Gastrointestinal Health – Professor Avni Sali’s latest monthly article for The Melbourne Review

Date: 18-07-2013

After a brief hiatus Professor Sali has returned to The Melbourne Review. In his latest article Gastrointestinal Health article Professor Sali discusses the gastrointestinal system in particular: the importance of healthy gut bacteria, some of the most common gastrointestinal disorders as well as the integrative approach to maintaining your gastrointestinal health.

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Gastrointestinal Health

Jully 2013AVNI SALI

A healthy gut is an important but often overlooked area of health maintenance and disease prevention. While good nutrition is critical to good health, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is also vital, and healthy gut flora plays a significant role in nutrient uptake. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are on the rise, particularly in Western populations and poor diets, stress, the use or overuse of antibiotics and other medications, and various diseases are all considered contributing factors to a range of GI issues. Significant research has been conducted into the role and function of the GI lining, good versus bad bacterial balance, various food sensitivities and the role of digestive enzymes, specifically pancreatic enzymes and stomach acid. Increasingly the role of complementary therapies is being recognised for not only the management of symptoms, but also in the restoration of the GI system to optimal functioning. As babies we are born with sterile GI tracts and feeding, ideally through breast milk, helps us build healthy colonies of bacteria.

There are between 400-500 different species of bacteria in the diverse ecosystem within the human body. We have trillions of bacteria inside our bodies; in fact there are more bacteria in the body than cells. Intestinal microflora makes a significant contribution not only to the healthy functioning of the GI tract, but also to various other metabolic activities, including immune function, cholesterol metabolism and hormone metabolism.

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For more of Professor Avni Sali’s articles from The Melbourne Review visit The Melbourne Review – Health.