Time to love your gut...
For several years I (Dr Anton) have been studying the human body and how it’s affected by nutrition, the environment, toxins and numerous other factors. Nothing could prepare me, though, for the amazing discoveries I was to make regarding the digestive system.
We tend not to think about our intestine. We don’t even give it a second thought when we put something into our mouths. And we seldom think of it when we suffer from some acute or chronic illness. It is exactly here that many of us make a crucial mistake!
In the following article devoted to this fascinating system you will see how your digestive system affects absolutely everything that goes on in your body and how looking after it could help you have an energetic, healthier and longer life!
So let’s start by looking at what organs comprise the digestive system and what functions the intestine is responsible for. This system is made up of the mouth and salivary glands, stomach, small and large intestines, colon, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Some pennies should start dropping now if you consider the importance of all the above organs put together!
Functions of the digestive system
- Digesting food and thus ensuring the provision of energy to the body
- Providing essential vitamins and minerals to the body
- Producing antibodies against infections etc.
- Assisting chemical detoxification of the body
- Providing a barrier function to toxins and bacteria in the intestine
So here’s a thought to ponder...
It doesn’t mean much if you buy the best organic foods and the most expensive vitamins, minerals and other supplements but your gut doesn’t work properly! Those supplements then become very expensive sewage!
Let me drive home the point even further of how important the digestive system and, in particular, the intestine really is: your intestine and your immunity go hand-in-hand. Let’s look at the link between immunity and something called the ‘Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue’ (GALT). The lymphatic system, plays a MAJOR role in the production of antibodies (the marines fighting against bad guys) in the human body.
Also, the wall of your 10 meter long intestine is lined with antibody-producing lymphoid tissue. There are also numerous lymph nodes in your intestine, similar to the type you have under your mandible.
So get this - 80% of all antibodies that protect you are produced in the intestine!
So if your intestine is not functioning properly then the GALT also has a hard time doing what it’s supposed to with resulting decreased immunity. Yep, it will affect your entire body and most of illnesses know to man results from a dysfunctional intestine!
How do things go wrong?
The following conditions/factors negatively affect the functions of the digestive system:
- Ingestion of all processed food, or high GI (Glycemic Index) foods instead of raw, natural food. That includes all junk foods, canned foods, high sugar foods and drinks.
- Altered intestinal permeability (the intestine filters through too many substances - not keeping out the wrong ones)
- Altered intestinal bacteria
- Disturbed acid/alkaline balance
- Food allergies
- Decreased digestive enzymes
- Decreased liver functioning and gall secretions
What happens when they do go wrong?
An unhealthy gut can lead to the following:
- Undigested food with resulting chronic fatigue (serious lack of energy)
- Decreased immunity. A normal immune system should enable you to never become ill). Getting ill once a year is already a sign of a broken down immune system.
- Increased allergies are a direct result of a compromised intestine.
- Increased risk to develop auto-immune disorders (where the body attacks itself)
- Increased risk for diseases like depression, migraine, asthma, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. People with chronic fatigue syndrome usually have malabsorption syndrome, they frequently report allergies and have altered essential fatty acid status.
- Increased occurrence of bowel-related conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon) and constipation.
- Becoming malnourished. Yes, you can become malnourished even if you have more than enough food to eat!
Now that you’ve seen how important the gut is and what can go wrong, it’s time to start with the solutions! In the next few paragraphs we’ll look at numerous ways in which you can turbo-boost your gut - practical guidelines that you can implement immediately. I also make a point of dealing with the most pertinent issues that I’ve selected from the scientific literature!
Bring out the herbivore in you!
Eating a more plant-based diet is the absolute foundation for increasing your intestine’s health!
It may sound simple but trust me it’s of MAJOR importance and forms the golden thread throughout the issue of intestinal health. The human body is well-designed for a plant diet and here are a few reasons to prove that:
- We have alpha-amylase enzyme in our saliva which starts digesting complex carbohydrates found in plants, already in our mouths,
- Our teeth are ideally suited to bite and grind plants and grains,
- Our intestines are long enough to give plant foods enough time to pass through and absorb optimally (carnivores have short intestines),
- We desperately need the multiple nutritional components contained in plants.
What raw foods can do for you and your gut
Plants contain enzymes that assist digestion
This is a MAJOR benefit associated with a plant-based diet. Many researchers believe that one reason why we have a society that age badly is the absence of healthy plant-based foods. (That is why I included plant based digestive enzymes in Nucleo®.)
Our junk food diets are seriously deficient in fibre, thus increasing the risk for intestinal problems and other diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Plant-based foods prevent the formation of Advanced Glycated End products (AGE) in the intestine that are bad for you and make you grow old faster. These nasty molecules are linked to several diseases of our time like allergies, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis and urogenital disorders.
You CANNOT replace the full value of something like phytochemicals contained in a plant with vitamin pills and remember that:
- Phytochemicals provide protection against colorectal cancer, rectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer, lung cancer
- Phytochemicals provide protection against heart disease
- Phytochemicals provide protection against stroke
- Phytochemicals provide protection against asthma and other airway diseases
- Phytochemicals provide protection against diabetes
Acid versus alkaline
Most plants have an alkaline effect on the body which I will elaborate on later. This is very important to consider because having a diet consisting of too many acid-forming foods is detrimental to your health, is a breeding ground for cancer and makes you age faster!
One of the ingredients I chose to include in Nucleo® was the well-known raw plant Spirulina. What an amazing plant! It includes all of the above.
It is so important to understand what goes wrong in our digestive systems. One of the more scary issues is altered intestinal permeability and how it causes your gates to be unguarded.
The normal functioning of your intestine is interrupted when the barrier function is disturbed. This alteration of ‘intestinal permeability’ is also called ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Your intestine is a highly sophisticated organ that is the gateway to your bloodstream for the ‘outside world’. Food that you eat is digested and eventually introduced into the bloodstream via the mucous membrane of the intestine, which knows which molecules to let through (what you need to stay alive) and which molecules to block from entering the blood stream (toxins, bacteria and undigested food). In many people this delicate barrier is disturbed, causing the blood stream to be invaded by all kinds of intruders that don’t belong there. This can cause:
- Toxic reactions due to the absorption of toxins
Auto-immunity is where things get really bad because now the body makes antibodies against these invaders and sometimes these antibodies attack your own tissues, resulting in auto-immune disease. Auto-immune disease refers to a group of diseases where the body attacks itself. Examples are rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
What removes the Guards?
Alterations in ‘intestinal permeability’ can be caused by:
- Dysbiosis – is the overgrowth of bad intestinal bacteria which starts to dominate the good intestinal bacteria or pro-biotics. The sad reality is that one course of anti-biotics kills the good bacteria for 6 months before it recovers again. No wonder some people go through many courses of anti-biotics and never recover their immune system fully.
- Food allergies are fatal to the guards of the intestine and then your intestine really needs help from you to recover.
- Stress (that’s why you feel stress in your gut)
- Alcohol consumption
- Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, pancreatic dysfunction (this is a bit of the chicken/ egg situation because some of these diseases can actually be exacerbated if you have permeability problems to begin with).
Replacing the Guards!!
You can address the following issues to ensure proper intestinal permeability:
Stress: I don’t really have to say this, but it’s vitally important that you deal with stress or it will consume you! In fact, I wasn’t surprised when it showed up as one of the causes of increased permeability because it pretty much features in every disease!
Food allergies: I prefer an elimination diet over blood allergy testing to determine if someone has a food allergy or not. We have found that some people having used Nucleo over a number of months recovered from certain food allergies as their intestine recovered from its altered permeability.
Alcohol consumption: One glass of wine a day remains the rule here! If you already have intestinal problems, then I would rather avoid alcohol altogether.
Bring on the Super Hero Bugs...
Now here’s an area where you can really make a major difference to your intestine... it’s all about the good intestinal bacteria or probiotics.
But why the fuss about probiotics you may ask? The answer lies in the GALT or Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue that I spoke about earlier.
Let me recap... An adult intestine is approximately 8-10 meters long. In the wall of the intestine are glands that are called GALT or Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue. These glands are a very important key to your immunity because approximately 80% of your antibodies (which are super-important for your body’s defenses) are made here!
Your GALT needs help
So here’s the deal… The good intestinal bacteria present in your intestine exert a positive supportive effect on the GALT, but if you don’t have a healthy balance in your intestinal flora (bacteria) then your immunity and general well-being will be negatively affected.
Insufficient levels of good bacteria will also cause the bad bacteria in your intestine to increase in number. This is very problematic because these unfriendly types produce byproducts which are absorbed into the blood stream and are identified as antigenic (foreign) substances which your immune system will attack. Auto-immunity issue all over again!
Its scary how easy we kill the good bacteria...
How many people are affected by this issue?
Well think about this... If you take one course of antibiotics (depending on the type) it can cause the death of so many good bacteria that it takes 6 months for your intestine to recover! Furthermore, a major problem is that we drink chlorinated water, which also damages the healthy bacteria.
So yes, most people not living in the mountains next to crystal clear streams, need a boost in healthy intestinal bacteria and people with chronic illnesses need it even more regularly!
No wonder some people go through 7 courses of antibiotics in a winter - the intestines just never get a chance to heal.
But I eat yoghurt, isn’t that enough to boost my intestinal bacteria?!
The answer is simple...No, it’s not. Yoghurt contains good bacteria but not even remotely enough to be therapeutic to your intestine. The reason why yoghurt has some beneficial intestinal effect is due to organic acids that are naturally present and not due to high enough quantities of probiotics. Do the math: One capsule of a quality probiotic contains the same amount of bacteria as in 1000 litres of yoghurt!
It could take your good intestinal bacteria 6 months to recover after one course of antibiotics!
What can probiotics do for you?
We supercharge Nucleo with a pre-biotic which is the “rump steak” (good food) for the probiotics in your intestine on which they flourish and multiply resulting in the following:
- Increased and healthy probiotics supports the intestinal microflora during and after antibiotic therapy.
- We have found Nucleo produces very fast results in people with irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon) due to the increased pro-biotics.
- Probiotic bacteria may play a role in the modulation of the immune system (this is a major issue in people with allergies and auto-immune diseases).
- Probiotic bacteria may be useful in the treatment of urinary tract infections and vaginal infections due to bacteria or candida.
- Probiotics may support people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Super Boost your Gut with Nucleo!
Now do you start to understand why I spent so much time to carefully select ingredients that would support, heal and restore the intestine and ad all of those in Nucleo®.
Every second of the day there are thousands of processes happening in the human body that makes life possible. Some processes, though, need finely-tuned real-time control mechanisms to prevent a biochemical crisis! One such mechanism is the acid/alkaline balance!
The reason why this mechanism is so important is because some bodily fluids, like your blood, cannot deal with big acid/alkaline differences, which, if not controlled perfectly, could lead to coma or death. The way that this constant balancing act is maintained is primarily through the lungs and kidneys, but our intestine also has a role to play!
Initially I was sceptical regarding the whole acid/alkaline issue due to the hype and fad diets that I’ve encountered over the years. It seems, though, from quality reviews and articles that there is some truth to eating a diet that has the right combination of acid- and alkaline-forming foods. This will assist your body and your intestine to maintain its balance more effectively without placing your body under serious long-term metabolic strain with resulting disease.
Stopping AGEing is probably the most pertinent reason to avoiding a predominantly acid-forming diet ...
When a diet is too acid-forming Advanced Glycated End products (AGE) can form more readily.
Part of the normal aging process is that our immune system decreases in its effectiveness due to oxidative damage caused by oxygen radicals. Another issue that helps to speed up this aging process is the formation of glycated protein. This happens when a protein molecule is bound to a glucose molecule and forms a particle that is not recognised by the immune system. Thus, we’re back to the whole auto-immune disease problem, which is a major issue when someone has altered intestinal permeability!
The activation of AGE is associated with high levels of these dysfunctional glycated proteins in body fluids and tissues and is strongly associated with a series of diseases ranging from allergies and Alzheimer’s to rheumatoid arthritis and urogenital disorders.
Stop AGEing with Nucleo
Again I formulated Nucleo in such a way that it would support the body in its overall acid/alkaline balance! to stop AGE.
Furthermore, if you don't have enough minerals & vitamins in your diet or the vitamins and minerals you do take in are not absorbed due to your altered intestine, you create more acid in your body. That is why I included all the essential minerals/vitamins in Nucleo in a form which is recognized and optimally absorbed by the intestine.
Magnesium and phosphorus are necessary for cellular pumps and zinc is intimately involved in the secretion of acid in the stomach and the retention or release of acid in the kidney. Vitamins, like the B vitamins, make sure that carbohydrates and fats are fully metabolised in the body, thus maintaining the appropriate balance in your system.
Enzyme power with Nucleo
Digestive enzymes are crucial to the functioning of the intestine because without them you won’t digest your food! But in this section I want to make you aware of how important digestive enzymes actually are, much more than what any of us could ever have imagined!
Where do they come from?
Digestive enzymes are produced by the body and we also ingest them (or are supposed to ingest them) through the consumption of unrefined, properly-prepared foods.
Why don’t we have enough enzymes?
- Firstly, like with any other system in the body, the production of the enzymes slow down as we age or is never at an optimal level because we’re just not healthy and our bodies don’t function at capacity!
- Secondly, our pancreas is taxed to produce unnatural amounts of digestive enzymes due to the over-abundance of processed, enzyme-deficient, genetically modified foods we consume. It basically means we don’t eat enough raw foods! Plants are a super source of digestive enzymes but due to processing and high heat cooking we destroy the enzymes that were supposed to help the digestive process.
- Thirdly, we tend to have bad eating habits like eating on the run and not chewing our food properly. Remember that digestive enzymes already start working on the food while it’s still in your mouth
Right, so enzymes are needed to digest food. This is a basic necessity for you to stay alive, because you eat to live… But enzymes are also starting to feature more and more in scientific literature as being important in several areas of human health.
Malabsorption: Many people can develop malabsorption purely through not having enough digestive enzymes, which leads to a vicious cycle.
Antigens: Remember undigested food can act as antigens if absorbed into the blood stream causing autoimmune responses? Having enough digestive enzymes in your intestine which help to break down proteins, prevents this situation!
Longevity: Numerous researchers are realising the importance of digestive enzymes and are saying that it may be one of the missing links in people’s health. A person who has healthy levels of digestive enzymes will be healthier and may just live longer!
Some preliminary research is even pointing to healthy digestive enzyme levels as having an anti-cancer effect and decreasing the risk for other diseases!
So that's why I have included all the digestive enzymes you need in Nucleo
I treated a women of 37 years old with serious rheumatoid arthritis with Nucleo and fatty acids during 2009. She recovered completely within 4 weeks. Why?
In 1940 a man by the name of Dr Arnold Renshaw was doing several autopsies on people who had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. He observed that the anatomical feature that connected these people to each other was that their small intestines seemed to be diseased.
Based on this information he decided to do a trial where he treated 700 patients with arthritic conditions with a daily regimen of oral digestive enzymes over a period of 7 years. The enzyme therapy resulted in significant pain relief and decreased inflammation in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibrositis (inflammation of the connective tissue). Some cases of ankylosing spondylitis (disease that causes stiffening of the vertebrae) and Still’s disease (affecting young people and retarding development) also responded to the enzyme supplementation!
Healthy Intestine = Healthy Person
So Heal your Gut, Feed your Gut and Absorb the right stuff through your Gut with lots of raw foods and a glass of Nucleo!
Bladder and intestine infections
I had been suffering Cryptosporidium and C.Diff since early May 2014 and 5 rounds of medication later (3 months of medication, lab work, blood tests and $4500 in costs) the bacteria level was still over the highest limits. No doctor had an answer and I was handed-off between the two main hospitals in Minnesota until I finally was given to a specialist in the field.
While in this state of perpetual diarrhea, I had to fly to Dubai for business and were given a bag of Nucleo from a friend while there. Now, I admit that the first two days I took Nucleo my body seemed to be going into a heavy detox attack mode as I ran back and forth to the restroom, but by day 3 things were settling down, and since then I have gone from 20 restroom trips per day to 2-3 trips and a very normal system.
When I returned to the USA the specialist did not believe Nucleo could have made any difference at all and thought that you must have been slipping in some Imodium to stop the diarrhea and not listing it on the ingredients. There was a visiting doctor and scholar from Europe (observing in the gastro-intestinal department) who was very intrigued and asked to scan the Nucleo brochure into my file and study your ingredients.
The main doctor gave no weight to the nutrients of Nucleo and he was sure that the next 9 blood tests and stool specimens would either show active C.Diff bacteria or that I was a carrier of the C.Diff DNA spores.
When the test results were returned to me in late September, the blood was not only within the parameters, everything was greatly normal. The specimen sample showed no signs of the C.Diff or cryptosporidium. It was completely eradicated, not only the bacteria was gone, but any spores that I could be carrying in the intestines were gone.
The doctor had to admit that four different labs were used during the 3 months and the chance for error was minimal. The first three lab tests in the spring and summer all showed the signs of a very high bacteria count and unstable red and white blood cell counts. Then, when the Mayo Clinic did their testing at their global lab here in Minnesota, the intestines, specimen and blood all were completely clear.
Thank you for a quality product! I can only say that it did what $4500 in medicine and doctor bills could not do in 3 months and it restored the blood count and the intestines to perfect health in 3 days — a result, the Mayo Clinic had to confirm.
Mark, Minnesota, USA
For years I have been struggling with prostatitis and have to go on to antibiotics for weeks to be able to urinate without pain and to recover again. When using Nucleo for the first time I was again suffering heavily with prostatitis and amazingly I fully recovered from the infection within a week without using any antibiotics.
Mark Greening, Canada
Our 5 year old boy used to get continuous bladder infections due to a neurogenic bladder. It got to a point that it was so bad that he was on a different course of antibiotics every 16 days which totally eliminated the good bacteria (pro-biotics) in his intestine leaving him very vulnerable to any passing virus. He started eating Nucleo as a porridge about 3 years ago and has only been on one course of antibiotics since. Needless to say the whole family is now taking it religiously!
Anja Swart, Pretoria
I am not sure if you have heard about a product called Nucleo yet? I came across it about two years ago and have since had the wonderful privilege of working more closely with the developer of the product, Dr Anton Van Rensburg. Dr Anton is the most compassionate and nutrition-smart doctor I know!
He started a project 7 years ago to develop a highly fortified supplemental food with the aim of it being an ideal adjuvant for people with chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, HIV and auto-immune diseases. He decided on 43 specialised food ingredients and it took him several years to perfect the formula. The product is called Nucleo® and has been in use across Southern Africa for the past 4 years in a variety of settings including some pharmacies and doctors’ practices. Although the initial aim was chronic illness Nucleo® is also used by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, athletes and anybody who feels they need more from their food.
I personally did a comparison of Nucleo with about 10 other vitamin supplements and in terms of ingredient spectrum and concentrations, it really is superior. I also have had personal experiences with the immune boosting properties of Nucleo and it seems to really work well!
I know that Dr Anton will be doing some marketing of the product to dieticians and I just thought I would let you know firsthand, as a colleague, that I really think the product is good!
Stay healthy and well!
Hi to all my fellow dietician colleagues
I have come across a wonderful supplement called NUCLEO! Honestly, it is superb and I have actually been part of programs where the supplement is used in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise. The results are wonderful for diseases of lifestyle, chronic fatigue syndrome, fertility, stress, burn out, concentration, productivity, HIV, inflammatory conditions, mood disorders, etc…
As a dietician I always like to see evidence based research and case studies…. Nucleo is scientific and I know could be quite beneficial to our patients.
Christine Stent Pinha
Corporate Nutrition Specialist and Motivational Speaker