GI Spec Pro
Benefits At a Glance
- Helps support gastrointestinal integrity
- Helps support microflora balance
- Helps support immunity
Additional product information
The health of the gastrointestinal tract has a great impact on our overall metabolic balance. The gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 70% of the immune system, having a strong influence on food allergies, chronic inflammation, autoimmune conditions, neurochemical balance, toxin removal, electrolyte and fluid balance and resistance to infections.
The gut has an innate relationship with a complex group of bacteria called the microflora, which includes over 400 species of bacteria including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium sp. and others that inhabit the intestines. When this microfloral biofilm becomes imbalanced or disturbed, the expression of uncontrolled inflammation can occur and lead to a host of metabolic imbalances.
This imbalance can lead to uncontrolled inflammation and imbalances in your immune system.2 This imbalance of the microflora biofilm and the subsequent overgrowth of pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria and yeast is termed dysbiosis, and dysbiosis may lead to imbalances in metabolism with symptoms including:
Chronic inflammation, including inflammatory bowel diseases
Mood and sleep problems
Hormonal imbalances, including thyroid and sex hormones
Insulin signaling problems and symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Dysbiosis can lead to leaky gut syndrome, which is damage to the intestinal barrier and can lead to a host of problems from fatigue, lowered immunity and food allergies to mineral deficiencies, like magnesium, zinc, copper and calcium, leading to further imbalances in your metabolism.3 When the gastrointestinal (GI) integrity is compromised, pathogens (including bacteria and yeast) can release toxins (endotoxins, mycotoxins), which are then absorbed through the damaged GI protective barrier and can lead to imbalances in metabolism, including fatigue, memory and cognitive problems, inflammation, allergies and immune imbalances.
There are quite a few causes of gastrointestinal and microfloral imbalances, including chronic stress, some foods (high in refined carbohydrates, gluten or dairy products), chemicals (like certain drugs, food additives and preservatives), environmental toxins (like pesticides, heavy metals).
Some commonly used drugs that may lead to gastrointestinal imbalances include:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications: NSAIDs block an enzyme called COX-1, which plays an important role in the production of mucous linings. These drugs include:
o Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
o Naproxen (Alleve, Naprosyn)
o Indomethacin (Indocin)
Steroids: Steroids can cause gut lining damage by blocking the mechanism of mucus production and protection. These drugs include:
o Prednisone (Deltasone)
o Cortisone (Cortef)
o Medrol (Methylpresnisolone)
Antibiotics: Antibiotics alter the balance of beneficial bacteria in the process of killing harmful bacteria, encouraging the overgrowth of yeast.
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills): Birth control pills are reported to deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, which are critical in absorption of nutrients from foods and in metabolizing certain drugs, including:
o Warfarin (Coumadin)
o Oral hypoglycemic drugs
o Cholesterol lowering medications including “statins”
OCs also compromise immunity and can lead to imbalances in gut flora.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy causes cancer cell death by interfering with cell division or by causing massive inflammation of cells, which can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
Acid-lowering Medications: Antacids can alter the pH of the gut, leading to imbalances of the natural flora. Overuse of acid-lowering drugs can lead to the overgrowth of bacteria including H. pylori, which can lead to imbalances in the natural flora of the gut. Acid-lowering drug that can imbalance gut flora include:
o Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium and Prilosec
o H2-blockers like Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid
o Magnesium and aluminum antacids
Alcohol:10 Toxic metabolites of alcohol damage the lining of the gut directly, also depleting many nutrients.