GAPS Supplementation Plan

I am not a doctor and have not been professionally trained.  My writings are based on my own personal experiences and research and are not to be taken as medical advice. Please take a look at our medical disclaimer before reading the below information. 

There are three powerful weapons that can be used to treat GAPS conditions:
  1. Diet
  2. Supplementation
  3. Detoxification

This post is going to focus on the second aspect.

Now before we begin, I would like to reemphasize what has already been stated in a previous post.  Diet is number one.  Of the three, it is the strongest weapon.  Damaged guts need an extra boost from supplements, but they wouldn’t have a chance of recovering without nourishing food.  There is no easy way out.  You can’t expect supplements to make up for a poor diet.  It just doesn’t work that way.

Something else to remember is that every human being is unique.  What works for one person won’t do a thing for another.  So if possible, it’s best to have the guidance of a qualified practitioner, rather than finding the perfect supplements on your own. 

If you have a basic understanding of GAPS, you know that GAPS people have too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria.  That is why probiotics are vital.  Though fermented and cultured foods and drinks are excellent for this, the GAPS diet requires a therapeutic strength probiotic supplement.  Apparently GAPS people need all the help they can get!

The commercial supplement is not meant to be taken forever, but probiotics from food and drink will always be necessary to maintain good health.

Our bodies are unable to make vital omega-3 (LNA) and omega-6 (LA) fatty acids on its own.  It’s crucial to receive these fatty acids from our foods and in the correct ratio

What are some examples of LNA sources?
  •  Flax seed oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Chia
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds

How about some examples of LA sources?
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Borage oil
  • Black current oil

These parent fatty acids, along with their derivatives need to be supplemented.  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says on pages 267 and 270 of her book, “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”, GAPS people are deficient in the nutrients necessary to convert LNA (parent omega-3) to EPA and DHA, and LA (parent omega-6) to GLA and DGLA.  This added complication means that the parent fatty acids and their derivatives will have to supplemented separately.   

One incredibly valuable source of EPH and DHA is cod liver oil.  Not only does it contain these omega-3s but it also has vitamins A and D.  Many GAPS people are deficient in these nutrients.  Since these two vitamins are a team, it is ideal to have them together

GAPS people often have low stomach acid.  Lack of acid leads to difficulties in digestion.   

There are enzyme supplements available, but it makes more sense to supplement acid because it gets to the root of the problem.  The presence of acid signals the pancreas to produce its own enzymes.  The goal of the acid supplement is to restore the patient’s ability to yield adequate amounts of stomach acid without assistance.  Once this is achieved, no acid or enzyme supplements will be necessary.

Vitamins and Minerals

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride briefly discusses vitamin and mineral supplements on pages 295-297 of her book. She believes her recommended diet will provide enough vitamins and minerals and isn’t a fan of supplementing them. For one thing, it is a very complicated subject that isn’t fully understood.  For another, many commercial supplements are synthetic and/or contain fillers and binders that can harm the gut and hinder the healing process

There are unique situations, however.  If the patient still has unresolved issues after being on GAPS for a while, it may be possible that some micronutrients need to be supplemented.  Figuring out what that could be requires the help of a qualified practitioner.  Keep in mind that supplements should be kept to a minimal amount.

Overwhelmed?  I know I was.  Future posts will look at each of these supplements in greater detail.  It took me a while to figure this all out, and I don’t want you to have to go through it on your own.

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