THE NITTY GRITTYMore than 60 to 70 million people are affected by overt diagnosable digestive diseases, and tens of millions more suffer from subclinical gastrointestinal (GI) health issues that alter your ability to absorb nutrients from your diet and supplements. This, in turn, can undermine even the most proactive attempt to truly take care of your health. Fortunately, research shows us that in an antioxidant and fiber-rich diet, there are targeted nutrients that can support healthy digestion and work to fend off many of the problematic conditions that can result from poor digestion. Key among these are antioxidants. While most people associate antioxidants with immune health, the truth many antioxidants are vital for digestion. Case in point - vitamin C. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C not only supports oral health (the first line of digestion) but also iron absorption. Another antioxidant, glutathione, also serves double duty as a powerhouse detoxifier, working to remove toxins from your GI track so you can absorb the nutrients your body needs for optimal health. Amino acids work to detoxify, as well as heal digestive disorders. Specifically, L-arginine not only supports glutathione production but also reduces inflammation in the digestive tract. L-glutamine then steps in to target intestinal health, healing of ulcers and leaky gut, promoting healthy bowel movements, and proper detoxification.1-4 Zinc plays an interesting and vital role in digestion. This mineral is needed to produce stomach acid. Without proper levels of zinc, your body cannot properly break down food, especially protein, and release the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.
References: 1. van der Hulst, RRWJ, et al. Lancet. 1993 May;341(8857):1363-5. 2. Huffman FG and Walgren ME. HIV Clin Trials. 2003 Sep-Oct;4(5):324-9. 3. Nissim I, et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 1993 Jan;3(7):1416-27. 4. Biondo-Simoes Mde L, et al. Arg Gastroenterol. 1998 Apr-Jun;35(2):116-25.