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Digestive Health and Your Microbiome

Gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, loose stools, and constipation can be an uncomfortable topic of discussion for many. Yet these issues are more prevalent than you might think.

Recent data from the National GI Survey found 61% of adults in the United States report having one or more gastrointestinal symptoms over the week (1). The most frequently reported symptoms included heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Clearly, these are common issues.

Another commonality among us is the presence of microbes throughout our bodies. This invisible community literally resides in us, forming a complex array of microorganisms varying in density along the gastrointestinal tract.

The role of the gut microbiota

Composed of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other single-celled organisms, the gut microbiota collectively outnumbers the cells in our bodies and has more genes than our entire genome (2). In turn, numerous internal and external factors can affect the gut microbiota, which results in a complex gut ecosystem that is as individual as our fingerprints (3).

The gut microbiota is central to our gut health, playing a significant role in nutrient uptake, vitamin synthesis, energy harvest, intestinal barrier function, and immune response (2). One of the hallmarks of a health-associated flora is increased diversity, meaning increased variety of gut microbes (4).

Unsurprisingly, over the last several decades, the role of the gut microbiota in determining health status has been gaining research and public interest (4). Altered gut microbiota composition and function are linked to a growing number of conditions from metabolic disorders to potential brain issues (5, 6).

Important factors such as age, birth delivery route, antibiotic use, and diet can shape the gut microbiota (7-10). Obviously, some factors influencing this environment and our gut health are out of our control. However, a well-balanced diet, frequent exercise, and adequate sleep can go a long way.

Probiotics and their effect on gut health

Another area of increased research focus is supplementation with probiotics, defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (11). Regular support via daily probiotic supplementation may keep the digestive tract in balance and promote microbiome diversity for better overall health (12). Moreover, probiotics have shown utility in addressing a number of gastrointestinal symptoms reported in the National GI Survey (13-15).

Accordingly, Isagenix created IsaBiome™ Probiotics, an evidence-based, expertly formulated dietary supplement composed of a novel blend of live probiotics that work collectively to help restore a healthy, diverse gut microbiome. In addition, IsaBiome Probiotics provides a three-stage viability guarantee:

  1. Microencapsulation to protect the probiotics.
  2. Digestion-resistant capsules to ensure the live microbes effectively reach the gut.
  3. An advanced bottling technology to minimize moisture and humidity that could otherwise kill the healthy bacteria.

General recommendations are to take one capsule of IsaBiome Probiotics each morning for a guaranteed 25 billion colony-forming units (CFU). The guaranteed-potency IsaBiome Probiotics supplies a diverse amount of probiotic strains daily and may encourage a more diverse and resilient gut microbiota.

References:

  1. Almario CV, Ballal ML, Chey WD, Nordstrom C, Khanna D, Spiegel BMR. Burden of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in the United States: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey of Over 71,000 Americans. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Nov;113(11):1701-1710. doi: 10.1038/s41395-018-0256-8.
  2. Ursell LK, Metcalf JL, Parfrey LW, Knight R. Defining the human microbiome. Nutr Rev. 2012 Aug;70 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S38-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00493.x.
  3. Costello EK, Lauber CL, Hamady M, Fierer N, Gordon JI, Knight R. Bacterial community variation in human body habitats across space and time. Science. 2009 Dec 18;326(5960):1694-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1177486.
  4. Flint HJ, Duncan SH, Scott KP, Louis P. Links between diet, gut microbiota composition and gut metabolism. Proc Nutr Soc. 2015 Feb;74(1):13-22. doi: 10.1017/S0029665114001463.
  5. Harsch IA, Konturek PC. The Role of Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: New Insights into “Old” Diseases. Med Sci. 2018 Apr 17;6(2):32. doi: 10.3390/medsci6020032.
  6. Mayer EA, Tillisch K, Gupta A. Gut/brain axis and the microbiota. J Clin Invest. 2015 Mar 2;125(3):926-38. doi: 10.1172/JCI76304.
  7. Yatsunenko T, Rey FE, Manary MJ, Trehan I, Dominguez-Bello MG, Contreras M, Magris M, Hidalgo G, Baldassano RN, Anokhin AP, Heath AC, Warner B, Reeder J, Kuczynski J, Caporaso JG, Lozupone CA, Lauber C, Clemente JC, Knights D, Knight R, Gordon JI. Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Nature. 2012 May 9;486(7402):222-7. doi: 10.1038/nature11053.
  8. Dudek-Wicher RK, Junka A, Bartoszewicz M. The influence of antibiotics and dietary components on gut microbiota. Prz Gastroenterol. 2018;13(2):85-92. doi: 10.5114/pg.2018.76005.
  9. Flint HJ, Duncan SH, Scott KP, Louis P. Links between diet, gut microbiota composition and gut metabolism. Proc Nutr Soc. 2015 Feb;74(1):13-22. doi: 10.1017/S0029665114001463.
  10. Wampach L, Heintz-Buschart A, Fritz JV, Ramiro-Garcia J, Habier J, Herold M, Narayanasamy S, Kaysen A, Hogan AH, Bindl L, Bottu J, Halder R, Sjöqvist C, May P, Andersson AF, de Beaufort C, Wilmes P. Birth mode is associated with earliest strain-conferred gut microbiome functions and immunostimulatory potential. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 30;9(1):5091. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07631-x.
  11. Hill C, Guarner F, Reid G, Gibson GR, Merenstein DJ, Pot B, Morelli L, Canani RB, Flint HJ, Salminen S, Calder PC, Sanders ME. Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Aug;11(8):506-14. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66.
  12. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, Dimitriadi D, Gyftopoulou K, Skarmoutsou N, Fakiri EM. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013 Jan 2;2013:481651. doi: 10.5402/2013/481651.
  13. Hungin APS, Mitchell CR, Whorwell P, Mulligan C, Cole O, Agréus L, Fracasso P, Lionis C, Mendive J, Philippart de Foy JM, Seifert B, Wensaas KA, Winchester C, de Wit N; European Society for Primary Care Gastroenterology. Systematic review: probiotics in the management of lower gastrointestinal symptoms – an updated evidence-based international consensus. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Apr;47(8):1054-1070. doi: 10.1111/apt.14539.
  14. Zhang J, Wu HM, Wang X, Xie J, Li X, Ma J, Wang F, Tang X. Efficacy of prebiotics and probiotics for functional dyspepsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine. 2020 Feb;99(7):e19107. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000019107.
  15. Sniffen JC, McFarland LV, Evans CT, Goldstein EJC. Choosing an appropriate probiotic product for your patient: An evidence-based practical guide. PLoS One. 2018 Dec 26;13(12):e0209205. doi:

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