12. Gut Health

GUT-HEALTH.001It is well known that dysbiosis, inflammation and bacteria load can cause cancer. We also know that if you want to get well and heal your body, then that starts from your gut. Your entire nutrition and vitamin uptake comes from your gut. What really matters is that we find out what's really wrong.

Dr Finscot Andersen said to me one day "Marcus, if somebody is fanatic about a diet, if they say, 'this is the best diet! This is the only diet and you have to follow my diet!' turn around and run!" And in retrospect I actually have to agree with him. Everybody I have found to be fanatic about their specific diet has proven to be really wacko and dangerous. Often their method or their diet would suit a small percentage of the population, but certainly not everybody.

GUT-HEALTH.002You will understand why as we explore all the different forms of gut problems. As you can see in the gut health image, the gut starts at the mouth, goes into the oesophagus, into your stomach, (which also involves the gall bladder, liver and pancreas) then into the gut lining through to the small intestine, then large intestine and then finally out the rear end. That is a long tube! And there is a hell of a lot that can go wrong in all areas such as infections, bacteria loads, inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.

This is why looking at gut health in a very systematic way is so helpful. To do this we look at symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, burning sensation, and reflux from not enough stomach HCL. We look at nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. We look at things like having undigested food in your stool which indicates that you aren't absorbing the nutrients in your food. We look at whether you have rectal bleeding/occult bleeding or general exhaustion (which causes you to go into a tired state after a meal that doesn't sit well with your system.) We even look at psychological symptoms. Some children who eat gluten or dairy can have seizures or fits of anger because their bodies are sensitive or allergic to these foods. Some people might just say "Oh that's just how my child is!" But you could and should ask the question "What food is triggering this?"

Hormonal imbalances can be a problem because hormones are directly linked with your digestive system. Poor absorption, post-adolescent acne, Immune weaknesses, back pain and headaches are also potential indications that there is a problem with your digestive tract.

If your gut is busy with any of the above symptoms, then it isn't going to have the time to look after other pressing issues such as bacteria load, fungi, mould or cancer. It can be hard to wrap your head around, but all of these symptoms often originate in the gut.

GUT-HEALTH.003As soon as we go through the diagnosis, we indicate which disease is most likely to be the culprit or a problem. One of the first tests that we conduct with every single patient is food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are a serious business and can sometimes be hard to detect the conventional way. Often when you have a sensitivity to a certain food you won't have a reaction right when you eat it. Your reaction could be as delayed as two days. So you feel really bad, and it's not because you had something right that moment, it's because 24 or 48 hours ago you had that piece of bread with gluten in it. This is because it can take a while for food to get all the way through your digestive system and symptoms may only arise once the food hits a certain area. Any part of your gut can start with that allergic or sensitive reaction, and then cause your immune system to go crazy.

GUT-HEALTH.004Finding these sensitivities is the first step. We do this with the food exclusion diet. It's really simple, you just start by eating very bland, very simple, steamed veggies cooked into a soup. You can have carrots, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and all of the vegetables that are non-allergenic. You eat them as a week-long calming process so that everything in your body settles down and your gut loses the fire and inflammation from the sensitivities.

Once your inflammation markers are all reduced and you feel much better, then you introduce the different types of food one at a time. You're probably quite aware of the different types of food sensitivities. We've got gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, egg free, nut free, and soy free just to name a few! If you know which ones are already on your list try them out first. Make sure your immune system is completely calm and still and you feel great and have a lot of energy. Then eat two eggs for breakfast. Nothing else. No mixing, because you want to know what affect each individual food has on you. If the food does have an effect on you within a day or two then put that on the no-no list! If you do have a reaction, take a day or two to calm down again, go back on the basic diet and heal up, and then try another food type. Rinse and repeat!

That's a very systematic approach. Mahatma Ghandi did that for two years. He wrote down the food that he ate and how he felt over the next two days. He wrote down what kind of emotional reactions he had, how he could deal with stress, and what kind of arousal or calmness he felt. He really focused and did that for two years until he had his optimal diet. The diet that gave him all the energy to focus, concentrate and achieve all of his goals. Now that's a lot of dedication! I don't think that many people can or should do that, but to know that it's possible to find your optimal diet that elevates and energizes you is an amazing thing.

GUT-HEALTH.005After a meal you should feel good and full of beans! You know, in my workshops I usually either have those that stay during a break or those who sneak out to get pasta or pizza, for example. They then come back and sit in the audience and most of them nearly fall asleep!

The reason for this process is quite simple, it's the healing reaction of the gut. The gut is dealing with an invasion! So your body shuts down the areas that are not needed right now and you become tired, first the brain, then your extremities, and so on. This is so the gut can focus and work.

The principle is quite simple once you know how it works. If you look at the gut lining image here. One part of your gut has this lining. Its like... Remember those old-fashioned sausages? The single layer of the sausage is clear and stretchy and strong? It's like that. It's called a single cell membrane. A very tough layer. Those cell membranes are connected to each other via junctions called tight junctions. Everything that needs to go from your gut, from the tube inside (your intestine), into the bloodstream through all the blood vessels that surround your gut lining, has to pass through the tight junction.

NEMO-ANEMONEOn top, there are little villi's which I call anemones. And inside the little anemones live little Nemo's just like the movie! The little Nemo's (or bacteria) break down the food and begin digesting it. Then it's taken up through the fine capillaries in those villi's, transported through the cell and extracted into the bloodstream.

Remember, you have two and a half kilos of bacteria inside of you. They break down and digest the food and produce vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. And we've only just scratched the surface here. There are bacteria, but then there are also nanobes that are even smaller and actually live on the bacteria, and then many, many more steps. All of them have a chemical interaction, they share and influence each other's DNA (and ours). Needless to say it's a very complex system!

Preservatives are designed to make food last longer on the shelf by killing off bacteria. They do the same thing in your gut. By eating them you kill off a whole lot of bacteria that might be able to digest certain foods and create good absorption. You can also ingest some preservatives that cause an allergic reaction. Then you're really in trouble. Those sensitivities and allergic reactions are actually based on when you have little holes in your intestine, this is called leaky gut syndrome.

GUT-HEALTH.005The tight junction that holds each cell together is actually part of a very intelligent system. As soon as one cell breaks free and the tight junction is broken, the cell sends a signal into the bloodstream and says "Please everybody come! Immune system, respond! We have a hole in our system!" It's like an alarm on deck. They throw out all the chemicals into the bloodstream which makes all of your immune cells travel to that place. You can see in the image above the white blood cells scramble to fill those holes and catch any invaders that come in.

Think about this though, if you have leaky gut then you will also have undigested proteins and toxins going directly into your bloodstream. Completely unfiltered! That's a primary cause of death. Your body says whoa! Mega danger! Cancer grows slowly, so let's forget about that for now. Bacteria load? It's not that big yet. So let's first look at the most imminent cause of danger, and that's all the undigested foods that are pouring into the bloodstream. That's when your whole immune system goes into alarm and starts to shuts off all peripheral parts of the body and the brain and the facial muscles so you can go to sleep and heal.

A while ago I was at a company and presented a talk about gut health quite similar to what I'm talking about here. The boss was standing next to me looking at the people after lunch and he could see them all napping away, not focusing, not concentrating at all and he said "That's because of the food we feed them in the cantina?" And I said "Yes! You reduce your productivity by 50 – 60% by giving them crap food and food that they are allergic too!" Or maybe I didn't say that to him. But I thought it!

My point is that this is a really significant issue and you need to actively observe it in yourself. As soon as your energy levels go down, your body cannot deal with cancer. It needs to deal with the problems in your gut first, which you can see in the above image. And this process can take hours!

Want me to tell you something really bad? This can start every day. After breakfast you have your first reaction. Then you have a snack and have your second. Then you have lunch and have your third. After that you have another snack, then dinner, supper and dessert. It's no wonder all you feel like doing is sitting in front of the TV at the end of the day! You can accidentally be eating foods that you are sensitive to six times a day. If you are addicted to breads and rolls and pasta and pizza and sandwiches, and you have a gluten sensitivity, your gut is under assault non-stop and your immune system needs to deal with that and cannot take care of anything else.

Then you go to a clinic, they treat the cancer and kill it along with your immune system leaving you with no defence left at all! Then you continue eating the foods that you are sensitive to and the cycle repeats.

GUT-HEALTH.006This really is the first step. Food sensitivities and allergies need to be removed. I know I mentioned this before, but I would just like to clarify that food sensitivities are often delayed. You may not be able to directly link what food causes what if you're just trying new foods here and there. With the food exclusion diet, you can really pinpoint exactly what is causing your symptoms.

If you react straight away then that's an allergic reaction. Just like when some people eat shellfish or nuts and they instantly have a reaction or go into anaphylactic shock. Usually the reason for both of these things happening is the same. Food allergens often originate from long-term leaky gut that has reached the stage where you're extremely sensitive to certain foods. My instant response with my leaky gut is perfume. If I'm in a room with anybody that has synthetic perfume on (which is usually toxic), it instantly triggers sneezing, a red nose, watery eyes, and rashes. This is a result of a leaky gut. It's a result of a gut impairment and sensitivities that have gone to the next level.

There is the old fashioned sensitivity test that you can do where you divide sections of the skin into squares or rectangles and dab different potential allergens on to the skin. This test can be quite useful in indicating food groups that you are allergic or sensitive to. They break them up into different groups of allergens which will then allow you to pinpoint more directly what causes the reaction. Some of the common groups consist of dairy, legumes, fruit, grains, fish, meat/poultry, and nuts & seeds.

GUT-HEALTH.007There is the old fashioned sensitivity test that you can do where you divide sections of the skin into squares or rectangles and dab different potential allergens on to the skin. This test can be quite useful in indicating food groups that you are allergic or sensitive to. They break them up into different groups of allergens which will then allow you to pinpoint more directly what causes the reaction. Some of the common groups consist of dairy, legumes, fruit, grains, fish, meat/poultry, and nuts & seeds.

There is a little bit of controversy around this type of test because there is the possibility of no reaction if you have never eaten the food before. Or it could be that you have such a highly inflamed gut that you have a lot of adverse reactions, which mean you show things that in a normal condition you wouldn't actually have a reaction to. But it is a great first step for finding out whether you have any kind of food sensitivities. After this test you would then do a food exclusion diet to confirm what specific foods you need to avoid.

GUT-HEALTH.008The next subject we're going to talk about is dysbiosis. Let's just face it, the bacteria in our gut are doing all of the digestive work. They produce everything that your body can absorb. Dysbiosis means you have certain bacteria in overgrowth (such as rotting bacteria) and your digestive bacteria, which produce vitamins and minerals, are reduced. How can something like that happen?

Pretty easily actually. First of all your regular diet, what you eat all the time, will promote certain types of bacteria that love that type of food and the other bacteria which digests the different foods you may not eat as regularly, like greens and veggies, are reduced because they are not needed as often. It can also be because you do something you think is really fantastic and great like buy a water alkalizer. You then drink alkalized water every day. This neutralizes the pH balance in your stomach to a non-aggressive form so that the food that you eat doesn't get digested properly at all.

However, what we've found is that when you use alkaline water like medicine, at least half an hour to an hour before you eat, and at least two to three hours after you have something to eat, it works great. That's how it's normally used in good clinics. Those who just drink alkaline water all the time dilute their systems pH balance which causes all sorts of problems. This is why you'll find that a lot of doctors are actually opposing alkaline water now. It's just not helpful if you don't use it wisely. If the gut goes down an alkaline path (if you have a gut pH of 7.4 – 7.8) it will promote the growth of rotting bacteria. Not digestive, but rotting bacteria.

You create gut dysbiosis in a number of ways. By having the wrong gut pH, the wrong diet, or by heavy use of antibiotics. If you destroy your gut bacteria stores with antibiotics and don’t restore it properly you cannot digest your food. As a result of this you develop deficiencies because you have of malabsorption.

GUT-HEALTH.008And no one is safe! Children today born via caesarean, who have never been through the birth channel never pick up all of the bacteria load from the mother that is required for them to establish a healthy digestive system. They are then not breast fed either which only consolidates the problem. The bacteria load is never properly established and they can't break down their food.

The bacteria load in our gut are like gold nuggets! They are super valuable. That's why fermented foods are really helpful. All the different probiotics are really helpful too, but you need to be careful if you have a gut resistance. If you have certain bacteria and take a pill, then you change pills two days later, then change again to another one, that's not going to create a healthy digestive system. You need to stick with one really top of the range probiotic for at least five or six months to override the system. The bacteria in the intestines are resistant. They don’t just let something new come in take over. It's a slow process.

So, lots of fermented foods, very good fats and oils, plus a lot of the best quality probiotics that you can get. That will start to slowly restore your gut bacteria load, eliminate dysbiosis, reduce inflammation, and heal your gut.

Then you won't have all sorts of strange looking poo with mucus and undigested fat floating around in it. When you have undigested fat in your stool it can mean you don't have enough bile production or your pancreas is exhausted and can't produce enough lipase to break it down. There are many different things required in order to digest fat.

We always think there is only one thing that is responsible, when the vast majority of the time it's a synergistic event with many different factors at play. You need your hormones to be fully working. You need your immune system to be fully active. You need your digestive organs to be healthy and active. You need all the different bile, fat, and enzyme production in tip top shape. Everything needs to work together in order for you to stay healthy.

GUT-HEALTH.009It's quite a complex system. There are many things that we need to look at and work out in order to get to the root cause of the problem. If you take a look at the image labelled Malabsorption above you will see a mineral chart. I call these deficiency charts because they show you where you are deficient. As you can see from the image, the patient of this test is deficient in a lot of minerals. I know for a fact that this patient eats very healthily, drinks lots of good juices and does what he should be doing, but he is still lacking in a lot of these important minerals. We find this to be the case all the time.

At every workshop we do a presentation with our scanner. We conduct a mineral scan of each person and throw it on to the big whiteboard so people can see their mineral or toxicity scan result. We often see that most of them, even though they are on very expensive supplementation and diets, are still very deficient in zinc, selenium and magnesium. All of those crucial minerals that your body needs. It makes you wonder how much of those supplements are actually taken up by your body.

I wondered about that when I was starting to take zinc and selenium. After two months I got tested and I still had no uptake. So I went to have IV which brought it up in the short term, but then it petered out again. The answer to this problem is that there are synergistic vitamins and minerals that are necessary to successfully take up and store all of those nutrients. If your gut lining and gut health is not optimal, you won't uptake these nutrients and minerals. This causes a cascade of problems that influences your thyroid, your liver, all of your different organs.

This is where we've found the biggest problem. If you have a deficiency, you cannot digest food properly. It's a deadly cycle. It gets worse and worse and worse. That's why you can give people who are very depleted and deficient all the best vitamins and supplements but they still can't absorb them. And this is why all the good clinics are now starting great IV supplementation programs that use 'cocktails' of vitamins and minerals in order to replenish the patients system and kick it back into gear.

It's an intelligent process which you shouldn't try to do on your own. You need to find a good health coach and practitioner to help you restore your gut. It's a crucial first step. Everything is related to it. Your whole well-being and health is related to it. Yes juicing and all of that helps, but you need to look at certain things like digestive energy and digestive fire.

GUT-HEALTH.010Let's do a little bit of a recap of the different types of gut treatments and diets that we can utilize. Your diet needs to be:

  • Non-inflammatory. The non-inflammatory diet is the starting point. You need to bring down all of the inflammation so that the gut can repair.
  • Non-allergenic.
  • Non-processed because of the preservatives.
  • Non-toxic, which means no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Remember that all of those kill bugs! You want to protect those fellows in there and encourage good bacteria growth, so you can't eat any of those sprayed foods.
  • Low sugar because sugar causes inflammation, bacteria overgrowth, and it feeds cancer. That means you have to stay away from breads, dairy, pizza, pasta, all of those sorts of foods.
  • Low protein, because as long as you have a leaky gut and you have undigested proteins going through those little perforations and holes into your bloodstream, it's a major danger to your body.

Dr. Mercola has recently published a very good study on commercially vs. organically grown foods where they tested their nutrient density. They found that the organic foods were up to 500 times more dense in nutrients. 500 times!

If you eat food from the supermarket which may look appealing because it's filled with bromides, or packed into little blown-up bags with chemicals to keep them fresh, they have very little actual nutrients. You're not eating anything of value there. You should eat a little bit less but eat good quality food. Make sure it's as natural as possible.

I don't suggest to anyone that they should follow a raw diet. A lot of people can't digest raw foods. Lightly steam, cook, or pan-fry your foods. Use good oils and fats with it, especially if you have vegetables that turn into sugar. Everything turns into sugar in your body, so if you connect it with good oils and fats it will slow down that conversion cycle and it won't create insulin spikes.

So, there are plenty of ways we can heal the gut naturally. Probiotics, good fats, anti-inflammatory omega 3's, make use of all of them. Repair your gut, restore your bacteria load, eat high quality food. Your health starts from here!

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