Illustration of villi

How We Damage Our Small Intestine

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Lessons from the Orchard by Dr. David Klein - Fruit-Powered Digest

Treat Your Villi Very Gently!

Your small intestine is not at all like a rugged garden hose that can handle any and all abuse; it’s certainly not coated with Teflon! It’s a very intricate organ made of delicate flesh.

The inner surface of the small intestine is lined with specialized structures called “villi” (pronounced “vil-eye”). Villi are small, fingerlike projections that protrude from the epithelial lining of the small intestine’s inner walls. The villi are set in a striated pattern (like the bristles of a hair brush) to provide a great absorptive surface area for the enormous quantity of molecular nutrients that transit along the approximately 20-foot length of the small intestine.

The absorption of nutrients is facilitated by enterocyte digestive enzyme, which is secreted from each villi. The villi absorb fatty acids, amino acids and simple sugars through their semi-permeable membranes into capillaries for delivery to the rest of the body through the lymph fluid. To enable the diffusion of nutrients into the bloodstream, the villi have a rich blood supply to maintain a concentration gradient across the membranes.

A 3-D illustration of the small intestine
Illustrated is the small intestine.

Fragile: Treat With Utmost Care!

The walls of villi are remarkably thin, about one cell thick, and are therefore very delicate and fragile. Each villus is approximately 0.5 to 1.6 millimeters in length and has many projecting microvilli, which collectively form the brush border membrane. When abused by unnatural dietary, recreational and remedial practices, the villi are easily damaged and their function can be impaired or fully destroyed. This typically causes pain and leads to myriad disease conditions.

In consideration of the facts that:

  • the villi are extremely delicate,
  • the small intestine is only about 1 inch in diameter,
  • the small intestine is packed into the abdominal cavity with numerous loops and bends, and
  • the muscles of the small intestine do not have unlimited energy available to move digesta toward the colon,

it should be obvious that the small intestine will function best on a diet of soft, water-rich foods.

Analogously, it’s much easier to pump juice through a hose than it is to pump thick, sticky mud with solid chunks of plants. Right?

So, you must have guessed it by now: the most suitable foods for the small intestines are ripe, raw, juicy organic fruits and, therefore, fruit should comprise the bulk of our diet! Biologically, anatomically and physiologically, humans truly are a species of frugivores!

Villi are viewed from a microscope
Villi are pictured under a microscope.

Dietary Transgressions and Intestinal Damage

When we stray from a water-rich diet of soft foods (mainly juicy fruits and tender vegetables that are chewed well), we stress the small intestines and the entire bowel, and the consequences will typically be disastrous. I know! As a result of the omnivorous diet I ate as child and teenager, I had ulcerative colitis for eight hellacious years. But, I healed that for good 32 years ago via a fruit-based, mostly raw and fully vegan diet.

Since 1993, have helped 4,000 clients heal their intestines via a specialized fruit-based diet program I call the Vegan Healing Diet Plan. Juicy raw plant foods and thorough chewing promote healing!

Small Intestine Damage Causes and Effects 

There are numerous ways by which people weaken and damage their delicate villi and the function of their small intestine every day, causing illness and misery. Here are the major causes of small intestine damage and the effects:

Excessive Fiber

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Atrophy | Scraping/Stripping | Constipation | Cramping | Blockages | Perforation | Prolapses | Bleeding | Hernias

Hard, Dry Foods

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Scraping/Stripping | Bleeding | Pain | Atrophy | Cramping | Constipation | Blockages | Perforation | Prolapses | Bleeding | Hernias

A diagram featuring villi

Insufficient Fiber

Effects

Enervation | Flora Dysbiosis | Constipation | Blockages | Prolapses | Hernias | Diverticulitis | Polyps | Thickening | Tumors | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Cancer

Fermented Dietary Items

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Mucus Overproduction | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) | Candida Albicans | Bloating | Leaky Gut

Indigestible Foods

Effects

Enervation | Mucus Overproduction | Flora Dysbiosis | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) | Bloating | Candida Albicans | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Insufficient Production of Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme | Malabsorption | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Strictures | Constipation | Diverticulitis | Thickening | Blockage | Prolapses | Adhesions | Sepsis | Cancer

Overeating Fat/Oil

Effects

Acidosis/Hyperacidity | Bile Overproduction | Enervation | Congestion | Flora Dysbiosis | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) | Candida Albicans | Irritation | Mucus Overproduction | Malabsorption | Insufficient Production of Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme | Leaky Gut | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Abscesses | Sepsis | Thickening | Ulceration | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Overeating Protein

Effects

Acidosis/Hyperacidity | Bile Overproduction | Enervation | Putrefaction (Producing Hydrogen Sulfide, Methane, Mercaptans, Putrescine, Indoles, Skatoles, Ammonia, Cadaverine, Etc.) | Irritation | Mucus Overproduction | Flora Dysbiosis | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) | Candida Albicans | Malabsorption | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Ulceration | Diverticulitis | Thickening | Perforation | Leaky Gut | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Abscesses | Sepsis | Strictures | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Overeating Complex Carbohydrates (Starch)

Effects

Fermentation (Producing Alcohol and Vinegar) | Bloating | Mucus Overproduction | Enervation | Constipation | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) | Candida Albicans | Malabsorption | Leaky Gut | Overeating Grains and Flour Products | Effects | Enervation | Irritation | Mucus Overproduction | Constipation | Bloating | Blockages | Strictures | Fermentation | SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth | Insufficient Production of Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme | Hernias | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Ulceration | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Overjuicing

Effects

Paralysis | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Anemia

Cooking Byproducts

Includes acrylamide, acreolin, heterocyclic amines, free radicals, etc.

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Ulceration | Bleeding | Pain | Abscesses | Thickening | Leaky Gut | Malabsorption | Insufficient Production of Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme | Induration | Cancer

Bingeing

Effects

Nutrient Deficiencies | Enervation | Irritation | Constipation | Bloating | Diarrhea | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Anemia | Purging | Bulimia | Cramping

Extremely Acidic Foods, Beverages and Culinary Additives

Includes lemons, alcohol, cola, kombucha, vinegar, etc.

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Pain | Mucus Overproduction | Constipation | Insufficient Production of Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme | Malabsorption | Strictures | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Ulceration | Thickening | Leaky Gut | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Hot Foods and Drinks

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Pain | Mucus Overproduction | Constipation | Atrophy | Paralysis | Suppressed Digestive Enzyme Secretion | Malabsorption | Strictures | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Malabsorption | Leaky Gut | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Thickening | Bleeding | Ulceration | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Cold Foods and Drinks

Effects

Enervation | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Atrophy | Suppressed Digestive Enzyme Secretion | Paralysis | Prolapses | Strictures | Malabsorption

Irritants

Includes salt, pepper, chili peppers, onions, garlic, radishes, leeks, scallions, chives, shallots, oregano, ginger, cinnamon, arugula, curries, mustard, vinegar, mint, coffee, black tea, green tea, white tea, alcohol, cola, charred meat, etc.

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Pain | Mucus Overproduction | Constipation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Bleeding | Ulceration | Atrophy | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Malabsorption | Abscesses | Thickening | Strictures | Induration | Polyps | Cancer

Laxatives

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Mucus Overproduction | Constipation | Spasms | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Malabsorption | Anemia

Enemas

Effects

Enervation | Atrophy | Flora Dysbiosis | Prolapses | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Malabsorption | Anemia

Colonics

Effects

Enervation | Atrophy | Flora Dysbiosis | Prolapses | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Malabsorption | Anemia

Parasites

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Leaky Gut | Malabsorption | Anemia

GMO Foods

Includes genetically modified soybeans, corn, canola, papaya, sugar beets, etc.

Effects

Enervation | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Irritation | Leaky Gut | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Pain | Atrophy | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Flora Dysbiosis | Bloating | Sepsis | Thickening | Malabsorption | Anemia | Cell Death

Drugs

Effects

Enervation | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Pain | Flora Dysbiosis | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Depressed Enterocyte | Digestive Enzyme Production | Leaky Gut | Cell Death | Bleeding | Constipation | Diarrhea | Atrophy | Malabsorption | Anemia | Cancer

Cobalt Deficiency

Effects

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Enervation | Malabsorption | Anemia | Atrophy | Leaky Gut | Constipation | Spasms

Vitamin K Deficiency

Effects

Defective Blood Clotting | Uncontrollable Bleeding/Hemorrhaging | Anemia

Vitamin U Deficiency

Effects

Unhealable Ulcerations | Atrophy | Leaky Gut | Anemia | Induration | Cancer

Calcium Deficiency

Effects

Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Strictures

Sodium Deficiency

Effects

Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Strictures

Magnesium Deficiency

Effects

Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Strictures

Vitamin D Deficiency

Effects

Deficient Calcium Absorption | Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Strictures | Anemia

Gluten

Effects

Celiac Disease | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Malabsorption | Anemia

Low pH

Effects

Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Pain | Induration | Physical Degeneration | Cell Death | Leaky Gut | Bleeding | Flora Dysbiosis | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Strictures | Malabsorption | Anemia | Cancer

High pH from Overproduction of Bile

Effects

Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Pain | Atrophy | Cell Death | Leaky Gut | Bleeding | Flora Dysbiosis | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Strictures | Malabsorption | Anemia

Antibiotics

Effects

Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Cell Death | Flora Dysbiosis | Bloating | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency | Enervation | Diarrhea | Malabsorption | Leaky Gut | Anemia | Induration | Cancer

Insufficient Chewing

Effects

Villi Scraping | Bleeding | Prolapses | Constipation | Bloating | Malabsorption | Anemia

Excessive Stress

Effects

Enervation | Constipation | Pain | Cramping | Prolapses | Malabsorption | Anemia | Depressed Enterocyte Digestive Enzyme Production | Irritation | Inflammation (Crohn’s Disease) | Bleeding | Ulcers | Induration | Cancer

Note: All these causes can also result in colitis.

In Conclusion: Eat Juicily

The natural biological diet for humans (known by the names The Vibrant Diet, The Hygienic Diet, The 80/10/10 Diet and The Acid-Alkaline-Association Diet) has proven to be the most health-promoting diet of them all. It is a simple, supernutritious diet of mostly juicy fruits, complemented with tender vegetables and minimal quantities of soft, hydrated, well-chewed or blended seeds and nuts. If you want your gut to heal, feel great and work with quiet perfection, maintain a juicy, high-water content diet of mostly ripe, juicy fruits and practice perfect food combining. Water fasting promotes the fastest healing of the gut. Educate yourself about water fasting and do not attempt one longer than three days without professional supervision. A juice diet is also effective for healing. If you or a loved one needs guidance, I am glad to help.

A woman and man eat watermelon slices outside


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