Migrating Motor Complex: How To Activate the Most Natural Gut Cleanse Ever?Luke Coutinho
“How do I build good gut health?”
This is one of the most googled health questions in 2022. So many of us constantly look for superfoods, cleanses, prebiotics, probiotics, and supplements to take care of our gut. But while these may have their place, many of us forget the basics.
Did you know that your body has an in-built intelligence designed to look after, clean, and rebuild your gut? YES.
At the time of evolution or even 20 years ago, prebiotics or probiotics, getting onto gut health and cleanse programs were unheard of. While today these play a crucial role because we have poor eating habits, excess pesticides in food, pollutants in the air that we breathe, issues like overeating, undereating, too much alcohol, smoking, substance abuse, and so on that upset our gut. But we have the power to activate a mechanism automatically that can keep the gut clean and healthy, only if we allow it to.
This intelligence is called MMC and stands for the Migrating Motor Complex. It is a mechanism inbuilt into your gut. Think of it as a housekeeping team. After you have eaten a meal and some time has passed, this housekeeping team sweeps across your entire gut. It helps you with digestion and cleaning out toxic waste and particles.
How do we harness the MMC? It is simple. Medical science shows us that keeping a gap of about 4 to 5 hours (it can be different for everyone) between meals can automatically activate the MMC.
What do research studies say?
Science defines the migrating motor complex (MMC) as a cyclic, recurring motility pattern occurring in the stomach and small bowel during fasting. It is interrupted by feeding. Now, what does this mean?
Think about what most of us do today. Even before we begin digesting our last meal, we start snacking, drinking fruit juice, a handful of nuts, protein and granola bars, and much more. It doesn’t allow our digestive system to get a break, shut down, or signal our body to activate the MMC. So we’ve compromised the intelligence of our bodies.
Please understand that your body is NOT designed for constant grazing.
What are the exceptions?
Yes. Very few people on heavy medication or those with constantly fluctuating blood sugar levels may be required to eat every two to three hours. Before you think, ‘Oh, what if I start getting acidic?’ In our experience, we have noticed that keeping a gap of four to four and a half hours between meals can help relieve acidity. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you may have to eat at frequent intervals. But remember to work with your root cause. So you can reach a point where you can keep a gap of 4 to 4.5 after every meal.
Think of these as mini-fasts between your meals. Apart from this, you can also follow your 12 to 14 hours of circadian fasting. Practice this for a week. You will experience the magic of how your gut problems slowly disappear.
What are the simple ways to activate MMC?
- Follow mini-fasts between your meals. Keep a gap of four to four and a half hours to do this.
- DO NOT snack in between.
- Align your lifestyle to the circadian rhythm. Eat your last meal at or close to sunset and fast through the night until sunrise to attain that gentle 12-hour circadian fast.
By day 3, you will start experiencing a lightness in your gut. Your digestion will get better automatically because you’ve harnessed the intelligence of your body by activating the MMC.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can I drink tea, coffee, or lemon water while activating my MMC?
A. Yes, you can have green/black tea, coffee, water, lemon water – that’s not a problem. Avoid having tea or coffee immediately after a meal because these have tannins that can block iron absorption. Keep a gap of at least 30 to 45 minutes after your meals before drinking them.
While you can have these simple beverages, I prefer maintaining a stricter discipline and only having water between my meals. Do what suits you.
If you have existing gut problems, try to only drink water between these mini-fasts.
Q. Can I drink chai with milk and sugar?
A. No. Have plain tea without sugar and milk. The minute you add sugar, you are disrupting the activation.
How does it benefit your gut?
Many people today struggle with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). In this, one may experience constant bloating, acidity, and chronic constipation. Some others may even have IBS (irritated bowel syndrome)-like symptoms where they get loose motions several times during the day. Studies say that MMC plays an important role in keeping bacterial levels low in the small intestine and in moving food particles into the colon before they are subjected to bacterial fermentation. In short, MMC breaks down and prevents the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, thus helping you manage your SIBO and preventing its relapse post-treatment.
What about pre and probiotics?
Those with chronic gut issues will need prebiotics and probiotics in a supplement form under professional guidance. But they also have to pair it with other dietary changes and work on their activity levels, sleep patterns, and emotional health. For the rest of you: If you are eating balanced rainbow meals, you should be getting your dose of pre and probiotics in their natural form.
Eat your meals mindfully and master the art of chewing your food because digestion begins in the mouth.
Activating MMC allows your prebiotics and the probiotics to work better and repopulate the gut microbiome.
Learnings from my consults
When I work with communities in rural India that live below the poverty line, most of them have fabulous gut health (apart from places with poor food or water quality). The secret to this is simplicity. They eat one meal in the morning, keep a five-hour gap, eat lunch, keep the same gap and eat an early dinner. Even without any of us having to tell them, they are activating the MMC automatically.
In conclusion, the human body is incredible. Tap into the intelligence that works to protect, heal, rejuvenate and repair you. The MMC is one of the most powerful and inexpensive gut programs you can participate in every single day. It is the most superior gut protocol that can realign and reset your gut. So, keep it simple and share this with everyone you know.
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How does one know if our MMC is activated or not ? Is it necessary for the gut health to get degenerated with age ?
Your MMC automatically activates when you keep a gap of four to four and a half hours between your meals. That’s the beauty and intelligence of the human body. You got to trust your body to do it. As for gut health, yes there are scientific evidence that gut health may change and the microbiome may become less diverse after the age of 60, which is why it is crucial for all of us to do what we can to keep it functioning optimally. To know how to do this, read my blog here: https://lukecoutinho.com/blog/lifestyle-en/build-good-gut-health/