When you chew a piece of chicken, for example, the mechanical action of chewing along with enzymes in your saliva begins to break the food down. Then, more enzymes in the stomach break down the food even further. It’s because of this natural food processing that you don’t have pieces of chicken floating around in your blood! Instead, the protein in the chicken is broken down and ends up as amino acids in your small intestine.
If you imagine your digestive system as a long tube going from your mouth to your anus then this will help. In one sense, it is actually “outside” your body because it doesn’t interact directly with your internal organs. Substances must first pass through the intestinal lining to get into the bloodstream and be carried to all the tissues of the body.
However, the digestive tract is also more than just a tube. It’s actually a whole complex ecosystem filled with living microorganisms-mainly bacteria and yeasts that co-exist there in a healthy balance. It’s like other natural ecosystems where health and harmony are maintained as long as nothing interferes with the natural balance of the inhabitants.
The intestinal lining is an intelligent “gatekeeper.” When healthy and functioning properly, it only allows nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose) into your bloodstream. It also keeps foreign invaders and waste material out. Whatever isn’t usable will be part of your next bowel movement. This is the way the system works when digestion is healthy with enough probiotics in the intestines. When this balance of good and bad bacteria is disturbed, the intestinal lining becomes “leaky.” Then leaky gut sets us up for many health problems including candida overgrowth. It is not only candida that is a problem, but also the eggs or larvae of worms that can then pass through the intestinal lining.