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All disease begins in the gut: take healing measures

By Staff | Oct 16, 2009

If that is true (according to the eclectic physicians), then healing begins in the gut as well. If we want to be/get well, we must make sure that digestion and elimination are working well so the body can heal itself.

I recently returned from my annual recertification weekend which was devoted to the subject of intestinal health. Imagine three days talking about the gut. Fascinating! I came back, reinvigorated and hoping to incorporate this information into my advice to people.

Here is the short version of one doctor’s protocol for healing leaky gut:

n Broad-based enzyme product, two capsules twice per day with meals. Acid-stable digestive enzymes are active through a broad pH range, and aid in the digestion of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fibers.

n A combination of the following nutrients: l-glutamine, N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine, gamma-oryzanol, phosphatidylcholine, and gamma-linolenic acid. The purpose of this combination is to promote intestinal permeability and to repair the intestinal mucosal barrier. In other words, the combination of these special nutrients restores the normal barrier between the contents of the intestinal tract and the blood. This is incredibly important, because if undigested proteins and other pathogens are leaking directly into the bloodstream, the immune system is constantly stimulated, setting the stage for chronic inflammation throughout the body. The first line of immune defense is the intestinal tract, so it is essential that the integrity of the tissues be restored.

n A combination of quercetin, N-acetyl-cysteine, and ginkgo biloba, shown to provide antioxidant protection for the delicate intestinal lining, promote normal mast cell function in the intestines (reducing the risk of food-borne allergies), and replenish intracellular glutathione (another powerful antioxidant) in the intestinal tract.

n Probiotics. The intestinal tract is a breeding ground for thousands of species of friendly bacteria which play a major role in digestion and immune function. Our environment is not friendly to these creatures so we need to focus attention on replenishing friendly bacteria and providing a “safe haven” for them to live in.

n The “safe haven” comes from foods rich in several kinds of fibers. So unless you are consuming from 35-65 grams of fiber in your diet (unlikely), you should be taking a supplementary blend of fibers, along with slippery elm and marshmallow that also help heal the gut lining.

This program, while intensive and aggressive, needs to be followed for at least three months, and possibly up to 12 months. Ideally, your physician should follow your progress by conducting specific tests that measure the health of your intestinal tract, so you can measure your progress as you go along.

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.