The gut is home to billions of micro-organisms ( e.g. bacteria, viruses and fungi) that are of Central importance to us. This community of organisms is called the microbiome. The microbiome weigh as much as 6 lbs, and as little as 2lbs depending on weight. With a surface of 400 square metres, the gut mucosa is one of the largest components of the human immune system. Its function is to absorb nutrients while making sure that pathogens won’t enter the bloodstream. In a healthy gut, pathogens can hardly enter the organism and cause any damage due to the dense colonization on the wall. The good bacteria then defend us against the bad ones so to speak. They also trained our immune system. Studies have shown that developing intestinal macrophage microflora plays a decisive role in developing our immune system. The composition of any human microbiome is highly variable and is influenced by many factors. And in general we as hosts coexist peacefully with our microbiome, but pathogens can also join in. Pathogens primarily settle when the microbiome is out of balance. This is called dysbiosis. Thus, the microbiome contributes significantly to our health, but it’s composition and exact function are not yet fully understood. However there are many factors that lead to dysbiosis.
Health highly depends on the following factors; stress trauma-fear worries, dietary habits, agro and environmental toxins, radiation and sleep deficit as well as early onset antibiotics. This is of great importance as a chronically inflamed intestine leads to a chronic cytokine release which plays a main role in the immune response. In addition, cytokines themselves trigger the release of other cytokines. A seriously vicious cycle. Such chronic inflammation is in combination with other environmental stimuli cause the immune system to be constantly on high alert. An overactive immune system can lead to many health disorders such allergies, IBD, autoimmune diseases, Crohn’s disease, cancers, etc, and makes us more vulnerable to pathogens such as Coronaviruses.
We should be focusing on improving gut health, reducing harmful stimuli, and improving the metabolism with targeted nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
The HOLISTIC way to restoring your gut is:
- To avoid sugars, gluten, and refined oils. Instead eat organic grass-fed meat and wild-caught fatty fish examples salmon, white fish, albacore, sardines, trout and mackerel. Once or twice a week to improve your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio and eat all colours of the rainbow.
- Regularly consume fermented products such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, etc. They contain good bacteria that will improve your microbiome attain your gut mucosa acidity, increase nutrient absorption and improve your immune system.
- Make sure you reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. These include plasticizers aluminum containing deodorant, personal care products, non organic fruits and vegetables, chloride containing water, cigarettes or alcohol. Etc
- Make sure you get enough restful sleep.
- Start exercising. 30 minutes per day should be sufficient. Preferably exercise outside to get exposed to the Sun.
- The right supplementation, which I will go in detail down below with the 4R Protocol in healing your gut. Exhausted soils have resulted in much lower nutrient density and fruits and vegetable supplementation is beneficial and needed
- Try to avoid stress.
- Limit the use of social media in case it stresses you out avoid watching the news. Read a book instead. Have a rich social life and actively take walks in nature.
Our metabolism is complex but it’s still very comprehensible. There are a handful principles that will allow you to live a healthy and balanced life. This approach will allow you to live a healthy and balanced life overall and could be more effective when taking medications for health and chronic illness.
A laser focused way to healing the gut using the 4R Protocol.
What are the 4Rs?
The 4Rs involve a four-step protocol used to address digestive conditions and support gut healing.
The first step is to remove pathogens and other inflammatory triggers, such as stress and chronic alcohol consumption, associated with increased intestinal permeability. Targeting pathogens may involve treatment with pharmaceutical medication, antibiotics, or antimicrobial herbal supplements. Inflammatory foods should also be removed from the diet, including:
- Food additives (e.g., salt, emulsifiers, solvents)
- Food sensitivities, which may be identified through the elimination diet or food sensitivity testing.
- Dairy, eggs, corn
- Gluten, a protein found in certain grains (e.g., wheat, barley, rye)
- Refined starches and sugar
- Saturated and trans-fatty acid.
- GMO foods/products
The second step is to replace inflammatory foods with dietary nutrients and gut-healing foods that help to reduce inflammation and support digestive health. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices (e.g. ginger, garlic, turmeric)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in wild-caught fish.
- High fibre foods (e.g., vegetables, fruit, nuts)
Certain dietary supplements may also be used to support digestive function, assisting in the digestion and absorption of dietary nutrients. Digestive enzymes assist in the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and may benefit individuals with impaired digestive function, food intolerances e.g. lactose intolerance, Crohn’s or celiac disease. Bile acid supplements can also assist in nutrient absorption by emulsifying lipids. Bile acids have been used to treat conditions of the liver, gallbladder and bile duct.
The third step is to re-inoculate the microbiota with beneficial bacteria. Probiotic supplementation has been shown to improve the composition of microbiota by restoring beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria species. (Probiotic supplements may improve gut health by enhancing secretion of anti-inflammatory substances, supporting immune function, altering microbial composition, and reducing intestinal permeability.
Probiotics are also found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables, fermented soy products, and kombucha, kefir. Probiotics in food are considered transient as they do not persist in the human gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly, they may still impact human health by producing vitamins and anti-microbial compounds, as well as influencing gut microbiota diversity and function.
The final step involves repairing the intestinal lining with specific nutrients and medicinal herbs that have been shown to decrease intestinal permeability and inflammation. Examples of these ingredients include:
- Vitamin B-complete
- Vitamin A, C, D, E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Polyphenols, which are compounds found in plants (e.g., quercetin, myricetin, curcumin)
- Chios mastic gum (Pistacia lentiscus-Anacardiaceae)
- N-A-G: N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine
- Aloe vera
- Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)
- Slippery Elm Bark
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
No matter what the health issue is, the 4R protocol is sure to help heal the gut. I have first hand experienced the dramatic reversal of chronic and inflammatory illness utilizing this simple approach.
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