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SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

special

DIGESTIVE HEALTH AND YOU

Eat right, live right

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

2 digestive health and you

By IAN JEROME LEONG


IT is no secret that Malaysians love
our food. Not only have we made
the act of eating somewhat of a
cultural pastime and widely
accepted medium for social or
business activities, the wide
selection of cuisines available has
become a point of pride to the
nation that we enthusiastically
introduce it to foreigners and
tourists.
Looking beyond the mouthwatering delicacies, trendy eateries
and endless lists of online food
blogs, there is unfortunately a deep
underlying social problem that
continues to grow unnoticed.
As many of Malaysians favourite
foods contain rich and processed
ingredients, a large number of the
population fails to realise or ignore
that their daily diet can greatly
affect gut health and, in the long
term, cause additional health
problems.
Poor gut health as a result of
bad dietary choices is a global
problem and this is the reason
the World Gastroenterology
Organisation named diet and the
gut as the theme for this years
World Digestive Health Day that
takes place every May 29.

The unknown risks


According to Dr Tee E Siong,
president of the Nutrition Society
of Malaysia and council member
of Digestive Health Malaysia,
Inappropriate dietary habits have
adverse effects on gut health the
most common problems are
heartburn (indigestion felt as a
burning sensation in the chest),
tummy pain, diarrhoea and
constipation.
An unhealthy gut can lead to
more serious diseases such as
gastroesophageal reflux, irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion
or colorectal cancer (development
of cancer from the colon or
rectum), says Dr Tee.

Source: Health Ministry


Malaysia.

Making vital choices


Gut diseases may include
inflammatory bowel disease,
bowel and liver cancers, and an
unhealthy gut may lead to other
problems that can affect mental
health, says Prof Dr Lee Yeong
Yeh, professor of medicine and
consultant in gastroenterology,
hepatology and internal medicine
at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Prof Lee is also a committee
member of the Malaysian Society
of Gastroenterology & Hepatology,
steering committee member of the
World Digestive Health Day 2016
and a member of the Young
Scientist Network of Academy of
Sciences of Malaysia.
He continues to add skin

diseases, celiac disease (difficulty


in digesting food due to
hypersensitivity to gluten) and
diabetes mellitus into the mix of
possible diseases linked with poor
gut health.
Based on the figures released by
the Health Ministry (MOH) and
National Cancer Registry of
Malaysia, it is undeniable that
the current dietary habits of
Malaysians are a matter of
concern.
In Health Facts 2015, the latest
report by the MOH on the general
state of health among Malaysians,
diseases linked to poor digestive
health are the sixth principal cause
of death in Malaysia.

Maintaining a balanced
diet is key to a healthy gut.

Furthermore, MOH in 2014


recorded diseases of the digestive
system as the seventh principal
cause of hospitalisation in
government hospitals and the sixth
principal cause of death in both
public and private hospitals.
The National Cancer Registry
recorded colorectal cancer as the
second most common form of
cancer affecting Malaysians, with
up to 3,000 new cases reported
every year.

You are what you eat


Dr Tee believes poor dietary
habits are the major cause of
obesity in the country and the
main reason for the high
prevalence of diabetes,
cardiovascular disease and
certain forms of cancer.
He adds that people are
simply eating too much and
frequently and urges people not to
constantly consume overly large
serving sizes.
Malaysians really should be
aware of the main ingredients in
their favourite dishes and how
consuming large amounts can
affect general health as there are
countless health campaigns and
notices regarding the dangers of
consuming foods excessive in fat,
oil, santan (coconut milk), sugar,
salt and preservatives.
In an article written by Prof Lee
and published in The Star last
month titled From Fat to Cancer,
people link obesity to heart
diseases, diabetes and strokes but
many are unaware that obesity
also affects the bowels.
Prof Lee says there are various
foods that may cause symptoms in
susceptible individuals and that
eating processed food and meat
may lead to bowel cancers.
Fatty food can slow stomach
emptying and cause a feeling of
fullness while foods containing
FODMAPs (an abbreviation for a
collection of molecules found in
foods that can be poorly absorbed

by people) can cause bloating,


especially in patients with IBS,
says Prof Lee.

Practising self-discipline
Dr Tee stresses that maintaining
a healthy gut is not difficult, as you
will just have to be disciplined in
maintaining a healthy eating
pattern.
Have a balanced diet that
includes a wide variety of foods
from each of the main food groups
and eat moderate amounts.
Limit the intake of foods high
in fats, oil, sugar and salt and
include more plant foods such as
legumes. This will help you obtain
enough dietary fibre, which is
important for good gut health,
says Dr Tee.
He also recommends consuming
food containing ingredients that
can promote good bacteria in the
gut such as fermented soy
products, cultured milk and drinks,
as well as yoghurt as they are a
good source of probiotics.
As stress can have a negative
effect on gut health, both Dr Tee
and Prof Lee advise people to
conduct regular exercise on top
of healthier dietary habits to
maintain a healthy gut.
Speaking on the myriad of diet
fads that are heavily promoted in
the market, both doctors say it is
difficult to ascertain if commercial
diets have any beneficial or
negative effects in the long run,
and more research has to be
carried out within this area.
However, Dr Tee stresses, You
have to remember that there is no
magic bullet or short cut to keeping
fit or maintaining a healthy body
weight.
It requires a long-term
programme of adopting a balanced
diet and physically active life.
While this may not sound exciting,
it is the only proven safe way to
maintain a healthy body weight.

> SEE PAGE 6

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

digestive health and you 3

Oat BG22 Crispy Cereal and Oat


Bran Powder are formulated to
help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Fibre-rich
food benefits
HEART health experts worldwide have
confirmed that the consumption of a
high-fibre diet is associated with lower
incidences of cardiovascular diseases while
a lack of fibre in our daily diet contributes
to various digestive problems such as
constipation and bowel irregularities
which, if left untreated for too long, may
lead to colon cancer.
According to the Malaysian Dietary
Guidelines, the recommended daily intake of
total fibre for Malaysians is from 20g to 30g
per day.
However, it is reported that more than
half of the Malaysian adult population
consume only about 13g to 15g of
dietary fibre per day, which indicates a
fibre-deficient diet among Malaysian adults.
Unfortunately, there is not much public
awareness on the importance of consuming
the right amount and type of dietary fibre
on a daily basis to help maintain optimal
digestive and heart health.
Dietary fibre content is usually listed on a
food product label as total fibre, which is a
combination of soluble and insoluble fibre.
Both types have distinctive health benefits
and it is important to select the right dietary
fibre to obtain the desired health benefits.
Products that consist of natural oat bran
such as oat bran powder and crispy oat
cereal consist of high amounts of a unique
soluble fibre known as oat beta-glucans.
The health benefits of having a daily
intake of 3g oat beta-glucan have been
extensively studied. It is well known for its
benefit of lowering blood cholesterol levels
for the maintenance of heart health.
Many health professionals promote its
inclusion in low glycaemic index (GI) diets
for individuals suffering from or who are at
risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Oat bran powder or crispy oat cereal are
naturally rich in both soluble and insoluble
fibres. The effect of digestive health,
according to the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA), refers to the improvement
of bowel function through the ingestion of
insoluble fibre, which occurs with
increasing bulk in stool and bowel
regularity.
The Health Ministry states a food product
benefits gut health when it contains at least

6% of oat fibre or 3g of total fibre in one


serving.
Therefore, it is imperative for consumers
to find out from the product label how much
total fibre (including oat beta-glucans) can
be obtained from one serving of the food
product as well as the carbohydrate or sugar
content and total calorie intake.
Biogrow Oat BG22 Oat Bran Powder and
Biogrow Oat BG22 Crispy Cereal are made
from Swedish oat bran and natural
ingredients, which offer a combination of
soluble and insoluble fibre in one
recommended daily serving.
Five reasons to choose Biogrow Oat BG22
Oat Bran Powder or Crispy Cereal to benefit
cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as
digestion are:
l Both are made of only natural
ingredient(s) Swedish oat bran. They do
not include artificial ingredients, non-dairy
creamers, thickeners or fillers.
l Two scoops or sachets offer about 18g
of oat bran powder while one packet (30g)
of crispy cereal provides 3g or above of high
molecular weight oat beta-glucan (soluble
fibre) to produce high viscosity effect in
the gut.
l They have high content of total fibre
and low GI. Both choices offer a balanced
combination of soluble fibre (to maintain
healthy blood cholesterol and sugar levels)
and insoluble fibre (to maintain gut health)
and being low in GI means it is diabeticfriendly.
l Both products have good solubility and
viscosity effect. The powder dissolves well in
cold or lukewarm water. Both powder and
crispy cereals are scientifically shown to
produce good viscosity (gelling) effect in the
gut, which is an important criterion in
producing optimal cholesterol-lowering
effect.
l Proven to lower cholesterol levels and
blood glucose regulating effect as shown in
numerous clinical studies on human
subjects.
This article is contributed by Legosan (M)
Sdn Bhd.

n For more information, call 03-7956 2220


or e-mail info@biogrow.com.my.

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

4 digestive health and you

PREBIOTICS are a source of food


for probiotics to grow, multiply and
survive in the gut. Prebiotics are
fibres which cannot be absorbed or
broken down by the body and
therefore serve as a great food
source for probiotics.
Prebiotics by nature do not
stimulate the growth of bad
bacteria or other pathogens; the
official definition of prebiotics is:
non-digestible food ingredients
that beneficially affect the host by
selectively stimulating the growth
and/or activity of one or a limited
number of bacteria in the colon,
which can improve host health.
Prebiotics occur naturally in our
diet and can be found in garlic,
onions, asparagus and bananas.
However, one may have to eat
large quantities of these foods to
have a bifidogenic effect that is
to increase the levels of friendly
bacteria in our intestines.
For this reason many people find
it easier to take a prebiotic
supplement, or a combination
probiotic and prebiotic supplement
(called a symbiotic) to ensure they
are feeding their levels of friendly
bacteria.
Common prebiotics include
fructooligosaccharide (FOS),
galactooligosaccharide (GOS),
inulin and lactulose.

What are probiotics?


According to the World Health
Organization, probiotics are live

For a healthy gut


micro-organisms which when
administered in adequate amounts
confer a health benefit on the
host.
Probiotics support digestive
health by producing specific
enzymes needed in the digestion of
food and aiding the breakdown of
foods substances.
Probiotics also improve the
absorption of vitamins and
minerals into the bloodstream.
Probiotics support immunity by
stimulating the bodys natural
defences, and by lining the
intestines with a protective layer of
friendly bacteria that bars
pathogenic substances in the gut
from harming the body.
As two-thirds of the bodys
immune system is managed in the
gut, it may be important to keep
ones probiotic levels high.

How to choose a good


probiotics supplement?
Many people believe that the
best probiotic supplement is the
one with the most bacteria in it,
which is measured in colonyforming units (CFUs).
However, research to date has
shown that it is not the total
number of bacteria in a product

that is important; its the number


of different strains of bacteria it
includes.
Because the different
strains of probiotic
bacteria have
slightly different
functions and are
concentrated in
various places along
the digestive tract,
probiotic
supplements that
contain multiple
strains tend to be
more effective
overall than
products containing
an extremely high
concentration of just one or
two strains.

How is Nutriforte
Lactoghurt beneficial?
No two probiotics formulas
produce the same results. The
benefits observed clinically among
probiotics vary according to the
manner in which those bacteria
are prepared and protected, and
according to the strains used.
Nutriforte Lactoghurt contains
FOS which provides synergy effect
to promote healthy gut. It uses a

Nutriforte Lactoghurt.

dual-coated technology called


Duolac to ensure the bacteria
reach the intestines alive and in
good condition to exert its action.
This dual-coated technology is
patented in the European Union,
Japan and South Korea.
Besides, Nutriforte Lactoghurt
contains five different strains and
is tested initially and at the end of
shelf-life to ensure that all strains
survive together until the time of
expiry.
This product is developed by
Cell Biotech, a Danish-Korean
bio-venture enterprise, which

specialises in fermentation and


microbial coating technology and
is fully imported from South
Korea.
Lactoghurt is available at all
leading independent pharmacies
and chain stores like Caring,
Healthlane, Vitacare, AA, BIG,
Multicare and Cosway Farmasi.

n For more information,


contact Pharmaforte (M) Sdn Bhd
at 03-7803 6998.
This is a supplement product
advertisement.
KKLIU No.0903/2016

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

digestive health and you 5

Strengthen your intestine


TRAVELLERS diarrhoea (TD) is a
common health complaint among
travellers.
TD is acquired through ingestion
of faecally contaminated food,
water or other liquids. Diarrhoea is
when there are four to six
instances of loose, watery or
bloody bowel movements per day.
TD usually lasts for two to six days,
if untreated. Other common
symptoms are abdominal cramps
and nausea. Vomiting and fever
are less common.
The best strategy to prevent TD
is education and avoiding
contaminated foods and liquids.
One of the reasons tourists are
susceptible to illnesses is that travel
can disrupt the bodys normal
defence mechanisms against
infections.
Stress, jet lag, unfamiliar foods
and water and disrupted body
rhythms can disturb the normally

protective bacteria in the


intestines.
These protective bacteria usually
fight off disease-causing bacteria
and viruses through colonisation
resistance, a barrier effect that
prevents attachment and
colonisation by harmful
microorganisms.
Probiotics are a promising
therapeutic strategy for diseases
that involve a disruption of normal
microflora as they inhibit pathogen
attachment, enhancing the
immune response and assisting in
re-establishing normal microflora.

Combined for better


protection
Lallemand Health Solutions, a
Canadian company with 80 years
of expertise in probiotic research
and development, is introducing a
Probiotic 2.0 formula, which is a

Power-packed
multi-enzymes
A COMPLETE and balanced
nutrition intake may maintain
healthy body functions but it is
also influenced by the whole
digestive process meaning
food ingestion and digestion as
well as nutrient absorption and
utilisation.
Even the most complete diet
will not benefit the body if not
properly broken down into
nutrients that are readily
absorbed and used.
Poorly digested food may
lead to occasional abdominal
discomfort, bloating and other
undesirable symptoms.
Enzymes are specifically
produced by the body to assist
in the breakdown of food and
unlocking of nutrients,
allowing them to be effectively
absorbed and used by the body.
However, ageing, unhealthy
lifestyles and poor eating habits
can interfere with the bodys
ability to produce adequate
supply of enzymes for the above
process.
In addition, certain cooking
methods and processing
technology can also destroy the
natural enzymes in raw foods.
For these reasons, obtaining
an alternative source of
enzymes supply is important
and required to maintain
optimum health.
Biogrow Mixed Berries with
Multi Enzymes contains a broad

Biogrow
Mixed
Berries
with Multi
Enzymes.

spectrum of 10 natural plant


and microbial derived enzymes
imported from the United States
that can work in a broad pH
range from pH3 to pH9
throughout the body.
This enzymes combination
includes amylase, protease,
lipase, cellulase, lactase, maltase,
invertase, bromelain and two
proprietary enzymes
peptizyme SP and HemiSeb
that possess broad specificity for
various types of food such as
cereal grains, legumes, dairy
products, meat and other foods.
Biogrow Mixed Berries with
Multi Enzymes is specially
formulated with a delicious
blend of mixed berries for
enhanced flavour and the
sweetener xylitol.
It is available in chewable
tablet form, making it suitable
for kids, adults as well as the
elderly. Just chew one to two
chewable tablets after every
meal to supply the body with an
abundance of natural enzymes
that complement your daily diet.
Biogrow Mixed Berries with
Multi Enzymes is available at all
leading pharmacies nationwide.
This article is contributed by
Legosan (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

n For more information,


call 03-7956 2220 or e-mail to
info@biogrow.com.my.

combination of yeast and


probiotics aimed at managing
intestinal disorders.
The Probiotic 2.0 formula
combines the well-known
Saccharomyces boulardii yeast,
extensively documented for its
efficacy in diarrhoea prevention,
with three specific probiotic
bacteria strains Lactobacillus
rhamnosus Rosell-11 (R0011),
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52
(R0052), and Bifidobacterium
longum Rosell-175 (R0175).
Either alone or in combination,
these three probiotic bacteria are
effective in protecting the gut and
restoring a balanced microflora.
While exhibiting different modes
of action in the gut, probiotic yeast
and bacteria are complementary
and allow for dual protection of
the gut surface against pathogens.
A study published in Digestive
Diseases and Sciences in 2009

demonstrated the dual-defence


capabilities of the probiotic
combination in an animal model
of TD (enterotoxigenic E. coli
infection in rats).
After two weeks of probiotic
administration, the probiotic
combination appeared to offer
better protection against E. coli
infection than the probiotic yeast
or bacteria mixture separately,
leading to reduced weight loss,
stabilised body temperature, and
reduced diarrhoea severity and
duration.
This probiotic combination has
been successfully marketed in
many countries under different
trade names, and several postmarketing clinical trials have been
published.
A first trial, conducted by
Grandy et al in Bolivia on children
hospitalised for acute rotavirus
diarrhoea, showed that the

combination formula reduced the


duration of diarrhoea and
therefore the time of rotavirus
excretion, which in turn lowered
the risk of transmission to other
children. The study was published
in the journal BMC Infectious
Diseases (2010).
This probiotic combination is
now being marketed by Vitamode
Sdn Bhd and is available in
selected pharmacies nationwide.
It is recommended for
reinforcing or restoring the
intestinal barrier and for fighting
intestinal infections, particularly
TD.
This article is brought to
you by Vitamode Sdn Bhd and
Big Pharmacy.

n For more information,


call 1300 800 228 or e-mail
enquiry@medispec.com.my.

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

6 digestive health and you

Probiotic for irritable bowel


IRRITABLE bowel syndrome (IBS) is
defined as a group of bowel
disorders in which abdominal pain
or discomfort is associated with
defaecation or a change in bowel
habit.
The symptoms of IBS are very
common, including abdominal pain/
cramp, diarrhoea, constipation,
bloating, flatulence, an urge to
defaecate and incomplete bowel
emptying.
You may be suffering from IBS if
you have recurrent symptoms for at
least three days a month in the past
three months.
According to a survey published
in the Journal of Gastroenterology
and Hepatology in 2003, one out of
six Malaysians suffer from IBS, with
a female predominance.
To date, the exact cause of IBS is
unknown. Several factors such as
food intolerance, gastrointestinal
infections, stress and medications
might put one at greater risk of
developing IBS.
Although there is still no cure for
IBS, it can be managed through
lifestyle modification, dietary

Irritable bowel syndrome can be relieved with probiotics.

changes, medication and


psychological treatments.
Regular exercise and stress
management may also help ease
IBS symptoms. Try to eat small and
frequent meals and avoid foods that
contain fructose, lactose, sorbitol
and fructan.
Typical IBS treatments only
temporarily relieve symptoms but
do not tackle the root cause of
IBS.
For example, laxatives are

used to treat constipation and


antidiarrhoeal medicines are used
to treat diarrhoea.
IBS symptoms can be alleviated
by taking a probiotic that has
been recognised by the World
Gastroenterology Organisation
as an adjuvant in managing IBSrelated symptoms Lactobacillus
plantarum 299v (Lp299v).
Lp299v is a probiotic that was
first used by a group of surgeons,
microbiologists and nutritionists in

the early 1990s in Sweden.


Lp299v is a strain of lactic acid
bacteria that is now patented
throughout the world for its
positive effect on gastrointestinal
health, especially on IBS.
Lp299 has characteristics
that are not found in other
strains of probiotics.
According to European Journal
of Gastroenterology &
Hepatology, Lp299v is able to
displace intestine wall-bound
harmful bacteria and continue
to facilitate the function of the
intestines by adhering to the
intestinal wall for up to 11 days
with its specific adhesion
mechanism.
The Lp299v has demonstrated
its efficacy in alleviating all IBS
symptoms through 20 years of
intense clinical trials: 95% of
patients experienced overall
IBS symptoms improvement
within four weeks with 20 billion
CFU (colony-forming unit) of
Lp299v.
Lp299v is one of the few
probiotic strains that have

binding for a mannose-specific


receptor.
This intestinal binding
prevents attachment of
pathogenic bacteria to the
intestinal wall, thus allowing
Lp299v to communicate with the
host, which then strengthens the
intestine and gut immunity.
Also, it is able to stimulate the
growth of good bacteria, produce
short-chain fatty acids to nourish
the gut, and modulate immune
response.
All this explains the Lp299v
probiotic strains contribution
to balanced gut microflora and
healthy gut functions, especially
in relieving IBS.
Consult your pharmacist
before taking probiotics.
This article is brought to you
by BiO-LiFE Marketing Sdn Bhd.

n For more information, call


BiO-LiFE Customer Care
(Monday to Friday from 8am to
5pm) at 03-7882 8888 or e-mail
health@biolife.com.my.

Most Malaysians are unaware of how their diet affects their health.
Do not hesitate to seek medical advice if you encounter signs of
digestive problems.

Win the battle


> FROM PAGE 2
Both Dr Tee and Prof Lee
agree that the awareness level
on the seriousness of gut
diseases is still low.
Many Malaysians tend to
ignore their bowel complaints
and seek medical advice
relatively late. They are also
quite reluctant to change their
diet, says Prof Lee.
The public must not delay
seeking medical advice if they
encounter signs such as
prolonged abdominal pain,
gastrointestinal bleeding that
form black or tarry stools,
changes in bowel habits,
unintended weight loss and the
persistent feeling of nausea or
vomiting, says Dr Tee.
Given the number of colorectal
cancer cases, hospitalisation, and
other diseases linked to poor
digestive health in Malaysia,

more needs to be done on the


part of the Government and
health authorities.
The authorities must take the
initiative to reach out to the
public and find new ways in
which they can highlight the
importance of such a vital issue
to all levels of society.
Dr Tee says that diseases
related to the gut can be
prevented by having knowledge
of the various diseases and
causes. Recognition of symptoms
is also important so that people
can seek timely professional
advice.
Malaysians need to take
responsibility for their health
and learn the consequences
of their dietary habits. While
it is alright to indulge from
time to time, what you choose
to consume every day will
determine your overall
well-being in the long run.

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

MOST Malaysians know and have


heard about the importance of
good gut health but many do not
know how to achieve it.
It is imperative to understand
how our gut affects our overall
well-being, not just physically but
mentally as well.

Importance of a
well-functioning gut
Our body is home to
approximately 100 trillion bacteria
more than 10 times the number
of cells we have in our entire body.
The ideal bacteria composition
in the gut is 85% good bacteria and
15% bad bacteria. Maintaining this
optimal ratio in your gut flora is
essential for good health.
The gut flora promotes normal
gastrointestinal function, provides
protection from infection, regulates
metabolism and comprises more
than 75% of our immune system.
The type and quantity of
microorganisms in your gut flora
can either prevent or encourage
the development of many diseases.
There are symptoms that
indicate poor gut health, including
heartburn, abdominal bloating,
wind, pain, diarrhoea, poor
nutrient absorption and a general
unwell feeling.
Other signs to look out for
include frequent colds, change in
appetite, worsening allergies and
food sensitivities.

digestive health and you 7

Road to good health


Rebuild your immune
system

To adequately address health


conditions, you must rebuild your
gut and immune system. A few
ways to strengthen the immune
system is to clean up your diet, get
enough rest and consume drinks
rich in probiotics.
Eating a healthy diet allows
beneficial gut bacteria to flourish.
Avoid overeating as this taxes the
digestive system and usually
results in poor digestion of food.
If something you eat seems to
throw off your digestion, you
should abstain from that food. Give
the body a longer rest before
having another meal, rather than
adding to an already upset system.
When you consciously monitor
what you eat, you are helping your
body achieve better digestion,
increase the growth of good
bacteria and have better
absorption of nutrients.
As a lack of quality sleep is a
contributing factor to poor gut
health, it is important to get a good
nights rest.
Allowing your body to shut
down and sleep for a minimum of
seven hours allows your system to

The ideal bacteria


composition in
the gut is 85%
good bacteria and
15% bad bacteria.
Maintaining this
optimal ratio in your
gut flora is essential
for good health.
reset and recharge.
Besides that, stress is a key
contributor to an unhealthy gut.
The best way to maintain both gut
and mental health is to engage in
relaxing activities such as walking,
outdoor sports, meditation and lots
of sleep.

Sip smart for better


health
The first step in maintaining a
healthy gut is to avoid things that
destroy gut flora.
Actively consuming cultured
milk drinks such as Vitagen can aid
digestion and help maintain the

balance of your system for


stronger immunity due to the
two powerful strains of live,
active cultures Lactobacillus
acidophilus and
Lactobacillus casei.
This powerful
combination helps aid
the absorption of
nutrients from food
and stimulates a
stronger immune
system.
It also assists in
suppressing the
growth of harmful
bacteria and reducing
the risk of intestinal
disturbances for
optimal digestive
health.
Starting your day
with a bottle of
Vitagen for better
digestive health goes a
long way to achieving
a better functioning
gut for a healthier,
happier you.

n For more
information, visit
www.vitagen.
com.my.

SUNDAY STAR, 5 JUNE 2016

8 digestive health and you

Friendly bacteria
and the amazing gut
HOW much do you know about
your intestines? You will be
surprised to learn that, at any one
time, you have about one hundred
trillion bacteria inside your
digestive tract, particularly in your
intestines. These trillions of
bacteria are made up of about 500
different species, which began
settling into your body from the
very first day you were born.
About 85% of these bacteria
perform beneficial functions, such
as digesting food, protecting
against infection and influencing a
few physiological processes in the
body. The remainder of the
bacteria may either not provide
any benefits or could be potentially
harmful, which sometimes
referred to as bad bacteria.
At the same time, most of the
bodys immune system also lives in
your digestive tract, home to about
70-80% of immune cells. So any
changes that occur in the gut have
a strong impact, not only on your
digestive health, but also on your
overall health.

Good vs Bad. Your


digestive and immune
systems are counting
on you
The balance of good and bad
bacteria in the gut has to be
maintained in a fragile balance.
This ratio between the good
bacteria and the other bacteria
becomes one of the critical factors
determining your optimal health.
The ideal balance between them is
85% good, 15% other. Our
environment greatly influences
this balance, and a poor diet, stress,
medications and an unhealthy
lifestyle can disrupt it, causing bad
bacteria to flourish.
When that happens, a person is
likely to experience digestive
health problems, such as bloating,
intestinal pains, constipation or
diarrhoea.
On the other hand, a healthy,
balanced environment in the gut
can protect the immune system
from pathogenic bacteria, toxins,

allergens, chemicals and pollutants.


For instance, research suggests that
a particular strain of bacteria may
help to maintain healthy intestinal
microflora.
One way to boost our good
bacteria count is by taking
probiotics with our food or as
supplements. Probiotics are live
bacteria that help to re-establish a
healthy bacterial balance in the
intestines.
As more probiotic products
appear on the market today, it is
important to ensure that you are
choosing a product that provides
the best benefits.

Choose wisely. Are your


probiotics getting
through?
The first criterion of a good
probiotic product is the strain of
bacteria used. It should be
clinically documented in published
clinical studies, safe to be
consumed, able to withstand the

Biogrow Probiotics.

stomach acids and bile during


the digestive process, and able to
attach to the intestinal lining.
L. Acidophilus and
Bifidobacterium are two groups
of bacteria commonly used in
probiotic products, of which a
few strains have been
scientifically tested to be
beneficial. The bacteria must be
alive, or viable, gastric acid- and
bile salt-resistant and have a
better survival rate in order to
perform their beneficial
functions after they have
been consumed.
Probiotics that contain highly
stable microencapsulated strains
with the right stabilisation
processes during packaging and
transportation will protect the
bacteria against light, heat,

humidity and moisture


breakdown.
Biogrow Probiotics provides
highly stable microencapsulated
strains made from patented
microencapsulation technology
from Institute Rosell-Lallemand,
Canada that ensures the
probiotics are resistant to heat
shock up to 50oC, gastric acid and
bile salts and have better
survival rate. Remember, only
live bacteria confer benefits to its
host, not dead ones!

n This article is contributed by


Legosan (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. For
more information, call 03-7628
8888/03-7956 2220 (direct line)
or visit www.biogrow.com.my.
KKLIU No.2615/2014