Have you heard the term “leaky gut” but didn’t really understand what it meant? Recently I explained leaky gut in detail and how it relates to silent inflammation and heart disease on The American Health Journal, airing on Public Television in different markets nationally. You can watch the entire segment below:

[vimeo 74309037 500 375]

Let’s face it. Most people don’t really understand the function of their intestinal lining. Very simply, digestion of food begins in your mouth, continues in your stomach, and it’s then passed along to your intestine. The lining of your intestine is designed as a selective barrier to keep undigested food, parasites, bacteria, and toxins out of your bloodstream, and to only allow digested nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants into your bloodstream, so that your cells, tissues, and organs may be nourished.

In a healthy digestive system, there’s a mucous layer that covers your intestinal lining where friendly bacteria known as probiotics line up. They protect your circulatory and lymphatic systems from harmful invaders and also help in delivering the good nutrients from digested food directly into your blood.

As your intestine becomes inflamed, largely from poor dietary choices, the mucous lining erodes away and unfriendly bacteria and yeast can multiply. As this takes place, the good bacteria—your probiotics—are destroyed. That’s when the leaking begins.

As undigested food particles and toxins of all sorts enter your blood stream, many different areas of your body can become inflamed—from your brain and your joints, to your heart and arteries. At this stage, it’s called “silent” inflammation because in most cases, you can’t feel that it’s happening.

There is good news, however. Silent inflammation is actually easy to detect by four simple to measure markers. They are:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood sugar
  • weight gain

More good news! Omega-3 oils are a natural and easy way to obtain nutrients that can significantly help decrease silent inflammation and also assist in repair of a leaky gut. There are actually over 7,000 research studies that report the benefits of omega-3 oils for human health.

Be aware though, fish oil is not the same as Omega-3 oil. Omega-3s are a small component of fish oil and according to studies, you need approximately 3,000 to 5,000 mg of omega-3 daily to reduce silent inflammation and heal leaky gut. So as an example, if the label on your fish oil says it contains 1,000 mg of omega-3 per capsule, then you would only need to take 3 capsules per day. It’s very important to check your label for this critical information.

Once again, with regard to omega-3s, the amount you take daily directly relates to the benefits you will receive, according to the research literature. I don’t want you to be misled into thinking that just a little bit of omega-3 (or fish oil) is actually protecting your heart and your health, when it’s not.

I have personally experienced many people who have lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure without medication by modifying their diets and supplementing with the right amount of omega-3s. If your body is showing signs of silent inflammation—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or weight gain—consider checking with your doctor to see if this natural approach might be right for you.

Silent inflammation and the symptoms that go along with it are optional. They directly relate to the nutrient choices you make throughout your day. Choose wisely and stop silent inflammation before it becomes a chronic disease.