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The Digestive System Explained

Stomach - Digestion issues
Small Intestines Issues
Cellular Issues
Digestion destroyers
Acid Reflux
Gastric ulcers - Stomach Inflammation
Hydrochloric deficiency
Digestive system overview


Homeopathic Support Here

Good health has a lot to do with a four phases process: Digestion at the stomach level, Assimilation at the small intestine level, absorption at the cellular level and finally waste elimination.
We also need to remember that all of our body processes depend upon the action of minerals to activate the enzymes to perform bodily functions we take for granted. 
Finaly, it is a fact that we live, age and die at the cellular level.

1. At the stomach level (Enzymes needed)
This is where the food one eats is transformed thanked to digestive enzymes secreted by our saliva (amylase) into a fuild that can be handled by the small intestines. Once in the stomach, other digestives enzymes and acids (hydrochloric) will break down the nutrients into microscopic forms so that absorption through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream can take place.

Most Americans have an issue with proper digestion and elimination! Furthermore, as we age, the body loses approximately 10% of its enzymes reserve for every 10 years of age.
Compare our health to a bank account and simply replace the dollars in your account with enzymes.
The bank, in this case your body, has granted you at birth an authorized "enzymes amount"... from which you can draw until it is empty.
Then the body has no choice but to "borrow" enzymes from other places, such as glands and organs (could be the thyroid, eyes, sexual organs etc).
This allows your stomach to process the food you eat.
Digestion IS A PRIORITY for your body... to the detriment of other organs!
Eventually, those other organs will begin to break down as they are supplying their much-needed enzymes to the stomach and intestines!
Now you are entering the desease spiral.
Your medical doctor will recommend digestive aids, such as acid fighters, that will make matters worst!

If you continue to feed your body with Non-Food (lacking the proper nutrients) toxins accumulate, too much mucus stick to the intestinal walls preventing the cells to be fed!

SIGNS
Poor hair, nail, or skin health, lack of energy, stomach aches, bloating, fatigue, gas, diarrhea and constipation might indicate poor digestion.


STOMACH - DIGESTION SUPPORTING PRODUCTS


PROACTAZYME


Proactazyme

General-purpose enzyme supplement.
It is to assist in the digestion of most food types (except dairy).


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FOOD ENZYMES


Proactazyme

People over 30 often have less digestive HCI and fewer pancreatic digestive enzymes. Enzymes to digest Proteins, Carbs and Fats.

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DIGESTIVE BITTERS


Proactazyme

Enhances Secretion of Digestive Juices, Improves Absorption of Nutrients, Stimulates and Cleanses the Liver and Gall Bladder.

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2. At the small intestines level (An herbal formula to repair if needed and probiotics)
Through the wall of the small intestines nutrients, extracted from the food one eats, are sent to our trillion of cells via our blood. (Circulatory System)


SMALL INTESTINES SUPPORTING PRODUCTS

Small Intestine Detox

Helps digest proteins and remove mucus from the intestines.

Cleans and strengthens the intestinal tract.


Will clear accumulated protein waste from intestinal walls.

Helps improve absorption and eliminate gas. 

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Colostrum

Supports and strengthens the immune system to protect against illness.  It regulates an overactive immune system (including allergies and autoimmune diseases). 
It fights bacteria, viruses, allergens and yeast.

Also helps to prevent and treat acute intestinal diseases.


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Bifidophilus

Recommended for daily use to maintain a healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract to support the immune system. This is a great daily probiotic for adults and children of all ages, particularly females because it protects against unwanted invaders that cause health concerns, especially in the urinogenital tract.

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3. At the cellular level
Providing these nutrients reached the inside of our cells, these are used to create the energy we do need to raise a finger, think, love, exercise etc.
Do you see now how crucial it is to eat food that can be "assimilated" at the cellular level in the form of microscopic "nutrients"?
For the the cellular level to properly absorb essential nutrients, both minerals and organic complexes must be extremely small to penetrate the cell membrane where they do the most good!
A.) - In their ionic form, the body has to do virtually nothing to process or break down these elements to prepare them for absorption. 
B.) - Improves the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to the cells and the elimination of toxins from the body.
C.) - Our cell membrane must have the correct permeability with proper fat (Omega 3Lecithin for example).

Any supplementation, it seems to me, would be much more efficient if the foundation of health was first taken care of and here is why: minerals are the "spark of life." Minerals play many roles in our body affecting - cells, tissues, organs, and the whole organism. That is why prior to suggesting any nutritional supplements it is wise to start the right way by first "feeding" your body with essential "necessities" such as Mineral Chi Tonic. It might be the most important move you can make for your long-term health!

CELLULAR LEVEL SUPPORTING PRODUCTS

Super Omega 3

The body uses omega-3 EFAs as one of the primary components of cell membranes. 

Omega-3 fatty acids also may help maintain blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. When there is a shortage of omega-3s, the body uses saturated fat to construct the cell membrane, resulting in less elastic membranes.
Omega-3s are also beneficial to the structural system and to the skin.
Omega-3 Hi EPA softgels contain approximately 1000 mg fish oil, with a ratio of 33:16 EPA to DHA (380 mg EPA, 190 mg DHA) per softgel.
 
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Lecithin

It acts like moisturizer to the skin; keeping the cell walls soft and supple, preventing oxidation and thus assuring the cell can perform its functions of reproduction, food intake and waste excretion.

Because it is a necessary nutrient for all cells, a lack or depletion of lecithin may cause decreased ability to reproduce new cells, thereby diminishing the body’s ability to regenerate.

This vital nutrient also has the ability to break down fat plaques already present, effectively reversing atherosclerosis, and reducing the risks of heart attacks and stroke.

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Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system consists of many delicate vessels found in almost every tissue of the body where blood flows. 
These vessels perform essential functions, including transporting nutrients from the small intestine into the intercellular space and removing waste products from cellular metabolism
Optimal drainage in the lymphatic system is one component of good health. 

Lymphatic Drainage is designed to disperse lymphatic fluids, improve nutrient absorption and enhance immune function. 

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4. ELIMINATION
Please go to this page for support and choices.

If one does not eliminate after each heavy meal (at least once daily!) it will causes the body to poison itself with unhealthy consequences at many levels. Keeping the colon clean is one of the keys to excellent energy and health.

Having a healthy bowel movement after each solid meal indicates a well functioning digestive system! Plumbers know that pipes can get clogged and need to be cleaned. Auto mechanics realize that oil and other fluids need to be regularly changed to keep engines running smoothly. It makes sense that this is also true for our bodies. 

HYDRATION & ELIMINATION
Drinking good water is very important as it helps the body function as it should. But when it comes to elimination think of it this way: if you're dehydrated -- the large intestine soaks up water from your food waste.
This makes hard stools that are difficult to pass. Common sense!



Digestion Destroyers


Aging
Our stomach produces less HCL as we grow older. We have also destroyed the enzymes that produce HCL by the foods we eat. We can also have poor digestion and not be old! 

Alcohol
Alcohol produces acid with a burning effect on the stomach lining, and causes inflammation. This is why alcoholics have gastritis problems. Also destroys B-Vitamins. 

Antacids
Over-the-counter sales of liquid antacids and acid blockers such as Pepcid and Zantac are skyrocketing, indicating the digestive system is assaulted and overwhelmed and cannot perform its functions properly. They reduce HCL in the stomach and prevent protein from being digested, in other words they get rid of the symptoms but not the cause! 

Chlorinated Water
Interferes with digestion. If digestion is a problem, change to pure water and the digestive formulas will work better. 

Cola Drinks & Coffee
They each contain an acid which signals the stomach that acid is already present, and then it thinks that it does not have to produce it's hydrochloric acid which is what digests food. 

Liquids
Drinking liquids with meals dilutes HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach so there is not enough to digest food adequately. Years ago, no one drank liquids with a meal. 

Processed Food
It is thought that one cause of gastric ulcers is processed food. It lacks natural fiber and protein, but is high in calories. It also has flavor enhancing additives that are hard on the liver and preservatives that prevent digestion. Natural food is one of your best protections against stomach problems. 

Stress or Worry
These have an effect of reducing enzyme production. Do not eat when you are worried or under stress. If you need to eat, only eat foods that are easy to digest. 

Weight Problems 
A poor digestive system can be a contributing factor to obesity. When we do not completely digest certain fats and proteins, they can be stored as body fat. When the body does not obtain what it needs it constantly tries to obtain it by creating a never-ending appetite! 


Ills, Ailments & Support

Reflux, a condition in which stomach contents and acid push back into the esophagus (and sometimes leak into the trachea) is common in those persons with hiatus hernia. This is the sliding of an organ or part (usually stomach) between chest and abdomen through the opening for the esophagus. Occasionally the part becomes trapped and exceedingly painful. Since the mucous lining of the esophagus isn't designed to handle high acid conditions, problems such as ulceration can occur at the juncture between.



ACID REFLUX

Stomach Comfort


Stomach Comfort

  • Neutralizes Stomach Acid
  • Reduces Acid Reflux
  • Recommended Usage: Chew one or two tablets as needed for quick, temporary stomach relief. Remember that digestive problems may be a sign of more serious health concerns.
    Stomach Comfort provides a combination of natural ingredients to help neutralize acid, soothing the stomach, improving digestion, and reducing acid reflux often triggered by high-fat meals, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and orange or tomato juice. Contains NO aluminum.

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    Gastritis, inflammation of the stomach lining, is commonly considered indigestion. Frequently accompanied by distention, abdominal pain, gas, this is the classic that sends us running for the various antacids. Gastritis can be acute, chronic or toxic due to ingestion of caustics in nature, and usually starts with overeating, frequent aspirin and other non-steroidal drug use, excess alcohol intake, bacterial or viral agents. Removal of the causes can relieve this condition.

    Continuation of stomach-aggravating behavior can lead to ulcer formation, in the stomach or duodenum. Approximately 25 percent of people who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) develop ulcers. Considering the number of people in this country with arthritis, the potential for ulcer development is enormous and growing as the population ages.

    Peptic, or duodenal ulcers
    usually occur just where the stomach dumps into the small intestine; they result from either too much acid and gastric digestive juices pouring into the intestine, or weakening of the intestinal mucosal lining. An ulcer represents digestion of the organ involved (stomach ulcers are always a result of weakened resistance of the stomach lining to digestion). The bacterial agent Heliobacter pylori has been implicated in some individuals, due to toxin formation which directly harms the stomach lining. As usual, when the discovery of H. pylori was made, the medical community promptly ignored it, continuing to base treatment on the belief that ulcers were acid related. No end of poor souls suffered in the insult of a Sappy diet, and archaic mess comprised almost totally of milk and milk products in liquid form, with alternating liquid chalk preparations many of which were aluminum based.

    Bland diets were imposed and physicians wondered why patients were non compliant. Now there is genetic evidence H. pylori, which thrives in stomach acid, infects about half the world's population, and is considered responsible for most cases of peptic (duodenal) ulcers and many of the gastric variety. Treatment will undoubtedly include antibiotic therapy to rid the body of the invader. More important will be determining how we contract the entity and possibly breaking that cycle of infection.


    Gastro Health


    GASTRO HEALTH


    For persistent gastric ulcers and stomach inflammation.

    First, you need to know that a lot of stomach inflammation and ulceration is brought on by the effects of a spiral-shaped bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.  When this is the case, no amount of antacids or acid suppressing drugs will give lasting relief. 
    If antibiotics are used, they also destroy important friendly digestive bacteria. 
    Gastro-Health (Herbal H-p Fighter) contains herbs (pau d'Arco, cloves and Inula racemosa) that inhibit H. Pylori without the side effects of antibiotics.  Deglycyrrhinated licorice extract (DGLE) is included to sooth and heal the irritated stomach lining (Gastritis). 

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    Diarrhea
    is a well known problem afflicting the American population. It is literally a speeding up of the peristaltic action which is used to move food, then waste through the system. Causes can be viral or bacterial agents, or chemicals which irritate the lining of the intestine. Emotional stress, virtually epidemic in this country, can also cause diarrhea.

    Cases which continue can cause severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Given our eating habits and stress levels, it's little wonder both over-the-counter and prescription antidiarrheal medicines enjoy enormous sales.


    Activated Charcoal


    Charcoal


    Activated charcoal has an amazing ability to "attract" and absorb.  This makes it ideal for removing poisons from the body.
    It is approved by the FDA in place of ipecac for internal poisoning. The poisons adhere to the large surface area of the specially-processed, finely ground powder so that both are eliminated together. 
    Charcoal will actually absorb intestinal gas, giving relief from bloating and acting to remove the intestinal coating that prevents normal absorption and removal of gas via the blood and lungs.
    It is also used internally for diarrhea, hangover, high cholesterol, food poisoning and to remove wastes from underactive kidneys or liver.
    It is used externally for insect bites/stings and surface infections. 
    Don't use for more than a few days at a time; it absorbs nutrients too.

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    Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency (by Georgiana Duncan)
    (a very common digestive issue!)

    Since hydrochloric acid is necessary for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, an inadequate amount can lead to the possibility of undigested proteins being absorbed into the blood stream from the small intestines.
    When it enters into the body, any foreign protein, will cause toxic reactions if not properly detoxified or digested.

    Additionally, the effects can appear as minor allergies. The allergies are a direct result of the body's defense mechanism in the blood - the antibodies - which engulf or neutralize the undigested protein. During this process, a toxin known as histamine is released which normally would be neutralized by an antihistamine produced by the liver. However, if the liver is toxic and overloaded, insufficient antihistamine will be released and the histamine will irritate delicate membranes, causing swollen eyes, stuffy noses, and/or skin blotches.

    If hydrochloric acid is present in adequate amounts and the liver is strong enough to produce antihistamine properly, these food allergies can be eliminated. 

    Hydrochloric acid is also necessary for calcium metabolism. Without sufficient HCL to break down the combined calciums we take in our food, the calcium remains an insoluble compound which the body cannot assimilate. This explains why some people take bottle after bottle of calcium supplements and still have a calcium deficiency. 

    A very common effect of poor calcium metabolism is canker sore, those irritating white patches in the delicate membrane lining of the mouth. The addition of hydrochloric acid and a calcium supplement will usually clears these up in 48 hours. 

    This same lack of assimilation is true of all other minerals when sufficient hydrochloric acid is not present in the stomach. So for optimum mineral assimilation, consider hydrochloric acid supplementation. 

    If one has sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach, illness-causing bacteria in food will be neutralized and food poisoning avoided. Whenever eating in restaurants, always take HCL supplements and avoid those dreaded symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    One of least recognized effects of hydrochloric acid deficiency is the lowering of resistance to infections including pyorrhea, nephritis, boils, abscess, and pneumonia. Dr. Burr Ferguson, M.D. brought rapid repair in conditions such as abscesses, osteitis and tuberculosis with hydrochloric acid supplementation. This clearly demonstrates that HCL is nature's antiseptic. 
    Reference: Kurt W. Donsbach, PhD, D.C. 
    Nature's Sunshine Products offers hydrochloric acid in the products called PDA and Food Enzymes



    PDA


    Proactazyme

    As people age, they may produce less HCl, which can affect the amount of protein they can break down and ultimately absorb (for meat eaters).

    Details & Order »

     


    FOOD ENZYMES


    Proactazyme

    People over 30 often have less digestive HCI and fewer pancreatic digestive enzymes. Enzymes to digest Proteins, Carbs and Fats.

    Details & Order »



    Digestive System Overview

    The digestive system is a complex organization requiring the coordinated functioning of many independent organs. Much like an automobile factory, the raw materials are taken in, acted upon by various tools/ chemicals/agents and slowly the materials are changed into the desired product, in this case usable nutrients. Since most foods are not available in readily digestible forms, the digestive system must physically grind and chemically break down the molecules into usable form. Although some authors consider the digestive system to include the colon or large intestine, in this segment we shall observe what happens to food from the time it enters the mouth, until it reaches the colon or intestinal system.

    Parts and Pieces

    Digestive System

    1. Mouth—intake
    a. Teeth for grinding
    b. Tongue for mixing food with enzymes/saliva.
    c. Salivary glands which produce enzyme-bearing fluid.


    2. Epiglottis—flap for sealing off respiratory system and preventing aspiration during swallowing.

    3. Esophagus—tube carrying food/saliva mix from mouth to stomach.

    4. Stomach—the mixing bowl; site of molecular breakdown—pepsin and other chemicals are added to the food mix.

    5. Pancreas—a gland with both exocrine (duct) and encocrine (ductless and hormonal) actions break down proteins and control blood sugar.

    6. Liver—detoxifier, responsible for changing excess sugar to glycogen for storage; amino acid and vitamin storage; secretion of bile to digest fats.

    7. Gall bladder—a small sac which acts as storage for bile produced by the liver; pushes bile through ducts into the small intestine to digest fats.

    8. Small intestine—divided into duodenum, jejunum and ileum (head to foot), the latter which empties into the colon or large intestine.

    Function

    While the nervous system acts as the communications system of the city known as our physical body, and the intestinal system is the waste removal and recycling plant, the digestive system is the power plant, turning the food we eat into forms of energy the cells can use to build, reproduce, repair and perform whatever specialized function is encoded into their genes.

    Foods contain three types of nutrients necessary to human functioning:
    1. Carbohydrates, such as starches and sugars which are used for energy.
    2. Proteins, which form the building blocks.
    3. Fats, which are necessary (in limited amounts) for heat, for padding some of the abdominal organs, and as a sheath for the nervous system.
    When our food intake does not contain the necessary nutrients including vitamins and minerals, the body's ability to repair itself and grow is diminished. Improper nutrition exerts a non selective effect on the body, affecting all systems; impairing energy production, weakening resistance to disease and slowing healing.

    Symptoms of inadequate nutrition or deficiency begin subtly, growing into our awareness when abuses of the system begin to cause major symptoms. And even then we rarely change our eating/drinking behaviors until discomfort or illness forces us to do so. Dental hygiene in advertising promotes sex appeal, not dental health. Many folks pay little attention to their teeth unless they hurt, not realizing poor tooth care leads to tooth loss, which sorely impairs nutrition. If you can't chew, physically grinding foods and mixing them with enzymes in the mouth, the rest of the system has to work that much harder. Since each part of the system performs a vital part, missing any part makes digestion less efficient.

    Digestion actually can begin before any food has been ingested. Think of that wonderful smell of bread baking that makes your mouth water. Your digestive system has been activated, and the various organs and glands are busy pumping enzymes into the system. Salivary amylase is being secreted in the saliva, to begin carbohydrate digestion right there in the mouth. The actual gastric phase of digestion occurs when food actually gets into the stomach. The presence of food triggers the release of gastrin from the stomach wall, which in turn stimulates the release of other digestive juices. Proteins, some spices, alcohol and caffeine additionally stimulate the release of gastrin in the stomach.

    Once the mash of food and enzymes (chyme) is pushed by peristalsis (wave action) into the intestine, the production or release of gastrin stops. Although a large amount of molecular breakdown takes place in the stomach, very little absorption of nutrients occurs there. How long food remains in the stomach before being further processed and absorbed in the intestine depends on the constituents of the food. Liquids pass through fastest, followed by carbs, then proteins.

    Fats stay the longest in the stomach, and can remain up to six hours. That's why a large, high fat meal leaves us feeling overloaded and bloated for long periods after eating.

    Ileo Cycle ValveOnce the chyme is emptied into the duodenum and stimulates the stretch receptors found in the walls, a reflex is triggered which stops gastric digestion and causes pancreatic juices to be added to the mixture. These enzymes break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates and nucleic acids into handy, molecule-sized pieces for absorption and use by the body. Additionally, the pancreas secretes an alkaline substance to neutralize the acid which arrived in the chyme.

    At virtually the same geographical location as the pancreatic duct, is the intersection of the duodenum with the common bile duct from gallbladder and liver. These organs pump in bile salts and other substances to emulsify fats so they can be digested and their nutrients used more efficiently. The duodenum, jejunum an dileum which comprise the small intestine total about 20 feet in length. The inner wall of the small intestine has minuscule projections known as villi, which serve both to mix the chyme with more digestive enzymes, and to absorb the resulting nutrients. With its huge surface area (due to villi), the small intestine is the largest organ of absorption in the entire digestive tract. But absorption of nutrients is only part of the small intestine's work. In addition, the villi are also responsible for absorbing electrolytes and some water to balance the body's systems. Once the mash reaches the ileocecal valve and moves into the colon or large intestine, digestion is completed, and the mass is predominately waste, from which much of the water will be recycled and reabsorbed.


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