“Leaky Gut Syndrome is the Cause of Chronic Illnesses: A Simple Solution For Healing”
By Andrew W. Campbell, M.D.
We are swimming in a sea of chronic diseases and illnesses. In America:
- 1 in 10 adults is diabetic
- 1 of every 3 adults is obese
- 1 in every 10 has asthma
- 1 in every 12 has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- 1 in every 6 has some form of arthritis
- Every 66 seconds a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
- 1 in every 42 boys has autism
- Heart disease is the most common cause of death in men and women
- About 1/2 of the population has at least one chronic condition
One in every 4 Americans have two or more [of the above]. Some of these were quite rare at one time, but now they are becoming more and more common. These chronic conditions are sometimes called the diseases of civilization or of the industrialized world, and there are several causes, the most important being poor gut health, which leads to LGS.
Much of these diseases and illnesses start in the gut. Was Hippocrates right all along when over 2000 years ago he said: All disease begins in the gut?
Leaky gut syndrome (LGS), known to doctors and scientists as “intestinal permeability”, is in almost all these cases either the direct or indirect cause. LGS is a condition that starts slowly and unnoticed, goes on for some time, constantly affecting the immune system, weakening it and wounding it. Then, symptoms begin and over time get worse and worse. At this point, unfortunately most conventional medical doctors will treat the symptoms, instead of identifying the cause and then treating it. There are a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs that can be prescribed, but they all fail to address the underlying cause. They just mask and control the symptoms. And so people continue to suffer with poor gut health.
Gut health and its vital importance to overall health has been neglected by doctors in mainstream medicine until recently, when studies and research have shown the enormous importance of the human microbiome. We know that 80% of the immune system is in our gut, that we are made up of 35 trillion cells (that’s 35 with 12 zeros) and that the gut microbiome is much larger: 135 trillion microbes, with the most dense part located in the colon. This gut microbiota regulates not only our immune system, but it plays an essential role in keeping our brain functioning well. For example, there are more nerve endings in the gut than in the spinal cord.
The two main contributors and linked causes to LGS are taking antibiotics and foods we eat. Doctors have way overprescribed antibiotics in the last 30 years when other measures would have sufficed. Beef, pork, chicken, and turkey all get antibiotics are part of their feed. About 80% of all antibiotics made in the United States are given to these animals. This misuse of antibiotics is directly related to the emergence of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. The result is that the good bacteria in our microbiome gets killed off, letting the bad ones take over and cause inflammation. The result is LGS. The second cause of LGS is our Western diet: pesticide sprayed, GMO’s, highly processed, low fiber, high in saturated fats and sugars, food-like substances in plasticized containers. The habitual consumption of these meals that are easily accessible and common at low cost throughout the industrialized world and especially the United States where most of these originated. The average American eats 1 ton of food per year, much of it made up with these foods. Here is a partial list:
- Breads and breakfast cereals
- Cake, ice cream, and other sweets
- Soft drinks and fruit drinks
- Frozen and packaged meals
- Salty snacks
- Milk-based drinks
- Packaged baked goods
- Chicken nuggets and fish nuggets
- Instant noodles and soups
- Packaged cheeses
- Bottled dressings and sauces
Our gut microbiota, the microbiome, not only regulates our immune system, it also plays an essential role in our digestive processes. What can we do to help it? How can we restore the balance in our gut and do away with LGS? The answer is not complicated. First, avoid taking antibiotics if at all possible. For example, most colds, flu, etc. are caused by viruses, not bacteria, so antibiotics don’t help. Second, avoid eating foods on the list above. Most importantly, reestablish the right kind of microbes in your gut by taking probiotics. Be careful here, because people think that yoghurt, kefir, or capsules are all probiotics. This is a misconception: most of these contain Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium that are destroyed by stomach acids, and the few that make it past are eradicated by bile acids. The only type of probiotics that reach the gut where they germinate and proliferate are bacillus spores. They have been extensively researched and studied. These spore forming bacteria produce carotenoids once they get to the microbiome: these include lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and astaxanthin. They also help stimulate the immune system, helping decrease urinary tract infections, help modulate children’s allergies, reduce irritable bowel syndrome, and improve pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. What’s the name of this product that you can easily buy on Amazon? It’s called Just Thrive Probiotic. It’s the one I personally take and so does my family. This will rebalance the microbiome and do away with LGS. Lastly, safety studies in clinical trials have shown that they have no adverse effects. Just Thrive Probiotic is the only probiotic I can recommend.