Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

Trust Your Gut, It's Your First Line of Defense

Mother and child playing at the park, connecting with nature.
Your first line of defense works hard to protect you from environmental toxins.

Has anyone ever told you to just “trust your gut”? Of course they have, but did you know you really have no choice? Your gut, which extends all the way from your sinuses to your rectum, is the primary barrier between you and the outside world, protecting you from environmental toxins1,2.

Every day we rely on this barrier to keep us healthy. However, pesticides, pathogens, and other pollutants can damage tight junctions (the seals between your cells) in the gut lining3. This type of damage can allow toxins and other foreign particles to enter the bloodstream, launching a cascade of potential health issues beginning with digestion4,5.

Digestive Issues are Just the Start of a Damaged Gut

As digestion is impacted, so is the entire gut environment. And because the gut is where most of your neurotransmitter production occurs (over 90% of serotonin and over 50% of dopamine), your mood and mental clarity hinge on maintaining its health.

Also affected by damage to the gut environment is your immune health. With 70% of the body’s pathogen-fighting white blood cells residing in the gut and digestive tract, immune response is impacted by changes in the gut environment6. Prolonged damage also leaves the immune system continuously removing toxins which puts your body in a chronic inflammatory state. This constant inflammation can damage delicate tissues in the kidneys and lungs. Furthermore, over time, an unhealthy gut impacts amino acid production necessary for bone and muscle repair.

Reverse the Domino Effect

Gut damage should be viewed as the “first domino falling”, ultimately initiating a sequence of additional health issues that continue until most biological systems are affected.

Fortunately, we can get to the root of health and stand back up that proverbial “first domino”, by strengthening the gut lining with ION*Gut Health. Terrahydrite®, the active ingredient in ION*Gut Health, has been scientifically proven to restore tight junction integrity in the gut7. Once these junctions are tightened, toxins are filtered better, digestion improves, and the gut environment returns to a thriving, balanced state.

What follows with this healthier gut environment is effective production of neurotransmitters (improved mood and mental clarity), reduced toxins in the blood (less burdened kidneys), and subsided immune-response related inflammation. Due to the body’s return to a normal, thriving state of being, issues related to chronic inflammation, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), may also be reduced along with improved lung function8. In our lab, further studies of the effects of ION*Gut Health on the gut lining have shown long-term effects of increased production of the amino acids, lysine and carnosine9,10. Lysine improves collagen growth and skeletal strength whereas carnosine improves muscle recovery.

ION Biome Wellness Map

You trust your gut to protect you. Return the favor. From gut to brain and blood to bones, enjoy both short- and long-term benefits of a strengthened first line of defense with ION*Gut Health.

Happy Microbiome!

Matthew Bednar, PhD

Bringing science out of the lab and into your life.


  1. Gastrointestinal physiology and functions, Schneeman BO. Gastrointestinal physiology and functions. Br J Nutr. 2002;88 Suppl 2:S159-S163. doi:10.1079/BJN2002681.
  2. Zonulin Regulates Intestinal Permeability and Facilitates Enteric Bacteria Permeation in Coronary Artery Disease, Li C, Gao M, Zhang W, et al. Zonulin Regulates Intestinal Permeability and Facilitates Enteric Bacteria Permeation in Coronary Artery Disease. Sci Rep. 2016;6:29142. Published 2016 Jun 29. doi:10.1038/srep29142.
  3. Effects of environmental pollutants on gut microbiota, Yuanxiang , JinSisheng Wu, Zhaoyang Zeng, Zhengwei Fu, Environmental Pollution, Volume 222, March 2017, Pages 1-9,
  4. Air pollution effects on the gut microbiota: a link between exposure and inflammatory disease, Salim SY, Kaplan GG, Madsen KL. Gut Microbes. 2014;5(2):215-219. doi:10.4161/gmic.27251.
  5. Particulate matter air pollution causes oxidant-mediated increase in gut permeability in mice, Mutlu, E.A., Engen, P.A., Soberanes, S. et al. . Part Fibre Toxicol 8, 19 (2011).
  6. Allergy and the gastrointestinal system, Vighi G, Marcucci F, Sensi L, Di Cara G, Frati F., Clin Exp Immunol. 2008;153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):3–6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.
  7. Protective Effects of Lignite Extract Supplement on Intestinal Membrane Function in Glyphosate-Mediated Tight Junction Injury, Gildea JJ, Roberts DA, Bush Z., J Clin Nutr Diet. 2017, 3:1. doi: 10.4172/2472-1921.100035.
  8. Increased Small Intestinal Permeability during Severe Acute Exacerbations of COPD, Sprooten R, T, M, Lenaerts K, Braeken D, C, W, Grimbergen I, Rutten E, P, Wouters E, F, M, Rohde G, G, U:. Respiration 2018;95:334-342. doi: 10.1159/000485935.
  9. Dietary Supplementation of Terrahydrite® Promotes Lysine Production in Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial, Jiqian Huang MD/PhD, John Gildea PhD, Zach Bush MD, Online paper,
  10. Dietary Supplementation of Terrahydrite® Promotes Carnosine Production in Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial, Jiqian Huang MD/PhD, John Gildea PhD, Zach Bush MD, Draft paper.


By: Matthew Bednar PhD
Title: Trust Your Gut, It's Your First Line of Defense
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:51:01 +0000

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