Illustration of villi

How We Damage Our Small Intestine

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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


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

Hard, Dry Foods


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

A diagram featuring villi

Insufficient Fiber


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

Fermented Dietary Items


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

Indigestible Foods


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


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


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)


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



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

Cooking Byproducts

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


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



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.


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


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


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


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.


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



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



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



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



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

GMO Foods

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


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



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


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

Vitamin K Deficiency


Defective Blood Clotting | Uncontrollable Bleeding/Hemorrhaging | Anemia

Vitamin U Deficiency


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

Calcium Deficiency


Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Strictures

Sodium Deficiency


Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Strictures

Magnesium Deficiency


Spasms | Cramping | Atrophy | Diarrhea | Strictures

Vitamin D Deficiency


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



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

Low pH


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


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



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

Insufficient Chewing


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

Excessive Stress


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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