On a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, cardiologist and New York Times bestselling author of “Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself,” Dr. Alejandro Junger shared his newest 3 Day Jumpstart Cleanse for the gut.
His new book, “Clean Gut: The Breaktrhrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Diseases and Revolutionizing Your Health,” explains why cleaning the gut is the most important thing a person can do to get their energy back.
“The gut is not only where we digest food, but around the gut is 80 percent of our immune system,” Junger said on the show. “There is a brain around the gut that is bigger then the brain inside your skull, and more active. Ninety percent of our serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter associated with well-being and happiness, is produced in the gut in a healthy person.”
Junger shared three signs a person is in need of detoxing, which include skin that is less elastic; dry, puffy skin; or skin with redness and discoloration. “A lot of people think the skin changes we experience are part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The health in your gut will determine the health of your skin,” he said, explaining those with redness and discoloration are showing signs of inflammation in the body.
The most internal part of our stomach is where the intestinal flora live, and a healthy human being has more good bacteria in their gut then the cells in the rest of the body, said Junger. The intestinal flora perform a number of functions in the body, and one of them is functioning as a satellite liver.
“Forty percent of the toxins we are exposed to are detoxified by the intestinal flora and if you kill them off you are going to be taxing your liver, so that will zap your energy,” Junger explained. “Also some nutrients are only made available if they are being digested by the intestinal flora. The prime example is the B vitamins, which is why fermented foods are so good for us.”
The 3 Day Jumpstart Cleanse starts each day with a prebiotic shake and a probiotic supplement. The shake recipe is:
½ cup blueberries
1 medium banana
1 handful of baby spinach
10 ounces almond milk
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 scoop of plant based protein powder
“The prebiotic shake is going to feed the good bacteria,” said Junger, recommending a probiotic supplement with at 50 billion organisms of a multi-strain variety.
For the afternoon, he recommends adding in the supplement Berberine at 400 mg, which has been used for healing in ayurvedic medicine for years, according to Dr. Oz, and also 1,000 mg of L-Glutamine.
The digestive tube surrounding the intestinal flora can drain us of our energy when bad bacteria, yeast and parasites organize themselves in something Junger called “a biofilm,” which prevents nutrients from getting though to the intestines. Also, if there are toxins in the system, they get stuck there, said Dr. Oz.
The goal is to eliminate this sheet of bacteria, and the supplement Berberine can help. Junger also spoke of GALT or gut associated lymphatic tissue – where 80 percent of our immune system lies to make sure nothing foreign gets into the blood.
“The intestinal wall protects the GALT from seeing what is inside the digestive tube, which is good bacteria, undigested food, bad bacteria and yeast, so when we have gaps in the cells of the intestinal wall [known as leaky gut syndrome] that is when the immune system gets into a defense and attack mode,” Junger said, explaining the L-Glutamine can help with this. “By promoting the growth of the cells and the recovering of the gaps, you will calm down the immune system and save it from consuming all that energy, which can be diverted to other things.”
In the evening, Junger recommends 250 mg of magnesium before bed to “jumpstart the second brain” in the gut. Around the intestines there is a large nervous systm with more neurons then the brain in our skull, he said.
“This is where 80 to 90 percent of the serotonin is being manufactured with many other neurotransmitters, so when the gut is dysfunctional, the nervous system in the gut starts participating and consuming energy, and it disregards other functions.”
The magnesium will help stabilize the nervous system and also help people to sleep better and stabilize their mood, he noted.
Lastly, when choosing a meal for lunch and dinner, the first rule is to avoid what Junger calls “food dumping,” or mixing the wrong foods together in one sitting. The goal is to choose vegetables and pair it with a choice of either a grain, bean or animal protein – but not mixing more than one of these choices together.
“You make them compete for the enzymes, which is slowing down digestion itself, which is leading to fermentation, which is not good for you,” he said of combining to many foods.
He also recommends taking a multi-enzyme supplement – one capsule – before every meal to assist with digestion, and during the cleanse, avoid the following as they lower our energy:
Three Dr. Oz viewers put the program to the test and one reported it was “very easy to maintain,” and it “fit into their schedule.” Another viewer said she was finally getting a good night’s sleep, and the third said it gave her a jumpstart to be more alert and aware throughout her day.
For a complete one-sheet on the cleanse, including a shopping list, click here.