Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Artichoke Raises the Levels of "Good Bacteria" in the Gut

By Kyle J. Norton

Gut microbiota is a complex community with over trillion microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts.

In healthy individuals, the ratio of good and bad microorganisms is balanced. In other words, healthy gut microbiota levels maintain the structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract.

In fact, balanced ratio of gut microbiota plays a critical role in the digestion of certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest, in the production vitamins, improvement of digestive functioning and modulation of the immune function.

Use of antibiotics has been found to damage the gut ecosystem, leading to certain chronic illness such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, cancer, and autism. 

Further, the unbalanced ratio of gut microbiota functions also alters immune homeostasis, leading to the onset of autoimmune disorders which in turn can affect the development of not only intestinal but also systemic autoimmune diseases.

Compared to probiotics, the prebiotics is compound in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut.

In other definition, it is a special form of dietary fiber that acts as a fertilizer that promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut.

In the gastrointestinal tract, prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome.
In other words, prebiotics raises the levels of healthy bacteria against bad bacteria.

Artichoke is a perennial thistle of Cynara cardunculus species of the Cynara genus, belonging to the family Carduoideae native to Southern Europe around the Mediterranean.

The herbal plant has been used in traditional medicine as a liver protective and detoxified agent, and to treat digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.

Researchers on the finding a natural therapeutic which promotes probiotics examined the artichoke preparation on microbiota ecology and immune status.

The study included 48 piglets divided into 6 groups (n = 8), which received from day 10 of life probiotic-unsupplemented (PU) or probiotic-supplemented (PS, containing 0.5 g/kg diet and contained: Lactococcus lactis, Carnobacterium divergens, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) diets.

The PU and PS diets were formulated without prebiotic addition (control) or with the addition of 2% of inulin from chicory root (IN) or 4% of dried Jerusalem artichoke tubers (DJA).

Feeding DJA diets showed to improve the balance of the gut microbiota by increasing the caecal valeric acid level, and decreasing the concentration of isoacids in the colon,

Furthermore, DJA diets also reduced β-glucosidase and β-glucuronidase activity induced gut toxicity in the middle colon and increased Bifidobacterium spp. populations in the proximal and distal colon.

These results suggested that DJA modified the microbiota ecology in the large intestine of young pigs to a greater extent as a prebiotic.

Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a functional remedy as a  prebiotic for the treatment of patients with unbalanced gut microbiota with no side effects, pending to the validation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) The effects of inulin, dried Jerusalem artichoke tuber and a multispecies probiotic preparation on microbiota ecology and immune status of the large intestine in young pigs by Barszcz M1, Taciak M1, Skomiał J. (PubMed)

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