June 08, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
If your goal is to optimize your health and wellbeing, one of the primary areas to address is the health of your gut. A system used extensively by healthcare providers around the world is known as the 4R Program for Gastrointestinal Health. It involves 4 steps that start with the letter “R”: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. Here’s how the program works.
Step 1: Remove
Let’s say that you want to plant a small vegetable garden in the backyard. There’s a nice little patch of soil for you to do it, but over the years trash has accumulated on that soil and where there’s trash, there are a whole bunch of critters. You need to clear the area first of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and parasites before you can grow your garden.
Now, you can remove that trash by going for a colonic, for example, but that’s the equivalent of shooting a loaded firehose at the area. Sure, you’ll take out the trash and the critters, but you’ll also damage the soil and the retaining wall in the process. There’s a better way to do it as you’ll soon find out.
Step 2: Replace
It’s been said that old age happens at 27. Of course, we know that your anabolic hormone production has peaked by that point and now it’s on a downward slide, but something else drops dramatically by that age: your enzyme production. Not only does that make it more difficult to recover from muscle damage and heal injuries, but it also compromises digestion.
By the age of 35 or so, stomach acid production declines significantly making it even more difficult to digest your food. You can eat the best food in the world, but you’ll only benefit from that food if you’re able to digest it. Furthermore, undigested food can cause problems, so it’s important to support the digestive tract with hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes.
Step 3: Reinoculate
That little patch of soil you have is in a constant war. You’ve got the good guys, the friendly bacteria, battling the bad guys, the pathogenic bacteria. The more good guys you have, the better your chance of winning the war, but these good guys are not only soldiers that support your immune system, they perform numerous chores that benefit the entire nation, like synthesizing vitamins and improving mineral absorption, aiding digestion, and so forth.
Consuming fermented foods and taking probiotics will help to boost your army. By the way, taking antibiotics will wipe your army right out. It’s like dropping a bomb on all the soldiers, good or bad.
Step 4: Repair
That soil patch was a perfect spot for your garden because it had these nice railroad ties all around it separating it from the rest of the backyard. Over the years, however, the wood from the retaining wall has started to rot out and needs to be repaired. The same sort of thing can happen to your gastrointestinal (GI) lining and the way you go about repairing it is with nutritional support, such as bone broths, along with certain key supplements, like glutamine, colostrum, zinc carnosine, aloe, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), vitamins, and cod liver oil.
Glutamine is one of my favorite supplements for this purpose, but a word of advice: if you suspect that you are gluten intolerant (i.e., you don’t handle wheat well) and many people with GI issues fall in this category, then stay away from glutamine peptides and use free form L-glutamine instead.
Tomorrow we’ll look at a way to remove the trash, so to speak, without it being such a pain in the butt!