June 2009 Newsletter

Probiotics for Constipation
Daily Herald, June 3rd, asks the nutritionist:

Are Probiotics really helpful in treating constipation?

Karen Colins says that many people are helped by probiotics, especially when constipation is part of the condition, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

She says that evidence is growing that probiotics - which are live active cultures of health-promoting bacteria - offer a variety of health benefits. The most consistent benefits suggest that probiotics help control diarrhea following antibiotic treatment. Some studies show probiotics help in dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, and play a role in reducing risk of colon cancer.

She says that there are many variables as to how much probiotics will influence a person's condition. Different types of probiotic bacteria clearly have different effects. Individuals will almost surely respond differently to the same probiotic bacteria, depending in part on the kinds of bacteria already living in their digestive tract and in their overall diet.

For example, Collins says, probiotic bacteria might multiply and produce beneficial results more quickly if there is enough dietary fiber on which the bacteria can "feed." Eating a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular physical activity are all factors that help probiotics be more effective in overcoming constipation.
Crohn's Disease Kids are Becoming Corticosteroid Dependent
Research Title: Immediate and Long-Term Response to Corticosteroid Therapy in Pediatric Crohn's Disease Patients. Abstract M1160
According to new study results presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2009, a high proportion of children with moderate to severe Crohn's disease treated with corticosteroids become corticosteroid dependent, particularly girls and children diagnosed at an earlier age.

Alfreda Krupoves, MD, MSc, Saint Justine University Hospital Centre (CHU Sainte-Justine), Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues reported on the results of a study conducted to assess the short- and long-term outcomes of the first course of corticosteroid therapy in children with Crohn's disease to examine potential factors that may predict corticosteroid responsiveness.

Based on the findings, the authors concluded that alternatives to corticosteroids are needed, particularly in girls and children diagnosed with Crohn's disease at a younger age.
The study included 195 children diagnosed with Crohn's disease who received corticosteroids within 1 year of diagnosis. Diagnosis was based on standard criteria used at a pediatric gastroenterology clinic in Montreal, and clinical phenotypes were classified using the Montreal Classification...read more...
More Caffeine Increases Risk of Low Birth Weight
Moms are being advised to cut caffeine levels while pregnant to reduce the risk of delivering a low-birth-weight baby.

A British study found that the more caffeine a woman drinks daily during pregnancy, the more likely she is to have a dangerously small baby. Consuming between 100 and 199 milligrams of caffeine daily increased the risk by 20% compared to women who drank less than 100 milligrams daily.

Those who consumed between 200 and 299 milligrams had a 50% increased risk of a low-birth-weight child, while the risk was 40% for those with caffeine intakes above 300 milligrams daily. Drinking more than 100 milligrams of caffeine in the first trimester cut baby's weight an average of 34 to 59 grams, with a reduction of up to 89 grams in birth weight by the third trimester (i.e. just less than two-tenths of a pound).

Low birth weight can lead to health problems. In fact, in response to the study, the British Food Standards Agency has dropped the recommended allowable caffeine amount for pregnant women from 300 milligrams a day to 200 milligrams - which is about 2 cups of coffee. 
Did You Know???
  • Vitamin C may fight wrinkles.
    Recent finding: People that consume the most vitamin C had 11% fewer wrinkles than those who consume least vitamin C.

    Theory: The antioxidants in vitamin C are important component in the production of Collagen, a protein that help to keep skin smooth and firm.

    Good source of vitamin C: Orange, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli.

  • Fight cancer with fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE) says Mark A. Stengler, ND. He found that patients with colorectal cancer were less likely to develop new tumors when they took FWGR as an adjunct to conventional therapy.

    FWGE slowed the progression of oral cancer and reduced the death rate among patients being treated for advanced melanoma.

    FWGE is sold as a power in health-food stores and on-line, it should not be confused with ordinary wheat germ.
    Brand names include Avemar and Ave.

    Remember to talk to your physician bebofe taking FWGE for cancer.
  In this Issue:
Probiotics for Constipaton
Crohn's Kids Depending on Corticosteroid
Caffeine Increases Risk of Low Birth Weight
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