Think about it, our gut is on the clock 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s charged with the important task of constantly sampling our internal milieu and ensuring our health while maintaining an inventory of all the food, beverages, medications, and environmental elements that we send its way. Whether it’s a cocktail on Friday afternoon, a cupcake at a birthday party, a mutli-vitamin with breakfast, daily thyroid medication, or a parasite lurking in that sushi roll, let’s face it… the gut has its work cut out for it!
The gut has to examine an item, coordinate its travel plans by determining the appropriate organ or system conduit, and finally, metabolize it into workable parts for transport to its final destination. Talk about HARD WORK! Remember, your gut needs a break too… so make some time in September to see that your gut is RESTORED!
Here Are Some Good “Go-To” Solutions to Help with Gut RESTORATION:
- Glutamine is a primary fuel source for the cells of the GI lumen. Unfortunately, in many cases of bowel disease and dysfunction, there is decreased availability for cellular assimilation. By providing ample amounts of glutamine through supplementation, we encourage cellular feeding and promote more optimal function by the enterocytes. Butyrate and Arabinogalactan are other important fuel sources, specifically for the colonocytes. Combining these three makes for some happy GI cells! Listen… you can almost hear them cheering for more!
- Demulcent botanicals are also beneficial because they incorporate compounds to help rebuild the mucosal lining. This rebuilding helps to soothe an inflamed or compromised GI tract that has been worn down by years of hard work. Examples include Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice), Ulmus rubra (Slippery Elm), Althea officinalis (Marshmallow root) and Aloe (not in the form used for sun-burnt skin! Please don’t eat that!). Licorice, when chewed, stimulates a salivary compound called epidermal growth factor (EGF). This particular compound actually encourages the regeneration of epithelial cells. Aloe stimulates connective tissue formation and has a number of nutrients including amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and glycoproteins—all of which your leaky, grumpy gut will LOVE!
- Essential fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants such as selenium, zinc, vitamins A, C, and E should be included in a gut restoration protocol due to their ability to decrease inflammation and repair structural integrity. With a reduction in oxidative stress, the cells of the gut will naturally be much happier and more cooperative during the re-building process.
- Proper hydration and adequate fiber enables the GI to keep things moving – prohibiting the stagnation of any potentially harmful substances that may stick around and wreak major havoc in the gut, up-regulate the immune system, and so on. Let’s keep toxins, cellular debris and processed food particles moseying right along, shall we?
- Potential food offenders need to be cleared from the pantry and the plate. With continual insults perpetuated by these food culprits, no matter how much we work on restoration, the GI will continue to suffer damage. And the idea here is not to impose complete deprivation from your favorite foods FOREVER, but simply to avoid them long enough to allow for proper healing to occur. A light at the end of the tunnel… something to look forward to!
Until next time, be sure to check out your own gut health by trying our GI Effects Profile, you’ll be glad you did! ~ Dr. Marynowski