Spilling the Guts on Gut Bacteria

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.

 

Drekonja D, Reich J, Gezahegn S, et al.  Fecal Microbiota Transplantation forClostridium Difficile Infection: A Systematic Review of the Evidence [Internet].  Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); July, 2014

 Our interpretation:

We found this gold nugget for foodies in the health literature.  It is a review article.  That means it reviewed all the relevant and significant articles in the literature and summarized the new knowledge provided by them into one more digestible (pardon the pun) article. 

This study looked at people suffering from CDI (Pseudomembranouscolitis), which is an antibiotic-associated inflammation of the colon linked with an overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. diff).  The disease causes amongst other unpleasant symptoms, diarrhea.  Specifically, the study compared treatment with drugs to treatment with fecal transplants.  (i.e. feces from a donor with healthy gut bacteria).

The results have shown the following:

Treatment with the donated feces led to a large proportion of patients experiencing short-term resolution of symptoms.

The combined reported success rates were higher with fecal transplants than those reported for various medical therapies (even when medical therapies were combined with fecal transplants).

There were no serious adverse reactions to the fecal transplants. This was not the case for the drugs used in the treatment of CDI.

Although this treatment is not in the scope of practice for any nutritionist, the truth often becomes clear in the extremes.  Apart from warning against the careless use of antibiotics and other drugs, this article shows the importance of gut bacteria.  To us, it is specifically an encouragement to include a broad spectrum of probiotics (bacteria which live in our colon) in the diet and avoid all practices which destroy the balance of bacteria in the colon.  The latter includes antibiotics, contraceptives, chlorine, antacids and many more chemicals.  In the rare instance you do have to take drugs, make an effort to include food and supplements to protect your gut bacteria.  Food which contain probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, aged cheeses, pickles and many more.