Green powders are a famous supplement that has become popular in the last decade. People use these powdered nutrients for many different reasons, but today, we’ll be discussing their effects on bloating. Can green powders help with digestive discomfort? Here are the facts and myths.
Bloating is a common discomfort linked to various digestive issues, with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth being a prevalent cause.
Green powders may aid in managing bloating by promoting a healthier gut environment.
Vegetable powders may provide functional compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids with good bioavailability.
Caution is essential when considering green powder supplements due to misleading claims and potential additives with side effects. Consult healthcare professionals and scrutinize product details before use.
What is bloating?
Bloating is a term for the sensation of gassiness and feeling of pressure in the abdominal region of the body. It can be because of the stomach or intestinal discomfort. The related health conditions can be digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and diarrhea. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is a common feature of those health conditions, can be the main underlying problem of bloating.
There are some other organic conditions that may related to bloating, like celiac disease, pancreatic insufficiency, intolerances, or gastrointestinal malignancies. However, these kinds of diseases need special care, and if you are one of these patients, please always consult your doctor before using any kind of supplementation or following any special diet.
Today, we will be talking about bloating related to SIBO, as it is a common cause of boating and can be easily managed with nutritional manipulations.
SIBO, due to the increased level of mainly harmful bacteria species, leads to increased nutrient metabolization in the intestine. In normal physiological conditions, there is gas production in our gastrointestinal tract, but harmful bacteria can produce a high amount of gases, unlike in healthy conditions.
Can green powders help with bloating?
It is well known that some bacteria in our intestines can mediate digestive and immune systems by the metabolites that they produce. Nutritional habits are the main tool to manage intestinal health as, for example, a high-fiber diet can increase the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, while processed foods act exactly the opposite. With high-fiber intake, both beneficial bacteria and their metabolites, short-chain fatty acids, are increased. We know that vegetables are high in fiber and may lead to beneficial effects on the body. But what about vegetable powders?
A study published in 2021 showed how vegetable powders can help with intestinal health. Mice were fed with different kinds of vegetable powders and examined to see intestinal changes.
Researchers indicated that after vegetable powder supplementation, the harmful bacteria in intestinal flora like Lachnospiraceae and Bacteroides were decreased, while beneficial bacteria like Firmicutes and Lactobacillus were increased.
Additionally, the levels of their functional metabolites, like propionic acid and butyric acid, also known as short-chain fatty acids, were increased in the intestine. Vegetable powder supplements also increase immunoglobulin levels in the blood, which are important for the general regulation of immunity.
Does digestion of nutrients change in green powders?
There are several types of scientific methods to examine the digestion of foods, supplements, or drugs. An artificial digestion model under laboratory conditions called “in vitro digestion” is generally used. There are, of course, animal studies or clinical studies to obtain patient experiences.
Regarding digestion, effective compounds like polyphenols, flavonoids, or other antioxidants are released for cellular uptake in our digestive tract. Our digestive enzymes, or the environmental conditions of the digestive tract, like acidity, make those bioactive compounds available, which is medically called “bioavailability.”
A study showed that the digestion process increased the availability of total phenols and flavonoids in vegetable powders, while vitamin C and antioxidant activity were decreased minimally. This is good because it is important to reach as many antioxidant compounds as we can without losing their effectiveness.
Things to consider
Even though there are promising studies about the beneficial effects of green powders on digestive issues and nutrient provision, there are some considerations.
Green powders are industrial products with several health claims. For several economic and strategic reasons, manufacturers give incorrect or incomplete information about the contents and health effects of their supplements.
For the same reasons, they may use many additives, even those with serious side effects.
Here, the most important thing is having informed choices. Therefore, always consult with your doctor and dietitian before starting any supplement, and always be aware of the ingredient list, production conditions, and brand information of any product you buy.
The last words
Green powders, known for their versatility as dietary supplements, have garnered attention for their potential to alleviate bloating, particularly in cases related to SIBO. Research indicates that vegetable powders can positively impact intestinal health by reducing harmful bacteria, increasing beneficial bacteria, and elevating essential metabolites like short-chain fatty acids that may reduce bloating.
It's crucial to exercise caution when considering green powder supplements, as misleading health claims and potentially harmful additives are prevalent in the market. Always seek guidance from healthcare professionals, scrutinize product labels, and make informed choices before incorporating green powders into your routine.
- Foods. Dietary Vegetable Powders Modulate Immune Homeostasis and Intestinal Microbiota in Mice.
- Journal of Food Science and Technology. In vitro gastrointestinal digestion studies on total phenols, flavonoids, anti-oxidant activity and vitamin C in freeze-dried vegetable powders.
- Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Management of Chronic Abdominal Distension and Bloating.