Digestion and disease
by Colin Byrne
1 August 2011
I'm writing this article because many people I talk to have not made the connection between digestion and disease. In fact, many have been so enlightened to find the connection, that it has enabled them to take natural remedial action and find relief from a large number of ailments. Many simply do not believe me, yet the Royal society of medicine of Great Britain says, "90% of all chronic disease is caused by an unhealthy intestinal tract.”
So what is the connection and how does it work?
Over the last 50 years or so we have seen the raise of a large number of autoimmune diseases, and it appears that we have become victims of our own evolution, and I had a “gut feel”, if you'll excuse the pun, about what the connection between digestion and diseases was, but I had no proof. Recent research has confirmed, not only that this is so, but has figured out how it works, and I really excited to have found out too.
In the “good old days” most people had healthy digestive tracts, but since then, the widespread use of antibiotics, unhealthy medicines (like the pill), sanitising foods, and unhealthy nutritional behaviour, has reduced the micro flora in people's intestinal tracts to unhealthy toxins.
Microflora in the intestinal tract are the microscopic bacterial population that help to “break down” foods, and assist digestion. Recent research in Scandinavia suggest that 90% of the cells and genetic material in our bodies are our own gut flora, so that gives you some idea of how important they are to our overall health. I will also explain where we get our gut bacteria from.
Microflora contain both “good” and “bad” bacteria. There are approximately 400 different types of microflora in our digestive system. Digestion consists of pre-digestion (chewing or fletcherising), digestion, and post-digestion. During this process the body secretes a number of enzymes and secretions to assist the digestive process.
If there are sufficient number in the gut, the “good” bacteria keep the “bad” bacteria under control. However if the “good” bacteria (because of the reasons mentioned above), are insufficient, the “bad” bacteria begins to outnumber the “good” bacteria. The good bacteria is commonly called probiotics, and are often found in fermented foods.
When the “bad” bacteria outnumbers the “good” bacteria, these toxic villains are spread throughout the body, and most significantly to neurons in the brain.
So where does it start
The accumulation of microflora begins at birth
As far as science knows, the baby inside the mother's womb during nine months of gestation is sterile. The baby's gut is sterile. The baby acquires its gut flora at the time of birth, when the baby goes through the birth canal of the mother. So whatever lives in mom's birth canal becomes the baby's gut flora. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal.
It is the birth process that produces an hereditary microflora.
Over successive generations, because grandmother was subjected to antibiotics, she passed on her decreased probiotics, to her daughter, who was also subjected to antibiotics, and when she gives birth, she risks passing this onto her child, possibly causing autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia.
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