Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation

Log in to your ANA Ketogenic Nutrition Training Course HERE


Can’t see what you are looking for? Try typing a keyword into the search box below or search our Nutrition Digest Archives.

Newsletter Signup

Newsletter Homepage

Volume 38, No. 2

Digestive Issues

70,000,000 people everyday suffer from some form of digestive issues (heartburn, acid reflux, GERD (gastro esophageal reflex disorder), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), indigestion constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.). To relieve these symptoms people turn to Tums®, Rolaids®, Zantac®, Tagamet®, or the more dangerous, PPIs (Proton Pump Inihibitors) Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Protonics®, etc.

A study in the December 27, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. Yang, et al, finds that people over age 50 who take the drugs that are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for more than one year have a 44% increased risk of breaking a hip. PPIs inhibit the body from producing stomach acid. However, some stomach acid is needed to absorb calcium, which is needed for healthy bones.

Why are there so many digestive problems????

Our grandmothers knew the answer, we do not digest our food properly.
We . . .

eat too fast,
don't chew our food carefully,
rush away from the table right after a meal or worse we eat on the run.

What are we supposed to do when we cannot follow the scholarly advice of our grandmothers? We should add digestive enzymes or probiotics to our diets.

Why Digestive Enzymes???

Your body has a limited supply of enzymes. The general rule of thumb is that for every ten years of life, you lose approximately 13% of your enzymes' potential. Your enzymes' potential can be made to last longer if outside enzymes are taken in.

Digestive enzymes exist naturally in the foods we eat when they are RAW. Once we cook foods, we destroy the enzymes in the food, which places more stress on our bodies to produce digestive enzymes. Even raw meats and fats have within them the digestive enzymes necessary to break them down into the components our cells can utilize.

Your body produces digestive enzymes. However, it cannot produce enough digestive enzymes to keep up with the typical western diet, which is full of enzyme-depleted, cooked, and processed foods. This is one of the reasons why so many people suffer from digestive-related health problems.

Why Probiotics???

Probiotics have been under scientific scrutiny for years. The research is based on a growing appreciation that a healthy human body relies on armies of "friendly" bacteria. The good bugs keep bad bugs in check and may perform other functions essential to a healthy gut and immune system. But the balance of bacteria can be thrown off by a number of factors, including the use of antibiotics (which kill both good and bad bugs), a poor diet, stress, and infection.

So a dose of the right bacteria at the right time might well come to the rescue of people who have ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, Heartburn, Acid Reflux, or GERD.

The stress of modern life many times requires us to supplement our bodies' natural abilities with natural pharmaceuticals. Natural pharmaceuticals are recognized by our digestive system, thereby avoiding the serious side effects that so many pharmaceuticals cause. Therefore, I recommend starting with probiotics and digestive enzymes before starting any other treatment for any digestive issue. I have been very successful in helping many patients, who were already on pharmaceuticals, slowly replace their digestive aid pharmaceuticals with probiotics and digestive enzymes.

by Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School, the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Public Health, and the John Marshall Law School. Since 1973 he has been in private medical practice and is currently the Medical Director of Homefirst® Health Services, the largest physician attended home birth service in the country. In his thirty years in medicine, he and his practice have delivered over 15,000 babies at home. He is the author of numerous books including the award winning Give Birth at Home with the Home Birth Advantage. His guest appearances on television include "The Phil Donahue Show" and Oprah Winfrey Show." Since 1987 his weekly radio show, "Family Health Forum," has aired in the Chicagoland area. He is a NOHA* Professional Advisory Board Member.


Dr. Mayer Eisenstein on Family Health Forum

Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH

Article from NOHA NEWS, Summer 2007

*The American Nutrition Association was formerly known as the Nutrition for Optimal Health Association [NOHA].

For informational purposes only - not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor an endorsement by the American Nutrition Association®. Use permitted for non-profit and non-commercial uses or by healthcare professionals in their practice, with attribution to Other use only with written ANA℠ permission. Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the ANA℠. Works by a listed author subject to copyrights as marked. © 2010 ANA℠