Posts tagged ‘indigestion’

August 9, 2012

Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics

From Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide

Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.

Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the United States, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.

The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis (a complication of surgery to treat ulcerative colitis). Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.

Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.

Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. (Vaginosis must be treated because it creates a risk for pregnancy-related complications and pelvic inflammatory disease.) Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.

Probiotics are generally considered safe — they’re already present in a normal digestive system — although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.

In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure they’re safe before they’re marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But there’s no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition you’re taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what you’re doing.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 2, 2012

Introduction To Probiotics

Our intestinal tract is filled with an enormous number of helpful bacteria called probiotic bacteria. They are called probiotic bacteria because the term “probiotic” means “for life,” as opposed to the term “antibiotic” which means “against life.” Our bodies are actually designed to have a symbiotic relationships with these probiotic bacteria. They help us digest our food, kill harmful microorganisms and keep us functioning properly in a number of ways.

As we look into the intestinal tract we find that there are only a few probiotic bacteria in the stomach because it is highly acidic. However, the further down the intestinal tract we move, the number of these good bacteria increases dramatically with the biggest numbers being found in the large intestine.
We need to have a large population of probiotic bacteria to aid with digestion and to keep the harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in check. If the percentage of good bacteria is too low, compared to the bad bacteria, our bodies function poorly. Over time we are likely to have many health problems.

For the average adult, the intestinal tract will contain about 4 pounds of bacteria. Normally there should be a balance of about 85% probiotic bacteria and 15% harmful bacteria, but many people are so far off that their intestinal tract contains only 15% probiotic bacteria and 85% harmful bacteria.
Scientists are studying the benefits of taking probiotics and are finding it to be very beneficial.

Why We Need Probiotic Supplements

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract. In the past, we replaced the probiotics in our system by constantly eating organic vegetables grown in dirt that was rich with soil-based organisms or drinking raw milk straight from the cow. I myself remember walking into the garden, pulling up young carrots, brushing as much dirt off them as possible and eating them on the spot. Think of the probiotics that were going into my system before I could wash them down the kitchen drain or boil them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Today we need probiotic supplements because there are so many influences that prevent us from getting the probiotics our bodies need.

Today, at least in the United States, many people eat a horrible diet composed of highly processed foods that are filled with chemicals and simple sugars and carbohydrates. Potato chips and Oreo’s are utterly devoid of anything living as are most of the boxed and prepared foods sold in the grocery stores.

Because of the modern agricultural practices, such as the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, the soil-based microorganisms are no longer living in the dirt of most farms. We need probiotic supplements to replace what is missing in our food.

The use of antibiotics (remember the “anti” means “against”) directly kills all bacteria in our intestinal tract.

Drinking chlorinated water destroys our intestinal flora. The reason we put chlorine in the water is because it is able to kill bacteria and, unfortunately, it gets the good ones along with the bad when we drink it.

The medical treatment of radiation and chemotherapy also destroys our intestinal flora as well as damaging our immune systems. Any course of chemotherapy absolutely must be followed with heavy doses of probiotic supplements.

Farm animals are continuously fed antibiotics to keep diseases down. When people eat them they also are taking in these antibiotics which then harm the beneficial bacteria in their systems.

Many people who are concerned with health use colonics for detoxification. These practices can wash some of the good bacteria out of their systems.
Alcoholic beverages tend to harm probiotics by killing them directly, encouraging harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

Unfortunately most people simply do not know that the health they experience right now has a direct connection to the billions of beneficial microorganisms that live in their gastrointestinal tract. These are microorganisms which help the body to break down and absorb foods, produce essential elements, while at the same time helping to clean putrefaction and waste, plus kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

May 17, 2012

Digestive Enzymes and Benefits

Enzymes are energized protein molecules essential for the digestion of food, brain stimulation, tissue, cell and organ repairing and generating cellular energy. Even though they are a catalyst for many biochemical reactions they do not change or get consumed in the process. There are three types: metabolic, digestive and food.

Digestive

Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down the food in the body so that the nutrients can be absorbed. Enzymes are present in the food you eat which is why there is great importance placed upon having plenty of raw foods in the diet. The enzymes in raw food help start the process of digestion which reduces the body’s need to secret digestive enzymes.

Food enzymes are destroyed when cooking at moderate or high temperatures. They are “turned off” at a dry-heat temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your body has to rely too much on its own digestive enzymes the result is more stress is placed on your system and organs leaving less time and energy for other jobs such as rebuilding and replacing damaged cells and tissue and keeping your immune system strong.
A diet that consists mainly of cooked food requires the pancreas to “work overtime” and the extra effort leaves it exhausted. If the pancreas is always having to produce enzymes that could come from food it will eventually cease to function properly. The late Dr. Edward Howell suggested that when a person eats an enzyme-poor diet consisting of lots of cooked food, the result is illness, lowered resistance to stress and a shortened life span.
Eating lots of raw foods and taking a high-quality enzyme supplement can help avoid depletion of the body’s own enzymes thereby reducing stress.

In the book, The Healing Power of Enzymes, Dr. DicQie Fuller talks about the importance of enzymes and says:
“Eighty percent of our body’s energy is expended by the digestive process. If you are run down, under stress, living in a very hot or very cold climate, pregnant or a frequent traveler, then enormous quantities of extra enzymes are required by your body. Because our entire system functions through enzymatic action, we must supplement our enzymes. Aging deprives us of our ability to produce necessary enzymes. The medical profession tells us that all disease is due to a lack or imbalance of enzymes. Our very lives are dependent upon them!”

Importance of Digestive Enzymes

There are approximately 45 essential nutrients that the body needs to carry out normal bodily functions. Essential means that the body cannot manufacture them and they must come from outside sources.
There are at least 13 kinds of vitamins and 20 kinds of minerals, in addition to fats, carbohydrates and water that are required for proper metabolic function. When food is consumed it gets broken down for absorption and transported by the blood stream.

Nutrients, including enzymes, work synergistically which means they cooperate with each other acting as catalysts. This promotes absorption and assimilation. The importance of digestive enzymes resides in the fact that the human body cannot absorb nutrients in food unless digestive enzymes break them down.

The body progressively loses its ability to produce enzymes with major drops occurring roughly every ten years of life. At the beginning it may not be that noticeable, however, later on you will discover that you cannot tolerate or enjoy certain foods like you did before. This may also be accompanied by a feeling of reduced stamina. Yes, you’re running low of enzymes.

How Do You Know if You Are Lacking Enzymes?

Heartburn, gas, constipation, bloating, allergies, ulcers, lack of energy and reduced functioning of the immune system may occur when there are not enough enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes Benefits

Digestive Enzymes can be beneficial for more things than most people think. They have been shown to benefit people with:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • GERD, Indigestion
  • Candidiasis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Food allergies
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • and more…

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

April 26, 2012

Benefits of Saffron

Saffron is basically a flowering plant which is widely used as a culinary spice. It is also used in herbal supplements due to its varied health benefits. Right from treating depression, asthma, atherosclerosis and stressful menstrual cycles, saffron’s benefits extend to even treating cancer and helping to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Saffron is in fact, an expensive spice made from the saffron crocus flower. Research indicates that a few compounds in saffron do promote anti-cancer activity. It also helps in stimulating the secretion of stomach acids which supposedly assists in the contraction of muscles, for instance, as in the uterus.

Health benefits and uses of saffron- Reddish golden in color, saffron is used basically as a seasoning agent in cooking and also as a coloring agent. In fact, saffron is one of nature’s highly powerful herbs. From time immemorial, saffron is known to have helped relieve stomach aches and kidney stones. It also improves circulation of blood.

A vital herb with multiple benefits, it is believed that in ancient days, grand moms used to mix a few sprigs of saffron in hot milk as a night cap for their grand children, to induce sound sleep and good health. It’s been scientifically proven that saffron contains carotenoids which play a vital role in inhibiting skin tumors, improving vision and relieving aches and pains of arthritic conditions. It’s been proven after a recent trial that this aromatic golden herb may prove instrumental in preventing loss of vision in the elderly. This is a proven fact in scientific circles that saffron helps to regain vision in the instances of cataract.

Saffron contains a compound by the name “crocin” which is helpful in promoting learning, memory retention and recall capacity to a great extent. Several studies have shown encouraging results that saffron might be great in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment.

Saffron contains certain active constituents which are known to produce positive effects in patients suffering from neuro-degenerative disorders. In case of soreness or inflammation of the mouth and tongue, try massaging gums with saffron. Discomfort is relieved almost immediately.

Medical studies over the years have proven beyond doubt that this golden herb enhances oxygen diffusivity in plasma and other liquids. It also improves pulmonary oxygenation. High levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides can be lowered by including saffron as a dietary intake, or as an herbal supplement.

For those suffering from conditions of acute dryness of skin, application of saffron cream typically on affected areas will help relieve the symptoms. In combination with other herbs, saffron is also reputed to be a good remedy for insomnia, coughing, indigestion and even baldness.
How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

While buying saffron, to ascertain its genuineness, and to find out whether it is fake or adulterated, immerse a tiny piece of it in warm water or milk. If the milk or water colors immediately, then it is adulterated. Genuine saffron takes about ten to fifteen minutes of soaking in warm water or milk before it can turn a deep red color or emanate a wonderful aroma.

As mentioned previously, this highly valued spice helps to protect your eyes from being damaged by harmful UV rays. It is known to slow down considerably the progression of eye diseases like macular degeneration, which can in turn cause blindness.

Saffron has unique compounds like crocin and safranel which belong to a family of carotenoids. This includes beta carotene and this is which gives saffron it’s color. Not only do these compounds play a major role in preserving eye sight, they possess anti cancer properties too. Besides, they help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies reveal encouraging reports regarding macular degeneration patients, who were fed on a diet containing saffron, and they began showing signs of cell recovery and improved vision. Saffron affects the genes, regulating the fatty acid control of the cell membranes, which in turn makes vision cells tougher and resistant.

The compounds of crocin and safranel have anti tumor effects as well. Saffron greatly boosts immunity by aiding in the maturation of white blood cells, as well as accelerating the levels of enzymes that help the body to track down toxins.

For those suffering from acute premenstrual syndrome, saffron is like an answer to fervent prayers. It eases irritability, depression, and mood swings, symptoms typical to this syndrome.

Apart from numerous health benefits, saffron when added to a dish turns it into a truly exotic one, with appetite enhancing aromas wafting out of it. Even as it boosts the appetite, it improves digestion too. It’s a well known fact that this spicy aromatic herb is used in the treatment of kidney, bladder and liver disorders and also assists in improving circulation to the digestive system. While coating the membranes of the stomach and colon, saffron gently aids in soothing symptoms of gastro intestinal acidity and colic. For those afflicted with gastro intestinal disorders, acidity and related problems, saffron is like the boon from high heavens.

Over ninety disorders can be treated using this wonderful golden spice. Saffron is a great blood purifier and displays anti-inflammatory properties too. For those afflicted with severe inflammatory arthritis, intake of saffron provides relief from joint pains.

Saffron is just great for athletes as it eases fatigue and muscle inflammation by aiding tissues to get rid of lactic acid, which gets stored in joints after strenuous exercise regimen. It has mild sedative properties and can be safely used to provide ample rest during influenza and fever, and also to cure insomnia. Saffron helps in stepping up of oxygen content in blood, promoting over all health and well being in a person. This golden spice is a highly plausible remedy for a variety of illnesses, ranging from fatigue, sore gums, to heart disease and cancer. Research studies on saffron continue to reveal yet more eye opening results to benefit the human race.

Saffron does more than just add flavor and color to food. It can proudly boast of a three thousand year history of medicinal uses. This aromatic spice can even speed up the healing of burns and cuts. It is the anti inflammatory properties of saffron that is responsible for speeding up the healing process.

This amazing spice is always full of delightful surprises and can, over the years greatly benefit man kind in an amazingly astounding manner.

Reposted from NaturalHealthCure.com

Be sure to stop into Baum’s to pick up your bottle today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 3, 2011

Let Me Break it Down for You….

Digestion is the key to your health. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The way your body processes the foods that you eat, plays a major role in how you feel, how you look, and how much the people around you can tolerate. It’s not fun when you get gassy and bloated after you eat.  Belching may bring relief but how can you do that if you’re around other people who don’t know your quirky digestive system?  What can you do?  Staying at home everyday isn’t really an option, being a social outcast isn’t really an option either…

Let me introduce a gut’s best friend… ENZYMES!

If you eat a diet of only fresh, raw foods, you are getting all of the enzymes you need from those foods.  Most of us, however, eat mostly cooked or processed foods which contain little to NO enzymes.  Heating food while cooking destroys the naturally occurring enzymes and when food is processed by a manufacturer, enzymes are either destroyed or removed. This allows them to sit on a store shelf for long periods of time without spoiling.

This leaves our digestive system in distress. Our bodies can only do so much with the highly-processed, chemical laden foods we use to nourish our bodies. That’s why supplementing with enzymes is so very important!

Digestive enzymes specifically, are little miracle workers that start working right away when saliva is mixed with the food that you’re chewing. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. When you chew carbs, they becomes sweeter as you chew because the mechanical action of your teeth and amylase in the saliva are breaking the carbohydrates down to their component sugars.

Next, the food goes to the stomach where it stays about 60 minutes or more as it is further digested by the stomach acid and pepsin. Pepsin is a protease enzyme released into the stomach. If you take plant enzymes, most are quite stable in the stomach environment and go right to work. Plant enzymes can be working on food for at least an hour before the food proceeds to the small intestine where it is absorbed.

Once the food enters the small intestine, plant enzymes continue to work. At this point, any pancreatic or animal enzymes kick in. . Some enzymes are released by the small intestine lining as well.
Anything that disrupts the small intestine may also disrupt the production and release of these enzymes. If you have a leaky gut, inflammation, yeast, or something else which hampers the small intestine, then you are likely to also have trouble digesting the foods these enzymes work on.

Animal versus Plant Enzymes

Plant enzymes are much more stable over a wider pH and temperature range. The stomach is very acidic whereas the small intestine is more alkaline. This is why plant enzymes can work effectively in the stomach, whereas animal-derived or pancreatic enzymes cannot. Most pancreatic enzymes need to be coated to survive stomach acid.

Stop The Bloating and Indigestion Fast!

Baums has worked closely with a top-of-the-line manufacturer of enzymes and has come out with our very own proprietary enzyme formulas. The 1st is called Ultra Veggie Enzymes which is a plant based enzyme formula. You take one capsule right before you eat and it starts breaking down hard to digest foods that can cause problems.

Superzymes is a second enzyme formula we had put together for us.  Superzymes contains the animal/pancreatic enzymes that help with the breakdown of proteins and fats and are taken after meals.

People who no longer have a gall bladder deal with difficulty digesting most fats and proteins. When the digestive process is disrupted due to the lack of bile that the gall bladder used to secret to emulsify fat, Superzymes can supply what is missing & help get digestion back on track.

We’ve had some great feedback on these products already and feel strongly about the benefits they offer! Pick some up before the holiday eating season begins!  Why be bloated, lethargic and miserable if you don’t have to?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.