THE GAPS DIET
Natural Digestive Healing
In addition to digestive issues many other
health problems have been shown to
respond to treatment with probiotics:
While many conditions may benefit from
the use of probiotics, the above list has
had scientific papers published on the
benefit of probiotics with the specific
General Guidelines for choosing a good
a. A good probiotic should have as
many different species of beneficial
bacteria as possible.
b. A mixture of strains from different
groups of probiotic bacteria is more
beneficial than just one group.
c. A good probiotic should have a
concentrated amount of bacteria: at
least 8 billion of bacterial cells per
d. The manufacturer of the probiotic
should test every batch for strength
and bacterial composition and
should be prepared to publish
(Bio-kult is the recommended probiotic and
Dr. Campbell-McBride is one of the
B. Essential Fatty Acids
GAPS children and adults should have a
group of essential oils supplemented:
a. A good seed/nut oil blend in the ratio
of 2:1 of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids.
b. Cod liver oil to supply EPA, DHA,
vitamin A and vitamin D.
c. Fish oil with higher ratio of EPA to
DHA, as more EPA seems to be
beneficial for GAPS patients. There
are no toxic levels for these oils.
C. Vitamin A
As listed previously, vitamin A is
recommended in the form of Cod Liver Oil
(CLO). Vitamin A deficiency can
cause digestive problems.
Leaky gut and malabsorption are the typical
results of vitamin A deficiency.
Unfortunately, due to digestive problems,
GAPS children and adults usually cannot
absorb or use many forms of vitamin A,
commonly found in supplements.
A natural form of vitamin A found in CLO
appears to be the best form for these patients.
D. Digestive Enzymes
People with abnormal gut flora almost
without exception have low stomach acid
production. Toxins produced from bacteria
such as Candida and Clostridia have a
strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach
Stomach acid is the first barrier for huge
numbers of microbes arriving with every
bite of food or drink we consume. If
the stomach is not acid enough, these bad
microbes may have a chance of colonizing in
the stomach itself.
Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends that
GAPS patients supplement with stomach
acid. The most physiological preparation
available is Betaine HCl with Pepsin.
These are the enzymes people generally
think of when hearing the
words "digestive enzymes". These
enzymes are usually combinations of
proteases, peptidases, lipases, amylase,
lactase and cellulase.
In a healthy digestive tract, these enzymes
are naturally produced by the pancreas. If
normal stomach acidity can be returned,
these enzymes should work efficiently.
Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends
supplementation with stomach acid. If
you feel benefit from the use of these
supplements, make sure they do not
contain fillers or binders which may
interfere with the healing process in the
E. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Dr. Campbell-McBride does not generally
recommend any vitamin or mineral
supplementation at the beginning of the
Some patients may require targeted
supplementation but this is a matter for a
qualified practitioner to decide.
If you are going to use supplements:
a. Choose supplements without any
ingredients which may aggravate the
b. Choose supplements with a high
c. Keep supplements to an absolute
3. DETOXIFICATION AND LIFE-STYLE CHANGES
The first and most important thing is to remove the main source of toxicity, which means cleaning up and healing the gut.
Since this alone will not rid the body of years worth of toxic build up in the system, juicing is recommended. Juicing provides very concentrated fruit and vegetable nutrients to the body in an easily absorbed form.
Black Elderberry is also beneficial and has strong immune-stimulating properties and it is one of the most powerful anti-viral remedies known to man.
The General Toxic Load
An important part of the treatment is reduction
of the general toxic load. Keep your house
chemical free and avoid bringing anything into
the home which will let off chemicals such
as new carpet, furniture, and paints. Also
remember that your skin absorbs just about
everything it comes in contact with so be
very cautious with the products you put on
Household plants are great at reducing the
toxic air in our houses. They consume the
toxic gases and replace them with oxygen and
other beneficial substances.
This is a brief summary of important points addressed in Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It is very important to read the sections devoted to these areas in the book for a clear understanding of each. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride also provides additional information on her website www.gaps.me.