Regenerate, Heal and Protect the Intestinal Mucosa - Colonic Training

Regenerate, Heal and Protect the Intestinal Mucosa

Many chronic diseases arise, among other things, because the intestinal mucosa is not healthy. Nature offers many ways of helping the intestinal mucosa and supporting its regeneration. Because as soon as the intestine is healthy again, healing can often start in other areas as well.

Why your intestinal lining needs help

Almost every chronic illness – including obesity – can be associated with a damaged intestinal mucosa (leaky gut syndrome), a disturbed intestinal flora, inflammatory processes in the intestine, or defective digestion – regardless of whether it is arteriosclerosis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, asthma, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue or whatever.

If the intestinal mucosa heals, diseases that have existed for years and were described as incurable often improve. Practically, those measures that heal the intestinal mucosa can usually regulate the intestinal flora at the same time and counteract the inflammation, so that the procedure described below basically achieves complete intestinal rehabilitation.

The intestinal mucosa needs cleanliness

Depending on the condition of the digestive system and the extent of the symptoms, first, an intestinal cleanse should be carried out so that the intestinal mucosa is freed from old burdens and then becomes receptive to healing and regenerating agents.

1. Rapid colon cleansing

Colon cleansing can be initiated with an enema in combination with a natural colon cleansing agents.

Since enemas (including colon hydrotherapy ) only empty and cleanse the colon or parts of the colon, but not the small intestine, where the leaky gut syndrome is located, enemas can only support and accompany colon cleansing. However, enemas alone cannot achieve complete colon cleansing.

Laxatives such as Oxy-Powder, empty the entire intestine. Contrary to many rumors and assumptions, Oxy-Powder does NOT destroy the intestinal flora. On the contrary, Oxy-Powder supports the development of healthy intestinal flora. 

Oxy-Powder works very quickly and very strongly, which is not for everyone. The gentler laxatives, however, such as linseed oil, dried plums or similar have a much milder effect here. They are therefore particularly suitable for people who are doing a colon cleanse for the very first time or who simply do not dare to Oxy-Power.

Of course, linseed oil and prunes can ALWAYS be integrated into a colon cleansing program if you want to. So you don’t have to choose between one or the other but can combine what is well tolerated and feels good.

2. Slow colon cleansing and detoxification

While the remedies mentioned under 1. are more or less aimed at emptying the intestines more or less quickly, the remedies described below can thoroughly cleanse the entire digestive system and, at the same time detoxify and initiate the healing process of the intestinal mucosa.

For this purpose combine:

  1. Psyllium husk powder (alternatively, for a much milder effect, you could use linseed or chia seeds, but unground) with
  2. Mineral clay (e.g. zeolite, bentonite, or another adsorbing healing clay).

This is how psyllium husk powder affects the intestinal mucosa

The mucilage in psyllium absorbs toxins but also protects the intestinal mucosa. Especially in chronic illnesses or leaky gut syndrome, the intestinal mucosa is so impaired that its cells can produce much less of the body’s own protective mucus. However, the less mucus there is, the more vulnerable the intestinal mucosa becomes – a vicious circle is created.

Psyllium husks provide a natural mucus substitute, which makes it easier for the intestinal mucosa to regenerate. In addition, the psyllium husk powder has a prebiotic effect, which means that it provides nutrition for healthy intestinal bacteria and thus promotes the development of a balanced intestinal flora.

The solids in psyllium, on the other hand, mechanically clean the intestinal walls and thus ensure that stool residue and other metabolic end products are quickly removed. Psyllium husk powder is therefore not only an intestinal cleanser but also plays a key role in intestinal cleansing.

This is how the mineral clays bentonite and zeolite work

The mineral clays bentonite and zeolite are considered strong detoxifiers. They suck in harmful substances of almost all kinds (fungal toxins, bacterial toxins, environmental toxins, metabolic toxins, etc.) and remove them from the body in the stool. In this way, they massively improve the environment in the intestines, so that useful intestinal bacteria feel better again, can quickly multiply and a healthy intestinal flora can develop, which in turn is the prerequisite for a healthy intestinal mucosa.

So the mineral clays are also important components of every intestinal cleansing!

Both agents – psyllium husk powder and mineral earth – are available in capsule form or in powder form. If you have bought both agents in powder form, mix them into a shake and drink them with plenty of water. 

Intestinal cleansing to regenerate the intestinal mucosa

When it comes to intestinal cleansing, you want to specifically take care of the following three aspects:

  1. Healing of the damaged intestinal mucosa and the impaired intestinal barrier as well as inhibition of the latent and chronic inflammatory processes that are usually present there
  2. Rebuilding the compromised mucus layer (which normally protects and is also produced by the intestinal lining)
  3. Symbiosis control, i.e. regulation of the intestinal flora (reduction of harmful intestinal bacteria and fungi as well as colonization or multiplication of beneficial intestinal bacteria).

These goals of intestinal cleansing can be achieved with the following measures, whereby we will first go into the diet and then the individual three points:

The most important point for a healthy intestinal mucosa

The most important measure in any intestinal cleansing is the immediate stoppin of those things and activities that damage your intestinal mucosa directly and immediately and therefore prevent intestinal cleansing, e.g. alcohol, nicotine, unnecessary medication and stress.

Also, do not eat anything that could damage your intestines and thus your intestinal mucosa, taking individual intolerances into account!

How to eat if you already have symptoms

If you already suffer from chronic complaints, also test whether you suffer from undiscovered intolerances. Individually incompatible foods lead to chronic inflammation in the intestines and, as a result, damage to the intestinal flora and intestinal mucosa. It is therefore important to uncover such intolerances in order to get closer and closer to optimal nutrition.

Try the gluten-free diet

Try a gluten-free diet (e.g. for 4 to 6 weeks). If you feel overwhelmed with a gluten-free diet, start with a wheat-free diet or even a wheat- and spelt-free diet ( rye products are sometimes better tolerated than spelt ).

Try the dairy-free diet

Try a dairy-free diet (e.g. for 4 to 6 weeks). If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a completely dairy-free diet, avoid all non-fermented dairy products. So you can e.g. continue to use (to a small extent) natural yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk.

Try the low FODMAP diet

If there are no improvements, try the low FODMAP diet or the low-lectin diet.

Find out intolerances to individual foods

Intolerance to certain foods is also possible. Observe yourself closely or keep a food diary and, if in doubt, discuss it with a nutritionist. In a food diary, you make a note of, for three weeks, at least three things. The times when you eat, what you eat when, and how you are doing. The purpose of the matter is to find out whether and which foods irritate your intestines and could lead to symptoms.

Alleviate inflammation and regenerate the intestinal mucosa

In the case of intestinal rehabilitation, the focus is on healing the intestinal mucosa together with alleviating the chronic inflammatory processes that are often present there.

Enzymes protect the intestinal mucosa

Since inadequate digestion can cause massive damage to the intestinal mucosa, enzyme preparations are helpful in many cases. Because your own now weakened digestive organs (including the pancreas, gallbladder and liver) often produce too few digestive juices, so that too many incompletely digested particles remain in the intestine, which could now get into the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal mucosa – a process that is now considered the cause of numerous immunological diseases (allergies and autoimmune diseases ).

Enzyme preparations that help digest gluten are now commercially available. Although this cannot completely break down the gluten content of a gluten-containing diet, it can be reduced somewhat so that the burden of gluten on the intestine is reduced. At the same time, at least a low-gluten diet is recommended in any case.

(These enzyme preparations are not suitable for those affected by celiac disease as they can only break down part of the gluten, which would be too little for those with celiac disease.)

Zinc, a trace element that protects the intestinal mucosa

Zinc is considered a healing and anti-inflammatory trace element for the intestinal mucosa and is also essential for a functioning immune system. In turn, a zinc deficiency can lead to a weakened and vulnerable intestinal lining.

At least two studies indicate that taking zinc has healing effects on damaged intestinal lining. One study (2001) found that zinc supplementation led to a clear strengthening of the intestinal mucosa in patients with Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease) ( 3 ).

The second (from 2015) even showed that zinc is able to reduce the permeability of the intestines in leaky gut syndrome, as it strengthens and improves the closing and waking functions of the so-called tight junctions (4).

The tight junctions are those cell connections in the intestinal mucosa that in healthy people ensure that the intestinal mucosa remains impermeable to harmful substances so that these are excreted with the stool and do not get into the bloodstream. Therefore, the measures to heal the intestines and the intestinal mucosa always include factors that lead to an improved function of the tight junctions.

Polyphenols heal a damaged intestinal barrier

According to extensive scientific work from 2016, polyphenols have a very positive effect on the intestinal mucosa and the intestinal barrier. Polyphenols are bioactive plant substances that – as the name suggests – can be found in plant-based foods. ( 6 )

These include, for example: phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, stilbenes, and lignans. These substances are particularly well-known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but also for their anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-muscle atrophy and anti-aging properties.

Naringenin from citrus fruits

The work mentioned lists numerous studies from recent years that showed that polyphenols can also promote and protect intestinal mucosa functions. Naringenin, for example, a polyphenol from citrus fruits, promotes – according to a laboratory experiment – the formation of tight junctions and thus the optimal functioning of the intestinal barrier.

Oranges and tangerines also contain certain amounts of naringenin (10 – 15 mg per 100 g). However, grapefruits and kumquats are significantly better sources (53 and 57 mg). Even grapefruit juice still contains around 18 mg of naringenin. However, it should be a natural juice, i.e. freshly pressed or, if possible, with pulp.

Quercetin and Kaempferol

Quercetin, a plant substance from apples, onions and green leafy vegetables, as well as kaempferol, a substance from cabbage tea, beans, endive, leeks, tomatoes, strawberries and grapes also ensure well-functioning tight junctions.

Curcumin

Curcumin from turmeric has also been shown to be helpful. It can alleviate intestinal barrier disorders caused by inflammatory mediators. Similar benefits were found with EGCG, a polyphenol from green tea. In animal studies, this was able to improve intestinal mucosal damage caused by bacterial toxins.

OPC and resveratrol

Grape seed extract (OPC) and resveratrol (a plant substance from the skin of red grapes) are said to be just as helpful. Grape seed extract improved numerous values ​​in rats that are associated with intestinal inflammation and reduced the inflammation that occurs.

Anthocyanin

Also, anthocyanins or anthocyanin-rich extracts from e.g. Berries have been shown to have a healing effect on damaged intestinal mucosa and to relieve inflammation in the intestines.

Vitamin D strengthens the intestinal barrier

Of course, vitamin D should not be missing when healing a sick intestinal mucosa. The vital substance, known as the sun and bone vitamin, strengthens the tight junctions and must therefore be urgently taken into account in the therapy of leaky gut syndrome.

A vitamin D deficiency loosens the tight junctions, leads to damage in the intestinal mucosa, and, as a result, to an increased risk of chronic inflammatory bowel disease – according to researchers in 2008 ( 7 ).

Therefore, make sure you get a good supply of vitamin D. 

Vegetable collagen for the intestinal mucosa

It is increasingly recommended to consume bone broth because it is said to be able to repair damaged intestinal mucosa. The healing effect comes from the high collagen content of this broth.

You’ve probably long been familiar with collagen as a component of products that are touted to firm and rejuvenate the skin. For this purpose, it is often recommended to consume gelatin, which consists almost entirely of collagen and is also made from bones. But how is collagen supposed to heal the intestines?

Collagen is not uncommon in the human body. It makes up between 25 and 30 percent of our total protein content and is found particularly in connective tissue and therefore in the skin, ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage, blood vessel walls, in the organs and also in the bones and teeth.

Collagen is formed by connective tissue cells, and fibroblasts. However, the body’s own collagen production is said to slowly but surely decrease from the age of 25, which then leads to the dreaded but unfortunately continuous formation of wrinkles over the years.

In the intestine, collagen is said to help build a healthy intestinal mucosa as it supplies the amino acids required for this, such as proline, lysine, and glycine. In addition, collagen has a tendency to bind a lot of water (60 percent of its own weight), so that it takes on the familiar slimy consistency in the digestive system and in this way offers a protective effect for the damaged mucous membranes.

The individual amino acids are also said to have anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties. According to studies ( 1 ), they also appear to specifically protect the intestinal mucosa cells by averting the negative effects of harmful substances and promoting blood circulation in the gastric and intestinal mucosa.

But we don’t have to consume collagen so our body is well supplied with amino acids and other substances contained in collagen. We can also consume the necessary amino acids without bone broth.

Glycine, for example, is not an essential amino acid because the body can produce it independently from the amino acid serine. Serine is found in very high quantities in e.g. peanuts, lentils, soy products, and millet, with all four of these foods containing more serine than most meat, fish, and dairy products.

In addition, it usually makes much more sense to supply the organism with those nutrients and vital substances that stimulate the body’s own collagen production. Collagen often decreases because it simply lacks the right raw materials and in particular the cofactors. These cofactors include vitamin C. Without vitamin C – and thus without fruit and vegetables – the body’s own collagen synthesis is blocked.

An interesting study from 2017 also showed that taking a carotenoid-rich extract from kale has an excellent anti-aging effect on the body’s own collagen and elastin formation ( 2 ), so the administration of an animal collagen preparation is not necessary.

Medicinal plant myrrh activates the tight junctions

In 2017, the Berlin Charité published a study, according to which the medicinal plant myrrh can help to stabilize the intestinal barrier and thus help the healing and regeneration of the intestinal mucosa in leaky gut syndrome.

Myrrh appears to be able to protect the intestinal mucosa from the harmful effects of inflammatory messengers (cytokine TNFalpha) and to stimulate the tight junctions to function better and more safely.

“The results confirm the long-known anti-inflammatory effect of myrrh and speak for its use in the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel disease ( IBD ) and irritable bowel syndrome, which are associated with defects in the intestinal barrier and inflammation,” explains Professor Jörg-Dieter Schulzke, Charité Berlin. ( 8 )

Myrrh preparations have also long been used successfully for irritable bowel symptoms such as flatulence and diarrhea.

2. This is how you promote the build-up of the natural mucus layer

It is very important to protect the intestinal mucosa with natural mucus when your own mucus production decreases. Because the intestinal mucosa can only recover under such a protective layer.

For this purpose, you can use mucus-forming agents or foods, e.g. linseed mucilage or tea made from marshmallow root.

Slippery Elm, which is available commercially in powder form, can also be transformed into a slimy gel in just a few minutes, which not only protects the intestinal mucosa but also has anti-inflammatory and prebiotic (i.e. intestinal flora-friendly) effects. The gel is traditionally used for both diarrhea and constipation because of its intestinal-regulating properties.

A tea made from licorice, on the other hand, stimulates the body’s own mucus production in the intestinal mucosa.

Some vegetables also produce mucilage, e.g. Okra, a vegetable that is interestingly also called vegetable marshmallow. Just like the marshmallow root mentioned above, okra also produces mucilage that is extremely beneficial for the intestinal mucosa.

3. How to regulate your intestinal flora with probiotics (symbiosis control)

Probiotics (active strains of bacteria) are now widely known for their therapeutic benefits for a variety of ailments, particularly digestive problems. The healthier and more balanced the intestinal flora is, the better the intestinal mucosa is protected from fungi, harmful bacteria, toxins, and allergens and the less likely leaky gut syndrome can occur.

In a 14-week trial from 2012, for example, athletes were given a probiotic or a placebo preparation every day and it was then found that the probiotic group had reduced zonulin levels (an indication of a healthier intestinal mucosa) and that the levels of inflammation also decreased. ( 11 )

A year later, a review article in which it was written in the introduction that one of the most important tasks of probiotic bacteria is to protect the intestinal mucosa cells, was published. Probiotics strengthened the tight junction, it was said and protected it from harmful influences. ( 12 )

Taking probiotics is therefore an important component when it comes to healing and regenerating a damaged intestinal lining. The colon cleansing mentioned above with psyllium husk powder and a mineral clay (bentonite or zeolite) always includes a probiotic.

If you don’t want to do a colon cleanse, but just want to regulate your intestinal flora, that’s also possible. 

Regenerate, heal and protect the intestinal mucosa

The intestinal mucosa and the corresponding healing processes can therefore be positively influenced by many different means. Since the cells of the intestinal mucosa divide very quickly, after just a few days the intestinal mucosa is renewed, the intestine often reacts very quickly to the efforts of its owner.

To summarize: of course, you don’t have to implement or take all suggestions together. Choose a measure from each area and observe how the selected procedure works for you.

All measures for healing the intestinal mucosa at a glance

  1. Practice a gut-friendly diet and pay attention to individual intolerances
  2. Cleanse the intestines – either quickly with enemas or Oxy-Powder or gentle natural laxatives such as linseed oil, prunes or similar. Or slowly with bentonite or zeolite and psyllium husk powder.
  3. Use measures that directly heal the intestinal mucosa, strengthen the tight junctions and have an anti-inflammatory effect
  4. Use agents that form a natural mucous layer or promote the intestinal mucosa cells’ own production of mucus
  5. Probiotics to build up the intestinal flora