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Bowel Health - GUTS!


Bloated, constipated, piles, wind, burping... :) want to know why???

The upper part of the digestive system has a different job from the lower part; the upper part absorbs and lower part eliminates. However, the colon is more than just a waste disposal unit as it has a large population of microorganism’s called bowel flora. Food passes from the small intestine into the large intestine by which time most nutrients have been removed, leaving only a liquid mass that contains fibre (we hope). The colon then absorbs water and salts from this liquid mass making it into a more solid package while the bacteria (which live in the colon) begin to grow in what remains of the food (fibre), breaking it down even further and helping to make it into a substance that can be comfortably passed as faeces (poo). An important factor to know is that our health is based on the health of the bacteria in our colon!

In our colon we have friendly and unfriendly bacteria: the friendly ones are the lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus family, bifidobacterium and enterococcus faecium. Friendly are lactose fermenting and unfriendly are non-lactose fermenting. An over production of the unfriendly bacteria causes bloating, the absorption of toxins into the blood and the over production of GAS, hence its important to encourage the growth of the friendlier ones that survive in vegetable matter and try to steer clear of the unfriendly ones that like meat, milk, sugar, tea, coffee and chocolate. (Although yoghurt is a dairy product it is much friendlier than milk as it has already been fermented!).

Factors that affect bowel flora:
Whether you were breast fed or not
Mothers milk provides the BEST friendly flora for the baby which establishes an excellent start for the baby’s colon and therefore health from the onset.
Diets high in Animal products
Milk and meat encourage rotting in the colon as they are difficult to break down therefore offering loads of opportunity for the nasties to work out. Reducing these foods can prevent IBS symptoms dramatically and FAST!
Coffee, tea, chocolate sugar
Fungal foods such as vinegar (Not apple cider)
Alcoholic drinks
Exposure to pollution and smoking
Steroid drugs
Antibiotics