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Digestive Tract: Buckle Up

Updated: Mar 28

The digestive system or GI (gastrointestinal) tract consists of:

-Mouth, Salivary Glands, Pharynx (throat), Esophagus

-Stomach

-Small Intestine (duodenum, jejunum, & ileum)

-Large Intestine & Colon

-Liver

-Pancreas

-Gallbladder

-Rectum

-Anus


Understanding the digestive process can help you maintain a healthy body and mind. In short, the GI system is mainly a group of hollow organs connected in a long twisting tube beginning at the mouth and ending with the anus. The digestive system is how the body gains nutrients and is a large part of how it functions. The body works 24 hours a day and is a magnificent machine. It gives us clues to what is happening inside, we only need to pay attention. When we think we're hungry, the process of digestion is underway. Once we take a bite, it begins.


Order of Digestion:

-Ingestion

-Propulsion (the movement of food through the GI tract)

-Mechanical or Physical Digestion

-Chemical Digestion (some occurs in the mouth, a majority in the small intestine)

-Secretion

-Absorption

-Defecation, also known as pooping :)


The digestive system converts the foods that we eat into their simplest forms, which are glucose (sugar) and carbs, amino acids (protein), and fatty acids (fat). Once the food has reached its simplest form, it is then absorbed into the bloodstream from the villi in the small intestine. After that, the nutrients are carried away to every cell within the body to perform their specific tasks. This process highlights the importance of feeding the body with whole and natural foods, proving food is literal fuel for the body.


Did you know that saliva contains digestive enzymes that start the breakdown of your food?

Saliva is triggered even at the thought of food. However, the act of chewing and the type of food being chewed, causes saliva to release appropriate enzymes to begin the digestive breakdown. This process also sends signals to the pancreas, gallbladder, and stomach to secrete and mix their digestive juices for further breakdown within the stomach and intestines.


Enzymes in saliva:

-Amylase

-Lingual Lipase

-Peptidase

-Hydrolase

-Lipase


Osmosis Digestive Support is a supplement that contains high doses of all the necessary enzymes and amino acids required for proper digestion. Sometimes, our digestive process may not function optimally, and we may not be aware of it. This may be when we see skin conditions or experience abdominal discomfort etc. Digestive support is beneficial for anyone, especially those who have digestive imbalances. Proper digestion also helps to boost immunity. Take 1-2 capsules 15-20 minutes before a big meal to help the process.


Fun Fact:

If you notice that your saliva is thick and white, have white patches on your tongue or other areas in your mouth, or experience canker sores, it may be a sign of oral candidiasis (candida overgrowth), also known as thrush. To address this, you should increase your water intake, watch your sugar consumption, and consider adding Skin Perfection to your daily routine. You may also need to take additional supplements to address the issue.


The roles in digestion:

As soon as you start chewing and swallowing food, the digestive process of propulsion begins. It triggers the release of additional enzymes and bile from the gallbladder and pancreas into the stomach. The role of these enzymes is to help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates present in food. When food enters the small intestine, the villi which line the intestinal wall, absorb the nutrients. These nutrients are then transported into the bloodstream, which your body utilizes to produce energy, facilitate growth, and repair damaged tissues.


The liver is an important organ that plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. It has various functions as a powerhouse organ. One of its essential roles is to aid in digestion. The liver produces bile, which drips into the gallbladder and helps in breaking down fats. It also removes toxins from the body and breaks down and stores some vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the liver filters and purifies blood containing newly absorbed nutrients from the small intestine and breaks down poisonous substances such as alcohol and drugs, which are harmful to our bodies.


Bile is a type of dense alkaline fluid produced by the liver and pancreas. It is then secreted into the stomach and gallbladder during meals. The main components of bile are cholesterol, bilirubin, water, and bile salts, which are specifically used to break down fats. The liver and pancreas work together to produce various enzymes and substances that help with digestion.


The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver. Its main function is to store and release bile, to help digest fats. When we eat, especially fatty foods, the gallbladder contracts and releases the bile through the main bile duct into the small intestine. However, people who have had their gallbladder removed (cholecystectomy) may experience digestive issues since a vital part of their digestive system is missing. There are ways to help with this problem. Osmosis Digestive Support and Recovery can be great tools to start improving digestion.


The stomach acid, which is different from bile, is fundamentally hydrochloric acid. Its pH is usually around 1-3, making it acidic enough to dissolve a razor blade. It is also known as gastric acid and is produced by glands in the stomach lining. The primary function of stomach acid is, to further break down proteins and prevent harmful microorganisms and bacterial growth that may cause infection.


Fun Fact:

The stomach lining renews every three days, with half a million new cells per minute.


The pancreas is an important organ that performs two major functions - the exocrine pancreas and the endocrine pancreas. The exocrine pancreas produces enzymes that help break down proteins, while the endocrine pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is important to note that unlike carbohydrates, protein and fat do not typically raise blood sugar levels.


Note:

To prevent a spike in glucose levels it's important to consider the order of food consumption and avoid consuming sugary snacks on an empty stomach.


Hydration is crucial for your overall health and well-being. To ensure proper saliva production and to support digestion, it is recommended to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Your organs require lubrication to function effectively. If you are a coffee drinker, you should aim to drink at least two cups of water for every cup of coffee to help maintain proper hydration levels. Additionally, you should be having a glass of water every hour and urinating about once per hour throughout the day, a minimum of 8 glasses of water equals 8 bathroom breaks.


Example:

If you weigh 100 lbs. you should be drinking at least 50 ounces of water per day.


What happens during digestion:

The duodenum is a crucial part of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, located between the stomach it is the first section of the small intestine. It is responsible for mixing the partially digested food that comes from the stomach with enzymes and bile produced by the liver and pancreas. The enzymes in the duodenum break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into smaller molecules that can be easily absorbed by the body. The bile produced by the liver is stored in the gallbladder and released into the duodenum when fatty foods are detected.


Bile helps to emulsify fats, breaking them down into tiny droplets that can be more easily digested. This process is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. The duodenum is a key organ in the digestive system because it helps break down nutrients from food to make them available for absorption into the bloodstream. Without the duodenum, our bodies would not be able to extract the necessary nutrients from the food we eat.


Note:

A, D, E, & K are vitamins we receive from Regenerate that help support the liver and its role in our well-being.


The jejunum, which is the second part of the small intestine, plays a vital role in nutrient absorption. Specifically, the absorption of sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids that were not absorbed by the duodenum. It has a rich blood supply and a large surface area, making it highly efficient in its function. The jejunum, along with the ileum, is covered by a thin, transparent membrane called the peritoneum, which protects these organs from external damage.


The small intestine is lined with tiny finger-like projections called intestinal villi, which are richly supplied with blood. These villi help to absorb the broken-down nutrients from the ingested food into the bloodstream. However, villi can become damaged due to various reasons such as excessive acidity, food sensitivities causing symptoms like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or the presence of mucus plaques. Mucus plaques are hardened mucus that can accumulate along the intestinal walls and can also cause damage to the villi; which is where we see skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.


Example:

Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) tend to have damaged intestinal villi, which can lead to poor nutrient absorption. They may also experience various skin conditions, including dry skin or rosacea. To alleviate their internal symptoms, they should avoid gluten, processed foods, and fried foods. Additionally, incorporating Recovery into their daily routine can help rebuild and re-line the intestinal tract and biome.


The ileum, which is the final section of the small intestine, is responsible for absorbing any remaining nutrients that may have escaped the jejunum, including vitamin B12 and bile acids.


The colon, or large intestine, is important as it absorbs water, electrolytes, and vitamins while eliminating waste from your body. It typically takes 6-8 hours for food to move through the entire digestion process. If you aren't going 1-3 times per day or experiencing irregularity, it may indicate constipation, dehydration, or mucus buildup in your system. By incorporating healthy habits like drinking enough water and maintaining a balanced diet, you can support your digestive system and maintain optimal health.


Note:

Those with leaky gut should try the Mediterranean diet and Recovery to heal.


The end of the road in the digestive process is pooping! Feces, poop, defecating, call it what you want, it is a byproduct of ingestion. Once the food has moved through the system it reaches the rectum and then is expelled through the anus. We often forget that urine and poop are waste products that contain toxins. If we don't urinate regularly, it can lead to infections. Similarly, if we hold in poop, the waste festers and the toxins can leech back into your system, causing serious health issues. It is dangerous for someone to not be eliminating waste regularly! If your food isn't fully digesting within that time frame, you have loose stools, or you don't go poop regularly, you would benefit from Digestive Support and Skin Aid.


Pro Tip:

Do you still feel full about an hour after your meal?

Take another cap of Osmosis Digestive Support to break down the remaining food.


Things that can hinder the natural digestion process:

-Drinking too much liquid (including alcohol) before or during a meal

  • This dilutes the stomach acid and enzymes changing the pH and food doesn't fully digest.

-Not chewing your food enough or fully before you swallow

  • The saliva doesn't have enough time to start the digestive process therefore it cannot trigger the other organs properly and can result in improper digestion and GI issues. You should be chewing your food 15-30 times before swallowing.

  • Some people lack saliva altogether, which can be a cause of dehydration or a nervous system complication. Sometimes presenting as choking or coughing while trying to swallow due to a lack of moisture within the esophagus.

-Excess mucus within the gut or body

  • If there is excess mucus within the digestive tract you may have pain during or shortly after a meal. This can result in difficulty fully digesting and possible constipation.

  • If you've been on a string of antibiotics and have pain after a meal, you likely have excess mucus in your gut and need at least 1 round of Skin Clarifier (Mucus Cleanse) and Digestive Support to rebalance your system. Recovery, used for microbiome support is also likely necessary to rebuild your unique bug population for proper health.

  • If too much mucus is lining the intestine, the villi don't have access to the food, therefore can't absorb nutrients from what you've ingested leading to a lack of overall nutrition.

-The order of food type ingested is also an important factor

  • You should always start your meal with veggies, then move into meat or protein, and always have starch and sugar last. The body will absorb less sugar that way and you won't have a glucose or insulin spike resulting in a crash and or carb or sugar cravings.


How do you support proper digestion?

Eating whole foods that nourish the body and mind makes you feel whole and well. Processed foods are junk and in return make you feel like junk. Processed foods contain many chemicals and substances that are not easily recognized by the body and are difficult to digest leading to common skin conditions dermatologists and aestheticians often see. We're waking up to the fact that our gut is our brain. The saying "you are what you eat" is true.


Some {skin} conditions you may experience from poor digestion or diet:

  • Acne (any grade) or congestion within the skin

  • Asthma (in some cases)

  • Atopic (non-specific) dermatitis

  • Blackheads, mainly on the nose area and chin (can be located anywhere)

  • Constipation

  • Eczema

  • Food not fully digested when eliminated

  • Hives or histamine reactions (can also be from mold)

  • Keratosis Pilaris (KP)

  • Lack of nutrition

  • POD (perioral dermatitis)

  • Psoriasis

  • Rosacea (any grade)

It's best to choose organic foods or avoid foods that have been treated with harmful chemicals like glyphosate as they have been linked to cancer and other health issues. Avoiding these things is a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, cooking can be a fun experience, or even an outlet, especially when exploring new ingredients and cooking techniques. If you find it difficult to stay motivated while prepping, I highly recommend trying to make it fun, like creating cucumber boats or ants on a log. Who doesn't like a fun and creative food presentation? If it's fun, you'll enjoy the process and be able to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.


I like to keep snacks on hand so I'm not in a place of hunger where I'll make a poor decision and opt for a poor choice, that will likely disrupt my internal balance. Be mindful and conscious of what you decide to eat and be self-aware of the things that don't agree with you even in a pinch. Be conscious that there may be a food or ingredient you don't realize is harming you and remember skin flare-ups are ok and are a sign from your body for you to pay attention to.


Pro Tip:

Do not. I repeat, do not go grocery shopping when you're hungry!


Meal prep is another excellent way to support digestion. Let's face it, we all lead busy lives and often feel tired after a long day. The last thing we want to do when we come home is prepare a full and healthy meal. So why not make it easier for yourself and PRE-pare part of your meal before you feel tired? Remember you're making a commitment to your health and well-being, and taking care of yourself can be easy and rewarding.


Example:

In advance chop the lettuce and dice the peppers, then grill the meat when you come home.


-Incorporate things like:

  • Broccoli (my favorite) and other cruciferous veggies like Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, & kale

  • Bell Peppers, Carrots, Cucumber

  • Sweet Potatoes (my other favorite), Varying Squash, Leeks, Green Beans, Black Beans

  • Avocados, shallots, Varying Tomatoes, Dark Leafy Greens,

  • Dark Berries, Ginger, Papaya, Pomegranate, Peaches

  • Lean or Red Meats: Grass-fed & Finished, or Wild-Caught Fish


Some of these foods listed above also help feed and support hormones. If you are someone who struggles with balancing your hormones, pay attention to your diet. Trust me!


Note:

During your cycle, if your vagina feels sore or bruised you need to incorporate foods like cruciferous vegetables (broccoli for example). Try this for 3 months and report back!


Why Osmosis Digestive Support?

When taken before a big meal, Osmosis digestive enzymes can help in the digestive process by releasing high concentrations of necessary enzymes and amino acids to fully break down food for proper digestive function. Again, great for everyone, but for those with a sluggish digestive system, taking Digestive Support before a meal can be noticeably beneficial. With an adequate amount of enzymes and gastric fluid, you will feel less bloated or full, have fewer cravings, and experience more bowel regularity with a more complete evacuation.


-My favorite digestion supplements are:

  • Digestive Support (take 1-2 caps 15 minutes before a large meal)

  • Skin Perfection Elixir (5-7 pumps am/pm)

  • Recovery (1tbsp. per day)

If necessary, you may need the new Skin Aid supplement. This supplement is high in fiber and can assist in maintaining a healthy gut by aiding specifically with the elimination process. It can also help prevent mucus and candida buildup, as well as relieve constipation. For the best results, you can take it in combination with a Skin Clarifier, which acts as a mucus melter, binder, and remover. However, it's important to note that the protocol may vary depending on the individual. To ensure proper digestion, elimination, and hydration levels, be sure to drink extra water while taking these supplements.


Remember, be kind and speak kind to yourself. Be patient and willing to ingest new techniques and try new things. All good things take time so sit back and digest what you've learned and maybe you'll absorb something nourishing.


*Detoxing can also help restore fertility (if this is not the goal, use protection), prevent

estrogen-based cancers, restore menstruation patterns and reduce hormonal symptoms.


*If you would like to safely get off HRT or birth control, reach out to your Osmosis provider.


*Osmosis has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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