The importance of maintaining a healthy intestine
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as “fun” facts about intestines, but there’s definitely interesting information to learn about it. Our intestine is one of the major organs involved in the detoxification process.
Normally, the intestine should from a barrier that keeps food and bacteria where they belong: inside the gut. However, when our digestive health is at stake, the barrier is weakened, letting food particles and bacteria pass through the gut mucosa, polluting the rest of the inner body. According to the French doctor Jean Seignalet, most people in our modern world have lost their gut barrier efficiency, which leads to many health problems, especially those involving an autoimmune response.
It’s the gut mucosa that’s responsible of the barrier efficiency. Every day, the mucosa produces 3 liters of alkaline mucus.
The intestine has 3 main functions:
1) Plays a role in food digestion
2) Ensures selective substances absorption (absorbs nutrients, evacuates waste)
3) Allows waste evacuation through bowel movements
The human gut contains as much bacteria as more or less 10 times the total number of the total body cells. In fact about 50% of the evacuated waste weight is bacteria.
Factors that influence gut flora
- Bowel movements
- Bacteria interactions
The normal gut flora is beneficial for health. It’s the bacteria that are normally found inside the gut, and that are helped by fermented food. However, problems can occur when the bacteria balance is compromised or when bacteria migrate into the body through a leaky gut mucosa. The mucosa acts as a huge filter that protects our body’s interior from bacteria, viruses and undigested food particles.
To maintain the integrity of the gut mucosa, the most important thing is to have an adequate diet. This means eating mostly fresh, whole, organic and unprocessed food. One of the signs of a leaky gut is noticing the symptoms of a food allergy or intolerance. If you suspect that you might have food intolerance, it’s very important to take action to determine the food that causes this reaction and to stop eating it immediately. When we eat food that we can’t tolerate, it attacks the gut mucosa, which can lead to a leaky gut. And once this happens, more allergens can migrate through the gut and trigger allergy symptoms. We often thinks that food allergy is easy to spot, but according to a prominent Canadian lab, almost 50% of the Canadian population suffers from a hidden form of food allergy. So you might be at risk even without knowing it.
Do you know suspect to have a food intolerance? Did you know the role of the gut in allergic reactions?