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Diet and Lifestyle

Ulcerative Colitis, Probiotics, and Prebiotics

Ulcerative colitis is a lasting disease that causes inflammation and sores called ulcers in the colon. Experts believe that the cause is a genetic mutation that allows bad bacteria to irritate your intestines. This causes a never-ending reaction. It’s treated with medication or surgery, but there’s no cure. Flare-ups can happen even after treatment. Some people turn to probiotics and prebiotics to help. But do they really work?

Probiotics and UC

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help “good” bacteria to grow in your intestine. They’re found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh. They’re also available as a dietary supplement.

How do probiotics help with UC? Probiotics act as a barrier. They line your bowels so bad bacteria don’t reach the intestinal wall. They also change the makeup of your gut biome, adding good bacteria to balance out the bad. This lowers inflammation and helps calm the reaction.

Not all probiotics are equal when it comes to treating UC. Several studies have shown two specific probiotics to be effective:

1. Escherichia coli Nissle (Mutaflor) is a strain of E. coli that is nonpathogenic. That means it won’t make you sickStudies show that it can bring UC patients into remission for at least a year.

2. VSL#3 is a combination of eight different probiotics. Studies show that it has brought UC patients into remission for at least 24 weeks.

How to Take Probiotics

When you take probiotics for UC, there are two key things to know.

  1. You’ll likely need to take them for a while. Your stomach acid kills bacteria, whether good or bad. Experts suggest that you take the probiotics for at least 7 to 10 days to get enough good bacteria. You need millions and millions — possibly billions — to start relieving UC symptoms.

To keep up the benefits, you have to keep taking them. If you stop, the balance of bacteria in your colon will change and a flare-up may occur. Talk to your doctor about a long-term probiotic plan.

  1. Taking them by mouth may not be best. Although it may not seem pleasant, there may be some advantages to taking probiotics rectally. A smaller dose may be possible because the probiotics skip the stomach acid. This lets more of the good bacteria reach the intestines. But for obvious reasons, most people find it easier to just swallow a pill

Prebiotics and UC

Prebiotics are foods that aid the good bacteria in your colon. They come from the fibrous parts of food that you can’t digest. Prebiotic fibers give energy to the cells that line the walls of your gut so they can build protective layers against bad bacteria.

  • Prebiotic foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods 
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Soybeans
  • Oats

While prebiotics may help people with UC, they’re not for everyone. They may make symptoms worse for people with other conditions. These include irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and FODMAPs intolerance.

Side effects of probiotics or prebiotics are rare. They’re usually safe for most adults. Check with your doctor before you take either one to make sure they’re right for you.

How They Compare to Other UC Treatments

The most common prescription medication for UC is mesalamine. This is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Several large studies looked at how well E. coli Nissle worked compared to mesalamine. They found that the treatments were equally effective against UC.

No studies have compared VSL#3 to mesalamine head-to-head, but experts think the probiotic’s effects on UC are similar.

Can Probiotics Treat Other GI Issues?

Studies show that probiotics help with symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. But more research to form a standard treatment goes on.

Research into whether probiotics may help people with Crohn’s disease is less clear. The studies have been small, and we need more research into what types of probiotics might work. Because of this, doctors aren’t likely to recommend probiotics to people with Crohn’s disease.

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Diet and Lifestyle

New Nordic Cran Berry 30 Tablets

Cran Berry is a tablet-based on a special cranberry extract with a concentrated and standardized content of Proanthocyanidin (PAC) in combination with lingonberries, black pepper, and vitamins. A Cran Berry™ tablet provides 36 mg of Pro-Antho-Cyanidines equivalent to a quarter to half a liter of cranberry juice. Vitamin C and B6 contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and niacin to maintain normal mucous membranes.

Cran Berry

  • High strength 36 PAC
  • Immune system
  • Only one tablet a day
  • Cranberry, lingonberry, vitamin C, B6 & niacin
  • 30 tablets

Take 1 tablet daily with a meal. Food supplements are intended to supplement the diet and should not substitute a varied diet or healthy lifestyle. Do not exceed the stated dose. Warnings: Not suitable for children under 12 years of age. Do not use it if the blister package (inner foil) is broken or tampered with. Keep out of reach of children. Seek professional advice before using if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from allergies.

The cranberry extract in this tablet is made from cranberry harvested in the fall when the fruit has its characteristic deep red color. The berries are then cleaned and sorted, after which they undergo an optimized extraction process so that the desirable plant substances are preserved. This guarantees high quality.

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Diet and Lifestyle

THE HAPPY PATH TO GUT HEALTH

With our digestive health playing an integral role in maintaining the health of our bodies. Nutritional Therapist Kerry O’Connor explores how we can maximise it.

They say you are what you eat, but we now know we are what we absorb. Unfortunately for some it feels like everything they eat creates a disturbance or sensitivity in their digestive system. Our digestive system, which begins in our mouth has three main functions; to digest, absorb and eliminate. All of these processes must be working properly to maintain good gut health, which plays a huge part in overall health.

Up to 70% of people suffer from gastrointestinal disorders at some point in their lives, symptoms varying from bloating, fatigue, heartburn, IBS and burping to skin issues and for some even pain. Aside from so many symptoms being unpleasant this can occasionally lead to more serious gut health issues.

There are a lot of things we can do to help alleviate symptoms by adopting some lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, stress reduction and taking more probiotic and prebiotic rich foods, such as bone broth and fermented foods or a quality microbiotic supplement like Super 8 can help.

One of the best ways to discover if your issues are caused by food and drink intolerance is to keep a food diary and recording how you feel both physically and mentally for up to three days after eating.

If you discover that a food or drink seems to be creating symptoms then you should eliminate this for up to three months before gradually reintroducing and closely monitoring how you feel. Some people find great relief by adding a digestive enzyme when they eat to help break down foods and to help with absorption of nutrients.

Of course, if you are coeliac, which is an autoimmune condition, you will try to never eat gluten again as it causes such damage to the small intestine. However, there are around 13% of Irish people classified as having non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and are now following a gluten free diet. They report symptoms such as diarrhoea, wind, constipation, brain fog and fatigue and find that these are alleviated when they cut gluten out of their diet. The only EU approved enzyme for breaking down 86% of residual gluten in just 10 minutes, Gluten Shield, has just been launched in Ireland. This is an additional help for those following a gluten free diet who inadvertently eat gluten through possible cross contamination, thereby giving a sense of security to those who suffer from gluten sensitivity especially when eating out.

Figuring out food sensitivities and trying to avoid them, healing our gut and adding in beneficial microbiotics and digestive enzymes can help both physical and mental health. Eating a wholefood low sugar diet will always be better than eating processed foods containing additives regardless if they are gluten free or free from.

Gluten Shield is a food supplement. It is not intended to replace a gluten free diet and is not intended to prevent or treat Coeliac disease. It may be useful if you are following a gluten free diet and are concerned about unintentional or residual gluten in a gluten free diet.

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Diet and Lifestyle

New Nordic Multi Vegan Gummies 120

It is said that a vegans diet does not certain nutrient requirements may be difficult to achieve through diet and fortified foods alone. This is especially true for vitamin B12, vitamin D, and long-chain omega-3s. All vegans who are unable to meet their dietary recommendations through diet alone should consider taking supplements.

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian and vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements. However, if your diet isn’t planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. All vegans should take 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement. All lacto-ovo vegetarians should consider taking 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement a few times per week.

Multi Vegan™ Gummies are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else looking for a clean product. This multivitamin for the entire family is an easy way to get your daily vitamin supplement. Enjoy the health-related advantages and try the new delicious gummies.

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