Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a poorly-understood diagnosis that categorizes difficulty in maintaining regular bowel movement cycles. Recent research has found that people suffering from IBS symptoms tend to have a unique balance of intestinal bacteria. Those suffering from IBS were found to have less than half of the Bifidobacterium Catenulatum bacteria found in those with healthy digestive cycles[1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699007].

Research Offers Insight in IBS Symptoms

This significant finding furthers the evolving understanding between gut health and beneficial bacteria, such as those found in many probiotics. Modern research is illustrating that our Health may be as much a balance of microbiotic lifeforms—and what we feed them—as it is about anything else. Learning more about the intricacies of digestive mircoflora can seem intimidating at first glance—even Science is just beginning to gain a functional understanding. These types of bacteria are found everywhere in the world around us, and we are exposed to them on a constant basis.

Fermented foods like sour krauts, Kimchi, and tempeh are great sources for many bacteria that are generally regarded to be capable of helping to boost gut health. Probiotics are another wildly-popular source of these bacteria, and used by many people. As with most supplements and live-culture foods—brand quality greatly determines how much benefit you might actually be getting. Working to better understand these powerful microorganisms, and their role in our health, may help you find a better balance. The research here is specific to IBS, but likely similar with many different health conditions [2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/].

Researchers found lower levels of Bifidobacterium Catenulatum in those suffering from IBS

Lower Counts of ‘Good’ Bacteria Connected to IBS

How do you digest food? This simple question has  proven to be quite enigmatic over the years. We’ve understood the most basic functions of the human body for centuries—mouth, teeth, stomach, intestines, etc. What Science is still largely unaware of are the specifics of how these systems operate and co-mingle with one another. One of the most interesting concepts of healthy digestion is the role of intestinal microflora. These are the billions of tiny bacterial lifeforms that live inside you digestive tract. These tiny little microbiota exist in a delicate balance which is very much affected by what we eat and where we live. Bacteria like Streptococcus pyogenes—responsible for Strep Throat—are found in nearly all of our bodies at any given time, but they are kept in a harmless balance by other bacteria. It’s useful to regard this balance as a ‘soup’ of sorts, where all the ingredients have access to one another and are constantly mixing together. Trouble can begin when certain bacteria are able to grow in excess, which can alter the delicate balance of bacterial community. This can be seen in such issues as Candida Albicans, which is common yeast known to cause symptoms of brain fog, chronic fatigue, and depression. C.Albicans is a common yeastt bacteria that provides valuable function to our body, but when exposed to diets high in yeast-fueling ingredients like sugar and carbohydrates—it can begin affecting your balance of microbiota.

Researchers discovered Bifidobacterium Catenulatum levels were nearly twice as low in those suffering from IBS

Understanding the potential of this type of balance in affecting any numbers of health issues, researchers from the University Medical Center in the Netherlands developed a study to categorize microbiota in patients with IBS symptoms. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a godawful term used by modern Western medicine to describe un-disposable digestive issues. If you are constipated or have diarrhea for an extended period of time, you’d likely qualify for an IBS diagnosis by your local team of MDs.  The team from the Netherlands decided to offer more meaningful insight into the issue, and developed a study to better understand the shifts in gut bacteria among those suffering from IBS symptoms. The investigated the bacteria found in samples taken directly from the small intestine walls of 41 volunteers. These noble subjects all suffered from one of three types of IBS—diarrhea type, constipation type, and alternating diarrhea/constipation. Using methods proven to provide accuratee identification of these types of bacteria, the researchers compared the samples taken from this group with the samples collected from 26 healthy subjects. Researchers discovered Bifidobacterium Catenulatum levels were nearly twice as low in those suffering from IBS—making a potential connection between specific bacteria and IBS.

Maintaining Balance

Your digestive tract is thought to be comprised of more than 30,000 different species of bacteria [3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1959459/]. Considering each of these may be present in varying amounts, it’s almost impossible to imagine how to approach understanding their specific impact on health. Many beneficial bacteria in our guts are considered to be transient—which means they don’t colonize on a permanent basis. Working to maintain constant exposure to these bacteria can be beneficial to your health, but can also be difficult. Ideally, eating fermented foods such as yogurt and krauts can help boost your levels of beneficial bacteria conveniently. Foods like sour kraut often contain loads of bacteria like Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Paraplantarum, Lactobacillus Koreensis, Lactobacillus Brevis, and Lactobacillus Hammesii. These bacteria are all generally regarded as being beneficial to gut health, and can had by simply eating unpasteurized sour kraut.  Everyone is different however, and sometimes more isolated approaches can be helpful in understanding how you will respond to different strains of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics offer easy access to isolated bacteria known to provide powerful digestive support.

Our best recommendation for those interested in how these types of bacteria might affect their IBS symptoms, is to look to other Bifido-bacterium products

One of the most reliable manufacturers of probiotics is Klaire Labs, and they offer a wide range of powerful probiotic products. In many regards, maintaining healthy gut flora is an everyday endeavor. Integrating consideration for these beneficial bacteria into your regular schedule can be the most effective manner of approach. For those with IBS, research like this offers great insight into the specific types of bacteria that may be at the root of their digestive imbalance. Currently, we were unable to find any probiotic products containing the Bifidobacterium Catenulatum strain that we feel are made with acceptable quality. Much of the research around Bifidobacterium Catenulatum has been done on cultures grown from already present samples found in intestinal swabs or fecal assays. Our best recommendation for those interested in how these types of bacteria might affect their IBS symptoms, is to look to other Bifido-bacterium products. One tremendous bifido-bacteria containing product is the Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Factor 4. This product is also available from Amazon, though you need to check that the seller uses adequate refrigeration before and during shipping—or else the probiotics will die during shipping!

Final Considerations

Those suffering with IBS have been found to have lower counts of Bifidobacterium Catenulatum in their digestive tract. Currently, we are unaware of any commercially-available Bifidobacterium Catenulatum probiotics of adequate quality for recommendation. Products like Klaire Labs’ Ther-Biotic Factor 4 are Bifido-bacteria containing probiotics, and might offer similar IBS stabilizing effects. The interplay of bacterial DNA is complicated—and modern science is just now beginning to better understand this process [4. https://phys.org/news/2017-03-scientists-reveal-hidden-bacterial-dna.html]. Many beneficial gut-bacteria such as those found within the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genara are transient, and need to be constantly supplied. Integrating fermented foods like sour krauts, kimchi, tempeh, and yogurt into your diet is one of the most-convenient ways to ensure you are exposed to a wide range of healthy bacteria. Probiotics offer useful means of shifting balance, though ensure you are buying from quality brands like Klaire Labs. The type of insight found in this research represents the building of a modern awareness towards gut health. Anti-biotics, high sugar diets, and foods dense with refined carbohydrates have wreaked havoc on modern health, most-notably on bacterial balances withing the digestive system. Keeping in mind how your dietary decisions and supplement use may affect your gut health can be a tremendous way to better understand—and restore—a health natural balance.

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