- Supports GI Barrier Health and Integrity
- Maintains Normal Inflammatory Balance and Healthy Gut Epithelium
- Provides Concentrated Nutrition for GI Cells
GI Shield is designed to promote the health and barrier function of the gastrointestinal (GI) lining. Its unique formula includes nutrients that support the gut mucosal epithelium. The purpose of the epithelium is to allow the digestion and absorption of dietary nutrients while keeping unwanted toxins, microbes and food particles from passing directly into the body. GI Shield includes a high-dose of L-glutamine (4 g), which serves as nutrition for the gut lining. It provides 400 mg of deglycyrrhized licorice root extract (DGL) and 75 mg of aloe vera extract, both of which protect and promote the health of the gut mucosa. N-acetyl glucosamine and zinc boost GI integrity. Enhanced GI function improves both mental and physical health for children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or other neurodevelopmental disorders. GI Shield is available in delicious chocolate and vanilla flavors.
A healthy GI tract has an epithelial mucosal barrier that prevents the passage of food antigens (proteins), toxins, and microorganisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Stress, overconsumption of alcohol, food intolerance, microbial imbalance and poor nutrition can affect the integrity of the epithelial barrier. Accordingly, the health of the GI tract is dependent on the modulation of these factors. Moreover, the health of the gut is highly linked to the health of the brain. Indeed, the gut microbial makeup of individuals with ADHD is substantially different than those without the disorder. 1 Similarly, ASD is also associated with impaired gut barrier integrity as well as altered gut microbiota. 2, 3This causes children with different types of behavioral, psychosocial and neurodevelopmental disorders to be more susceptible to GI problems. These factors also warrant dietary supplementation with nutrients that support gut barrier integrity and balance gut microbiota.4 GI Shield provides these types of benefits by supplying the body with ingredients that help regenerate and maintain GI enterocytes while supporting the health of the intestinal mucosal barrier.
Deglycyrrhized Licorice Root Extract (DGL)†
DGL is a form of licorice root that has been specially processed to contain only biologically active flavonoids, without glycyrrhizin. This allows for higher dosing of the active ingredient, which helps maintain a healthy mucosal surface. It is traditionally used to support GI-related complaints, 1 DGL has been shown to promote bacterial balance, protect the intestinal lining, and maintain normal inflammatory balance.5 Glycyrrhizin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can help support the health of the GI lining by targeting harmful toxins and microbes as well as promoting healthy responses to GI inflammation.6,7 This process can improve digestive and mental function for children with psychosocial, behavioral, or sensory disorders due to the interactions between nerves in the gut and as well as those in the brain. More specifically, nerves that line the GI tract help regulate the transfer of signals to the brain that are involved in learning, emotion control, memory, and focus. Therefore, the optimal health of nerves in the gut boost cognitive function and this is particularly important for individuals with ADHD, ASD, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.4, 8
Aloe Vera Leaf Gel Extract†
A demulcent that has been used throughout history, aloe vera has long been known to maintain normal inflammatory balance. Studies have shown aloe vera is specifically beneficial to the gastric mucosa, in part by its ability to balance stomach acid levels and promote healthy mucus production.11, 13 One animal study examining the effects of aloe vera on gastric acid secretion and gastric mucosal health found aloe vera balanced acid secretion and, at low doses, protected mucosa from excess gastric acid. 14 The ability of aloe vera to target inflammation, support optimal stomach acid levels, and protect mucosa promotes an optimal GI environment for balanced gut microbiota and proper digestion. These processes are vital for children with neurodevelopmental disorders because it reduces the incidence of GI problems and chronic digestive issues are associated with certain psychiatric traits (e.g., anxiety, hyperactivity, behavioral, or psychosocial impairments) in some individuals.8, 15 This also means that the protective properties of aloe vera are beneficial for typically developing children as it enhances GI health and reduces the risk of developing psychiatric symptoms.8, 15
L-glutamine is a main source of fuel for the cells of the small intestines and essential to tissue repair throughout the body. Enterocytes use the amino acid to help maintain the health of the mucosa.16 Inflammatory signals released when the body is exposed to unwanted toxins and proteins can trigger cortisol to increase the breakdown and increased utilization of L-glutamine in the small intestines. 17 When the body is under stress, L-glutamine has been shown to become a conditionally essential amino acid for the regeneration and protection of a healthy mucosal barrier. 18 Research has also shown that individuals with ASD tend to have reduced levels of L-glutamine in the body as well as other essential aminoacids.19 Similarly,low levels of L-glutamine are associated with more severe degrees of inattentiveness in individuals with ADHD. 20 Therefore supplementation with this amino acid supports healthy levels of this vital nutrient which in turn, promotes a strong mucosal barrier in the GI tract and reduces the severity of psychiatric symptoms (psychosocial, hyperactivity, anxiety, or behavioral impairments).
N-acetyl glucosamine is the acetylated form of glucosamine. It is a mucin precursor and has been shown to increase the production of mucus within the GI tract.21 Colonicmucusproductionhasbeen shown to be decient in individuals with GI challenges. Research has indicated that the step involving N-acetylation of glucosamine is also de cient in patients with intestinal challenges. 22, 23 This can result in a decrease of glycoproteins that protect the intestinal mucosa.23 N-acetyl glucosamine is essential for children and adolescents with psychosocial, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders because adequate levels intestinal mucosa support proper signal transfer between nerves in the gut and the brain, balanced microbiota in the GI tract, and healthy levels of beneficial enzymes, proteins, etc., in the GI tract. Accordingly, improved digestive function is associated with enhanced communication, living, and social skills in children with such disorders. 4, 8, 15
Zinc is an essential mineral widely recognized for its role in gut and immune health. Zinc has been shown to strengthen GI barrier function by supporting the structure of tight junctions. In addition to supporting a lower incidence of psychiatric symptoms (psychosocial, hyperactivity, or behavioral impairments) due to its ability to improve digestive health, zinc also supports brain health. In particular, a zinc deficiency is associated with cognitive problems, memory impairments, and even learning difficulties.24, 25 The immune system may also weaken when zinc levels are low and this can alter energy levels. 25 These properties make zinc a key nutrient toward improving the GI and mental health of children and adolescents with psychosocial, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, ASD).
GI Shield Chocolate or Vanilla Dosage Instructions
Start at a low dose and slowly work up to the recommended dosage over 1-2 weeks. Mix powder with approx. 4-10 oz of beverage of choice.
Does Not Contain
Gluten, yeast, artificial colors and flavors.
If you are pregnant or nursing, consult your physician before taking this product.
- 1. Aarts E, Ederveen TH, Naaijen J, Zwiers MP, Boekhorst J, Timmerman HM, Smeekens SP, Netea MG, Buitelaar JK, Franke B, van Hijum SA. Gut microbiome in ADHD and its relation to neural reward anticipation. PloS one. 2017 Sep 1;12(9):e0183509.
- 2. Fiorentino M, Sapone A, Senger S, Camhi SS, Kadzielski SM, Buie TM, Kelly DL, Cascella N, Fasano A. Blood–brain barrier and intestinal epithelial barrier alterations in autism spectrum disorders. Molecular autism. 2016 Dec 1;7(1):49.
- 3. Vuong HE, Hsiao EY. Emerging roles for the gut microbiome in autism spectrum disorder. Biological psychiatry. 2017 Mar 1;81(5):411-23.
- 4. Li Q, Han Y, et al. The gut microbiota and autism spectrum disorders. Front Cell Neurosci. 2017; 11: 120.
- 5. Turpie, A.G., Runcie, J. et al. Clinical trial of deglydyrrhizinized liquorice in gastric ulcer. Gut. 1969; 10(4):299-302.
- 6. Wang L, Yang R, et al. The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb. Acta Pharm Sin B. 2015;5(4):310-315.
- 7. Akamatsu H, Komura J, Asada Y, Niwa Y. Mechanism of anti- inflammatory action of glycyrrhizin: effect on neutrophil functions including reactive oxygen species generation. Planta Med . 1991;57(2):119-21.
- 8. Pae CU, Masand PS, Ajwani N, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome in psychiatric perspectives: a comprehensive review. Int J Clin Pract. 2007; 61(10):1708-18.
- 9. Kassir, Z. A. Endoscopic controlled trial of four drug regimens in the treatment of chronic duodenal ulceration. Ir Med J. 1985;78(6):153-156.
- 10. Morgan, A. G., McAdam, W. A. et al. Comparison between cimetidine and Caved-S in the treatment of gastric ulceration, and subsequent maintenance therapy . Gut. 1982; 23(6):545-551.
- 11. Blitz, J.J., Smith, J.W. et al. Aloe vera gel in peptic ulcer therapy:preliminary report. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1963; 62:731- 735.
- 12. Rajendran A, Sobiya G et al. Study on the Effective Supplementation of Aloe vera Gel Antacid to Peptic Ulcer Patients. Res J Medicine & Med Sci. 2008; 3(2):132-134.
- 13. Gawron-Gzella, A., Witkowska-Banaszczak, E. et al. [Herbs and herbal preparations applied in the treatment of gastric hyperacidity, gastric and duodenal ulcer in cigarette smokers]. Przegl Lek. 2005;62(10):1185-1187.
- 14. Yusuf, S., Agunu, A. et al. The effect of Aloe vera A. Berger (Liliaceae) on gastric acid secretion and acute gastric mucosal injury in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 93(1):33-37.
- 15. Coss-Adame E, Rao SS. Brain and gut interactions in irritable bowel syndrome: new paradigms and new understandings. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2014;16(4):379.
- 16. Tang ZF, Ling YB, Lin N, et al. Glutamine and recombinant human growth hormone protect intestinal barrier function following portal hypertension surgery. World J Gastroenterol 2007;13: 2223-2228.
- 17. Miller AL. Therapeutic considerations of l- glutamine: a review of the literature. Altern Med Rev 1999;4:239-248.
- 18. Akobeng AK, Miller V, Stanton, et al. Double-blind randomized controlled trial of glutamine-enriched polymeric diet in the treatment of active Crohn’s diseasJe .P ediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2000;30:78-84.
- 19. Ghanizadeh A. Increased glutamate and homocysteine and decreased glutamine levels in autism: a review and strategies for future studies of amino acids in autism. Disease markers. 2013 Oct;35.
- 20. Maltezos S, Horder J, et al. Glutamate/glutamine and neuronal integrity in adults with ADHD: a proton MRS study. Transl Psychiatry. 2014;4(3):e373.
- 21. Deters A, Petereit F, et al. N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine oligosacchar ides induce mucin secretion from colonic tissue and induce differentiation of human keratinocytes. J Pharm Pharmacol 2008; 60(2):197-204.
- 22. Cope GF, Heatley RV, Kelleher J, Axon AT. In vitro mucus glycoprotein production by colonic tissue from patients with ulcerative colitis.Gut 1988 Feb;29(2):229-34.
- 23. Burton AF, Anderson FH. Decreased incorporation of 14C- glucosamine relative to 3H- N-acetyl glucosamine in the intestinal mucosa of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 1983;78(1):19-22.
- 24. International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG)1, Brown KH, Rivera JA, et al. International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG) technical document #1. Assessment of the risk of zinc deficiency in populations and options for its control. Food Nutr Bull. 2004;25(1 Suppl 2):S99- 203.
- 25. Roohani N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R, Schulin R. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci. 2013;18(2):144-57.