How To Take Care Of Your Intestinal Health?

The human body of an adult is made up of the same number of cells as bacteria residing in the intestine. More than 70% are found in the colon, where they act as a true “organ”  fulfilling vital functions for human health. That is why it is so important to take care of these bacteria and intestinal health. Find out in this article!

What to do to take care of your intestinal health?

What to do to take care of your intestinal health?

Fermentable fiber

Most of the bacteria in the colon are anaerobic and participate in digestion through the fermentation process, mainly from fermentable fiber:

  • Pectins.
  • Mucilages.
  • Fructans.
  • Polyphenols.
  • Resistant starch.

This type of fermentable fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and tubers. From this fiber, bacteria produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), especially butyrate, propionate, and acetate. These compounds are essential for a large number of functions such as:

  • Maintenance of colon health : maintenance of acidic pH, energetic substrate for colonocytes, production of mucin and antimicrobial peptides, etc.
  • Optimal functioning of the immune system : control of inflammation, production of lymphocytes, among others.

The fiber fermentation process in the large intestine, in addition to giving SCFA, also forms a certain amount of gas, mainly CO2, hydrogen and methane, which constitute a large part of the gases that a person expels daily.

Other gases such as nitrogen, oxygen or hydrogen sulfide, among others, complete the composition. Therefore, the fermentation processes in the colon are healthy and necessary to take care of your intestinal health, however, they can have “a dark and smelly face”.

How can bile influence gut health?

Bile is a yellowish substance produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder and released into the duodenum during digestion processes. It fulfills antimicrobial and digestive functions, emulsifying fats so that they can be digested by digestive enzymes.

Most of the bile acids are reabsorbed at the end of the small intestine, although a small part is released to the colon. There it can accelerate intestinal transit , even causing diarrhea when there is a malabsorption of bile acids,  as stated in an article published in the journal Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie .

On the other hand, people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome with a predominance towards constipation may present a decreased bile flow.

Tips to take care of your intestinal health

In addition to consuming fermentable fiber, present in fruits and vegetables, these tips can help maintain healthy bile flow in people with constipation, odorless gas, and organic pathology ruled out by your doctor.

It will be key to have a sufficiently acidic pH in the stomach. Lower hydrochloric acid production is known to be associated with the development of gallbladder stones. Therefore you can:

  • Drink the juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon before meals.
  • Take HCl supplements if necessary.

Lemon juice can be added a few drops of a supplement of standardized extracts of bitter plants such as artichoke, holy thistle, milk thistle, gentian root, bitter chamomile, bitter orange, etc.

These plants have a cholagogue effect (they facilitate the expulsion of bile) and can help in cases of dyspepsia (discomfort after eating), according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research . However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking them.

Tips to take care of your intestinal health

Coffee on an empty stomach, due to its stimulating effect on the gallbladder, can help. Although you should not abuse it either, as it can generate a certain tolerance.

Eat a healthy fat diet, as the fat in some foods promotes gallbladder contraction and can help maintain proper bile flow. For example, if you have trouble going to the bathroom, you can take a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach, followed by a glass of water with a few drops of lemon.

Optimize your diet to take care of intestinal health

If you are one of the people who follows a diet very rich in fermentable fiber, suffers from constipation of unknown cause, has odorless gas and your doctor has ruled out an organic-based pathology, these tricks that will help you stimulate bile flow may be the solution to your problem.

Keep in mind that if you have doubts in the process, you can always consult with your GP. The professional can always clarify the points you need.

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