A little over a week ago we held our first free seminar of the year on “Rebuilding Your Gut.” Our speaker Bruce Topping basically rocked it. I think everyone who attended (and we were thrilled with the turnout of 200 or so people) learned just how
important the microbiome- the evolving collection of trillions of microbial organisms living in and on the body- is to overall health.
Bruce reiterated what many of us already knew- that probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that help us digest food, utilize nutrients, and fight infection. However I learned some fascinated new bits such as gut bacteria assisting in converting inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into the active form (T3.) In fact nearly 20 percent of T4 is converted in the GI tract so an unhealthy gut could have a noticeably negative impact on thyroid function. While Bruce certainly emphasized how important probiotic supplementation is to achieving healthy digestion and immunity, he also mentioned some other supplements as well as foods that will aid in the gut rebuilding process.
For instance Betaine HCL supplementation (5-9 500mg pills a day for a month to be precise) can help reestablish stomach acidity which is essential for keeping the digestive system in good working order. We need adequate acidity in the stomach to synchronize the timing of
digestion (make sure stomach is emptied in a timely manner to prevent reflux), kill harmful pathogens we accidentally ingest, and assimilate minerals such as calcium and magnesium just to name a few.
Some other helpful tips included ingesting “resistant starches” such as organic potatoes (baked or boiled), plantains, and greenish bananas as these foods are “prebiotics” or food for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Bruce advised to slowly introduce such foods to avoid gas and bloating.
While these were some interesting highlights, here’s Bruce’s full list of the “4 R’s” for rebuilding your gut:
Step 1: Remove Digestive Irritants: These include wheat/flour, sugar, and corn syrup.
Step 2: Re-Inoculate Your Gut: Make cultured foods at home, eat resistant starch, and take probiotics.
Step 3: Replace Acids and Enzymes: Take Betaine HCL to replace stomach acid and take a full potency enzyme supplement at the end of each meal.
Step 4: Repairing the Gut with: bone stock soup, L-Glutamine powder, okra, blueberries, Vitamin A, slippery elm, marshmallow root, red raspberry, and ginger.
Many of these products are available at Nature’s Outlet and your local farmer’s market. Give us a call at (540) 989-5109 if you have any questions and best of luck rebuilding your gut!
John A. Rigdon
Nature’s Outlet Educator