The gastrointestinal (GI) tract represents our most intimate contact with the external environment. In our lifetimes, we will consume between 30-50 tons of food and host more microbial cells in our gut than human cells in the rest of the body. The GI tract is tasked with the responsibilities of extracting the appropriate nutrients needed to thrive, maintain an appropriate balance of helpful and harmful microbes, and acting as a conduit for waste removal. At the same time, the healthy GI tract prevents the entrance of harmful substances into the body. The GI tract plays a profound role in nearly every segment of human health. GI discomfort can lead to a myriad of challenges that are often best addressed by identifying the root cause. A comprehensive “4 R” approach to gastrointestinal health target key areas, including remove (elimination and detoxification), replace (digestion and absorption), re-establish (microbial balance), and repair (gut barrier integrity).
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