Reviewed by Irene Pauline Humpelstetter, CNP
Our digestive system is a wonder to behold. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract performs a variety of functions, including breaking down food, absorption, secretion, and boosting our immune system. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, our gut can influence our mental health, as well as a variety of other functions in the body. While we will focus specifically on the gut (i.e. the small and large intestines), it’s important to note that the GI tract starts in the esophagus and finishes at the anus. Digestion includes all of these vital organs that you can see in the diagram below.
The small and large intestines are made up of four layers: the mucosa (where the most absorption occurs), the submucosa, the muscularis propria (muscle layer responsible for peristalsis), and the serosa (the barrier to the rest of the body). The intestines have many folds to create a larger surface area for the absorption of nutrients (1) and the structure of the intestines are crucial for maintaining good mental and physical health, immunity, and homeostasis.
Within our digestive system is a rich and diverse ecosystem of microbes all interacting with each other in a symbiotic relationship. These microbes survive and thrive on our digestive lining which acts as their terrain (or home) and if it is not healthy for the microbes, then they will have a difficult time surviving. The terrain is now regarded as more critical to a healthy gut flora than the microbes themselves.
“Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health.”
- Kris Carr (2)
It is worth looking at our ancestors as they had a very rich and diverse gut flora and generally very good digestion. It is largely accepted that fermented foods were the probiotics of our ancestors which provided everything they needed to nourish the terrain as well as supplying a healthy level of beneficial microbes. It is also vital to ensure that you are consuming enough prebiotic fibre as it feeds the good bacteria. In mice studies, starved gut bacteria was shown to start eating away at the mucosa layer of the intestines, which not only interfered with absorption, but created holes in the gut lining. This is a risky situation as pathogenic bacteria could infect the intestinal lining and seep into the bloodstream spreading throughout the body (3). This can lead to illness, inflammation, poor mental health, skin irritations, and the list goes on. Maintaining a balanced diet, rich in fermented foods and prebiotics, is vital!
“To make it simple, the ‘holes’ created by our microbiota while eroding the mucus serve as wide open doors for pathogenic microorganisms to invade!”
Taking a symbiotic, which is more than a probiotic, will do more than just maintain your digestive health. Your Flora SYMBIOTIC are a fermented, whole food living culture that provides everything needed to support the gut environment, including the survival and colonization of the microbes, the diversity of beneficial bacteria, highly bioavailable digestive nutrients and SCFAs (short chain fatty acids). Symbiotics provide a healthy terrain that support your flora and immunity.
Your Flora TERRAIN combines our fermented diverse strain Kefir-Kombucha Symbiotic, with organic aloe vera, slippery elm and marshmallow root, specifically for those needing improved gut flora support with a compromised digestive lining. Kefi-Soy™ (our active Symbiotic ingredient) contains key nutrients, such as naturally occurring L-glutamine, to help support a healthy mucus membrane while nourishing your delicate digestive ecosystem. With a balanced diet, exercise, and a Living Alchemy Your Flora SYMBIOTIC, you’ll be on your way to building and restoring your gut.
For more tips on healing your digestive lining and keeping your gut happy, follow @theRealAlchemy on Instagram! If you have any questions, send us a direct message and we would be happy to help you!
1. Rao JN, Wang JY. Regulation of Gastrointestinal Mucosal Growth. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2010. Intestinal Architecture and Development. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK54098/ Accessed Aug 14, 2020.
2. Kris Carr. How to Improve Your Gut Health. Kris Carr. https://kriscarr.com/blog/how-to-improve-your-gut-health/ Accessed Aug 18, 2020.
3. Arbor, Ann. Nov 17, 2016. High-fiber diet keeps gut microbes from eating the colon’s lining, protects against infection, animal study shows. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201611/high-fiber-diet-keeps-gut-microbes-eating-colon%E2%80%99s-lining Accessed Aug 18, 2020.
4. Arbor, Ann. Nov 17, 2016. High-fiber diet keeps gut microbes from eating the colon’s lining, protects against infection, animal study shows. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201611/high-fiber-diet-keeps-gut-microbes-eating-colon%E2%80%99s-lining Accessed Aug 18, 2020.