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Your gut is your largest organ and is the key to good health. The human microbiome project has shown that there are ten times more microbial cells in the body than cells in the body. The project found that protein-coding genes in our intestinal terrain are 360 times more abundant than human genes in the body (1). This means that the genetic makeup of the microbiome has a greater influence on an individual’s health than the intracellular genetics of the individual.
Good health begins with the health of your gut. If your gut is damaged or you have an abundance of pathogenic microorganisms it is impossible to be healthy. The gut must be addressed daily in order for one to live a lifestyle that builds health. Imbalances in the intestinal terrain may lead to or contribute to the propagation of yeast overgrowth, parasites, and harmful bacterial growth.
The Internal Intestinal EcoSystem:
Intestinal pathogens are abnormal and unwanted inhabitants of the gastrointestinal system that have the potential to cause damage to their host. They consume nutrients from the foods we are eating and they puncture holes in the intestinal membrane. Humans can play host to several hundred different types of parasites, pathogenic bacteria and yeast. (2)
This internal ecosystem is dependent upon certain beneficial species being widespread and in control. These symbiotic microbes are progenic in that they support life. These organisms provide a protective barrier that guards the intestinal wall against pathogenic bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses and environmental toxins. These organisms also create anti-microbial substances that destroy pathogenic organisms. They are very powerful, natural antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals.(3)
The Power of Anti-Microbial Herbs:
Various different forms of herbs have anti-microbial factors that reduce pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites. These herbs can be used to reduce the microbial load and be an important part of reestablishing a healthy microbial balance.
Introducing GI Regulator:
GI Regulator™ features a concentrated 4:1 extract of Oregon grape root, which supplies berberine—a plant alkaloid that influences the activities of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, supports immune function, and may influence the natural inflammatory response. The 4:1 extracts of bayberry bark and grapefruit seed complement the actions of berberine to support healthy microbial activity, stimulate circulation, and promote mucous membrane health. Zinc is included in this formula for its immune-supportive effects
Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape)
Berberine is a plant alkaloid derived from a variety of herbs, including Oregon grape root. This phytochemical constituent has a long history of use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine owing to its effectiveness and safety. Berberine extracts have demonstrated significant ability to influence the activity of a variety of organisms that affect human health.(4,5,6)
Mechanisms of action may include effects on organism adhesion and intracellular invasion, metabolic activity, maturation, and enterotoxin formation (4,7). Berberine can also address the intestinal secretion of water and electrolytes induced by certain organism toxins, thereby supporting healthy stool formation (4).
Furthermore, it may reduce smooth muscle contraction and intestinal motility, and delay intestinal transit time. Both in vitro and animal research suggest that berberine can affect COX-2 protein (4).
Myrica Cerifera (bayberry)
The root bark and berry of bayberry have been traditionally used as an astringent and circulatory stimulant. Like the berry, the root bark contains tannin constituents that are responsible for its astringent action (8,9). Astringent herbs are traditionally used to maintain the already normal release or secretion of perspiration, stool, essence (the body’s reproductive and regenerative substance), and urine.
As a circulatory stimulant, bayberry helps to increase body energy levels and supports toxin elimination. Myricitin, a flavonoid isolated from bayberry, exhibits antioxidant activity, particularly in the colon (10).
Grapefruit Seed Extract:
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) has very high amounts of disease-fighting, free-radical eliminating antioxidants and phytonutrients called bioflavonoids. One of these powerful bioflavanoids (plant antioxidants) include the chemical component hesperidin, a well-known natural immune-system stimulator and booster. These bioflavonoids are extremely powerful anti-microbials as well (11, 12).
Another recent study from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grapefruit-seed extract was effective in killing over "800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multi-celled parasites." (13) No other naturally-occuring anti-microbial can come close to these results.
The supportive effects of zinc on immunity and microbial balance are well documented (14,15). Zinc ions are thought to work directly in the GI tract, affecting microbial activity therein. Immune cells, due to their high rate of proliferation and differentiation, need a constant and sufficient supply of zinc. Although further study is needed, zinc supplementation also shows promise in its ability to support healthy stool formation. In this formula, zinc is provided as Albion® TRAACS® zinc glycinate chelate for optimal absorption and utilization.*
Why We Use GI Regulator:
Many plants have been used throughout history for their ability to influence microbial activity and support healthy immune function. Potency is an important aspect in achieving the benefits imparted by an herbal supplement. The herbs in GI Regulator are concentrated to a 4:1 end ratio. This means that the equivalent raw herb conversion is 4 kg raw herb to 1 kg of extracted material. All actives are provided in easy-dissolving vegetarian capsules.*