Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with and don’t even know it. From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions.
According to research, the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s, and slow metabolism could be leaky gut symptoms progression. That’s right– the health of your gut directly impacts the health of your brain.
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Why a Healthy Gut is the Key to a Healthy Brain
The gut has long been called “the second brain,” technically known as the enteric nervous system. Ever notice how feeling nervous or anticipating a stressful event gives you that fluttery feeling of butterflies in your stomach? There’s a reason for that “gut feeling.” The gut and brain and connected by a long neural tube called the Vagus nerve.
There are neurons embedded in the intestinal walls, and 95 percent of serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitter, is produced in the gut. (source) This is one reason inflammatory intestinal conditions are also linked to depression and anxiety. If your gut is inflamed, your serotonin production is compromised, contributing to constipation and mood imbalance. Additionally, gut inflammation results in brain inflammation thanks to the Vagal nerve connection.
This is hugely significant because it means that neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, mood disorders, Parkinson’s, ADD/ADHD, and even autism may originate in the gut. There’s a new field emerging called neurogastroenterology focusing on the gut brain connection and the enteric portion of the digestive tract. The GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is one example of a holistic plan focusing on healing mood imbalance by healing the gut.
Our gut microbiome, the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms in our intestinal tract, is made up of 10 times more cells than the rest of our body, and weighs in at over 3 pounds. There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Researchers have learned that much of the population of microbes found in the human body belong to a very old biological domain of single-celled organisms called archaea. Many practitioners consider the microbiome an organ, just like your heart or liver, one that needs to be nourished and treated as such. We focus on foods and lifestyle practices to nourish our other organs. The gut deserves the same treatment! After all, the majority of your immune system lives in your gut, so a healthy gut not only means a healthy brain, it also means resilient immunity.
There are both good and bad guys living in your gut, and they should ideally exist symbiotically, both benefitting one another and in turn helping you digest your food and produce certain vitamins. But overuse of antibiotics that destroy our gut flora, along with antibiotics used in 70 – 80 percent of the animals we eat, wipe out our good bacteria and set the stage for inflammation to take hold in our digestive tracts. The bad guys start to crowd out the good guys, and you may notice an increase in unpleasant digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, candida overgrowth, skin rashes, acne, or eczema.
Too much bad gut bacteria can also affect your body’s ability to burn fat! The bad guys can actually extract more calories from your food, contributing to weight gain and obesity.
The 4-Step Plan to Heal Leaky Gut
The good news is there’s a solution to successfully healing leaky gut. There is a four-step process that includes:
REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut
REPLACE with healing foods
REPAIR with specific supplements
REBALANCE with probiotics
Here’s the protocol I have used with my patients over the years that has helped them see incredible results.
1. Remove inflammatory foods from your diet: gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, meat, avoid any GMO foods at any cost and chemicals like pesticides and BPA. If you’re skeptical about the gluten hype, know that today’s wheat is aggressively hybridized, resulting in a product that our bodies aren’t equipped to process. That sets the perfect storm to increase inflammation.
2. Apart from eliminating obvious problem foods, the diet should be aimed at balancing your immune function. Your diet should consist of whole foods ORGANIC and non-GMO.
Get plenty of fiber-rich foods to nourish your prebiotic bacteria that feed your probiotic bacteria. Inulin is a wonderful food source for your gut bacteria. It’s rich in foods like artichoke, dandelion greens, and okra. Get the resistant starch like green-tipped bananas, potatoes, and banana flour (or potato flour); it feeds your prebiotics too. Include fermented foods daily. I recommend raw kraut and coconut water kefir for the highest sources.
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3. Detox your body and all inner organs first with CYTOSAN -Intestines Detox, REGALEN -Liver detox, RENOL -Kidney detox, KOROLEN -stimulates the optimal functioning of the brain
Then add Digestive enzymes (one or two capsules of PERALGIN at the beginning of each meal) ensure that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested foods particles and proteins are damaging your gut wall.
Omega-3s are some of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances, showing consistent relief of inflammation and reduction of the need for anti-inflammatory medications. Take VITAMARIN 2x per day.
4. Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria. I recommend getting probiotics in both food and supplement form. I see people all the time only follow part of the protocol in healing their leaky gut syndrome by removing the damaging irritants. But the part they often leave out is re-inoculating their gut with beneficial bacteria that will keep bad bacteria at bay. So load up on BOTH probiotic-rich foods and take AT LEAST 50 billion units of probiotics daily from a high-quality brand. I recommend PROBIOSAN-The Most Powerful Probiotic Supplement, Formulated to Ensure Maximum Absorption in Your Body.
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Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). “A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes”. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine 10 (3): 22–30.
Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986). “Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema”. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 86 (2): 101–104.
Humbert, P.; Bidet, A.; Treffel, P.; Drobacheff, C.; Agache, P. (1991). “Intestinal permeability in patients with psoriasis”. Journal of dermatological science 2 (4): 324–326.
Vaarala O, Atkinson MA, Neu J (2008) ‘The “Perfect Storm” for Type 1 Diabetes The Complex Interplay Between Intestinal Microbiota, Gut Permeability, and Mucosal Immunity’, Diabetes Journal, (57)10(2555-2562).
Z Liu, N Li, J Neu (2005) ‘Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases’, Acta Paediatrica , 94(4), pp. 386-393.
Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) ‘Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria’, Journal of Neuro Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.
Visser, J (2010) Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed.