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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.
By Keith Nemec, M.D.
Leaky gut is exactly what it sounds like. The intestinal tract is like a fine screen or mesh, which only lets nutrients of a certain size through. The nutrients then pass into the hepatic portal blood vessels, which bring nutrients to the liver, your chemical detoxification plant.
In a leaky gut condition, the intestinal tract becomes inflamed and the selective permeability (letting only digested food particles through) breaks down. This allows the passage of not only normal digested nutrient building blocks (amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars from carbohydrates), but also the passage of larger food particles, like larger chain proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and toxins that were never meant to pass through. This can be likened to a window screen. If the screen is functioning properly with no holes in it, air will pass through, but the flies, mosquitoes and other bugs will not. In leaky gut, the intestinal barrier becomes inflamed. Instead of only letting the digested broken down food particles through, the larger food particles and toxins enter causing the immune system to become weakened and over stimulated. This is like the screen that now has tears, making larger holes that allow all types of insects to get through.
This presents a few problems. Larger chain proteins can trigger not only intestinal irritation and inflammation, but also all kinds of allergies, immune and autoimmune problems, and inflammatory joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Too much protein can also cause kidney damage, especially if it is not digested into its amino acid building blocks.
Leaky gut can also result in toxicity, since toxins leak through the “screen” of your intestinal wall (because of the larger holes produced by the inflammation.) These toxins ultimately end up in the liver, your chemical detox plant. Unfortunately, your liver is by then overburdened, and the toxins end up circulating throughout the body, causing havoc wherever they go. If the toxins deposit in the brain, you might have foggy thoughts, possible memory loss and/or confusion, and even the start of neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson disease. If the toxins deposit in the joints, you will have arthritic-type pains. If the toxins deposit in organs that produce white blood cells (WBCs), your immune system will be weakened, making you more susceptible to illness, including cancer.
Toxicity is the primary cause of cancer because toxicity is the primary cause of a weakened immune system. Cancer cells form in your body daily, but your WBCs normally destroys them. But when toxicity weakens your immune system, your WBCs can’t do their job, giving cancer cells the opportunity to grow. They eventually form a little colony called a tumor, which WBCs have more trouble destroying. So do not let your defenses down.
What would happen if two armies came to fight, and one side laid down all its weapons? That army would be quickly destroyed. That’s why our immune system is to be highly regarded and guarded at all costs.
Excerpt taken from the book Total Health = Wholeness: A Body, Mind and Spirit Manual by Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec. For more information go to Total Health Institute http://www.totalhealthinstitute.com.
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