INTESTINAL HEALTH CAN LEAD TO POOR HEALTH

Hormones Health & Fitness

Total Health Report – March 2017

YOUR INTESTINAL HEALTH CAN LEAD TO POOR HEALTH

Digestion begins as soon as food enters our mouth. Chewing slowly is the best way to help the entire process all the way down to the end.  The digestive process involves a series of physical and chemical actions. All of which (if working properly) break down the components of food into nutrient particles small enough for absorption.

How well enzymes work can be very important to the process of digestion. An enzyme is a biological catalyst. A substance that boosts the rate  of a biochemical reaction, but remains unchanged. Most enzymes are proteins. They affect the reactions of digestive breakdown, and also the chemical change that release energy and build new materials for cells and tissues.

The colon is the last main site for breakdown and uptake of nutrients, including minerals, salts, and some vitamins. A considerable amount of water, mainly from the digestive juices, is also reabsorbed. Fiber such as pectin and cellulose gives bulk to the digestive remnants, and allows the walls to grip the residues as they are compressed into feces awaiting expulsion. Fiber also helps delay the absorption of some molecules, including sugars, spreading out their uptake through time rather than in one short “rush”. In addition fiber binds with some fatty substances, such as cholesterol, and helps prevent their over absorption.

There are a variety of digestive problems that can occur which make absorption and digestion difficult. For example, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are types of inflammatory bowel disease. They cause inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the digestive tract. This can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, belly pain, loss of appetite, fever, bloody stools, and weight loss. Often symptoms are worse after eating. 

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main types of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation of the colon over a long period of time.  Ulcerative colitis increase a person’s risk of developing colon cancer, so starting colorectal cancer screenings earlier and doing these tests more often is recommended. The same applies for people who have Crohn’s.  

Individuals with 8 or more years of pancolitis (inflammatory bowel disease affecting the entire colon) or 15 or more years of left-sided colitis are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer also.

Leaky gut syndrome is a newer condition that leads to other health conditions. According to research, the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and slow metabolism could be due to leaky gut symptoms progression. 

What is leaky gut syndrome exactly?

Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a screen where the small openings allow specific nutrients to pass through. Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system. It goes through a cycle starting with intestinal inflammation of the gut lining, that goes into nutrient malabsorption, then the immune response kicks in and generates GI issues and multiple food intolerances, which can lead to autoimmune diseases.

Leaky gut is also referred to increased intestinal permeability. Where the net in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now flowing freely. Some of the tings that can now pass through are proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested food particles. Toxic waste can also leak through and go into your bloodstream causing an allergic reaction.

This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms such as bloating, food sensitivities, thyroid conditions, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, skin issues like rosacea and acne, digestive problems, weight gain, and syndrome x.

The whole body is affected. Conditions such as depression, anxiety and ADHD, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, hashimotos, hypothyroidism, graves disease, constipation, diarrhea, IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia headaches, frequent colds, food sensitivities, as well as adrenal fatigue can develop.

Much of all intestinal disorders occur when poor diet, chronic stress, toxin overload, and bacterial imbalances exist. The most common components of food that can damage the intestinal lining are proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar, GMO’s and conventional dairy. Unsprouted grains contain large amounts of antinutrients or nutrient blockers called phytates and lectins. Grains are generating many problems due to their gluten components.

YOUR CAN HELP HEAL INTESTINAL DISORDERS

There are many steps you can take to help heal and sooth digestive disorders. Remove food and factors that damage the gut, replace with healing foods, repair with specific supplements, rebalance with probiotics. Bone broth protein powder contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. Some people who do a fast for three days using bone broth protein powders can help to heal and cure autoimmune diseases. This is one reason why I promote Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein Powders on my site.

Probiotics and fermented foods are also very important. Fermented foods are healing in so many ways. Fermented vegetables contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kvass are excellent sources. 

Kefir is an excellent probiotic. Along with Kombucha will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Probiotics have also been shown to help slow or reverse some diseases, improve bowel health, aid digestive, and improve immunity.

Research has also demonstrated that kefir may have an anti-tumor effect. In one study, kefir consumption inhibited tumor growth and induced the apoptotic form cell lysis, suggesting that kefir may play a role in cancer prevention. When applied topically, kefir and its polysaccharide compounds have even been shown to be effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents for improved wound healing. 

Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It is slightly carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that makes up the grains used to culture the milk (not actual grains but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars that feed the microbes). The various types of beneficial microbiota contained in kefir make it one of the most potent probiotic foods available. I’ll write more about microbes in future newsletters.

Kefir is available in the drinkable form as well as yogurt. Raw milk kefir would be the ideal choice for anyone looking for maximum nutritional quality, but may be challenging for most consumers to find. Look for brands with minimal additives and extra ingredients. Redwood Hill Farms and Lifeway are excellent companies.

If you are lactose intolerant and don’t consume dairy products, kefir is not to be feared. The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before breakfast or as a breakfast replacement. It is so easy to digest and those of us who are lactose intolerant can digest it easily. 

Fermented foods are very important to our overall health. Check out Ancient Nutrition’s Meal Replacement product. It contains many fermented ingredients. 

For the Best of Health,

Gail