Volume 3 Issue 1

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Page 16| Abby's Magazine - Healthy Digestion, Healthy Pet By Dr. Marlene Siegel 80% of the pets' immune system is located in the mucosal lining of the large intestine. Consequently, a healthy immune system depends greatly on proper digestion. Digestion involves 4 steps: 1. Food is ingested. Dogs and cats were not designed to eat carbohydrates, consequently they have no amylase (the enzyme in human saliva that begins carbohydrate digestion) in their saliva, which is why they don't chew their food, and they tear and gulp. 2. e food is broken down (digested) into the individual building blocks that the food was made of. Enzymes (found in live food), along with good gut bacteria, convert the food to nutrients the body can use. Protein is broken down to individual amino acids and carbs break down to simple sugar. ere are over 100 trillion microorganisms, and over 400 different beneficial bacteria species, in a healthy digestive tract. Beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, absorption, and the production of B vitamins and enzymes. Good gut bacteria are a primary defense against foreign invaders, and they play an important part in a healthy immune system. 3. Assimilation. Once broken down to the individual units, the digested food is filtered through the "cheese cloth" like lining of the intestine, which allows certain sized nutrients in and keeps improper things out. When the "cheese cloth" lining becomes leaky (damage due to toxins, GMO, processed foods….) the resulting condition is called leaky gut. Leaky gut is the underlying cause for all inflammation that leads to conditions like allergies, cancer, arthritis and chronic skin disease. 4. Elimination is the final step in digestion where the waste products are eliminated. Improper elimination may result in toxins being reabsorbed or in good nutrients being lost. Reduction in beneficial bacteria may result from: 1. Aging. As time goes on, bacteria become weaker. is is why it is important to always be replenishing the beneficial bacteria through diet. 2. Eating processed diets (kibble or can food). 3. GMO's eaten directly or consumed via animals fed GMO's. 4. Acid/alkaline imbalance due to grain based diets causing a slowing of the gut contents allowing harmful bacteria to take over. More proof that dogs and cats were NOT designed to eat grains! 5. Many drugs, especially pain medications. 6. Drinking chlorinated water. 7. Radition from cell phones, cordless phones and WIFI. 8. Non-organic sources of meat and chicken (oen loaded with antibiotics, hormones and GMO's). 9. Antibiotics destroy both bad and beneficial bacteria, allowing virulent, mutant strains of harmful microorganisms to take over the gut flora.

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