Hippocrates made this statement over two thousand years ago and it is truer today than ever. Even two thousand years ago, people knew that at least 5 diseases started in the gut. It is no coincidence that both Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, arguably the two oldest systems of medicine on the planet, consider digestion to be one of the key factors influencing our health. They  discovered through thousands of years of clinical practice and observation that a  direct link exists between a person’s digestive health and their physical and mental well-being.

Research has now confirmed that diet does indeed play a major role in health. But we need to take that a stage further and not just look at what we eat, but how we eat too. The quality and strength of our digestion governs the ability of our body to properly absorb the nutrients from the food we are eating. Without a healthy, well-functioning digestive tract, free of digestive problems, even the best diet will do you little good as our body struggles to process the nutrients in our food. The fact is that if we cannot fully assimilate what we eat, we will invariably experience disease regardless of any other measures taken towards maintaining and improving our health. Here are 5 diseases that start in your gut!


Recent studies have shown that inflammation may well be involved in the pathogenesis of depression. In fact, some research has demonstrated that depression is frequently associated with gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with other ailments in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor.

It is possible that depression could be manifestation of chronic inflammation and the primary cause of inflammation may be the dysfunction of the “gut-brain axis”.

According to a study reprinted on the website Green Med Info:

“… [A]n increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammations with probiotics, vitamin B, D and omega 3 fatty acids, through attenuating proinflammatory stimuli to brain, may also improve depression symptoms and quality of life. All these findings justify an assumption that treating gastrointestinal inflammations may improve the efficacy of the currently used treatment modalities of depression and related diseases.

The notion that inflammation in your gut could be linked to your symptoms of depression may sound far-fetched, but it actually makes perfect sense when you understand the intricate connection between your brain and your digestive tract.


What links gut bacteria and diabetes? The most recent studies on gut bacteria and diabetes addresses Type 1 Diabetes. Previous research has already made the connection between a poorly maintained gut lining in the intestinal tract and diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is understood to be an autoimmune disease. In autoimmunity, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells. This generates cell and tissue damage.Type 2 Diabetes is commonly associated with poor diet and inactivity. However, we are now finding evidence of autoimmunity in Type 2 Diabetes too


Alzheimer’s is a crippling type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily living.  The Alzheimer’s association states that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

  • Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).
  • One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease.
  • By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

These numbers will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the baby boom generation has begun to reach age 65 and beyond, the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer’s. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease. Understandably after looking at the statistics. It’s easy to see why there are considerable a number of studies looking at causes of Alzheimer’s. In the journal, Frontiers in Aging, Neroscience it was reported that an Iranian research team gave people with severe Alzheimer’s disease a probiotic drink every day for 12 weeks, and then measured the changes in brain function test scores before and after the treatment. They found improvements after the probiotics were given compared with the placebo group. While the results are far from conclusive, they do add to a previous body of research that suggests there may be an association between gut health and brain function. Interestingly in a study published in the July issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe, UC Davis researchers report that both amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and structures made by some gut bacteria likely elicit the same response by human immune cells. What this means is that we can now identify gut inflammation as an identified causes of Alzheimer’s.  

Auto Immune Diseases

.An autoimmune disease is defined as one in which the immune system makes antibodies against its own tissues. It is the third most common category of illness in the United States after cancer and heart disease with more than 23 million Americans suffering from an autoimmune disease. Yet, 90 percent of Americans cannot name a single autoimmune disease, writes Donna Jackson Nakazawa in her book The Autoimmune Epidemic (Simon & Schuster, 2008). “It boggles the mind,” she says. The name deserves some of the blame. “Autoimmune disease” is an umbrella term for dozens of conditions, most of which do not actually use the word “autoimmune” in their titles. Diseases in this category include lupus, alopecia areata, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, vitiligo, thyroiditis, vasculitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, urticaria (hives), type 1 diabetes and Raynaud’s syndrome

While Ayurveda practitioners  have long said gut permeability is the crux of chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders, many conventional physicians distanced themselves from the idea. The science behind gut permeability, however, is now too convincing to ignore. Today many doctors and scientists also have a more sophisticated understanding of how the immune system can go awry. One of the top experts in the field is Alessio Fasano, MD, the director of the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. Decades of research led him to deduce that every autoimmune disease has three basic ingredients: a genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger, and a leaky gut. Dr Axe explains that when someone has leaky gut, the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to.

Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction.


Let’s talk about your gut flora and cancer! You may not realize just how important your bowel condition is to cancer prevention. In fact it is crucial. Bloomburg’s Business News in their article How Gut Bacteria are Shaking up Cancer Research say that some major drug companies are now looking to commercialize the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut as a cancer treatment.

The man who heads up Roche’s cancer immunotherapy research, Daniel Chen, said “five years ago, if you had asked me about bacteria in your gut playing an important role in your systemic immune response, I probably would have laughed it off.”

Cultivating beneficial gut bacteria is your first line of defense against cancer and many other serious diseases. It does this by boosting your immune system at the places you’re almost always hit first with − toxins, heavy metals, parasites, fungi, and harmful bacteria.

Research from the University of Chicago found that boosting mice gut bacteria (specifically with Bifidobacterium) equaled the results of immunotherapy (using your body’s immune system to attack cancer) in slowing the growth of melanoma cancer cells! They then combined the two (gut bacteria and immunotherapy) modalities and achieved success that was comparable to anti-cancer drugs. That’s pretty exciting as we are talking about treating cancer without destroying all the healthy cells in your body which is what chemotherapy does. To be able to use your own body to fight for you − is a step forward in allowing your body to heal itself. Something that traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have long promoted, So, its easy to see how gut health and cancer prevention go hand in hand.

As proper digestion is so central to our focus here at The Holistic Highway, we offer an anti-inflammatory cleanse to reset the digestion.  According to Ayurveda, toxins are stored in our fat cells, causing inflammation, this inflammation affects our gut. When we burn our fat cells, we release these toxins and reduce inflammation. The Holistic Highway Anti-Inflammatory Cleanse is designed to burn these fat cells, so we detoxify all the environmental toxins that hide in our fat cells that create inflammation – that way you do not have to worry about the 5 diseases that start in your gut.

Want to discover how to heal your gut and strengthen digestion with Ayurveda? Download my 7 Steps to Great Digestion below!