One can think of our gut like a forest. If we unravel our gut from the mouth to the anus and lay it flat on the ground, it would cover the size of a tennis court. Microscopically the surface of our gut, however, is not flat like a tennis court. One can think of the surface of our gut as a beautiful thick grassy countryside with hills and valleys. Additionally, where the heart of digestion occurs, it has the appearance of a tall, thick forest covered by a mucous canopy of leaves blanketing the peaks of the forest.
In a diseased gut, the trees are all cut down eliminating the absorptive surface. The diseased gut looks more like Berber carpet than the thick, soft, shag carpet of the 1970s. In essence the diseased gut looks like a desert or flat, barren tennis court whereas a health gut has the appearance of the carpet in my home during the era of bell bottom pants and afros – ya dig?
Our gut has multiple purposes including, but not limited to absorption of nutrients and maintaining our immune system. In fact, 80% of our immune system is in our gut! That makes sense because invaders choose the path of least resistance such as an open window, in our case, our gut.
In the healthy gut, we have all kinds of friendly bacteria which function, among other things, to serve and protect. In many movies the forest is depicted as a place of refuge. Many movies depict groups of people retreating to the forest for protection when they are attacked. Our gut, when healthy has multiple booby traps, sharp shooters, hiding places, and the like to thwart an attack by enemies (bad bacteria, yeast, viruses, etc) who wish to takeover. This is biowarfare at its best.
The movie analogy reminds me of the special cities in the Bible, known as cities of refuge. Hebron is an example of such a city which allowed individuals a safe haven from prosecution. Biblical cities of Refuge are worth studying.
Let’s get to know those who work on our behalf in our gut. When God says in the Bible, “multiply and be fruitful”, I believe he is speaking also to the members of our gut, the good bacteria. It is our duty to get to know them and allow them to flourish by eating foods which are rich in good bacteria (aka probiotics) – fermented foods.
A large family of bacteria, which produce lactic acid. Most commonly known as lactobacilli acidophilus
- They are the most common inhabitants of the stomach and intestines and the main protecting agents in those parts of the digestive system.
- They maintain an acidic environment on mucous membranes, which suppress the growth of pathogenic microbes.
- They are found in large numbers in human breast milk
- They produce hydrogen peroxide which most homes have in the medicine cabinet to sanitize cuts, burns, and scrapes.
Bifidobacteria (I like to call them, “the Dr. B’s”)
- Bifidum, B. breve, B. longum and B. infantis
- A large group mostly located in the colon, vagina, and genital region.
- No wonder because 90-98% of all bacteria living in the healthy gut of a baby are bifidobacteria
- They produce proteins, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, folic acid, B6, and B12), and are important for iron and calcium absorption.
Bacillus subtillis or soil bacteria
- Discovered in WWII by German scientists to protect their soldiers from infectious diseases, specifically dysentery and typhoid.
- It has strong immune stimulating properties and is particularly effective with allergies and autoimmune disorders.
- Soil bacteria are not indigenous to the gut, they are transitional microbes, which do not colonize the gut, but go through it, doing a lot of work on the way.
- We used to consume lots of soil bacteria when we drank water from wells and streams. These bacteria keep the gut clean. Waste management systems know this, why don’t you? They are put in the sewage holding tanks to detoxify rotting matter.
- Bacillus brevis, Bacillus lichenformis, Bacillus cereus
Jesus is like the soil bacteria, He shed his blood for us to detoxify and cleanse us. Like soil bacteria, you have to consume it. It does not naturally reside in you unless you open the Living Word of God, Bible, and proclaim Him to be your Lord and Saviour.
He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell and inhabit us like the Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (the Dr. Bs) which protect us, produce vitamins, and aid in the absorption of minerals.
– Rudy Byron, M.D.