The human colon is one of the most densely populated natural habitats known to science. The bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal tract should be considered “an organ within an organ”…
Growing recognition of the important connection between diet, bacterial metabolism and colon health has lead to extensive research into the role of probiotics bacteria in gut health. Now it is established that probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG, Lacotobacillus delbrueskii, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum) and prebiotics (i.e. resistant starch) – food for sustenance of probiotics in the gut, play vital roles in sustaining a healthy gastro-intestinal tract.
In 2007, Italian researches published a study involing 571 young children, in the British Medical Journal that probiotics treatment significantly improved acute diarrhoea. Also in the same year, the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology published in an Indian trial involving 235 children confirming the same clinical outcome with probiotic Lactobacilluc rhamnosus strain GG. In 2008, a Finnish trial involving 86 adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome showed a siginificant reduction in core symptoms with administration of probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosis strain GG, Lactobacilluc rhamnosus Lc705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii species, shermanii JS and Bifidobacterium animalis species lactis Bb12).
It is a well known fact that colorectal cancer is the most commonly occuring cancer in Australia. In fact, it is the second most common cancer-related cause of death. In 2001 there were 12,844 new cases of colorectal cancer. This represents an increase of 43% from 1983. This trend is unlikely to change in the near future. So what can you do to take charge of your colon health?
First and foremost, make sure you are regular! That means have 5 serves of uncooked mixed vegetables a day, at least 2 serves of fruit. Also get some grains, nuts and seeds in your diet and at least 2 serves of probiotic-rich foods and some resistance starch everyday.
Simple but not easy. Let me assure you, it will be well worth it!
Where do you get these probiotic bacteria?
- Yoghurt (best medium for carrying probiotics, make sure they are as fresh as possible, you could even make them yourself!)
- Kefir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir)
- Kim Chee – Korean fermented vegetables (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi )http://www.amazon.com/Kimchee-Cookbook-Flavors-Cultural-National/dp/9625935061)
- Fermented soy beans
- Miso (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso)
- Sauerkraut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerkraut)
- Tempeh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh)
- Probiotic pills (efficacy questionable because dairy is still the best medium for probiotic bacteria survival)
- Wollowski, G. Rechkemmer, B. L. Pool-Zobel, ‘Protective role of probiotics and prebiotics in colon cancer’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 73(2), 2001: 451S-5.
- American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund, “Food, nutrition and the prevention of cancer”. London:WCRF, 1997.
- Cassidy et al. British Journal of Cancer 69:119-25, 1994.
- “Dietary Fbre, Non-starch Polysaccharides and Resistant Starch – A Review”, CSIRO Div. Human Nut., Food Aust., 48(3), March 1996.
- Kune et al. Nutrition and Cancer 1992;18:231-235.
- Canani R. B. et al. ‘Probiotics for Treatment of acute diarrhea in children: randomised clinical trial of five different preparation’ British Medical Journal. 2007 Aug 18; 335(7615): 340.
- Basu S. et al. ‘Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in persistent diarrhea in Indian children: a randomized controlled trial’ Journal of Clinical gastroenterology. 2007 Sep; 41(8): 756-60.
- Kajander K. et al. ‘Clinical trial: multispecies probiotic supplementation alleviates the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and stabilizers intestinal microbiota’ Aliment Pharmacol Therapy. 2008 Jan 1;27(1): 48-57.