Why is healing your gut so important?

Most people (and even most doctors) don’t fully appreciate that to be slim and healthy, you need to have a rock-solid gut. Here’s why… You have about 25 feet of intestines filled with approximately 1,500 different species of bacteria and other flora. That’s trillions of gut microbes. It’s strange to think about these alien beings living inside you, but in reality, they’re working hard for you. They make enzymes that help you digest food, they produce hormones and synthesize vitamins, and they clean up toxins.

Unfortunately, the modern world isn’t kind to your gut flora. A typical diet high in sugar, carbs, and artificial chemicals and low in critical nutrients can kill off huge swaths of beneficial flora, while allowing levels of bad bacteria to skyrocket. Infections, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stress, diet, alcohol, and many medications can also unbalance your gut microbiota. This is dangerous, because when bad flora take control in your intestines, they cause inflammation that damages the lining of your gut.

The result is intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” With this condition, your weakened gut barrier allows toxins and debris that should stay trapped inside your digestive tract to escape into your bloodstream instead. Your immune system quickly spots these intruders and attacks— often violently. The result is systemic inflammation that packs on pounds, makes you feel miserable, and makes your skin look terrible.

In addition, a “leaky” and unhealthy gut makes you more prone to infections and disease. That’s because 80% of your immune system resides inside your gut. So when your gut is sick, your immune function is compromised. And this makes you a sitting duck for the common cold and the flu as well as autoimmune disease and even cancer.