Cod Liver Oil

The 4 “R’s” for Strong Digestion

Photo Credit: Prentice Hall

Photo Credit: Prentice Hall

Good digestion is the corner stone of well-being and is involved in so many processes that if not working at top speed order, your immune and nervous system can become compromised.

For example, poor digestion can lead to a disruption of hormone production. This is because the digestive tract has neurons that release similar neurotransmitters as found in the brain.

Many health conditions can be caused by poor digestion, making recovery often dependent on restoring digestion.

Signs of Poor Digestion

  • Acne
  • Arthritis
  • B12 Deficiency
  • Back Pain
  • Belching
  • Bloating
  • Candida
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Food Allergies
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Grumbling Gut
  • Iron Deficiency
  • Mucus in Stool
  • Nausea
  • Skin Rashes
  • Weak/Cracked Finger Nails

Strong digestion is important…the building blocks of your food become the blood, cells, tissues, and organs of your body. But, faulty digestion often means that your body is not absorbing and taking advantage of all the nutrients in the food you are eating.

I recall one health food author saying she was the healthiest sick person she knew. She was eating organic, high-quality food but it went right through her – literally – and she was unable to benefit.

We are not what we eat. We are what we digest, assimilate and absorb.

The 4 R’s

There is a protocol known to help strengthen digestion. It has 4 components all beginning with an “R” – hence The 4 R’s. This program can be followed by most anybody, regardless of health/digestive problem. However, the specifics of the protocol need to be individually tailored by a nutritionist or health care provider – especially if you suffer from a serious digestive disorder, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

1) REMOVE “triggers” that may be causing problems (yeast overgrowth, allergens, toxins, refined food, stress, bad habits, and intestinal stagnation).

2) REPLACE missing factors needed for normal digestion and absorption (i.e. specific nutrients, enzymes, HCl, healthy fats, exercise, sleep).

3) REINOCULATE beneficial intestinal flora with probiotic-rich food and/or supplements (Lactobacillus sp., Bifidobacter sp., Saccharomyces boulardii).

4) REPAIR damage to the mucous lining of the digestive tract (demulcent herbs, bone stock, essential  fatty acids, ‘gluten-sugar-yeast’ free diet).

Note: The above steps do not need to be done consecutively to get results; however #1 needs to be addressed in order for the following 3 to be effective. Healing the digestive system with 4 “R” Protocol should be done under professional supervision.


Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. (2011). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman.

Brisebois, L. (2013). The 4 R’s of Healthy Digestion. Retrieved at

Gates, D. (2013).Fermented Foods Can Boost Immunity, Improve Gut Health, & Reduce Allergies. Retrieved at

Nichols, T., Faass, N. (2005).  Optimal Digestive Health.  Rochester, VT: Healing Arts.


May ALL bellies be happy!

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