Whether you refer to it as your “gut”, “tummy”, “intestines”, “bowel” or “digestive system”, all these refer to what is termed Gastro Intestinal Tract or GIT or gut. And it could be argued that it is (one of) the most important system in your body. Hippocrates knew what he was about when he said: All disease begins in the gut.
Everything you consume passes through your gut. The GIT is where food is broken down – starting in the mouth with chewing food and salivary enzymes, then progressing into the stomach were acid breaks down proteins and intrinsic factor begins the process of Vitamin B12 breakdown. Having good levels of stomach acid (Hydrochloric acid) is essential to a healthy digestive system [this is why ant-acids cause huge problems if taken long term] .
The chyme (munched up food from the stomach) then leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum – the first section of our Small Intestine where alkalising enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the gall bladder are added to the mix. It is in the Small Intestine where most of the nutrients are extracted and absorbed, however, a few nutrients and water are absorbed in the Large Intestine.
In recent years, much research has been done into the microbiome – in particular those bacteria which reside in our gut and which play an integral role in a healthy functioning digestive system. Also, the effect of antibiotics on destroying important “good bugs” has become more widely known. Unfortunately, we do not only expose our microbiome to destructive antibiotics when prescribed these by our doctor. The animal husbandry industry is the largest source of antibiotics. So unless you have always consumed certified organic meats, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fish, chances are that your personal microbiome has suffered significantly.
When your “good bacteria” suffer or are destroyed by, not only antibiotics, but also poor diets high in processed foods, alcohol, drugs and other medications, the “bad bacteria” move in. These “bad” guys do nothing to promote health, and the destruction of a healthy GIT has been increasingly linked to a range of diseases including autoimmune conditions, cancer, asthma, eczema, ADHD, allergies, mental health, joint pain & inflammation, and many more.
For considerable time, it was thought that we had to kill off these “bad bacteria” in order for the “good bacteria” to return – often with the aid of probiotics. Problem is, we have literally millions of bacteria that constitute our microbiome, so supplementing with (at best) 15 strains, won’t really do a lot. Having said that, there are indeed specific strains of probiotics that are highly effective in treating certain imbalances but these are to be administered by a qualified naturopath.
With ongoing research into the human microbiome and gut health, the need to address the gut as a whole and support the integrity of the gut lining is becoming increasingly obvious. So, in order to achieve lasting wellness and optimal health, you’ve got to have a healthy gut!
In order to restore your gut to optimal digestive capacity, consult a Naturopath or arrange to see us at True Medicine where you will have access to the newest research including the revolutionary G.E.M.M. protocol. Call us today on 07 – 5530 1863.