Why turkey and other proteins may hold the key to reducing gut inflammation

Volume 7    |   Issue 75

If you have any inflammation in your gut, you may have tried all kinds of different remedies. But if probiotics and other supplements haven't worked as well as you hoped, there could be a simple solution: protein.

In your gut, there's a very delicate balancing act going on to protect your body against harmful microbes. Two types of immune cells are involved in this balancing act. There are cells that trigger inflammation. And there are cells that promote tolerance. You need both of these cells in order to keep your gut in good health.

However, when the balance tilts too far toward inflammation, it can lead to inflammatory bowel disease. When this happens, it's vital you do everything you can to enhance the tolerance-promoting cells in your gut. Fortunately, a new study found that protein does just that.

In this study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that these tolerance-promoting immune cells carry a specific bacterium. And this bacterium needs tryptophan — one of the building blocks of proteins — to trigger the cell to fight inflammation.


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According to the researchers, "The more tryptophan the mice had in their diet, the more of these immune cells they had." The connection between the two was obvious. When the researchers gave the mice twice the amount of tryptophan, the number of such cells rose by about 50%. But when they gave the mice half the amount of tryptophan, the number of cells dropped by half.

The researchers believe this finding could provide relief for the million or more Americans who suffer with the abdominal pain and diarrhea of inflammatory bowel disease. They said, "The development of these cells is probably something we want to encourage since these cells control inflammation on the inner surface of the intestines."

I agree. So it's vital you include plenty of tryptophan-containing proteins in your diet. When most people think of tryptophan, they think of turkey. That's because turkey is rich in tryptophan. But there are other foods that contain tryptophan as well. These include lamb, beef, pork, game meats, nuts, eggs, seeds, beans, chicken, yogurt, cheese, and even chocolate.

So if you suffer from any inflammatory condition in your gut, it's vital you get plenty of protein in your diet. If you struggle to eat enough protein, consider drinking a high-protein shake using Advanced Protein Powder. It has 380 mg of tryptophan in each serving and can help you replenish your tolerance-promoting immune cells.

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