John Libonati

Celiac Disease – Microbes Matter – Probiotics a.k.a. Good Bacteria in Your Gut

by John Libonati on May 2nd, 2008


Health Alert - Microbes Matter - Probiotics a.k.a. Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Strange as it seems, our well-being is uniquely tied to the condition of our colon, which is commonly unhealthy at diagnosis of celiac disease. To keep our colon healthy, we need to understand what happens there on a microscopic level.  Hundreds of varieties of intestinal microbe populations called “flora” live there, numbering in the billions.  To put these numbers into focus, dead bacteria make up about a third of each bowel movement.  Our resident microbes, whether beneficial or harmful, play a decisive role in nourishing or damaging the cells that form the intestinal lining.  Probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements restore and feed our friendly microbes.

Probiotic flora inhibit colonization of pathogens by physically preventing them from adhering to the gut lining.  Other important functions are:

  • Produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA)s.  SCFAs are important and necessary energy byproducts formed during fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon by flora.  SCFAs nourish the colonocytes, the cells that line the colon. They also help absorb salts and water from stool.

  • Produce a form of vitamin K and appreciable amounts of biotin.
  • Reduce the presence of putrefactive enzymes.

  • Protect against toxic substances.

  • Contribute to normal bowel movements.

For these reasons, we need to use probiotics and prebiotics every day to improve our overall health and specifically our intestinal health.  This is especially important if fatigue, weakness, achiness, depression, foggy thinking and digestive problems continue while maintaining a gluten-free diet. 

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #9 - Microbes Matter of the Gluten Free Gazette.)  Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the

US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.  Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.


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