The pervasive use of preservatives in the food supply and the drastic increase of modified foods in the Western diet have caused the current generation more digestive problems than any other.
It has caused food in the U.S. to be among the most highly processed and least nutritious on earth, and peoples’ high rate of sugar and carbohydrate intake promotes the growth of fungus (like Candida) in the gut.
The preservatives in food that are designed to kill bacteria in food products also kill the beneficial bacteria that are needed for proper gut health. Widespread and over-prescribed antibiotics also disrupt the body’s bacterial balance, resulting in numerous digestive problems.
While there is a rising effort to avoid processed foods and reduce carbohydrate and sugar intake, the U.S. population is plagued with disease and obesity because of dietary habits. People need to learn how to correct and then maintain healthier alternatives and lifestyles. It is just as important to repair the debilitated state of gut health, as it supports the other systems of the body.
Can probiotics help?
If you have tried probiotics then you know that they can have a positive effect. You have also seen them all too often fail to make a significant change.
For instance, if your front yard were a huge patch of weeds, would you sprinkle thousands of dollars of high- quality seed on it expecting a beautiful lawn to emerge? Of course not. You would first get rid of the weeds.
Similarly, the bacteria and fungus in an imbalanced gut have covered every square inch of livable space. They protect themselves with exotoxins that make it virtually impossible for any new bacteria (the good ones from your probiotics) to grow and survive. There’s no room at the inn. The expensive probiotics either die or just move on down, providing no net gain.
Consider this three-pronged approach to the gut rehabilitation process: The first step is to get rid of the weeds; kill off as much of the bad bacteria and irritating fungus as possible. The second step is to reseed the gut with good bacteria, which will aid in digestion and keep fungus out. Third, you need to repair the damage that has been done to the epithelial lining of the intestines by the fungus and bad bacteria. This can be done holistically and naturally.
What you need to do
A broad-spectrum antimicrobial that is biocompatible and significantly kills bacteria and fungus will help with the first step. An enhanced aqueous colloid of silver greater than 40 ppm will accomplish this nicely. It is best taken on an empty stomach and in bolus dosing of two ounces every two hours. This can be continued for two or three days by consuming one eight-ounce bottle. Note that mixing a colloid of silver with anything containing salt will ruin it, and food tends to make it less effective.
Taking colloid of silver on an empty stomach and fasting for an hour afterward maximizes the effect. After two or three days of this protocol, you will have significantly attenuated the bacteria and fungus in the gut.
Another side benefit of this is that the level of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach will also be dramatically reduced.
While you won’t “sterilize” the gut (it’s not possible in this manner), you will make room for beneficial bacteria to live and thrive. This is of critical importance.
Once you have knocked down the population of bad bacteria and fungus in the gut, it’s time to reseed with the probiotic of your choice. This will reestablish the bacteria necessary to support proper digestion and nutrient extraction from food. The probiotic ingestion should be continued for at least a month. (Note: It is not critical to take the most expensive probiotics available.)
A healthy gut contains over 200 types of bacteria. Most probiotic supplements have only a few dozen. The most important task is to provide an environment in which good bacteria can multiply and thrive.
The third step is to repair the epithelial lining. Years of exposure to antibiotics, preservatives, and sugar can allow pathogens to eat away at the intestinal lining. This tissue needs to be healed.
The reduction in the mucus layer caused by Candida overgrowth leaves microvilli unprotected. This allows direct food contact to the tissue, which feels like an invasion to the body. This spurs the immune system into a state of heightened response. The subsequent inflammation reduces the body’s ability to fight infections and can cause a host of other systemic problems.
The healing process
To facilitate healing, take a mixture of herbs designed to heal the tissues, increase mucus to protect the region, and reduce local inflammation. This will encourage the reconstruction of the epithelial lining and restoration of the insulating mucus layer.
Look for plantain, licorice, aloe vera, peppermint, marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark. These can be encapsulated or made into a tea.
As with colloidal silver, taking the capsules or drinking the tea on an empty stomach is best. When food is regularly introduced into the gut, encapsulated herbs are better than tea as they will tend to be released in the area most in need of repair.
Building new tissue requires some basic building blocks. Take 2,000 mg of vitamin C, 10,000 IUs of vitamin D, and a good B-complex daily. Taking 250 mg of magnesium can also help support the mucus layer.
The GI tract is critical not only to the absorption of nutrients through digestion but also to the proper function of the immune system. A poorly functioning digestive system can cause myriad health problems as it results in nutritional deficiencies and a compromised immune system.
Diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and many skin conditions have been traced back to problems of the gut. Obviously, conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn’s disease are problems of the gut.
Kill, reseed, restore. Put your gut back on track and watch your health improve.
Steven R. Frank is an herbalist from the Front Range of Colorado, with many years of experience in treating musculoskeletal injuries with plants and herbs. He has studied these natural remedies in the clinic and the laboratory so that he can bring you the best that science and wisdom have to offer. He can be contacted at 800-991-7088, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through mynaturesrite.com.