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Healthy Intestinal Flora Prevent and Cure Intestinal Ailments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by: Andrew Kim
Tags: intestinal flora, health, health news

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Delicious
(NaturalNews) Healthy intestinal flora bestows resistance to intestinal disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulitis, irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn's Disease, leaky gut syndrome, autoimmunity, and colon cancer. However, due to massive use of antibiotics in modern medicine, water chlorination, antibiotics in agriculture, environmental heavy metals, mercury amalgam fillings, sterilized foods, and recommendations to eat unnatural amounts of fiber, our gut flora are continuously under attack. This assault ultimately leads to dysbacteriosis*, leaving us susceptible to all the intestinal diseases listed above.

Over 400 distinct species of microorganisms inhabit the human digestive system, comprising over four pounds. This diverse internal ecosystem influences and directs our health in many ways. The benefits include:

-Broad-spectrum anti-microbial activity to protect the bowel from pathogens.
-Enhancing intestinal barrier function.
-Regenerating intestinal mucosal lining and lymphoid tissue (involved in immune surveillance and response to pathogens).
-Modulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
-Modulating the immune system by interacting with the lymphoid tissue, priming macrophages and natural killer cells, and increasing anti-body (IgA) production.
-Facilitating absorption of minerals.
-Creating nutrients: Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, biotin, and Folate.
-Converting thyroid hormone to its active form.

Intestinal disorders stem from some degree of dysbacteriosis. Years of intestinal abuse usually starts with constipation and progresses to more serious intestinal disorders. Unfortunately, the current model of care treats intestinal diseases once they are fully realized and the chances for improvement are diminished. Standard treatments are misguided because they do not fully bear in mind the importance of intestinal flora.

As an example, UC is a chronic, inflammatory disease with ulcers of the mucosal lining in the colon. The condition is characterized by low hemoglobin count, low serum potassium, and irregular mucosal structure- exactly the conditions caused by dysbacteriosis! However, standard medical treatments rely heavily on pharmaceuticals like steroids, salicylates, anti-inflammatories, and broad-spectrum antibiotics. When standard treatments ultimately fail, surgical resection of the colon (colostomy) is ordered.

A study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology used a novel approach to treat UC called fecal bacteriotherapy (FBT) based on its success with other intestinal disorders. For this procedure, stools were collected from healthy individuals, and then injected deep into the large intestines of chronic UC patients.

Throughout the trial and the long follow-up period, for the first time, all subjects had a total disappearance of disease without the need for maintenance treatments. These findings were described as "unprecedented" by the researchers and "strong evidence" for further research. However, these results are not very surprising when one understands the inimitable role that healthy flora plays in the colon.

Here are some ways to maintain healthy intestinal tracts:

1.Probiotics:
-Cycle through brands or take different brands in combination in order to get as much diversity as possible.
-The supplement should contain a prebiotic like inulin or FOS to help the bacteria colonize and proliferate in the large intestines.
-Consider FBT if oral supplementation does not produce satisfactory results.

2.Identify and eliminate foods that provoke allergies or intolerances, which can weaken the intestinal barrier, prevent nutrient absorption, and create inflammation (wheat proteins are the biggest offenders).

3.Moderate fiber consumption.

4.Consume raw, cultured foods regularly.

5.Stay away from antibiotics unless undeniably and unavoidably necessary. Just one course of antibiotics can wipe out GI flora. Reestablishing flora is extremely difficult.

6.If possible, remove mercury amalgam fillings and avoid overuse of silverware.

7.Filter tap (including shower) water.

* sterile gut

Sources:

1."Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis using Fecal Bacteriotherapy" (Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 2003).
2. Pathophysiology: The Biological Basis for Disease in Adults and Children (4th ed).
3."Food Allergy" (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1999).



About the author

Andrew Kim
Andrewkim21@gmail.com

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