Irritable bowel syndrome – also known as IBS – is one of the most common diseases in the Western world. According to a new study from the University of Sheffield, England, many IBS patients lack vitamin D, and vitamin D supplements can alleviate symptoms like abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. This is because vitamin D has a number of functions that are relevant for the digestion. Science generally knows very little about what triggers IBS, but it is accepted that disturbances in the intestinal microflora, food intolerance, and stress may contribute to the problem.
- and for the prevention of allergies and inflammation
Every day, the intestinal immune system has to defend itself against hordes of microbes and toxins. If it fails to function optimally, there is an increased risk of infections, allergies, and inflammatory diseases. More and more research reveals that essential nutrients help to control the intestinal immune defense. Also, new research shows how important a well-functioning immune system is for our digestion and health in general. This article takes a closer look at the vitamins that are known to be particularly important for the intestinal immune system. Another thing that is vital is to have adequate amounts of gastric juice.
Lactic acid bacteria are many different types of bacteria that produce lactic acid by fermenting carbohydrate. They are widespread in the kingdom of plants and animals. Lactic acid bacteria are also called probiotics which means "pro life" and constitute a vital part of our enormous intestinal microflora that contains more bacteria than body cells and weighs around two kilos.
It is usually dietary fiber and water that get mentioned when the discussion is about constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. However, we also need an adequate intake of magnesium, as this minerals affects our digestion by way of several different mechanisms. Constipation is associated with numerous complaints and conditions such as headache, bad mood, eczema, and aching joints, so it is important to rid the body of toxins and empty the bowel, preferably 1-2 times daily.
- a condition that may cause a variety of different symptoms
It appears that an increasing number of people suffer from some kind of milk allergy. Science is primarily focused on lactose intolerance, a condition that is caused by a deficiency of a digestive enzyme. The allergic reactions normally show almost immediately after ingesting dairy products. Allergy as such occurs when the immune system overreacts to various milk proteins. The allergic reactions occur in many different places in the body, and several days may pass before the symptoms are noticed. Now, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have demonstrated how animal feed that is enriched with vitamin A may prevent allergic reactions caused by milk protein. It also seems that the quality of milk has changed, and that in itself may be a contributing factor to hypersensitivity.
In connection with tissue lesions, vitamin B12 boosts cellular reprogramming to speed up the healing process. This was shown in a Spanish study of mice with ulcerous colitis (bleeding inflammation in the colon). Based on this, the researchers assume that vitamin B12 supplementation may be useful for speeding up the regeneration of damage intestinal tissue. They mention that vitamin B12 may also help reduce the type of complicated inflammation that is seen with ulcerous colitis, and which contributes to the destruction of the intestinal mucosa. In this connection, it is important to remember that vegan diets lack vitamin B12, and that weak stomach acid and the ageing process can also inhibit the absorption of the nutrient.