The latest issue of the NYBC newsletter, THE SUPPLEMENT, includes a “Quick Guide to Gastrointestinal Health.” Here’s the introduction:
Gastrointestinal or gut health is basic to overall health, whether you’re talking about how well you feel on a daily basis (nausea, cramps, diarrhea, etc. being among our least favorite experiences), or the importance of properly absorbing food that you eat and thereby supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy over the long term.
Gastrointestinal health can also be a complicated issue, since gut disturbances may stem from many different causes, whether it’s a bug picked up from poor food handling practices, a side effect of medications, or one of the symptoms of an underlying disease or infection (such as HIV) that requires treatment in itself. Identifying the root cause or causes of gastrointestinal problems can be a major challenge, and of course we urge you to work with your healthcare provider to sort that question out, especially if your condition lingers, becomes acute, or has an impact on your ability to go about your daily life.
And here are the major topics covered by the guide:
Probiotics: only some types of probiotics, such as lactobacillus and bifidus, have been studied for gastrointestinal health (to prevent diarrhea, for example); Saccharomyces boulardii, available in the US as Florastor, is one of the most researched of the probiotics, and has been shown to be useful for antibiotic-related diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea
Glutamine and other supplements to maintain body weight: glutamine, calcium carbonate, and other supplements have been investigated for their application to gastrointestinal health, and particularly for minimizing diarrhea and improving absorption in people with HIV, which in turn helps maintain body weight
Traditional botanicals/remedies for GI health: Chinese or Tibetan herbal formulas from Health Concerns and Pacific BioLogic; and Mastic Gum, a traditional remedy for heartburn from the Eastern Mediterranean, now recently studied for additional health benefits
Read the complete “Quick Guide to Gastrointestinal Health” online: