Abdominal bloating from food intolerances

About the Disorder

Whether you name it colitis,  “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” or simply “abdominal bloating”, the problem remains identical: often, even after eating very little (even food that is “undeniably healthy”), a sudden unpleasant and apparently unexplainable feeling of abdominal bloating occurs.

This is not only an esthetic problem, with an uncomfortable feeling of clothing not fitting right, but a proper disorder related to unceasing abdominal bloating and constant tension, often associated with abdominal cramps, constipation or diarrhea, flatulence, meteorism, etc. There are those who see as possible causes stress factors, eating fruit, a sandwhich, all in a hurry and without taking a proper break. Yet, the truth is that all these are just concausal factors contributing to the disorder: there’s actually more to this.

An immediate correlation to be made is with nutrition, no doubt a direct cause of the disorder. But if it may seem “normal” to feel bloated after a heavy meal, abdominal bloating after a meal based on “healthy”, everyday food,  does not appear to be equally justified. The reasons for this unexplainable “intolerance” to any foodstuff is connected to a nutritional lifestyle that gradually leads to a loss of efficiency in the complex mechanisms of the intestine.

The indispensable condition guaranteeing a healthy condition of the whole organism lies in the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora (eubiosis).  There are over 400 different species inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract, forming an actual ecosystem protecting the intestinal mucosa and facilitating digestive and assimilation processes.

Unfortunately, such balance is constantly put to test due to inadequate nutritional and general lifestyles. Since we’re born, in fact, lack of or insufficient breast-feeding, precocious introduction of cow milk or mistakes during weaning and, during life, drug abuse (antibiotics, in particular), food pollutants (heavy metals, additives, preservatives and pesticides), stress, infections, etc., alter the composition of physiological bacterial flora.

When balance between the different bacterial groups and sub-groups is lacking (dysbiosis), the conditions for proliferation of pathogenic germs are ripe (clostrides, salmonella, coli, candida, etc.), the metabolism of which, of fermentative (sugars) or putrefactive (from proteins) type causes the formation of high quantities of intestinal gases.

A typical point in case is Candida, a fungus normally inhabiting our intestine, which, in case of dysbiosis, proliferates in an anomalous way, causing a marked fermentation process of sugars it normally feeds on: this in turn causes an abnormal, excessive production of gas. Intestinal bacterial flora also fulfills the important function of supporting digestive processes of foodstuffs ingested.

In fact, it produces enzymes with the specific function of helping, completing and “finishing” the digestive process carried out by the pancreas. Whenever there is a situation of dysbiosis, foodstuffs reaching the intestine are not adequately broken down into their basic nutrients (fatty acids, aminoacids, monosaccharides, etc.), remaining as undigested molecules; these cannot be absorbed by intestinal microvilli and are therefore destined to fermentation and putrefaction. An example is lactose: intolerance to lactose, a widely spread phenomenon, is determined by insufficient production of the appropriate enzyme (lactase) by the pancreas (the enzyme should be physiologically present in infants and then gradually decrease over time), as well as by the inefficient synthesis of enzymes by an altered intestinal microflora (in dysbiosis).

Undigested lactose ferment cause bloating and meteorism. As if that were not enough, when there is a shortage of beneficial bacterial flora, pathogenic microorganisms take advantage of the situation and, among other things, start attacking the intestinal mucosa. With a reduction of beneficial bacteria, their protective action is also consequently reduced: the intestinal mucosa is more exposed and becomes prone to aggression by toxic substances and pathogenic microorganisms (Candida itself develops ramifications that anchor themselves to the mucosa, causing its perforation).

In these circumstances, gaps are formed between cells and the mucosa becomes permeable to undigested food macromolecules and to waste material that would otherwise be rejected: the intestine, once an efficient selective barrier, becomes a “colander”. Undigested foodstuffs and toxins invade the body as unwanted “guests”: this is how food intolerances develop.

The condition triggering a food intolerance is therefore a loss of integrity of the intestinal mucosa, which as a result fails to perform its digestive and protective functions. In this situation, apart from creating an unhealthy environment, with the production of great quantities of gas, undigested foodstuffs manage to cross the no longer intact mucosa barrier, instead of being discarded as waste material with the faeces.  At that point, the underlying immune system is alerted and identifies these foodstuff macromolecules as foreign enemies, activating a defensive response. A great quantity of chemical mediators and immune cells (lymphocytes) are released, originating an inflammatory type of reaction.

Aggression from food macromolecules is not generally perceived by the immune system as constituting an immediate threat, so in the initial phases the reaction can be slow and silent (with no evident symptoms) and dose-dependant, meaning that in order for the lymphycites to activate an inflammatory response, the attack needs to be a massive and prolonged one. This explains the reason why food intolerances develop against the most frequently ingested foodstuffs, that up until that point “had never caused any problem”, or apparently so. This chronic inflammatory state – light yet constant, of the intestine, remains silent until the organism exceeds a certain limit, which is when symptoms show up. At a certain point, however, the inflamed intestine becomes hypersensitive and no longer tolerates anything: there’s always “a good excuse” to produce gas, flatulence, meteorism…

It is obvious that neither the use of medicines against meteorism, nor “intestinal disinfectants”, as offered by the conventional approach, represent a real solution to the problem.

Nature can help you in case of abdominal bloating due to food intolerance.

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

Finding out what foodstuffs cause abdominal bloating could seem the solution to the problem. But apart from the objective difficulty in determining, and therefore eliminating the possible “guilty” foodstuffs, at the root of this situation is  intestinal dysbiosis. As a result of the loss of the intestinal mucosa’s integrity, its digestive functions are insufficient, as inefficient is its ability to distinguish between useful and harmful substances for the organism.

For this reason, simply eliminating the foostuff to which one is intolerant does not represent a definitive solution to the problem. There might be temporary relief but it won’t last long for sure: that’s why it is essential to act on the causes, uprooting the problem at the origin, i.e. at intestinal level.

GSE and abdominal bloating from food intolerance  

In case of abdominal bloating from food intolerance, Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) proves to be particularly effective for its crucial role as a natural “selective cleaner”, essential in solving the problem of intestinal dysbiosis causing both abdominal bloating and intolerances. First of all, thanks to its selective antimicrobial activity, it controls proliferation of microorganisms responsible for altering intestinal permeability (among which the much-feared Candida albicans), while safeguarding the physiological flora, essential in protecting the mucosa and in preventing food intolerances. Secondly, it has a protective, reparative function towards the gastro-intestinal apparatus, accelerating healing of the mucosa’s lesions, that are at the origin of food intolerances and of the resulting, chronic inflammatory state of the mucosa itself that leads to abdominal bloating.

For all the above reasons, GSE therefore represents the cornerstone upon which an extraordinarily effective approach is based, to counteract causes underlying the problem of food intolerances and, in susceptible subjects, of the ensuing abdominal bloating. The association and synergy of specific plant extracts enables to implement a complete approach that:

  1. tackles and solves the problem at the root of food intolerances, with a systemic product that carries out the following functions at the same time:
    • it restores integrity of the intestinal mucosa: only this way can access to the organism of food macromolecules and antigens be hindered, so as to prevent accumulation of toxins and development of inflammations;
    • it optimises the intestinal “ground” and promotes correct metabolic processes, ensuring the presence of integral and vital bacterial flora, as well as facilitating digestive process of the pancreas;  
    • it promotes drainage of toxins and improve functionality of dedicated organs;
    • In addition, it is necessary to follow a diet that enhances intestinal eubiosis and the right input of nutrients on the one hand, by avoiding food categories that alter the intestine’s permeability and, on the other, promoting intestinal eubiosis and the right input of nutrients.
  1. It counteracts the development of intestinal gases so as to prevent fermentations and alleviate abdominal tension.

This approach, combined with a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, but not only), includes the use of natural remedies that are well known in folk tradition and the efficacy of which in providing a definitive solution has been confirmed by recent studies.

  1. In order to tackle and solve the problem at the root of food intolerances with a systemic product that carries out the following functions at the same time:
  • it restores integrity of the intestinal mucosa: only this way can access to the organism of food macromolecules and antigens be hindered, so as to prevent accumulation of toxins and development of inflammations…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: thanks to its cytoprotective properties, GSE accelerates healing of damaged gastro-intestinal mucosa

Centella: traditionally employed for its cicatrizing properties, Centella strengthens epithelial tissue, promoting its keratinization process; it stimulates growth of the epithelial endothelium and fosters the production of collagen, therefore ensuring a more effective wound healing. Moroever, it has anti-inflammatory, tonic, diuretic and sedative properties.  Asiatic acid and asiaticoside present in the phytocomplex are the most active complexes: asiatocoside, in particular, favours angiogenesis and stimulates synthesis of collagen. These properties make Centella essential to restore integrity of an excessively permeable intestinal mucosa.

Agar Agar: the high content of complex polysaccharides, agarose and agaropectin  justifies its internal use as an anti-inflammatory, with a soothing effect on the mucosa. Agar Agar is immune to the aggression of gastric juices and reaches the intestinal tract directly, where it covers the mucosae with a thin, protective layer, indirectly promoting restoration of integrity.

  1. Optimisation of the intestinal “ground” and enhance correct metabolic processes, ensuring the presence of integral and vital bacterial flora, facilitating digestive processes in the pancreas

Specific constituents

Grapefruit Seed Extract:  thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, it is the perfect remedy to directly combat pathogenic microorganisms (in particular the much-feared Candida), which are responsible for the alternation of the intestinal microbial ecosystem, causing in the long run injuries at mucosa level, worsening intestinal permeability and consequentely triggering  the onset of food intolerances.

Curcuma: from Curcuma rhizome an extract is obtained, rich in curcumina, that has proven beneficial effects on the immune system: a team of researchers has discovered, in fact, that curcumina can reinforce the immune system making it more efficient in counteracting the attack of pathogenic agents. Curcuma also has a digestive function, since it stimulates biliar secretion, helping the digestion of fats. In addition, it also has an important antifungal action and, in this sense, it works synergistically with GSE.

Fermented maltodextrins (enzymes): this is a special combination of purified, high efficiency enzymes, concentrated extracts obtained from fermented maltodextrins using cultured fungus Aspergyllus. These enzymes are active at a temperature close to that of the human body. They carry out their activity within a pH range between 3.0 and 9.0: in other words, they are the only enzymes that are active both in the acid and in the alkaline, as well as neutral tracts of the intestine. Their action starts in the higher part of the stomach. This helps diminish the body’s secretion of digestive enzymes, reducing workload of the pancreas. These enzymes break down proteins as well as carbohydrates and fats effectively, ensuring that food macromolecules are split into their core constituents.

  1. To favour drainage of toxins and improve functionality of organs in charge:

Specific constituents

Milk thistle: characterised by extraordinary, antioxidant and detoxifying properties, its action affects the liver in particular; its use is essential to improve hepatic activity and purification of organisms that are “intoxicated” by food intolerances.

Curcuma: due to its particularly rich phytocomplex, it has always been employed as a remedy to solve liver problems. It has hepatoprotective, choleretic and colagenic effects, promoting the production and secretion of bile and, therefore, of digestive processes. In addition, it has a marked anti-inflammatory action in both acute and chronic cases. This activity, free of any side effect whatsoever, is essential in reducing the chronic inflammatory state which is inevitably sparked off by food intolerances.

Solidago: well known for its marked diuretic and purifying properties, it has an anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect on the urinary tract, contributing to maintain the well-being of kidneys and bladder. Considering its properties in general, the draining action exerted helps eliminate toxins accumulated due to food intolerances.

  1. In order to follow a diet that enhances intestinal eubiosis and the right input of nutrients…

Specific constituents

PLANT PROTEINS: legumes (beans, peas, fava beans, lentils and chickpeas), tofu, tempeh, yeast and wheat germ.

CEREALS AND WHOLEWHEAT PSEUDOCEREALS: rich in vitamins, mineral salts, fibres, starches and proteins.

They can be divided into gluten-free cereals and pseudocereals (rice, millet, maize, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth) and in cereals containing gluten (barley, rye, splet, oats, wheat and kamut).

ORGANIC SEASONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLES:  the richest in vitamins, especially vitamin C, provitamin A and minerals (calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, etc.), antioxidants and fibres.  

FISH: small fish and open sea fish (sardines, sea breams, sea basses, anchovies, mackerels), not more than twice a week.

OLEAGINOUS SEEDS: rich in vitamin E, group B vitamins, minerals such as phosphorus, copper, calcium, zinc; plant proteins, fibres, essential fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids.

FIRST PRESSING OILS: rich in vitamin F, A and E vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).

LOW FIXED RESIDUE MINERAL WATER: to be taken away from meal times and at room temperature: fixed residue levels should be below 50mg/L and with pH between 6 and 7.

 Intake of the above listed components should be split and differentiated according to requirements of different times of the day (morning, midday, evening). This way, useful substances are provided in adequate quantities at the best time of the day to ensure optimal efficacy.

Besides, it is essential to point out that when there are food intolerances it is necessary to rule out all foodstuffs that may damage the intestinal mucosa and rather opt for foodstuffs promoting intestinal eubiosis, which are essential for the definitive resolution of food intolerances and to maintain good health.

  1. To counteract the development of intestinal gases, prevent fermenations and alleviate abdominal tension…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: with its broad spectrum bactericide, antifungal, antiviral and pesticide properties, it enables selective “cleansing” of the intestine from pathogenic microorganisms that are responsible for putrefactive processes.

Vegetable carbon: an ancient and effective remedy promoting the absorption of intestinal gases.

Pepperment and mentone: the choice of these two constituents is due to the significant presence of terpenes, the principal one being menthol, which have a carminative and eupeptic action on the nerve endings of the gastric wall, as well as an anti-fermentative action at intestinal level, useful in case of colic with meteorism.

Angelica archangelica: this plant contains an essential oil, the main component of which is a compound with a coumarinic structure named angelicin. With its archangelenone lactone and another derivative called archangelicine, it exerts a sedative and spasmolytic action, useful in cases of dyspepsia accompanied by spasms and flatulence.

Fennel: its therapeutic action is due to the presence of an average of 3 – 6% essential oil, consisting in terpenes and phenolic terpenes such as anethole, fenchone, feniculine. Nowadays, fennel seeds are largely employed for their carminative, antispasmodic properties, as well as their stimulating action on the digestive functions.

Linden: it contains an essential oil consisting mainly in a sesquiterpene aliphatic alcohol called farnesol; it is used as a diaphoretic, antispasmodic and sedative herb.

Chlorophyllin: a constituent of fundamental importance, due to its action on spastic colitis and intestinal fermenations.

 The ideal means for intake of these functional components is a swallowable tablet.