Malabsorption is a form of malnutrition caused by the small intestines incapacity to absorb vital nutrients from the food we eat. This process happens when the small intestine becomes ineffective due to the villi (cells lining the small intestine) becoming flattened. The villi cell structure has a very efficient use of surface area through its stem like protrusions (imagine a soft rubber bristled mat multiplied millions of times) that increase a small surface area into a very large surface area (if the small intestine was laid flat it would cover the area of a tennis court). The flattening of the villi has an extremely negative impact on the small intestines ability to absorb vital nutrients therefore causing a form of malnutrition.
One reason villi become flattened is due to an inflammatory response to food allergens, such as the gluten protein found in some grains or the inability to digest the milk sugar lactose.
Further villi flattening can occur from a mucous reaction to undigested food particles. A vicious cycle of events now ensues. Due to flattened villi and reduced digestion, undigested food particles are plentiful, inviting bacteria and yeast into the small intestine, which should remain sterile from any form of micro-organism.
This unwanted bacteria and yeast will take advantage of any partially digested food by feeding and growing (fermenting). This unhealthy fermenting process encourages mucous to form (remember this was once a sterile environment). Further allergic symptoms including sinusitis, glue ear, repeated ear infections or respiratory complaints such as asthma may indicate a mucous forming reaction. The mucous acts to further flatten the already compromised villi.
This would not normally occur, as the small intestine should break down food particles into smaller molecules ready to be absorbed through the gut into the blood or transported to the large intestine for further digestion. A fermenting gut can cause symptoms similar to feeling extremely hung-over or poisoned. This is because the bacteria fermenting undigested food particles releases alcohols (poisoning) and noxious gases (causing bloating and wind) as a by product of the fermenting process.
The whey protein found in cow’s milk is also problematic as it has an acidic effect on our system. Our system, including our blood, works best between a PH of 7.35 – 7.45 (slightly alkaline) the body will always rebalance the system. How it achieves this is by drawing minerals such as calcium (an, alkaline) from bones to rebalance the PH. Yes milk is not the best food to consume for the prevention of osteoporosis. Even though milk has natural calcium it is not at levels to prevent the acidity of whey protein. The bottom line is we are not designed to drink cow’s milk we are designed to consume our mother’s milk and stop when it is no longer needed.
Final part of All Arrows Point Inwards!! Next week………
Please comment about your experience of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and changes to diet. Be great to compare notes.
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