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Lose the Bloat

Lose the Bloat!

5 Key Supplements for a Healthy Gut!

~Michelle Tonkin ND

Did you know that between 70-80% of the body’s immune cells lie in the gut?

As “there is an intricate interplay between the intestinal microbiota, the intestinal epithelial layer, and the local mucosal immune system” ~

Nutrition is become more widely known as having an impact on gut health and our body’s immunity.

Unfortunately, in our fast paced, high stress world, we can sometimes choose a diet that may not be the most beneficial for us. This isn’t normally an issue unless it becomes a daily habit which can then have a negative influence on our gut health.

However, you may be eating right for the most part and still suffer from intestinal issues. No matter what the cause there are 5 Key supplements that help improve and even restore healthy gut function.

Got Bloat?

There was a campaign in the early to mid-1990’s called “Got Milk?” that was actively promoting including more milk in our diets.

However today I’d like to discuss some possible causes for gut issues like constipation, reflux, IBS that affect millions of American as well as some supplements that can help.

In a national survey done with 71,000 participants 61% of those in the study had suffered with some type of Gi distress such as: “heartburn/reflux (30.9%), abdominal pain (24.8%), bloating (20.6%), diarrhea (20.2%), and constipation (19.7%)” (ncbmi) At the conclusion of the study the researchers discovered that two thirds of those surveyed suffered from some type of Gi issues ~

Chronic Bowel Disorders

Many autoimmune diseases start with an unhealthy intestinal terrain, which in

turn can cause “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. Since the gut makes up 80% of the body’s

immunity, it plays an important role in keeping us healthy. In an effort to

recognize how chronic bowel disorders come about, it is important to understand the

workings of the digestive organs and how they literally affect every system in the body.

So, what are some causes?


The American diet has changed dramatically since the turn of the century. We

now live in a fast paced, fast -food environment. Our foods are loaded with sugar, food

colorings, preservatives, chemicals, and other various additives. The low nutrient, low

fiber, highly refined carbohydrate diets of most Americans can, in time, transform a once

healthy intestinal terrain into a “lifeless pipe containing layers of encrusted fecal material,

mucous and debris thereby promoting the growth of Candida and other parasites.”

~ Conley, Edward J. Dr. America Exhausted Breakthrough Treatment of Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Flint: Vitality Press, 1997 (Pg 44)

A Healthy Diet

“In spite of amazing technological advances over the past 45 years and a huge

expenditure of resources, we are experiencing a steady rise in the incidence of

degenerative diseases. Deterioration had been forced on our population by the creation of artificial foods lacking in natural vitamins and minerals.”

~ Hoffer M.D, Ph.D. Putting it All Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition.

Our ancestors grew up on foods that were fresh, whole, nontoxic, varied, and

naturally flavored. Our high tech, fast paced, modern society has developed food sources

that are dead, stale, toxic, full of artificial sugars and flavorings, and monotonous. We

have taken out the best parts of our whole foods, namely fiber and enzymes, leaving

ourselves with foods that have little to no nutritional value. Our soils have not been

permitted to remain fallow; the outcome is that our foods are depleted of necessary

nutrients. Processed foods make us feel that we are well fed; when in reality we are

suffering from malnutrition

So… what’s the solution?

I suggest Whole Foods based diet .

A diet high in nutritious foods and properly balanced with the right amount of

protein, fats, and carbohydrates, is essential in returning to and maintaining health.

Improper ratios in any area will cause imbalances in the body’s chemistry. A good ratio

to follow is about 60% fresh (vegetables, fruits), 30% cooked (meats, beans, grains) and

10% fats (butter, olive oil, sour cream, cheese). For example, a generous serving of

greens (steamed or raw veggies, salad) a baked white or sweet potato, a small portion of

meat (4-6 oz.), and some butter or olive oil.

The addition of an organic Whey Protein as a meal replacement or supplement is

considered an optimal way to absorb many lacking vital nutrients while strengthening the

immune system

Concentrated Whey Protein is easily utilized, highly absorbed, and readily

digested. It also contains all the essential amino acids that are necessary to repair tissues

while assisting in detoxification. Other benefits include the maintenance of an effective

disease fighting capability and resistance to illness causing microorganisms. Glutathione

is also naturally occurring in whey protein and has powerful antioxidant and

detoxification properties. Our recommendation for an exceptional organic,

undenatured protein concentrate can be found here!

Antibiotic over usage

Use and over-use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can promote excessive yeast

overgrowth. The reason being is that antibiotics are not exclusive; they attack

“unfriendly” as well as “friendly” or good bacteria. Candida yeasts are not affected by

antibiotics, and in fact, in the absence of the good bacteria, multiply and reproduce

themselves, raising large yeast colonies. Hence, every infection treated with antibiotics

may encourage further yeast overgrowth. Thus, a vicious cycle may develop resulting in

decreased immunity, greater risk for reoccurring infections, and Candida overgrowth.


Each year the average American consumes 150 lbs. of soft drinks, which is 52 tsp.

of refined white sugar every day! Junk food consumption has increased dramatically as

well. “Compared to 1981, in 2001 the average American consumed in one year: 45 large

bags of potato chips-- up 78%; 120 orders of French fries-- up 130%; 190 candy bars-- up

80%; 120 pastries or desserts-- up 95%; 150 slices of pizza-- up 143%”.


Diet is not the only source of toxins. Our environment is being polluted more and

more each day with chemicals and air-borne pollutants. With these on-going toxins being

introduced to our air and water each day, our body’s job of elimination becomes

increasingly important. Toxins in our food, water, and air supply can create a state of

autointoxication where the body begins to poison itself with the toxic substances

produced by the body. This further contributes to a congested lymphatic system and unhealthy colon.

Jay Williams, PhD, identified it this way: “Every cell of our body is affected by

this self-poisoning. When toxins accumulate in the nervous system, we can feel irritable

and depressed. We can feel weak if they back up into the heart, bloated if they reach the

stomach and our breath is foul if they reach the lungs. Rashes and blotches can develop if

these poisons attempt to leave the skin, or we can look pale and our skin appears

wrinkly.” ~

These toxins can also affect our glandular system, resulting in fatigue,

lethargy, depression, lack of libido, and premature aging.


We live in a very demanding world. Our jobs, families, responsibilities and social

activities, have us on the go every day. This constant ongoing stress can have negative

effects on our body. Over time, this stress causes oxidation, severely damaging our

enzyme systems. Our bodies require rest to recover from all the stress that is placed on

them. Unfortunately, many of us often go from one stressor to the next- depleting

ourselves, until we eventually crash. Combine this stress with a diet that does not provide

the body with the necessary nutrients to function, and one can see why stress is another

factor in contributing to Candida overgrowth.


According to the National Institutes of health, anywhere between 60-70 million people struggle with an ongoing digestive issue.

For instance, IBD or inflammatory bowel disorder is basically the body responding in an autoimmune like fashion to the bugs (like viruses, fungus, bacteria that are naturally present in the gut. The two main subcategories under this issue as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While colitis can affect the lining of the gut, Crohn’s can affect the entire gut.

Bacteria like H pylori can be responsible for a condition known as gastritis which can also inflammation in the gut lining with the potential for ulcers to develop if not treated.

Researchers are unsure of what causes irritable bowel as it could be affected by how the brain and gut communicate w each other. Irritable bowel is characterized by alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Food allergies can also affect gut health and should be addressed to help the gut heal and aid in decreasing inflammation.

Sone common food allergens include:







All of those can contribute to a condition known as leaky gut syndrome.

What is Leaky Gut syndrome?

I have a video specifically dedicated to informing on this subject which you can find here. However, here’s some brief information on this condition.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is the result of an imbalance of beneficial gut flora

(More bad bacteria than good, i.e., dysbiosis), which can result in reduced immunity and is

present in most cases of Lyme. By definition, Leaky Gut Syndrome is “an increase in

permeability of the intestinal mucosa to luminal macromolecules, antigens and toxins

associated with inflammatory degenerative and/or atrophic mucosal damage.”

~ Glenn Gibson, “Leaky Gut Syndrome?”. Reprinted from AIA Newsletter No.18 (Summer 1997).

Even if not the direct cause, it is possible that secondary infections of

Candidiasis would add insult to an already present viral activity. Its presence will

perpetuate exhausting and debilitating conditions for the immune system in this disease


When the immune system is weakened for a period of time, then opportunistic

Candidiasis can develop. If this overgrowth is permitted to continue, it will produce very

long roots called rhizoids. These vine-like roots can actually puncture the mucosal lining

of the intestine. When this lining becomes damaged, the resulting condition is called

“Leaky Gut Syndrome” (meaning that the mucosal lining has developed small holes).

~ Glenn Gibson, “Leaky Gut Syndrome?”. Reprinted from AIA Newsletter No.18 (Summer 1997).

These microscopic holes allow food particles, bacteria, viruses, parasites,

funguses, and yeasts like Candida to flow freely into the bloodstream. The body sees

these particles in the bloodstream as foreigner invaders and goes on the offensive,

producing antibodies to attack the intruders. This can result in the development of food

allergies, environmental/chemical sensitivities, and ultimately autoimmune disease


What are 5 Key Supplements for GUT HEALTH?

1- Probiotics

Our gastrointestinal tract houses more than 400 types of different microorganisms.


These "friendly" microorganisms help protect our GI tract from "unfriendly" microorganisms, bacteria, parasites, viruses, yeasts, and fungi. They also act to improve immune system function and have numerous health benefits.

Probiotics encourage growth of healthy bacteria.

The ratio of flora in the intestines should be of a ratio of 85% friendly bacteria to 15% harmful. Many of the chronically ill have the ratios reversed. The regular supplementation of a high quality probiotic that contains numerous strains of living lactic acid bacteria will help to produce good bacteria that will encourage growth of a healthy colony of bacteria in the digestive tract.

Research has shown us that probiotics are of vital necessity as they:

✓ improve digestion and nutrient absorption.

✓ dramatically improve human immune function.

✓ protect against invasion of foreign pathogens and infectious agents.

✓ enhance the immune system's ability to fight infections.

✓ provide a main source of Vitamin K.

✓ lower cholesterol by metabolizing it.

✓ control bowel toxicity and decrease the risk of bowel cancer.

✓ reduce gas production by non-disease-producing microorganisms.

✓ protect the body from the devastating effects of accumulated toxins.

✓ produce short-chain fatty acids that are converted into energy.

✓ help protect against unhealthy cholesterol buildup.


2- Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are protein molecules that are present in all living things. They have two parts.

The protein part is a long chain, which contains hundreds of amino acids in a specific

arrangement. The other part is a coenzyme, usually a vitamin or mineral (or it may contain a

vitamin, or perhaps a molecule, which has been created from a vitamin). The enzymes found in food are responsible for breaking down the food particles as well as the biochemical reactions that make them ripen. Supplementation of vitamins and minerals are useless unless there are enough of the appropriate enzymes to utilize them.

There are two different types of supplemental enzymes available: animal and plant.

Animal enzymes are derived from the pancreas of beef or pork. They do not spare the body’s

own production of digestive resources and therefore the body must contribute a large amount of its own enzymes to help digest food, especially in the early stage of the digestion process. Plant enzymes are able to predigest food in the stomach.

Plant enzymes are preferable in that they work in a broader pH range than animal

enzymes and are able to predigest food in the stomach. They are also derived from a natural

source and not potentially laden with the animal toxins. While manufacturers are careful to put back vitamins and minerals that are lost during food manufacturing, they do not replace the enzymes. Therefore, unless supplemental forms of enzymes are taken, our diets will continue to be deficient in these nutrients, which are essential for health and healthy living.

3- Bowel Cleansers

There are trillions of cells in the human body, 80% of which are actually bacteria living

in the gastrointestinal tract. If food is inadequately digested, putrefaction can occur, which in

turn can cause intestinal toxemia or dysbiosis. With this rotting of food, chemicals are formed that are toxic to the body. The more putrefaction that occurs, the more constipated and toxic the individual becomes. Undigested food can become the breeding ground for

parasites, fungus, and bacteria of all kinds.

Periodic cleansing of the bowel and affiliated organs is essential to health. There are

many bowel cleansers on the market today, from herbal to ozone. Most are safe and effective,

and non-habit forming. The best product that we have found that works effectively as a bowel

and internal cleanser is a magnesium oxide product called Isa Flush. Whole Leaf Aloe Vera

capsules can also be a safe alternative to use as needed. However, it is suggested to start slowly with like a 1/2 capsule as it can be pretty powerful. It is important to note that stool softeners, laxatives, and enemas are not considered cleanses.

4- Gut Soothers (EFA’s, Marshmallow Root)

There are two classes of essential fatty acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Essential fatty

acids, or EFA’s to which they are commonly referred, are “essential” for health. A membrane

composed of special types of fats surrounds each cell of our body. These EFA’s come directly

from the foods we eat.

Other gut healers:

L - glutamine is the most abundant amino acid and can be used to help heal the gut lining. It gives those cells that are found in the lining a boost so that they can do their job. As Lipski says “Glutamine heals the intestinal lining more than any other nutrient.” A suggested dosage is 10-20 grams for gut healing.

Marshmallow Root is excellent in helping to heal the gut as it has an elevated mucilage substance that can coat and protect the gut, act as an anti-inflammatory, is beneficial in helping to heal ulcers and can help tighten any gaps found in the gut wall.

A great supplement that contains marshmallow root and other beneficial gut healers and is also great for acid reflux is Gastrozyme.

DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

This is excellent to use as it helps restore the natural balance of mucous found in the gut which in turn helps to support its protective barrier. It’s also great for ulcers and indigestion issues. We suggest: DGL chews by Enzymedica or DGL Synergy tablets by Designs for health

Last gut soother we suggest is aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has been used to aid restoring mucous in the gut, immune support, aids in balancing the water found in the stomach, is an anti-fungal and has some great nutrients like vitamin C, E and A.

Aloe Vera is also known as a natural laxative which can be great for those suffering from constipation. The brand we suggest is aloe Ferox to help relieve constipation.

5- Antimicrobials

As mentioned earlier, sometimes gut issues can be caused by bacterial imbalance or even viral infections.

Here’s a few Antimicrobials that are great against a wide variety of bugs from bacteria, to candida, parasites and even viral issues.


Samento (Pentacyclic Alkaloid Type Uncaria tomentosa) is a powerful medicinal plant

that has been successfully used to treat Lyme. Some of the most beneficial properties in Samento are the POA’s or Pentracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids. These have a powerful modulating effect on the immune system and are wonderful in autoimmune disorders. The TOA’s (Tetracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids) found in traditional Cat’s Claw can disrupt the body’s central nervous system function and inhibit the effects of the POAs. Cat’s claws are more of an immune stimulator.

Some other medicinal properties that have been reported:


✓ Antimicrobial

✓ Immune System Modulator

✓ Antibacterial

✓ Anticancerous

✓ Antidepressant

✓ Antifungal

✓ Anti-hypertensive

✓ Antileukemic

✓ Antimutagenic

✓ Anti-Oxidant

✓ Antiparasitic

✓ Anti Parkinsonism

✓ Anti-ulcerous

✓ Antiviral

✓ Cytostatic

✓ Depurative


✓ Vermifuge

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver, also known as Electrically Isolated Silver (EIS) is the most modern

and safest form of silver for human consumption. It is simply silver ions and microscopic silver particles produced by electrolysis and suspended in distilled water. Colloidal silver may provide support for your body's natural immune system and hence, has shown to have numerous healing properties. It can be used internally to help prevent and fight off acute secondary infections often associated with Lyme, such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Mycoplasma, and Yeast overgrowth or Candidiasis.

“Colloidal Silver has been shown to be effective against more than 650

disease-causing organisms, including E Coli and Candida Albicans”.

~ Balch, Phyliss A, C.N.C and Balch, James F., M.D. Prescription for Nutritional Healing.

Third Edition. p.66.

Topically, Colloidal Silver can be used to fight fungal infections of the skin and nails as

well as promote healing of burns, wounds, rashes, cuts and even sunburn. It is also beneficial

on mouth sores, helpful in fighting tooth decay, and can be sprayed on air-conditioning filters, vents and ducts to prevent germ-bacteria growth. A good silver that we recommend is

Olive Leaf

This powerhouse herb has been shown to be effective against virtually all viruses and

bacteria on which is has been tested. Laboratory studies have suggested that olive leaf extract

prevents viral infection from spreading or becoming rooted by rendering the virus incapable of infecting cells or preventing them from reproducing.

Olive Leaf renders the virus incapable of infecting cells or prevents them from reproducing.

Olive Leaf Extract is also beneficial in treating sore throats, sinusitis, and pneumonia,

as well as fungal and bacterial infections. It has been shown to help prevent and protect against infection by viruses such as HIV, herpes, and influenza.


Lauricidin® is a derivative of lauric acid; a highly beneficial antimicrobial found in

coconuts. Since Lauricidin is a derivative of lauric acid, it is able to be taken orally, whereas

lauric acid can be irritating to the body.

Lauricidin® has been found to have a broad-spectrum effect on a myriad of

microorganisms from Candida to Lyme. Researchers also believe that Lauricidin helps to remove the neurotoxins associated with Lyme disease infections through its emulsifying action. This effect may in turn help to break up infectious Lyme colonies.

Lauric acid and monolaurin have been recognized for nearly three decades for their wonderful antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal abilities. The first report of lauric acid’s (monolaurin) antiviral ability on viruses was seen in 1982 in which two researchers, Hierholzer and Kabara, were able to show the viricidal effects of lauric acid on RNA and DNA viruses. Their study was carried out at the Center for Disease Control in the US and utilized selected virus prototypes of recognized strains of human viruses.

Current research has shown that our body has a very difficult time converting coconut oil

into Monolaurin; in fact, at best our body is able to utilize 1%. Many researchers believe that an amount of 3-9 grams of pure Monolaurin (Lauricidin) is needed per day to have significant health benefits. This amount is equal to about 300-900 grams of coconut oil per day, which can cause harmful diarrhea. Therefore, it is much easier and safer to get our Monolaurin from an already broken-down source such as Lauricidin®.

Gut issues are no fun and affect millions of people on a daily basis. However gut health is important and restoring optimal gut function is crucial for health and overall well-being. Incorporating some of these suggestions into your daily life has the potential to make a big difference in your gut health and daily life!


Tonkin M (2012) Lyme and Co: infections, The Road to Recovery Lu Lu Press Raleigh, NC

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