Continuing my series on interpreting the sometimes confusing results of the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) today we're going to look at the Microbiology section.
By now almost everyone has heard of so called "beneficial" or "friendly" bacteria, thanks mainly to probiotic yoghurt advertising that seems to be everywhere these days. Beneficial bacteria are in basic terms seen as the good guys within a huge community of bugs that inhabit our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
A lot of research has gone into understanding their role over the past few decades. Some of their benefits include:
- Physical crowding out of less desirable microorganisms
- Production of antimicrobial substances to keep pathogens at bay
- Breaking down bacterial toxins
- Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which keep GI tract cells healthy, provide a source of energy and help to maintain a healthy GI tract pH.
- Digestion of proteins
Continuing with my blog series aimed at helping you decipher the results of a comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA), this week I will describe the various "metabolic markers" that might be referred to on your test results.
This short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) is produced as a result of the fermentation of dietary fibre, particularly gums and pectins, by certain bacteria that inhabit the intestines (particularly probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifodobacteria species). An n-butyrate level within the reference range is first and foremost then, an indicator that such health promoting bacteria are present in sufficient amounts. A low n-butyrate level in this respect may indicate a deficiency of beneficial bacteria while a high level suggests a general bacterial overgrowth caused by factors such as low stomach acid or high carbohydrate/fibre diets. In the former case probiotic supplements may be required while in the latter antibiotic therapy, whether drug-based...
It is an inesacpable reality that the health of the entire body is compromised if the gut and digestive organs are not healthy. For example, insufficient production of stomach acid, bile, and/or digestive enzymes results in inadequate digestion which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and increased risk of food allergies and intolerances. The composition of micro-organisms which make up the gut flora is now also recognised as being pivotal to overall health; too many of the wrong kinds of micro-organisms can result in leaky gut syndrome and the absorption of large quantities of toxins and allergens.
With this in mind, many people suffering from ill health that has not been adequately addressed by conventional medicine choose to have a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) carried out. This test is now available from a number of independant labs and involves the examination of a patient's stool sample to determine if the digestive system...