Good Health Begins with Good Digestion

Although most people would agree that proper nutrition is an important factor in maintaining a healthy body, fewer might suspect faulty digestion as the culprit in many nutritional disorders. “I find that many health practitioners and their clients assume that nutritional supplements are the key to maintaining health or correcting a nutritional deficiency, but without a good balance of enzymes, supplements may not be enough,” says Reneé Barasch, a certified digestive health specialist, enzyme therapist and owner of Nutritional Health Solutions, in Highland Park.

Trained at the Loomis Institute of Enzyme Nutrition, in Madison, Wisconsin, Barasch is committed to guiding clients toward nutritional balance and enhanced quality of life. She helps clients “connect the digestive dots,” she says, in order to understand that faulty digestion often drives problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, acid reflux, colitis, Crohn’s disease, headaches, chronic fatigue, insomnia, inflammation and fibromyalgia.

“Steps toward healthier eating and living begin with changes in diet, as well as the elimination of processed foods and the addition of nutrient-dense foods, nutritional supplements and enzymes,” notes Barasch, who recommends the enzyme formulations created by Digestive Health Specialist Dr. Howard F. Loomis, author of ENZYMES: The Key to Health. “Enzymes restore and maintain the digestive system, creating efficient and effective digestion that ensures nourishment to every part of the body,” she explains.

Barasch offers an example of the effectiveness of enzymes combined with a healthy diet. A 56-year-old female client that visited Barasch to discuss her chronic yeast infections. After reviewing the woman’s 24-hour urinalysis, a test Barasch uses to pinpoint digestive imbalances that create nutritional deficiencies, the practitioner recognized a problem with carbohydrate digestion, Candida overgrowth and a calcium/magnesium deficiency.

“The client needed amylase, a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme which prevents Candida from growing,” says Barasch. “I recommended one enzyme and one probiotic, and within three days, she was symptom-free. She has not had a recurrence of yeast for more than four years.”

“Yeast lives on undigested carbohydrates, and my client didn’t produce enough amylase to digest the carbohydrates she was eating,” explains Barasch. The solution reinforces the philosophy Barasch consistently emphasizes: good nutrition begins with good digestion.

Reneé Barasch, Nutritional Health Solutions, 480 Elm Place, Suite 108, Highland Park. Call 847-207-2034 or visit

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Find other natural living articles at her website,

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