What are Probiotics?

Kintner Chiropractic Probiotics Antibiotics Healthy breakfast
 

Probiotic literally means supports life.

 Probiotics are the natural flora that should inhabit your intestines.  Ideally, 85% of the flora in our guts should be probiotics and 15% e-coli.  But, most American’s have this ratio reversed!  Why is this so?  Primarily due to our life styles.  Stress will alter the natural balance.  High intake of processed foods and alcohol will as well.  Meats from animals who have consumed antibiotics, hormones and steroids will negatively affect the flora.  Fruits and vegetables treated with pesticide and herbicide will kill beneficial flora.  Antibiotics indiscriminately kill both the infectious agents as well as the beneficial flora.  If our diets do not contain enough fiber the normal flora becomes imbalanced.    Also impaired immunity, altered pH (acid/base balance) and intestinal infections can all interfere with a healthy balance of flora in the intestines.  When the flora becomes imbalanced, we are predisposed to malabsorption of nutrients, celiac disease (sensitivity to glutens), lactose intolerance, diarrhea, constipation, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, leaky gut syndrome, hormonal imbalances and food sensitivities.

Healthy flora helps to remove putrefied food residues from the intestines thereby removing pathogens.  Probiotics help prevent cancer by enhancing the immune system function.  Immunity is enhanced because anti-bodies, interferon, B lymphocytes, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin productions is increased.  Nutrients absorption is improved and the elimination of waste enhanced.  Cholesterol regulation is improved. B vitamins and neurotransmitters are also made in the intestines when the flora is balanced.  Also, Vitamin K is made in the gut. Probiotics compete with pathogens for nutrients and reduce the number of pathogens which can leave toxic end products.  Bowel function is improved when probiotics are present in normal numbers.  Allergic reactions including asthma are reduced with normal intestinal flora.  Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s and colitis can benefit from probiotics support.  Probiotics support vitamin and fatty acid synthesis and assimilation. 

Probiotics are found naturally in fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut kim chi and miso.  We are a culture that tries to sanitize everything with antiseptics and antibiotic soaps.  We don’t eat fermented foods frequently, in large enough quantities, we take antibiotics or exposed to them through our food supply often, eat poorly and have high stress life styles.  Given the importance of balanced intestinal flora and the threats our lifestyles create to keeping the balances, supplementation makes sense.

There are over 400 strains of probiotics. The most studied are lactobacillis and bifidus.  When supplementing, the probiotics must survive the stomach acid and must be found in large numbers, 10-15 million.  A natural sugar derivative fructoligosaccarides (FOS for short) found in plants, helps support growth of the probiotics in the intestines.  There is disagreement about how to take probiotics.  I recommend taking them either ½ hour before food or 2 hours after so the probiotics can be undiluted when interfacing with the intestines.  If you are taking antibiotics, probiotics are a must because the antibiotics kill organisms randomly including the normal flora. Take probiotics 2 hours after the antibiotics.  Once treatment is complete, increase probiotic intake to 3 times per day for one week.  A quality probiotic must be refridgerated to prevent a decrease the number of live organisms viable (alive.)

Probiotics increase strength, vitality and immunity.  Normal flora is under siege by our lifestyle.  Maintain your health, supplement with quality probiotics.  Not all probiotic supplements are equal.  Call me if you have any questions.

The Dirty Dozen

Conventionally raised foods are grown with pesticides and herbicides. These are chemicals designed to kill. Consequently, it does not make sense to ingest these products if you can avoid them.

Some conventionally grown foods are more contaminated than others. These are called “The Dirty Dozen”. These foods are: red and green bell peppers, celery, spinach and other greens, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, cherries, pears, and potatoes. Avoiding these foods can reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides substantially. Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained M.D., has said he would not eat a grocery store strawberry!

            Some conventionally grown foods are relatively safe in terms of exposure to pesticides and herbicides. These are broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, asparagus, pineapples, pears, and onions. If you need to economize on organic foods these are good choices to buy conventionally.

            There are other ways to reduce your exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals. One is to buy in season. Foods grown in warmer climates often come from countries with less rigid health standards. Eat locally grown foods. Vermonters tend to be conscientious about environmental issues and therefore are more likely to use fewer toxic chemicals. Peeling fruits and vegetables can also reduce your exposure because the skin is where most contaminants are found. Eat a variety of foods -not only will you reduce the likelihood of any one toxin to build up in your system, but  you  will also increase your overall nutrition.

While not everybody can afford eating organically grown foods, if you avoid eating the dirty dozen you can substantially reduce your exposure to the chemicals toxicity of pesticides and herbicides. Having a perfect diet is a tough feat. Fortunately there are ways to maximize your nutrition while avoiding toxins: avoid the Dirty Dozen, eat locally and enjoy a wide variety of foods.

All About the F Word… FATS

fats

Because such a large percentage of the population is obese, and fats are higher in calories than protein and carbohydrates, we have been led to believe that fats is just another F word.

This is part smart because some fats are very unhealthy.  Included in the unhealthy fats would be rancid and hydrogenated fats, aka “trans” fats that have been chemically modified to prolong shelf life—a benefit for grocers, not the public. Trans fats have been described as like “eating plastics.” The threat to health is so significant that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is going to require labeling on foods containing these oils. (It has been suggested that the only “safe” amount of these oils is zero.) Unfortunately these oils are everywhere! They are in cookies, cakes, chips, etc.

A low fat diet is not the answer however because fats and oils play a very important nutrition role. These nutrients are the primary constituent of cell membranes. Therefore they effect every single cell and organ in the body. Essential Fatty Acids (good fats) are necessary for the production of prostaglandins—a normally occurring group of chemicals that control blood pressure, cardiovascular and immune health.

So, what’s a mother to do?

Essential in nutrition means you must eat it, your body cannot make it. Essential fatty acids play a vital role in the production of all cell membranes (the outer wall of cells), as well as the production of prostaglandins, substances that regulate blood pressure, cardiovascular and immune functions. Because essential fatty acids play such a significant role in so many bodily functions, it stands to reason nutritional deficiencies in these fats will have serious and broad effects. This indeed is the case! Deficiencies have been linked to symptoms in behavior, mental processing, the skin, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, hormonal problems, just to name a few. Deficiencies have been associated with any kind of inflammation and recently inflammation has been associated with diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These are some of our most lethal and costly disorders. This is why avoiding the bad oils and fats and supplying the good oils and fats is so important to health.

OmegaGenics Omega 3 Supplement available at Kintner ChiropracticSo where can we get these fats and oils in our diets? Omega 6 oils from corn, safflower, olive, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut, evening primrose, black currant and borage can all become prostaglandins 1—a natural anti-inflammatory. Omega 3 oils derived from linseed, flaxseed, walnut, soy, sesame, and canola and deep sea fish become anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 3. Alcohol, NSAID and trans fatty acids interfere with the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Most people do not consume enough of these oils on their own and may consume substances that interfere with the synthesis of these anti-inflammatory prostaglandins such as alcohol and trans fats. (That’s why they have “vitamin ibuprofen” deficiencies). It is far healthier to use good oils and supplements to fill the gap than to live a life of nutritional deficiency. We recommend and can supply you with OmegaGenics Omega 3 supplements available in three sizes.

One final point, when buying oils, use expeller or cold pressed oils such as those found in health food stores. Once opened, refrigerate to avoid rancidity. When buying supplements, buy from reputable sources such as a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner, especially fish oils which could be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and mercury.

Here’s to your health!

What are Probiotics and Why Sauerkraut?

Back to wellness at Kintner Chiropractic in Jericho Vermont

Probiotic literally means supports life.  Probiotics are the natural flora that should inhabit your intestines.

Ideally, 85% of the flora in our gut would be probiotics and 15% would consist of e-Coli bacteria. But, most American’s have this ratio reversed! Why is this so? Primarily due to our lifestyles:

  • Stress alters the natural balance.
  • High intake of processed foods and alcohol will too.
  • Meats from animals who have consumed antibiotics, hormones and steroids will negatively affect the flora.
  • Fruit and vegetables treated with pesticide and herbicide will kill beneficial flora.
  • Antibiotics indiscriminately kill both the infectious agents as well as the beneficial flora. If our diets do not contain enough fiber, the normal flora becomes imbalanced.
  • Impaired immunity, altered pH (acid/base balance) and intestinal infections can all interfere with a healthy balance of flora in the intestines.

When the flora becomes imbalanced, we are predisposed to malabsorption of nutrients, celiac disease (sensitivity to glutens), lactose intolerance, diarrhea, constipation, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, leaky gut syndrome, hormonal imbalances and food sensitivities. Healthy flora helps to remove putrefied food residues from the intestines thereby removing pathogens. Probiotics help prevent cancer by enhancing the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies, interferon, B lymphocytes, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin.

Nutrient absorption is improved and the elimination of waste is enhanced. Cholesterol regulation is improved. B vitamins and neurotransmitters are also made in the intestines when the flora is balanced. Probiotics compete with pathogens for nutrients and reduce the number of pathogens which can leave toxic end products.  Bowel function is improved when probiotics are present in normal numbers.  Allergic reactions including asthma are reduced with normal intestinal flora.  Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s and colitis can benefit from probiotics support.  Probiotics support vitamin and fatty acid synthesis and assimilation.

Nor probiotics work Kintner Chiropreactic

Probiotics compete with pathogens for nutrients and reduce the number of pathogens which can leave toxic end products. They support vitamin and fatty acid synthesis and assimilation. Bowel function is improved when probiotics are present in normal numbers. Allergic reactions including asthma are reduced with normal intestinal flora.  Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s and colitis can benefit from proper probiotic balance.

Natural sources…

There are over 400 strains of probiotics. The most studied are Lactobacillus and Bifidus. They are found in fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. Our western culture tries to sanitize everything with antiseptics and antibiotic soaps. We don’t eat fermented foods frequently or in large enough quantities, we take antibiotics often, eat poorly and have high-stress lifestyles.

Supplements…

Given the importance of balanced intestinal flora and the threats that our lifestyles impose on keeping balanced, taking supplements makes sense. When supplementing, the probiotics must survive the stomach acid and must be found in large numbers, 10-15 million. A sugar derivative, fructooligosaccharides (FOS for short) helps support growth of the probiotics in the intestines. There is disagreement about how to take probiotic supplements. I recommend taking them either a half-hour before food or 2 hours after, so the probiotics can be undiluted when interfacing with the intestines. If you are taking antibiotics, probiotics are a must (in my opinion) because the antibiotics kill organisms randomly including the normal flora. Take probiotics 2 hours after the antibiotics. Once treatment is complete, increase probiotic intake to 3 times per day for one week.

Probiotics increase our strength, vitality and immunity but our normal flora is under siege by our lifestyle. Maintain your health by supplement with fermented foods and quality probiotics. Not all probiotic supplements are equal. Please, contact me if you are interested in what we have to offer regarding probiotic supplements.

Jericho Farmers’ Market Opens | Eat Locally Grown Foods!

Consuming locally grown food like the produce you’ll find at the Jericho Farmers’ Market, held each week at Mills Riverside Park, has many benefits.

Jericho Farmers Market photo by Designwise Studios
Jericho Farmers Market photo by Designwise Studios

Every Thursday from 3 – 6:30 pm you’ll find a wide variety of locally produced items that include more than just fruits and vegetables. There are typically an ever-changing selection of locally created arts and craft items, bath and body products, cooked food and even live entertainment! Here are a number of great reasons to visit and support locally grown food vendors and the other talented folks you’ll meet at your local farmers’ market:

Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are good for the local economy.

For every dollar spent at the grocery store, only nine cents gets back to the farmer. For every dollar spent locally, 80 – 100% of the money goes to the farmer or artisan.

Eating food grown locally helps to preserve farmland.

Each day, more than 3,000 acres of farmland are lost due to sprawl. Since the 1950’s, 90% of Vermont’s farmland has been lost. Buying locally helps to support your local farmer when government fails to do so: 70% of federal farm subsidies go to just 10% of the largest producers leaving small growers without government help.

Buying locally raised food helps save energy.

The food industry uses 20% of the petroleum consumed annually – about the same as cars. But, only 20% of what the industry consumes is used to raise food! The rest is used for packaging, refrigerating and transporting the food to market. These costs are dramatically reduced when you purchase locally grown food.

Locally grown foods is typically more diverse.

Almost 90% of foods grown commercially in the early 1900’s are now extinct! Local growers have the freedom and the passion to grow heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, often because they are more flavorful. The produce usually tastes better because it is also fresher. Because the food is fresher, it is also more nutritious.

Buying locally has health benefits.

Large farms tend to rely on pesticides and herbicides more than local growers. Buying locally usually reduces the chemicals found in your food, in the air, in the soil and in the groundwater. 70% of produce found in the grocery is derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMO foods are less common in locally raised foods. Because the food is picked closer to the time of purchase, the need for waxes and preservatives is reduced or eliminated.

Buying locally supports our local economy and our local farmers, helps to preserve farmland, benefits the environment, promotes diversity, tastes great and provides health benefits. Whenever you can, buy and eat locally – everyone will benefit!