Why is maintaining a healthy intestinal balance so important?
The intestinal microflora of every individual consists of various microorganisms (bacteria, yeast and fungi) that live in the intestinal tract. When the intestinal microflora is out of balance, that imbalance may affect overall health. This balance can be disturbed during physical or psychological stress, with age, in menopause, during drug treatment, with an unbalanced diet, and in the event of acute or chronic intestinal disease.
1, 2, 3
The intestinal microflora can be temporarily influenced by ingestion of certain probiotics.4
How can Activia help digestive health?
Specialists at Dannon designed Activia to contain an exclusive probiotic culture, called Bifidus Regularis® (Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010). Bifidus Regularis has been shown to survive passage through the digestive tract in sufficient amounts for Activia to help regulate the digestive system* ‡ According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Adequate Intake for fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories or 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men.
What else can you do to promote your own digestive health?
The World Gastroenterological Organization (WGO) has recommended daily steps to help improve your digestive health.4,5
Eat small, frequent meals.To achieve optimal digestion, eat 4-5 small meals per day without increasing overall caloric intake. In addition:
- Include foods rich in fiber. Fiber is important for the health of the digestive system and can be found in foods like fresh fruits, raw vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts and beans. ‡
- Consume fish 3-5 times per week. Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids that can improve digestive abnormalities by stabilizing cell walls, reducing inflammation and restoring balance.
- Reduce intake of fried, fattening foods. . Cutting back on greasy, fried foods that are high in fat and hard to digest will reduce the workload of your stomach and intestines.
- Incorporate fermented dairy products into your diet. Certain probiotics, or the good bacteria that are found in certain dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese, may improve intestinal function and overall digestive health.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. A Body Mass Index that indicates obesity or unintentional weight loss may have a negative impact on digestive health.
- Select lean meats. Leaner cuts of meat, pork, chicken and turkey contain less fat, which may reduce digestive discomfort.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids are needed to alleviate and prevent constipation and ease digestion of foods through the digestive tract. A good way to help get enough fluids is to drink a glass of water with every meal.
- Don't rush eating. Eating slowly and chewing food properly encourages a "full" feeling, which may help prevent overeating that can upset the digestive tract.
- Exercise regularly and abstain from smoking. While most people know that exercise offers overall health benefits, most people don’t know that it’s good for your digestive tract, too.
To learn more, visit http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/wdhd-2008.html
‡ According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Adequate Intake for fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories or 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men.
1. Mitsuoka T, et al. "The fecal flora of man. II. Communication: the composition of Bifidobacterium flora of different age groups." Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1974;226(4):469-78.
2. Bezirtzoglou E, et al. "Influence of psychological stress on the fecal carriage of indicator bacteria." Microecology and Therapy. 1999;28:49-53.
3. Salminen S, et al. "Gut Flora in normal and disordered states." Chemotherapy. 1995;41(suppl 1)5-15.
4. Johansson ML, et al. “administration of different Lactobacillus strains in fermented oatmeal soup: in vivo colonization of human intestinal mucosa and effect on the indigenous flora.” Appl Environ Microbiol, 1993;59(1): 15-20.
5.Modified from WGO "10 Nutritional Recommendations to improve Digestive Health," 2008, developed by a WGO Scientific Task Force for reference by consumers and healthcare/ nutritional professionals.
http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/wdhd-2008.html. The World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) has not reviewed this information contained herein and does not specifically endorse DANNON® yogurts.