Flower Mound & Denton



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Debunking Digestive Myths

Debunking Digestive Myths

According to New Nutrition Business, a global nutrition business researcher, digestive health tops the list of key trends in the functional food market.

There is a great deal of interest associated with inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion, and boosting immune function.

Given this trend, it is not surprising that there is a great deal of confusion amongst consumers around digestive health.  The following are common myths and truths:

1. Colon cleanses can detoxify your gut

Diets, fasts, supplements, and enemas claim that the body needs help to detoxify itself.  The reality is that our guts are very efficient cleansers.  There is no evidence to suggest that any product or cleanse can release toxins stored in organs and fat tissue.

2. Spicy foods cause ulcers

The notion that spicy foods irritate stomach lining is a very dated myth.  The more likely cause of ulcers is Helicobacter pylori and overuse of pain medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), which are tough on the stomach lining.  Spicy foods may aggravate an ulcer but not cause it.

3. Nuts and seeds can increase risk of diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is when pouches in the colon walls get inflamed.  Nuts, corn, popcorn, and foods with small seeds such as strawberries are sometimes cautioned against for fear they could be lodged and fester in the diverticula. Chewing these foods well instead of eliminating them is encouraged.

4. Gluten allergy is the cause of all my issues

Eliminating gluten for individuals with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy is justified and recommended.  Blaming gluten on all aches, pain and fatigue, however, may be inappropriate.  Prior to eliminating gluten, it is important to have an appropriate diagnosis.

5. Lactose intolerant individuals should not consume dairy products

Symptoms related to lactose can often be dose dependent and related to the type of dairy consumed.  A small amount of lactose can often be tolerated; it is larger quantities that can be irritating.  Also, there are some dairy sources that are better choices.  For example, yogurt, ice cream and aged cheeses (eg. Swiss and cheddar) are easier to digest than milk.