Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The good guys that grow in your gut

I’m hopping on the “healthy gut” soap box again! The research, expanding at a phenomenal rate, confirms the importance of the gut microbiota. Quite apart from preventing a host of directly, gut-related, health issues, the good gut bacteria go a long way towards establishing and maintaining normal weight, hormone balance and emotional stability!

And relevant to my work, Yale and Harvard researchers have identified a brief window of opportunity postnatally when optimal gut health can be established. Take advantage of that window and you bestow a lifetime of better health on the child. WOW - what an opportunity we have, or conversely, what an opportunity we miss. Caesarean-section means a baby born into a sterile environment, failing to acquire his mother’s bacteria as he passes down the birth canal. Formula feeding presents a similar story, delivering an equally unfortunate impact on the infant's gut health. Those US researchers make a direct link to the extremely high C-sec and formula feeding rates to the epidemics of obesity and depression! 

But no matter how deplorable the statistics, the good news is that probiotics can act as a surrogate with probiotic-containing products of potential benefit to the whole family. But there’s madness in the air! As of December 14 2012 in the EU, the word “probiotic” can no longer be used on product labels since it infers a “health claim.” EU consumers will have to look for the names of specific strains to find what they want - a move that defies logic and will no doubt deter the less well-informed. When will restoring optimal (normal?) status of naturally occurring bacteria, trace elements, vitamins or whatever be the RIGHT OF and made EASY for the health-conscious consumer? Before the madness reaches Australian shores,  get a product with multiple strains and get those good guys growing in your gut!

No comments: