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Sunday, January 26, 2014

PJSC Podcast #67 The importance of Gut Health for Mental Health!

Cook- reheat- voila!  Resistant Starch!  Gut buddy food!!


This whole subject of gut health, or of a healthy, diverse flora of colonies of diverse microbes within the human intestine is becoming a subject of huge interest- almost a Paleo Microbe Diet in and of itself!  Sure, WE need to eat healthy, real, nutritious foods...

But so do our gut buddies!  And they need food that we can’t even digest, so that they can continue to help us in our mutual symbiotic relationship- they do so much for human health and wellness, both physical AND mental, that this is a huge new realm of largely uncharted potential!

Everything is not, and probably will never be known about these bacteria that live within us, but very much already IS, and what they do for us is irreplaceable!  Some bacteria produce butyrate, which is a crucial ant-inflammatory agent.  Others produce vitamins, and digest short chain fatty acids, prevent the growth of harmful, infectious bacteria, and actually can determine whether or not we are lean and fit or fat!

And all of this is just some of what we already know- there is very much that we as of yet do not.  But suffice it to say that, the importance of a healthy gut is every bit as much important as, say, any other healthy organ in the body!  In fact, the gut and its biome are every bit as much important as our liver, or kidneys, or... you name it!  The gut can be thought of as a forgotten organ.

There have been experiments where fecal transplants are performed- a bit of healthy bacteria from the gut of a healthy subject is put into that of a fat one...

And the fat person becomes slim and healthy!

This has been done repeatedly with mice, and now also with humans!  And this transplantation of bacteria is also very effective against disease as well- ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and my main point of this post is- autism and other forms of mental irregularities.

In case you’re thinking “Oh well, this is just nut-case PaleoJay speaking...” here is a link from the Mayo Clinic backing me up-
http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/quick-inexpensive-90-percent-cure-rate

Children with autism is a new epidemic, with 1 in every 50 children afflicted.  Just 10 years ago it was 1 in 1000, and 15 years ago, 1 in 10,000!  We are talking huge, growing epidemic here- think Black Plague or something along those lines.

It appears that the guts of children, exposed to a bad, modern Western diet of processed foods and sugars, lots of gluten that destroys their gut lining, allowing undigested food particles to migrate right into the bloodstream and triggering autoimmune diseases along with mental problems, are largely to blame.  The guts of Autistic children have been shown to have just a few strains of gut bacteria- naturally, they would be the less beneficial strains that thrive on sugar- and autistic children also have lots of gastrointestinal distress.

What to do?  A Paleo diet consisting of real foods, as made by God, not man will feed the child the best.  But the GUT needs special consideration- harken we back now to http://www.paleojay.com/2014/01/paleojays-smoothie-cafe-66-more-on.html, the subject of resistant starch that has consumed me, and other folk like Richard Nicholey and Tim Steele at www.freetheanimal.com

Adding in some resistant starch, which is easily done with Bob’s Potato Starch in your daily green Paleo smoothie, will feed the good bacteria in you and your child’s guts in the form of a prebiotic, meaning that it encourages those good gut microbes to thrive and multiply, rather than simply a probiotic, which is those microbes themselves.  The problem with probiotics, besides that they are sometimes expensive in pill form, is that they often don’t survive the stomach to get to the gut alive!

Doubly beneficially for potato starch is that if you take probiotics along with the prebiotic of the resistant potato starch, (say by having kefir in your smoothie along with potato starch), the starch seems to protect the living probiotic microbes by combining before reaching the acid of the stomach!  Talk about a double whammy!!

It’s like the old Certs tv commercial from my ancient youth-

“It’s two- two-two mints in one!!”

Well, it’s not a mint- but it is two great things in one!  Have some potato starch, my friend, and wash it down with some kefir.  Have Greek yogurt for dessert!

Your brain will thank you, from the bottom of it’s...GUT.

J