Addressing Digestive Health Concerns

In this month’s Canadian Catalog update, we are focusing on Digestive Health!

Missed our other updates? Read more about :

Update #1 – Tinctures
Update #2 – Cod Liver Oil
Update #3 – Skin Care
Update #4 – Women’s Health

Canadian Catalog Update #5: Digestive Health

Digestive health concerns are a hot topic in healthcare today. From functional disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation, to infectious diseases like H. Pylori infection, hepatitis and parasitic infections, the digestive tract can be afflicted by a myriad of maladies that almost always require complex and balanced approaches of treatment.

According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, more than 20 million Canadians suffer from digestive health disorders every year. (1) That’s nearly one in two people! In the United States, 60 to 70 million people are affected by digestive health concerns on an annual basis, resulting in an approximate annual total cost of $142 billion. (2)

Digestive health is both simple and complex. There are a wide variety of ways our lives, diets and environments can affect our guts. By approaching patient digestive health concerns with a dynamic and comprehensive perspective, we ensure the best possible outcomes.

To effectively treat these potentially complex diseases, practitioners require a broad arsenal of tools. Let’s explore three of the most common gastrointestinal disorders and some of the tools we’ve recently added to your toolboxes in order to support you in developing the best treatment protocols for treating these conditions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Considered one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders, IBS constitutes typical recurrent symptoms of alteration in bowel movement patterns or frequency, improvement of symptoms after bowel movement, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen at least three times per month for the past three months. (3)Other symptoms may include chronic bloating, flatulence and passing of mucous with stool. (4)

Typical approaches to treatment of IBS include addressing psychological concerns like chronic and environmental stress (4); implementing dietary changes like eliminating or reducing FODMAP-containing foods from the diet (5); prescribing pharmacological and nutraceutical treatments like antidepressants, prokinetics and probiotics; and complementary interventions like herbal medicine and acupuncture. (6)

The key to treating IBS is determining the underlying cause, which if often multi-faceted. For example, a patient may present with chronic work-related stress (affecting the autonomic nervous system), food intolerance (causing gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating or flatulence), or previous long-term antibiotic use (affecting the intestinal microbiome).

Natural health products can be used in a variety of ways when treating IBS, including mitigation of symptoms like bloating or cramping, maintenance of intestinal lining integrity, promotion of colonic bacterial colony formation, and improvement of overall digestive function.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

There are a variety of potential causes for reflux, but the most common reason patients experience symptoms is a disorder affecting the valve between the esophagus (swallowing tube) and the stomach. (7) Other causes of reflux may include gastric Helicobacter Pylori infection, chronic stress, hiatal hernia, or a diet high in fatty foods.  Such symptoms include chest pain, food or acid reflux/regurgitation, or dry cough. (8)

On average, five million Canadians experience heartburn and/or acid regurgitation at least once each week, and 42% of patients suffering from GERD are dissatisfied with the outcome of drug therapy. (1)

Typically, the treatment for GERD includes patient education regarding diet and lifestyle management, along with symptom management to reduce stomach acid production, improve gastroesophageal sphincter tone, and coat the esophageal mucosal membrane to prevent long-term damage. (7)

Natural health products are well-suited for integration into treatment protocols that address GERD and can support the patient in all the aforementioned ways.


Often overlooked or under-discussed, more than half of the Canadian population over the age of 50 (1) and 75% of the US population over the age of 45 will develop hemorrhoids. (2) The most common reason for the development of hemorrhoids is chronic constipation, which in the US afflicts over 60 million people per year and resulted in 5.3 million prescriptions in 2004. (2) Combined, hemorrhoids and chronic constipation affect over three quarters of the North American population!

Although chronic constipation is often caused by a lack of physical activity or a diet low in fibre, similarly to IBS, it can be a complex condition and related to factors like chronic stress, dysfunctional coordination of colonic contractions, or changes in abdominal cavity structure. (9)

As with IBS and GERD, natural health products are commonly integrated or used as primary agents in treatment protocols for both hemorrhoids and constipation.

New Digestive Health Products

In this month’s Canadian Catalogue Update, we’re excited to announce the following new(ish) product additions to support practitioners with developing treatment plans for digestive health concerns and functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Additionally, explore our ever-expanding catalogue to see if your digestive health products are available. Some of the keywords you can try using include:

Digestion, Digestive, Gastro, Int, Stomach, Enzymes, Probiotics, IBS, Colon

Barberry Tincture by St. Francis Herb Farm

Barberry Tincture by St. Francis Herb Farm

Barberry is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a bitter stomachic tonic for dyspepsia. European barberry bark, root, and root bark are used for ailments and complaints of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, gallbladder, and kidney, as well as the urinary tract, respiratory tract, and heart and circulatory system.



Xylo-oligosaccharide (XOS) is a prebiotic fibre that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Many different prebiotic fibres exist on the market, however XOS is different. All other prebiotics promote the growth of all bacteria in the gut: good and bad, but XOS selectively promotes the growth of only beneficial microflora, namely the Bifidobacterium strains.

Acidux by St. Francis Herb Farm

Acidux by St. Francis Herb Farm

Acidux (Acid Reflux) also known as Meadowsweet Combo contains Calendula which is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve inflammatory conditions of the digestive system. Featuring meadowsweet and five other herbs chosen for their relevant complementary actions, Acidux is a formula specifically devised for the compelling relief of heartburn, hyperacidity, gastritis, and gastroesophageal reflux.

Bioretic by Genestra

Bioretic by Genestra

Bioretic was traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help to relieve inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract and as a diuretic. This allergen-free, vegan formula comes in convenient vegetable capsule format to easily consume.

Peppermint Oil G.I. by Protecol For Life

Peppermint Oil G.I. by Protecol For Life Balance

Peppermint Oil G.I.™ features peppermint oil with naturally occurring menthol, a potent compound that has been used for centuries to help encourage optimal health and wellness. Most notably, at the 0.2 mL amount used in clinical tests, peppermint oil has the ability to support digestive system health. Many traditionally have relied on this natural extract to freshen breath, improve digestion, and calm gastrointestinal upset.

Intestinal Therapy by Advanced Naturals

Intestinal Therapy by Advanced Naturals

Intestinal Therapy helps to rebuild and repair the intestinal tract lining, while also helping to reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract. It can be used by anyone who wishes to improve their intestinal health.


Prokine by VitaAid

Comprehensive Prokinetic Formula to help regulate gut motility. - Acts on the 5-HT receptors to promote gastrointestinal migrating motor complex (MMC) function. - Promote digestive enzyme & bile secretions. - Contains cofactors to support neurotransmitter synthesis & restore MMC.

Prokine PRO

Prokine PRO by VitaAid

Comprehensive Prokinetic Formula to help regulate gut motility. - 5-HT receptor agonists to promote MMC function - Promote digestive enzyme & bile secretions. - Contains cofactors to support neurotransmitter synthesis & restore MMC - Contains specific probiotics to help regulate MMC & prevent dysbiosis post-anti-microbial treatment

Digest-ProGD™ by Bioclinic Naturals

Digest-ProGD™ by Bioclinic Naturals

Contains essential proteases I, II, III, IV and IV, stable throughout the pH range of the digestive tract Each capsule delivers a standardized level of DPP-IV activity and is shown to survive the harsh environment of the stomach Hydrolyzes difficult-to-digest proline-containing peptides such as gluten and casein Contains amylase and glucoamylase that assist in the hydrolysis of carbohydrates as well as the enzyme lactase Provides alpha-galactosidase for the digestion of oligosaccharides found in beans, other legumes and cruciferous vegetables Suitable for vegetarians/vegans, and gluten and casein free diets