Posts Tagged ‘Digestion’

Prescription 2015: Healthier Digestion

May 19, 2015 Written by JP

Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms can be caused or worsened by a long list of suspects. Common culprits include food allergies or sensitivities, H. pylori infection, intestinal permeability, microbiome (gut bacteria) imbalance and ulcers. Furthermore, in some instances, the exact cause or contributing factors is not easily identifiable. When this occurs, medications are frequently prescribed based on the specific symptoms that present themselves. Two popular examples include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to minimize gastric acid and tricyclic antidepressants to reduce abdominal pain. Physicians who veer towards the integrative side of medicine may also suggest certain dietary changes such avoiding dairy, FODMAPs, grains and/or heavily refined foods. Some doctors will even go so far as to encourage an “elimination diet” to methodically rule out any likely food-based troublemaker.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 41 Comments & Updates

Prescription 2014: Better Bitter Digestion

June 9, 2014 Written by JP

The word bitter has become synonymous with negative imagery. “That was a bitter pill to swallow.” “The night manager was bitter and spiteful about the way his supervisor treated him.” “In life you must accept the bitter along with the sweet.” The same is true of modern culinary trends. Recipes often call for the addition of sweet ingredients to temper the natural bitterness of popular foods – think hot cocoa, lattes and green leafy vegetables. But, what’s frequently lost in translation is that the bitter phytochemicals in common foods and herbs sometimes impart medicinal and/or therapeutic activity.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments & Updates


June 6, 2013 Written by JP

What if I told you that many seemingly healthy foods including apples, avocado, cauliflower and yogurt may be causing gastrointestinal problems in a sizable percentage of the population? If your reaction is one of disbelief, I don’t blame you. After all, these wholesome foods are a good source of dietary components (fiber, healthy fats, nutrients and probiotics) which are typically thought to benefit the digestive system and its function. However, in recent years, a group of researchers have come up with an unconventional theory that has been increasingly supported in the scientific literature. It now appears that otherwise healthful foods, which contain specific types of carbohydrates, may be largely responsible for digestive complaints that are often attributed or classified as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Specifically, I’m referring to foods rich in Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols or FODMAPs.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 16 Comments & Updates

Antibiotics and Kefir

January 13, 2011 Written by JP

You’ve probably been told by family, friends and possibly even a physician or two to eat yogurt to counteract some of the adverse effects of antibiotics. The justification is that probiotics in yogurt replenish many of the healthy bacteria that are wiped out by such medications. But there’s another fermented dairy product on the block that you might also want to consider. Kefir is a drinkable source of probiotics that generally contains a higher proportion and broader range of active cultures than yogurt. This reality forms a strong theoretical basis for considering kefir during and after any antibiotic regimen. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink | 17 Comments & Updates

Herbs for Arthritis, Colds and Crohn’s Disease

February 8, 2010 Written by JP

Old herbs may not be able to learn new tricks, but humans can certainly learn new tricks about old herbs. Over the past few months, there’s been an impressive string of studies published about various herbal remedies. Some of the data supports traditional uses of these botanical agents. But I’ve also discovered a few wild cards in the medical literature. The result of my research will be a three day expose on the latest and greatest information about the modern use of medicinal herbs. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 7 Comments & Updates

Mastic Gum and Digestive Health

December 17, 2009 Written by JP

A few years ago I went on a 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera with my family. By all accounts it was destined to be an experience where many fond memories would be formed. We were surrounded by exotic and picturesque locales. The time spent on land and sea could not have been more restful and restorative. Even the food was surprisingly good. But coming back home was a completely different story. By that, I’m not referring to an endless barrage of choppy waves or otherwise tumultuous weather conditions. The problem was my stomach. The following two weeks were crowded with digestive issues, the likes of which I’d never encountered before. My state of health was so volatile and unpredictable that I was afraid to leave the house. I simply couldn’t rely on my “insides” to cooperate with my “outer” plans. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments & Updates

Artichoke Leaf for IBS and Indigestion

June 12, 2009 Written by JP

The trouble I have with most medications is that their primary purpose is not to promote healing, but rather to mask troublesome symptoms. They generally don’t address the cause of the problem and, frequently, they result in unintended adverse effects. But, to be fair, sometimes even the finest holistic physicians simply cannot pinpoint the root cause of an illness. In those instances, alternative health practitioners often resort to the use of natural medicines. This is often a more attractive option because alternative remedies are generally safer and sometimes provide considerable “side benefits”. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 18 Comments & Updates