Improving Your (Digestive) Gut
Article by Jordan Rubin and Joseph Brasco, M.D.
you know that a healthy immune system begins in the gut? The digestive
system, in fact, produces up to 75 percent of immune system cells.
Many medical professionals would agree that the intestinal tract is
the body’s first line of defense and covers a lot of ground as well,
constituting the second largest body surface. The digestive system is
designed to be the body’s source of growth, repair and energy.
How Taking Care of Your Gut Takes Care of You
Call it instinct or intuition, but a gut reaction is
often your guide to making a right decision. The same holds true for a
gut reaction of another kind: your digestion. When you’re regular and
humming along, life is good. When your stomach is out of whack,
though, that’s another story altogether. Since proper digestion and
elimination are essential to overall health, the following credo is
pretty simple: you have to take care of your gut so that it can take
care of you.
During an average lifetime, a whopping 60 tons of
food passes through the digestive tract, so it better be up to the
task 24/7. Without proper digestion, however, the body can’t enjoy
optimal health or receive the nutrients it needs.
Our modern lifestyle doesn’t help matters, either,
and here’s why: Eating highly processed and nutritionally depleted
foods, failing to exercise enough, being exposed to chemicals or other
toxins, and stress can all negatively impact digestive health. The
startling truth is that millions of Americans are affected by
occasional digestive difficulties, which significantly impact one’s
health and pocketbook. Maintaining good digestive health starts with
the diet, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. We know that habitual
intake of highly refined or processed foods can lead to the
accumulation of toxins and increased “contact time” in the gut, and
that’s not good for you. The longer toxins hang around your body—and
clog up the intestines—the greater their potential for discomfort and
the need for the body to get rid of them.
That’s why you may want to make sure your digestive
system gets a “clean sweep” periodically. Fiber-rich
vegetables—especially green veggies—along with fresh fruits are
especially good at digestive cleansing and detoxification.
What’s Living in Your Gut?
One hundred trillion bacteria and other
microorganisms live in your gut. You could say that your gut is a
jungle where good, bad and indifferent bacteria and microbes live—and
often fight it out for your health. But know this: the bacteria and
microbes residing in your gut are essential to your digestion and
A group of living microorganisms known as probiotics
can support your gut’s balance of good and potentially harmful
bacteria, promote regular bowel function, support a healthy immune
system, and support normal absorption and assimilation of nutrients in
Simply put, probiotics help you maintain a balanced,
healthy internal environment. Fortunately, you can get adequate
amounts of probiotics through fermented foods and/or through
supplementation. Probiotics aren’t the only good guys, though, on the
digestive health front. You can’t forget about enzymes, the
protein-like substances that act as catalysts for all chemical
reactions in the body, including digestion.
enzymes are absolutely necessary for proper digestion. For example,
the enzyme protease aids in the digestion of proteins, while amylase
digests starch, lipase digests fats, and lactase digests the milk
sugar lactase. Consuming enzyme-rich foods and/or highly active enzyme
supplements can support your gut in the digestive process.
For more information on the importance of enzymes,
we suggest following these web links to the following articles and
OmegaZyme Ultra product page:
Enzyme Nutrition 101
The Gut Decision That Could Save Your Digestive Health
OmegaZyme Ultra Digestive Enzymes by Garden of Life
Healthy digestion is vitally important to your
overall health—and is quite possibly the single most overlooked factor
in extraordinary health. Do yourself a favor and eat a diet rich in
probiotics, enzymes, fibers and greens—and supplement whenever there
is a shortfall. Your stomach will thank you—and not have a gut
Probiotics for Digestive Health
In the last few years, probiotics—once relegated to
the dusty bottom shelves of health food stores—have become commonplace
in big box retail outlets, warehouse clubs and grocery stores. The
tiny, beneficial microorganisms that aid digestion have become
increasingly popular for many of the millions of Americans who suffer
from occasional digestive issues and those who just want to maintain
good digestive health.
While probiotics have gained popularity, they still
remain somewhat of a mystery to the general public. Most consumers
don’t realize that there are hundreds of different probiotic strains,
many of which have been clinically studied in humans. Yet many of the
probiotics found on the shelves of stores contain only a single strain
of probiotics. Inexpensively packaged, these single-strain probiotics
are marketed as low-cost digestive aids.
The truth about probiotics is more complex. The
first thing you need to know is that probiotics come from several
different sources. For example, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) work
differently than soil-based probiotics. Probiotics based on “friendly
yeast” known as Saccharomyces boulardii work differently still.
Think of probiotics like building a house. You have
a crew responsible for laying the foundation. You have a crew
responsible for building the framework of the house. You have a crew
that puts the roof on, and a “finish crew” for the interior. Each one
has a separate job, but together they build a home. The same analogy
works for probiotics, which work together to achieve different tasks,
yet have the common goal of improving digestion and wellness.
Our grandparents and great-grandparents consumed a
lot more probiotics from their foods and beverages than we do today.
Their food was grown in soil rich in trace minerals that aided
digestion, and their raw foods—like green, leafy grasses—contained
Today, we’re not consuming enough of the foods that
support probiotics, and the soil our food is grown in has been
stripped of many of the nutrients and minerals that used to be more
present in our diets.
why we need
Garden of Life’s Primal Defense Ultra, which is better
described not as a probiotic but as an eco-system in a bottle. Created
to provide the nutrient value of a green plant grown in healthy rich
soil in an unpolluted environment, Primal Defense Ultra was designed
with two purposes in mind: to provide three missing links in the
modern diet—probiotics, living green foods and organic trace minerals.
Furthermore, the 13 probiotics representing three distinct groups of
organisms contained in Primal Defense Ultra were specifically chosen
for their ability to work together to achieve the common goal of
promoting supreme digestive health.
A Closer Look at Three Missing Links in our Modern
- Probiotic organisms - Probiotics are
living microflora or beneficial microorganisms that play a critical
role in maintaining good health by supporting healthy microbial
balance in the gut.
- Green leafy plants - Oat grass and barley
grass are nutrient-dense cereal grasses containing powerful
phytonutrients and detoxifying agents that are largely missing from
the average diet.
- Trace minerals - Found in healthy soil,
these are minerals that are only needed only in small amounts but
are important because the body cannot manufacture them.
Three teams of Probiotics that Work Well
- HSOs - Homeostatic soil organisms are able
to survive the acidic environment of the stomach, break down
undigested waste material, create substances that make the
intestinal environment inhospitable to unfriendly microorganisms and
clear a path for other probiotics to flourish.
- Saccharomyces boulardii - Protects
integrity of intestinal walls, activates the immune system, and
creates organic acids and B-Vitamins so that other probiotics can
function while supporting enzyme activity of intestinal cells.
- LABs - Lactic acid bacteria now have the
environment needed to flourish and thrive and create balance and
harmony within the digestive tract.
Be aware that most of the probiotic supplements
available in the U.S. offer only one of the three probiotics (LABs)
necessary to promote healthy digestion and elimination. When you
consume a probiotic supplement with only one of the three groups, it’s
the equivalent of competing in a team sport with only one-third of
your players on the field. For complete probiotic protection and
ultimate intestinal health, you need every position covered, which is
Primal Defense Ultra is the obvious choice.
For more product information on Primal Defense Ultra by Garden of
For more information on Probiotics, we suggest the following
these web links to the following articles:
The statements contained in this article have not
been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information
contained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent
any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this article are for
information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice,
meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes. Readers
are encouraged to consult their health care provider before beginning
any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regimen.
The information in this document is not to be used to replace the
services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care