What the Gut?

OPTMZ
9 min readSep 6, 2022

Irritable bowel, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, gas, heartburn, reflux. Shits without the giggles and farts of destruction. The problem is real for millions of people. There is a reason why in the US, the number three and number seven top-selling pharmaceutical drugs are for digestive problems. You’ll spot them all over when you walk into any pharmacy: there are over 200 over-the-counter remedies for digestive problems, many of which can create all manner of new digestive problems in the process!

What is the gut? It is the gastrointestinal tract, which is effectively the tract from your mouth to your butt and includes all the organs of the digestive system.
The idea that your gut is like a second brain has become widely accepted, but the notion that the gut may actually be your primary brain is gaining popularity. Your gut contains more neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) than your brain. The gut and the brain are wired together through what is called the vagus nerve and when the gut and the brain don’t communicate properly, your health suffers.

In fact, if your gut isn’t functioning well, it wreaks havoc on your entire body, with illnesses and diseases DIRECTLY associated with gut problems including arthritis, eczema, autoimmune diseases, dementia, cancer, chronic fatigue, rashes, acne, mood disorders and more.

It is central to your entire health and so much more than just that annoying post-meal heartburn or bloating. Your gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients from your food and for keeping harmful toxins and allergens out, determining the health of your entire system.

The Gut Solution?

Given how much awareness there is now about the fact that our gut health is crucial to our overall health, two hot topics and products have become very well-known and popular: probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Let’s have a quick look at why these are important for good gut health:

Probiotics

Probiotics are all about balancing bacteria. At all times, we have good bacteria and bad bacteria in our systems. This is a good thing, as long as everything is in balance. However, sometimes the balance goes “off”, for example, you develop an infection or bad bacteria enter your system, in which case there are more “bad” bacteria, which has knocked your system out of balance. It then becomes the job of your “good” bacteria to help eliminate the bad bacteria and restore balance to the body.

So, bacteria in itself shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing and even though we normally view it negatively, all the bacteria in our system have a role to play. But this is where probiotics play an important role: they are a combination of live, beneficial bacteria and yeast that you would anyway have naturally living in your body. They help us feel better by supporting the good bacteria to keep the bad bacteria in check.

So-called good bacteria, therefore, have a crucial role to play, namely the digestion of food, preventing bad bacteria from making you sick, creating vitamins, supporting the cells that protect your gut and breaking down the nutrients in your food for better absorption.

Digestive Enzymes

Our bodies are so amazing at doing all our normal functions, so why is it that we need additional digestive enzymes before we eat to optimise digestion?

Humans are the only species who eat our food cooked. Other species eat food with its enzymes present which allows them to break down at the right time. There are a number of reasons why we do cook our food, and this doesn’t mean that we need to all jump onto a raw food-only diet. However, what it does mean is that when we eat our food, most people don’t have the necessary enzymes present to digest our food properly.

Taking a step back, let’s understand how digestion works. You put your grub in your mouth, chew and enzymes are released which have to break the food down so we can absorb nutrients and energy from that food. After chewing, the food goes to the upper cardiac portion of your stomach and the enzymes present in the food should continue breaking down which chewing alone could not achieve.

Now due to cooking but also the way in which food is grown in modern agriculture (GMO, pesticides etc), we’re unfortunately not getting all these enzymes from our food. The food isn’t properly broken down, nutrients aren’t released for absorption and the overall gut health suffers. To nerd out a little, without the enzymes, we can’t properly extract the amino acids from food that are so essential to us, and amino acids are then borrowed from elsewhere in the body and it all goes out of balance!

Bearing in mind that it’s estimated that by the time a person turns 40, they’ve lost 70% of the enzymes they’ve had at birth and given that very few of us want to follow a completely organic, raw food diet (in soil that somehow has all the required minerals), supplementing with digestive enzymes actually becomes quite important before a meal to make sure everything gets digested properly for optimal gut health.

Gut Complex by PrimeSelf

Modern living, stress, processed food. All these things add up to a compromised gut and a decline in overall health. Even if you don’t feel like you suffer from any kind of gastric distress, chances are you could really benefit from probiotics and digestive enzymes. Yet try as I might, I could not find a single product that includes both probiotics and digestive enzymes in one supplement. Barring one: PrimeSelf’s Gut Complex.

Gut Complex has a very innovative formulation in that it combines probiotics (the patented LactoSpore® probiotic) AND digestive enzymes (the patented Digezyme® digestive enzyme complex) AND a rather special Ayurvedic medicinal compound, called Triphala. The combination of all three makes this a unique yet very impressive product.

With supplementation, the quality, purity and sourcing of the ingredients are almost more important than whether you take it or not. Impure quality and dodgy sourcing could make the most benign-sounding herb actually cause more harm than good.

A lactoSpore® probiotic is certainly a superior form of probiotic because it is stable at room temperature and doesn’t require refrigeration (quite a few probiotics require refrigeration to just remain viable, so money is often wasted on these). Furthermore, LactoSpore® contains a large number of lactobacilli which simply means that this particular strain of probiotic can survive gastric secretions and bile in the upper digestive tract, which is kind of important when ingesting supplements! Most importantly, this probiotic can survive digestive enzymes, which is why it makes sense to combine it with digestive enzymes in this product. The point is this: the specific type of probiotic used to formulate Gut Complex is first-in-class and actually does the job that a probiotic is supposed to do, i.e. producing a strong enough counter-balance to the bad bacteria when your body requires it.

Digezyme® digestive enzymes included in Gut Complex is another best-in-class product. Enzymes are simple proteins which we find in all of our cells and act as catalysts to biological reactions, particularly digestion in this instance. Digezyme® uses a proprietary process to make a unique blend of five specific digestive enzymes (there are many as you can imagine) that ensures that the food that you eat is properly digested and you absorb the right nutrients. It really is crucial in our modern food environment. The five specific digestive enzymes are ɑ-Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Cellulase and Lactase. These were specifically chosen because when ingested, they help break down macromolecules into smaller building blocks, such as the amino acids we mentioned earlier. By breaking down molecules such as proteins, lipids, etc., enzymes help the body absorb the amino acids and other nutrients it needs in a faster and more efficient way.

Triphala (essentially a herb) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and as you can tell from the name, is made up of three medicinal fruits which are native to India (Triphala means “three fruits” in Sanskrit). It is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine and is well-known for the treatment of stomach ailments. “Tri” also refers to the fact that it supports all three doshas (in Ayurveda): air/space, fire/water and water/earth. Doshas are the elements responsible for physical, mental and emotional health.

Triphala has multiple benefits, believed to help with alleviating inflammation, controlling blood sugar, promoting weight loss, reducing cholesterol, relieving stress and having powerful antimicrobial benefits. But it is most famous for its laxative effect!

At lower doses, Triphala works well as a bowel tonic to alleviate gas and promote healthy digestion. At higher doses, well, it’s a mighty powerful laxative (best taken at night for a morning bowel movement as opposed to during the day, when it might very well interrupt your regular scheduling!).

The combination of these three fruits works synergistically, making them more powerful than they’d be on their own.

What makes Gut Complex so Unique

As mentioned, this is the only product on the market that combines three gut products into one. The probiotic used in this supplement works synergistically with the digestive enzymes, which ordinarily would have destroyed the probiotic if used in combination. Here they add value to each other. The patented and trademarked ingredients ensure that you are receiving the highest quality supplement that WORKS and isn’t “snake oil” sold as a supplement.

The product is incredibly smart because if you take it before a meal, not only does it help break down (digest) your food better with the digestive enzymes, but it actually helps to enhance the absorption and digestion of the nutrients that your food contains. The probiotic element keeps your gut microbiome in a happy balance so that you can ward off bad bacteria. And finally, the Triphala enhances overall gut health and digestion and has been used for this very purpose for centuries.

I use this product daily because it helps me feel better in so many ways. What I especially love about it is that it is antibiotic resistant, which is often a big problem when taking antibiotics and the havoc it wreaks on your gut. The product is stable at any temperature and you truly get what you pay for, which is sadly a rarity in the supplement world.

I would highly recommend stopping the usage of any antacids or accepting the fact that perhaps you just tend to fart more than other people. Give this product a go and see the difference that it makes!

Thea Hiemstra Author
  • About
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  • Thea is the founder of Neolaia — Biohacking SA and passionate about all things biohacking, functional medicine, holistic and ancestral wellness. She enjoys the occasional triathlon, is fanatic about yoga and the gym and loves n=1 biohacking experiments more than anything else! Learning about the latest in scientific research for health and wellness and applying this knowledge is what makes her happiest!
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Disclaimer

This information does not serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and does not provide a comprehensive explanation of the different compounds. Always consult your doctor first when making any changes to medication or supplementation.

Originally published in OPTMZ

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