Ben Greenfield is one of the top minds in health and wellness. He's the engine behind BenGreenfieldFitness.com, the amazing Ben Greenfield Podcast, a personal friend, and the guy I go to when I can't figure out something having to do with health. His new book, Beyond Training is a beautiful tome of knowledge on health, fitness, and life. I almost never include guest posts on my blog but if there's one person I trust to bring you essential knowledge, it's Ben.
"3 Ways to Heal Your Gut Fast"
Leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s, gluten intolerance and allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and bacterial infections are all-too-common digestive issues that can make life unpleasant and sometimes downright unlivable. From bone broth to slippery elm bark to licorice root, a variety of nutrition therapies and supplements exist that can be effective for gut issues. But some nutrients are more potent than others, and the following 3 strategies can be particularly effective ways to heal the gut fast.
Some people find this a bit unpleasant to think about, so I’ll try to keep it quick: colostrum is the thick yellow fluid which is produced as a precursor to mother’s milk in most mammals. It is found in humans, goats, and other mammals, where it is produced by the mother for two days following birth. Colostrum is essentially a transfer system which “jump starts” a newborn’s undeveloped immune system – particularly by helping to seal cellular junctions in the lining of the gut.
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Colostrum is the first milk produced after birth and is particularly rich in immunoglobulins, antimicrobial peptides (eg, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase), and other bioactive molecules, including growth factors”.
In other words, this stuff really packs a punch. It is for this reason that babies who have not been raised on breastmilk - but instead on soy milk or other baby formulas – can often grow up to have leaky gut issues and other autoimmune issues later in life. Especially in this case, colostrum supplementation can help tremendously, and is particularly effective for athletes and exercisers with leaky gut, since exercise (especially in hot conditions) can increase gut permeability and aggravate leaky gut syndrome.
I personally use a brand of colostrum called “SurThrival Colostrum”, and leading up to hard races in the heat, I will take 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening. I recommend the same protocol for 6-12 months for folks who have leaky gut syndrome. At ½-1/4 dosage, this si also safe for children.
- Oil of Oregano
In many cases, gut issues stem from bacterial overgrowth or gut flora imbalance due to previous history of using antibiotics, not eating enough fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt or kombucha, excessive stress, and gut inflammation.
In this case, oil of oregano can be very handy. Wild oil of oregano is an amazing healing substance with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic capabilities. You can click here to listen to an amazing interview I conducted with a Palouse farmer, in which we discuss how oregano can be used against a variety of issues present in the case of leaky gut or bacterial overgrowth - including metabolic endotoxemia, antibodies creates in the presence of food allergies, and high levels of gut inflammatory compounds such as HS-CRP.
The active ingredient in oregano is “carvacrol”, and if you use oil of oregano, you should be sure to use something that has a carvacrol content of greater than 80% (which means you’ll probably need to be using the actual oil, and not the capsules). Also, be careful if you get completely undiluted oregano, as it can burn and taste quite nasty. For an oil diluted in a 7:1 to 10:1 ratio, you’d want to use 10-15 drops, 2-3 times a day for good gut action.
In the podcast I link to above, we also discuss a book called “The Cure is In the Cupboard”, which has more specific dosage recommendations and a host of other therapeutic uses for oregano. For example, oregano is also a rich source of iron and calcium, and can even be used as a topical anti-bacterial for wounds and topical anti-inflammatory for muscle strains and sprains.
3. Coconut or MCT Oil
You’ve no doubt heard the hoopla about “fatty coffee” or “Bulletproof coffee” – a potent mix of coffee, coconut or MCT oil and added goodies such as collagen, stevia, cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate powder. One of the primary fatty acids in both coconut and the more powerful MCT oil (a concentrated version of coconut oil) is something called “caprylic acid”.
Caprylic acid is also known as octanoic acid, and it is a naturally occurring fatty acid found not just in coconut and MCT oil, but also in palm oil, and human milk, goat’s milk and cow’s milk. However, if you have leaky gut, a damaged gut, Crohn’s or any other digestive issue, then the relatively safe and digestible coconut or MCT oil will be the best source of caprylic acid for you – at around 1-3 tablespoons per day. Using calcium, magnesium and other electrolytes at the same time as you take your coconut or MCT oil can help slow the absorption of caprylic acid, and this can actually support caprylic acid activity throughout the gastrointestinal tract. So for example, you could take a Cal-Mag supplement, or even some trace liquid minerals or sea salts at the same time as your oil. Coconut or MCT oil also have potent antiviral and antifungal activity, so if your gut issues stem from small intestine bacterial overgrowth, Candida or yeast overgrowth, then this can be a particularly good gut healing strategy.
Want even more ways to reboot your gut, reboot your body, and change the way you look, feel and perform forever? Ben Greenfield’s brand new book “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life” will teach you how. Get it now, along with lots of goodies, prizes and over $5000 in swag at BeyondTrainingBook.com.