October 29, 2011

Protecting your Gut!

For years, I’ve been a firm believer in the use of probiotics. Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases.  One of the best things we could do for our health is to restore the integrity of the gut barrier and continue to protect it against the very things that break down this barrier.

What causes our gut to be compromised and in turn open us up to chronic disease and infection?  Several factors - chronic infection, use of antibiotics, refined sugars, flours and carbohydrates, stress, low fiber diets, processed foods and toxins and chemicals found in and on our food supply. 

If our gut becomes compromised (which is extremely common due to the Standard American Diet alone), food particles and toxins leak out of the gut wall and into the blood stream, where they were never meant to be.  Picture a straw, it’s your gut. When it is healthy, things travel fine from one end to the other, our mouths to our bowl movements…however, when our gut becomes compromised, its like a straw with holes throughout it…as you put things in one end, some comes out the other end as well as out all the little holes…entering into our body and blood stream where they were never suppose to be.  Over time, disease sets in as the body becomes toxic from all these particles that are running a muck throughout it.

And that’s where probiotics come in…putting the good flora back into the body helps repair the holes that line the gut, healing it and allowing the leaks to stop. 

My most favorite product I’ve come across lately is VSL #3.  It was recommended to me by my nutritionalist.  I had been taking a good quality probiotic at the time of her recommendation which was giving me 3 billion strands of good bacteria…however, this VSL #3 contains 450 billion strands…extremely more potent than what I was taking. It is pharmaceutical grade and the way I was recommended to take it was as a therapeutic treatment, where I took it for 30 days and then continued back on my good quality Favorite Flora by Dr. Fuhrman.

The week I started taking VSL #3, I ran into the Northern California rep for this product in my son’s doctors office.  I preceded to share with her my new found love for her product and she shared with me something fascinating.  Hospitals are now using it in new borns who are born C-section because they are exposed to so many bacteria in the delivery, as well as with babies that have digestive problems.  She also shared that one of her doctors uses it in her office for patients with constipation issues, Chrones Disease and IBS….but most amazing is this very doctor has given it to her own children since they were born and not one of her children has ever had the flu, problems with constipation or diarrhea or had any gut issues. 

My kids have been on probiotic since they were infants and both my boys have only thrown up once…we’ve had our share of colds but praise God, we’ve been blessed with hardly any gut issues! 

Children and adults can benefit greatly by adding a good quality probiotic to their diets!

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