We all live with trillions and trillions of different bacteria that help support our health. Certainly, everyone is unique and there are differences in one case to the next. Our germ phobic world has created less diversity among our bacteria and this has turned up our immune responses. It is futile to sanitize our homes and eliminate bacteria that are living inside of us. I have read that some believe our hospitals have gone too far to try to sanitize and have created further antimicrobial resistance and virulence among our strains of bacteria. Farming and using antibiotics in animal feed has created meat that contains problems for our microbiome. Even chlorine can cause issues. We need to find a balance that will help keep our bacterial colonies healthy and diverse. What I go over here are ways to help with calming the immune system in the gut to bring about integrity in the gut wall lining and decrease sensitivities to outside invaders or foods. There are many important facets here and all are important at different levels for different individuals. The key ingredient might be slightly different from one to the next but the core concepts and methods are the same and more effective when utilized together.
The microbiome and our immune system
LPS is the marker on harmful bacteria that turns on the very powerful TH17 cells that reak havoc on our delicate gut lining. Of course, it always well intentioned and trying to help us but it gets confused by todays environment and harmful bacteria. T cells secrete potent toxins like HCL and hydrogen peroxide to help kill bacteria. Optimally, it would be great for our immune system to act like a laser and only kill the harmful bacteria and cells. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders like our own cells are also targets and get harmed in the process. Sometimes our immune system can phagocytize harmful bacteria, but this is not the only way to kill invaders.
Optimizing our microbiome
When thinking of how to calm the gut wall immune system issues I think of correcting the internal microbiome first. This has many facets including avoiding foods that perpetuate and grow harmful bacteria as well as incorporate things that support healthy diversified colonies of good probiotic microbes. The ancients did not have refrigerators and fermented foods were a common food that propagated healthy microbiomes. These microbes help us digest our food and nutrients, break down toxins and decrease our immune system response. The toxins in our food can alter the gut microbiome and cause disruption in the healthy bacteria. Using the EWG.Org site to help identify which foods need to be purchased organic. The dirty dozen should always be obtained organic. The glyphosate that is sprayed on American and foreign crops is a known biome disruptor and causes leaky gut. Pesticides and antifungals also disrupt a healthy diverse population of bacteria. Over 80% of people in the US. have elevated levels of glyphosate upon testing. Eliminating as much as possible is vital to a healthy life and well being.
The exact colonies of bacteria may be different for each individual, but I will start with what we know. The research, although having been around for decades is good but still in its infancy. We know some things such as the fact that diversity of the biome is good and we also know that certain bacteria are responsible for certain beneficial effects perhaps more than others. For instance, L. Acidophilus is helpful for antagonizing things like Clostrida Difficile and the pathogenic helicobacter Pylori that cause stomach cancer. We certainly do not know everything about these tiny lively bacteria that help and support our health. Trillions of bacteria living with us each and everyday – do not underestimate their importance.
Here are some of the important well known strains that decrease harmful immune activators:
C. difficile antagonists: L. acidophilus, L. bulgariucus, L. Casei, L. gasseri, L paracasei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifido infantus, bifido Ongum, Streptococcus Thermophilus, Saccharomyces boulardii
Candida Albicans antagonists: L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, Bidfido. Infantis, b. saccharomyces boulardii.
Gardnerella Vaginalis antagonists– L. Gasseri, bifidobacterium bifidum, B. breve,B. longum,
Rotovirus antogonists- L. casei, L. rhamnosus, B. brevis, streptococcus Thermophilus ( perhaps this might be better than the vaccines?)
Staphlococcus Aureus antagonists– L. acidophilus, L bulgarius, L. casei, L. gasseri, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, B. bifidum, B. breve, B. longum, perdiococcus acidilactici, Streptococcus thermophiles.
Some probiotics even lower cholesterol! The most studied include L. Rheuteri NCI30242, L. acidophilus La5 and B. lactis Bb12, L. acidophilus CHO-220 plus inulin and L. acidophilus plus fructo-oilgo-saccarides. The probiotics increase the production of short chain fatty acids that interfere with hepatic cholesterol synthesis.
Probiotics and Detox:
Probiotics help to decrease toxins in the gut too! They limit intestinal and systemic oxposure to toxins by enhancing intestinal barrier function. They bind toxins and carry them out through the stool. Probiotics bind to HCA (heterocyclicamines) that are in meat, poultry and fish. Probiotics also bind toxic dietary compounds like heavy metals and aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause kidney cancer and parkinson’s. They occur naturally in seeds, nuts, dried cereals and nuts. They are a known risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma. In animal studies, L. rhamnosus injected in the the small intestine were shown to bind and remove up to 54% of aflatoxin after only one munute!! Some probiotics are also known to help in the production of glutathione which is a master detoxifier.
Probiotics and Autism: Many autism sufferrers are plagued by gut dysfunction and dysbiosis. Probiotics seem to modulate these issues and decrease toxin production by pathogenic bacteria that allow for a improvement in behavioral symptoms sometimes.
Probiotics and Skin:
Probiotics have been shown to decrease the TH2 repsonses associated with allergies. L. rhamnosus and B. lactis seems to be efficacious.
- l. bulgarius and L. paracasei and S. thermophiles reduce symptoms allergic rhinitis.
High antigenic foods- Foods with higher antigenicity should be considered when planning to heal your gut. By this I mean, that is a food is more likely to cause immune reactions, the more one should avoid or limit that food. The most common antigenic foods are 1. Gluten 2. Dairy 3. Soy 4. Corn 5. Treenuts/peanuts 6. Shellfish 7. Nightshades and lectins. Some include coffee and alcohol on the list and this is important for some. Some foods trigger increased antigenicity due to their action on the microbiome. By this I mean, they increase the growth of candida/yeast and dysbiotic bacteria that are causing increased immune reactions in the gut. These foods include foods high in starch and sugar. These bacteria also set up biofilms that prevent easy eradication and resistance to antibiotics. Many herbs and some fibers help to break down these biofilms to eliminate them from the body.
Probiotic- Healthy colonies of lactobacillus and bifidobacillus are needed to completely colonize the gut. Bifido bacteria are beneficial for the large colon while lactobacillus is usually found in the small intestine. These colonies are supported by healthy fiber in foods like inulin, chickory, fructooiligoscahharides and short chain fatty acids. Butyric acid in ghee and butter support healthy colonies.
Klaire labs makes a supplement called Biotagen and Interphase that helps to break down the biofilms and support probiotic health, Biocidin is another popular product that breaks down biofilms and kills unhealthy bacteria. Unfortunately, the food we are eating is supporting dysbiosis due to antibiotics, pesticides, and glyphosate that is used in the farming process. Here is where buying organic is important. EWG.org provides an annually updated list of the 12 most sprayed produce items each year. They also provide a clean 15 list of the safer products that may be able to be purchased conventionally. Stick to the organic selections when purchasing the dirty dozen. Frozen varieties are alright as they do have nutritional value. Organic produce will mold more quickly, so you will need to consume and shop more regularly. DO NOT EAT MOLDY PRODUCE. Mycotoxins are some of the most dangerous and inflammatory neurotoxins known to man so make sure you do not eat mold. This may be why ancient ayurvdics did not eat left overs and recommended fresh foods to support health.
Biofilms are complex assemblies of extracellular polymer materials that allow bacteria to grow on surfaces and protect them from our immune systems. They live happily undisturbed. The biofilm is a kin to the plaque that occurs on your teeth – the bacteria make a shield to protect them from the immune system and allow adherence to the tissue. The biofilms enhance the survival of their colony. In the intestinal tract bacteria can either live alone or in colonies on biofilm layers. If the bacteria living on the particular biofilm are good, then all is well. If they are pathogenic, then it is harmful. And toxin production can seed the liver and brain causing symptoms. Many studies show that the incorporation of healthy probiotic bacteria can help to impede the growth of pathogens and disrupt unhealthy biofilms. Natural biofilm breakers are also in many of the herbs and vegetables. Plants need to protect themselves from the environment and produce natural antimicrobials that cause breakdown the harmful bacteria to protect their survival.
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