Digestive Malabsorption

An excerpt from the book 7-Syndrome Healing by Marcia Zimmerman and Jayson Kroner


Malabsorption is a general term for the results of poor digestion, microbial contamination, and abnormalities in gut mucosa, that are also known as leaky gut, sterile gut, and intestinal dysbiosis.

Digestive system support will have direct and immediate effect on your health.

If your digestive system is compromised, it won’t be long before your general health fails.

You can take simple measures to ensure your digestive system stays in top shape:

  • eat raw foods
  • drink lots of energized water
  • supplement with minerals, probiotics and digestive enzymes.

This can ultimately mean the difference between living well, and barely hanging on.

Poor digestion can result from a lack of digestive enzymes, an organ dysfunction, an illness or as a response to stress. Stress can have profound effect on digestion and the absorption of nutrients. The enteric nervous system (ENS) is in charge of governing each stage of digestion. The ENS, or “gut brain,” uses many of the same hormones, peptides, and neurotransmitters that the central nervous system does. These hormones, peptides, and neurotransmitters determine which and how much of each enzyme will be needed, based on what the meal in question included.

The sensory organs of smell, sight and taste contribute a lot of information – please chew your food carefully and savor every bite. Enjoying your food is also an excellent way to alleviate stress. Once food arrives in the stomach and intestines, sensory receptors pick up additional information that has been relayed to accessory glands. This triggers the release of enzymes and other substances that make up the digestive terrain. Sensory receptors are also involved in releasing protective mucus secreted by stomach glands to protect it from digestive acids.

Normally, there is a balance between sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest, digest, repair) nervous system response. During times of stress, sympathetic response dominates, and its effects on the gastrointestinal tract can result in the slow movement of food through the system, as well as a reduction in digestive secretions. Sphincters that separate the individual compartments of the digestive system tighten, further impeding the flow of food through the digestive system.

People react to stress in two ways: one may be compelled to eat more, while another will not want to eat at all. Continued stress will lead to a serious illness.

Products effective in helping with for poor digestion are Digestive Enzymes, salt brine, acid supplementation (Betaine HCl, Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice), and food combining.

Microbial Contamination

Hydrochloric acid is extremely strong, killing most of the bacteria that enters the stomach. Hypochlorhydria refers to low levels of stomach acid, and has been implicated in gastric ulcers – particularly those that occur in the higher region of the stomach. Many species of bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, can cover the gastric lining and infiltrate deeper layers of tissue, causing mechanical and biochemical damage. Using antacids makes this situation worse.

Yeast (Candida albicans) organisms are normally found in the colon along with several species of pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. Most of these organisms are kept in check by the body’s reserve of probiotics (friendly bacteria). However, when the microflora environment is out of balance, caused by use of antibiotics, chlorinated water, mercury poisoning or chemical drugs, candida albicans can quickly take over. Early symptoms include excess gas, bloating and discomfort. Yeast can also colonize other parts of the body as candida mycelia are transported by the bloodstream. The biggest problem with candida overgrowth occurs when it grows into the mucosa (mucous membrane). When this happens, holes are formed that allow undigested particles, toxins, and bacteria to easily enter the bloodstream causing allergic reactions. Pathogenic bacteria can also putrefy materials in the colon, producing deadly byproducts, noxious gases, and toxins.

Products effective to counteract microbial contamination include probiotics, digestive enzymes, systemic enzymes, and high-nutrient-density foods, especially those rich in pigments.

Abnormalities in Gut Mucosa include “leaky gut,” which describes the condition of having large pores in the intestinal mucosa. The conditions that are attributable to leaky gut syndrome are many, and include neurological symptoms (mood swings, anxiety, nervousness, nail biting, finger or cheek chewing, brain fogginess), chronic joint and muscle pain, gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, constipation, indigestion), bladder infections, migraines, poor immunity, and skin rashes.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Probiotic microflora helps maintain the delicate balance between the immune system and the gastrointestinal tract. When this balance is disrupted, disease and inflammation can result. Immune receptors line the entire gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to form a protective shield against pathogens, toxins, and other potentially harmful substances. Your mouth, throat, stomach and intestines are constantly exposed to a wide variety of microbes and toxic metabolites from what you eat, drink and breathe. Without active immune agents in your digestive tract you simply wouldn’t survive.

A gastrointestinal tract with adequate mucus production, balanced secretions of hydrochloric acid (HCl), ample digestive enzymes, proper bicarbonate secretion from your pancreas, efficient gut motility, and a balance in microflora species is the basis of good health. Many chronic and degenerative diseases have been linked to alterations in intestinal microflora. Included are irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, which in turn encompass celiac, Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis. Autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, have also been linked to disturbances in intestinal microflora. Restoring healthy intestinal balance in not terribly complicated.

Products for healthy gut mucosa include probiotics, mineral supplements, Superfoods, enzymes, digestive supplements.


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  2. Head, KA; Jurenka, JS: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part I:Ulcerative Colitis – Pathophysiology and Conventional and Alternative Treatment Options Alt Med Rev 2003;8:247-283
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  4. Hawrelak, JA; Myers, SP; The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis: A Review Alt Med Rev 2004;9:180-197
  5. Helms, S; Celiac Disease and Gluten-Associated Diseases Alt Med Rev 2005;10:172-192
  6. Tso, P; Crissinger, K; Overview of Digestion and Absorption. Stipanuk, MH, ed; Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Human Nutrition. Philadelphia WB Saunders Company 2000 pp. 75-90
Author: Life Enthusiast