Nutrient - Intestinal Health - Natural Ingredients and a healthy gut
Independent laboratory tests find natural ingredients to be effective in maintaining a balanced, healthy gut flora. Imbalances in friendly bacteria in the intestines are a common source of digestive discomfort, leading to a range of symptoms that can include:
Unpleasant bloating and wind, especially after eating starchy foods
Diarrhoea or constipation, possibly alternating
Nausea and / or acid regurgitation
Unexplained tiredness or lethargy
Recurrent colds and / or a low immune system
Recurrent vaginal thrush
The most well known intestinal imbalance is an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, although colonisation by other kinds of fungi and moulds can cause similar symptoms.
Natural products, containing ingredients such as calcium and magnesium caprylate, grapefruit seed extract and garlic and cinnamon, have been shown to maintain a balanced intestinal flora which discourages yeast growth. Calcium and magnesium caprylate and grapefruit seed extract are thought to have natural antimicrobial activity.
References to garlic’s properties have been found in an Egyptian papyrus from as far back as 1500 BC, but it is modern science that is starting to uncover its secrets. The active part of garlic is a chemical called allicin. This is formed when garlic is crushed and is quite short lived, unless is it specially preserved, such as in supplements. It is allicin that is responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial properties, as it helps to strengthen the immune system by assisting white blood cells in gobbling up germs and parasites.
Cinnamon is another useful ancient plant with a variety of benefits. Preliminary research suggests cinnamon is toxic to fungi, yeast, bad bacteria and parasites.
Recent results from an independent laboratory in Germany have shown just how useful these natural ingredients can be.
Drs. Hauss’s laboratory, who work with the UK stool-testing service BTS, have started to test natural products to see how effective they are at inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans. They recently tested two products, one containing calcium and magnesium caprylate and another containing a mixture of plant ingredients that included garlic and cinnamon. In order to properly compare the results, they also carried out control tests using the anti-fungal drugs Nystatin, Amphotericin ß, Clotrimazole and Fluconazole.
Small discs infused with the natural ingredients or the medical drugs were inserted into the agar plates and then a dilute solution of Candida albicans was added. The plates were then placed in an incubation oven for 24 hours at body temperature in order to allow the Candida to reproduce and grow.
Photos showing how the Candida grew on the test plates after the incubation can be seen below. There are clear areas around each test sample that indicate an inhibition of Candida growth.
What is clear is that the results for the control plate with the medical drugs (far right) were nowhere near as impressive! The inhibition circles are smaller and much less clearly defined that those for the natural products.
These results suggest that when it comes to digestive imbalances, nature really does know best!