So many people are afflicted with digestive distress these days and want nothing more then to be freed from the undesirable, vast array of common symptoms.
Lately we have received multiple questions on whether the consumption of fermented food is “good for you” or not. This is a great question!
Most people believe the consumption of fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, yogurt and others will stimulate the production of digestive enzymes.
Unfortunately there are 2 are two very important questions we must ask!:
- Why is the body not producing digestive enzymes in the first place?
- What are the effects of eating fermented foods on somebody with a compromised digestive system?
HCL production and low thyroid
Anytime the body expresses a compromised digestive system (low enzyme production) it automatically indicates a stress is present. Whether the stress is internal or external, something is limiting the ability of the body to produce energy.
Under stress digestion is low on the list of priorities, as is procreation (a whole other topic!).
It has been proven time and time again that digestive enzyme production decreases by up to 50% under chronic stress! Safety and security will always be the body’s primary concern. EVERYTHING else takes back seat!
THE BODY KNOWS HOW TO BE HEALTHY! This means the most effective and long lasting approach to restoring digestive health would include reducing both internal and external stressors. NOT eating fermented foods.
The decrease in digestive juices is an effect relationship to the cause; 1) stress 2) the inability to regulate blood sugar 3) the inability to convert glucose, thyroid hormone and oxygen to useable and efficient metabolic energy.
Eating fermented foods to restore digestive health is not the answer.
Why do we recommend avoiding fermented foods?
Fermented foods are high in lactic acid. If the body is already in a hypothyroid, low thyroid state it lacks oxygen.
Without getting too technical, when the body’s cells are not “breathing” properly there is a sharp decrease in CO2 as well as O2. Low levels of O2 will interrupt cellular respiration, shifting the cells energy production away from CO2 and toward producing lactic acid. Without O2, pyruvic acid (metabolized from glucose) can be converted into lactic acid.
There are 3 big concerns when this true for someone who has been in a low or hypothyroid state for a long period of time (very common these days).
- The system is already faced with a metabolic burden of low energy production. This means it is in a chronic stressed state.
- Under these conditions the body cannot produce or store adequate amounts of glycogen in the liver.
- Lactic acid forces the liver to use any stored glycogen that may be available further perpetuating extreme fluctuations in blood glucose levels and chronic inflammation.
We are not saying DO NOT eat fermented foods. What we are saying is you should not eat them thinking you are going to regulate and restore digestive health.
Remember…HOW the cells are producing energy is the hierarchy in human physiology. Regulate cellular energy production…restore and regulate EVERY system! To do this you must consume digestible, nutrient dense food in the right balance for YOUR personal needs.
Over time as you reduce the burden on the body, and regulate cellular energy metabolism by eating optimal foods you:
- Regulate blood glucose, further regulating and restoring normal hormone patterns
- Increase hydrochloric acid (HCL)- the digestive systems kick starter and restore optimal digestive health
- Restore the integrity of the immune system, strengthening our resilience to the world around us
- Eliminate the need for supplements and fermented foods
Next time you eat fermented foods it will be because you enjoy them, not because your ecosystem is out of whack and you suffer from bloating, gas, constipation and other digestive symptoms associated with low thyroid health and poor energy production.