Some attribute the quote “Death Begins in the Gut” to Hypocrites others attribute it to a GI doc from the early 1900s. Whatever the case we are now finding this statement to be true only I feel it is more significant than this, so I added health and age to the equation. I did this after suffering for over a decade and being forced to commit seven years of research to fix a long list of degenerative diseases with neurological disorders the most difficult to address.
When I speak of all the other moving parts, through the course of this article I am referring to an anti-inflammatory diet which includes the inflammatory 9, a well-calibrated fitness program, and of course consistent implementation of Subconscious Restructuring™.
If I had to choose only 5 supplements to address gut health and repair, I would choose the following. My multivitamin has a B complex and vitamin D along with other essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium. NATURELLO has 100 milligrams of magnesium citrate as opposed to magnesium oxide which is found in most multivitamins. Magnesium citrate has an estimated 30 percent bioavailability as opposed to the estimated 4 percent for magnesium oxide. Magnesium is its own relatively complex science. A good resource is for this subject is The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND.
I suffered from a magnesium-potassium deficiency which required supplementation beyond the NATURELLO and magnesium threonate because even though Magtien states 2,042 mg, it is only 147 mg of elemental magnesium which is about one-third of the daily recommended amount. This is why I included Elite Magnesium Citrate and Epsom Salt initially (magnesium sulfate) which I use in a 60-minute soak. The reason for the soak is because magnesium is difficult to digest, and I found bypassing the digestive system was a way to increase magnesium levels without intestinal upset. I also got in the habit of making sure how much “elemental” magnesium there was in each supplement. I contacted NATURELLO and they indicated that the magnesium citrate in the multivitamin I used was indeed 100 mg of elemental magnesium. The reason there is more than one item per line is these supplements work synergistically.
I will get more into more detail of all these supplements below.
- Magnesium - Potassium
- NATURELO for Men – For Women – No Iron
- Krill Oil - Astaxanthin
- Collagen Hydrolysate
- Once Daily Women’s Probiotics – SBO Probiotics
A Cautionary Word About Supplements
All supplements should be treated like medication because if effective they can and will interact with medication and other supplements. This is especially important if you are taking supplements that have the potential of crossing the blood-brain barrier as krill oil and magnesium l-threonate do.
With all the research on supplements, you will notice a theme.
- All Supplements are Food Based
- All are Anti-inflammatory
- I Was Able to Detect Improvement
- Medical Literature Supports Manufacture Claims
Mineral Balance: The Synergistic 4
Magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium work synergistically. Magnesium and potassium, however, represent a unique challenge. I will start with the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and AI. An RDA is the average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 percent) healthy individuals in a group. It is calculated from an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). If sufficient scientific evidence is not available to establish an EAR, and thus calculate an RDA, an AI (adequate intake) is usually developed. Magnesium and calcium are based on RDA and Potassium, and sodium is based on AI. The following numbers are based on my age and gender.
- Magnesium: 420 mg per day
- Potassium: 4,700 mg per day
- Sodium: 1,500 mg per day
- Calcium: 1,000 per day
Magnesium represents the most significant issue regarding healing the gut because there are so many variables involved in getting the right amount and it affects so many enzymatic functions which include altering the microbiota. The first variable is what type to take. I did not consider this until long after I became sick. I was calculating my magnesium based on the amount in my food and the DV stated by the supplements I was taking.
The amount of magnesium in a supplement has three significant variables.
- Bioavailability: What percentage of the magnesium is absorbed.
- Elemental Magnesium: Is the DV based on this? All magnesium has to be bound with something to make it absorbable and unless a magnesium supplement states the amount of elemental magnesium you do not know how much you are getting.
- Does it make you sick? Can you take the recommended amount without getting sick?
I initially took L Threonate for three months and experienced some neurological improvement, but this was not enough. After adding Elite Magnesium Citrate, I noticed a more significant improvement in a matter of days. This did not happen without some experimentation. The first two magnesium citrate supplements I tried made me ill.
As I discovered even after finding a magnesium supplement that did not make me sick determining the right dose took some experimentation. Through the course of this experimentation, I did Epsom Salt soaks to try and keep magnesium levels up. Once I was able to take 4oo mg or more per day I ended the Epsom Salt but realized how much of difference the Epsom salt was making and reinitiated it. Following is how I dose. (As you will notice I take 200 mg or less per dose.)
One NATURELO multivitamin (100 mg magnesium)
One L Threonate (73.5 mg)
One L Threonate (73.5 mg)
One Elite Magnesium Citrate (100 mg)
Two Elite Magnesium Citrate (200 mg)
If you do the math, this works out to a total of 547 mg.
I ultimately settled on 200 mg of Elite Magnesium Citrate two times a day as this did not affect the intestines. Over 4oo mg per day, it began to wreak havoc. When doing this amount for this long, I found adding a couple of tablespoons of organic olive oil helped with the dry skin issue.
Epsom Salt Dose
I initially started with the recommendation on the package which was two cups in the bathwater and a twenty-minute soak. I worked my up to 9 cups which is six pounds of Epsom Salt and an hour and twenty-minute soak time. This amount caused a noticeable improvement.
You can find the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and a lot more good information on magnesium here. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional
Potassium represents a significant dilemma because it is in every cell of the body which requires large daily amounts. When suffering from any form of gut dysbiosis and there is malabsorption, or one must limit food choices this compounds the problem.
There are several ways to increase potassium with capsules, powder, or salt substitute. I chose NU-Salt to increase my potassium intake. NU-Salt is 3180 mg per teaspoon, and I add about half a teaspoon of NU-Salt to my food every day. This adds 1,590 mg of potassium chloride per day. I found this to be very effective. Ultimately these minerals need to be part of a comprehensive blood test.
The best source I have found for sodium is Pink Himalayan Salt. I eat only whole foods, so I have to pay attention to getting enough sodium. If one eats prepackaged or processed foods, you have to make sure you are not eating too much.
My primary sources of calcium are bok choy, spinach, and swiss chard. Important to get calcium from food sources only. No one recommends taking a calcium supplement. I should mention however that the multivitamin I take has 100 mg of calcium derived from a plant source. This is not the case with most calcium supplements.
Iodine Selenium and Thyroid Function
A large percentage of autoimmune diseases involves dysfunction of the thyroid. Iodine was a no-brainer for me as this was the first supplement I learned about as a child and I get plenty with the dry roasted seaweed I eat and my multivitamin. Something I was completely missing, however, is for adults, the thyroid is the organ with the highest amount of selenium per gram of tissue. The importance of selenium was a bit of a revelation especially considering how hard it is to get through a diet. Even though my multivitamin states that it has 91% of the RDA for selenium this was not enough to alleviate thyroid symptoms. This was easily corrected through eating just one to three brazil nuts per day as each nut has 95.9 mcg of selenium which is 137% of the RDA.
When suffering from DBS/IBS, parasites, candida, and other forms of gut issues that may cause malabsorption getting enough of these critical trace minerals cannot be measured by what the RDA or AI recommendations. This is where a good ND, RD or a combination of the two become extremely useful as one can also take too much of these minerals and end up with the same symptoms as not getting enough.
Maintaining Mineral Balance During a Fast
I found that even before considering a fast one should make sure nutrient and mineral levels are up to par and use a magnesium, potassium, and sodium solution even during a fast.
Hydrolyzed Collagen: Finding a Therapeutic Amount
The benefits of hydrolyzed collagen for joint health, hair, and nails are well documented. The use of collagen for gut repair and overall gut health, however, is rarely mentioned even though there is a significant amount of medical literature to support it.
The dilemma is not whether it works for leaky gut but what a therapeutic amount would be. There may very well be medical literature somewhere that states this, but I have not been able to find it. Articles from ND’s and chiropractors range anywhere from 40 to 75 grams per day. A single serving of the Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate that I use is two rounded tablespoons which are equal to 12 grams. It states on their label that you can take this amount twice a day which is 24 grams. Based on this I felt it was reasonable to add one more serving per day which would equal 36 grams per day. I also felt a 30-day timeline would be reasonable for this increased amount. I did, however, monitor my response daily and weekly.
I noticed a difference at one serving, an increased improvement at two servings, and a significant difference with three servings almost immediately. I was not however able t0 maintain this, so I went back to two servings a day.
The determination of a therapeutic amount of Hydrolyzed Collagen is another good example of why one needs to work with a functional medicine practitioner who is familiar with and has used therapeutic amounts of Collagen Hydrolysate.
I found there were three rules I had to follow in regard to Collagen Hydrolysate and animal protein.
1. No more than one serving of animal protein per day
2. Do not mix animal protein with Collagen Hydrolysate
3. No more than two servings of Collagen Hydrolysate per day
A Word About TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide)
TMA (Trimethylamine) is produced by gut bacteria, travels through the bloodstream, and then is converted by the liver into TMAO which is considered inflammatory and linked to heart disease, hardening of the arteries, diabetes, and colon cancer. The medical literature is not completely clear, so I am not going to go too far with this other than to say that TMA is produced when one eats excessive amounts of beef, fish, eggs, and dairy. In other words, foods that are high in choline, lecithin, and L-carnitine.
When suffering from gut dysbiosis choline and lecithin are especially important. The message here is balance. I have limited my animal protein intake to 3 to 4 times per week. The rest of the time I use Hydrolyzed Collagen. I have found wild-caught sockeye salmon to be especially attractive because it has one milligram of astaxanthin per ounce. It does not taste as good as king salmon nor do I like the texture as much, but I always feel better the next day.
The vegan movement is using the TMAO research to promote a strict plant-based diet but as pointed out earlier this diet is wrought with its own issues. Again, it is all about balance.
Krill Oil: Improve Neurocognitive Function, Memory, and Inflammation
Krill oil contributes to brain development, learning and memory behavior processes.143 Krill omega-3 phospholipids, containing mostly phosphatidylcholine (PC) with DHA/EPA attached, markedly outperformed conventional fish oil DHA/EPA triglycerides in double-blind trials for premenstrual syndrome/dysmenorrhea and for normalizing blood lipid profiles. Krill Omega-3 phospholipids demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in a double-blind trial.144
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory and krill oil has larger amounts of this carotenoid than fish oil. Astaxanthin also makes krill oil more stable on the shelf and in your system.145
Astaxanthin: Detox on a Cellular Level
Astaxanthin (AXT) is a carotenoid with a broad range of biological activities, and it is only produced by the microalgae Haematococcus Pluvialis. The reason flamingos, salmon, and shrimp are pink are because of astaxanthin. There is a synthetic version, but I would not use this as it is derived from petrochemicals. Anytime I buy this supplement I make sure it is made from the above microalgae.
AXT is certified as generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the food and drug administration, a classification that requires both extensive information on its consumption in humans and a plethora of data from strict, high-quality scientific assessments to determine its safety.
AXT is used in clinical applications, including cardiovascular health, metabolic syndrome, treatment of gastric ulcers, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, all of which have elements of inflammation and/or oxidative stress. It has also been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, is detectable in the brain tissue is an industrial-grade free radical scavenger, and includes the restoration of oxidative stress damage in the aging hippocampus. In addition to all of this is emerging evidence AXT can promote neurogenesis and plasticity.
The attributes listed above for ATX barely scratch the surface of what it is capable of. The focus of this book, however, is the mind-gut so I will stay focused on this.
The mechanism of action for some of the issues above was unclear until recently. September 2018 a study was published that indicated astaxanthin prevented alcohol fatty liver by modulating the gut microbiota in mice.153 This explained part of the effectiveness of AXT which is the only one I am concerned with for now.
I know that a mouse model is not a human, but mice represent a good indicator as speculative as it may be. Regardless of what any science says the fundamental question will always be “does it work?” For me, the answer to this question was an astounding yes.
There are many moving parts in the dysbiotic equation, but ATX for me was a very significant piece. I have been taking AXT for 30 days, and I am not 100%, but I have experienced a vast improvement in my remaining symptoms.
Essential Probiotic 7
1. Lactobacillus Reuteri
- L. Reuteri significantly reduces chronic functional abdominal pain in children.43
- High-fat-diet-induced obesity is associated with decreased anti-inflammatory L. reuteri.44
- L. Reuteri reduces hepatic cancer cell proliferation, muscle wasting, and morbidity, and prolongs survival.45
- L. Reuteri attenuates stressor-enhanced infectious Colitis.46
- L. Rhamnosus provides protective effects on alcoholic liver injury by reducing oxidative stress and restoring the intestinal flora.47
- L. Rhamnosus diminishes oxidative markers in the brain.48
- L. Rhamnosus protects against tissue damage mediated through free radicals and inflammatory cytokines.48
- L. Acidophilus restrains the development of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa enteric infections.49
- Exopolysaccharides (EPS) from Lactobacillus acidophilus has antioxidative properties.50
- Surface layer protein A (SlpA) from Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM potentially represents a feasible therapeutic approach to restore intestinal homeostasis.51
- L. Plantarum potentially enhances the immunity of the small intestine.52
- L. Plantarum could ameliorate anxiety and depression-like behaviors and modulate neurochemicals related to affective disorders.53
- L. Plantarum has a positive effect on the immune system and acts as an antiviral.54
- L. Brevis synthesizes gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).55 GABA is the most potent depressive neuroamine in human brains. It regulates many of the depressive and sedative actions in brain tissue and is critical to relaxation.56
- L. Brevis may prevent some metabolic disturbances.57
6. Bifidobacterium Lactis
- B. Lactis improves the intestinal microbiota more effectively than non-proliferating bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria.58
- B. Lactis improves defecation frequency.59
- As part of a multispecies probiotic blend, B. lactis showed cognitive reactivity to sad mood, which was largely accounted for by reduced rumination and aggressive thoughts.60
- B. Longum decreases the excitability of enteric (gut) neurons.62
- B. Longum has anti-allergy effects, reductions in harmful bacteria, and improvements in the intestinal environment, defecation frequency and stool characteristics.63
- B. Longum supplementation prevents bone loss and increases bone formation.64
SBO (Soil Based Organisms Probiotic)
I decided to start taking SBO probiotics in an attempt to increase bacterial diversity and the difference in digestion stool consistency, lung capacity, gait, etc. was immediately noticeable. The recommended amount was two capsules which are 50 billion CFU’s. I doubled down on this amount for a total of 100 billion per day which was two capsules twice a day. After being on this probiotic less than a week the results have been very good, but all the other moving parts are in place as well which I believe is causing a synergistic effect. Probiotics are the wild card because the science simply is not as comprehensive as the other supplements.
About Kelly Burris, PhD, MBC
Kelly Burris has defined ‘Normal’ in an industry, that only defines broken or disordered. He is the developer of the empirically sound Subconscious Restructuring™ process and founder of Burris Institute. With over 200 medical references Subconscious Restructuring™ represents a scientific breakthrough in mental health, and it has done this without meds, labels, or personal history.
As part of the Burris, ecosystem Subconscious Restructuring™ Practitioners can manage, track and interact with current and future clients after certification on BurrisConnect.com. This same ecosystem enables corporate, military, and educational entities to supervise and monitor the performance of their internal Subconscious Restructuring™ (mental health) infrastructure in the cloud.
59. Effect of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, BB-12™, on defecation frequency in healthy subjects with low defecation frequency and abdominal discomfort: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial