Stomach Complaints Plague as Aussies Neglect their Gut Instincts

Stomachs across Australia are in knots and many consumers are ignoring a simple digestive solution according to a new survey that shows excessive gas, bloating, indigestion and a range of tummy troubles are plaguing the nation.

The Newspoll survey of more than 1200 Australians aged 18-64, commissioned by Australian health and wellbeing experts Wagner, revealed that 42% experience excessive gas at least once a month, if not more, with one in ten (11%) saying they suffer from it every day or most days.

The online poll showed 19% suffer from bloating at least once a week, 16% from indigestion and 13% stomach pain. Around a quarter (24%) of Aussies also said they experience constipation at least once a month and 22% listed diarrhoea as a monthly tummy troubler.

Integrative GP and Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Dr Robyn Cosford, said many Aussies regularly experience symptoms of poor digestion but don't realise the majority are easily remedied.

"Around 70 per cent of the immune system is located in the gut, so having a correctly functioning digestive system plays a fundamental role in supporting your overall health and wellbeing," said Dr. Cosford.

"Complaints such as bloating, gas and constipation are often traced back to poor diet, stress or antibiotics, all of which can lead to the depletion of 'good' bacteria in the gut, essential for optimal digestion. Ensuring the balance of 'good' to 'bad' bacteria is correct is the key to good health and can be addressed at least partially through simple changes to diet and appropriate probiotic supplementation," she said.

According to the Newspoll survey, while 14% of respondents said they had taken a probiotic supplement in the last week, almost half (46%) of Aussies have never tried one.

Emma Sutherland, a Sydney-based naturopath and health writer, said that while traces of probiotics are found in foods such as yoghurt, milk, miso and some soy beverages, they are more effectively administered via dietary supplements.

"Probiotics are live microorganisms, often called 'good' bacteria, that are found naturally in healthy digestive systems. In the past, a major barrier to taking probiotics has been the need to keep them refrigerated to maintain their viability. However, fortunately this is no longer the case," said Ms Sutherland.

New shelf-stable Probiotica P3 is an all-natural probiotic supplement that requires no refrigeration so it can be left out on the counter or put in a bag without affecting its efficacy.

Probiotica P3 contains a blend of three scientifically researched acid-resistant strains of good bacteria that are guaranteed to be alive on consumption and can help alleviate gas and bloating, reduce toxins and carcinogens formed in the gastrointestinal tract, prevent and treat Candida, and speed up recovery from diarrhoea or constipation.

Probiotica P3 is also recommended for people who are on, or have recently used, antibiotics which kill good bacteria in the gut along with unfriendly bacteria, as it helps repopulate the gut with the good bacteria.

"Probiotics have many important functions in our bodies. Not only do they improve digestion, they decrease the risk of allergies, asthma and food intolerances and can help reduce the severity of colds and flu. Everyone would benefit from taking a comprehensive probiotic on a daily basis," said Ms Sutherland.

"In the United States, around 50 per cent of the probiotics market is shelf-stable but in Australia awareness is still low. The high incidence of digestive complaints combined with the convenience of products such as Probiotica P3, however, are sure to boost their popularity," she said.

Probiotica P3 is available from all good health food stores and pharmacies in Australia and is free from preservatives, sugar, sodium, milk, yeast, gluten, artificial colours and flavours.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR OPTIMAL DIGESTION FROM EMMA SUTHERLAND N.D.BHlth Sc (CompMed) MATMS, MNHAA

Avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol as these alter the pH of the digestive system making it more acidic. This aggravates the intestinal lining and leads to inflammation.

Reduce or avoid gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, oats and barley. Gluten intolerance is common and leads to bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

Check to see if you have a dairy intolerance by avoiding all dairy for two weeks and then re-introduce it and observe if your digestive symptoms flare.

Eat in pleasant surroundings, sitting down and enjoying your food. If you are rushed, walking or distracted, you are more likely to eat quickly without chewing properly and will not be able to respond when your body sends its signal to stop because you are full.

Chew your food! Chewing helps to break down your food, easing the burden on your lower digestive system.

Take a good quality probiotic supplement, such as Probiotica P3, daily to aid digestion and help support the immune system. Wagner's Probiotica P3 requires no refrigeration and is formulated with specially-cultured acid resistant strains of good bacteria designed to improve your intestinal flora balance and control the levels of harmful bacteria in the gut. It also contains only natural ingredients and is free from dairy, making it a great option for those who are lactose intolerant.

Try not to drink large volumes of fluid at least half an hour before a meal. This dilutes the enzymes in your stomach and makes them less able to break down foods and absorb nutrients.

Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice in a small amount of water before a meal to improve your digestion.

Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, even if you only manage two minutes each day. When we are stressed, our brain shuts down our digestive system and we no longer produce enough enzymes. This results in reduced absorption of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Eat fresh organic food as it contains more nutritional value and no pesticides, additives or preservatives.

PROBIOTICS – UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Probiotics are live microorganisms – often called 'good' or 'friendly' bacteria – that are found naturally in healthy digestive systems where they assist with digestion, immunity and general wellbeing.

Probiotica P3 contains a blend of three scientifically researched acid-resistant strains of good bacteria which are the same as those found naturally in the human digestive tract.

Traces of probiotics are found in some foods (yoghurt, milk, miso and some juices and soy beverages) but are best administered via dietary supplements in capsule, tablet or powder form to ensure they survive the stomach acid and arrive where they are in needed in the intestine in sufficient numbers to make a difference.

70% of the body's immune system is located in the gut and probiotics improve the immune function. Research has shown probiotics increase T cells, which fight viruses.

Probiotics are responsible for making many essential vitamins such as vitamin B12, vitamin K and vitamin B6 and vitamin B9.

Probiotics are particularly beneficial for people on, or who have recently used, antibiotics (which kill good bacteria in the gut along with unfriendly bacteria), as they help repopulate the gut with the good bacteria.

Taking probiotics has been shown to improve gut health and so, can be beneficial for those who experience digestive issues, gas and bloating.

Previously, most probiotics needed to be refrigerated to retain their active ingredients but Probiotica P3 is shelf-stable and clinically proven to remain effective four years after manufacture, unlike alternative refrigerated products currently on the market.

50% of the US market is now shelf-stable and this segment is growing as consumers move away from refrigerated probiotics to the more convenient shelf-stable alternative.

In short, taking probiotics can help:

  • Support immune function and improve resistance to infection
  • Improve digestion and reduce gas
  • Counter adverse effects of antibiotics
  • Help in the prevention and treatment of vaginal Candida
  • Assist in the treatment of constipation and diarrhoea
  • Reduce cholesterol absorption
  • Help with skin health (eg eczema)
  • Reduce risk of allergies, asthma & food intolerances
 
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