From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND

There is tremendous focus on the gut of late but what do we know about the gut?

The Functions of A Happy Gut?

  1. Our gut provides a physical and biochemical sorting mechanism that separates friend from foe.
  2. The immune system of the gut plays an intense game of Paintball, tagging any foreign material that enters the GI tract. This tag identifies a substance to the immune system for immediate takedown and elimination.
  3. Gut bacteria helps to digest and disarm foreign material including drugs that may release components that are even more toxic than the drug. For example, the many fluoride drugs can release fluorine atoms that can bind with magnesium causing a brittle MgF2 deposit in tendons and ligaments. The FDA has a black box warning on Cipro for tendon rupture. What are common fluoride drugs besides Cipro? Prozac, Paxil, Lipitor, Flecainide, Desflurane, Prevacid, Diflucan, Fenfluramine, Celebrex, and Flonase.
  4. Producing 95% of the serotonin in the body, the gut is vulnerable to stressful (good or bad) emotions.
  5. And vice versa, if the gut is “upset” by undigestible food or drugs or chemicals, it will affect serotonin production and your emotions.
Carolyn Dean MD ND

What Defines An Unhappy Gut?

  1. Becoming a leaky gut.
  2. Leaking toxins into the blood stream causing a full-on mobilization of the immune system.
  3. Being swamped with Zonulin. The Zonulin family is a group of proteins that modulate gut permeability and implicated in chronic inflammatory diseases: autoimmune, infective, metabolic, and tumoral. Zonulin is produced in the liver and the intestinal lining and is stimulated by certain bacterial species and gluten. I suspect that yeast also produces Zonulin, and I found one resource that says it does. To avoid leaky gut, yeast must be kept under control.
  4. Budding yeast from the large intestine will grow into the small intestine as invasive threads of yeast that can poke holes in the intestinal lining causing another form of leaky gut.
  5. Yeast toxins, numbering 78 are absorbed through a leaky gut causing body-wide immune reactions.

Magnesium and the Microbiome

In my medical and naturopathic opinion, the major cause of chronic disease is a toxic combination of yeast overgrowth and magnesium deficiency. I have been talking about the Microbiome for several decades with a focus on the Intestinal Microbiome being disrupted by yeast overgrowth.

Our gut bacteria had been doing quite well, thank you very much, for eons, until we decimated them with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off good and bad bacteria with equal abandon, leaving room for yeast to take over. At the same time, we stopped eating fermented foods that could help replace good bacteria in our gut.

The naturopathic and medical communities have generally realized the importance of the Microbiome, which is great. But they tend to ignore yeast and just investigate the bacterial imbalance.

My awareness of the association between magnesium and yeast overgrowth came with my observation of customer service reports. After taking our picometer magnesium for 2-3 months, many customers said they developed strange but mild rashes, coated tongue, itchy orifices, and gut disturbances. I immediately knew that yeast die off was occurring. But why?

Commonsense told me that magnesium had woken up the immune system enough to recognize yeast overgrowth and the dangers it posed to overall health. Its 78 different toxins can invade and irritate every organ and tissue of the body and needs to be kept in check.

A surprising number of recent studies show the extent to which magnesium supports the immune system. But I’m not going into the weeds in this article but refer you to the newly published Magnesium: The Missing Link to Total Health. Fun Fact #13 will continue this conversation.

Gut Nutrients

I really don’t have much interest in isolating this or that nutrient for this or that tissue or this or that disease. I’m pretty sure that all our cells require all nutrients. What is important is the type of nutrients. Vitamins should be food based and 4 of the B vitamins should be methylated. Omega-3s should be derived from algal oil from organic algae, not from highly processed fish oils. Minerals should be stabilized ions that in their picometer size are readily absorbed into the cells; and probiotics should be soil based.

I’ll close out this article by describing why all the following nutrients are important for gut health.


The immune system depends on the Microbiome and the organisms that do the most damage to the microbiome and to the body are yeast. So, along a with soil based probiotics, I recommend a gentle antifungal like Saccharomyces bourlardii.


Researchers have found that the right amount of zinc is critical to intestinal health and is especially important in protecting the epithelial lining of the gut. A compromise of the epithelial layer of the gut is a factor in many diseases including IBS, Celiac Disease, chronic diarrhea and esophageal cancer. However, for every 10mg of picometer zinc you should take 1mg of picometer copper to prevent copper deficiency symptoms.

Vitamin D

There is a growing body of evidence showing the importance of vitamin D on intestinal host-microbiome interactions related to gut dysbiosis and bowel inflammation. Research shows how vitamin D (a) modulates intestinal microbiome function, (b) controls antimicrobial peptide expression, and (c) has a protective effect on epithelial barriers in the gut mucosa. Remember to increase your intake of picometer magnesium to help activate Vitamin D.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E

In a recently published review in the journal Redox Biology, they suggest that changes in the gut microbiome and increases in inflammation seen with metabolic syndrome can easily result in vitamin C depletion, and this can lead to vitamin E depletion as both antioxidants get used up. There is a formula containing Omega-3 Algae and includes A+E.

Vitamins C and E are the first line of defense against oxidative stress brought on by free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage cells. Vitamin E is particularly good at stopping the oxidation of fats, especially those that reside in the membrane of cells.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a precious resource for the gut. This vitamin may make an unrecognized contribution in shaping the structure and function of human gut microbial communities. Vitamin B12 nourishes the gut microbiota and uses it to support the growth of other microbes strengthening the immunity and performance of the body. Make sure to use a food-based, methylated B vitamin complex.


Low magnesium levels can compromise cell membrane integrity, damaging the vital fatty layer in the cell membrane, making it more susceptible to destruc­tion, and allowing leakage through the membrane. This particular finding, which implicates magnesium deficiency as one of the causes of leaky gut, is extremely important because disruption of this type can be fatal to cells and cause widespread problems that ultimately manifest in dozens of symptoms and conditions, including aging. Look for picometer magnesium for its high cellular absorption.

Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future