Many people do not realize how important proper gastrointestinal function is for their total health. It is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that guides the delivery of nutrients to the whole body, and it stabilizes the health of the entire immune system. Any compromise in the GI tract causes a breakdown in the whole system – resulting in one symptom after another, including possibly leading to increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome.
There is a little known fact about gastrointestinal health – good digestion starts with amino acids! Amino acids work to strengthen the immune system, detoxify unhealthy bacteria and tissue in the gut, and rebuild new gastrointestinal cells.
Once in the bloodstream, amino acids help to re-establish normal digestive functions, strengthen the pancreas and stimulate the production of digestive acids and enzymes. There are over 15,000 enzymes produced in the pancreas. Amino acids are the building blocks for all of these enzymes!
Another little known fact about gastrointestinal health – when coupled with a high-quality probiotic, amino acids promote a synergistic impact to detoxify and heal gastrointestinal disorders. This means that the combination of a complete blend of free-form amino acids, ingested with a probiotic, can reduce or eliminate many painful digestive issues such as:
Weak, cracked fingernails
Once digestive issues develop, the result is an influx in the production of acid, creating an inhospitable environment for beneficial bacteria (commonly known as probiotics). These “good” bacteria in your gut control the increase of harmful microorganisms. When probiotics are depleted, the integrity of the GI tract is compromised, including its protective lining; this can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut simply means that unwanted larger molecules such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, etc. are allowed to pass through the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream. Your body’s natural barrier to harmful microorganisms is not protecting your system completely. A leaky gut has painful symptoms and results in a significant loss in regulation of the immune system – inflammation ensues. Did you know that an average of 60 to 70 percent of the immune system is found in and around the GI tract? If the immune system is not supported by the natural protectiveness of the GI tract, it has to overwork, resulting in inflammation and eventually disease.
Why are our GI tracts so easily compromised in today’s world? Several factors can lead to symptoms of leaky gut syndrome including poor diet, antibiotics, and high stress. The fact is that approximately 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases.
The good news is that amino acids and probiotics together provide a natural, robust answer to gastrointestinal disorders. Are some amino acids and probiotics more effective than others? For optimal digestive process, a complete, free-form amino blend and a probiotic with prebiotic are the best choices. Why? When amino acids are in their free-form state (separated from the long protein molecule chain), the body does not need the intestinal tract to break them down (they are pre-digestive). This means that they pass quickly through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream for immediate use.
When it comes to probiotics, having a prebiotic included in the formula assists the probiotic with longevity and optimal impact. One feeds the other. Together, they work as a healthy fertilizer would work to improve the soil in agriculture. The probiotic initiates healthy bacteria, and the prebiotic reduces inflammation and has an antioxidant effect on the cells. Benefits of regular consumption of probiotics with prebiotics include enhanced immune function, improved colonic integrity, decreased incidence and duration of intestinal infections, down-regulated allergic response, and improved digestion and elimination processes. HB
The bottom line: maintaining gastrointestinal health with amino acids and probiotics should be a core consideration in the strategy to maintain wellness. Nobody wants a leaky gut!
1. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2009. NIH Publication 08–6514.
2. Anton, Peter MD., UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases. Mucosal Immunology/HIV. http://gastro.ucla.edu/body. cfm?id=28.
3. Laboratory Evaluations for Functional and Integrative Medicine; Ch 4: Amino Acids F-4.31—Blood Spot amino Acid Concentration after Oral Dosing.
4. Probiotics and prebiotics in dietetics practice; http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18313433
5. Pabst R. The anatomical basis for the immune function of the gut. Anat embryo (Berl). 1987;176(2):135-144