Holistic Nutrition: Digestion and Aging part 2

This blog is a continuation of  the discussion to develop optimal digestion, especially as we age.  Part 1 is available via my website. In this article  I will suggest a few other options that are easy to do and many have found great relief and results.

DGL, stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice.  DGL is produced by removing glycyrrhetinic acid from a concentrated licorice extract. It is removed because it can raise blood pressure in some individuals. DGL is excellent in treating peptic ulcers.  It can also be used as an anti- ulcer remedy. DGL does not inhibit the release of acid, rather it stimulates the body to release normal defense mechanisms. It improves both the quality and the quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract, increases the lifespan of the intestinal cells and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining. There are even some studies that it inhibits h.pylori bacteria.  Some studies have shown DGL to be more effective than Tagamet, Zantac or antacids in both short and long term maintenance therapy of peptic ulcers.

Take as directed.  For the best results take 20 minutes before meals. It takes aprox. a month for significant results.  My experience has been to use DGL when traveling when my gut is not happy with various foods, or at times when I experience some acid reflux. I try to remember to take prior to meals, but have taken even between meals and have found some relief.  Since this is derived from the licorice root it not a chemical, but an herb.  Licorice tea can also be a great remedy for digestive concerns.

Digestive Enzymes decrease as we get older.  They come from the pancreas.  If you have heartburn, abdominal bloating and discomfort and gas with in the first 15-30 minutes after eating, it is usually due to lack of HCL recreation., BUT if it happens more than 45min after eating, its is usually a sign that you are lacking pancreatic enzymes. Digestive enzymes products are the most effective treatment of pancreatic insufficiency. Some of the products you may see include enzymes from free hog pancreas (porcine), or vegetarian sources such as bromelain and papain from pineapple and papaya, as well as fungal enzymes (mushrooms).   Many times a mixture from  the vegetarian and fungal can offer excellent results.  They appear to be more resistant to digestive secretions and offer a broader range of activity in the gut. It is most effective taken 15-20 minutes before a meal. You may notice results immediately or it may take a week or more for you to experience a change, depending on how severe the symptoms.

Probiotics are also a supplement I often suggest my clients to take, regardless of age, but it is even more important as we age.  There are major changes in the type of probiotics that inhabit the intestinal tract.  These changes are brought about as a result of many influences on the digestive tract including: diet, prescription drugs (mainly the use of antibiotic or antacid use) and the decline of digestive secretions. Some recent studies suggest that as we age we may want to increase the levels of the Bifidobacteria species of bacteria. Some of the improvements in supplementing with bifidobaceria include improved bowel function, ( reduced constipation, and or diarrhea), improved immunity and reduced inflammation.  Keep in mind the greatest amount of immune enhancing cells are in the digestional tract. One of the main reasons we need to keep our gut happy and healthy. You want to use a formula that has at least 3 billion bifodobacteria  per dosage.

Fish oils for a healthy gut.  Fish oils from Omega-3 fatty acids such as those that came from fish oil can help alleviate symptoms of IBS.  The average American diet has a ratio of 20:1 – omega -6 to omega -3 fatty acids.  The optimal ratio is 1:1.  Increase your omega -6 fatty acids y increasing  foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.  Or simply take a high quality supplement to improve your ratio.

The key to a healthy gut is first to be aware of what is going on.  Keep a simple food diary for a week or two and notice when you have distress.  If you think you suspect the offending agent – eliminate it for at least 4 days.  Foods can stay in your system for 3-4 days.  Currently, I am tracking a digestive upset from something I ate 2 days ago. Don’t get in the trap of  feeling that being uneasy, queazy or subpar is the norm, it isn’t.  Of course, we should expect change as we age, but understand why and find some natural alternatives to address the problems.  Many prescribed drugs are masking the issue and can cause other side effects.

If you want to address it further, contact me to go over your eating style and habits.  It could be a simple solution or even a food sensitivity. It  may take a bit of mindfulness and exploration to address the underlining cause.

Some suggestions for products which can be purchased via my website through Emerson Ecologics or Metagenics Nutraceuticals are:

DGL

  • Licorice Root-V  by Douglas Laboratories
  • DGL Ultra by Enzymatic Therapy

Digestive Enzymes

  • SpectraZyme Metagest by Metagenics (vegetarian)
  • SpectraZyme Pan9x  by Metagenics(with porcine)

Probiotics

  • UltraFlora Balance – Metagenics
  • Ultra Flora IB – Metagenics
  • UltraFlora Acute- Metagenics

 

Hope this helps and your digestive health thrives!

Be Well,

   Mary

 

 

 

 

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