Acid reflux, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, GERD, IBD… these terms and many like them were once relatively unknown but are now all too familiar. The increased prevalence brings up the logical question “Why do so many people have digestive problems”. Or, more personally, Why is MY gut sick?
There was a time when most health care professionals only looked to one significant cause of a gut flora imbalance – overuse of antibiotics. Everyone knows that antibiotics kill bacteria and that the gut is a bacteria farm with with a vital role to fill. Even a single dose of antibiotics can cause a gut flora imbalance. But there are many other less obvious potential causes.
Just as medications can kill a person, they can kill bacteria in your gut. Strong drugs like chemotherapy may also seriously disrupt the bodies chemistry and destroy the guts environment.
Pesticides including insectidies herbicides fungicides in your food may damage your gut flora. Farmers use these chemicals on their crops to specifically kill little bacteria-like critters including fungi and to also kill off any competition in the form of weeds or other plants. They may have every bit the same potential to do in your gut that which they do on the farms – kill.
Other chemicals in your food including artificial flavors, artifical colors, and artificial sweeteners also alter the environment for your gut flora. Chemicals can cause ill-health to a person; how much more damage could they do to tiny bacteria?
Preservatives are added to foods to either kill or prevent bacteria and other critters from flourishing in them. They may have the same potential in your gut as they do in the food.
Nutritionally altered foods including trans fats and hydrogenated oils are used to preserve food. These franken fats make foods unfit for bugs and bacteria and may wreak the same havoc in your gut as they do in the food that sits in the grocery store waiting to be bought by unaware consumers.
GMO foods are an increasing potential threat to your health and your gut flora. Some GMO foods are designed specifically to withstand chemicals such as herbicides. By breeding these genes into the vegetation, it makes it easier for the farmers to use more herbicides without actually killing the crop. Some crops are genetically modified to produce their own insecticides. These same insecticides that kill bugs may kill bacteria in your gut. More research is needed to determine the safety of such GMO alterations.
Antibacterial soaps and lotions may potentially create imbalances in your bacterial flora.
Chemicals in your drinking water including chlorine and flouride may kill your friendly bacteria.
Mercury released from dental amalgums may also poison your gut flora. Thimerosal is an organomercury compound used to preserve vaccines and may also be toxic in the body.
Pasteurization of juices, milk, and much more kills bacteria that may be essential replenishers of gut flora. Radiation of foods also kills bacteria.
Nearly a couple thousand years ago, it was written in the book 1 Timothy to “use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities”. I suspect wine was a bit different back then. Not too long ago, we had a bottle of raw grape juice in our refrigerator. After about a week, I opened the bottle and it made a sound kind of like opening a bottle of soda. You see, the grape juice was turning to wine as it had begun to naturally “ferment”. That is, it was being taken over by probiotic bacteria. And two thousand years ago, they knew that somehow this was good for the stomach and to counter illness. We now know that probiotics and fermented foods are good for the gut and immune system.
At Stockton Aloe 1, we believe a healthy diet avoids unnecessary medications, chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, over pasteurization, radiation, GMO foods, Altered foods, and minimizes anything unnatural. We also feel a healthy diet includes many raw living foods and superfoods such as raw 100% pure aloe vera gel.