Excepted from the #1 best selling new book The Kefir Solution: Natural Healing for IBS, Anxiety and Depression by Shann Nix Jones
86% percent of all British adults suffered from some sort of gastrointestinal problem or ailment in the past year.
If you are one of them, you know that science has had very little help to sufferers of IBS – until now.
Cause of IBS uncovered
New research has uncovered strong evidence that IBS, along with the anxiety and depression that frequently accompany it, are all associated with
an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. A landmark study by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US used cultures from the small intestine to connect bacteria to the cause of the disorder.
Mark Pimentel, an author of the study, said: ‘While we found compelling evidence in the past that bacterial overgrowth is a contributing cause of IBS, making this link through bacterial cultures is the gold standard of diagnosis. This clear evidence of the role bacteria play in the condition underscores our clinical trial findings… Bacteria are key contributors to the cause of IBS.’
The science behind kefir
Discovering the cause of IBS has now opened the way for probiotic treatments that can resolve it.
In January 2017 the first mainstream UK study was performed to determine which probiotic food has the greatest impact on the bugs inside the human gut. The study was conducted by Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of the BBC TV show Trust Me I’m a Doctor, along with NHS Highland and 30 volunteers and scientists around the country.
At the end of the four weeks, the biggest change in gut bacteria was seen in the group that had taken a probiotic called “kefir,” a fermented milk drink that originated in the Black Caucasus Mountains.
The study confirmed that the non-transient bacteria in kefir do survive our digestive process – with its strong acid that kills off dangerous bacteria in our food – and reaches the gut to colonize it and suppress pathogens (disease-causing bugs.)
The American College of Gastroenterology performed a comprehensive literature review on the topic, and found that probiotics like kefir were both safe and effective in improving symptoms and normalizing bowel movement frequency in patients suffering from constipation or diarrhoea related to IBS.
Can Kefir also improve athletic performance?
Scientists are also currently exploring the connection between probiotics like kefir, and improved athletic performance. “We are more bacteria than we are human,” says Jonathan Scheiman, Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School. “The bugs in our gut affect our energy metabolism, making it easier to break down carbohydrates, protein and fiber. They are also involved in inflammation and neurological function. So the microbiome could be relevant for applications in endurance, recovery and maybe even mental toughness.”
A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that the probiotic Lactobacillus, found in kefir, substantially cut the rate and length of respiratory illness in professional long distance runners. Probiotics seem to increase systemic immunity, possibly by boosting the activity of T cells. Researchers concluded,“An improvement in resistance to common illnesses constitutes an important benefit to elite athletes undertaking high level training in preparation for national and international competitions.”
What kind of kefir is best?
When sourcing kefir to help with IBS and systemic immunity, look for a live, active, traditional-style kefir, rather than a supermarket probiotic, which may be pasteurised after production. Choose kefir that is made with real kefir grains; if it doesn’t say on the label that it is made with real grains, it probably isn’t.
Goats milk is the best base for kefir, as the A1 casein in cow’s milk is allergenic and can cause inflammation inside the gut. Avoid flavoured or sweetened kefir, as sugar and sweeteners can further damage your microbiome. If you wish to flavour your kefir at home, use 100% pure stevia and fruit, blending and consuming immediately to avoid degradation of the probiotics.
Kefir suitable for use to deal with IBS and boost general wellness can be sourced from www.chucklinggoat.co.uk.
For personalised advice, ring 01239 654 072.