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How Does the Gut Flush Plan Work?

November 22, 2010

Overview

"The Gut Flush Plan," authored by Ann Louise Gittleman, promotes a 21-day dietary overhaul to rid your body of "colon corrupters" -- parasites, yeast, and the antibiotic-resistant bacteria Gittleman refers to as "super bugs" -- that can take up residence in your digestive tract, causing chronic ailments and diseases. Her plan focuses on dietary changes and supplements. Some supplements may interact with medications; consult with your health care provider before starting a new diet or adding supplements to your routine.

History

Gittleman traces her interest in nutritional support for the gastrointestinal tract to her own bout of GI distress, which resulted in bloating, abdominal cramping, gas and anxiety. Testing showed that her intestines harbored Candida albicans and several strains of inflammatory bacteria, which were the cause of her complaints. She devised the Gut Flush plan as means of curing her own maladies.

Fortify

The first week of the Gut Flush Plan focuses on fortifying, or building up the immunity of, the GI tract. Users eliminate sugars, molds and starches, while adding probiotics and prebiotics, soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. MayoClinic.com nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky comments that there is encouraging evidence that probiotics may help treat diarrhea, prevent vaginal and urinary tract infections and speed the treatment of intestinal infections. Eliminated foods on the Gut Flush plan are common energy sources for parasites, yeast and "super bugs," according to Gittleman, while the added nutrients boost your body's ability to fight off these three invaders before they gain a foothold in your digestive tract.

Flush

Gittleman advises followers in the second week of the Gut Flush to add several foods and spices to flush out parasites and yeast. Carrots, squash, yams and greens are encouraged for their high beta-carotene levels, along with coconut oil for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. A Nigerian study corroborates Gittleman's coconut oil advice, stating, "coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species." Gittleman also advises using cinnamon, garlic, oregano and cayenne to flush the bugs that cause food poisoning, diarrhea and ulcers.

Feed

The third Gut Flush week focuses on feeding your digestive tract to build a stronger immune system that will not allow invading parasites, yeast and bugs to get a foothold. This portion of the Gut Flush plan mirrors Gittleman's other Fat Flush diets with recommendations for a high-protein, high-plant-matter regimen that avoids sources of yeast. She also advises supplementing with L-glutamine, an amino acid, and DGL -- deglycyrrhized licorice -- for its antioxidant properties. Both reportedly help rebuild colon muscle tissue that has been damaged by parasites and bugs.

Considerations

Detox dieting can have mixed effects, cautions Zeratsky. While some people feel more focused and energetic, others may experience dizziness, fatigue and nausea. "There is little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body," she points out. Side effects may be caused from introducing new foods to your system. Although the chemicals in DGL are thought to decrease swelling and increase chemicals that can heal ulcers, researchers report insufficient evidence to rate its effectiveness, according to the website MedlinePlus.

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References

"The Gut Flush Plan"; Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., CNS; 2009

MayoClinic.com: Probiotics: Important for a healthy diet?

MedlinePlus: Licorice

J. Med. Food: In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria; DO Ogbolu, et al.; June 2007

MayoClinic.com: Do detox diets offer any health benefits?


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