Gut Health

Having healthy gut will help the body prevent and heal many chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma, thyroid disorders, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, oesophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, anxiety, depression, eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune diseases. The gut can not perform properly its function when it leaks and its micro biota is in disequilibrium. The cause is usually due to – not being breastfed at birth – unhealthy diet – bad eating habit – physical , emotional and mental stress and – frequent use of antibiotics . Using bovine colostrum, black cumin seed oil, fermented foods, changing diet and eating habit and changing lifestyle can help restore and protect our gut health and free us from many chronic diseases including those mentioned above.

Digestive tract (gut) function in brief

The gut’s primary function is to make suitable nutrients from foods and drink we consume (digestion), feed them into blood stream (absorption of nutrients), prevent unwanted matters from entering the blood and eliminate undigested matters ( excretion). 90% of digestion and absorption is performed in the small intestine. The lining of the healthy intestine is one cell thick with tight junctions to allow only appropriate nutrients into the blood while keeping large molecules out. The digestive system needs both healthy gut and good gut flora (micro biota) to work effectively. The gut microbiome contains tens of trillions micro organisms (virus and bacteria) which communicate with the brain. It has at least 1000 kinds of micro-organisms with more than 3 million genes (150 times more than human genes). It weighs in total up to 2 kilos. Most microorganisms in the gut are friendly and not harmful to our body. A third of our microbiome are the same while 2 thirds are particular or unique to each person. Gut bacteria are essential for our body with many important roles including:

• Helping to produce hormones, like serotonin, for example

• Aiding in the extraction of energy (calories) and nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidants

• Managing our appetite and body weight

• Digesting fiber which helps form stool

• Controlling our moods, motivation and cognitive health

• Preventing us from catching colds and viruses

• Helping repair damaged tissues and injuries.

A healthy gut has more friendly bacteria than bad bacteria. When there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria, gut health is in trouble. This condition of “dysbiosis” often happens after a course of antibiotics. Research shows that after a week of antibiotics treatment it takes up to a year to restore normal gut micro biota. The majority of germs live in the large intestine while the small intestine is usually sterile. But when the germs sneak up into the small intestine and proliferate there, the gut microbiota becomes unhealthy creating a condition called “Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth” (SIBO), one of the main causes of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and can contribute to leak gut condition.

Leaky gut in adults

When the lining of the intestine is damaged or leaks, the tight junctions become loose allowing toxins and large molecules to enter the blood stream. The body’s organs are invaded. The immune system is mobilised to fight back. The battle is raging all over the body, causing casualties, weakening and damaging its organs. Inflammation spreads all over the body, antihistamines are sent out. All sort of abnormal symptoms surface, especially skin and respiratory allergies.

Certain incidents can cause leaky gut. The first and most common incident happens when we eat food containing gluten, a protein in wheat , barley , rye , spelt, flour, farina, couscous. Gluten increases the protein zonulin, a substance that loosens intestinal tight junctions.

The second is when in the gut we have undigested food, harmful food. Eating on the go, or in a rush does not give enough time for the food to be digested. The result is intestinal inflammation. Inflammation is like fire. It starts burning and causing damage to intestinal tight junctions causing leaky gut.. Undigested food particles, bacteria, yeast and things like that go into the blood. All of the body including the brain, inflammation is activated to resist aggression.

The immune system normally can heal gut damages during sleep if the condition is limited. However if we keep consuming gluten food, or frequently eating in a hurry and do not give enough time (at least 12 hours) for the digestion to rest, the immune system can not heal daily gut damage. Thirdly, when we have mental, emotional and physical stress, the body secretes cortisol, which reduces healing DHEA and growth hormones hormone. Cortisol reduces IGA (immunoglobins) in all viscous membranes of the body, particularly in the gut, the role of which is to prevent proliferation of parasites , micro-organisms and fungal. Therefore, It essential to reduce all types of stress to avoid risks of leaky gut.

Leaky gut in children

In recent years there have been so many children suffering food allergies and eczema due to leaky gut. It is mainly because many children are born by C- section, instead of natural birth. And they were not breast-fed in the first four or five days of life. Natural birth allows babies to absorb billions of good germs from the mother’s birth canal. Good bacteria from mothers are needed for the children’s life long immune system. Children born by C- section are deprived of bacteria for their digestive and immune systems. At birth, the newborns have intestine permeability or leaky gut by design. However the condition disappears after two days of feeding on colostrum – mother milk secreted first few days after giving birth – which contains growth factors to tighten the gut lining. In other words, after the first few days of having colostrum, breastfed babies no longer have leaky gut.

Babies not breastfed from birth miss the natural closing of leaky gut, therefore suffer leaky gut related diseases, especially food allergies and eczema. The good news is that this leaky gut condition can be healed by taking bovine colostrum, according to new research findings and clinical trials. As this new information is new and has not been widely known, it is unfortunate that too many children still suffer food allergies and eczema.

Symptoms and signs of leaky gut

-Food allergy is the most common sign and symptom of leaky gut.

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain) and

• Inflammatory Bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease (diarrhea, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, anal bleeding, constipation, nausea, fever) and ulcerative colitis as severe leaky gut can occur in the large intestine.

• Autoimmune diseases like Lupus (when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and organs), Multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, arthritis, psoriasis and ceczema.

• Thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s, thyroidisis, metabolic syndrome causing fatigue, depression, weight gaining, and obesity.

• Nutrient malabsorption causing deficiency in B12, magnesium and digestive enzymes.

• Brain disorders such as autism, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s.

In addition, the following signs may relate to leaky gut:

• Gastric ulcers

• Infectious diarrhea

• Celiac disease

• Esophageal and colorectal cancer

• Allergies

• Respiratory infections

• Acute inflammation conditions (sepsis, SIRS, multiple organ failure)

• Obesity-related metabolic diseases (fatty liver, Type II diabetes, heart disease)

• Propensity towards weight gain or obesity

Natural ways to heal leaky gut

1. Remove factors that may cause damages to the gut: First we should eat slowly with thorough chewing before swallowing. Do not eat on the run. Instead sit down, relax and enjoy eating. Secondly, let your digestive system rest at least 12 hours a day for healing.

Next, stop eating: – unsprouted grains and seeds – and GMOS animal and plant products • sugar added foods • refined vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, – chemically processed foods • Dairy products

2. Gut health supplements

Bovine or goat colostrum. Colostrum contains antimicrobial peptides, immune-regulating compounds and growth factors. It provides essential nutrients, regulates immune response, balances gut flora and improves tissue growth and healing. Clinical results confirm Colostrum’s effectiveness in healing leaky gut and related symptoms including psoriasis, acne, eczema, allergies in making skin look younger. Colostrum is available in almost every country in capsules and in powder.

Black cumin seed oil. Research and clinical trials show that black cumin seed oil can help heal leaky gut symptoms such as psoriasis, inflammation, inflammation, eczema, allergies, asthma or cough. The healing can be quick with children, but it may take 1-2 months for adults . (Please see the article black cumin seed oil). Recommended dosage is from 40 mg to 120 mg/ kg of body weight. It is better to try with small dose.

• Probiotics (approximately 50-100 billion live bacteria of CFU (colony forming unit) a day to help replenish good gut bacteria and reduce bad gut bacteria number.

• L-Glutamine-an essential amino acid supplement helps protect and heal the gut lining.

• Licorice root as extract powder or tea helps balance cortisol, improve stomach acid level and protect, heal throat mucus lining. Using 2 licorice tea bags per cup can quickly reduce reflux, bloating, abdominal pain and sticky sensation in the throat.

3. Increase in consumption of gut healing foods such as – bone or vegetable broth. It is been shown that 3-4 days of fasting with only bone or vegetable broth significantly improves autoimmune disease and leaky gut condition.

• Fermented vegetables and foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, yogurt, kombucha, fermented ginger. If you are still allergic to foods, please test each of them before consuming. These foods have lots of good gut bacteria and can replace the probiotics at a later stage of treatment.

• Coconut products-all coconut products are very good for the gut. Medium chain fatty acid in coconut oil is more easily digested than other fats and is good for the gut. Coconut yogurt or kefir is better than dairy yogurt for some people.

• Vegetables rich in soluble fiber are prebiotic, essential for nourishing and multiplying good gut bacteria: Beet root, beans, onion, garlic, apple, unripe banana, sweet potato, grain and seed sprouts, chilled cooked potatoes. It is better to start with cooked vegetables.

• Increased consumption of good fats such as egg yolks, avocados, cold pressed coconut oil, flax seed oil, wild caught fish – to a moderate level.

• Increased consumption of fruits of diverse variety with moderation daily 1-2 times, best time is the morning.

• Add ginger and turmeric in daily diet to enhance digestion including relief of bloating, reflux, and healing of intestinal and stomach lining.

4. Reduce mental, physical and emotional stress.

Breathing exercise, relaxation, mindfulness meditation, moderate physical exercise, praying, practice to be thankful, forgiving and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be used effectively to release stress thus reducing cortisol and inflammation that play an important role in gut disorders.

DISCLAIMER: This guide is for information purpose only and does not replace the advice of your physicians.

References

Axe, J. 7 Signs and Symptoms You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome. Dr Axe Food is Medicine Published: May 8, 2018. https://draxe.com/7-signs-symptoms-you-have-leaky-gut/

Axe, J. The Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan. Dr Axe Food is Medicine. Published: July 30, 2018

Bryant, T. Gluten: What One bite of Bread Can do. IBS & SIBO SOS Summit Colostrum. Sciencedaily. URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/colostrum.htm

Gundersen, M. 5 Ways Ginger Benefits Digestion. Gut Health Project. June 9, 2016. https://www.guthealthproject.com/5-ways-ginger-benefits-digestion/

Halasa et al. Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes. Nutrients. 2017 Apr; 9(4): 370. Published online 2017 Apr 8. doi: 10.3390/nu9040370 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409709/

Jockers, D. The vitamin Summit Interview Transcript

Menchetti et al. Potential benefits of colostrum in gastrointestinal diseases . Frontiers in Bioscience, Scholar, 8, 331-351, June 1, 2016

Partha Nandi, M.D. The big picture: 5 Key steps to healing Your gut and your life. IBS & SIBO SOS Summit Interview Transcript

Siebecber, M.D. IBS and SIBO Foundations & Fundamental. IBS & SIBO SOS Summit Interview transcript

Tamara Vukavić . Timing of the Gut closure. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 3(5):700–703, NOV 1984 Publication Date: 1984/11/01

Wyatt, D.A. (2014) Leaky Gut Syndrome: A Modern Epidemic with an Ancient Solution? Townsend Letter, June 2014 http://www.sovereignhealthinitiative.org/articles/lgs_townsend.html

Benefits of ingesting Black cumin seed oil

Black cumin seed oil has so many amazing health benefits, that have been traditionally and scientifically proven and none of us should miss.

Yes, I would like to introduce to you this oil, which I came to know and use about 6 month ago.

I am delighted and grateful to God for showing me this oil because it helped  clear the psoriasis I had suffered for over 10 years. Even though my psoriasis symptoms greatly reduced by 80-90% compared with 8 years ago thanks to diet improvement, the remaining 10-20% seemed incurable until I knew black cumin seed oil. After a day drinking 2-3 teaspoons of black cumin seed oil for 2-3 weeks, I was so happy to see the psoriasis symptoms on my legs disappeared.

Reading that black cumin seed oil is anti-convulsant and can address insomnia, I tried using it to help my grand-daughter to avoid seizures during sleep. Now with just 3.5 ml before bed, she falls into sleep easily and sleeps well with no seizures – whether at night or in day time – a result that is impossible to achieve with medication and other natural therapies.

As black cumin seed oil is also a bronchodilator and anti-asthmatic, I introduced it to some acquaintances suffering from asthma. After about 1 week, they said it helped them breathe easier without having to use asthma inhalers as often as before.

I prescribed “black cumin seed oil” for some patients at Antara free clinic. The results were amazing  for a kid with asthma, a kid with allergy to cat and an adult with insomnia and depression.

In the following paragraphs, you may think that black cumin seed oil is said to have too many health benefits to be true. But I believe black cumin seed oil has so many health benefits partly because it helps heal and protect the digestive system. Scientific studies agree that all illnesses start from the gut or the digestive system. My skin disease did not go away because my gut was leaking – a condition when the tight junctions of the intestinal wall become loose, allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the blood stream. The looser these tight junctions become, a wider variety of toxins enter the blood steam.

It has not been proven that leaky gut is the cause of many skin diseases and autoimmune disease. However there is a close association between these diseases and leaky gut condition. Many people do not know this association and try to find topical medicine to suppress  symptoms of their skin illness without making an effort to change their diet and lifestyle to help restore the health of their digestive tract wall. The result is frustration.  Black cumin seed oil has the power to heal leaky gut with the support of healthy diet and lifestyle. That is how it helped heal my psoriasis symptoms.

What is Black cumin seed

Most of us have probably never heard of black cumin seeds or black cumin seed oil. Why? Because black cumin plants, Nigella sativa by scientific name, grow only in India, Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East countries. Black cumin seed oil has been used by practitioners of herbal medicine in these regions for thousands of years to treat an extensive list of difficult health conditions. Its healing effects are said to treat any illness except death.

Since 1964 there have been about 460 scientific studies confirming the amazing therapeutic properties of black cumin seed oil.

Therapeutic activities

Black cumin seed oil is scientifically confirmed to have the following therapeutic actions:

  •  Anti cancer especially  leukemia , breast cancer , brain tumor , pancreatic cancer.
  • Boosting immune system function and response
  • antihistamines – anti-allergy
  • Analgesic (pain killer)
  • Anti-bacteria including anti biotic resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Anti-cholinergic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • antioxidant
  •  Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • a bronchodilator
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-diabetic (both type 1 and type 2 diabetes)
  • Balancing serum cholesterol
  • Hepato-protective  (Promoting liver health)
  • Hypotensive
  • Insulin sensitizing
  • A galactagogue ( increasing the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers)
  • An emmenagogue (stimulating menstrual periods)
  • Reno-protective (kidney protecting)
  • A tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor
  • An immune system function and response booster
  • Reno-protective (kidney protection) •
  • A metabolism booster

Health Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil (BCSO)

Following are some of the many conditions reportedly treated with consistent ingestion of BCSO •

  • Cancer
  • Heart & cardiovascular disease
  • Poor hair growth and poliosis (early graying)
  • Poor bone marrow production
  • Allergies and sinusitis
  • Anxiety and nervous tension
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds and flu
  • Colic (babies)
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea, indigestion and heartburn
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches and migraines
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Migraines
  • Parasites
  • Candida albicans
  • High serum cholesterol level
  • Inflammation in the cardiovascular system
  • Hardened and  blood vessel walls
  • Acne
  • Backache, arthritis and rheumatism
  • Burn
  • Eczema
  • Fungal and other infections
  • Joint pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Sore muscles
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Over-excited nervous system
  • Respiratory problems/symptoms •
  • Infectious disease •
  • Weakness •
  • Seizures •
  • Dermatitis •
  • Prostate issues •
  • Gallbladder stones •
  • Kidney stones •
  • Hemorrhoids •
  • Varicose veins •
  • Depression •
  • Difficult circulation and many other health problems •
  • Dry skin

Safety

BCSO is normally safe and well tolerated. There has been no reports about BCSO toxicity or adverse reactions. However, anything -including filtered water- in excessive use is unsafe. So it is better to start from low dose and stay within the dosage range suggested by experienced physicians and nutritionists.

If BCSO is used topically, its better to test it first or dilute it with coconut oil or olive oil before applying.

If you are taking prescribed medication, it is better to consult the doctor before using BCSO to avoid unwanted interactions, which may increase or reduce the efficacy of the drugs.

How to use BCSO:

The best way is to use cold pressed black cumin seed oil in bottles or as 500 mg capsules.

According to naturopathic doctors and nutritionists, the normal dose is 1 teaspoon (5 ml) twice a day on an empty stomach (morning and before bed) for treatment or once a day before bed for maintenance .

Capsules can be taken 2 to 5 capsules 2 times a day.

As the taste of the oil can be too strong for some people, it is best to mix it with water, hot tea and honey or orange juice before drinking.

In Vietnam black cumin seed oil may not be available locally, but can be purchased through fado.vn. It can be bought online in any country (e.g. purenature.co.nz in New Zealand or www.iherb.com worldwide). But remember to choose food grade oil. Some stores label BCSO as ” black seed oil”. At iherb.com you can buy with your local currency (not US dollars if not in the US) and they use DHL service at very low freight cost. Before purchasing please check that the oil must have scientific name, “Nigella sativa” to make sure the product is genuine BCSO. It also pays off to read Reviews to find good quality brand.

Please remember that while taking BCSO you still need to have healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, avoiding as much as possible red meat, animal based products and simple carbs. You also need to relax and engage in adequate physical activities to enjoy the full benefits of black seed oil.

Disclaimer: This article is only for information and education and does not replace the advice from your physician.

References:

Ahmad, A. et al. (2013) A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May; 3(5): 337–352.

Axe, J. (2018). 9 Proven Black Seed Oil Benefits that Boost Your Health. https://draxe.com/black-seed-oil-benefits/

Clark, I. (2014) Back cumin seed oil: Your ultimate life elixir. Activation. https://www.activationproducts.com/blog/black-cumin-healing/

Shakeri, F. Gholamezhad, Z., Megarbine B., Rezace, R. & Boskabady, M.H. (2016). Gastrointestinal effects of Nigella sativa and its main constituent, thymoquinone: a review. Avicema Journal of Phytomedicine (AJP). Volume 6, No. 1, Jan – Feb 2016.