber, and, because the germ of the grain has not been lost in the milling process, they are higher in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and B vitamins compared to processed grain products like white bread or pasta. And they're delicious! Have a bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts for breakfast?or make a hearty barley-vegetable stew for dinner. Your body will thank you!
Increase Your Fiber Consumption
Fiber exercises our digestive tract?toning and strengthening the muscle that surrounds our intestines just the way lifting weights tightens and tones our skeletal muscles. Low-fiber diets increase our risk for a variety of bowel problems, from constipation and hemorrhoids to diverticulosis and diverticulitis to colon cancer. Increasing fiber in the diet is good for the digestive tract, helps regulate blood sugar and may also help reduce cholesterol levels.
What are the best dietary sources of fiber? All plant foods (whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) contain fiber. And all animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain zero fiber?that's right, none!
Eat Healthy Fats and Oils
Fats and oils have gotten a bad rap. Somehow the idea has been promoted that all fats are bad and we should eat as little fat as possible. The truth is that fat is an essential part of our diet, and dietary fats are used for many important functions in the body, from energy production to cell membrane maintenance to nerve conduction. While much of the focus has been on the amount of fat we should eat, the type of fats we eat is at least as important.
High-quality fats are rare in the standard American diet. Most of the fats and oils we eat have been damaged by exposure to heat or light during processing or cooking. This damage destroys essential nutrients and creates free radicals, chemically unstable molecules that can wreak havoc in the body. For this reason, fried foods and highly processed fats like margarine and shortening are best avoided. Health concerns have been raised about margarine, as it contains trans fatty acids?a configuration of fatty acids not found in nature.
And our ratio of fat consumption is skewed. Most Americans consume too many saturated fats and not enough polyunsaturated oils. How do you tell which fats are saturated and which are not? Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter, lard and coconut oil). Polyunsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature (like corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil). In addition to polyunsaturated oils, olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, is also a heart-healthy choice and one of the best oils to use.
Reduce Your Consumption of Animal Products
While animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain many valuable nutrients, as a nation, we tend to overdo it. A diet high in animal products is a diet high in cholesterol, and is strongly linked to the number-one killer in the industrialized nations: cardiovascular disease, which includes high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
How do you know which foods contain a lot of cholesterol without having to read labels? All animal products contain cholesterol. All plant foods (grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds) contain zero cholesterol. It's that simple. Eating a predominantly vegetarian diet is one way to maintain your cardiovascular health.
Avoid Stimulants?Like Caffeine
Most people think caffeine "gives" them energy. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Caffeine in fact robs the body of energy?by withdrawing from your energy 'savings account' now, leaving you less reserves to draw upon later. The pick-me-up feeling artificial stimulants provide is inevitably followed by an energy crash.
Reduce Your Caloric Intake
About a quarter of the U.S. population is now considered to be obese, and the numbers are rising. Our children are increasingly overweight, from a steady diet of junk food and TV-watching. As a nation, we are overfed and undernourished?our diets are too high in "empty" calories and too low in essential nutrients.
Being overweight significantly increases the risk for a variety of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Animal studies have shown that the only consistent way to extend the life spans of laboratory animals is to put them on a lower calorie diet. Thinner rats live longer?and we suspect the same is true for humans.
Are you too serious about your diet? Do you miss out on social opportunities because you are too busy counting calories or grams of fat? Lighten up! To paraphrase one poet, "?Tis better to eat steak and beer with cheer than sprouts and bread with dread!" Don't allow your dietary restrictions to rule you or limit your social life.
Eating out is possible, even on a restricted diet. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your requests. It's just a matter of learning how to order the healthiest meal possible. Good options include poached fish with lemon, salads with vinaigrette dressing, and plain baked potatoes. Get in the habit of ordering sauces on the side and avoid filling up on empty calories, like white bread rolls.
Take Time To Savor Each Meal
We often make the mistake of eating hurriedly, standing at the sink wolfing something?anything!?down so we can move on to the next activity in our busy lives. But digestion actually functions better when we take the time to slow down. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for enhancing circulation to the digestive organs and promoting the flow of digestive juices. There is only one catch?we must be relaxed for our parasympathetic nervous system to predominate. So, take a deep breath and relax, there's plenty of time!