What follows was posted to various egroups on the Internet in 2004 and 2005. It was titled “Some of my pet theories on bentonite, depression, and how the gut may work”. Although the material below, like much of my prior material, is due for an upgrade, I simply don’t have the time. However, even as it stands, some of the ideas below are very significant, especially in regard to the proper treatment of depression.
The following was primarily extracted from older material that I wrote last year (mid 2004), and then edited a little bit.
I am advancing a few new concepts and ideas on the gut in the material below, the best of my knowledge. Although I am primarily discussing the symptom of depression in the following material, the gut theories that are being proposed, if they are correct, may apply to a whole host of other physical and “mental” illnesses and well.
Incidentally, the somewhat small but quite insightful yahoo egroup called “eytonsearth” does discuss the use of clay (bentonite is a form of clay) as a healing modality, both for external use, and for internal use in order to correct intestinal dysbiosis or cleanse the gut.
In addition to this, the website http://www.curezone.com has some information on the use of bentonite and psyllium shakes as well.
I sincerely hope some persons in this egroup find ‘my pet theories” on bentonite, depression, and how the gut may work as discussed in this post somewhat useful to them in some way.
Lastly, I should perhaps mention that the following document does not go into mucous secretion in the small intestines by the mast or goblet cells (or so my best recollection goes) as a result of food allergen ingestion (and/or perhaps other toxic causes, such as candida, bad bacteria, parasites, etc.). Excess mucous secretion in the small intestines at times is fairly commonly known by alternative medicine. However, I realize in reading the below material over that I should have brought this “gut dynamic” up and explained it fully, in addition to my discussing “one of my pet theories”, i.e. that the villi in the small intestines can become swollen and inflamed when in contact with allergic food and/or toxins from various intestinal dysbiosis issues in the gut.
Some of my pet theories on bentonite, depression, and how the gut may work
By Allen Darman (2004)
I am not a doctor. I am simply a person that has overcome manic depression in myself. In doing so, I had “to go way out of the box dosage-wise” with a few natural measures. Since 1997, I have admittedly taken dosages of a number of substances that were dosages that were not recommended in any books or references whatsoever. This statement is especially true in regard to free form amino acids and liquid bentonite (Sonne’s #7 from http://www.sonnes.com).
Despite the fact that I am not a doctor, out of moral obligation I have either helped or attempted to help about a dozen persons since 1998. The biggest catch in my attempting to help other persons in the past is almost always that of unrecognized or under recognized food allergy in the person that I am trying to help.
As a concrete example of the above, if I am recommending that a person take bentonite, psyllium, glutamine, probiotics, take various other gut corrective measures, take a number of supplements, juice raw vegetables, etc. but this person then decides to eat pizza, cheese, eggs, corn, chocolate, potatoes, or some other allergic food that they may crave and/or be addicted to, then all progress stops.
Invariably, at this point the person that I am trying to help loses a great deal of faith in what I am representing to them, despite the fact that it was “the pizza that they ate” or “the orange juice that they drank” when they went home that was really at fault here (and they often don’t believe me at all when I tell them this).
Some of my “pet theories” on hidden food allergies and their effect on the intestines and one’s nutrient absorptive rate are as follows:
In my opinion, it is almost a fact that allergic food ingestion can greatly impair one’s nutrient absorptive rate. Allergic food ingestion can, and often does, greatly impair one’s nutrient absorptive rate for days after it is ingested.
In my opinion, it is also true that when one eats foods that they are allergic to, despite allergic food ingestion possibly seriously impairing one’s nutrient absorptive rate for days, some food allergens are always absorbed. Absorption in the intestines is not an “all or nothing equation”. And these allergens, once absorbed, can either directly cause or greatly contribute to psychiatric symptoms, such as mania, anxiety, or depression.
Even a single exposure to an allergic food can cripple a person’s progress towards a state of wellness. The power and prevalence of hidden food allergy in treating any and all “psychiatric conditions” should NEVER be ignored.
It is my firm belief that by God’s (nature’s) design, our intestines were meant to allow more or less absorption of food substances; depending on what food substances these intestines were exposed to. This statement is universally applicable to the human species, in my opinion.
If one eats non-allergic food on a continual basis, our intestines allow for very substantial absorption of the nutrients contained in such foods. This assumes that one has an adequate supply of digestive enzymes, HCL, and other digestive secretions such as bile in which to properly break down such food. This also assumes that one does not suffer from yeast or “bad bacterial issues” which release toxins, toxins that cause the villi in the intestines to become swollen and inflamed.
However, when one does eat a food that they are allergic to, the intestines sense this, and then the intestines react. The intestines react by causing the villi to become swollen and inflamed, temporarily shutting off the surface area between these fingerlike projections. And the less surface area of the villi that is exposed to food substances, the less absorption of these food substances takes place.
It is rather easy to visualize, and thus understand, the above. Just hold up the fingers of one of your hands, spacing them about one eighth of an inch apart. Imagine these fingers represent the villi in your small intestines, where roughly 85% of nutrient absorption does (can) takes place. Now imagine that these fingers are exposed to a food allergen. What happens? The same thing that happens on one’s skin when it is exposed to an allergen… swelling takes place. Only when your villi swell, because they are so close to each other, they begin to touch each other on their sides, not allowing food in between them, or allowing less food between them. Simply touch your four fingers together on their sides, and you know what happens in your intestines. Now, no longer do you have a great deal of surface area in which to absorb food particles, you only have the tips of the villi in which to do so. This simple idea involving using of the hand to visualize what is happening in your small intestines is a crucial key to treating “mental illness” in yourself… at least that’s my opinion.
And remember, not only do villi swell from being exposed to a food allergen; they swell from being exposed to toxins created by various yeasts, molds, fungi, and “bad bacteria” in the gut as well.
This swelling, and the resultant reduction in the available surface area of the villi, can be a little or a lot. This is not an “all or nothing situation”. My villi can be a little swollen, or a lot swollen, and my nutrient absorption can be a little impaired or a lot impaired.
Our intestines were apparently built to protect us and not absorb well at all when “things were not quite right in our guts”, just as they were designed to maximize nutrient absorption when the contents in our gut were favorable.
I would like to coin the phase “the principal of variable nutrient absorption” here as I believe this is a key principle that needs to be understood to correct depression, manic depression, alcoholism and so many other illnesses as well.
Incidentally, when my villi swell and my nutrient absorption is impaired, my stomach bloats out noticeably. The more bloated I am in my abdominal area, the less I am able to absorb nutrients, and vice versa. If I eat enough allergic food or I am very high yeast, high “bad gut bacterial”, etc. (and therefore very “gut toxic”), I can bloat way out to the point where I cannot even absorb water well. Also when I am overexposed to my allergic foods or I am very high yeast, etc. (and therefore “gut toxic”), when I wake up in the morning my fingers are swollen (and my grip strength is weak). When my fingers are swollen in the morning immediately upon wake up, I strongly suspect that my villi are also swollen and therefore my nutrient absorptive ability is impaired as well.
Heavy and repetitive amino acid ingestion for a number of years taught me much of the above, as when these things happened (stomach bloating or finger swelling in the morning), I needed far higher dosages of amino acids to achieve the same effect, as I simply was not absorbing well at the time. I know for certain, that at least in me, my ability to absorb nutrients well can, and does, vary day to day, depending. I also know that if I eat even one Snickers bar or even a small bag of potato chips (foods I am allergic to), my ability to absorb nutrients well for a few days afterwards is seriously impaired.
According to the above educated guesses, guesses that are based on a great deal of experience (and assuming these guesses are correct), one primary goal when treating mental illness in yourself is to minimize your exposure to allergens and toxins in your gut, as these allergens and toxins can impair your brain and your other organs. These allergens and toxins can also impair your ability to absorb nutrients well, due to the fact that they cause the villi to swell, shutting off much of the surface area that is needed to do so.
Another primary goal when treating mental illness in oneself is to avail your body and brain of a wide array of essential nutrients at all times. Eat a good nutrient rich diet.
A third primary goal in treating mental illness in yourself should be to address the fact that you may lack key necessary secretions for proper digestion, such that the foods that you do eat are broken down properly such that they can be absorbed into the body well. This statement applies to a possible lack of digestive secretions such as digestive enzymes, HCL (stomach acid), and bile.
And a fourth primary goal is that if you have any mental illness you should learn how to purge yourself with bentonite or another clay product that is equally effective. Thankfully, a purge with high dosage bentonite and psyllium (or some other neutral fiber source) and a few other simple steps can resolve all of the above, such that a person can correct for a 30% absorptive rate and be at 70% the next day (the % figures are rough and relative, but valid enough to make what I am saying in the above true).
It sure appears to me that unblocking the intestines with clay, allowing them to be able to absorb much better, is a crucial key to correcting many mental health symptoms one may suffer from, especially that of depression.
If the above “pet theories” are correct, they may have substantial implications in regard to the treatment of mental illness. These theories may mean that understanding and correcting gut function is the key to understanding and correcting mental illness.
If my life experience is any indication here, I am certain of this… as my “bipolar disorder” was not just a case of brain dysfunction, it was a case of gut dysfunction that affected my brain, as well as affected every other organ and cell in my body.
Another implication to these theories is that simply taking supplements of various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, etc. may not be the best that can be done to correct mental illness. One day these supplements can be absorbed at a rate of 70%, and a day or two later as the result of significant allergic food exposure, or a higher degree of yeast, etc. perhaps only 30% of these supplements may be absorbed, or perhaps even less. Just taking supplements without addressing this “variable nutrient absorptive rate issue” can sure can be a formula for failure.
So what do I do to correct the symptoms of mental illness such as depression in myself, at least from a general and conceptual standpoint? And what would I advise another person to do?
Ideally, to correct mental illness in myself, I would be able to use a hose and a soft brush to clean out my entire gastrointestinal tract of all manner of yeasts, molds, fungi, and “bad bacteria”.
Ideally, this hose and soft brush would be able to get between the villi and wash out everything in my gut that is problematic.
Ideally, I would also be able to determine the state of my gut, and I would know exactly what to do to fix any problem that I see.
And ideally, I would also be able to introduce the proper “good bacteria” to my gut such that these good bacteria would take hold and flourish.
And lastly, I would always have perfect foods in which to eat, nutrient rich foods that had no toxins or allergens whatsoever.
Well, I don’t have a hose and soft brush, nor do I have access to my gastrointestinal tract in which to use such tools in order to clean out my gut. What I do have is bentonite and psyllium, which (in an adequate dosage) can functionally do the same thing as a hose and soft brush can do.
I also don’t have any way of seeing inside my gut to determine what problems there may be, to include leaky gut, and so much else.
However, I do have at my disposal a wide array of natural “gut healing tools”. These tools can, either sooner or later, fix almost any serious gut problem in anyone. Fixing a handful of common gut malabsorptive problems is often the key to fixing many mental illness symptoms, especially that of depression. And to fix my gut problems in myself the key foundation step for me was to learn how to use bentonite, and then chase this bentonite purge shortly afterward with glutamine, then probiotics and raw vegetable juices, etc. (details on this to follow when I can find the time).
The theories proposed in this post may also mean that the concept of biochemical individuality, which is so often touted by many alternative health care practitioners, may be far less germane than it is commonly thought. If all of humanity’s intestinal villi swell when exposed to allergens and toxins, thus shutting off surface area and reducing the rate of essential nutrient absorption, and correcting for this fact (as well as eating a good diet) corrects most mental illness, then how important is biochemical individuality now in regard to the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses such as manic depression? In my opinion, far less so than is commonly thought.
I’d like to coin the term “biochemical commonality” here, as I believe that we humans operate far more similarly from a biochemical standpoint than is commonly thought.
Incidentally, to take these theories even further, assuming that they are correct, we humans had better wake up and wake up soon, or it may be the end of the human race as we know it. I think of the pictures that I see on TV here, of bags of wheat and corn being shipped by the thousands into places like Afghanistan and Iraq. I sure know that if I lived on a diet that was high in wheat and corn, I would sure be one very angry man. I would also be a man that was far more likely to seek revenge or kill another human being and think that I was right and just in doing so. And what is so genetically different from me than that man in Afghanistan or Iraq?
I am not saying that all persons are allergic to wheat and corn in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I think that far more human beings are allergic worldwide to these and other very common foods than is normally thought.
I am saying that we had better learn to understand the roots of human behavior. The roots of human behavior emanate to a great extent from the foods that we are eating, and what is happening in our gut.
Don’t believe me? Just look at our recent history and think for a moment. What has happened to the human race in the last few hundred (or few thousand) years? Did our genes change and we just suddenly became a lot smarter as a species, such that we have invented all of the technology that we have and we live the way we do now? Or did our “farmed vs. hunter-gatherer” diet and our “gut status” change, and thus we (and our behavior) changed as a result of this? And are antibiotics, sugar, and dental mercury (which can leak into the gut), and other common problematic gut substances a big part of the latter?
Are these simple declining gut status and allergic dietary causes the primary reason that we human are living and behaving much differently than we did a relatively short time ago in the history of humanity?
I sure know that when I am doing things right dietarily and gut-wise, that I am at peace with nature, god, the world, and myself… and that my pace of life is much slower and I am far more content.
I also know that when I am doing things wrong from a dietary standpoint and I am doing things wrong gut-wise that nothing satisfies me, I am unhappy, I am angry, and I am destructive, both of the environment in which I live and myself.
It is therefore my sincere belief that the quest to understand and treat mental illness is a quest to help all mankind. So many tens of millions of human beings are seriously chemically compromised as the result of what we foods we are eating and “the poor state of our guts”. Those of us that are mentally ill are simply “canaries in a coal mine”. Helping us to understand and treat our mental illnesses better may very help all of humanity become healthier… and to see clearer… and may even ultimately help us to stop “molecularly destroying our planet” as we know it.