Did you know that there are currently 1.6 million Americans living with irritable bowel disease — either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease — and that the number is steadily growing?
That’s because according to the experts, irritable bowel disease or IBD is a disease of the industrialized world and just one more problem we can lay at the feet of our westernized lifestyle.
Yep, that’s a fancy way of saying we eat bad food, sit indoors and are exposed to too many toxins which all work together to destroy our GI tracts. And, unfortunately modern medicine offers few if any effective long-term treatments — so once you’ve got it, you’re left to suffer.
Luckily, thanks to research by scientists at the University of Louisville, there’s now a way to protect yourself, restore your gut’s integrity and avoid the inflammation, pain, cramping and other symptoms that come with IBD — and as a bonus it’s tasty and healthy for your whole body.
Keeps the toxins from leaking out
You see, normally, your gut has tight junctions that form a barrier to keep bacteria and other toxins from leaking out. However, in people with IBD, this barrier doesn’t function and all of that bad stuff seeps through causing the inflammation cascade that leads to all the problems that characterize IBD.
But those Louisville researchers found something to put a stop to that problem and rebuild the wall around your gut…
It’s called Urolithin A (UroA) — a microbial metabolite your body makes when you eat berries and pomegranates.
And they discovered that it has the power to increase proteins that tighten cell junctions in the gut and reduce gut inflammation in animal models. And, not only does it reduce inflammation and restore gut barrier integrity, it also protects against colitis.
According to the researchers, administration of UroA after the development of colitis reverses the condition and administration before development of colitis prevents it from occurring.
That means it can both prevent and treat irritable bowel disease!
Add probiotic power
Now, here’s the kicker…
You do need a specific type of bacteria in your gut in order to make UroA for the compounds in berries and pomegranates.
“Microbes in our gut have evolved to generate beneficial microbial metabolites in the vicinity of the gut barrier,” Venkatakrishna Rao Jala, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology said. “However, this requires that we protect and harbor the appropriate gut microbiota and consume a healthy diet.”
In other words, you need to get plenty of probiotics (and be sure to work to restore your gut flora if you’ve taken antibiotics that kill off the good stuff) along with the fruits to make the most use of them.
And the scientists do warn that some people may not have any of the necessary bacteria so they recommend that people who are in an acute state of colitis use the synthetic form of the compound — basically the pharmaceutical drug that the companies make from the natural version.
Natural IBD protection
However, for the rest of us, protecting ourselves naturally by getting plenty of berries and pomegranates along with beneficial probiotics in our diet could be the ultimate recipe for IBD protection.
A poor diet is a major factor linked to the development of IBD, and now it’s been proven that a change in your diet by adding in berries and pomegranates could be the key to keeping your gut in great shape. What a delicious way to maintain great health!