Monday, September 20, 2010

Prevent IBD with probiotics

A recent Harvard study has confirmed that an imbalance of good bacteria or probiotics is responsible for triggering IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. IBD includes ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, of which approximately 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Both types of IBD result from of a loss of balance between our immune system, 70% of which is located in the gut, and the good bacteria that live in the intestines. The researchers found that the species of bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus mirabilis (2 types of bacteria that I see commonly on the stool tests of autistic spectrum or ASD children), seem to work with the microbes in the gut to cause the diseases.

So what can we do to be sure our guts and those of our kids are colonized properly? For starters, a healthy diet is key. Avoid excess refined foods and sugars and load up on fresh fruits and vegetables as the main staples in your diet—they are full of GI cleansing fiber. Plus, you’ve got to be sure you’re taking in plenty of good bacteria through cultured foods such as yogurt, fermented foods such as miso and cultured vegetables.

By the way: I often hear parents worry that their kids won’t take to sauerkraut. Try mixing half cultured vegetables with half of a grated apple and grated carrots for a tangy sweet treat, or start with small amounts of the cultured veggies juice poured over liked foods. For more information on how to culture your own veggies and other foods at home, visit

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