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Pine Tree Compound Aids GI Health

Posted Dec 01 2012 10:08pm
Posted on Nov. 28, 2012, 6 a.m. in GI-Digestive Botanical Agents

A prebiotic is a non-digestible food component that helps to promote microbiota health in the gastrointestinal tract.  Researchers from the University of Turku (Finland) report that the spruce tree (Picea abies) is abundant in galactoglucomannan – a type of hemicellulose that has been suggested by previous studies to exert preiotic effects.  L. Polari and colleagues showed that Bifidobacterium (beneficial bacteria) species were able to ferment the spruce-derived compound, in a lab model. Additionally, the team observed that the amount of viable bacteria was nearly 100-times higher in samples exposed to galactoglucomannan, as compared to the control samples.  Observing that: “Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis strain Bb12, a commonly used probiotic, was able to adapt to the galactoglucomannan leading to more efficient utilization of hemicellulose-derived saccharides,” the study authors submit t hat: “Our study demonstrates prebiotic properties for galactoglucomannan.”

Polari L, Ojansivu P, Mäkelä S, Eckerman C, Holmbom B, Salminen S. “Galactoglucomannan Extracted from Spruce (Picea abies) as a Carbohydrate Source for Probiotic Bacteria.”  J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Oct 24.

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#80 - Hugs & Snugs
Therapeutic touch is a healing modality employed by health practitioners and nurses to help relieve pain, depression, and anxiety. Various scientific experiments have shown that touch causes measurable and positive physiological changes in both the person doing the touching and the one receiving the touch. Hugging can be considered as a two-way version of therapeutic touch. It is a safe alternative to kissing (see Tip 73) and a wholesome, feel-good activity.
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