Everything we need to know about our gut

“Happy Gut: The cleansing program to help you lose weight, gain energy, and eliminate pain” by Vincent Pedre

This book is like the summary for everything we need to know about our gut, and it is written with such brevity that it feels like a cheat sheet where only the most important information are presented.

The book begins with describing the ideal state: how a healthy gut looks like. Then it takes us step by step through the whole digestive process, starting from the top (our mouth), to the middle (our gut), down to the bottom (our colon). Along the way he explains the many functions of our organs, which makes it easier to understand within the context of the digestive process.

Moreover, while the first few chapters are absolute masterpieces on describing our gut and digestive system, the proceeding chapters dive straight into the practicalities: What certain types of food are made of, what to avoid and what to consume (and why), all the problems and challenges for our gut, and culminating with so many recipes for a good gut flora that takes about 1/3 of the length of the book.

And all of these gems are discussed within the frame of C.A.R.E: Cleanse (remove gut irritants, infections, food sensitivities, and toxins in food) Activate (reactivate healthy digestion by replacing essential nutrients and enzymes) Restore (reintroduce beneficial bacteria for a healthy guy flora) Enhance (repair, regenerate, and heal the intestinal lining).

Now, while there are so many great knowledge that I’ve learned from this book, there are some that stand out more than the others. These are the selected few:

  • “Between the antibiotics, eating the wrong foods that feed the bad organisms, the toxins you are exposed to in your environment, and the resulting dysbiosis, over a period of days to months you develop a leaky gut. This leakiness or “hyperpermeability” exposes your body to partially digested protein molecules from food. The immune system does not recognize these so it attacks, which results in food sensitivities. You might not even be aware of these sensitivities, which can manifest as hives, allergies, chronic sinus inflammation, and migraines and become the triggers for irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune disease.”
  • ““Leaky gut” is not a diagnosis but a process, a description of the underlying pathology of numerous diseases that we treat yet have failed to find a cure for. It is a condition in which connections between the cells that line the inside of the intestines (known as tight junctions) become looser, allowing larger molecules (such as partially digested food particles) to pass through the gut wall. Usually, properly digested food is absorbed directly through the cell wall, but in a leaky gut, the pathway between the cells is opened up, exposing the gut-associated immune system to a wide variety of substances our immune cells would otherwise not come into contact with.”
  • “Your immune system is constantly patrolling the gut border for anything it does not recognize in order to prevent an all-out invasion. As the immune system encounters these escaped particles, it attacks. And in individuals with a genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases, this increased load on the immune system leads to the type of dysregulation that becomes an autoimmune disease. As you are exposed to large protein molecules in a leaky gut from the incompletely digested foods you eat on a daily basis, you develop immune reactions to those foods.”
  • “Often a diet rich in the foods that you are sensitive to, in combination with a leaky or hyperpermeable gut, leads to fluid retention and inflammation and, as a result, weight gain. People who are very food sensitive often lose five to six pounds in the first week after removing these foods from their diet.”
  • “Even when you restrict yourself stringently by following one of the popular diets, including limiting calories or carbs, or monitoring carb-fat-protein ratios, your food sensitivities will make it very difficult to lose weight. When you remove the foods that are “toxic” to your body because they activate your immune response, weight loss happens naturally.”

Because if there is one thing that nearly all modern diseases have in common, it is inflammation. And it underlines the importance of this book, since many metabolic diseases, including inflammation, begin in the gut.