Irritable Bowel: The Natural Solution

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a very uncomfortable disorder, is known to affect about 20% of the population of Western countries. These figures are far below the reality, since many (especially women who are most affected) admit to suffering from chronic disorders such as abdominal pain and/or cramps, flatulence, diarrhoea and/or constipation, considered unattractive or even shameful. In all cases, whether clinically or not, these disorders disrupt the daily life and social activities of the affected people, all the more so because they are recurrent and enduring.

Not considered a disease, “traditional” medicine offers no treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. The various scientific studies have shown that this is not a structural problem – which means that there is no anatomical, biochemical or infectious change – and that there are links direct between the brain and the gastrointestinal system, which explains why seizures are sometimes triggered by emotional disturbances or stress (1).

Even, new drugs, both pro and anti-serotonin have not been effective in the long term or have been abandoned due to too harmful effects.

But a “natural” solution with no side effects exists since many studies focus on the role of probiotics in the modulation of the intestinal microbiota and consequently in the regulation of motility and hypersensitivity of the digestive tract.

Probiotics and prebiotics are microorganisms that colonize our digestive tract and promote the growth of positive-acting bacteria at the expense of pathogenic bacteria. They help the intestinal flora to better fulfil its functions of assimilation, digestion and elimination. They also have a beneficial effect on stimulating natural defences, stress and anxiety.

Studies by Michael D. Gershon, a researcher at Columbia University in the United States, have shown that the enteric (intestinal) nervous system contains more than 100 million neurons and secretes at least 20 neurotransmitters, we find in the brain.

This “second brain” is therefore actively involved in the management of our emotions and is involved in the control of pain, the regulation of thermoregulation, eating and sexual behavior, the sleep-wake cycle, pain, anxiety.

The benefits of an intake of probiotics (2) are known and popularized, yet the findings of scientists show that the pro and prebiotic combination has a far greater action than Probiotics alone.

The different factors responsible for irritable bowel syndrome can, therefore, be influenced by probiotics, but not all species have the same therapeutic potential and it is necessary to choose the strains, their combination, their origin and their quantity.

The P & G Health Sciences Institute has written extensively on various studies of the influence of probiotics on irritable bowel syndrome, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2014 (3).
Two strains of probiotics are highlighted in these studies and recognized as particularly effective: Bifidobacterium Infantis & Lactobacillus Acidophilus. 

 

Bifidobacterium Infantis

This strain of bacteria is acquired naturally during childbirth and then with breastfeeding (4), which would explain the greater resistance to infections in breastfed infants (5).

Irritable bowel syndrome is accompanied by a significant reduction in the amount of intraluminal bifidobacteria, with consequences such as colic gas production and impaired motility of the intestinal tract.

Ingesting a probiotic complement of the Bifidobacterium Infantis strain allows to re-seed good bacteria and to act effectively and without side effects for:

  • Reduce pain due to irritable bowel syndrome. Indeed, it has been demonstrated, for example, that a complex of Bifidobacterium Infantis and Longum is associated with better control of intestinal pain and improves quality of life compared to placebo in children with SCI (6)
  • Decrease “bloating” which is particularly difficult to treat and often categorized as the most intrusive symptom by those affected by SCI (7),
  • Normalize intestinal transit and cause overall relief in patients with SCI,
  • Act on the psychological factors of the SCI: Bifidobacterium Infantis is considered as a “psychobiotic”, with anti-inflammatory actions and a real ability to reduce the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which maintains the capacity of the organism to respond to acute and prolonged stressors. Results of large-scale placebo-controlled studies are expected (8).

 

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

This bacterium was isolated as early as 1900 in the fecal matter of the infant and named Bacillus acidophilus because of its remarkable tolerance to acidity.

A complement of Lactobacillus acidophilus relieves certain symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus specifically helps to alleviate intestinal problems caused by anxiety (9).
  • It has been shown to have antagonistic activity against foodborne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens (10). It is therefore particularly effective on SCI when it comes after an episode of gastroenteritis.
  • It adheres easily to the wall of the intestine, which facilitates its implantation during a cure of probiotics (11).

 

For better colonization and perfect equilibrium of the intestinal flora, it is preferable to associate these two strains of probiotics with other strains recognized for their virtues as well as a selection of prebiotics that promote the growth and action of these bacteria.

Beyond the choice of strains, the other two essential factors are the formulation and the bioavailability of the probiotic and prebiotic complexes: it is important that this complex contains enough viable organisms to have a therapeutic effect and that the mixture of pro and prebiotics be studied in order to avoid the possibility that some organisms inhibit the activity of others.

We discovered a unique and ideal complex:

  •  It is composed of a studied mixture of Bifidobacterium Infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and two other recognized strains of probiotics, with complementary actions for complete, effective and rapid colonization of the intestine,
  • To these probiotics are associated three prebiotics in order to reinforce their action,
  • It effectively affects the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome whether they are of psychological or physiological origin,
  • It reconstitutes the intestinal flora acting on the causes of SCI,
  • It strengthens the immune system,
  • It permanently improves the transit,
  • It avoids the undesirable effects of long antibiotic therapy,
  • The excellent tolerance obtained thanks to the synergy of these different components makes it possible to use it in the long term without side effects,
  • It acts in “release delay” to pass the gastric barrier,
  • It consists of 100% natural active ingredients, with a “smart” formulation for a synergistic and effective action of the components,
  • It is totally bioavailable,
  • Biocompatible, it respects the body and acts in depth on our vitality,
  • Fruit of the latest galenic innovations, it is presented in the form of “programmed release” microgranules to ensure a gradual release of the active ingredients.

 

Images Credit: Pixabay

SOURCES
[1] Haddad PS, Azar GA, et al. Natural health products, modulation of immune function and prevention of chronic diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Dec;2(4):513-20. Texte integral : http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org
[2] AA Amara a, b, ⁎ et A. Shibl b. Rôle des probiotiques dans l’amélioration de la santé, le contrôle de l’infection et le traitement des maladies et la gestion. Arabie J. Pharm 2015 avril; 23 (2): 107-114. Publié en ligne 2013 jui 18. doi:  10.1016 / j.jsps.2013.07.001.Résumé de l’étude ici
[3] Etude complète ici : http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/UserFiles/file/guidelines/irritable-bowel-syndrome-french-2009.pdf
[4] Mark A. Underwood, J. Bruce German, Carlito B. Lebrilla, David A. Mills. Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis: champion colonizer of the infant gut. Pediatr Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 March 5. Étude ici
[5] Yoshioka H. et al., Development of the normal intestinal flora and its clinical significance in infants and children, Bifidobacteria and Microflora, 1991, 10(1): 11-17.
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306945
[7] Nikfar 171
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23759244
[9] Diop L, Probiotic food supplement reduces stress-induced gastrointestinal symptoms in volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, Nutr Res. 2008 Jan;28(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2007.10.001
[10] M.E. Sanders, Invited Review: The Scientific Basis of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM Functionality as a Probiotic, Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 84, no 2,‎ 2001-02, p. 319-331 ISSN 0022-0302, DOI 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74481-5
[11] Site de Opticbac Probiotics, What is acidophilus

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