In our recent webinar, Get To Know Your Gut Health Leading Clinical Nutritionist Ben Warren took us through everything we need to know about digestive health, its implications on our overall wellbeing, and how to nurture our gut for concerns both general and specific to us.
We had so many questions from everyone who joined so we have compiled a list of the most popular gut health questions and their answers directly from Ben!
Scroll down to read about:
- Gut health and skincare
- Gut health in children
- Gut health and food and water
- Focus on gall bladders Omeprozole
- Gut health testing
- Digestive Aids
- Gut health and menopause
- Gut health and pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Pro and prebiotics
- Resetting our gut health
- Gut health and sleep
- Gut health for vegans and vegetarians
- The importance of zinc
- The gut-brain connection
The Most Common Gut Health Questions Answered by Ben Warren
Gut health and skincare
Q: Is hormonal acne connected to poor gut health?
A: Yes, there are multiple pathways hormonal acne can be connected to poor gut health. The blood from the intestines goes to the liver and as the liver detoxification pathways get loaded it can mean that the liver struggles to metabolise hormones. The immune response from the gut can also impact cortisol which impacts the metabolic reserves of the body to ovulate and produce progesterone. To support cystic acne in particular, I would recommend our Everyday Wellness Pack plus some extra Super Boost C & Zinc Restore for immunity and for healing of the skin. BePure THREE will also be helpful in controlling the inflammation in the skin.
Q: Can you please talk more about candida overgrowth and skin issues
A: Candida is a yeast overgrowth. It can go systemic which means it’s present in the whole body, not just the digestive system. The yeast is living in our gut but can go into the bloodstream when our immune system is low and this can drive a chronic inflammatory response in the skin contributing to conditions such as eczema & psoriasis.
Gut Health in Children
Q: My 4 year old grandson has had constipation since very young. Do you work with children?
A: Our BePure Clinic team love to support children and constipation is something we often come across. In many cases some gentle, foundational recommendations can make a big difference. If not, from 3+ years old we can utilise extensive testing to find out more about his unique gut health concerns. You can see all the details about our clinic services here.
Q: How can I help heal the gut in a very small child who has bad gut health from giardia parasites?
A: If the Giardia parasite has been addressed already then for small children we would recommend nutrient support in the form of a good quality childrens multi and fish oil to ensure their body has all the key tools it needs to recover from a significant infection. We would also recommend supporting the recovery of their microbiome with a good quality children's probiotic to encourage the beneficial population of microbes in the gut. Bone broths are another powerfully healing food for the gut which you can use regularly particularly in this cooler weather.
Q: How does gut health affect processing issues and adhd in children/ What do you recommend for adhd children?
A: There have been correlations between gut health in children and ADHD and the research still continues to understand exactly why this is. What we do know is that there is a powerful connection between the gut and the mind, when our gut health is compromised this often results in increased levels of inflammation and toxins present in the body which can affect all body systems including the brain. We would recommend a wholefood dietary approach with a particular emphasis on reducing sugar in the diet as well as ensuring the child is getting optimal amounts of key nutrients and a good quality probiotic support.
Q: Do you recommend l-glutamine for helping the gut
A: Absolutely glutamine can be very beneficial for healing the small intestine as it is considered the primary fuel source for the cells lining the small intestine. It is also one of the main amino acids in bone broth and collagen which makes it so nourishing for your gut health.
Q: What do you think about zero sugar drinks e.g pepsi max, coke no sugar?
It depends on what sweetner they are using, the research around synthetic sweeteners is not positive for supporting gut health unfortunately.
Q: I get swollen itchy hot red dermatitis type rash on my hands when I am preparing food (chopping vegetables etc). If my hands are having this reaction, is it likely that my gut will not be happy with these foods also?
A: Yes, absolutely, it would suggest you have a significant immune response to foods, try and notice what specific foods exhibit this response and it would be useful to do some testing via the BePure Clinic to help establish the foods that are triggering this type of immune response.
Q: Do additives like psyllium help or harm the system.
For most people extra insoluble fibre like psyllium can help, but it can actually make some people constipated or irritate some peoples bowels particularly in those with IBS or similar symptoms so it really depends on the individual.
Q: Is English breakfast tea bad for gut health? I have gut issues after drinking tea.
It sounds like this may be the case for you specifically and I would suggest that your body doesn’t like the tannins in the tea, I would recommend moving towards other herbal teas instead such as green tea.
Q: Can you drink too much water?
Yes, but it is difficult to do, I recommend drinking water based on body weight eg 60kg = 2 litres, 75 kg = 2.5 litres, 90kg = 3 litres.
"You can figure out how much water we would recommend for you using the formula: 0.033 x (your body weight) = Litres of water recommended for you to drink daily"
Q: I have diagnosed fructose intolerance and wondering what foods would help tolerate these food groups?
A: I would recommend trying Lutomerase, it’s a supplement that contains the enzyme xylose isomerase that converts fructose to glucose.
Q: I can only eat small amounts as I get full about an hour after eating and can stay full for hours. If it takes an hour to affect me, am I needing HCL, bile, or enzymes? Or is the problem further down, ie dysbiosis, so prebiotics or probiotics?
A: It sounds like the pyloric valve is not opening, this may be due to inadequate HCl levels (ie not enough stomach acid) to break down your food in preparation to enter the small intestine. Otherwise it could also be due to a food intolerance or sensitivity causing difficulty for food to pass from your stomach to your small intestines. Try monitoring if this is more significant with certain types of foods or consider looking into some testing to investigate this further with the help of one of our holistic health practitioners.
Q: Can your body get dependent on any of these supplements, as I was told not to take digestive enzymes for too long or your body gets lazy?
A: Ideally we would not require the support of digestive enzymes long term which is why we also recommend topping up your Zinc levels to support your own digestive capacity and making sure we are eating our meals mindfully so our body has a chance to focus its energy on breaking down our food.
Q: Does lemon turn alkaline when we take it?
A: The effect of lemon juice once absorbed into the body is alkalising on a cellular level, although it is acidic by nature.
Q: Are grapefruit and lime an appropriate replacement for lemon in water before meals?
A: Yes you can mix and match citrus fruit for variety if you like, all will be supportive for aiding digestion and we recommend to drink this up to 15 minutes before your meal.
Gall Bladders and Omeprazole
Q: If one has gall bladder removed, would you recommend digest assist long term?
A: When the gallbladder is removed it becomes very difficult for the body to break down fats so we would recommend taking Digest Assist whenever you have a high fat meal on a long term basis.
Q: I have to take Omeprozole every day as I have a large hiatus hernia. I also have had my gallbladder removed. Your gut products tend to have HCL in them which work against the Omeprozole . Are there any I can take?
A: Unfortunately due to the opposing effects of the medication Omeprozole and BePure Digest Assist we would not be able to recommend taking them together. We would however recommend supporting your digestive system with a good quality probiotic like BePure Two.
We would also recommend BePure One to assist with your nutrient status to support your upper digestive capacity.
Q: I recently started taking Digest Assist and Be Pure 2, but also take Omeprazole, mainly to counter possible gut issues due to having to also take Aspirin (from a recent heart attack). I am keen to stop taking Omeprazole if the Be Pure products might counter gut problems?
A: In order to swap your medication for our Digest Assist we would recommend checking with your health professional around this as it may not have the same protective properties as your Omeprazole. Feel free to reach out to our team if this is something you would like to look into.
Gut Health Testing
The Bepure Clinic offers a number of functional tests including the IgG/IgE Elisa Test, this looks into your intolerances and allergies to 96x different foods.
We can offer our testing services anywhere in Australasia as the samples can all be taken by your local blood lab or in the comfort of your own home.
We also have a comprehensive stool test available which allows us to see what resides in your digestive system as well as some information around the function of your digestive system.
Q: How long can you consume Digest Assist for? I've been using it for several years now.
A: I would recommend having a break, ensuring your zinc levels are up and monitoring symptoms. If they return then you may need to go back on Digest Assist. Ideally once you get your zinc levels and vitamin D levels up to an optimal level your digestive capacity should return and Digest Assist is not required long term.
Q: Why am I getting bloated after taking the BePure digest assist? I am also taking the probiotic. It is causing severe abdominal bloating, stomach pain and excess gas?
A: It is more likely the probiotic is causing the bloating than the Digest Assist, this is due to the broad spectrum of probiotic strains present as well as an ingredient called Inulin which can be problematic for those sensitive to FOS food.
This can indicate that you could have a small intestine bacterial overgrowth and to support this I would recommend booking an appointment at the BePure Clinic.
You can also try reducing your dose to 1x capsule per day of the BePure Two and having your Digest Assist only with your larger meals. If this does not help improve your bloating it would be best to contact our support team.
Menopause & Gut health
Q: Does our gut health change when experiencing menopause & how can we support this?
A: Our sex hormones effect much more than our reproductive organs and it is most likely that the changes in your major sex hormmones, oestogen and progesterone can cause some changes in your gut health and potentially some new gut symptoms. We have an incredible product called MenoCalm, it has a combination of herbal ingredients and nutrients specifically chosen to support digestion plus other power ingredients to support symptoms associated with menopause like hot flashes. It contains an ingredient called Ashwaganda which support stress resilience and adrenal health. This would be a lovely combination with our new stress resilience range coming soon!
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Q: I know constipation is a thing during pregnancy due to the hormones, what about postpartum while breastfeeding?
A: Many women experience differences and it’s about supporting and managing those changes as much as possible. Probiotic support and nutrient support is a great idea post pregnancy, to support your bodies recovery as well as babies health too while breastfeeding.
Q: Why is Digest Assist not ok for pregnant or breastfeeding?
This is because BePure Digest Assist contains ox bile to support digestion and is considered a raw ingredient so not suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Digestive enzymes have never been assessed for their safety in these populations.
Pro and Prebiotics
Q: Are prebiotic preferable to probiotics?
A: Probiotics are the bacteria that have a known benefit to our wellbeing while prebiotics are the foods that feed the beneficial microbes. We need both to develop and sustain a healthy and diverse microbiome. This is one of the key reasons we recommend a focus on a wholefoods diet, rich in plant matter and particularly leafy greens with an additional daily serving of fermented foods
If you find you react to fermented foods then it would be great to support your digestive capacity as well as populating your gut with beneficial microbes as this can be an indicator of SIBO which the clinic team are able to support you around.
Q: I try to do everything I should - good probiotic, GF, DF, minimal inflammatory foods etc but I think Im sure I still have gut issues. Taking your fabulous supplements also. What more can I do?
It is great to see you are already taking steps to support your gut health. When it comes to supporting ongoing health concerns like Diverticulitis, H Pylori or IBS then getting support from an experienced health professional can be a vital next step. We have a number of tools available in the BePure Clinic which allows us to get really personalised with supporting your ongoing health concerns and getting to the root cause. You can see all the details about our clinic services here.
Resetting our gut health
Q: After a course of antibiotics, what would you recommend to take/eat to recover from this?
A: Antibiotics are a vital tool in the medical system when dealing with infections however the unfortunate side effects of antibiotics is that they are not specific to only the harmful microbes present in the body and can significantly damage our microbiome. We would highly recommend supporting your gut health with a probiotic like BePure Two as soon as you are finished with your antibiotic course. You can then focus on increasing your microbiome diversity with the help of probiotic foods, fermented foods and probiotics foods.
Q: What do you think about procedures like a colon cleanse to reset your digestive system?
A: Colon cleanses are a great way to get your bowels moving and support the flushing of the small intestines. This is a common tool we use with our BePure Clients who experience ongoing gut health issues like chronic constipation.
SleepQ: Can you please make more comment on the connection between poor sleep and gut health?
A: Sleep is incredibly important for mental processing and for setting the circadian rhythm for our cells. When we get poor sleep, we get a disruption of our homeostasis which can disrupt all the systems in our body, including gut health.
Gut Health for Vegans and Vegetarians
Q: What do you recommend for people who are vegetarian to heal their gut since Bone broth is a no go?
A: If you are vegetarian you can use a great plant based alternative to help with healing your gut lining, Aloe. You can find Aloe in a safe and drinkable form in your local health stores, we would recommend to select an organically grown option and no added sweeteners option. This is also a great option for those who suspect they do not tolerate bone broth very well.
We do also have a range of products which are also vegan friendly but if you are not sure our Wellness Coordinator team will be happy to help out.
The importance of Zinc for Gut Health
Q: What are the problems that occur if low in Zinc?
A: Zinc is a vital nutrient which is required for over 200 metabolic processes in the body. One of the most common issues with low Zinc levels is that our body is not able to produce enough hydrochloric acid to break down our food properly and this can then leave us vulnerable to parasitic infections and gut health issues such as SIBO.
This can also mean you will not be able to absorb micronutrients from your food. Zinc is also important for many other key body functions not specific to the gut such as wound healing, collagen synthesis, skin health, depression, serotonin and melatonin production, and neurotransmitter balance in the brain. You can use a Zinc taste test to get an indication on your Zinc levels, if you experience a strong taste within 5 seconds this suggests you have good Zinc levels. You can also have your blood marker tested for a more specific result.
Q: When I take liquid zinc I vomit it straight back up do u know why? I know I'm very low in zinc. I also get bad nausea when I take zinc.
A: We would recommend trying to take zinc on a full stomach, with food, and lower the dose as a high dose on an empty stomach can leave people feeling nauseous.
The Gut-Brain Connection
Q: I sometimes get migraines & with it my gut feels queasy & yuck - do you think the migraine starts from my gut to my brain or the other way round?
Nausea is a common experience with severe migraines and it is likely this goes both ways as inflammation can be a common trigger and inflammation can be largely driven from the gut. We would recommend to keep vigilant around when you experience a migraine and how you are feeling at the time and even what foods you have eaten recently in case they are related.