Monthly Archives: July 2012

Happy Fourth of July – July Newsletter

Happy Fourth of July! Yes, I’m spending part of my holiday working on the newsletter! The summer seems to be already flying by.

In this issue of the newsletter I wrap up your guided trip through the digestive system with the last two installments. Next we’ll continue our tour of the body with the endocrine system – the makers of our hormones (or as one of my clients jokingly called her “horror-mones”) which essentially direct the majority of the body’s activities.

There is still time to sign up for the 49th annual School of the Arts at Rhinelander (July 22-27). I’ll be teaching a week long class Learning and Living a Healthy Lifestyle. We will meet daily for three hours and each day will combine learning about nutrition, yoga, and relaxation. For more information go to

Your Digestive System Tour Concludes

Here are the last two installments of your guide through your digestive system. The first article describes the supportive roles of the liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. While the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines do all the heavy lifting so to speak, they could not do it without the help of those other organs.
The second article looks more specifically at the large intestines and the important role that bacteria play in our health.

What is Your Nutritional Type?

One of my nutrition colleagues, Glen Depke, has developed an interesting survey for you to determine your nutritional type which helps guide you as to what foods are best for your type.

While I believe in general healthy foods are healthy foods, we are all still individual and often the proportions of the healthy foods that are best for us are unique to us.

With all of these “typing” mechanisms I believe they are useful inputs into the big puzzle. Are they the end all? That is for you to decide. Enjoy!

Please note there is a little sales pitch at the end, but to get the basic information it is free and worthwhile.

The Large Intestines and the Importance of Probiotics

The last internal stop of our process is the large intestine or colon. The small intestines pass the remaining undigested material to the large intestine. Here it is stored and concentrated by absorbing water. The majority of our micro flora are also here – both beneficial and detrimental. Micro flora is also found in the small intestines and stomach.

Once again the internal environment changes as the colon is slightly acidic at 6.8. The large intestine is where sodium, potassium, other vitamins and minerals, and water are absorbed. Of that original seven liters of enzymes the remaining 1.5 liters is absorbed in the colon. Feces made here which are one third matter and two thirds water. A major part of the feces is dead bacteria. There are several pounds of flora in the bowel. The beneficial flora produce B Vitamins, Vitamin K, and will digest proteins.

We have 400 to 500 types of bacteria in our digestive system. This is often simplified as the “good” and the “bad” bacteria. To keep it simple the “good” bacteria are those that live on some of the undigested material and their waste products are vitamins that we can use. The “good” bacteria are called probiotics. The most prominent are: Lactobacilli (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus), Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardi.

On the other hand the “bad” bacteria are those who live on other undigested material, mostly the sugar and other carbohydrates, and produce waste that is toxic to our system causing bloating, gas, and many of the other digestive disorders that we previously spoke of.

When we discuss our micro flora or bacteria think of it as continuous war with many battles. All the varieties are battling to survive. When you take an antibiotic (anti-life) it kills all the bacteria – both the good and the bad, but not yeast such as candida which takes over. This is why often have yeast infection after round of antibiotics.

There are a variety of food sources for the good bacteria. These include the cultured or fermented foods such as: yogurt, kefir, raw sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tamari, and tempeh. Another source is probiotic supplements.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He has offices in Thiensville and Glendale, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

The Liver, Gall Bladder, and Pancreas – Behind the Scenes Helpers of Digestion

When we think of digestion we usually think of the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines – often collectively referred to as “the gut.” Playing a key role behind the scenes are the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.

The liver is one of the most critical organs in the body. Once the liver shuts down the body is pretty much finished. Among its hundreds or perhaps thousands of jobs are: cleaning/purifying the blood and removing toxins, fat metabolism, building proteins/amino acid synthesis, and for purposes of digestion – manufacturing bile. After being made in the liver bile is stored and concentrated in the gall bladder.

The acidic food passing from the stomach to the small intestine stimulates the pancreas and gall bladder. Foods high in fat have to be emulsified. This is what bile does. It is a “degreaser”. If the oil is not degreased, the enzymes cannot get to the food.

The body makes 1-6 cups of bile per day. Bile has pH of 7.8 which is slightly alkaline. Gall bladder contractions send bile into the small intestines. Bile that stays in the gall bladder gets reconstituted and thickens and can eventually form stones. This thickening is referred to as biliary stasis which prevents the bile from flowing to the small intestines. One of the problems in eating a low fat diet is by consuming less fat there is less need for bile. This increases the likelihood of biliary stasis.

Bile influences the color of stools. Light colored stools indicate liver and gall bladder need help. Stools should be brown. Any other color is suspect.

The pancreas secretes hormones (insulin and glucagon) and enzymes thus it is often overworked. We have previously discussed the key role that pancreatic enzymes play in the small intestines. We will later discuss the importance of insulin and glucagon.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He has offices in Thiensville and Glendale, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to