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Good gut health scientifically linked to disease prevention

Calanna supports gut health through specialist services and products

Did you know your gut is as unique as your fingerprint and that maintaining a healthy gut is scientifically linked to a reduction in disease?

“Your gut microbiota contains around 40 trillion bacteria. Yep, your gut is home to more bacteria than humans on earth!”

How well do you know your gut? We have Naturopaths who specialise in gut health in Cairns and Townsville. With their advice on how to match your diet and any necessary gut health products with your unique gut fingerprint book a consult with them today.


Is there a direct link between bad gut bacteria and depression or anxiety?

Young German scientist Giulia Enders whose research on gut health led to her writing the book ‘Darm mit Charme’— also known as ‘Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Under-Rated Organ’ thinks so. She is releasing another book about gut health in 2017.  Here she is interviewed on Radio National breakfast discussing how we can customise our gut health to boost our overall health. She hopes to relieve shame from the topic of gut health by bringing the topic into the mainstream.

Listen to the podcast here


Gut Microbiome

The human gut is colonized by a vast number of microbial populations – this is known as the gut microbiome. A lot of research is going into the gut microbiome particularly on its role in health and disease.

Diet and lifestyle along with some medicines impact both positively and negatively on the gut microbiome.

Processed foods and drinks, alcohol, smoking and antibiotic and oral contraceptive use may have negative impacts on the gut microbiome.

On the flip side, having a healthy gut microbiome may lead to many health benefits. Current research indicates that we can improve the health of our gut microbiome in a couple of simple ways.

  1. Probiotics
  2. Prebiotics – obtained from correct dietary and supplement sources


Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

Probiotics are naturally found in your body. You can also find them in some foods and supplements.

How Do They Work?

Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:

  • When you lose “good” bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them.
  • They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working like it should.
Types of Probiotics

Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups.


This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhoea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.


You can also find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.

What Do They Do?

Probiotics help move food through your gut. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhoea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhoea
  • General bloating, indigestion and reflux and immune system support

There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health


What are they?

Prebiotics are generally specialised, non-digestable plant fibres (or carbohydrates) that beneficially nourish and feed good bacteria in the digestive system. Good bacteria ferment these fibres and release a by products knows as short chain fatty acids (eg butyrate). These short chain fatty acids are absorbed into the blood and can have positive effects around the body including metabolism and the immune system and on colon cells.

What do they do?

They essentially act as a kind of fertiliser for probiotics (or the good bacteria) in the gut.

What are sources of prebiotics

Foods that contain resistant starch, beta-glucan, Inulin are classed as prebiotic and may help to nourish the gut microbiome. Below are a list of foods rich in resistant starch.

Food Resistant Starch (per 100 g)1
Potato sliced, boiled and cooled 0.8 g
Potato, steamed, cooled 6 g
Potato, roasted, cooled 19 g
Cashew nuts 13 g
Bananas, green 38 g
Bananas, ripe 5 g
Oats, cooked 0.2 g
Oats, rolled, uncooked 11 g
White beans, cooked/canned 4 g
Lentils, cooked 3 g


Did you know..?

Green lady finger bananas hold some of the highest quantities of resistant starch by weight.

Latest CSIRO research indicates that feeding our gut bacteria (or microbiome) with resistant starch regularly (approx. 20g per day) leads to a positive change in the bowel and could protect against genetic damage that precedes bowel cancer.

Other benefits of Prebiotics
  • Production of short chain fatty acids which are believed to:
    • Improve the integrity of the colon structure
    • Improve the immune system and positive regulation of immune mediators
    • Bone health – may increase calcium reuptake in the bones.

These are just a few of the positive benefits a healthy gut microbiome can influence. There is a vast amount of research going into human microbiome and is a rapidly developing area of human health and wellbeing with recent federal government funding announced to continue research in this important scientific area of health and disease prevention.

Products suggestions for Gut Health

Calanna Stock a range of probiotics, prebiotics and natural fibre products in our stores in Cairns, Townsville, Atherton and Innisfail. We believe in the importance of balancing your whole health and maintaining good gut health to avoid illness. We believe in stocking scientifically backed products to support people’s gut health and overall well being. Our top recommendations for good gut health are:

Natural Evolution Green Banana Resistant Starch

    1. The world’s highest quality, most potent resistant starch
    2. High in prebiotic fibre, to nourish beneficial gut bacteria and support your immune system by promoting a healthy microbiome
    3. Rich in inulin to regulate digestion and improve your metabolism, helping you feel fuller for longer, and maintain a healthy weight
    4. An excellent source of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) / serotonin to balance your mood, prevent headaches and migraine and improve sleep
    5. High in minerals—including potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese

Natural Evolution – Probiotic Super Green Mulberry Leaf Powder

    1. Rich in the powerful probiotic Lactobacillius Sporogenes, to restore balance to your intestinal flora and boost your gut and immune health.
    2. Rich in chlorophyll and carotene and high in antioxidants—with four times the antioxidant power of kale
    3. A nutrient-packed blend of mulberry leaf and matcha green tea in easy to use, single serve sachets