Probiotics For Constipation

Probiotics For Constipation

Constipation is a disorder in which there is difficulty moving one’s bowels. It’s a very common problem, particularly for those living in the western world, and for some people it can be chronic and worrisome, making this a popular question; do probiotics for constipation work?

Here in the west, diets are extremely low in roughage and proper dietary fiber. The number of normal bowel movements range from 1 or 2 a day to twice a week. Compare that to rural Africa where grain is a dietary staple and movements can occur 6  or 7 times a day!

The most common cause of constipation is a lack of dietary fiber in our diet. This is easy to understand when you consider the large amounts of processed foods we eat, and not enough whole, unrefined foods.

Add to that the many medications used by our society; iron supplements, antidepressants, painkillers etc, all these can cause constipation as well. Ironically, many problems that we have to use these meds in the first place often come from many years of eating a poor diet. It’s a viscous cycle!

Probiotics for constipation

Probiotics, or live intestinal bacteria can maintain a healthy intestinal tract which includes the colon. This beneficial bacteria is necessary to keep away the dangerous bacteria that has ways  of causing improper bowel function among other digestive disorders. The simple act of increasing your beneficial bacteria that resides in the colon can help with getting rid of constipation.

What’s the best way to feed your good bacteria?

Scientists have discovered that it’s the prebiotic dietary fibers we ingest that are responsible for feeding our good intestinal bacteria. This is extremely important in the large intestine (colon) because this is where “things” get sorted out. By feeding your probiotics (good bacteria) you will be keeping things moving along better and preventing nasty disorders and even colon cancer.

How do prebiotic fibers work?

When we eat a food that has prebiotic fiber, called soluble fiber, this type of fiber does not get digested anywhere in our digestive system. When it hits the colon, it ferments and it’s this fermentation that the good bacteria thrives on. This not only helps with bowel movements but destroys the pathogens (bad bacteria) and keeps them from forming the potentially dangerous cells on the intestinal wall which can become polyps – the precursors to colon cancer.

Make probiotics for constipation work for you

Most people may just eat lots of yogurt that has been supplemented with probiotics thinking this will do the trick. It just doesn’t work that way. Probiotics are not self-supporting, which means they need prebiotic soluble fiber to feed upon and do their magic in the colon.

That’s why more foods are being processed with the addition of prebiotics in them now. Don’t forget that just because a processed food has prebioticcs, that food is good for you as well, it can still be a low quality food, if it wasn’t it wouldn’t need the added prebiotics right!?