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Originally published by I QUIT SUGAR. Click here for article.
14 August 2023
By Melissa Evans
Find yourself clearing a room every night with an onslaught of SBDs? Or perhaps it’s the chronic bloating, constipation and sluggishness that’s got you down – if any of this is sounding familiar, this one’s for you. No Ugly’s Gut Tonic is specially formulated with research-backed ingredients proven to combat the symptoms of an unbalanced gut microbiome. Let’s dive into how they do it!
No Ugly understand that gut health rides a delicate balance of trillions of bacteria – and what we put in our bodies can make or break that balance. The good news is we have a lot of control over this side of things, so we can steer the ship back in the right direction if things have gone a little haywire. If your gut microbiome is out of whack, you've probably noticed poor digestion or even cognitive symptoms like poor mental clarity and brain fog. Research shows the gut has a direct link to the brain and gut inflammation throws our neurotransmitters out of order. Common gut bacteria like Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes can cause inflammation when we’re lacking good gut bacteria, leaving us feeling worse for wear. Take a look at some of the other signs of a dysregulated microbiome:
Bloating, especially after eating
Unusual food sensitivities
That’s where No Ugly Gut comes in. Their motto? It’s time to say goodbye to ugly and get back to gorgeous.
“Here at No Ugly, we believe natural is gorgeous, but if your gut’s natural behaviour includes bloating, farting, bad breath and diarrhoea, you need help. Let’s start with 2 Billion CFUs at the time of bottling. That’s what you get in every serve of No Ugly Gut.”
Their specially-formulated gut tonic is packed with the essentials for a happy and healthy microbiome – this means no more bloating, constipation and the all-night-flatulence that drives your loved ones mad!
The best part? It tastes delicious, with fruity notes of grape, cranberry and apple, combined with the subtle nuttiness of chicory root – it's hands-down our favourite drink here at I Quit Sugar. The infusion of green tea adds a refreshing layer to every sip, not to mention the antioxidants that come with it, after all, there's a reason No Ugly Gut is our go-to drink here at IQS – from the low-sugar content that ticks all the boxes to the gut-boosting probiotics, there's no competition. One word of advice; make sure you label yours as these tasty tonics have been known to go missing from the fridge!
Let’s take a peek into the science-backed elements that make No Ugly Gut so beneficial.
These good gut bugs are what No Ugly Gut is all about – they’re the guys who’ll go to bat for you against the gas-building, constipation-fuelling bad bacteria that have overrun your microbiome. Let’s take a look at one of the powerful probiotics bursting from No Ugly Gut:
Bacillus coagulans probiotics: One strain in particular, Bacillus coagulans probiotics, has been proven to make a significant improvement upon our gut health, and the research shows that it can reduce malabsorption of nutrients – a common effect of poor gut health – along with combatting chronic diarrhoea. A Japanese study found an improvement in 93.7% of acute or chronic gastroenteritis-related diarrhoea cases, 85.9% of maldigestion and 65.4% of constipation cases, making it a promising strain for the future of gut health. Recent research found that this probiotic can improve the symptoms of a range of gut issues – from bloating to diarrhoea.
“Assessment showed significant improvement compared to placebo on symptoms such as bloating/cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomach rumbling, nausea, vomiting, headache, and anxiety,” the study concluded. You can read the study here
Chicory root and apple fibre come together in this delicious concoction to boost the fibre content – and as an added bonus, prebiotic chicory root adds a unique sweetness and nuttiness to the flavour profile. It’s included in No Ugly Gut due to its high inulin content – this is a type of soluble fibre that provides a number of benefits:
Prebiotic properties: Inulin is considered a prebiotic fibre. Prebiotics are non-digestible substances that serve as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting their growth and activity. In the case of inulin, it reaches the large intestine undigested, where it's fermented by gut bacteria. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and other compounds that have various positive effects on gut health.
Gut microbiome: Inulin encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including those gut-boosting probiotics packed to the brim of this tonic. And, as we know, a balanced and diverse gut microbiota is associated with improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and a reduced risk of certain diseases.
Improved digestion: Inulin's fermentation by gut bacteria leads to the production of SCFAs, which provide an energy source for colon cells and contribute to maintaining a healthy gut lining. SCFAs can also help improve intestinal motility, reducing the risk of constipation.
Blood-sugar regulation: Inulin may play a role in managing blood-sugar levels. It has a relatively low glycaemic index, meaning it doesn't cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels when consumed. This can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
Appetite regulation: Inulin may contribute to feelings of fullness and satiety, potentially aiding in weight management by reducing overall food intake.
Heart health: Some research suggests that inulin consumption may contribute to improved lipid profiles by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol (often referred to as "bad" cholesterol). This could be due to its influence on gut microbiota and metabolism.
Calcium absorption: Inulin has been found to enhance the absorption of calcium in the colon, which could have positive implications for bone health – oh and, as we’ll unpack below, calcium is also included in No Ugly Gut.
Apple fibre is a naturally occurring dietary fibre found in the cell walls of apples – it contains both soluble and insoluble fibres like pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose – that may sound like scientific jargon, but the benefits are clear-cut and simple, from supporting digestive health and regulating blood sugar to providing a feeling of fullness.
But there’s another kind of fibre added into this tonic solely to boost your gut health – we’re talking about resistant maltodextrin, also known as RMD, which is a kind of dietary fibre that has been proven to improve bowel movement regularity and digestion.
RMD is partially digested in the small intestine, and the remaining undigested portion reaches the colon, where it serves as a substrate for fermentation by gut bacteria. Similar to inulin, resistant maltodextrin functions as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and contributing to gut health. It has been associated with improved gut microbiota and potential benefits for digestion and overall gut health. Research published in the Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology Journal found that this form of fibre could be the key to improving our digestion.
“As a result of integration analyses, we found that the intake of RMD significantly increased stool volume and stool frequency compared with placebo intake. Furthermore, RMD intake tended to improve sensation of complete/incomplete evacuation,” the research article reads. “In conclusion, the evidence suggests that RMD has a positive effect on bowel movements, contributing to normal bowel function.” You can read the study here
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including bone health, nerve transmission, muscle function and blood clotting – but what you might not know is that it also plays in important role in gut health. That’s why No Ugly have included it in their tonic. Research published in Cell Transplant found that digestive enzymes function optimally when we’ve got a good dose of calcium – in fact, the research found that without adequate supplementation of this mineral, enzyme digestion dropped significantly. But what does this have to do with gut health, you ask? Well, enzyme digestion in the pancreas is critical because it is a key process that allows your body to break down and absorb nutrients from the food you eat. This process is essential for providing your cells with the necessary energy and building blocks to function properly – not to mention its importance in achieving a balanced gut. Incomplete digestion due to a lack of enzymes can lead to malabsorption – this is where your body doesn't get enough nutrients despite eating a sufficient amount of food – and the issue here is that, not only will we have nutrient deficiencies, but the bad bacteria will be able to flourish while the good guys lose the fight. Poor digestion can lead to digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea – so we’ve got another reason to make sure we’re actually digesting and making use of the nutrients we’re taking in.
Take a look at a few other reasons calcium is so integral to a healthy gut:
Intestinal motility: Calcium is involved in muscle contractions, including those of the smooth muscles in the digestive tract. Adequate calcium levels support proper intestinal motility, which is crucial for the movement of food and waste through the digestive system. Healthy motility prevents issues like constipation and supports regular bowel movements, promoting a healthier gut environment.
Intestinal barrier function: The gut lining acts as a barrier between the intestines and the rest of the body, preventing the entry of harmful substances. Calcium is essential for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier and preventing the leakage of toxins and undigested food particles, thereby reducing the risk of inflammation and gut-related issues.
Calcium's interaction with prebiotics and probiotics: Studies have suggested that calcium can promote the survival and activity of probiotic bacteria, enhancing their potential benefits in the gut, with one study finding a “positive outcome of dietary prebiotics is promoted by a high dietary calcium content.” Research also shows that calcium contributes to the health of the mucosal lining in the gut, and a healthy mucosal lining helps protect the intestinal cells from damage, supports nutrient absorption and plays a role in immune responses in the gut.
You can read the referenced studies here
With green tea extract and grape seed extract, this tonic is a powerhouse of antioxidants. Let’s start with the green tea, considering its reputation as an inflammation-buster is long and extensive. But what makes it so potent? Well it comes down to a specific kind of antioxidant known as catechins – one specifically known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG and other catechins in green tea help neutralise free radicals in the body – these unwelcome houseguests are known to damage cells and contribute to ageing and various diseases, including heart disease. Now these antioxidants have been found to lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular health. They may also help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a key step in the development of heart disease. That’s not all it does – let’s unpack a few of the other powerful benefits of green tea extract:
Weight management: EGCG in green tea extract may enhance metabolism and fat oxidation, contributing to weight management and potentially aiding in weight loss.
Brain health: Some research suggests that the antioxidants in green tea may have neuroprotective effects, potentially reducing the risk of cognitive decline and certain neurodegenerative diseases.
Cancer prevention: The antioxidants in green tea, particularly EGCG, have been studied for their potential anti-cancer properties. They may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells.
Now let’s have a look at grape seed extract – this stuff is rich in a group of antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). It’s a long word, we know, but to make it simple, these antioxidants are believed to be 20 times greater than vitamin E and 50 times greater than vitamin C. Grape seed extract may promote cardiovascular health by supporting healthy blood vessels, reducing oxidative stress, and improving blood flow, along with boosting collagen production, which supports skin elasticity and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and ageing. This means it’ll improve your health both inside and out.
How to Drink Your Gut Tonic
Just a bottle of these tonics a day is the key to a powerful probiotic boost; you can think of it as an addition to your daily meal plan. Enjoy a sip after your morning walk for an energy boost or pour yourself a glass during lunch or dinner for a tasty drink you won't believe is working wonders on you gut. It doesn't get any easier than that!