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Good Bacteria and A Healthy Gut

Do you often get stomach aches? Are you constantly wondering where the bathroom is in case an emergency arises? Does this have a large effect on your life? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be one of the up to 20 percent of American adults who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome at some point in their lives. IBS is a disorder of the large intestine (colon). Symptoms vary in severity, but one thing is certain - this condition is an uncomfortable one. Perhaps what makes it all the more difficult is the fact that both the cause and the cure for IBS is largely unclear.

As one might expect, there are a number of theories around what causes IBS: sensitive colon, stress, hormonal changes, etc. Many people prescribe to the idea that IBS is due to the predominance of bad bacteria in the gut. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, well known for developing the concept of GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome), explains what it is that causes damage to our "gut flora."

"Many influences in our modern world which we have created can damage our gut flora," she explains. "Number one is the era of antibiotics."

Dr. Campbell-McBride explains that antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria in our guts but also the good bacteria. This is then passed on from generation to generation as mothers hand down their gut flora to their children and so on. Prescriptions taken over a long period of time, such as the contraceptive pill, cause the most harm. Additional causes of damage to gut flora are the evolution of bottle feeding for babies instead of breast feeding as well as the prevalence of junk food and processed carbohydrates. Exposure to toxic substances, such as radiation or alcohol, also has an effect on gut flora.

The colon, the organ that is effected by IBS, is a barometer for the body’s health status and can provide a large number of health benefits if it is populated with good bacteria. One of the best tools for building this good bacteria is feeding it with prebiotics. Prebiotics are a form of soluble plant fibers which stimulate the growth of good bacteria. It is the chicory root sweetener in ChocoPerfection’s chocolate bars that makes up their prebiotic ingredient.

Although prebiotics may cause some initial colon gas, it is widely recommended that eating small amounts of food with prebiotics to begin with will gradually build up the good bacteria in the colon and alleviate symptoms of IBS that cripple so many. This could be, for instance, one 10g-square of ChocoPerfection every day, which is an easy way to slowly introduce prebiotics to the gut for improved gut health. After about a week, slowly increase consumption by one 10g-square every three days to continue building the good bacteria. It is ideal to combine this with the anti-candida diet as well, which calls for avoiding anything - sugar, grains, fruit and dairy – that will feed the bad bacteria in the gut.

Digestive issues are widespread and are routinely alleviated by healthy gut flora. If a small piece of sugar-free ChocoPerfection diet chocolate every day can improve your digestion, and you get to eat chocolate, why not?