Archive for the ‘Digestion Problems’ category

Natural Ways to Reduce Acid Reflux Symptoms

August 23, 2010

Taken together, digestive enzymes and probiotics, can alleviate most acid reflux
symptoms. It is recommended to take two capsules containing natural ingredients rather than antacids, which neutralize acid in the stomach and are at best only a temporary fix. They are also loaded with harmful ingredients such as sodium and aluminum.

Probiotics are beneficial microbes which protect the digestive tract by keeping the natural flora in balance. The most well known is lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in yogurt and in supplement form.

A good probiotic should contain at least five billion live microorganisms per capsule. The ideal composition should include L. acidophilus, L rhamnosus, S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. These are considered “friendly bacteria”. They are of great benefit to the health of the colon and to the immune system, in general. Taken in conjunction with digestive enzymes, they balance the digestive system and reduce the possibility of acid reflux.

Digestive enzymes, which are normally secreted by different glands in the digestive system, help break down food molecules into smaller particles in order to aid in digestion process. Each enzyme has a specific function related to different elements of food. For example: lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugars), protease and pepsin break
down proteins and diatase digests vegetable starch.

People suffering from acid reflux symptoms are lacking the required amount of digestive enzymes normally produced by the body. They may need to take a digestive supplement to help regulate their digestive system. A good digestive enzyme supplement should contain protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, diastase, invertase, lactase, pectinase and alpha galactosidase.

In addition to these supplements we recommend checking your pH Levels. The normal rate of acid excretion through the kidneys gives urine a pH that falls between 6.75 and 7.25. By testing the degree of acidity of the urine, you can determine whether your body is eliminating a normal quantity of acids. If the acid excretion rate is higher than normal, the urinary pH will be more acidic. A low urinary pH is also an indication that the body is saturated and therefore in an acidic state.

Another indicator of the overall pH balance in your body is the pH of your saliva. When your body has the mineral reserves that it should, the abundance of minerals will show up in a saliva ph test as a pH reading of 7.0 to 7.50. A low saliva pH reading indicates that the mineral reserves in your body are low, and are being used to buffer acids elsewhere in the body.

There is a strong correlation between the pH of the body’s internal environment and that of the urine and saliva: urine and saliva become acidic when the body’s internal environment becomes acidic. You can discover the pH of these fluids by using pH test strips. These strips are made specifically to test saliva and urine.

When cells in the body work in an alkaline environment, the digestive system will function properly. You should be drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. Water hydrates the body and flushes out the toxins that build up in the digestive track. Do not drink anything with a meal as it dilutes stomach acid and the body produces more acid to compensate. Maintain a daily diet of 80% raw food and vegetables as often as possible. Eat fruit and nuts for breakfast and a salad for lunch to reduce the acidity in the stomach.

Refrain from lying down too soon after a meal. You should allow at least two hours before doing so. Take a walk instead. Walk for thirty minutes each day. A proper Aerobic exercise regimen is essential for the overall health of the body. Chew gum between and after meals. Chewing produces saliva, which is alkaline in nature and counteracts the over production of acid. Remember that stress is a major cause of poor digestion and the measure of ill-health in general.

We at American Nutrition hope that this recommendation will help you to feel better and puts you on the right track to a life free of reflux symptoms.
Supplement suggestions for those suffering from acid reflux symptoms:

Acidophilus and Aloe – These important resident bacteria should always be present for optimal intestinal health and function.

Acidophilus Bifidus – Acidophilus helps support a “friendly flora” environment in the colon while Bifidus, the most prevalent naturally occurring colon bacteria , further helps the colon produce B-Vitamins.

Bacillus coagulans are a beneficial probiotic that forms highly resilient structures which create a protective barrier around each cell and support healthy intestinal flora.

Bifidyn is an advanced and potent bifidus product. It contains two complementary forms of bifidus. Bifidobacterium longum is an acid-stable and viable strain of bifidus for successful implantation into digestive tracts.

Green PhytoFoods deliver additional vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber; these natural foods remain the most popular and unblemished source of perfect nourishment helping to naturally support healthy pH levels.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is part of the normal vaginal flora. The acid produced by L. acidophilus in the vagina may help to control the growth of the fungus Candida albicans, thus helping to prevent vaginal yeast infections. The same beneficial effect has been observed in cases of oral or gastrointestinal Candidiasis infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus can be supplemented if naturally ocuring levels are not sufficiant.

SOD (superoxide dismutase) is an enzyme that funcionaa as an antioxidant. Every cell in the body uses the SOS enzyme to combat the rise and damage of free radicals produced by normal cellular reaction. As we age, our bodies produce less SOD, which may lead to signs of aging and increased oxidative challenge. SOD also promotes respiratory health, digestive health, vision health, immune system and cellular health, healthy aging, neurological and cardiovascular health.

pHion pH booster alkaline water system promotes alkalizing, oxygenated, mineral-rich, and pure water to balance pH levels.

Specific Digestive formulas offered at

American Nutrition Superzymes – A superior enzyme formula offered by American Nutrition that offers a state of the art digestive enzyme formulation.

iFlora Complete Acidophilus Formula – 16 strains of the most unique & potent cultures. A complete comprehensive probiotic containing both resident and transient microorganisms.

NOW Foods Probiotic – 10 25 Billion designed to provide a high potency and balanced spectrum of beneficial bacteria found in human intestinal tracts.
Acid Reflux Studies:

“Lactobacillus bulgaricus has been found to be very effective at alleviating digestive problems  like acid reflux (GERD).”

~ The Great Physician’s RX for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

By Jordan Rubin, Joseph Brasco Key#2; Page 37

“…long-term intake of products containing probiotic strains may have a favorable effect on infection (Helicobacter pylori) in humans, particularly by reducing the risk of developing disorders associated with high degrees of gastric inflammation.”

The American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 137:812S-818S, March 2007

A survey Suggested that fried food, spicy food and alcohol were the most common precipitating factors for heartburn.

~ Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 93–101, January 200

Natural Probiotics can Benefit Digestive System Health

March 3, 2010

Probiotics are small organisms that help maintain the natural balance of other organism in the digestive tract and intestines. Probiotics may be a safe and natural approach to defending your body against unwanted bacteria that can cause microbial infections. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is the lactic acid bacteria.

A human’s digestive tract ranges from 25-35 feet and houses over 400 species of bacteria. In total there are over a 100 billion organisms in our digestive tract. A person taking antibiotics is equivalent to pouring bleach into a fish tank to kill an overgrowth of algae. The bleach not only kills the algae but everything else that is present in that environment. It is necessary for people taking antibiotics to alternate with Probiotics because antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria along with the bacteria causing the illness.

In addition to supplements, probiotics can be found in such foods as yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, some juices and soy drinks. Dannon’s Activia yogurt, for instance, is an example of a probiotic food.

Probiotic Supplements Support a Healthy Digestive System and Help to fight off infections which can lead to serious illness. More people are starting to use probiotics daily in order maintain regular bowel movements and cleanse their digestive system. Researchers are studying whether probiotics taken as foods or supplements can help treat or prevent illness. There is encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:

* Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
* Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
* Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
* Shorten the duration of intestinal infections
* Prevent and treat inflammation following colon surgery (pouchitis)
* Prevent eczema in children

Some researchers believe probiotics may improve general health. A small 2005 study in Sweden, for instance, found that a group of employees who were given the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri missed less work due to respiratory or gastrointestinal illness than did employees who were not given the probiotic.

More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of probiotics. As with any dietary or herbal supplement, consult your doctor before starting any new treatment.

Click Here for More Information on Probiotics.

Taking Glutamine Supplements for Gastro Intestinal Health

January 14, 2010

Serious digestive problems including Crohns, IBS, and Colitis can greatly impact your quality of life. The feeling of constant urgency, and always worrying that there may not be adequate facilities nearby when you need it, affects your life outside of the house.

Most of the commonly prescribed medications just mask the problem. They may provide temporary relief from the stomach cramping and nausea, but you have to deal with the side effects of the medication later. A lot of people would rather deal with the stomach pain than the side effects of the medications.

Along with many other people with serious digestive problems, you may elect to eat less to avoid the nausea and pain associated with having to relieve your self constantly. It may pass as a temporary solution to partially relieving some of the symptoms, but in the long run it damages the intestines. When you do not provide the adequate nutrition to your digestive system, the tissues of your intestines get thin and ulcers and bacteria can develop. The bacteria, which is naturally present in the intestines, can penetrate the intestine lining onto other tissues and eventually enter your bloodstream.

Glutamine has been recognized as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that under normal circumstances the body can make (synthesize) adequate quantities, but, during times of stress, including fever, illness, dieting, and chemotherapy, the body cannot make a sufficient amount.

Scientific research has found that glutamine also aids in the normal functioning of the intestines. It has been recognized as the second most important fuel for the cells lining your colon and helps clear out waste through the kidney and liver. Glutamine’s affect on muscle tissue and strength output makes glutamine a good option for bodybuilders. It is also used in the prevention of muscle degeneration that can accompany prolonged bed rest or certain diseases. Glutamine helps to maintain muscle mass and prevent further damage to muscle tissues and fibers.

Glutamine & Crohn’s Disease

Supplementing with glutamine may also help with Crohn’s disease, this chronic inflammatory disease can affect all parts of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus (the last part of the small intestine is affected in 50% of all cases).

Some cases are not as severe and those suffering from Chron’s Disease have alternating periods of relative health, while other more severe cases have continuous symptoms ranging from inflammation to rectal bleeding. In most cases the disease starts early in life, children with Chron’s disease may experience delayed development and stunted growth.

The most common symptoms of Chron’s disease are constant abdominal pain (often in the lower right area) and diarrhea, caused by the inflammation. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss and rectal bleeding, which if persistent, leads to anemia.

Though there are no proven theories to date regarding the cause of Crohn’s disease, the most popular theory is that the ongoing inflammation in the intestines is the body’s immune system reacting to a bacteria or virus. However, doctors are not certain whether the immune system abnormalities associated with Crohn’s are a result, or the cause, of the disease.

A Case Study on The Youngest Crohn’s disease Patient

According to the book “The Ultimate Nutrient Glutamine” by Judy Shabert MD, Rd and Nancy Ehrli a baby diagnosed with Crohn’s disease had colic and bloody diarrhea from the age of five months old. The steroids that were prescribed by the doctor helped, but they didn’t help the baby’s growth. When the baby turned six years old the mother, desperate, began considering glutamine. It was her understanding from other patients that it was important for bowel growth and, therefore, began feeding her child a liquid containing glutamine at night and during the day.

After five months of the glutamine supplementation, the child’s bowel symptoms reversed. The doctor stopped treating the baby with steroids, but the symptoms did not come back as they had in the past when the drugs were reduced.

A year and a half after the child was taken off the steroid she only had minor gastrointestinal symptoms. She also had a remarkable growth spurt.

Glutamine & Intestinal Repair

It has come to light within the last 15 years that Glutamine plays a very important role in the intestines. Scientists are now trying to understand how this discovery relates to caring for sick individuals.

They once believed that the intestines should not be used during illness or after surgery so that they could repair themselves. We now understand that when an individual doesn’t eat, the cells lining the intestines (the mucosal cells) deteriorate from the lack of stimulation they normally get from digesting food. This lack of digestive stimulation combined with a deficiency in glutamine, cause the tissue that is lining the intestines to become thin and exposed.

So attempting to allow the gut to repair itself by withholding food has the opposite effect. Rather than being repaired, the intestine is injured. Bacteria penetrates the intestinal wall and enters adjacent tissue, and can enter the bloodstream.

Glutamine & Stomach Ulcers – Diarrhea

Glutamine plays a number of roles in the gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have discovered that it’s an effective anti-ulcer drug. Glutamine is helpful for dealing with diarrhea as it diminishes the loss of electrolytes and water from the intestines. It may also lessen the severity of diarrhea by enhancing water and salt intake to the body.

** Glutamine is the most popular anti-ulcer drug in Asia.

Glutamine & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

People with severe gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may also benefit from supplementing with glutamine. IBD is a gastrointestinal problem that causes a breakdown in the intestinal mucosa, inflammation, and infection.

A study by British and Canadian investigators treated IBD patients with liquid diets containing small amounts of glutamine. After 2 weeks they found that most patients participating in the study no longer had diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Symptoms also improved for other patients who were treated with altered diets and glutamine.

Glutamine & Sickness

When your body is metabolically stressed, you can become catabolic, and you cell tissue starts breaking down. This can happen for a number of reasons which include engaging in strenuous physical activity, the flu, dieting, starvation, infection, injury, or burns.

Metabolic stress can cause muscles to produce significantly more glutamine in order to maintain blood levels. However, concentrations of glutamine within the muscle cells may fall by 50% if enough protein is not taken through the diet. Low protein levels cause the muscles to break down in order to supply the body with the glutamine needed to promote the healing of wounds, fight infections and support the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. Glutamine supplementation gives muscles the ability to make protein and prevents muscle degeneration during these periods.

Glutamine Sources

Foods such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs contain some amount of glutamine, the cooking process quickly denatures (inactivates) it.

Unless you want to eat raw fish everyday, the most efficient way to get more glutamine is to take a glutamine supplement.

Click here for more information on Glutamine.