When it comes to gut health, most of the limelight is taken by the vast ecosystem of microbes that you have living in your intestinal tract. Your gut flora is a complex community of bacteria, yeasts, viruses, fungi and other tiny organisms. Research into the human microbiome has revealed that the microbes that live in our bodies and on our bodies outnumber human cells by a factor of 10 to 1(1).

However the physical barrier of your digestive pipes deserves just as much attention as the microbes themselves. This is because the gut lining plays such a major role in how you digest nutrients, and enables the safe delivery of nutrients to where they are needed in the body. A healthy gut lining also protects you from any foreign material entering your bloodstream, before it has been properly vetted by the liver.

You can almost think of your gut like a busy community hall, which is buzzing with lots of different people. As well as looking after the people (your microbes), you also want to look after the physical surroundings of the hall (the lining of your gut).

How does the gut lining actually work?  

As food is digested in your intestinal tract, nutrients and water pass through the gut lining and enter your bloodstream. Your intestinal lining has a highly intricate design -- it allows nutrients to pass through, but maintains a barrier function at the same time. This complex dual function is known as “intestinal permeability”.

A special type of protein molecule called “Tight junction proteins” provide a first-rate protective barrier.  Tight Junction proteins stop any undigested food from entering your system.

What happens if my gut lining becomes damaged?

Damage to your gut lining is known as leaky gut”. This means that your intestinal permeability does not function properly, and is unable to prevent foreign material from entering your system. Foreign material can include undigested food - from eggs to salad to steak, but can also include toxic substances such as heavy metals or pathogens. This can have a detrimental impact on your immune system and liver function.

Of particular concern is the impact of widely-used weed killer ‘glyphosate’ (aka Roundup), which has been linked with health issues including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with a recent study showing glyphosate exposure increases the risk of developing this type of cancer by 41%(2). Research has shown that glyphosate can cause damage to the intestinal wall causing Tight Junction injury, creating issues for intestinal permeability and immune function(3)

What are the symptoms of leaky gut?

When foreign material passes through any leaks in the gut lining, this provokes an inflammatory response as your immune system sends in white blood cells (leukocytes) to clean up the mess. Leaky gut can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating or cramping of the gut, as well as poor immune response, excessive tiredness and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.

Leaky gut syndrome can be diagnosed by a medical practitioner via a non-digestible sugar test. During this test, you consume special large and small sugar molecules which are later tested in your urine. If any of the large sugar molecules show up in the urine this means you have some degree of leaky gut. Contact us on our health coaching page to find out if testing is right for you.

How can I strengthen my Tight Junction function?

Recent research into intestinal permeability has revealed that specific soil-derived minerals can help to fortify the Tight Junctions in your gut lining. ION*Biome is a liquid mineral supplement, made from a proprietary blend of ancient soil extracts. It has been clinically-proven to promote and strengthen your Tight Junction proteins, protecting the gut lining from damage.

What does ION*Biome contain?

ION*Biome is a liquid mineral supplement that contains:

  • Purified water
  • A soil-based proprietary mineral supplement ‘Terrahydrite™’ - made up of Stabilised Lignite Extract
  • Trace soil amino acids and minerals.

What is Stabilised Lignite Extract, and how does it help my gut barrier?  

Lignite is an ancient mineral found in naturally compressed peat. ION*Biome contains stabilised lignite extract within a proprietary blend called ‘Terrahydrite’.

Our ancestors would have had a lot more interaction with lignite and the natural humic substances found in ION*Biome. Exposure to these soil-derived minerals has been greatly reduced in the the last few decades due to urbanisation, mono-cropping, and the widespread use of environmental toxins. Modern farming practices have altered the composition of the ‘humus’ - the top layer of our soil - which has become depleted in some trace minerals that are important to human health. 

How does ION*Biome work?

ION*Biome works by strengthening the integrity of your Tight Junction proteins. In lab testing ION*Biome has been shown to protect the cells in both the small and large intestine against the damage caused by inflammatory foods, pesticides, herbicides and other environmental toxins. Clinical research has shown that dietary gluten can loosen Tight Junction proteins, leading to issues with intestinal permeability. ION*Biome helps to fortify your gut barrier by repairing Tight Junction proteins to ensure healthy intestinal permeability(4).

The latest clinical trials, published in early 2019 have shown that ION*Biome liquid mineral supplement reduces inflammation and improves markers of intestinal permeability in healthy adults(5). This research also demonstrated that ION*Biome significantly reduces glyphosate in the body by 23%, which is important because of how ubiquitous glyphosate has become. One study in the US found that 75% of air and rainfall samples were contaminated with glyphosate(6).

What are the main benefits of ION*Biome?

ION*Biome helps to fortify the gut barrier, improve intestinal permeability and heal the gut. It is particularly useful for people who may be suffering from “leaky gut”, as well as people who are exposed to gluten. ION*Biome may help you to:  

  • Fortify your gut barrier
  • Heal the gut
  • Reduce glyphosate in the body
  • Combat environmental exposures
  • Reduce the impact of gluten sensitivity

How do I take ION*Biome?

ION*Biome is easily added to your daily health plan, you simply take a teaspoon of the liquid supplement three times a day, ideally 30 mins before eating. Try ION*Biome and heal your gut!

The contents of this blog are not intended as medical advice. Always consult with your medical practitioner before starting a new supplement.  

1. Current Status and Prospects of Intestinal Microbiome Studies
2.  Weedkiller 'raises risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 41%'

3. Protective Effects of Lignite Extract Supplement on Intestinal Barrier Function in Glyphosate-Mediated Tight Junction Injury
Protection against Gluten-mediated Tight Junction Injury with a Novel Lignite Extract Supplement 
5. The Effects of Restore Dietary Supplement on Markers of Intestinal Permeability and Immune System Function in Healthy Subjects; A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
6. Pesticides in Mississippi air and rain: a comparison between 1995 and 2007