Digestion ~ ReallyWell.com

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Help For The Digestive System

Do you have any of these problems: indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, chronic diarrhea, diverticulitis, colitis, "Irritable Bowel Syndrome", colon cancer or other digestive tract disorders? It is very important to improve digestion for most people.



It is a well known saying in the natural health field that "old age and death begin in the digestive tract", especially the colon.

The "cooked glue foods" that make up the greatest percentage of the common diet result in sticky accumulations, especially in the intestines.

The "glue foods" include: meat, eggs, milk and dairy products, sugar, flour products, gelatin and peanut butter.

Some glue and most gelatin are made from animal collagen -- "the old horse went to the glue factory".

The milky glue named after a famous bull cartoon character, is made by a major dairy products company. 

Eggs are often used to hold food together in cooking and baking. You can apply a little egg white to the back of a stamp that has lost its glue to stick it on an envelope.

Sugar becomes sticky as it boils down and caramelizes to make syrup and candy.

Flour paste can be used to hang wall-paper, and children use it to glue their art projects in school.


Further, the enzyme supply produced by the body becomes depleted over the years from the demands of eating so much cooked food, and from stress and in many people the consumption of coffee, alcohol and/or tobacco.

As our body’s enzyme supply becomes depleted over the years, our digestion worsens.

The digestive tract toxicity that develops from these problems is called "SELF AUTO-TOXIFICATION" -- unknowingly making oneself toxic.

This is one of the chief causes of ill health and disease.


The Digestive Process

Digestion is a far more complex process than one might imagine, and if people realized that, they might be more careful about what and how they eat.

Many people do recognize that they have digestive problems. Indigestion relief and laxative products are among the largest selling items in drug stores.

Let’s trace the process through the complete digestive system and see how marvelous yet fragile it is. In this description we want to track the pH changes that occur in the normal processes of digestion.

The term "pH" refers to "potential hydrogen" and is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. It is calculated on a scale of 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline.

The normal pH of the mouth apart from eating times is about 7. Digestion begins in the mouth and depends both on what we eat and how we chew it.

There is a salivary, starch-digesting enzyme called ptyalin that initiates carbohydrate breakdown if it is not destroyed by hot food, a hot beverage, or excess stomach acid. It is highly valuable to chew food thoroughly and mix it well with saliva and this enzyme.

If you eat a combination of heavy protein with starches, the protein calls forth more acid in the stomach for its digestion. This short-circuits the starch digestion, and the starch also reduces the efficiency of protein digestion.

The more complex the meal, the more difficult the digestion of it, especially after years of eating complex cooked combinations, thereby taxing the enzyme production of the body’s organs.

From the mouth, the food material moves down the esophagus, basically a tube, into the upper stomach -- the cardiac stomach -- where the food will stay for about an hour in a somewhat acid pH that can range from about 4 to 6.

If there are enzymes present, for example from raw foods or the salivary amylase, or from supplemental enzymes, these will work on the food and predigest it so that further digestive effort will be minimized and the nutrients may be available at the right times.

Note that raw foods may provide some enzymes if they are raised properly in good soil and fresh. However if food has been cooked, the food enzymes have been destroyed.

Without sufficient enzymes, the food will just sit in the warm upper stomach and begin to spoil. There can be some gas and bloating from the spoiling food, and the resulting acids can irritate the stomach. This is the usual source of "acid stomach" and "heartburn", not overproduction of hydrochloric acid by the stomach.

The food moves on to the lower stomach when its secretions are ready. The pH can be as low as 2 -- very acid. If the acid is sufficient, the enzyme pepsin is formed to break down proteins.

It is VERY IMPORTANT for the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenalalanine to be liberated from the food AT THIS POINT, because these are essential to the formation of neuro-transmitters, which are used by the nerves to communicate their messages.

With insufficient neuro-transmitters, the nerves cannot function properly. One might feel stress more acutely, or one’s autonomic nerves may not be as sharp in conducting the digestive, circulatory and respiratory functions.

Proteins are also needed for the body to form enzymes, hormones and new cells, to transport minerals, and for other needs.

Most people do not produce enough stomach acid to foster sufficient protein digestion due to stomach lining problems, deficiency in chloride ions, and low water consumption in between meals.

(NOTE: It is important not to drink too much water or other liquids at a meal, as this can dilute the digestive juices. Also, coffee and soda pop interfere with enzyme activity, thus impeding digestion.)

From the lower stomach, the digesting food material, now called "chyme", moves into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. At this point some major changes take place. Secretions enter here from the gall bladder and pancreas through the common bile duct. These include bile from the liver which emulsifies fats.

Bile also contains alkalizing mineral compounds. These are to radically change the pH of the chyme from the strong acidity of the lower stomach to a slightly alkaline ph of 7.8 to 8.3.

A variety of enzymes formed in the pancreas known as pancreatin and lipase also enter at this time, which require the alkaline pH to function in the further digestion of proteins, starches, and fats. Digestion is particularly delicate here and requires very subtle conditions to work properly.

Along the small intestinal wall are various sites at each of which a certain nutrient is best absorbed. For example, there is a site where calcium is most effectively absorbed, and another one for magnesium. Still another for vitamin A, and so forth.

It is crucial that a nutrient be available when the chyme reaches the point of that nutrient’s maximum absorption or we may become deficient in it. This means that digestion must proceed well enough to have the nutrient exposed in time to be absorbed.

How amazing and complicated the body is, especially in this fragile digestive process!



CLICK HERE for details on colon problems, how they develop and how to improve colon health.



Improve The Food Tube

Improving digestion is a major step in restoration of great health.

Plant-source enzymes

-- including protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, invertase, lactase, sucrase, maltase, etc. Multiple enzymes taken at mealtime help digest food and break it down into a liquid state; taken in between meals, they increase enzyme levels in the blood -- helpful to certain metabolic functions.

Probiotic bacteria

-- an imbalance of microbes develops due to antibiotics and other toxins destroying good bacteria. This allows Candida yeast and other unfriendly parasites to multiply, which can greatly impair the digestive system. It is essential to restore good digestive tract ecology with friendly, helpful bacteria.


CLICK HERE for details on colon problems, how they develop and how to improve colon health.


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