|Posted on December 14, 2020 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
Cistus Incanus tea is known for helping the body deal with retro-viruses and ward off mosquitoes and ticks. It is extremely effective for Lymes Disease and other chronic conditions.
What Is Cistus Incanus?
Cistus incanus is an evergreen dwarf shrub herb in the family Cistaceae. It’s native to the arid Mediterranean region. The plant reaches 1-3 feet in height. The grey-green leaves are ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, measuring 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. The branches and sometimes the leaves are hairy and sticky. The flowers have five petals, are pink to purple, and bloom for only one day.
Plants growing in the Mediterranean ecosystems endure multiple stressors and harsh conditions, such as drought, high sun exposure, and high temperatures. Mediterranean plants produce high levels of polyphenols to protect them against these stressors. Cistus incanus has the highest polyphenol content of any plant in Europe.
Cistus incanus is a source of polyphenols, proanthocyanadins, bioflavonoids, catechins, gallic acid, rutin, and other beneficial bioactive compounds. You can drink it as a loose tea.
The traditional use of Cistus reaches back millennia. The Book of Genesis references the resin of Cistus plants. Ancient traditional uses include treating colds, coughs, menstrual problems, and rheumatism. Cistus was used in ancient Greece as a wound healer and a beauty product. In Moroccan traditional medicine, Cistus tea has long been used to maintain a healthy mouth and throat. In traditional herbal medicine, the leaves of Cistus have been used to treat skin and inflammatory diseases.
Recent scientific research has confirmed the validity of this traditional herbal knowledge. Studies have shown that Cistus leaf extracts have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and biofilm-breaking qualities. Cistus has shown anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, and Aspergillus fumigatus.
Drink Cistus tea daily (about 2 cups a day) for good health. 6 cups a day are recommended for certain conditions like lymes , lupus, RA and retro-viruses.
Cistus incanus herb is rich in bioflavonoids and polyphenols. Tea made from this herb may ameliorate cold and flu symptoms.
In Europe, Cistus is widely used to fight germs, viruses, and fungi. It’s used externally to cleanse the skin and ameliorate eczema, acne, and psoriasis. You can create your own herbal version of a powerful antidandruff shampoo by using a batch of tea to wash your hair.
Cistus also works well for oral cavity hygiene. You can use it as a mouthwash. Its biofilm-busting activities significantly reduce oral bacteria and leave your mouth feeling clean.
Interestingly, recent studies suggest that Cistus extract targets viral envelope proteins, preventing the primary attachment of the virus to host cells. This reduces the virulence and reproductive ability of the pathogen. Cistus may have even more verified uses in the future.
The IANHP Team
|Posted on April 27, 2019 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on September 28, 2016 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
The Importance of Micro-circulation
All the body systems have their importance but in the natural health and wellness field the digestive system ranks high when it comes to priority of care because we are what we digest. This is fine, but have you ever wondered if the nutrients obtained from digestion and assimilation are getting to every 100 trillion cells of your body?
Research shows that most people do not have an optimal micro-circulatory system (part of the circulatory system) and therefore are not getting the adequate oxygen and nutrients to their cells for function, repair, and multiplication. This is important to know because you can have the best digestive and absorption capability but not all is going where it should- to the cells and tissues (tissues are made up of cells). Also, if the digestive system is not receiving proper micro-circulation it will not function or heal properly- this explains the unexplained digestive issue problems.
It is vital that our micro-circulatory system (made of of capillaries) operates optimally.
Capillaries are the smallest of the body's blood vessels (4 to 10 microns in diameter). They are only one cell thick, and they are the sites of the transfer of oxygen and other nutrients from the bloodstream to other tissues in the body; they also collect carbon dioxide waste materials and fluids for return to the veins.
Signs and Symptoms of Poor Micro-circulation
Do you suffer from any of the following?
• Cold feet and toes – even in the warm season
• Cold hands and fingers
• Numbness in certain parts of your body – generally extremities
• Frequent dizziness
• Dry skin despite regular consumption of water
• Hair loss
• Lack of energy or frequent exhaustion
• Water retention in your feet
• Blemishes or spots on your skin
• Memory loss
• Difficulty catching your breath
• Feelings of pins and needles in extremities
• Brittle hair and nails
• Skin discoloration
• Weakened immune system
• Dark circles under eyes
• Low libido (sex drive)
• Unexplained digestive problems
• Loss of appetite
• Decreased cognitive ability
• Tightening of the chest
• Problems with sleep
• Chronic pain and skeletal muscular stiffness
From the above signs and symptoms, you can see that many people have an issue with poor micro-circulation.
From 40 years of age and up, micro-circulatory problems are very frequent and are very common in elderly people.
The incredible thing is that young people have been tested for micro-circulatory status and have been found deficient! Even twenty-five year old athletes!
Conditions Related to Poor Micro-circulation:
From the above list of conditions related to poor micro-circulation, it is no wonder that micro-circulation enhancement is now becoming an important topic.
Micro-circulation enhancement should be a holistic approach in every wellness program or plan.
The factors that inhibit proper micro-circulation are:
Endothelial dysfunction is one of the greatest threats to the microcirculatory system. Capillaries are hollow tubes protected by endothelial lining called an endothelium. Under normal circumstances, the body utilizes the amino acid arginine to produce nitric oxide that helps relax the endothelium and allow sufficient blood flow. If the nitric oxide production is disturbed, the endothelium can collapse and restricted blood flow is the result.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury result in buildup that slows down circulation.
Oxidative stress and damage due to free radicals within the cell impede microcirculation.
Cellular toxicity overloads cells and tissue to the point of slowing circulation.
Tight clothing impairs proper peripheral circulation.
Poor diet and lack of certain nutrients
A poor diet would be one that is loaded with saturated fats, junk foods, alcohol, excessive sugars and high glycemic index foods, fried foods, and heat extracted oils.
What is recommended is; six vegetables a day, 2 fruits a day, one ounce of nuts like walnuts and almonds, plenty of beans like garbanzo beans and black beans, whole grains like quinoa and millet, plenty of pure water, fermented products that contain probiotics, and lastly some fish, organic chicken and grass-fed beef if you are not vegetarian.
Certain nutrients are essential for a healthy circulatory system, they are:
B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C and E, K2, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, and iron.
Not enough movement or exercise
Movement and exercise are imperative for a healthy and strong circulatory system.
Normal BMI (Body Mass Index) is valuable for overall health because excess weight contributes to poor circulation.
Coronary Microvascular disease
These above are just of few diseases that are factors in poor microvascular circulation; see the link below for more:
Lack of PEMF’s
Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF’s) of energy are one of the elements essential for life. These magnetic fields in the earth clearly bring planet earth to life. Without them the earth would be a lifeless rock like mars and other planets.
Our bodies need 0-30 Hz of PEMFs to function optimally. These PEMFs are like spark plugs to our body, stimulating circulation and other functions. The problem today is that:
1. We do not spend adequate time outdoors (daily) in order to receive vital PEMFs. We should be walking barefoot on grass surfaces to be grounded with the earth’s magnetic field.
2. The earth has only 50% of the PEMFs today compared to 300 years ago. This is due to several reasons including man-made pollution.
A Special Device
There is a special bio-electric magnetic energy regulator (B.E.M.E.R) device for therapy that has a unique patented signal that enhances circulation in an eight minute session. In fact, it is a PEMF device but in reality the PEMF is just the carrier of a patented signal that has been clinically researched in Germany for 16 years. Thousands of studies which can be seen at www.pubmed.gov prove its efficacy for enhanced micro-circulation and other positive effects.
This unit can emit its signal to the whole body via a matt that is laid over a zero gravity chair or used on the ground or bed. This matt will cause micro-circulation enhancement throughout the body. It comes with accessories so that specific areas of the body like the joints or stomach area, etc., can be helped with enhanced circulation effect.
Bio-electric magnetic energy waves have been used for years to enhance health and longevity. Thousands of clinical trials have proved its efficacy.
Just several minutes a day three times a week for your clients or patients can change their health and life.
This technological device enhances:
* General Blood flow (micro-circulation)
* The body's nutrient and oxygen and waste disposal
* Cardiac function
* Physical fitness, endurance, strength and energy
* Concentration, mental acuity, stress reduction and relaxation
* Sleep management
* Sports recovery
* And more
In fact, cellular oxygen levels increase up to 30% with each session. With this, detoxification of the 100 trillion cells of your body takes place. When this happens, the cells are ready to receive the full nutrients they could not receive before because of cellular congestion due to toxins and other inhibitors.
This therapy increases the electro-magnetic energy of all the cells; it improves the circulation and oxygenation of the tissues. This encourages each cell in the body to function optimally and to correct metabolic and energetic abnormalities, which result in optimal health.
In order to fulfil its functions, the cell requires energy which comes from a supply of oxygen and nutrients. 50% of the energy is used to convert ADP to ATP, and the other 50% is needed to maintain the cell membrane potential. This electrical charge around the healthy cell should be 70-90mV. In disease the membrane potential is found to be reduced to 30-40mV, and in cancer even as low as 15-20mV. At levels below 60mV the membrane structure becomes distorted, and below 10mV the cell dies. This device has been shown to restore the membrane potential to normal.
Article by Lawrence DeSantis, EMP, CFMP, ND
The website below will give you further information on this device:
|Posted on June 6, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Astragalus is an herb found in northern Asia that’s been used to treat fatigue and sickness for thousands of years.
Some of the plant constituents have shown to be so potent that they’re being used as the basis for different drugs to treat cancer, fatigue, and subdue ulcers, among other things.
The Health Benefits of Astragalus
Astragalus seems to work through the following mechanisms:
• It causes your body to produce more telomeres, a part of your DNA that protects chromosomes from degradation
• It contains a unique class of polysaccharides which are very biologically active
• It improves the rate of replication of immune cells called macrophages
It’s health properties are unique that isolated compounds from its polysaccharides are being used to treat disease.
How Astragalus Stops Aging
Astragalus is uniquely healthy for cellular health because of its ability to protect your body’s telomeres from degradation.
Telomeres are small pieces of DNA located at the edge of your chromosomes. When your cells replicate telomeres help prevent your DNA from unraveling and keep it locked into place. They serve a similar function as the plastic caps on the edges of your shoelace.
Whenever your cells replicate telomeres shorten a bit. After so many replications the telomeres reach a critical point where they’re no longer usable and cells begin their programmed death, a process called “apoptosis.”
The gradual shortening of telomeres is an important component of aging and different types of cancer.
Astragalus causes your body to increase its production of a substance called “telomerase”, which is an enzyme that enables the production of more telomeres. In clinical studies mice treated with extracts of astragalus root had telomeres that were longer and degraded more slowly than a control group.
What is impressive is that despite these remarkable effects on cellular health there’s no toxicity from astragalus.
Astragalus Helps Improve Sickness and Heal Wounds
Compounds in astragalus called formononetin, calycosin and astragaloside IV, seem to do the following things in your body:
• Reduces the amount of nitric oxide released from cells, which reduces inflammation
• Causes certain genes and metabolic pathways to be shutdown which would otherwise cause blood and chemicals to flow to wounds
• Activates other genes and pathways which activates different immune cells
It’s been used to treat ulcers, swollen wounds, reduce hemorrhaging, and serve as a complimentary input to cancer treatments.
One study on astragalus was published in the journal, Clinical Investigative Medicine, and it studied the ability of astragalus to reduce fatigue in cancer patients with very developed cases.
The patients were treated with a purified extract of Astragalus membranaceous in two 1 month cycles. After the first month 82% of patients reported feeling better and more energetic, and the following month 71% of the remaining group reported better feelings of energy, vitality, and youth.
The study was a double-blind placebo controlled study.
Astragalus is Good For Diabetics
Astragalus benefits diabetics. Patients who take astragalus show better blood sugar control.
The different polysaccharides protect against radical scavengers, and the benefits astragalus provides to cellular health seem to carry over in its ability to metabolize different nutrients.
Astragalus Membranaceous is the kind to purchase, as it’s the kind most studied.
You can either buy astragalus membranaceous in its root form or as an extract. Astragalus supplements typically come in powdered form, but it’s also available in capsules.
With most supplements the amount of astragalus contained will be between 250-1000mg.
It is possible that at very high dosages astragalus might suppress your immune system, and taking it with immune-stimulating drugs might cause side effects.
Because of its widespread health benefits and benign nature, most people would benefit from having some astragalus in their diet.
Due to its unique properties astragalus provides great help to the following:
• elderly people looking for a non-invasive way to fight the vagaries of old age
• people looking to reduce fatigue or reduce the collateral damage from severe chemotherapy or drug treatments
• anyone with a brittle immune system that’s sensitive to over the counter medication
• people looking for a natural/homeopathic way to help control blood sugar
If you have specific questions about a condition you should consult your doctor or licensed medical professional. This is not specific medical advice.
Bernardes de Jesus, Bruno, et. al. “The telomerase activator TA-65 elongates short telomeres and increases health span of adult/old mice without increasing cancer incidence”
Fu-Lun, Li, et. al. “Astragaloside IV Downregulates ?-Catenin in Rat Keratinocytes to Counter LiCl-Induced Inhibition of Proliferation and Migration”
Kwok-Kin Lai, Patrick, et. al. “Isolation of Anti-inflammatory Fractions and Compounds from the Root ofAstragalus membranaceus”
Kim, Wonnam. “Astragalus membranaceus Ameliorates Reproductive Toxicity Induced by Cyclophosphamide in Male Mice”
Chun-Chung, Chen, et. al. “Chinese Herb Astragalus membranaceus Enhances Recovery of Hemorrhagic Stroke: Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study”
X, He, et. al. “Inhibitory effect of Astragalus polysaccharides on lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-a and IL-1? production in THP-1 cells.”
Chen, HW, et. al. “A novel infusible botanically-derived drug, PG2, for cancer-related fatigue: a phase II double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study.”
Shao, Bai-Mei, et. al. “A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb”
Sinclair, Steven. “Chinese Herbs: A Clinical Review of Astragalus, Ligusticum, and Schizandrae”
Harley, Calvin, et. al. “A Natural Product Telomerase Activator As Part of a Health Maintenance Program”
|Posted on June 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
Hydrilla Verticillata (Aquatic Super Green Food)
Hydrilla is a green plant that grows naturally in the pristine fresh waters of Florida. It is a fascinating and remarkable plant in that it grows up to six inches a day while hyper-accumulating nutrients from the soil it is rooted in, as well as, the water it lives in. Gram per gram this super green food contains more nutrients than any plant on earth. It is the highest source of calcium and Vitamin B12. It is so nutrient dense, one need only take one 500mg capsule per 50 lbs. of body weight.
Hydrilla is the King of all Plants
Because of the variety and concentration of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace minerals, antioxidants, and a host of plant chemicals, Hydrilla has been shown to benefit every system and cell of the body. It is of great value to:
Colon health and detoxification
The Immune System
Nail, hair, skin, bone and joints
Mental concentration, focus, and memory
The Gastro-intestinal tract (Digestion)
Heavy metal elimination
Antioxidants – Hydrilla contains Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc, Beta-Carotene/Vitamin A, and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), a powerful, naturally occurring, essential antioxidant. Antioxidants work to protect your body from free radical damage, which results in premature aging and impaired immune system function.
Essential Trace Minerals – Hydrilla is an excellent source of silica, which plays a major role in skin, nail, hair, bone, cartilage, and artery health. Hydrilla also contains cobalt, molybdenum, zinc, selenium, copper, and iron– all essential in trace amounts for proper health and an alkaline system.
DNA and RNA – Hydrilla is a rich source of DNA and RNA proteins, which the body is able to use as building blocks for repair of our own strands of genetic material.
Nutritional Info Based on
4.75g Serving Size (1 tablespoon)
Dietary Fiber2 g (8%) Sugars 1 g (0%) Protein 0.65 g Vitamin A 5454 IU (109%) Vitamin C 6.53 mg (11%) Vitamin E 2.77 IU (9%) Thiamin 7.2 mg (480%) Riboflavin 0.26 mg (15%) Niacin 13 mg (65%) Vitamin B6 4.5 mg (225%) Vitamin B12 475 mcg (7,750%) Pantothenic Acid 8.4 mg (84%) Calcium 624 mg (62.4%) Chromium 7.4 mcg (6%) Copper 174 mcg (8.7%) Iron 4.6 mg (25%) Phosphorus 12 mg (1.2%) Magnesium 38.3 mg (9.6%) Molybdenum 8.7 mcg (11.7%) Selenium 1.25 mcg (2%) Zinc 0.3 mg (2%) Boron 65 mcg* Cobalt 174 mcg *Silica 32.7 mg *GLA 3 mg* Chlorophyll 16 mg* Polysaccharides 2 g
*Numbers appearing in parenthesis are Daily Values (% DV)
* No Daily Value (%DV) established
|Posted on March 19, 2014 at 8:35 AM|
Electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution has been a concern to many of us for a long time. Research indicates that constant exposure to radiation coming from cell phones, computers, radio, TV, artificial lighting, microwaves, household appliances, X ray machines, and more have a negative effect on health. Cancers and tumors have been linked to this exposure. Fatigue, muscle weakness, eye strain and poor vision, poor immunity, headaches, insomnia are just a few consequences of EMF pollution.
The Answer: More than Just EMF Pollution Protection
The Quantum Pendant is a natural energy generating device which improves the metabolic and circulatory functions of the body to achieve optimal holistic health. The active ingredients inside the Pendant comprises of 76 different natural minerals extracted from volcanic rocks which are then recombined using nanotechnology and heat fusion methods. Energy medicine sees human beings as networks of complex energy fields that interface with the physical and cellular systems of the body and uses specialized forms of energy to positively affect those energetic systems that may be out of balance.
The Quantum Pendant works by radiating natural scalar energy, which enters the body of the wearer and is distributed to the areas in need of energy balance. It helps to restore energy that has become weak in the body. By restoring the energy balance in the body this pendant helps one to maintain health and well-being.
Nicola Tesla demonstrated the existence of Scalar Energy towards the end of the 19th century. It is a subtle energy that can be harnessed to produce healing energy. Science only recently have positively demonstrated it's existence and are harnessing it for health purposes.
Wear it on a chain or carry it in your pocket. The scalar energy from the pendant works outwardly and within the body. Outwardly scalar energy enhances the body’s bio-field. Inwardly it works to facilitate cell permeability and thereby enhances the many physiological functions of the cells in the body.
Researched Health Benefits:
Scalar energy emitted from a scalar energy pendant turns dead water to living water by reducing its molecule size to smaller clusters thus increasing water's absorption or hydration capability many times. This facilitates the absorption of nutrients and detoxification at the cellular level.
The German researcher, Andrija Puharich found that scalar energy enhance the functioning of the immune system. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) exposed to scalar energy increased proliferation (multiplied) by 75% compared to lymphocytes not exposed to scalar energy.
Scalar energy has the ability to bring balance to the endocrine system and the rest of the body by bringing the energy level of the cells to the optimum -70 millivolts. Remember, EMF pollution and other negative factors can reduce cellular energy below this optimal level, leaving the body vulnerable to disease.
Scalar Energy Devices are available through www.primitius.com
|Posted on March 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM|
By Lucinda Bedogne – CNHP
More and more is being discovered today regarding the clear connection between gut health and the overall health of the body. The fact is that food cannot be converted to energy or provide fuel to run the various processes of the body if it is not sufficiently digested and absorbed. Nor can the body be truly healthy apart from adequate nutrition.
The essential role the small intestine plays in the final stages of digestion and absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream cannot be overestimated. Evidence continues to mount which proves that a healthy and uncompromised gut lining equates to a strong immune system and affords us protection against a wide range of health disorders and diseases currently on the rise. Thus far, the following disorders or diseases have been linked in medical literature with a condition commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome:
In actuality, a great many more health issues people commonly experience originate with poor digestive health and a weakened immune system stemming from leaky gut syndrome. However, the connection between the two is often not recognized since leaky gut syndrome symptoms run the gamut and conventional medicine tends to focus more on treating symptoms than identifying underlying root causes.
The Body’s First Line of Defense
In order to comprehend how a condition such as leaky gut can cause such a wide array of health problems, one must first understand the important role the gut wall plays in protecting our health. The lining of the small intestine forms a barrier that keeps unwanted compounds in the digestive tract from escaping into the bloodstream where they can travel throughout the body. This semi-permeable barrier acts as our first line of immune defense – sorting through and selectively choosing what raw materials the body can assimilate while, at the same time, rejecting any microbes, toxins, large food molecules or whatever else might adversely affect the health of the body.
Nutrients the body needs to produce energy and fuel its processes are absorbed into the bloodstream through hundreds of villi (small, fingerlike folds) that line the walls of the small intestine, each of which is covered with thousands of microvilli. Because villi and microvilli appear under a microscope similar to bristles on a brush, this one-layer thick small intestine lining is sometimes referred to as the “brush border”. If the surface area of all of these villi and microvilli were spread out flat, it would comprise an area the size of a tennis court when you take into account that the small intestine itself is 20 to 25 feet in length. Even more amazing is the fact that the cells that make up this lining are able to replace themselves approximately every six days.
Many people are unaware that approximately two-thirds of immune system activity takes place within this intestinal lining. One type of antibody produced there in abundance (secretary IgA) performs the job of neutralizing or otherwise countering bacteria, microbes, parasites and allergens to keep them from crossing the gut wall and getting into the bloodstream. Other specialized immune cells located throughout the gastrointestinal tract are housed in a type of lymphatic tissue known as GALT (Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue) that lies just on the other side of the brush border. The job of these immune cells is to identify harmful substances and alert white blood cells and macrophages (another kind of immune “attack” cell) to destroy potentially harmful substances before they can enter the bloodstream.
In this way, the small intestine lining functions as both a barrier and a gatekeeper. How well the immune system is able to do its job of counteracting harmful substances in order to keep them from penetrating the internal environment of our body greatly depends on the condition of the intestinal brush border.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
In a perfect world food particles are reduced to their lowest common denominators before reaching the wall of the small intestine for absorption - proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars and fats into fatty acids. A healthy gastrointestinal tract only absorbs these types of completely digested food molecules.
Leaky gut syndrome (termed “increased intestinal permeability” in the medical world), is a condition that develops when gaps form in the tightly packed junctures between cells in this protective membrane due to inflammatory damage. Tiny holes or tears from various sources of irritation cause these gaps to widen, allowing partially digested food components as well as bacteria, yeasts, parasites and toxins to literally leak into the bloodstream. A leaky gut is usually characterized by damaged cells in the intestinal lining along with flattened or inflamed microvilli that are no longer able to effectively secrete IgA or produce the special enzymes needed to facilitate the absorption of nutrients in the final stage of digestion that takes place in the small intestine.
A leaky gut wall becomes like a sieve that lets food particles pass into the bloodstream before they are completely digested. Because partially digested food and other substances were never meant to enter the bloodstream, the immune system perceives them as foreign invaders and acts to mobilize an immune defense against them. Antibodies form and white blood cells spring into action to initiate the inflammatory process the body engages to deal with these “invaders”. Oxidants and free radicals are produced in this battle that can cause further irritation and inflammation to other parts of the body. Since the inflammatory process makes tissues swell, cell membranes can lose tone and more easily become porous over time. As the intestinal lining becomes more permeable, its ability to act as a protective barrier is compromised.
How Leaky Gut Syndrome Affects the Body
When the gut loses its ability to filter incompletely digested food particles, harmful toxins and microbes, the organs that must deal with the effects of that influx in the bloodstream and lymphatic system can become overburdened with the toxic load. The liver, which acts as a back-up “second line of defense” for the body, especially bears the brunt of dealing with these substances. This is because everything from the digestive tract first goes to the liver for processing before it can be utilized by the rest of the body. The more the liver is bombarded with inflammatory irritants and partially digested food molecules, the less capacity it has to break down or neutralize chemicals and metabolic byproducts.
Since this important detoxification organ can only deal with so much at a time, the overflow of irritants and toxins from the intestines through a leaky gut diffuse into tissues of the body and tend to accumulate in organs, glands and fat cells. The inflammatory and free radical damage created in combination with the repercussions of an overtaxed liver and overworked immune system can result in any of the following conditions:
Do You Relate to any of These Symptoms?
The symptoms that indicate leaky gut syndrome may exist are numerous and extremely varied. Some of the more common ones people tend to experience are:
What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Anything that compromises the intestinal lining or disturbs the healthy balance of intestinal flora can potentially lead to the development of a “leaky” gut. The primary causes are:
Food allergens – Food allergies and leaky gut go hand in hand. Even though food allergies often develop due to a leaky gut, continuing to eat reactive foods only increases inflammation and worsen the condition of the gut wall over time. Protein fragments such as gliadin (protein in wheat gluten), zonulin (protein activated by gliadin known to widen gaps between cells and increase permeability), and casein (protein in milk) are among the worst offenders known to trigger immune system reactions. Because diets high in grain and dairy are so typical in this country, people tend to eat more of them than their body is able to handle, which is a primary reason food allergies and intolerances are a growing problem today.
Imbalanced Intestinal Flora – Chronic bacterial or viral infections, parasites and yeast/fungal overgrowth such as Candida upset the balance of intestinal flora within the intestinal tract. As these microorganisms feed on undigested food molecules, they flourish and outnumber the population of friendly bacteria. Toxins emitted by these organisms contribute to the inflammatory damage leading to leaky gut. In the case of Candida, root-like structures literally penetrate and form holes in the intestinal lining. As I previously covered, antibiotics and other drugs upset the balance of intestinal flora by destroying beneficial bacteria.
Poor Digestion and Overeating – Normal gastrointestinal function cannot occur without adequate digestion. Deficiencies in digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and an imbalanced gastrointestinal pH can cause impaired digestion that contributes to malabsorption, food allergies, bacterial overgrowth and other factors tied in with the development of leaky gut syndrome. Since overeating burdens the digestive system with more food than it can process at one time, excess undigested food molecules can further contribute to poor intestinal health.
Toxins & Chemicals – The cumulative toxic burden from daily exposure to household and environmental chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins overwhelms the immune system and depletes nutrients, removing resources needed for repair and replacement of intestinal cells.
Trauma or Prolonged Stress – High levels of cortisol and other chemicals produced during periods of stress can contribute to intestinal inflammation. Stress robs the body of glutamine, the primary fuel for the cells that make up the intestinal lining. Since stress affects our immune system’s ability to respond and reduces blood flow to digestive organs, it slows down the healing process. Besides mental and emotional stress, surgery, injuries, high fever, infections, and overly rigorous exercise are additional stressors to the body.
Steps to Healing a Leaky Gut
As long as the immune system, digestion and detoxification processes of the liver work well, the small intestine lining is able to repair and replace itself in a matter of days. However, healing can be difficult and take much longer if any of these systems are impaired and/or overtaxed for any length of time. Following the recommendations for healing leaky gut can improve symptoms in some people in a matter of weeks whereas others with more advanced cases may take six months or longer. A number of steps are involved in healing a “leaky” gut. The first is really a two-step process that is of utmost importance, though it can be the most challenging to implement.
Remove Irritants Long Enough for the Gut to Recover
In spite of other measures taken to heal a leaky gut, full healing is difficult to achieve when any of the causal factors cited above are ongoing. In order to successfully remove these irritants, it is recommended that you:
Since poorly digested food plays a major role in leaky gut syndrome, improving digestion is essential to restoring gastrointestinal health. The more food is broken down into the smallest molecules possible, the less it will lead to malabsorption in the small intestine. The best ways to optimize digestion are to:
For more information on improving digestive health, I would refer you to my articles "The Key to Good Digestion" , "Stomach Acid - Too Much or Too Little" and "The Key to Health and Longevity".
Support Organs and Pathways of Elimination and Detoxification
Waste that is not rapidly eliminated can irritate and inflame the intestines as well as increase the likelihood that toxins reabsorb and circulate back to the liver, increasing systemic toxicity. The use of extra fiber helps reduce intestinal inflammation, binds toxins and irritating substances, and improves colon transit time by holding moisture in the intestines to remove them more quickly. In addition, fiber acts as food to help boost the growth of friendly flora in the intestinal tract*. Supporting the liver involves supplying key nutrients and herbs that protect it as well as fuel the detoxification process it uses to convert harmful fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble forms the body can easily excrete. Milk thistle, N-acetylcysteine (a precursor to glutathione production), lipoic acid, Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants are used for this purpose. To cleanse and stimulate overall liver function and bile production, herbs such as dandelion root, fringe tree, Oregon grape root and beet leaf are recommended. Consuming vegetables such as dark, leafy greens, beets, artichokes and young dandelion greens will further help to cleanse and support the liver. For more information on supporting the organs of the body involved in detoxification and elimination, I would refer you to my five-part series on "Detoxifying for Better Health", particularly Part 2 and Part 3 which covers colon cleansing and liver detoxification.
* Special Note: those people with leaky gut who also have SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) may need to avoid certain types of fiber since it may accelerate the growth of harmful bacteria and worsen SIBO symptoms.
Recreate a Healthy Balance of Intestinal Flora
Repopulating the intestine with friendly bacteria by eating fermented foods and/or taking a high quality multi-strain probiotic supplement is often necessary to restore the balance of gut flora needed to strengthen the immune system, protect against yeast and bacterial overgrowth, and help breakdown food as well as neutralize toxins.
Repair and Restore the Integrity of the Gut Wall
The “holes” in the gut wall need to be toned and tightened which may be accomplished through supporting the healing process with the use of various nutrients and herbs. Supplements are especially necessary with people who have leaky gut since they often have difficulty absorbing sufficient nutrients from foods. The following are nutrients and herbs that are commonly recommended:
If steps are not taken to heal a porous gut wall, health may decline due to two primary factors: nutritional deficiencies from a growing inability to adequately absorb them and an overworked immune system with limited ability to protect the body against infections and disease. Keep in mind that good health is dependent upon a well functioning immune system and the body cannot regenerate healthy new cells and tissues if it is nutrient-deficient.
A Test to Learn for Certain
If you suspect you may have leaky gut syndrome but are unsure and wish to be tested, a test by Genova Diagnostics is available that directly measures gut leakiness in addition to nutrient absorption capacity. It is called the “Intestinal Permeability Assessment” and can be ordered by your doctor or online at Lab Testing Direct.com or through other sites for approximately $100. This assessment simply involves drinking a solution with two non-metabolized sugar molecules (lactulose and mannitol) and collecting urine samples at designated intervals over a six hour period, which are then sent to a lab for analysis.
However, it is not necessary to be tested to begin to work on improving your digestive health. Many of the guidelines in this article can benefit anyone, whether they already have leaky gut syndrome or simply wish to prevent it by taking better care of their intestinal health in order to enhance the overall health of their body.