The human digestive system is key to good health. Good digestion results in good health and an important prerequisite for good digestion is the maintenance of a well-balanced digestive flora. Conversely poor digestion results in poor health: the most obvious manifestation of long-term inadequate digestion being digestive disease.
Each year millions of Americans suffer from digestive illness with these problems affecting men, women and children alike. Some will experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), whilst others will develop inflammatory bowel diseases such as
types of colitis.
Likewise many others will have digestive problems including pouchitis,
intestinal Candida overgrowth,
food sensitivity (also known as food intolerance)
(C. Diff), antibiotic associated diarrhea, Helicobacter Pylori infection and diverticulitis among others. For some these problems will be acute, for others chronic.
Although the science regarding digestive flora is still in its infancy, it is generally accepted that gut flora plays a role in digestive diseases. As a result a whole host of research has been conducted on the therapeutic use of probiotics for treating such diseases.
Current evidence suggests that probiotics can help restore normal digestion2, rendering them very helpful in the treatment of digestive complaints and diseases. Indeed their use as a treatment has been proven for conditions including antibiotic-induced diarrhea and types of infectious diarrhea3.
Additionally preliminary results also suggest that probiotics may be helpful in
4, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)5,
and food sensitivity
(also known as food intolerance)6 among other treatments.
Have a look at our pages on the following digestive diseases to learn more on the use of probiotics for specific digestive problems:
1.The stomach and the small intestine are thought to contain only a few species of bacteria.
2.Marteau PR, et al.,Protection from Gastrointestinal Diseases with the Use of Probiotics,American Journal of Clinical Nutrition73(2, Suppl 1): 430S-436S, 2001.
3.Anuradha S, et al, Probiotics in Health and Diseases, Journal of the Indian Academy of Clinical Medicine, Vol 6, No 1
4.Marteau PR, et al., Protection from Gastrointestinal Diseases with the Use of Probiotics, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 73(2, Suppl 1): 430S-436S, 2001.
5.Hunter J O, Irritable Bowel Solutions, Vermillion, 2007
6.Hunter J O et al, The Management of Multiple Food Intolerances, Foods Matter, December 2009
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