Critical Time for Immune Health – That Means your Gut!
If you’ve been in the clinic recently, you may have seen the information I have posted up that states, “DIGESTION – The Most Common Nutritional problem!”. This is now more important than ever because of how strongly it impacts your immune health! In fact, of all the things you could do to better protect yourself and support your immune health, this is at the top of the list!
Not-surprisingly, beyond our country, it is becoming more prevalent all over the world. From simple indigestion to serious gastric reflux disease, the incidence of stomach and digestive dysfunction is escalating in most larger countries. Mild or serious, poor digestive health has far reaching effects over one’s entire health.
In this country acid reflux (fancy name for heartburn) affects almost 50% of the population and about 25% suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), a more chronic and debilitating dietary problem commonly mis-treated with antacids or acid stopping meds. Again, this is a significant health problem that affects a very large number of people, but the significance of this is that this large population of people are all at much greater risk of immune weakness!
Why? Because your gut is the ‘second brain’ of your immune system. A healthy gut provides an optimal environment for the good bacteria that are so critical to not only the stomach, intestines and good digestion, but that healthy flora (probiotics) is vital to the rest of the good bacterial ‘flora’ all over the body. We have over 10 times as many bacterial cells in us and on us than we have of our own cells. That is a very powerful army that can either be our allies to our immune health, or it can be a serious weakness that can leave us vulnerable to infection and powerless to overcome it.
The environment of your stomach and intestines is the real key and this is where you can experience dramatic improvements in the strength of your immune health as well as your digestion. While digestion is certainly critical, this discussion is about immune health and will focus on that aspect of improving gut health for our immune properties.
So, how do we strengthen or support the good bacterial gut flora? It requires improving and sustaining an ideal gut environment for them to flourish. That means a strong stomach acid strength. Yes, you read that right. The human stomach should be a vat of acid with a pH of about 2 when it’s empty and around 1 - 1.5 when digesting food. I know that goes against most belief that we have too much acid and need to use antacids or acid stopping med’s on a regular basis. (See my article on “the stomach acid myth” for a clear explanation.)
However, due to the overwhelming intake of processed and sugary foods, excessive meat consumption and other poor food-like substances, stomach acid strength has gotten weaker and weaker. When stomach acid strength weakens to pH levels of 4, 5 or 6, digestion is seriously hampered and, in this case, the healthy bacterial flora is replaced by bad bacteria and fungus that feed predominantly on simple sugars.
Other consequences come about from poor stomach flora such as irregularities of normal flora of the mouth and esophagus. Chronic cracks in the lips, recurrent canker sores or gingivitis are tell-tail signs of distressed flora. Of course, anything ‘south’ of the stomach will be influenced. The pH and flora of the lower intestines is unique to that region, and the same holds true for the colon. A strong army of healthy flora throughout the digestive tract is critical for, among other things, allowing smooth, timely passage of matter through the intestines. One of the next leading symptoms and disturbances of digestion, indicative of poor intestinal flora is constipation.
Once again, I can’t emphasize enough that the strength of the optimal and essential human probiotic flora is critical to the front-line defenses of your immune system. But it’s the environment of that flora that dictates its health. Even taking supplemental probiotics is ineffective if the normal ‘healthy’ strong acid strength is not in place.
I’ve helped many patients restore their digestive strength in a very short time, even with some who have been suffering for 10 or 20 years! If you have any concerns about your digestion or want to know more about building up your immune strength, please contact me! And, you don’t need to come into the office, we can easily arrange a call or even skype!
Recommended for Additional Immune Boost and Protection!
Vitamin C has long been known to have powerful antiviral activity. Our Vitamin C – Complex from Standard Process is much more than the simple form of Vitamin C, or Ascorbic Acid.
Vitamin D is also an essential factor for immune system strength. Statistics have repeatedly shown that populations with inadequate Vitamin D levels have higher levels of infection compared with minimal levels in those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D.
A broad immune support that feeds key immune organs, supports healthy white blood cell activity and rich in antioxidants.
Echinacea or Purple Coneflower, is a well-known herbal immune support that dates back to the native Americans of North America in the 1700’s. Continues to be a proven immune-supportive agent by many studies and hundreds of publications.
A great support product for acute respiratory infections. Support for rapid immune cell response from the thymus gland and other components to support and stimulate the production of new immune cells.
Another great product for the acute onset of infections, but from herbal sources. Andrographis includes echinacea along with other strong immune support herbs.
When fever hits, the body is saying it needs calcium which stimulate the production and activation of B cells. Fever is the natural response by the body to heat up which aids in the release of calcium from bones. Support your body’s calcium demand during fever!
Specific Respiratory Health Support
Should more severe upper respiratory symptoms occur, there are a number of products to support bronchial and lung health and healing. Whether recovering from infections or more serious conditions, our respiratory support products are highly effective.