More Than a Gut Feeling

October 22, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 More Than a Gut Feeling
A new study shows more clear evidence of the inseparable link between digestive balance1 of foreign cells and human health. In this study it was proven that specific bacteria cause specific types of immune cells to form. In particular, the researchers found that too much of one type of bacteria that is normally in the digestive tract provokes the human immune system into a pro-inflammatory condition, adversely influencing intestinal immunity and predisposing to inflammatory bowel disease.

Normally, we think of the immune system as attacking things that should not be there. This is a different idea. It means that every person has trillions of foreign cells lining their digestive tract that collectively forms their own “metabolic organ.” It means there is back and forth communication between the human immune system and the gut contents, different than an attack and destroy approach. It is more of a negotiation, i.e., how do we get along with each other? In fact, it is more like training.

Problems occur when the gut contents have too many bad gangs in their neighborhoods. The immune system is then commanded to hyper-react in an inappropriate manner, taking orders from the gangs. We know this is partly to deflect attention away from the gangs and partly to weaken your body so that gangs can flourish and prosper. The important point to grasp is that the gangs are telling the immune system (police force) what to do.

Since excessive inflammation is a general principle that underlies the deterioration of human health, and since gut gangs can be a primary source of such inflammation, the importance of this information cannot be underestimated.

Digestive imbalance is caused by junk food, high sugar diets, high vegetable oil diets, soda, food coloring, GMO foods, excess alcohol, antibiotics, and many medications in common use - even those that treat digestive problems! Of course, individuals have many natural options to help balance their digestive health. A goal is to have no digestive symptoms that are bothersome.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Gut Contents Tilt Immune System  Cell Host and Microbe  Ivaylo I. Ivanov, Rosa de Llanos Frutos, Nicolas Manel, Keiji Yoshinaga, Daniel B. Rifkin, R. Balfour Sartor, B. Brett Finlay, and Dan R. Littman

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