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There's No Place Like the Bathroom During the Holidays

CLEVELAND, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Of the estimated 25 to 45 million Americans who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a significant number avoid seeing their families, attending parties and even shopping during the holiday season because of their digestive disorder. Running to the bathroom and unpredictable digestive symptoms often make road trips difficult, socializing embarrassing and enjoying popular holiday meals nearly impossible.

For the approximately one in five Americans suffering from IBS, an often debilitating digestive disorder associated with a number of painful and embarrassing symptoms, the holidays can be anything but festive due to added stress and social pressures, and that is in addition to the average 22 days of work they miss each year due to their IBS. A recent Zoomerang survey of 382 IBS sufferers revealed that the holiday season is particularly difficult for this group. According to the survey, conducted for Ganeden Biotech Inc., the largest seller of over-the-counter probiotics products in the U.S.:

    -- Thirty percent or more of respondents avoid travel, shopping,
       entertaining and holiday parties because of their IBS-related symptoms
    -- Two-thirds of respondents experience added stress during the holidays,
       a main factor in exacerbating IBS symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea
       and constipation
    -- Many respondents reported avoiding popular holiday foods because of
       their IBS, with 46 percent avoiding eggnog, 22 percent avoiding gravy,
       12 percent avoiding stuffing and 10 percent avoiding apple pie
    -- Eighty-one percent of respondents would have a more enjoyable holiday
       experience if their IBS symptoms were effectively managed

"The holidays are a stressful time, often made more stressful for the millions of people with IBS due to uncomfortable, and many times debilitating, digestive symptoms that can lead to not attending holiday parties or skipping family visits," said Dr. Steven G. Pratt, best-selling author of SuperFoods Rx and dubbed "The Food Dude" by Oprah Winfrey. "This is the reality for millions of people who are held hostage by this disorder."

Dr. Pratt offers the following tips to help people suffering from IBS experience a more enjoyable holiday season:

    -- Avoid foods and drinks known to trigger IBS symptoms. These include
       alcohol, red meat, dairy, fried foods, artificial sweeteners and
       high-fat foods such as salad dressing and mayonnaise
    -- Eat smaller portions, allowing for better digestion
    -- Keep a food journal. By keeping track of what foods trigger symptoms,
       you can plan to avoid those foods during the holidays
    -- Take a daily probiotic supplement. These live organisms help restore
       the balance of "good" bacteria in the digestive tract, which can lead
       to better digestion and fewer IBS-related symptoms. Digestive Advantage
       for IBS is a widely-available product made specifically for those
       suffering from the disorder

Although there is no cure for IBS, emerging research in the area of probiotics is showing promise in helping to alleviate many of the incapacitating symptoms associated with the disorder. Probiotics have been proven in several scientific studies to be effective in relieving IBS-related digestive symptoms and are widely becoming a treatment of choice for many doctors and medical professionals, including Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, who recommend Digestive Advantage for IBS and Sustenex products for those suffering from IBS in their recently released book, YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty.

More information about IBS and probiotics can be found at, including a podcast series on the topic by Dr. Michael Roizen.

About Ganeden Biotech

Founded in 1996, Ganeden Biotech Inc. is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the largest seller of over-the-counter probiotics in the U.S. through its Digestive Advantage(R) and Sustenex(TM) brands. It also licenses its patented probiotic bacteria, Ganeden BC30, for use in commercial food and beverage applications as well as in medical foods and over-the-counter dietary supplements. Ganeden BC30 was found to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by an independent panel assembled to assess its safety in use as a food ingredient. Digestive Advantage(R) and Sustenex(TM) are available at over 40,000 retailers nationwide including Walgreen's, Wal-Mart, CVS/pharmacy, Rite-Aid, Albertsons, K-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, and online at,, and For more information, visit or

SOURCE Ganeden Biotech
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