The gut system has an important job: making sure that the consumed food is being digested and transformed into nutrients to be absorbed into the body. These nutrients keep track of how the body moves and grows, ensuring that the immune support stays functional. The gut system also holds the other systems like the endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, and central nervous systems operating and functioning. When harmful pathogens start to enter the gut system, they can cause various gut disorders in the gut and, over time, can turn into chronic issues if it is not treated right away. Luckily there are some ways to prevent gut disorders from progressing further in the gut to avoid more problems. In this 2 part series, we will be looking at how to detox the gut and what kind of nutritional supplements can optimize gut health. Part 2 will look at what the other organs do in the gut system and how glutamine can help with gut support and dampen the effects of gut disorders. By referring patients to qualified and skilled providers who specialize in gastroenterology services. To that end, and when appropriate, we advise our patients to refer to our associated medical providers based on their examination. We find that education is the key to asking valuable questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.
How To Detox The Gut
Mostly everyone ingests over 30-50 tons of food in a lifetime. Like air & water, most food is laden with numerous chemicals that must be appropriately detoxified, otherwise deposited in various tissues. Detoxification is the least expensive and least invasive method used as a first-line approach in the 5Rs program to treat GI illness. This will cause many people to have lifestyle habits that further encourage more toxic burdens, stressing the detox capability of the liver. Research studies have shown that the intestinal epithelium plays an essential role as it is a barrier against exogenous harmful compounds. The intestinal epithelial cells are part of the detoxification system and are in charge of eliminating toxic compounds.
When individuals start to feel like their gut is starting to feel unwell or have a sense of unnecessary fullness in their gut, it could be constipation. Surprisingly, constipation is not just an inconvenience; it blocks proper detoxification and alters the microbial balance in the body. Other research studies have found that when there is an alteration in microbial colonization in the gut microbiota due to exposure to environmental toxins, the gut and the body needs to detox. One of the ways to start detoxing the gut is to:
- Have proper hydration: Drink 6-8 glasses (48-64 oz) of water per day to help to flush out water-soluble toxins
- Proper Elimination
- Establish proper bowel movements
- Mitochondrial function: The liver (other than the heart) has the most mitochondria per cell
- Liver detoxification: It can be physically draining, so it’s crucial to limit exercise & emphasize rest
Understanding The Gut
Research studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in human health and influences the development of chronic diseases that can affect the body since the gut microbiota is home to trillions of bacteria that make sure that everything is working in the intestines and the rest of the organs in the gut system. When there are dietary patterns and environmental factors that can profoundly shape the gut microbiota, various gut issues can affect the gut and cause intestinal permeability, an imbalance of bacteria, and dysfunction in the body. Utilizing nutritional supplements can provide relief to the gut and dampen the effects of gut disorders on the digestive system.
Micronutrients & Barrier Functions
When the gut system is compromised, a person will begin to feel unwell, and if it is not treated, it will turn into chronic issues over time. Research studies have found that when there are micronutrient deficiencies in the gut system, it can exacerbate barrier leaks and morbidity. A compromised barrier function is related to deficiencies in:
Other research studies have found that incorporating a healthy diet and adding nutritional supplements into a healthy lifestyle can help reinforce the intestinal barrier function to help the gut system be restored to normal operations and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Glutamine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the body and is utilized by the intestinal endothelium. Research studies have shown that glutamine has many beneficial properties that can help promote enterocyte proliferation, regulate the tight junction proteins and suppress pro-inflammatory signaling pathways in the gut. Some of the mechanisms that link glutamine with the intestinal barrier function have shown that glutamine is a critical substrate for metabolites within enterocytes, including ATP, glutathione, and DNA/RNA. Glutamine is an essential secondary signaling molecule within enterocytes, affecting critical metabolic and proliferative pathways in the cell.
Other research studies have shown that when the body is dealing with metabolic stress or even gastrointestinal diseases like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), glutamine can decrease those symptoms and contribute to favorable alterations in the gut microbiota while maintaining intestinal structure and function during aging. Glutamine can also promote sIgA secretion via direct (immunomodulatory) and indirect (microbiota) signals while modulating the GI permeability effects of HPA axis stress (i.e., CRF) and the gastrointestinal permeability effects of intensive exercise.
It is crucial to incorporate nutritional supplements like glutamine into a healthy gut system and at least some form of detox to ensure all the harmful bacteria are out of the gut system through secretion. Once that is done, then the individual can incorporate gut-healthy foods and nutritional supplements to replenish the beneficial bacteria back in the gut system. Once the beneficial bacteria start to heal the gut, the person will no longer be in pain.
Camilleri, Michael, et al. “Role for Diet in Normal Gut Barrier Function: Developing Guidance within the Framework of Food-Labeling Regulations.” American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, American Physiological Society, 1 July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689735/.
Claus, Sandrine P, et al. “The Gut Microbiota: A Major Player in the Toxicity of Environmental Pollutants?” NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes, Nature Publishing Group, 4 May 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515271/.
DiGuilio, Katherine M, et al. “Micronutrient Improvement of Epithelial Barrier Function in Various Disease States: A Case for Adjuvant Therapy.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 10 Mar. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8951934/.
Hills, Ronald D, et al. “Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease.” Nutrients, MDPI, 16 July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682904/.
Kim, Min-Hyun, and Hyeyoung Kim. “The Roles of Glutamine in the Intestine and Its Implication in Intestinal Diseases.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 12 May 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454963/.
Perna, Simone, et al. “The Role of Glutamine in the Complex Interaction between Gut Microbiota and Health: A Narrative Review.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 22 Oct. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834172/.
Shimizu, Makoto. “Modulation of Intestinal Functions by Dietary Substances: An Effective Approach to Health Promotion.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Apr. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942919/.
The information herein on "Nutritional Supplements For Gut Health | Part 1" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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