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Do you believe you are what you eat? Dr. Michael Karlfeldt, ND, PhD talks about the importance of the digestive tract not only as a starting point for optimal health, but as a foundation for every aspect of health, and the events that take place to ensure successful digestive processes to occur. 


Something that is foundational when you are trying to achieve health, and that is supporting your digestive system.

I have a lot of patients coming into me, and they are suffering from things like ulcerative colitis, colitis, Crohn’s, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), feeling bloated or having other issues that relate to the digestive system, particularly.  

But you also need to look at the body as a whole. If you are dealing with arthritis, if you are dealing with headaches, if you are dealing with any low energy, frequently, you need to start to look at the digestive system first.

Many people have heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. But in reality, actually, you are what you absorb. That involves your digestive system to be able to digest your food properly.

The digestive system consists of a number of different processes: first, you are swallowing the food, you are chewing, and you are mixing it with saliva, it goes down and it sits in your stomach for a few hours, where it then mixes with the hydrochloric acid content. That has a number of different functions and we will talk about that later on in the show.

And then there is a valve in the bottom of the stomach, which opens up. And allows the food to enter into the small intestine, where it is exposed to digestive juices from the pancreas. There is also bile produced from the liver, and is stored in the gallbladder. The gallbladder squirts in order for that bile to enter into the smaller intestines

All of these need to work perfectly in order for a person to digest that food. It’s a very intricate system.

Then, when that takes place, food must travel through the whole smaller intestines, where the food is broken down and is then absorbed via the lining of the intestinal tract

Then we need to consider the health of the intestinal tract, the walls of those smaller intestines, and determine if they are able to absorb those nutrients. All of these components and events must be in optimal working condition for health to be achieved.  

Photo by oğuz Başyiğit on Flickr