Tag Archives: leaky gut

The Magic Elixir: Bone Broth


Smokey Bone Broth | smoked bone broth with galangal, Chinese celery

To heal and restore your gut consider making bone broth. You say, “What is bone broth?” Well it used to be a staple in our food system and in our homes as the base of soups, gravies and stew before processed foods became vogue.

Bone broth has multiple health benefits like being loaded with minerals; it supports the immune system, improves digestion and improves all body parts that have to do with collagen (tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, mucous membranes and bone). This magic elixir has multiple benefits but I want to focus on the gut benefits.

The gut lining has a unique ability of being permeable or open to certain nutrients and closed to others.  An example is the gut barrier is closed to foreign antigens like viruses and parasites.  When the gut lining becomes too permeable or holes in the lining remain open, trouble begins.

It is a lot like the screens on the windows on your house, if they were to develop big holes gnats, flies and mosquitoes come in. They are not welcome in my home.  These unwanted pests create havoc.

But there is an answer to this problem.  Bone broth contains gelatin.  Gelatin repairs or patches the holes in the gut lining so surveillance and protection occurs or the holes in the screens are patched and unwanted invaders do not come into your home. Now your body can heal and repair itself.

Besides gelatin, bone broth has a protein molecule called collagen.  The protein in collagen contains two critical amino acids, proline and glycine.  Proline assists in the production of collagen. Collagen has been shown to heal the gut, repair gastric ulcers and stop the inflammation at the gut lining.  Glycine improves digestion by increasing your body’s output of gastric secretions.

Glutamine is also in bone broth. Glutamine, another amino acid, is the gasoline or fuel for the cells that line the small intestines. I need mine working and I am sure you do too.

So start making your own bone broth. Remember any bone is fine as long it is from animals that are organic, grass-fed or pastured and free-range. How that animal lived and ate is factored into the health of the broth you make.

So here are your cooking suggestions:

  1. Put the bones in a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or wine to the water prior to cooking. This will help to extract the nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill the stock pot with reverse osmosis water or filtered water.  Leave enough room for the water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for a minimum of 6 hours. Periodically remove the scum that rises to the top.
  5. Cook long and slow. Chicken bones can cook 6-48 hours .Beef bones can cook for 12-72 hours. A long and slow cooking time is required to extract all of the nutrients in and around the bone.

After cooking, the broth will develop a layer of fat that will harden on top once it cools. This layer protects the broth below. Once you are ready to enjoy your broth spoon off this layer.

Once you make your broth it is available for you to sip on at your leisure.  How cool, you have the tool here to restore cell function, repair the damage that may have occurred at the gut lining, recharge the intestinal cells’ batteries and enhance intestinal absorption.  In short you can add zest to your step and add quality to your day with a little planning and creativity. Have fun in the kitchen!

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center





Testing Your Gut Part 2: Serum Test

There is another amazing biological reality in your body to ensure you are safe and secure and your health can prosper.  Tight junctions between the cells that line the small intestines are a necessary protection against the outside world becoming a part of your inside world.  I call the protein that holds the cells together a type of glue because when the cells do not adhere to one another the gut lining can become permeable or open.   The glue that binds cells to cells at the gut barrier is called Zonulin.

Zonulin is a protein in your body when over produced signals channels to open at the gut barrier allowing large molecules to pass directly into the blood stream.  On some level it is like the Panama Channel in your gut but in multiple locations which should never occur.

When the gut barrier becomes “leaky” allergies can develop to foods and autoimmune conditions can develop over time like celiac disease, insulin dependent diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.  The long term results are inflammation that can occur at the gut lining and/or at a distant site.  Both neurological disorders and cancer are also a result of high Zonulin levels.

The top reasons why high levels of Zonulin can occur are:

  •          Overgrowth of unwanted organisms, for example parasites in the intestine
  •          Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) so an imbalance of good/bad bacteria
  •          Fungal over growth or Candidia overgrowth
  •          Allergic reaction to gluten containing foods (Gliadin in the diet)

Repairing the damage and refurbishing the gut barrier is the job of a clinician in tandem with you the patient. The actions your clinician will take will be based on your test results, your history, lifestyle and dietary habits and how your current state of health is today.

Identifying the offending organisms will be of great value. If there is an unwanted parasite a remedy will be put in place to treat that critter. If bacterial overgrowth is present a probiotic/prebiotic will be used to repopulate your gut with good flora. If an overgrowth of fungus is present an antifungal will be given whether pharmaceutical or herbal. Lastly, if you have a food sensitivity or allergy to gluten containing foods elimination of this food will be highly recommended.

Zonulin is a simple serum or blood test. This will have to be drawn and submitted to a unique lab that specializes in this gut marker.  Your clinician needs an account with the lab as well. Traditional doctors routinely do not know about this marker and do not have an account with this specialized lab unless they do functional or integrative medicine.

You may have to educate him or her about this marker and its value to understanding your health challenges more comprehensively.  I will continue to encourage you to become your own health advocate and at some level your own doctor.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center