Digestive Health Demystified

Season 1 | Episode 42
14m | Oct 1, 2023

Welcome to "Digestive Health Demystified," the podcast where we unravel the intricacies of optimal digestion. Our guest, Dasha Luneva, a recent graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and an ND candidate, provides invaluable insights into the digestive journey.

Dasha shares the fundamental concept that it's not only about what we eat, but how well we digest and absorb nutrients. She offers a fresh perspective, suggesting that perhaps the adage "we are what we eat" should be modified to "we are what we digest."

The conversation delves into the art of mindful eating, emphasizing techniques such as eating slowly and thorough chewing. Dasha explains how these habits increase exposure to digestive fluids, initiated by salivary glands, which kickstart the digestion process. This insight challenges the notion of consuming foods like yogurt and fruit as a smoothie, highlighting the benefits of chewing for better digestion.

As the discussion progresses, Dasha provides a comprehensive overview of the stomach's role in digestion. She sheds light on the production of gastric juice, primarily composed of hydrochloric acid, and how this, coupled with digestive enzymes, facilitates the breakdown of proteins, enhancing nutrient absorption. She discusses when we eat slower the body is able to release a hormone called leptin, which tells the brain you’re full.

The conversation takes an intriguing turn as Dasha addresses the condition of hypochlorhydria, a deficiency in stomach acid production which can lead to indigestion or bacterial overgrowth. She outlines potential symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and the presence of undigested food in stool. Dasha also introduces a possible solution - biotine hydrochloride supplements derived from various food sources, offering a multifaceted approach to digestive health.

Moving forward, Dasha uncovers the pivotal role of the pancreas in enzyme production. She introduces the tenacious trio: amylase, protease, and lipase, responsible for breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats respectively. Dasha elucidates how these enzymes act like precision scissors, ensuring nutrients are finely diced for absorption within the small intestine.

The conversation shifts to pancreatic insufficiency, a condition arising from a deficit in these enzymes. amylase, protease and lipase. Dasha explains the dual impact: compromised nutrient absorption and insufficient neutralization of stomach acid, leading to discomfort and digestive challenges. The pancreas also produces bicarbonate ions to neutralize stomach acid. She provides invaluable advice on seeking the right supplements and highlights the potential benefits of porcine-source pancreatic enzymes. She suggests reaching out to a health care provider unexplained bloating or discomfort arises.

Intriguingly, the discussion transitions to the realm of prebiotics and probiotics. Dasha demystifies their significance, emphasizing how prebiotics, found in fiber-rich foods, serve as nourishment for gut bacteria which produce short chain fatty acids beneficial for the gut lining and B-vitamin synthesis. This revelation prompts a discussion on the impact of prebiotics and probiotics on constipation and diarrhea.

In the final segment, Dasha offers practical advice on incorporating prebiotics into our diets and highlights the potential benefits of probiotic supplementation. She encourages a mindful approach to eating, advocating for slower, more deliberate consumption. She encourages more fibre in our diets. Psyllium husk is also recommended for avoiding both constipation and diarrhea.

As we wrap up, it's important to remember that while supplements play a role in digestive health, chronic concerns warrant professional consultation. This episode serves as a guide to understanding your digestive system better, empowering you to make informed choices for optimal gut health.

Join us in this enlightening episode of "Digestive Health Demystified" and take the first step towards a healthier, happier digestive system!

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