Did you know that large, undigested food molecules can irritate and inflame the cells that line our digestive tract? This might happen if we regularly eat foods that don’t agree with us, or that we can’t properly break down.
This leads to unpleasant symptoms and potential health problems. Over time, this can be damaging, causing the cells that line our gut to become ‘leaky’. A leaky gut sets the scene for ongoing inflammation and worsening of food sensitivities. It can also trigger the immune system to become over-reactive which can lead to other health problems.
What is leaky gut?
The small intestine is the location for nutrient breakdown and absorption. But it also provides a physical barrier from pathogens and toxins from the outside world.
Think of the cells that line the digestive tract like a brick wall. Digestive cells known as enterocytes are the ‘bricks’. They are lined up in an orderly pattern and held tightly together by ‘mortar’ which are adhesion molecules called ‘tight junctions’. In a sense, the tight junction ‘glue’ enterocytes together. When these tight junctions fail, enterocytes start to move away from each other. Suddenly, your ‘strong brick wall’ is becoming crumbly and ready to fall!
When this happens, you have increased intestinal permeability, otherwise known as ‘leaky gut’. With it, we are at risk of absorbing larger, non-broken down food molecules. Worse still, larger substances like microbes or allergens, which ordinarily would be too big to pass, may also get through. These large substances passing into the bloodstream triggers the immune system to a state of alarm – otherwise referred to as ‘leaky gut’.
Nutra-Life Gut Relief is formulated to soothe, nourish and protect your gut combining Prebiotics with Glutamine, Globe Artichoke and Slippery Elm to help support gut lining integrity, maintain healthy digestive function and support the liver.
Poor gut integrity and an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria go hand-in-hand and pave the way for poor health outcomes. Step 1 helped us to manage gut integrity and moving on to Step 2 tackles the important role of repopulating the gut with a broad spectrum of beneficial bacteria with Nutra-Life Probiotica™.
A probiotic supplement makes it easy for you to get guaranteed, live levels of beneficial bacteria in order to support the balance of healthy gut flora and support the gastrointestinal barrier function. Probiotica™ can be helpful during times when levels of intestinal flora are low which can occurs when we consume substances that have a negative impact on both the quality and variety of gut species such as medications, alcohol, toxins, pesticides and at times, even stress.
Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, support our digestive health in several ways:
- Assisting with the digestion of foods,
- Producing nutrients such as certain vitamins that our bodies need,
- Producing energy for our cells, and;
- Ensuring that harmful bacteria or yeasts are kept from over-populating.
The Nutra-Life Probiotica™ Range consists of five unique products which have been specifically formulated to meet your needs – High Potency, Daily Health, Mood Balance, Extra Care and Kids. For more information refer to the product page.
Step 3: Aid digestion and support the body in breaking down key nutrients with Nutra-Life Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are the substances that help us break down our food into the smallest building blocks possible. Only then, can our bodies use these nutrients for the many growth and repair processes it carries out. Foods contain the macronutrients fat, protein and carbohydrate and our bodies produce three key enzymes that specifically break up each of these called amylases, proteases and lipases.
Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth as Amylase is found in saliva, and continues in the stomach and small intestine. The enzyme, Amylases break down carbohydrate foods into sugars and starches, the smallest building blocks our body can then utilise.
Proteins such as lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs are digested in the stomach and small intestine. Digestion of proteins in the stomach is helped by stomach acid, a strong form of hydrochloric acid which activates the enzyme Proteases. This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of protein foods into small peptides and amino acids.
Fats and Oils are an important part of our dietary intake and digestion of these begins in the small intestine, assisted by bile which is made in the liver. Bile breaks the fat into small droplets which are then easier for Lipase enzymes to break down into fatty acids and glycerol.
Nutra-Life Digestive Enzymes is a triple action formula utilising a combination of 6 enzymes and warming herbs to support the body in breaking down macronutrients.