Digestion Part II
Digestive Aids

The purpose of digestion is to pull nutrition from what you take in, and serve it up to your cells. This seems quite straightforward, however,

If you have heartburn, something is wrong. If your doctor recommends you take some kind of antacid, two things will happen:

Antacid users are the first to find out that with usage, you heartburn only gets worse. Your body begins to expect the antacid and is gearing up to try to digest your food.

Around age 35 we begin to produce less acid and fewer digestive enzymes. I don’t know why this is, it just is. Whether this is something that happens to all people on all diets, I do not know. But it seems to be true for us creatures in this society.

The first thing you want to do when you have heartburn, or this newly named disease (very fashionable lately) GERD  (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), is take a digestive aid, and not a digestive enemy (such as an antacid).

My favorite (the best of the cheapest) digestive enzymes in the past have been NOW Foods Super Enzymes (they now come in capsules). Take one before meals, and see what happens. In addition to this, I like to chew on a few (4 or 5) papaya enzymes after a meal. Interestingly enough, if you have any intestinal parasites, and 85% of Americans have some kind of parasite, papaya enzymes will help to digest them. One reason we have parasites is that our digestive systems are so weak (from antacids) that they flourish in our gut.

Keep in mind that NOW’s Super Enzymes have additional betaine hydrochloride (hydrochloric acid, the stuff our bodies are supposed to make). Some of you will require additional stomach acid, and betaine hydrochloride is available at most health food stores.

Another product that we were very happy to review comes from Sedona Labs, the Digestive Health Specialists. We’ll talk about these more a bit later, but for now, one of the best digestive enzymes we’ve ever used is the ZymaPro Complete Enzyme Formula. Sedona Labs tests their products thoroughly. This formula contains 11 enzymes from vegetarian (and Kosher) sources. It contains no extra acid, and contains FOS, which feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract.

NOTE: ZymaPro has been replaced by the product NextZyme, a super enzyme product. To read about it click here: NextZyme. The product Gas Away has been discontinued, as NextZyme contains the enzymes found in GasAway.

ZymaPro Complete Enzyme Formula contains no added acid. So far in testing, they’ve worked just as well, if not better, than any we’ve tried in the past. I have one friend who is now heart burn free just because of this formula.

For many of you, the simple addition of digestive enzymes (and betaine hydrochloride) to your life will work wonders. You’ll be eating your favorite foods again and your body will get the nutrition it needs.

However, do not expect to work wonders on your digestive system if you OVER fill your gut with manmade, highly processed foods and take a few digestive aids. Health is not luck, it’s work and dedication.

Dr Bruce West loves Standard Process Labs supplements, and for a good reason; they are the Rolls Royce of supplements. They are made from organic whole foods, processed without destroying any of the food value, and sold only to physicians and chiropractors. I have had people write to me telling me that Amway makes better vitamins or this company… Please, stop writing. There is a lot of science and history behind Standard Process Labs, and no one will ever convince me without lots of documentation that there is a better vitamin and supplement company out there. (To order Standard Process Labs supplements listed here from Dr Bruce West, call 800.231.8063,)

Causes of Heartburn or GERD.

1. weakened digestive system; body doesn’t create enough enzymes and/or stomach acid and a lack of probiotics.

2. over eating

3. drinking too much with a meal

4. food allergies

5. poor food combining

6. poor diet; high in processed carbs, excess sugars

7. prescription drugs (that contribute to the problem)

8. mechanical problems such as a hiatal hernia

9. lacking probiotics

10. and finally: eating while stressed!

If you have symptoms of heartburn or GERD, the first thing you want to do is add digestive enzymes. Before a meal, take one of the NOW Foods Super Enzymes or one to three Zypan from Standard Process Labs. I take one or two capsules of the ZymaPro Complete Enzyme Formula. Some of you will need extra stomach acid, but be careful with this product (betaine hydrochloride) as you might be acid sensitive as you will see below.

For many of you, this will be all you need.

We want you to keep in mind that we have a lot of personal experience with the products we’re telling you about. We know that the therapies laid out here work, and they work well. So, keep reading.

IF this addition still doesn’t work, you could have either an ulcer or an acid sensitive stomach. You will need digestive enzymes without the added acid. Standard Process Labs has Multizyme and Diaplex. Take one to three of these prior to your meal. Some of you will wish to add papaya enzymes too. They’re chewable and taste like after dinner mints. Many find these work perfectly for them.

If enzymes without the acid work for you, but you get burning with extra acid, you might have an ulcer (or you are acid sensitive, which is nearly the same thing in that you will treat it the same). For this condition you will want to add some chlorophyll to your diet and some papaya enzymes. Dr Bruce West recommends Okra Pepsin E3 and Chlorophyll Perles from Standard Process Labs. Take two of the Okra Pepsin E3 after a meal to digest the stale mucus in the small intestine. He recommends two Chlorophyll Perles after each meal also. Both contain vitamin E that helps heal the digestive tract and the chlorophyll is a great antioxidant and detoxifier.

You might want to drink some R PUR Aloe 18X Concentrate (whole leaf, cold processed, and powerful stuff, yet good tasting―four ounces a day is recommended) after your meal. Aloe is very healing, and has been known to help relieve many digestive disorders as well as ulcers.

One more thing we will mention here and delve into in depth later is a supplement nearly all of us need: Probiotics. We all know what antibiotics are, but probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut that boost our immune system, help us to digest, keep our stool soft, protect us from diarrhea and chronic inflammation, and form the first line of defense against opportunistic organisms like yeast/fungus.

The best product on the market that I use to use weekly, was called FloraSource. It is no longer available. Why? Because Sedona Labs has made a new one called iFlora, consisting of 16 strains of the most unique and potent cultures available. Like I said, we’ll get to this later.

Now, for many of you, again, this might be all you need. However, if you still have reflux, we’re going to have to go a bit further.

First of all, do not eat within three hours of sleeping. Lying down can bring it up. This is a simple fact.

Next, you’ll want to increase your enzymes (the ones without acid if you did not pass the acid test above). If you’ve been using one, try two or three. You can add Okra Pepsin E3 if you want to try that and see if it works.

If you haven’t done the elimination diet we talked bout in the first essay on digestion, you really should. A food allergy could be the cause. And one final thing you can do is eat until your stomach is only three quarters full. Take in smaller meals.

If this doesn’t work, like more than 50% of the population over age 50, you probably have a hiatal hernia.

Hiatal Hernia

This occurs when the diaphragm muscle weakens and a portion of the stomach seeps through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

Now, I am not a very good artist, but perhaps this little animation will help you picture what’s happening. It happens over a period of time. Yes, I know, the stomach has an exit at the bottom left into the duodenum, but like I said, I’m not a very good artist.

Now you can go to this site for orthodox medicine’s methods of diagnosing if you have a hiatal hernia: http://health.allrefer.com/health/hiatal-hernia-diagnosis-tests.html

Or you can go to a chiropractor or kinesiologist who knows how to diagnose and repair this problem.

Luckily, for our readers, I received from a Dr Donaldson DC, a reader, the complete diagnostic and healing technique for hiatal hernias to pass on to you.

First off, keep in mind that we neither recommend nor promote self-diagnosis and/or self treatment, but you have a right to know anything you want to know.

So, have the "patient" lie on his/her back. Have the patient hold her/his breath as long as s/he can and time this with a stopwatch or second hand. Place the heel of your hand just below the sternum (onto the solar plexus) just slightly left of center with the butt of your hand just barely touching the base of the ribs. If you can "almost" feel the rib cage/sternum, you have the position correctly. With the patient breathing normally, press downward and toward the patient’s feet on the patient’s exhalation. You will use a steady pressure and hold as the patient breathes in and then you will press again along with the exhalation, downward and inward. On the next exhalation, you will perform your last press toward the patient’s feet with steady pressure. A chiropractor will, upon the end of the patient’s exhalation, give a slight, quick thrust.

You will use the fleshy part of your hand for this pressure, not the butt of your hand. Normally once is enough, but sometimes a chiropractor will do this two, three, or four times. When completed, have the patient hold her/his breath and time it. If the breath holding is 50% longer (e.g., one minute prior to therapy, and one and a half minutes after), then you can assume the person has a hiatal hernia. Why? The portion of the stomach that has leaked into the chest cavity takes up space that the lungs could us if the stomach wasn’t in the way. 

If you are squeamish and cannot do this or the person with the problem has brittl. bo.es, you will want to visit a chiropractor or kinesiologist.

This technique is both the diagnosis and the treatment. In most cases, the problem is fixed immediately, though some will have to get this treatment periodically over the rest of their life. It simply depends on the person. But you will know immediately when you get relief.

Probiotics (formerly the Sedona Labs Product Review)

In Dr Weston Price’s research of the various primitive cultures, he found a wide variety of diets. Eskimos naturally did not eat the same things as Polynesians who did not eat the same things as Africans and so on. However, they all had one thing in common: they all had a form of fermented food.

Fermented foods contain good bacteria that we now refer to as “probiotics.”

The term “good bacteria” sounds like an oxymoron. Most of us think of bacteria as things that cause illness. However, probiotics are things that prevent illnesses and actually fight the bad bacteria that cause infections and inflammations. Recent studies show that probiotics actually help fight the common cold.

Dr Elias Metchnikoff took home the Nobel Prize for Medicine when he discovered phagocytes and a variety of other components to our immune systems. He noted a direct link between longevity, immune function, and maintaining healthy intestinal flora. Since then, modern medicine, modern science, and modern marketing have done everything in their power to destroy our intestinal flora.

There are nearly 400 varieties of probiotics in our gut, weighing up to four pounds. Some are resident while others are transient, passing through our bodies, performing their duties and then being excreted.

While interviewing Dave Durenburger, a former senator for our State of Minnesota, I was asked what the wellness community thought of irradiating our food; they were shocked to find out that “we” were against it. When asked why, I quickly responded, “Radiation kills good bacteria along with bad bacteria.” Not surprising, he and his advisors had never heard of good bacteria.

Pesticides also can kill off the good bacteria, so the only way you’ll get some varieties of probiotics is to eat fresh, rinsed (not scrubbed) raw, organic veggies.

When we discuss the resident bacteria in our bodies, balance is the key word. Our good bacteria must live in balance with the bad. If we kill off the good bacteria, the bad begins to grow and spread. If we increase our good bacteria, it will rein in the bad.

As a journalist, I’m almost embarrassed to pass this next tidbit off to you, because I learned it way back in the early nineties when I was researching cancer. Since then I’ve lost my notes, but the story, being so powerfully etched in my mind, lacks all the usual references of who, what, where, etc. So, you’ll just have to believe me (since I cannot reference it) and accept my veracity.

There was a man (you see? I’ve even forgotten this man’s name) who was a virologist. He was hired by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study bacteria. He was quick to remind them that he was a virologist, but to the government, all things small must be related, somehow.

His first investigation was bifidus (Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum) and its influence on e-coli.

Bifidus is passed to babies in mother’s milk. Mother’s milk is a key ingredient to a baby’s immune system. In children, bifidus is the primary probiotic in their system up to about the age of seven; then acidophilus becomes the dominant probiotic.

This researcher discovered something very important. He discovered that if a baby is taken off mother’s milk and put on cow’s milk, its bifidus count begins to drop, slowly at first, and then quickly. As the bifidus count drops the e-coli count increases. By the time the colony of bifidus is depleted, the number of e-coli has gone from 10 to the 7th power to 10 to the 14th power. This is NOT double. This is a doubling seven times.

He also found that at that amount (10 to the 14th), that the e-coli produced an “endotoxin” that stopped the heart and lungs for a period of time.

Do you see what’s going on here? It had been known that Sudden Death Syndrome was more prevalent in bottle fed babies than in mother’s milk fed babies, but now we’d found a probable cause.

He wrote up his findings and passed them to his higher ups. He never heard back from them. He arranged a meeting and it was then that he learned that his research was not going to be published. In effect, they told him, “Sure, like the USDA is going to go out and tell mothers not to feed their kids cow’s milk.”

He quit. He went on the road to get the news out. He gave lectures at any venue that would have him. This is how I finally heard the story. And now I’ve passed it on to you.

It is interesting to note that a breastfeeding mother who supplements with acidophilus will feed her baby breast milk chock full of bifidus. In fact, a study recently published in Lancet [03;361(9372):1869-71] had breastfeeding mothers take a daily dose of lactobacillus acidophilus for the first six months. Their babies were then followed for four years. Apparently this short regimen was shown to protect the children from eczema for the first two years of their lives. We also know that mothers taking bifidus will pass that on to their babies too, without having to convert anything.

An imbalance in the intestinal flora of babies seems to be the cause of their eczema, but even more important, building good intestinal flora early is absolutely critical to their developing immune systems. Eventually, an imbalance in the intestinal flora will cause their immune systems to react to practically everything. This is the beginning of allergies.

Asthma and allergies in our children are growing at unprecedented rates. A study out of Henry Ford Health Systems showed that children given antibiotics in their first six months increased their chances of developing allergies (and asthma) by age seven. From the study: "Dr. Johnson theorizes that use of antibiotics may affect the gastrointestinal tract and alter the development of a child's immune system." [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031001064200.htm]

Antibiotics will upset the balance of your intestinal flora and it is imperative to replace the probiotics as soon as you start taking antibiotics and for a few weeks after you’ve gone off the drugs.

In Epidemiological Review, we found a study that showed that children given antibiotics during their first six months were 2.6 times more likely to come down with asthma. If given a full spectrum antibiotic, they were 8.9 times more likely to develop asthma. Interestingly enough, in families without pets, kids were still 11.6 times more likely to develop asthma. [Ep Rev 02:24(2):154-75]

Advertisements that tell you to fear bugs and chlorinate this and bleach that and spray this effluvium all over everything our babies touch is junk science. Our kids need to get a little dirt in their lives. A child’s immune system has to be challenged. JAMA even reported that children exposed to two or more pets during the first year of their lives have fewer allergies and allergic asthma than children raised without pets. [JAMA 02:288(8):963-72]

Our children need to build a healthy immune system and here is where probiotics come in.

If you go to www.consumerlabs.com, you will see that they tested 25 probiotic products (you will have to become a paid member to see the entire study). Of those 25, 8 failed the test with less than 1% of their claimed live bacteria. Six had only a few thousand live bacteria from the advertised 1 billion. iFlora came out on top with 16 strains, 4 times greater than the runner up, and 15 billion cells per capsule. The runner up in this category had 2.4 billion cells. And Sedona Labs’ advanced micro-encapsulation process keeps the cultures alive at room temperature. Still, I’ll probably put it in the fridge.

My favorite form of probiotics is Sedona Labs' iFlora. Since discovering them, and since the Consumer Labs testing, we've found other probiotic formulas that are just as good as iFlora, like the Probiotic Advantage which has an "enteric" coating to protect the probitics from stomach acid. There are some good probiotics out there, but they are much more expensive than the Sedona Labs products. And, Simply the Best gives our readers an even better deal, so what could possible be better?

IFlora 4Kids contains the six strains children need to build a healthy immune system. Here they are:

If your child needs antibiotics, then s/he needs them. But be careful not to use them for every sniffle that comes along. And if antibiotics are administered, you must help to rebuild that baby’s intestinal flora. iFlora 4Kids is the best product I can think of for this purpose.

For you people fighting off a systemic yeast problem, here is the product of the century: iFlora Complete Yeast/Candida Control Formula. It has six specific probiotic strains that are known to fight off yeast. Each capsule is guaranteed to have 20 billion living, healthy cells.

We are very impressed with these products. I know how my immune system has been protected from the time I discovered probiotics. I’ve used probiotics when antibiotics were called for during a kidney infection once. Worked perfectly.

To purchase iFlora, iFlora Candida/Yeast, and iFlora for kids, go visit Simply the Best. They are giving huge discounts to our readers.

Let’s take a look at the wide variety of benefits from probiotics.


There is no secret to maintaining proper flora in your system. Eating a good yogurt or kefir or homemade sauerkraut a good start, along with organic vegetables and a good flax oil (my favorite is Omegasentials). Additionally, you will want to eat lignan precursors found in such foods as flax seed (mentioned already), the cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, boc choi), spinach, carrots, millet and buckwheat). Lignan precursors, when metabolized by our probiotics, create chemicals that protect us from cancers, strokes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  Check out this paper from the Linus Pauling Institute: Lignans.

You might also wish to supplement with FOS (Fructooligosaccharide),  a primitive sugar that your body cannot digest, but your probiotics love.

We never really kill off all of our probiotics, but we can quickly and easily disrupt their fragile balance. Here are the things that can put our good bacteria/bad bacteria ratio out of whack:

1. Stress

2. Excessive Sugar consumption

3. Excessive Yeast consumption

4. Chlorinated water

5. Processed foods

6. Excessive Alcohol consumption

7. Colas and carbonated beverages

8. Anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers (both prescription and OTC)

9. Antibiotics.

10. Traveling outside the country two, three or more times a year.

11. Tobacco smoke.

12. Estrogen.

If you don’t know by now, Sedona Labs creates my favorite form of probiotics. They’ve developed a process that coats the various bacteria and they do not have to be refrigerated or taken on an empty stomach. Consumer Labs ranked their iFlora the best of the best.

Simply the Best is offering all our readers a huge discount on Sedona Labs digestive aids and the three forms of iFlora (regular, yeast/candida, and for kids). They are having an unadvertised special for our readers right now. Order 4 bottles of any one product and they will send you five. You will be notified by mail after making your order. Do not look for this promotion at their site. You heard about it here, and if you don’t get your extra bottle, please write to me. When this sale ends we will remove this information from out site and they will post that the sale has ended.


From the Health Sciences Institute, we received information we really have to pass on to you.

First off, we cannot overemphasize that the use of antacids is NOT recommended. You need stomach acid to digest your food. The drug companies are now scaring everyone into buying their poisons by telling you that you're going to get esophageal cancer if you don't stop your stomach from producing acid.

The truth is, your chances of cancer, heart disease, and stroke increase when your body doesn't get the nutrition it needs.

Next, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that people taking Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet, Rotane, or Axid had a FOUR times greater risk of pneumonia. Wow. [Risk of Community-Acquired Pneumonia and Use of Gastric Acid-Suppressive Drugs" Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 292, No. 16, 10/27/04]

So, from HSI we have another nice and easy remedy for GERD, that burning sensation in your esophagus from acid reflux. Dr Allan Spreen suggests opening up one or two or three capsules of acidophilus powder, mixing it with your saliva, and swallowing it down. It is something your body needs, and it heals the esophagus. My favorite brand, that we've talked about, from Sedona Labs is NOT recommended here. Their acidophilus product has a coating that helps the bacteria pass through to the small intestines where they are needed. The coating will not dissolve in your saliva. So you need to find a good refrigerated brand, and have it handy. You will NOT be able to take it along to with you on trips, as heat kills the live bacteria.

And yes, you can have a few sips of water. They warn us though, that it could be possible to be sensitive to high doses of acidophilus, though it is extremely rare. Just cut back a bit, and try to see how much you can take, should you have a reaction to it.

Next, HSI told us of a product from England that is worth a try for those of you who suffer from heart burn or GERD. It's called Potters Acidosis and it improves the environment so that your GE sphincter can tighten up a bit.

It consists of mainly of three natural ingredients:

We found some on the web at: http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/925116.html 

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