What is Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS)? How do we get it and how does it effect on the body?
Please Take a Moment to answer these 6 questions. In fact, if you answer YES to any of these very important questions, you will be amazed at what you are about to read.
1. Have you ever taken an antibiotic at any time in your life?
2. Have you ever used Splenda, even once?
3. Have you, or do you, consume commercially raised meats, beef, chicken, pork and dairy products?
4. Do you experience Stress on a regular basis?
5. Are you overweight or can’t lose weight? Do you experience overwhelming cravings for foods that do not support a healthy weight?
6. Do you eat grains like wheat, corn, and rice?
If you answered YES to any of these questions… you’ll want to continue reading to discover how BioSpectrum GI can help to support your GI health.
Did you Know?
If you answered “YES” to taking an antibiotic before, you may be surprised to learn just a single round of strong antibiotics can destroy 100% of all the beneficial/friendly “good” bacteria in the Intestinal Tract (aka the GUT)!
These beneficial/friendly bacteria are essential to your health. We are alive and prosper because of the actions of these “good bacteria”. Without them - our health suffers.
Here’s some things you may not already know:
• Beneficial/friendly "good" bacteria make up nearly 80% of our immune system!
• They also help us digest food for energy and they manufacture vitamins and other substances that support our health and wellness.
• They help with mood management and so many other important functions.
In fact, it can take up to 2 years for these beneficial/friendly bacteria to re-populate and the microbiome to start to function more normally after a round of strong antibiotics – this is especially true when considering the return of the diversity and balance of organisms.
But keep in mind, the health of our beneficial “good” bacteria is only a part of the whole story.
Many people think, “I haven’t had an antibiotic for years, so I am OK.” Right? Well…
If you eat commercially raised meats like beef, chicken, pork and use dairy products, you are getting a continuous dose of antibiotics every time you eat these foods.
In fact, 80% of all antibiotics manufactured in the US go into commercially raised meats and dairy.
This means that these beneficial/friendly “good” bacteria are continually exposed to antibiotics! They never stand a chance to maintain levels that are required to support a strong immune system and maintain good health.
Interestingly, Natural casings to make sausage are derived from the GI tract of livestock. The GI Tracts of US livestock can often lack integrity because our cattle (like many of us) suffer from “Leaky gut”. These can’t be used to make casings. Often casings have to be imported primarily from Argentina or New Zealand where cattle are more organically raised and antibiotics are not used.
USE OF SPLENDA AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
If you answered “YES” to ever using Splenda, you may also be surprised that just one packet of Splenda – yes the artificial sweetener that many people think is the “safe one” -can destroy up to 50% of the beneficial/friendly bacteria in the GUT!
If you are trying to cut down on sugar – an excellent idea for GI Health too – using substitutes like Splenda, Aspartame (Equal), etc. are not a healthy alternative. Try using Stevia instead. You may need to shop the brands to find the one you like, but it is well worth the effort!
Stress, especially chronic stress, increases intestinal permeability and GI dysfunction. Most of us live in a constant state of stress and it is such the norm that we don’t even realize it or notice it as much anymore.
Stress turns off normal digestive functions (part of the parasympathetic system) because the body’s resources are hard-wired to support and turn-on “stress-state” activities (sympathetic system) that enable the body to meet the real or perceived dangers in the fight-or-flight stress response. These include an increased heart rate and blood pressure leading to increased blood flow to the skeletal muscles to support running. The GI muscles relax, and digestive enzymes as well as stomach acid aren’t produced.
This fight-or-flight stress worked well for our caveman ancestors who had periodic moments of running for their lives from a Saber Tooth Tiger. They needed all the resources the body could muster for survival and avoid becoming a meal rather than trying to digest last night’s meal.
OBESITY AND OVERWHELMING FOOD CRAVINGS
Anything that tips the balance of our Microbiome to favor “bad bacteria” will result in unhealthy food cravings (sweets, starches, carbohydrates) which can eventually lead to obesity.
IMPORTANT CONCEPT – “BAD” BACTERIA THRIVE ON SUGAR, CARBS, STARCHES, AND FATS. However, “Good” Bacteria Thrive on Vegetables, Fruit, and Fiber.
Did you know “Bad bacteria” send messages to our brain to eat foods they crave which are starchy, sugary, fatty foods that promote their health, not ours? If you experience overwhelming food cravings for sweets, breads, pasta, and fried foods– this could be why. Your Microbiome is out-of-balance where “bad” bacteria are in charge. Stress and Antibiotic exposure tip the balance to favor “Bad Bacteria” too.
Shifting the balance favoring Good Bacteria can help us maintain a Healthy Weight. Good Bacteria turn off these messages that compel us to eat more food, especially the type of food that makes us gain weight and lead to obesity.
Many people find it easier to manage their weight by eating more foods high in fiber or take a high-quality fiber supplement. Our bodies can’t digest the fiber, but the “good” bacteria can – it is their primary food – and when the fiber is in abundance, their colonies thrive.
EATING GRAINS – CORN, WHEAT AND OTHER GMO CROPS ARE LACED WITH ROUND-UP.
If you are like most people, you probably eat breads and corn or consume foods that contain wheat or corn. If you eat processed foods at all, this likely applies to you.
Did you know that when you eat commercially grown grains like wheat and corn you are also likely getting a steady dose of “RoundUp”?
That’s right, the same chemical you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes to kill weeds.
You probably have never imagined drinking “RoundUp” have you?
Glyphosate – the active ingredient in “RoundUp” - is the choice weed control used in the farming of wheat and corn, along with other grains and GMO crops.
GMO crops have been modified to withstand treatment with RoundUp, so only the weeds die and not the crop plant.
But, Bacteria also die because – like plants - they too are affected by RoundUp.
Americans are now getting a steady dose of Round-Up when they consume these crop foods. These residues also affect the beneficial/friendly “good” bacteria that are supposed to flourish in our GI tracts and keep us flourishing too. Our bacteria, that comprise our Microbiome, are sensitive to RoundUp just like normal (non-GMO) plants.
Additionally, Glyphosate in RoundUp – like many other toxins – affect the tight junctions that hold the cells in the GI tract together. These tight junctions are found in between cells.
Exposure to Glyphosate not only kills the bacteria in our GI Tract, it also promotes “Leaky Gut” because it weakens the tight junctions that hold the cells in our GI tract together.
WHY IS LEAKY GUT A PROBLEM?
Without the “good” bacteria, normal mucosal (mucus) lining, and intestinal cell junctions functioning properly, our gut lining begins to fail and leak. A Leaking Gut can allow food particles, toxins, and bad microbes inside our bodies.
Toxins and pathogens travel throughout our body in our blood streams and can wreak havoc. So why should we care if our epithelial cells lining the GI tract are letting a few undigested proteins, food particles or microbes through?
We should care because Intestinal permeability is a major contributing factor to inflammatory diseases, including many gastrointestinal problems.
Many people are surprised when they learn the intestinal tract is essentially a tub - with a space in the middle - running from the mouth to the anus – and the space in the middle of the tube is technically not part of your body yet, so it is still technically outside the body.
When the gut barrier is normal and working right, the millions of cells that make up the gut or “tube” lining have the important job of letting good things (water, nutrients) inside the body and keeping bad things like bacteria, viruses, toxins, undigested food outside the body. In other words, they act as an interface between the outside and inside of your body.
“Leaky gut,” or abnormal intestinal permeability, is when the gut barrier doesn’t work right. Cells lining the gut can be damaged - or where cells are joined to each other (called “tight junctions”) are weakened - the result is that the gut lining lets in things it shouldn’t be getting in – like undigested proteins, food particles, or pathogens such as viruses or other nasty microbes.
To get a little more specific about it, proper gut barrier function supports our immune functions and depends on…
The physical lining of the gut: layers of mucus and border cells lining the tube that actually form a physical barrier to penetration by anything you don’t want inside your body.
The “functional” barrier: various chemical secretions, proteins, immune molecules, and other substances that don’t form a physical barrier, but still contribute to letting good things in and keeping bad things out.
“Good bacteria” The gut flora or “good bacteria” communicate with these two aspects of the gut barrier – for example, they affect the rate of epithelial cell turnover, support a healthy mucus layer, and influence the behavior of antimicrobial proteins – but they aren’t part of the barrier itself.