24 Jan The 4Rs of Gastrointestinal Regeneration
The small intestine is the largest organ in the body and hosts 75% of our immune system. In a normal intestinal lining the epithelial cells form tight junctions that allow only small particles of fully digested food through to the bloodstream. There are 49 basic building blocks of food that are suppose to pass freely through the gut; if they are still stuck together as a food particle, they cross react and trigger immune reactions. This triggers chronic systemic inflammation that causes degeneration and disease to our body.
Chronic exposure to inflammatory agents can cause damage to the intestinal lining and we get what is called Leaky Gut. Antibiotics, alcohol, caffeine, parasites, pathogenic bacteria, some food preservatives and additives, food allergens, corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, refined carbohydrates, oral contraceptives, fungi and environmental toxins to name a few are culprits in this process.
Another problematic GI issue that is quite common is Dysbiosis; also known as Candida. The gut is home to approximately 3 – 4 lbs of bacteria, estimated between 10 trillion – 100 trillion microbes with each of us having our own unique fingerprint. It’s wild to think we have more bacteria in our body than living cells; about 150 times more so you can imagine the complexity of its balance.
In a healthy gut, 85% of this population should be health-promoting bacteria (probiotics) which isn’t the case in most people in large part due to lifestyle and the Standard all American diet (SAD).
Gut Bacteria act as the first defense and communicate with cells to dictate what gets in the blood stream
- First defense – act as natural barrier against invading organisms
- Modulate immune factors including neutrophils (white blood cells first responder)
- Macrophages (patrol for potential pathogens)
- Immuno-globulins (IG) Immune Response
- Interferons (release interferons causing nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses)
- Interleukin-1 (regulation of immune and inflammatory responses to infections) and tumor necrosis factor (can cause cell death when needed)
- Help with the digestion and assimilation of nutrients
- Help chelate toxic metals to eliminate metal from the body
Dysbiosis: An unbalanced gut bacteria population
- Gut becomes overpopulated with pathogenic flora such as actinomyces (mucus, fungus), mycobacterium, E. coli, candida, and corynebacterium – bacteria strains
- Pathogenic microbes can interfere with digestion, impair immunity, and cause chronic infections
- Causes leaky gut
How Does Dysbiosis Cause Toxicity?
- Pathogenic microbes increase risk of heavy metal absorption and toxicity
- Many bacteria seclude dietary iron. Iron deficiency increases absorption and toxicity risk of aluminum, cadmium, and lead
- Heavy metal accumulation and iron deficiency interferes with normal phase 1:2 detoxification enzyme activity, leading to increased toxic build up
- Pathogenic microbes release toxic compounds known as “endotoxins.” These compounds are easily absorbed to travel directly to the blood stream
- Trigger inflammatory immune cytokines (cell communicators)
- Buildup of endotoxins linked to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, autoimmunity, sepsis
- Antigens – both pathogens and perceived allergens
- Immune cells begin to confuse these antigen cells with body’s own cells
- Cross-reaction with similar molecular motifs in body tissues
- Beginning of autoimmunity such as Hashimoto’s
- Basically the body is attacking itself
Read more on Leaky Gut
The Four R’s are used successfully in repairing a compromised GI tract.
The Four R’s
- Dietary triggers
- Food allergens
- Damaged Intestinal Wall
- Digestive enzymes
- Gastric secretions – HCL if needed
- Replace imbalanced microflora with gut-friendly bacteria
- Introduce prebiotic foods
We have a system to get your GI tract back on track with the Four R’s Program. We individualize for each patient and use proven nutraceuticals and homeopathic remedies along with IgG panel in most cases and diet protocol to remove the foods that trigger inflammation in your system. We also address lifestyle and environmental influences as they can be key in finding the cause of GI distress.