Protein & Probiotics

Protein & Probiotics

Digestion happens in the gut, and that’s exactly where bacteria thrive. I’m sure you’ve heard the question before ‘where are you getting your protein’. While this question does have value I think another, equally important one; we should be asking ourselves is ‘is my body getting the protein I’m eating’. We want to know that all this healthy food we’re feeding ourselves is going to good use.

You see, there’s lots of protein in our natural diet, there’s even protein in oranges, not as much as other foods sure, but it’s there. What I’m going to talk about here isn’t if you’re getting the protein or not, it’s HOW your body completes the digestion and utilization of protein.

Once protein goes through the stomach, it hits the small and large intestine. Here is where there are two paths that it can take.

  1. Nothing happens, the protein runs through your system with no interaction and gets excreted by the body, resulting in no effect, positive or negative.
  2. The protein encounters a bacteria that determines the potential interactions available within the body, either positive or negative (harmful bacteria).

This second part is where the real question about if you’re getting your protein lies. Each and every one of us has both good and bad bacteria residing in our gut at any point in time; the goal is to ensure that the positive and beneficial are always stronger and in control of the situation.

Because if a protein is acted on by a harmful bacteria, this essential nutrient now can turn toxic! Like E Coli turning Tryptophan, a valuable amino acid into Indole, skatole or Histamine which are now carcinogens, wouldn’t you instead wish to turn that amino acid into muscles, hormones, vitamins or energy?

It’s easy to hear and read about enzymes for digestion, but for me, the real finisher of the job, the closer if you will, is the powerful probiotics. This is where proteolytic probiotics come in like a superhero in a sea of regulars; getting value from proteins and carbohydrates together unlike the average ones that rely on carbohydrates only.

Those taking traditional probiotics are doing plenty of good, but they’re missing a massive piece of the puzzle. The ability to neutralize those amino acids and break them down for positive gain within the body. It’s a double dose of good because it breaks down the protein for our benefit, but also does the same for other bacteria, viruses, or fungi that are protein based (hint most are).

The bottom line is that probiotics are often underutilized for their capabilities if not taken for digestion as well as immune support if your probiotic is strong enough and Proteolytic you should take them with food as well! Let these closers come in and finish the job so you can harness the full energy and power your food provides!


When the GI tract and the gut (resident) microbes are disrupted, intestinal and extraintestinal diseases may develop, such as:

  • Allergies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Dyslipidemia
  • Neuropathology (disease of nervous system tissue)
    (Pamela Vernocchi, 2016)


You probably wouldn’t think about the inner workings of your intestines very often, but this may make you rethink about it! Let’s rehash this again cause the amount of bacteria on and in your body outnumber human cells by a factor of 10: 1!! Your gut microbes are the quarterbacks in the immune system. 70-80% of the entire immune system resides in the GUT—it’s one of the first lines of defence that keeps all of us healthy.

In essence, to having a healthy body is largely connected with the health of our guts. The human intestine contains 100 trillion microorganisms and hundreds of different species. The ratio of bacteria in the large intestine has been estimated to be 10¹¹ – 10¹² per ml—it is the most densely populated habitat in the human body.

Every single moment as we live and breathe, there is a mini battle of good and bad bacteria happening in our intestines. When our immune system resides in the intestinal tract, it’s the good microbes that strive to keep our guts and body healthy; but what fluctuates or diminishes these little microbes in a good or bad way – is what we eat and drink every single day; even stress can sway changes in gut microbes.

Where do the bad bacteria go?

They reside in the intestinal lining (mucosal barrier). *The size of the intestinal lining in a healthy adult is about 30 – 40 square meters—about half the size of a badminton court.

What feeds or influences the bad bacteria?
Harmful bacteria are fed a poor diet, sugar, overeating red meat, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (sucralose), eating too many foods containing gluten, and over-consumption of dairy (especially those who are sensitive to dairy).

What diminishes good gut microbes?

Antibiotic use, overuse of over the counter products like certain medications like Aspirin, mouthwashes, antacids, painkillers, laxatives. Other dramatic changes that affect gut microbes are overuse of sanitation products (using antibacterial soaps), chlorinated drinking water, heavy metals (amalgam fillings), artificial food colouring, antidepressants and sleeping pills, altered fats, consuming too many carbohydrates, anticholesterol drugs, alcohol, stress, and smoking.

Feed your microbes, so they don’t feed on you!

When the diet is lacking fibre, gut microbes becomes starved for fermentable fibre! Some die off, but other gut floras switch to other sources like the mucus lining. When gut bacteria turn to the mucous lining as a food source, it can trigger inflammation and disease. The mucous lining helps maintain the gut wall and keeps it intact, and free from infection. The gut wall acts as a barrier between the outside world and the inside of our bodies. (FACLM, 2016)


Bowel Fermentation – Undigested Proteins

Undigested proteins (especially diets high in protein) can become putrefy from bacteria and can become toxic in the large intestine – primarily in the distal colon can have carcinogenic effects. Meaning, individual amino acids like Lysine, Tyrosine, and Tryptophan that are not digested and eliminated, can produce skatole, phenol, and indole. These toxic components can be reabsorbed at any level into the small or large intestine. (Pamela Vernocchi, 2016)


► Skatole is formed by undigested amino acids like Tryptophan. This component has been found to affect the circulation of the central nervous system.

► Phenol is formed by undigested amino acids like Tyrosine and can be absorbed into the body. This element has been found to be very toxic and has been used as an anti-microbial agent, and it’s found to be corrosive and can cause necrosis of gastrointestinal mucosa. (Necrosis is a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells)

► Putrescence and Cadaverine are formed from putrefied and un-digested amino acids like Tryptophan. These two have been found to lower blood pressure.

► Tryptamine, formed from sources like Tryptophan (undigested amino acids), this toxin can raise blood pressure.

► Histamine is also a decomposition of Tryptophan, and this fermented amino acid can produce the following health issues: headaches, head congestion, nervous depression, cardiac arrhythmia, fall of blood pressure, nausea, and collapse.  (Alan Immerman, 1979)


How to maintain our Gut Microbiome?

A great, very simple way to promote good bacteria is via prebiotics and fermented foods and supplements. Prebiotics are found in foods that are indigestible to humans; they’re pure food for bacteria. Prebiotic nutrients are abundant in garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, jicama, onion and asparagus (to name just a few examples). (Giovanni Tomasello, 2016)

Fermented foods are specific foods that are allowed to ‘ferment’—that is, yeast or bacteria are permitted to establish cultures on them. Many people shy away from fermented foods, but many are familiar enough that you may not recognise them. Beer and wine are produced from fermentation (although alcohol is not the healthiest option); so are cheese, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchee, pickles and kefir. Many of these, like kombucha, have been shown to have significant health-promoting properties, making these fermented prebiotic foods excellent for your microbiome.

To combat society’s fastidious anti-bacterial drumbeat, utilise Avena’s Proteolytic Probiotics to flourish the intestinal tract, and supplement with Avena’s Enzymes to prevent undigested proteins and putrefied amino acids. Let these soldiers and workers conquer the daily battles and win the war – by fortifying the musical lining and protect the gut wall.

Information on the Microbiome should empower you! As much as your microbes can be significantly affected by our diet and environment – gut flora is resilient, and they’re able to evolve and bounce back. From here on, take charge of your gut health!

You know what to do. 

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