The good bacteria also play a very important role in detoxification. They’re like the garbage trucks of the gut. They go through, pick up all the rubbish, and then shunt it out through the faeces. But if you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria, you don’t have enough garbage trucks to take out the trash. So you get this accumulation of toxicity in the gut, which can affect the whole body. And if you experience constipation, so if you’re not having a complete evacuation every single day, not only does that mean that you don’t have enough garbage trucks to take out the trash, but the garbage trucks that you do have can’t get to the tip, if that makes sense. So you’re getting this toxic wasteland happening in your gut, and that can affect every body system including the brain. That’s why it’s so important to have good bowel motions every single day, because the constipation really does make life pretty miserable after a while.
80% of the immune system is also actually located in our gut, which is pretty amazing. If we have a compromised gut flora, we have a compromised immune system, so we’re more likely to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, ear infections, chest infections, autoimmune issues.
The gut bacteria also actually ensure the health and integrity of the gut wall. So you could imagine the gut wall as being the soil, and the bacteria as being the grass. And if you imagine a field, if you were to overgraze the grass, the soil would become exposed and start to erode. And that’s what actually can happen in our gut over time, that when we deplete, we damage and deplete that beneficial layer of bacteria that protects the gut wall, our gut wall becomes more exposed and starts to erode. So rather than having these really tight junctions that don’t let a lot through, those gap junctions in our gut can become more porous. Which means that undigested food particles can pass through, and that can lead to food allergies and intolerances. And also toxins and microbes and pass through the gut wall. So this creates this general toxicity in the gut which makes you vulnerable to the development of autoimmune issues, neurological issues and psychological issues.
Just on the point with the allergies, because food allergies and intolerances are on the rise. And a lot of people will spend a lot of money getting tested for intolerances, so they’ll go and get tested and they’ll come home with a list of maybe 10, 20 foods that they’re intolerant to, and they’ll remove those foods and they will experience a temporary improvement in their symptoms. However, it’s not the food that was causing the problem, it’s this underlying gut dysbiosis or imbalance of bacteria in the gut, and the leaky gut. So what you inevitably find is that people who have removed the foods, the problematic foods that they were intolerant to, they start to react to more and more foods. So they remove those, and again temporary improvement, but then they start reacting, because they haven’t addressed the underlying cause of the intolerance. It’s not the food that’s the problem, it’s this underlying leaky gut.
So it’s not to say that testing for intolerances is a waste of money, but you actually need to address the gut in order to improve your health and manage the intolerances. You can actually even cure yourself of a lot of these intolerances as well by working on the gut.