Supplementing an autoimmune solution for gut dysfunction and fighting the ever-growing autoimmune plague
Supplementation is a very important driver in helping you cross the finish line into autoimmune disease remission. Supplementation alone is not powerful enough to get the job done, but when done in concordance with the rest of the “Kash Code,” it will fit right into the keyhole and open the door toward health and an autoimmune solution for patient issues.
The supplements noted are based on the premise that gut dysfunction is the biggest driver of autoimmune disease. Many of the supplements included here are intended to target gut health, while others target neutralizing free radicals in the body. I don’t provide serving size or brand recommendations because supplements are case-by-case, and it’s important to always start very small and work your way up. Starting at a dose too high can make your symptoms worse. Also keep in mind that, like food, supplements respond differently from one individual to another: they can make a positive difference in one person’s autoimmune disease but set someone else’s back.
Without proper enzymes, foods will not be broken down, leading to fermentation in the small intestines and contributing to dysbiosis. Enzyme levels can be tested for in a gut panel and may need to be introduced initially to better digest food and absorb nutrients for healing.
Enzymes to aid digestion:
Hydrochloric acid — Protein digestion, stimulates mucous protection, and eliminates bacteria from food.
Pepsin — Digests protein and is often stacked with HCL.
Ox bile — Digests fats and helps eliminate gut infections.
Lipase — Digests fats.
Proteolytic enzymes — Important for breaking down proteins during a meal. Taken without food, the enzymes accelerate healing of skin, joints, and muscle.
Pancreatic enzymes — Digests fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
The autoimmune solution: gut barrier integrity
Chapter 4 included information on the protocol for rebuilding a healthy gut through prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. These can be used in conjunction with supplements that aid in increasing the mucosal barrier of the gut, soothing gut inflammation, and providing building blocks for the gut wall. Often, these ingredients are sold together in powders:
Aloe vera — Herbal remedy that has immune modulating and gut-healing effects.1
Licorice root — Herbal remedy that soothes the gut lining.2
Slippery elm — Herbal remedy that protects mucosal barrier function in gastrointestinal illness.3
L-glutamine — An amino acid that is a building block for restoring tight gap junctions in the intestinal wall.4, 5, 6
Colostrum or serum bovine immunoglobulins — Colostrum is the first part of breast milk that is dense in growth factors and nutrients, including lactoferrin and IgG immunoglobulins. Colostrum and immunoglobulins reduce gut inflammation and provide growth factors to maintain tight gap junctions.7, 8, 9
N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) — Glycolated proteins provide a barrier from bacteria from the mucous layer to the intestinal lining. In gut issues these glycolated proteins are broken down. Supplementing with NAG serves as a building block that provides a binding site to beneficial bacteria on the lumen side of the mucous barrier.10
Marshmallow root — An herbal remedy that soothes gut irritation and inflammation by stimulating mucous production.11
Quercetin — Quercetin is found in foods like onions, kale, and apples. It has antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects and stabilize mast cells; it also has counteracted glutathione deficiencies in colonic inflammation in animal studies. Mast cells in the colon play a role in causing leaky gut, and quercetin has sealing effects on the gut-gap junctions.12, 13
Mastic gum — Mastic is a gum that comes from trees on the Greek island of Chios. It can be chewed or consumed in pill form. Mastic gum has some antibiotic benefits in the mouth and anti-inflammatory and soothing effects in the gut.14 The gum comes in very small balls. I enjoy chewing it after meals.
Natural anti-inflammatories and micronutrients
Controlling inflammation is key for the autoimmune solution through supplementation, allowing your body to digest food and jumpstart the healing process.
These supplements are not necessarily to be used in the long term since, just like pharmaceutical agents, long-term use of herbal supplements can have side effects and lose effectiveness. They should be used in the beginning phases of healing and during flares: CBD,15, 16 Liposomal Turmeric,17 Ginger,18 sustained-release peppermint oil.19
Zinc — Zinc deficiencies cause all sorts of immune dysregulation. Supplementation with zinc has been shown to help seal up the intestinal walls.20, 21
Vitamin D3 — Low serum vitamin D can contribute to multiple autoimmune diseases. If supplemented with vitamin D3, it should be stacked with vitamin K2 to prevent arterial calcification.22
Peptides and hormones
Hormones are amino acids linked together in a sophisticated chain. Many of the complex proteins we digest are broken down and restricted to form different chains. These chains become part of the language of cells.
Smaller portions of a hormone can be classified as peptides. Peptides are generally more specific in action with fewer side effects. These peptide chains are chemical instructions for cells to perform a specific action such as healing. These are the type of peptides used for therapeutic effects. Peptides can be purchased directly or through doctors that have relationships with compounding pharmacies. Peptides can be delivered through injection, patches, topicals, orally, or as suppositories.
Many peptides are considered safe, but experimental. They often do not get the research funding that is deserved because of difficulties in patentability. Although these peptides are made and produced in our bodies, there are no long-term studies to show the safety of injecting synthetic isolated amounts of them into tissues. Peptides are going to be at the forefront of healing therapies in the future to provide the autoimmune solution. Following is a list of the most commonly used and well-known therapeutic peptides:
BPC-157 — Body protective compound 157 is a peptide that gives instructions for cellular healing, especially in the gut. Animal studies have shown BPC-157 to protect and heal inflamed intestinal lining.24 BPC-157 is also effective for speeding up joint and tendon healing.25
TB-500 — Thymosin-Beta 4 is a peptide made from the thymus gland. Many individuals with autoimmune disease have a dysfunctional or underperforming thymus, so there may be a deficiency in production of this peptide. TB-500 has been shown to speed up the healing process,26 regenerate organs,27 and regenerate blood vessels.28
GPK-CU — Copper zinc peptide stimulates blood vessels and nerve growth and increases collagen and elastin production. It can improve repair of the stomach lining and other organs.29 This may be the best peptide for skin conditions.
LL-37 — Antimicrobial peptide LL-37 is used as a mechanism against bacterial and fungal invasion. It can be used to help treat dysbiosis and break down the biofilms that house microbes in the gut.30 Before feeling better, you may experience an initial worsening of symptoms from a die-off in bacteria.
Secretin/oxytocin — Secretin is a hormone that stimulates secretions of the liver and pancreas. Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone” and is released to stimulate lactation and affectionate behavior. Oxytocin also delays gastric emptying and slows intestinal transit. The combination of the two hormones has been shown to decrease intestinal inflammation.31, 32
Melatonin — The circadian rhythm hormone plays a role in modulating the immune system and can aid in decreasing the severity of autoimmune symptoms.33
Larazotide — Larazotide is a peptide that tightens gap junctions in the gut and decreases inflammatory response of gluten in Celiac disease.34
The autoimmune solution: neutralize free radicals
As a quick refresher, free radicals are unstable molecules formed by stress and can cause further damaging cascades, especially when they reach high levels as seen in autoimmune disease. Neutralizing free radicals prevents further DNA damage and inflammation.
Some choices to neutralize free radicals:
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) — NAD is a coenzyme in energy production. NAD levels decrease as we age and are depleted in chronic diseases.35 NAD can be administered through IV, nasal sprays, transdermal patches, or oral precursors.
Glutathione — Glutathione promotes T-regulatory cell production and differentiation. Glutathione levels have been shown to be low in patients with autoimmune disease.36 Glutathione can be administered through injection, transdermal patches, or in liposomal forms.
Hydrogen-enriched Water — Hydrogen-enriched water increases free radical scavenging and has anti-inflammatory effects. Special water filters can infuse hydrogen into the water. Also, hydrogen tablets can be dissolved in drinking water or bathwater. Hydrogen-infused water has the best effect when used in pulses rather than drinking it consistently throughout the day.37 Avoid drinking hydrogen-enriched water before, during, or after meals because of its alkalizing effect on the stomach.
By no means should you be taking all of these supplements at the same time. They have been explained so that they can be experimented with during different phases of healing to see if they can help with signs and symptoms of your disease. Dosing, frequency, and timing as well as the type of supplement should be catered to the individual.
This was an excerpt from the book “The Autoimmune Plague: How to Regain Sovereignty Over Your Body and Life.”
COLBY KASH, DC, MS, BS, the author of “The Autoimmune Plague: How to Regain Sovereignty Over Your Body and Life,” is a wellness and longevity functional medicine practitioner. A sought-after lecturer on health care-related topics and a cofounder of five biotechnology companies, he is dedicated to improving the quality of health for all. For more information on the book go to tinyurl.com/2hwbbu2a.