Mandarin Skin (and more) for Tummy Troubles

June 2017

By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.

Nausea, indigestion, bloating, stomach upset, diarrhea…chances are you have experienced one of these symptoms sometime in the past. Oftentimes, these symptoms will resolve on their own or with the use of an over-the-counter medication. But, for those with a chronic gastrointestinal issue such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, finding a more long-term solution is key to living with their condition.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is difficult for doctors to diagnose because there is no diagnostic test for the condition; instead, a diagnosis is often made through the process of elimination. Symptoms include those listed above along with the presence of food sensitivities, poor immune function, and aches and pains. The condition is named for the belief that the symptoms arise due to poorly functioning tight junctions in the lining of the gut. These tight junctions are protein bridges between the cells that line that gut and are supposed to control what can pass from the gut into the bloodstream. When these junctions don’t function properly, intestinal permeability is abnormally increased, and substances that shouldn’t be absorbed are allowed to enter the bloodstream.  This increased permeability is also a contributing factor in coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease.

Because LGS  is not well-known, its treatments are not well-studied. However, there are a few supplements that have shown promise in treating this condition. L-GLUTAMINE is an amino acid that plays an important in nourishing the intestinal epithelial cells as well as affecting their differentiation and proliferation. The theory is that if we give the body what it needs to build up the gut lining, this will contribute to its health and integrity. It is interesting to note that  depletion of glutamine from the diet can result in the degeneration, ulceration and death of the cells lining the gut.

Through their immunomodulating effects, PROBIOTICS such as UltraFlora™ Intensive Care (by Metagenics ™)  can provide supportive benefit by relievining intestinal irritation and bowel discomfort.

 A new supplement on the market is MS+™ (by Tait Laboratories), a proprietary extract based on dry-aged mandarin orange peel. This piqued our interest because of its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We were familiar with the use of dried orange peel in soups that our mom and grandma made for us when our tummies weren’t feeling well. It makes sense that in the gut, constituents found in orange peel extract act as powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and actively repair the tight junctions. MS+™ is Health-Canada approved and does not contain any common allergens (such as gluten, soy, dairy, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat or sulphites) that could trigger symptoms of LGS. Benefits have been reported in as little as a few days. MS+™ also works well on the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The supplements listed here are all very well-tolerated. LGS shares signs and symptoms with many other gastrointestinal conditions so it is always a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure that appropriate treatments and therapies are applied.

(Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use.  Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.  They would love to hear from you or meet you at one of their seminars.  Of course, before you begin any activity program or try any OTC supplementation, check with your physician and pharmacist.)


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