Just how ‘Good’ is Hemp for the Guts? Part-1.

June 20, 2013 at 8:55 am Leave a comment

Rick Miller, Registered Clinical & Sports Dietitian.


Got Great Guts?

It’s seems like every second patient that I see has some type of trouble with the food they eat and symptomatic bowel problems. It’s not a co-incidence at all really as our tummies and their characteristic motions have to deal with everything we throw at them, at least 3 times a day. From eating too much processed rubbish to just plain lack of basic recovery and sleep, for some individuals their stomach troubles are well and truly a ‘pain in the backside’.

Jokes aside, gastrointestinal troubles are really not a laughing matter at all and it’s one of major reasons people adopt Hemp Protein as a supplementation source alongside their diet to provide some relief from the porcelain throne that other protein sources just don’t always seem to do the trick.

I’m here to give you the lowdown on why Hemp could be really GOOD for your guts.


The Truth of Tummy Trouble

The human intestinal tract is an incredibly efficient system, to the point that this 30 feet of ‘living walls’ that compose the intestines hardly allows any of that food you ingest to be wasted as it passes along the length. Foods are simply degraded in a systematic process and absorbed across the epithelial walls into the bloodstream.

So what’s all the fuss about…?

The reality is a number of us could be walking around without clinical symptoms of stomach-churning discomfort (e.g. bloating, flatulence, diahorrea, constipation)[i], but without paying attention to your gastrointestinal health these symptoms will creep up on you sooner or later and fixing a ‘leaky gut’  that isn’t keeping the bad stuff (bacteria, yeast, dietary allergens) in the bowel and the good stuff (nutrients such as protein, essential fats and carbohydrates) is a long-winded process. For more information about ‘gastro-health’ and why it’s important for your overall health, physical performance and even body composition (physique), check out my free article in Muscle & Fitness UK here (link to http://www.rick-miller.co.uk/articles).

So How does Hemp Help?

Alongside a mainly whole-foods, plant-based diet, hemp can play a key role in keeping the internal pipework and more importantly YOU healthy.

Low Allergy and Sensitivity Risk.

Unlike many other foods, one of the major qualities of Hemp seed is it is not know to be allergenic[ii], this is possibly due to containing little to no amount of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannibinol (THC)[iii] (<0.01%) in the hemp food crop.

A Mineral Harvest.

Zinc is an incredible mineral that catalyses over 300 reactions in the body, but it is also pivotal in keeping the intestinal walls and your overall immune system healthy. However, if the gut walls are not looked after, you often get stomach flu or you’re taking medication to treat reflux a reduced zinc status is common[iv]. Zinc helps to patch up those leaky areas in the gut over time and a single serving (30g) of Hemp Seeds provides a good source of zinc (2.1mg or 22-28% of the Dietary Recommend Intake for men and women) 3.

Good Fats

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are all exert a strong effect on reducing permeability in the gut by displacing themselves into the walls of the intestines and reducing inflammation. Like some sort of lipid hero, they ‘kick out’ the wrong types of fats (the ones that promote inflammation) and keep inflammation at bay; Hemp seed oil contains the EFAs omega 3:6 and 9. Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), concentrated in Hemp Oil may also help to keeping the intestine walls strong and reduce inflammation further[v].

In Part 2. we’ll look at the other components of Hemp Seed that can help you keep your stomach in check!

[i] Hollander D. (1999) Intestinal Permeability, leaky gut, and intestinal disorders. Current Gastroenterology Reports, 1(5), p.410-416

[ii] Isinguzo, G. (2011) Physicochemical, Functional and in vitro Bioactive Properties of Hempseed (Cannabis Sativa) Protein Isolates and Hydrosylates.

[iii] Callaway, J.C. (2004) Hempseed as a Nutritional Resource: An Overview. Euphytica, 140, p.65-72

[iv] Farrell, C.P., Morgan, M., Rudolph, D.S. Hwang, A., Albert, N.E., Valenzano, M.C. Wang, X., Giancarlo, M. & Mullin, J.M. (2011) Proton Pump Inhibitors Interfere with Zinc Absorption and Zinc Body Stores, Gastroenterology Research, 4(6), p.243-251

[v] Usami, M., Komurasaki, T., Hanada, A., Kinoshita, K. & Ohata, A. (2003) Effect of Gamma-Linolenic Acid or Docosahexaenoic Acid on Tight Junction Permeability in Intestinal Monolayer Cells and their Mechanism by Protein Kinase C Activation and/or Eicosanoid Formation. Nutrition, 19(2) p.150-156


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Hemp Harvest 2012 Why GOOD OIL (cold pressed hemp seed oil) is good for your skin?

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