Gut Health and Its Importance in Our Immune System

Did you know that 75% of our immune system is dependent on the health of our stomach and its lining? Incredibly it is how well our stomach digests and assimilates its food, its ability to breakdown bacteria that enters the stomach through our food, and its ability to secrete enough protecting stomach acid that has a lot to do with overall health.

Through years of abuse by eating processed foods, foods laiden with chemical preservatives or pesticide sprays, and even eating a lot of sugar, those things contribute to the breakdown of our stomach lining and its ability to do all the protective things its supposed to do. Every time a person takes a series of antibiotics, the after effect is loss of gut protecting bacteria that the antibiotic killed off. So, if you did not refill that empty tank of good gut protecting bacteria by taking a pro-biotic (opposite anti-biotic) to counteract that loss, you are continuing the process of the stomach not being able to get rid of bacteria that enters it, thus causing a breakdown in the immune system of any type of sickness or virus as well as stomach issues.

The same round-robin effect happens after undergoing stress or unhealthy (non-organic or preservative laiden) foods as far as the stomach acid process is concerned. Actually, having heartburn or GERD, is a response to not having enough of the right amount of hydrochloric acid available in the stomach to digest properly, and the overcompensation is the feeling of excess stomach acid. If the person has esophageal weakness, where the esophagus is stretched open, the stomach acid creeps up causing the burn. When digestion is not processing correctly, it also prevents the gastric mucosa from releasing sufficient intrinsic factor, a substance essential for the intestinal absorption of Vitamin B12. This results in a host of issues from fatigue to weakness, forgetfulness and confusion, as well as heartburn.

What is a person to do? Well, first of all I can’t stress enough the importance of taking a good quality probiotic daily. The best one is the kind you would find in the refrigerator section of a health food store. If it has to be refrigerated at all times, you know the cultures in it will stay fresh and potent. If you are having problems with indigestion or stomach issues every day, then take one with breakfast and one with dinner. It will also cause you to be more bowel regular. Actually, the best colon health you can have, is when you have a bowel movement after every meal, which means no food digesting and sitting there over time that will putrify in the colon and bowel and cause disease or even cancer.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water each day — l/2 oz of water for each pound of your body weight!

Secondly, because our food system is so impure and our digestion becomes weaker, receiving the nutrients from food is often hampered. To counteract this, I recommend taking Food Enzyme capsules with each meal. These help to digest the protein, facts and carbs in better proportion so you avoid the digestive disturbances like gas, bloat or indigestion. I recommend two caps at each meal for a few weeks and then down to one capsule at each meal permanently. They consist of only natural food enzymes so there is nothing in them to conflict with any other medicines or issues of the body and can never hurt you.

If you are having problems with regular acid indigestion, I recommend taking Betaine HCL supplements with each meal as well, from 325-650 mg. You can start somewhere in the middle of that and if its not working, you can go up to the higher mg.

An easy, no stress way to alleviate digestion heartburn too, is to buy organic Apple Cider Vinegar from the health food store, mix 1 tablespoon in a 4 oz glass of water and take between meals or after a meal which helps balance stomach acid and aids digestion as well. I have tried taking this instead of a Tums (which you should not be taking) or other Maalox, and it will totally relieve the symptoms.

Acid reflux medicines like Nexium and others will only mask the reason you have indigestion in the first place and actually cause your stomach to stop producing the right kind of hydrochloric acids that it needs. You need to know why you have these problems in the first place, get to the root of that and then use these natural methods to get well again. I assure you that 95% of people who have any of these digestive problems, have them because of the reasons stated in this article. Pharmaceutical medicines for the use of stomach “health”, are usually the cause of conflicts of any kind since childhood, but it can be reversed and you can get your stomach healthy again!

Linda Wolschlager, C.N.C.

The Nutrition Advisor/

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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