Guest: Belinda Reynolds
Guest Bio: Belinda Reynolds graduated with an Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2003. She has been involved in the complementary medicine industry for nearly 15 years – 10 of these working for BioCeuticals as a Practitioner Sales Consultant, Team Leader, Presenter, Educator and Writer, with an involvement in Marketing and Product Development. Outside of this Belinda has spent time working in hospitals and lectured at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies.
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Health Professional Radio
Katherine: Thanks for listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Katherine and we are joined by Belinda Reynolds, a nutritionist and a dietician and also a senior educator at BioCeuticals. Belinda is here to talk to us about the growing awareness of Child Gut Health. Welcome to our show Belinda.
Belinda: Thank you for having me.
K: Now, there has been a lot of emerging research linking the health of the brain to the health of the gut. So what happens to children when their gut health is out of balance?
B: So there can be a number of different factors which can result in compromised gut health leading to poor cognitive health and emotional health and it can be subjected to a number of things. So first of all, when there’s poor health along the gastrointestinal tract and that may due you to a poor diet or imbalance in the gut microbes. What can happen is that the normally highly selective barrier of the gut wall becomes leaky or hyper permeable and as a result, it allows the passage of unwanted chemicals and things into the system. And what that can result in is high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress and high levels of the toxic compounds that wouldn’t otherwise normally be allowed passage into the body. And what these inflammatory and oxidative type products can do is that they can actually damage the brain and they can compromise the production of certain neural growth factors which can normally be expressed in the brain.
B: One example of those is BDNF or Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor and some research have found that this BDNF is responsible for not only protecting neurons from death and damage, they also promote the growth of healthy new neurons and they promote synaptic plasticity which all ensures that’s the brain is developing properly and functioning effectively. And so if we have high levels of stress stemming from high levels of oxidative and inflammatory stress stemming from that poor gut health…
K: Uh huh.
B: This compromises that BDNF from functioning and being expressed effectively. And so as a result, we get a reduced functioning in different areas of the brain and that can be areas that control emotion but also learning and memory.
K: Right. I see.
B: So, yeah. It’s quite fascinating this area.
K: It is.
B: And we see the importance of a healthy balance of microbes plus a good diet which provides the nutrients which maintains gut integrity.
K: Uh huh. And I’m glad you brought up the gut because our children getting enough well, probably you’ve answered that before, but I thought if the children are getting enough good bacteria in their diet For example, all those yogurt brands have those probiotics and some things in there. Are these not enough?
B: I think, definitely, having fermented food like yogurt that have the good bacteria is definitely helpful. However, what seems to be happening is that there’s so many other factors in terms of loss villi that are compromising the levels of good bacteria in the gut. So the overuse of antibiotics; the over un-sanitation of our environment and also our reduced consumption of pre-biotic fibers which would seed and fuel all of the good bacteria that are in our gut. A lot of kids just are not getting enough fiber because we have a tendency to have food that is processed. A lot of that good fiber is removed and I’m not saying antibiotics are entirely bad. They certainly have their place. However, what has been found is that over time as we’re killing bad pathogens using antibiotics, unfortunately we’re also compromising the health of the good bacteria in our gut and that’s where probiotic supplements can be of use because they can assist in re-establishing that balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
K: Right. We wanted to talk about the Ultrabiotic factors for Juniors. When people think about supplements, they think about pills and capsules and these come out as juice or a jelly-like thing. Which I think some adults like as well. (chuckles)
K: Yeah. Well it’s funny, I’ve actually been taking them myself. It’s been there at a good high level of live organism that will flourish once they reach the gut. There’s also a pre-biotic in there as well because right now, probiotics are absolutely amazing and it’s strange that we can them put into a supplement. That’s fantastic. But at the same time, we also need to try and encourage the flourishing all of the microorganisms that we’re currently unable to culture and put into a supplement. And that’s where prebiotics are really important. And a lot of the trials that have been done looking at the benefits that probiotics can provide to infants and children have often found that a pre-biotic in conjunction with a probiotic actually achieves even more superior results than a probiotic on its own. And they’ve been also looking at things like reducing the symptoms of atopic eczema and dermatitis or reducing the duration and severity of upper respiratory illnesses that kids tend to pick up at Daycare in school. So sure enough, they should have the pre-biotic which feeds the bacteria and the actual bacteria themselves together.
K: Yeah, exactly. I mean these chewable tablets for also dairy-free, right? And also naturally sweetened.
B: They are because often, a lot of the children that are needing to take this sort of supplement have allergic-type illnesses so we do try and make sure that they are hypoallergenic. Since they are free of dairy and we always use a natural sweetener. Even if you see a color in the tablet, we always use turmeric or natural compounds which will provide a pleasant color without adding any sort of toxic loads to the child’s system.
K: Right. Well, thank you so much for your time today Belinda. For those who would like to find doctors or know more information, you may check out their main website – the BioCeuticals website. Thanks again for your time.
B: Thank you very much for having me. Have a great day.