This is part 2 in a series on antibiotic resistance & this part is based on excerpts from The Gut Healing Protocol; An 8 Week, Holistic Guide to Rebalancing Your Gut by Kale Brock. For part 1, click here.
The key to ensuring your ongoing health, & to lessen your chances of actually needing western medicine you’re going to have to look after your immune system (remember, in emergencies western medicine is fantastic). What we’ve learned in recent times is that 80-90% of your immune system resides in the gut (or is directly related to it). Your gut microbes constantly train & speak with your immune cells, & are a pivotal component of keeping your immune system switched on & vigilant throughout your life.
According to Dr Raphael Kellman, author of The Microbiome Diet, there are 4 steps to healing your gut & subsequently switching on your immune system once again. I add in a 5th one at the end. Let’s go through them.
Number 1: Removal.
You’ve got to remove the bad bugs (or rebalance their numbers) & remove the inflammatory foods from the diet. Dr Kellman (& Dr McBride, Dr Mercola, Dr Perlmutter & numerous others) recommend at least going on a gluten-free, dairy-free & refined sugar free diet. These foods are either irritating in the gut (especially in the case of gluten) or they feed pathogenic microbes creating an environment where they can thrive. By removing these foods, we can begin to drastically reduce the numbers of harmful microbes within our systems, if not removing them completely. If you’re dealing with particularly nasty infections then most practitioners recommend some sort of anti-fungal treatment like oregano oil, pau d’arco, wormwood, garlic (allicin treatment) & more, but remember it is the long term environment of the gut, including the health of the gut lining, the dietary influences, chemical exposure & the numbers of beneficial microbes that will determine health outcomes for the patient.
Number 2: Replace.
In order for your gut & immune system to function optimally you have to replace the stomach acid & digestive enzymes the gut needs to function properly. Do you know your body only really makes around 30 different enzymes whereas the microbes in your body make up to around 6000? Enzymes have long been touted as the be-all-end-all for disease prevention & raw food has been highly touted answer, yet microbes are the true heroes enzymatically-speaking.
Stomach acid – this is a big one. What’s important about stomach acid? It doesn’t just digest food, it also acts as a sanitiser. Many people don’t know we are exposed to parasites & nasty microbes on our food every day – but the stomach acid neutralises those pathogens because its such a strong substance. If you experience reflux, & then take an acid blocker to reduce the amount of stomach acid in your system, what’re you doing? You’re setting yourself up for an infection & low immunity because you’re firing the guards of the castle basically. How is stomach acid produced? Basically a hormone called gastrin stimulates the parietal cells of the stomach to produce it & yes, you guessed it, inflammation & stress heavily influence gastrin levels in the body.
Number 3: Reinoculate.
You’ve gotta wipe the slate clean & add in those good bugs. Think about a garden – what you’re going to do is clear the garden, take out all the weeds & plant fresh healthy seeds. Now at this point most people say well i’ll just go & drink 4L of kombucha to get the good bugs in. That doesn’t always work. We’ve been very clinical about destroying our gut flora, we’ve got to be equally as clinical when it comes to replacing those flora. According to the science & most gut health doctors around the world, specific, targeted probiotic supplementation is the best way to begin healing the gut & re-establishing a healthy microbiome. Dr Kellman puts it this way – if you’ve got a dirty fish pond with algae & pests in it, do you just go & throw in a bunch of good healthy fish? No. You clean up the eco-system first don’t you. You might put in some biological controls – species which help you get rid of those pests. But you don’t just go wild & throw everything in there. Its the same with the gut – we need to be specific about the types of microbes we reinoculate with.
According to experts like microbiologist Giulia Enders the species which predominate the vaginal canal & the baby’s initial gut seedlings are lactobacillus & bifidobacterium so those are the species we should go for as they work best with our immune systems (having been introduced at birth). Know that if you’ve got a leaky gut even a probiotic – a good bug like sacchromyces boulardii – can enter the bloodstream where it is not meant to be & as a result will be met with an immune response. If the immune system knows & trusts the microbe – like it does with lactobacillus & bifibacteria, it shouldn’t cause any issues so those are the species we should move towards. I recommend numerous probiotic species & products in my book; The Gut Healing Protocol.
Number 4: Repair.
We have to heal & seal the gut lining. This will slowly happen by itself in most people, depending own how far gone your lining is, but most people need to encourage this process with certain foods & supplements. When we wash the system with probiotics we’ll start to develop a healthy mucous around the GI tract lining – & we’ll allow the cells of the epithelium to relax & get started with the healing process. Bone broth is fantastic as it’ll also kick off that process but something even better is Colostrum. Bovine Colostrum is an amazing substance, known for its health benefits for thousands of years. It’s actually the substance that first healed & sealed your gut lining when you started breastfeeding when you were a baby!
Colostrum is almost a non-dairy substance its very powerful & very heavily studied. If you’re extremely sensitive to dairy or don’t find it ethically fits with you, use aloe vera instead. It’ll have a nice effect on the gut lining, too.
Number 5: Evolve.
Last one – we evolve the diet. Once you’ve put in the hard yards healing your gut, you can actually start to enjoy the benefits of a varied, wholesome diet. You can do a little rice, some fruit (in season & organic hopefully), & quinoa & even some cream & your microbes will love you for it. You’ll benefit from resistant starch foods like bananas & cashews because your healthy microbes are set in place! See once the microbes are happy & healthy & are multiplying constantly, & hopefully you’re replenishing them with probiotic supplements & at this stage fermented foods – you’ll develop a strong, healthy gut. It’ll be very hard to put on fat stores because you’ll be insulin sensitive once again, & the inflammation messages will calm down, you’ll feel happy much easier because you’ve adequate stores of neurotransmitters being manufactured in the gut, you’ll sleep better because we’ve taken the burden off the liver by healing the gut & as a result it can balance the hormones again. You’ll feel more alert & less attached to your food, because you’re digesting it better. Then if you do have a little slip & decide to indulge in a big raw cake, you won’t feel so sluggish the next day.
Following these steps in a commonsensical, holistic way (like I outline in The Gut Healing Protocol) can be a life-changing experience, as shown here with Nick & Taela.
Dr Nick Gentile: I expected big things from Kale’s Gut Healing Protocol, yet even still I was surprised and amazed by the results. Not only did I lose 9kgs, improve my energy, fortify my immune system and greatly speed up my recovery from exercise, but most importantly my digestion improved out of sight. I’m now free of the stomach pain and bloating that I experienced on a daily basis and I’m looking forward to maintaining the changes I’ve put in place long into the future! I can’t recommend this program highly enough.
Tale Old: I thought I was doing right by my body, I was exercising a lot between work shifts and I thought I was “eating healthy” but I started to gain a lot of weight. I was experiencing terrible pains in my stomach as well as bloating, and I was struggling with constant fatigue. I knew I had to change my lifestyle but I had no idea where to start since I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I was introduced to Kale Brock’s Gut Healing Protocol. I was scared but I decided to give it a shot. As I discovered, coupling the Gut Healing Protocol with my exercise programs for 12 weeks, my whole life changed dramatically. I noticed in a very short amount of time that my mind was improving as well as my body image! Since finishing the gut cleanse I have no desire to go back to how I was eating beforehand because I am the healthiest and happiest I have ever been!