Here’s a sneak peak at the ‘Functional Layers of the Digestive System’ you will learn as part of the Food Allergy, Intolerance & Sensitivity course for Kinesiologists.


The functional unit of the GI system consists of multiple layers; diet, enzymes, bacteria, barrier, immune and the enteric nervous system.

Each layer plays a significant role in the function of the GI system and can be a point of dysfunction affecting the other layers.

A kinesiologist can gain valuable clinical information from using this functional model for case taking to help determine where points of interest lie in addressing digestive disorders.

The first layer of the functional model is diet.

Our digestive system breaks down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from the foods we eat. This requires adequate hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and fibre. There must also be good balance of normal, healthy intestinal flora to help maintain healthy bowel function and support immunological balance.

The diet has a direct influence on all the other functional layers, and is often a key variable that needs to be addressed. The diet interacts directly with the microbiome, and altering the diet can rapidly and significantly alter the composition of the gut microbial flora.

The diet can also affect the immune system (particularly if the barrier is defective), such as in the case of food allergies. If the normal functioning of the gut has been compromised such as intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), small amounts of longer amino acid chains may enter the blood stream creating an immune/allergic response.

The composition of the diet can also adversely stimulate the enteric nervous system (ENS). This multitude of neurons enables us to ‘feel’ the inner world of our digestive system and its contents.

Depending on the presenting symptoms and/or condition, dietary intervention will focus on different aspects.

These may include:

  • manipulation of meal size
  • macronutrient composition
  • removal of specific foods

By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of the art and science of nutrition, and how to confidently craft a personalised nutrition plan for your clients.

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