If, like up to 40% of the population, bloating is a common complaint of yours, you might be wondering what can be done to help. Whilst here I touch on some common causes of bloating (understanding these can often help to support treatment), I also explore how the prebiotic Molkosan Fruit can be used to ease your bloating woes, and what’s best practice for taking it.
Alison Cullen Nutritional Practitioner, BA (Hons), DN, DNT (Distinction) @AVogelUK Ask Ali
06 February 2019
What can cause bloating in the first place?
Whilst not a conclusive list, here I explore some of the common causes of bloating and what can be done to help:
Whilst food intolerance is on the rise (dairy products and gluten are among some of the common culprits) a lot can be said for supporting your stomach to help minimise the symptoms. We need sufficient stomach secretions to help breakdown the food we eat properly, and an overly-permeable gut wall will only make these fragments of food more available to an over-sensitive immune system. Therefore, low stomach acid and leaky gut are definitely issues to target if you suspect you are experiencing bloating as a result of food intolerance.
Whilst food intolerance is an area to explore, even the most resilient tums can struggle if your diet is questionable. Red meat, fried foods, caffeine, fizzy drinks, excess sugar or simply overeating can all put extra pressure on your digestive system, which could contribute to bloating at any given time.
If your bowel isn’t moving regularly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you’re feeling bloated. Slow moving waste will create a bulky backload in itself, but actually, this waste is also then subject to fermentation by the naturally occurring bacteria in your bowel which, you’ve guessed it, can create excess gas!
Dysbiosis is an imbalance of your good gut bacteria. If you don’t have sufficient levels of good bacteria, bad bacteria can soon flourish and this can give rise to a whole number of symptoms including some of the symptoms of IBS: constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.
We often hear that prebiotics and probiotics can help minimise digestive symptoms and this is because they help to correct the balance of bacteria in our gut. Our microbiome consists of around 100 trillion bacteria, and with that number of bacteria in the one place unsurprisingly it pays to work on achieving an optimal balance.
As good bacteria wane, bad bacteria or yeast can easily take the opportunity to thrive and this gives rise to uncomfortable symptoms. Even more worrying is the fact that research suggests our gut bacteria may not only have a local influence, but they could actually be contributing to a raft of whole-body effects, including everything from our mood to our body weight1.
How can Molkosan Fruit help?
Molkosan is made from fermented whey. Whey, a component of milk, was a popular remedy in health resorts in Switzerland as far back as the 1700s. When A.Vogel’s founder Alfred Vogel set up his own health clinic in Teufen, Switzerland, in the 1920s, it was one of his first and most impressive remedies.
Molkosan Fruit acts as a prebiotic in the gut. This means, as a result of its L+ lactic acid content, it helps to support the internal environment of the gut, and therefore supports the growth of the good gut bacteria that reside there. As we now know, the gut is thought to be central to our overall health, hence the wide number of health benefits which may be associated with digestive products such as prebiotics.
Alone or in combination?
Whilst setting the correct gut environment with a prebiotic is often a useful first step in supporting the gut, once this is achieved, prebiotics can certainly work well in combination with probiotics too. Probiotics contain the good bacteria themselves, so once you’re confident they’ll survive ok in there, you can add your supplemental good bacteria.
How to take Molkosan Fruit
Despite being made from milk, the end product Molkosan is lactose-free and generally very well tolerated, and can be used in children over the age of 2 years old. The fruit variety is particularly palatable and contains a dose of calcium to further support digestive enzyme function.
I often recommend starting a course of prebiotics such as Molkosan before adding in any probiotics. Take A.Vogel Molkosan Fruit for a week or two, 1-2 times daily, diluting 5-10mls in a tall glass of water. The key is to drink this away from your meals (otherwise you could risk diluting your all-important stomach secretions).
After this time, you can then start taking a good quality probiotic such as Optibac For Everyday, in combination with the Molkosan Fruit to help support optimal digestive health.
Want to improve your digestion? Get involved as our Digestion Advisor Ali Cullen takes you through her 5 step plan to improve your digestion and get problem symptoms, from bloating to acid reflux, under control.