Nearly 40% of older adults have one or more digestive disorders; 18% suffer from constipation; 10-14% have IBS (irritable bowels syndrome) and 375 million episodes of acute diarrhea are diagnosed each year. So what’s in your colon?
It seems the current research finds that most of the digestive problems stem from a lack of enzymes to extract essential nutrients from food along with an imbalance of healthy gut flora and pathogenic bacteria in the lower GI. It’s long been know that probiotics like acidophilus help restore good flora in the intestines which is why the yogurt folks advertise this benefit. But it is still questionable whether the sugars and fruit in yogurt kills the live bacteria so if you want to gain benefit, eat unflavored yogurt or take supplements. As far as enzymes go, as we age our pancreas ability is produce digestive enzymes is reduced. Therefore, it is essential to supplement. Our cooperative sells a veggie cap multi enzyme, Absorbaid which is a multi-enzyme product. For specific conditions it may be necessary to invest in specific enzymes such as protease if you have trouble with protein. Gluten intolerant folks may have some help from supplements containing pepsin and trypsin which impact the toxic molecule in gluten even after digestion. Approx. 60% of autistic children are gluten intolerant and have low levels of endogenous antioxidants and thus these specific digestive enzymes plus a good antioxidant could mitigate symptoms.
If you are prone to acid reflux, flatulence and swollen stomaches it may simply be that your enzymes are deficient and a simple enzyme supplement may help.