Intestinal bacteria are big news: Breast milk contains 700 varieties (thats good it seems to build an infants immune system and digestive health); we now know they break down neurotransmitters and generate amino acids that affect mood (true gut reactions); and it seems that the disruption of a healthy balance of gut bacteria may cause or be the result of type 2 diabetes.
But perhaps the most astounding news is that a fecal transplant that is, putting someone elses, um, healthy mix of gut bacteria into the GI tract of a person suffering with Crohns disease or a C. difficile infection can banish chronic diarrhea PDQ. But it sounds so, whats the scientific word? Icky.
Well, now theres an artificial mixture of gut bacteria thats called, we kid you not, RePOOPulate. In tests, people with untreatable C. difficile infections (thats the bacteria that can thrive in the gut after treatment with antibiotics) saw their diarrhea clear up in three days after RePOOPulating. Six months later, they were still free of the sinister bug. This not-quite-as-personal bacterial transplant successfully rebalanced their gut with a healthy bacterial mix.
If you have chronic intestinal problems, start a probiotic regimen (we recommend brands that contain Lactobacillus GG and Bacillus coagulans), and make sure you eat plenty of apples. Theyre loaded with pectin (a prebiotic); it helps balance gut bacteria in favor of the good guys. Asparagus, chicory root, garlic, onions and oats also contain prebiotics. And if that doesnt help, talk to your doc about repopulating your intestines with friendly bacteria.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate.