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In this Issue...

Food & Recipes

Special Events

Special Letters

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather

In the Next Issue...

* An international mind-body survey of patients with IBS

* More new stores!

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Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

May 30, 2006

Follow Up to Fennel Ending Three Years of IBS Bloating

Hello to everyone -

This week we have a heart-warming follow up to one of our most popular reader letters ever. If you've been discouraged by years of IBS symptoms, this two-part story (you can follow the links back to the first letter) will truly resonate with you.

If you've noticed all the stories and studies lately about fennel and peppermint for IBS, you might be wondering why, exactly, these two herbs are particularly helpful. So this week's Ask Heather column tells you!

We also have an exotic (but super easy) Spanish pasta recipe, so if you're looking for an adventurous change of pace for dinner that's still digestion-friendly, here it is.

Finally, we have new stores that have added Heather's Tummy Care products, and as always we have the latest IBS news and research. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Did a friend send you this newsletter? Sign up here for your own free subscription. divider

Spanish Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

This is a deliciously different pasta that makes a terrific one-dish meal. It's wonderful hot, at room temperature, or even chilled as a pasta salad for the coming days of summer. Do try and use Spanish smoked paprika - it's the special secret ingredient. If you can't find it, regular paprika can substitute. Roasting the cauliflower lets you add a lot of insoluble fiber safely, and the pasta provides a high soluble fiber foundation.

Serves 4-6

2 heads cauliflower, broken into 1" florets
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Spray a 9 x 13" baking pan with cooking oil, add cauliflower, onions, and olive oil, and mix well. Roast about 1 hour, stirring a few times, until veggies are golden. Add veggies to a large serving bowl.

Add to the cauliflower mixture and stir well:
zest (just the yellow part - remove with a cheese grater) and juice of 2 lemons
1 T dried parsley or 2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C capers
1/4 C raisins, chopped
1/4 pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet (NOT non-stick) until golden brown
2 T Acacia Tummy Fiber (optional)

In a very large saucepan bring six quarts of water to boil with 2 T salt. Add to pot:

12 oz. spaghetti

Cook pasta till tender, about 12 minutes. Reserve 2 C cooking water and drain pasta. Toss pasta with cauliflower mixture. Stir in:

1 T Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 C balsamic vinegar

Add reserved pasta water as needed if too dry, and adjust salt and paprika to taste. Delicious!

For a truly special treat, serve the pasta with our recent dessert recipe for Raspberry Angel Kisses.

Are you just learning how to eat for IBS? Not quite sure what makes these recipes special in the first place? Don't worry! Find the answers to all your questions in the IBS Kitchen Kit.

~ Heather's Tummy Fiber ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, &, Constipation

IBS Acacia Tummy Fiber

Organic Acacia ~ Pure Soluble Fiber

The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

New Retail Stores Carrying Heather's Tummy Care Products
We're continuing our special rebate offer for people who buy Tummy Care products at their local stores, and we have new store announcements this week as well!

Farm to Market
32382 Del Obispo St
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Mother's Market
24165 Paseo De Valencia
Laguna Woods, CA 92653

Kankakee Natural Foods
1035 Mulligan Drive
Bradley, IL 60915

Harmony Market
5616 Grape Road
Mishawaka, IN 46545

Abner's Nutrition
2909 Garnet Suite A
Parker Square Shopping Center
Wichita Falls, TX 76308

If you don't have a store in your area carrying Tummy Care products yet, please give them this flyer to ask them.

New Stores That May Add Tummy Care Products
We have quite a long list of stores (and we update the list each week) that have expressed interest in carrying our products, have asked for samples and information, but have not yet ordered. To see if one of these stores is in your area, please check our list of potential stores and practitioners. If someone on the list is near your location please let them know you'd like them to add the Tummy Care line for you.

Now with 50% More Enteric Coating!
~ Heather's Tummy Tamers ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain &, Bloating

IBS Peppermint Caps
Peppermint Oil Caps with Fennel and Ginger Are Amazing!

Because our Peppermint Oil Caps have the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, they are truly unbeatable for preventing abdominal pain, gas, and bloating!

divider Follow Up to Fennel Ending Three Years of IBS Bloating

Hello Heather,

This is just a follow up letter to my first letter about all my misery and the Fennel Tummy Tea. I wanted you to know that my recovery has been very good so far. I have not had any relapses unless I eat the wrong thing. I buy your Fennel Tummy Tea at Campbell's Nutrition here in Des Moines, Iowa and they just rave about your products. I'm still drinking the tea at least two times a day and rather enjoy adding ice and making a nice cold drink when it's hot outside.

I just hope that there are others who might benefit as much as I did. I thank God everyday for another feel good day. I had so many bad days I almost gave up on ever feeling good again. But, there is always hope.

I can't thank you enough. I tell everyone about your website and tell them to pass it on to anyone they know who has problems with IBS. I even went to a website that helps people with nissen fundoplication surgery (this is what I had) and so many people there have the same problems that I had developed 6 months after that surgery. I just hope I have helped some people there like you have, people who suffer soooooo badly.

God bless you and your staff for all their hard work! Again, thanks for your inspiration and have a good year!

Deborah Naert
Des Moines, Iowa

Thank you SO much for the update, Deborah! ~ Heather

Did you miss the last reader letter? Find it here...

Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea
Organic Fennel & Peppermint Tummy Tea Bags

Fennel is terrific for bloating & gas, Peppermint is great for IBS pain & spasms.

divider Genetic Cause Suspected for IBS
Researchers suggest there is a possible genetic basis for irritable bowel syndrome, which affects nearly one in five U.S. adults. IBS, characterized by abdominal pain or cramping and changes in bowel function, including bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation, accounts for more than one of every 10 doctor visits in the United States.

According to findings reported at the recent Digestive Disease Week 2006 in Los Angeles, individuals with IBS estimated that 20 percent of their first-degree relatives had IBS, while those relatives who participated in the study self-reported that 46 percent were actually affected by the disorder.

The control group estimated that 4 percent of their first-degree relatives had IBS, but when the relatives themselves were surveyed, 25 percent were affected. Go here for comprehensive information about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Go here for more information about this study...

Beneficial Bacteria Protect the Gut from Stress
Probiotics can help protect the gut against harmful bacteria and symptoms brought on by long-term stress, according to researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

In a study of rats subjected to stress, those who were pretreated with either of two Lactobacillus strains had less adhesion to intestinal walls of harmful bacteria, said Philip M. Sherman, M.D. What's more, pretreatment with the probiotics prevented translocation of the harmful bacteria to the mesenteric lymph nodes, indicating a protective effect.

Although the study focused on stressed-out rodents, the findings have implications for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome in humans, the authors note. Go here for more information about Acacia as a prebiotic, which encourages the growth of probiotics.

Go here for more information about this study...

Novel Compound Targets Mucosal Healing in Crohn's
A novel treatment that targets mucosal protection and healing rather than inflammation led to fast and significant efficacy in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease, researchers at the recent Digestive Disease Week conference said.

At the highest tested dose, teduglutide, an analog of the naturally occurring human peptide glucagon like peptide-2 (GLP-2), elicited a response at two weeks in more than 50% of patients, reported Alan L. Buchman, M.D., of Northwestern University in Chicago at Digestive Disease Week sessions here. The agent was self injected subcutaneously daily.

"Inflammatory bowel disease starts in the gut, so if you can heal the gut, you can probably heal the rest of the body," Dr. Buchman said, suggesting why teduglutide demonstrated such surprising efficacy. Go here for comprehensive information about Crohn's disease.

Go here for more information about this study...

Mind-Body Treatments Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Short courses of hypnosis therapy or cognitive therapy can calm the distressing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a new study finds. What's more, "patients with the more severe form of IBS may have heightened sensitivity to the side effects of medications [prescribed for the condition]," noted Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and physiology at the University of California Los Angeles. That means "there's a very important role for these kinds of [mind-body] approaches," he said.

Mayer moderated a "Mind and Body Effects on GI Health" panel on Wednesday, part of the Digestive Disease Week 2006 annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Hypnotherapy -- which, among other things, involves techniques such as visualizing a fully functioning GI tract -- helped IBS sufferers reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, reported Dr. Magnus Simren, an associate professor and consultant at Goteborg University in Sweden.

He led two studies testing the therapy. In each group, about half were assigned to receive "gut-directed" hypnotherapy for one hour a week for 12 weeks, in which the therapist concentrated on helping them with their IBS. The other half of patients were assigned to a control group that did not get hypnotherapy.

Simren evaluated the patients at the start of the study, right after treatment and then again at six and 12 months later, asking them to complete questionnaires focused on their quality of life, anxiety, depression and GI symptoms. "The hypnotherapy groups improved significantly regarding GI symptoms," he said. "The control groups did not." Go here for information about gut-directed self-hypnosis for IBS and to listen to program audio samples.

Go here for more information about this study...

Looking for more IBS research and news? Check the IBS Research Library!

The Best Gut-Directed Self-Hypnosis Program for All IBS Symptoms

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divider Herbs for IBS - Why Fennel and Peppermint?
I keep hearing about fennel and peppermint for IBS, but what's so special about those two herbs?

The idea that herbs are nature's medicines is especially true when it comes to fennel, peppermint, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. According to the American Botanical Council, whose mission continues the historical tradition of disseminating scientific information that promotes the safe and effective use of medicinal plants, those two herbs are particularly effective for IBS symptoms.

Fennel is not as widely popular in the Western world as peppermint, but it's documented use goes back to ancient China, and the the United States once listed fennel as an official drug to be used for digestive problems. Today the herb is still used daily as an after-dinner digestive aid from India to Italy to Spain. Fennel, like peppermint, is classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA - there are no limitations on its use as a daily digestive aid. Fennel is so safe it's even used to treat infants with colic.

Clinical studies have shown that fennel, as part of the diet, helps regulate contractions of the small intestine and aids gas expulsion. Fennel also relaxes the gut, which can relieve spasms of the GI tract. As a result, fennel assists in the dietary management of IBS symptoms, and is exceptional for IBS bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Fennel is also a traditional digestive aid for colic, heartburn, indigestion, and stomachaches.

It is the volatile oils in fennel that make it so effective for the dietary management of IBS symptoms, particularly bloating and gas. Fennel's primary volatile oils are anethole, fenchone, and estragole. Anethole has a chemical structure similar to dopamine, a chemical that is naturally present in the body. Dopamine is known to have a relaxing effect on the intestine. Fennel also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, probably also as a result of the anethole, which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticarcinogenic. Fennel is best used for relief of IBS symptoms when it's brewed as a strong, hot tea.

Peppermint is an exceptional stand-out for its multi-symptom IBS effectiveness. Mint is actually one of the oldest of herbs. The mint-after-a meal custom dates back to ancient Rome, and mint tea has been a favorite cure for indigestion since Biblical times.

Peppermint's pain-killing properties have been recognized for millenia. Menthol and methyl salicylate are the main active ingredients of peppermint. Internally, they have anti-spasmodic actions, with calming effects on the muscles of the stomach, intestinal tract, and uterus. They also have powerful analgesic (pain-killing) properties, which are mediated, in part, through activation of kappa-opioid receptors, which help block pain signal transmission.

Peppermint is extremely useful for indigestion, gastrointestinal spasms, and menstrual cramps. It is anti-bacterial, increases gastric juices, and relieves gas, nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness. Peppermint also contains essential oils that stimulate the gallbladder to secrete its store of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. This makes peppermint a wonderful digestive aid after heavy meals. It also improves the function of the muscles that line the stomach and intestines, relieves diarrhea, and has a calming, numbing effect on the entire GI tract.

Clinical studies have shown that peppermint is exceptionally beneficial for IBS abdominal pain and spasms, diarrhea, and urgency. For the prevention of IBS symptoms, peppermint is best used as enteric coated capsules (these have actually have been called the "drug of choice" for IBS). For immediate relief of symptoms, brew peppermint as a strong, hot tea.

~ Heather

Did you miss the last "Ask Heather" and Children & IBS? Find it here...

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