Olive Branch Wellness Center

Wellness tips, health news, nutrition insights, encouragement and more...

May 2018 Issue

Raynette Ilg, ND

Raynette Ilg, ND, Founder
Olive Branch Wellness Center

This Month's Vita-Mini:   Vitamin J

Vitamin J is more commonly known as Choline. It’s a micronutrient that’s similar to B-complex vitamins, and is important in liver function, brain development, nerve and muscle function, as well as metabolism. It’s critical for supporting health neurotransmitter function and supports anti-aging neurotransmitters in the body.

Choline is found naturally in breast milk, beef, liver, eggs, salmon, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Although most of us eat plenty of choline in common foods, our bodies often have trouble absorbing it. That’s why it’s good to make sure your vitamin supplement includes Choline. 

Choline deficiency symptoms include: low energy levels, memory loss, cognitive decline, fatigue, muscle aches, nerve damage and mood disorders.


Olive Branch Wellness Center is now partnering with Blispay to offer you easy and affordable financing for your care. You can apply for financing online, and cover your costs, allowing you greater options in moving your healthcare and wellness journey forward!

Dr. Ray
Dr. Raynette Ilg

Nourishing the Healthy Bacteria
in Your Gut!

Last month we talked why having good bacteria in your intestinal tract is so important, and how many health conditions are affected by your gut bacteria. This month, we're talking about what you can do to improve your microbiome:

Did you know that there are 10 times as many bacterial cells in your body as there are human cells? These bacteria aren’t all bad guys, in fact, you need bacteria to survive. They help digest your food, deliver nutrients to your blood stream, protect against viral infections, and good bacteria help fend off the bad bacteria that makes us sick.

So, if you have up to 6 pounds of bacteria inside of you, it pays to know how to make sure your bacteria are mostly good guys who can work for you instead of bad bacteria that can work against you. That’s what they mean when you hear someone talk about keeping a healthy “microbiome” in your body.

Here are what can help increase the number of good bacteria in your intestines and the rest of your body:

  • Eating “Prebiotic” Foods or taking Prebiotic Supplements
    What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? While probiotics are the actual good bacteria themselves, prebiotics are a food source that helps them grow and thrive. By including prebiotics in your diet, you create a welcoming environment in your intestines for the probiotics to do their work. Prebiotic foods include: raw garlic, raw onions, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, legumes, flax seeds, dandelion greens and chicory root.

  • Avoiding Unnecessary Antibiotics
    Our overuse of antibiotics – both for ourselves, and those antibiotics we feed to food animals – not only creates antibiotic resistant germs, they kill off the good bacteria in our gut. Anti-biotics should be used only in a “last resort” situation. If you are required to take an antibiotic, once the course is done, you’ll need to infuse your body with good bacteria through supplementation, fermented foods, and eating prebiotic foods to feed them. You should also choose organic meats and dairy products too, to avoid the antibiotics they feed to factory farmed animals.

  • Eating Fermented Foods
    Fermented foods get their flavor from good bacteria. They are one way traditional cultures preserved foods and kept themselves healthy. Fermented dairy foods include yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cheeses. Fermented vegetables are easy to make at home and include sauerkraut, kimchi and more. If soy is not contraindicated for you, enjoy small amounts of fermented soy products, such as miso, natto or tempeh.

  • Supplementing with a Good Probiotic Formula
    Probiotic supplements are all the rage now, as people discover the benefits of healthy bacteria. However, don’t go throwing good money down the drain by buying cheap commercial supplements. It’s very difficult for supplement makers to preserve the bacteria as active cultures. This is one reason you’ll see higher priced probiotics in the refrigerated section of the health food store. There are other effective supplements that preserve active cultures, but you need to do your research. You also want to be sure that the bacteria in your supplement gets delivered to your intestines instead of digesting in your stomach. Better supplements have enteric coating to protect the probiotic formula through the digestive cycle. So, before you run out to the health food store, call the office so we can get help you choose a quality probiotic.