Imbalanced gut flora and probiotics
To improve or prevent intestinal transit disorders, it is often recommended to supplement one’s diet with probiotics, which naturally restore gut flora. But what do gut flora do? Why is it important to eat fibre every day? And what are probiotics?
The role of gut flora and probiotics
Gut flora, called microbiota by specialists, consists of billions of bacteria which live in the intestinal tract and are very important for the body’s natural functioning. These bacteria come from our diet, which is not sterile. Some ingested bacteria, those which are not destroyed by acidic stomach juices (which play a protective role), make their way to the colon, where they remain and become gut flora. These bacteria improve digestion because they break down dietary fibre in the colon, particularly fibre found in fruit, vegetables and grains. Developing and maintaining these bacteria is key to healthy intestinal transit. Moreover, our gut bacteria help to combat pathogenic viruses and bacteria. As such, they are essential for our immune system and for our health. However, lifestyle and dietary changes have resulted in people consuming more and more pasteurised foods that do not contain any bacteria, ultimately leading to poor or imbalanced gut flora. This impoverished gut flora no longer adequately protects or maintains the immune system and does not properly support bowel movement. This in turn causes intestinal disorders (constipation, bloating, abdominal cramps) as a result of much less effective peristalsis (muscle contractions in the digestive tract), especially if the contents of the colon are reduced or dehydrated. It is therefore crucial to cultivate your gut flora, not only for your daily well-being but also for your health in general in the fight against certain diseases and disorders.
Why fibre is important for fighting against constipation
Dietary fibre, derived from plants, comes from our food. This fibre is digested in the colon by the bacteria that feed off it, thereby contributing to the proper development and balance of gut flora. Plant fibre can be categorised into soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble dietary fibre, which is more fermentable than insoluble fibre, more effectively contributes to the nutrition and growth of bacteria contained in gut flora and indirectly provides energy for cells that make up the colon lining. These combined effects improve intestinal transit and help relieve constipation. A high-fibre, balanced diet contributes to the proper functioning of the colon and is made up of 50% soluble fibre and 50% insoluble fibre. OptiFibre® is a way of supplementing your diet in fibre and thereby improving your bowel movements. In addition to its short-term laxative effect, OptiFibre® has a long-term effect of restoring gut flora thanks to its composition comprising guar gum, which is highly fermentable.