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					            Issue 18                                                                                                 1999

                                                       By HealthTrust Alliance®

                                                              Dysbiosis and Probiotics
                                                                                by
                                                                         James Braly, MD,
                                                                      Michael Bohannon, ND,
                                                                  Derrick M. DeSilva, Jr., MD and
                                                                        Craig Konzen, RPh

                                    OVERVIEW                                       numerous and complex. The GI tract, an
                                                                                   important component of the digestive sys-
                                    Dysbiosis is a serious condition that          tem, consists of the stomach and intes-
                                    may be the underlying cause of some            tines. If the GI tract is not healthy, the or-
                                    of our most prevalent diseases or clini-       ganism (the human body in this case) will
                                    cal conditions. It has been overlooked         not be healthy. The key elements to
                                    by the medical community due to the            good health and feeling good are eat-
                                    previous misunderstanding of the criti-        ing nutrient rich foods and taking care
                                    cal role this condition plays in an indi-      of the GI tract. This allows the digestive
                                    vidual’s long-term overall health. Many        system to do the work that helps keep the
                                    experts and healthcare pioneers who            body healthy. The GI tract constitutes the
                                    have researched this subject believe           body’s second largest surface area, with
                                    that immune system function is directly        the respiratory tract being the first. This
                                    related to the health of the gastrointes-      surface area could be described as com-
                                    tinal tract. As Dysbiosis becomes a            parable to the size of a tennis court.1 This
                                    problem in individuals, the immune             system’s functioning is directly affected by
                                    system becomes impaired, resulting in          the fuel used to run it and by general over-
                                    a multitude of symptoms that can be            all maintenance, which includes lifestyle
                                    unique in different people.        Today       factors such as exercise, stress and rest.
                                    thousands of clinical studies vali-            Changes in environmental factors or in
                                    date and or indicate the seriousness           lifestyle can alter the balance of the in-
                                    of the condition. In addition, labora-         testinal environment and it may be a
                                    tory tests can now be performed on             challenge to get all the parts to run to-
                                    patients to substantiate this condition,       gether smoothly again.
                                    forcing even former nonbelievers to
                       ®
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                                    confront the realities of Dysbiosis.           The GI tract plays a crucial role in break-
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           Suite 120                In order to understand our complex             present in the food. It is estimated that
  Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045      Gastrointestinal (GI) System, let us re-       approximately 60 tons of food pass
        1-800-524-4448              view its components and functions.             through the GI tract during a normal life-
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     HealthTrust@msn.com                                                           span. While this is important to well be-
                                    GI TRACT                                       ing, an impairment anywhere along this
  11802001 - The Herbal Pharm                                                      system will negatively impact the nutri-
             Issue 18               One of the functions of the digestive          tional status and overall health of the
                           ®
©1999 HealthTrust Alliance , Inc.
                                    system is to simply process food and           individual.1 The process of digestion be-
                                    waste. However, the steps involved in          gins before food enters the mouth. Visual
                                    the processing of food and waste are           and olfactory stimuli cause the brain to
                                                                                   alert the mouth to salivate and the stom-
      INSIDE THIS ISSUE...                                                         ach to secrete pepsin and hydrochloric
       Causes and Symptoms of Dysbiosis                                            acid. Thorough mastication (chewing) of
                                                                                   food allows for adequate release of sali-
       Dysbiosis and Health Conditions                                             vary enzymes, which begin the process of
       Preventing and Correcting Dysbiosis                                         carbohydrate digestion. Food then travels
       Probiotics – Types, Benefits, Uses, Dosing, Selection                       to the stomach via the esophagus where
                                                                                   gastric acids or “juices” help break the
       Laboratory Testing
                                                                                                                            Page 1
         food down even more. These juices in-              organisms in the intestines make up a
         clude pepsin, hydrochloric (HCl) acid and          complex environment of microorgan-
         enzymes. Protein digestion begins here             isms that play a critical role in the whole
         and will be incomplete at this stage if diges-     health of an individual. It is also impor-
         tive juices are insufficient. By nature, to do     tant to note that the epithelial surface of the
         its job the stomach should be highly acidic.       intestines is shed and renewed every day
         The body’s first line of defense against ex-       or so. If there is impairment in the balance
         ogenous organisms such as bacteria, vi-            of intestinal organisms, there may be nutri-
         ruses and parasites is this gastric acidity. If    ent or functional deficiencies in meeting the
         the acid-producing beneficial bacteria are         metabolic demands of that turnover. If
         killed off, a shift towards a more alkaline        these imbalances and deficiencies continue
         intestinal pH occurs, creating an environ-         unchallenged for a period of time (which
         ment that is favorable for pathogenic organ-       varies by individual), an unhealthy state
         isms to proliferate and for parasites to take      called Dysbiosis can occur.
         refuge and flourish.
                                                            DYSBIOSIS
         Muscles and digestive juices in the stom-
         ach further macerate the food. It then             The intestinal ecology consists of all the
         passes through the pyloric valve into the          bacteria (both health-promoting and poten-
         small intestine, which has a more alkaline         tially pathogenic) and other organisms that
         pH. Bile and pancreatic enzymes are re-            are present in the digestive tract. These or-
         leased for fat digestion and for further di-       ganisms perform many important functions.
         gestion of protein and carbohydrates. The          It is estimated that over 500 different spe-
         pancreas also secretes bicarbonates to             cies of identified organisms exist in the
         neutralize the HCl acid from the stomach,          digestive tract with a total of more than
         alkalizing the food for the small intestine.       10 billion organisms altogether.2, 3 Dys-
         Secretions all along the GI tract not only         biosis occurs when there is an alteration in
         contain important factors for mucosal lubri-       the normal balance of the microflora or or-
         cation but also contain literally hundreds of      ganisms of the GI tract. This imbalance
              ingredients that are important for in-        creates a pathogenic, disordered or dys-
                       traluminal microbial defense.1       functional microflora ecosystem that alters
                       The fluid milieu of the GI tract     the metabolic or immunologic responses of
                       can be altered by the types of       the person. Symptoms can range from mild
                      foods and fluids consumed, but        discomfort to outright disease. In fact, the
                    the salivary, gastric, pancreatic,      balance of the organisms in the GI tract im-
                         biliary and intestinal secre-      pacts all functions within the body, including
                             tions account for 6 to 7 li-   vitamin production, hormonal activities,
                               ters a day. 2                immunity and detoxification processes.
                                                            Dysbiosis can develop not only in the
         Peri-                stalsis occurs to move        gastrointestinal tract, but also in the oral
         the food along the tract of the small intes-       and vaginal cavities.
         tine. Food is broken down into nutrients
         that are absorbed at different stages of di-
         gestion and along different areas of the GI              CAUSES OF DYSBIOSIS
         tract and then used for energy. Once the
         work is done, the remains are passed on to         What contributes to the development of
         the large intestine. The large intestine nor-      Dysbiosis? There are many factors, but fol-
         mally has a slightly acidic pH. Water is ab-       lowing is a list and explanation of some of
         sorbed and the waste that is left is ex-           the most common.
         creted. An alteration in the pH or in the in-
         testinal mucosa will impair this absorption.       ANTIBIOTICS
         The average adult has approximately 26             One of the primary causes of dysbiosis
         feet of intestinal tract. Within that tract are    in the United States is the use of antibi-
         microvilli and folds and creases. The villus       otics. Every year, hundreds of thou-
         surface is in perpetual motion and is an-          sands of prescriptions for antibiotics are
         other line of defense for the intestinal mu-       written and filled in the U. S. That number
         cosa. Within the folds and creases are mi-         continues to rise. The discovery of antibiot-
         croflora, organisms that are extremely im-         ics has been a critical development in im-
         portant not only to the health of the GI tract     proving human survival rates when infec-
         but to the entire body. More simply put, the       tious diseases strike.      However, wide-

Page 2
spread and often indiscriminate antibiotic             provides a defensive barrier that kills
use has led to the development of other                most pathological organisms, thereby
health problems and challenges.                        preventing their entry into the GI tract.
                                                       When the acidity is altered, this de-
One of the main problems associated with               fense mechanism is ineffective.
the use of antibiotics is that they kill off the
good bacteria along with the bad bacte-            POPULAR MEDICATIONS
ria. By destroying and creating a defi-
ciency of beneficial bacteria, antibiotic use      The use of anti-ulcer medications and
can create a state of dysbiosis. In addition       antacids (H-2 blockers, proton ion pump
to health problems that occur secondary to         inhibitors and OTC antacids) purposefully
dysbiosis, we now have antibiotic-resistant        alter gastric pH, setting the stage for dys-
strains of organisms developing. Some an-          biosis. Now that the FDA has classified
tibiotics, such as mycin drugs, kill over 99       these as over-the-counter drugs, the free
percent of the beneficial bacteria in the          access to many of these products can set
GI tract.3 It can take the intestinal tract        off an alarming trend of more people with
months to rebuild this balance of beneficial       dysbiosis.
bacteria. Sometimes the immune system is
weakened so badly that the body may not            Other medications that can contribute to
be able to rebuild the correct balance.            dysbiosis by altering the intestinal environ-
                                                   ment include female hormones (such as
HYPOCHLORHYDRIA AND                                birth control pills and other forms of birth
ACHLORHYDRIA                                       control), steroids, muscle relaxants, che-
                                                   motherapy and radiation.
As mentioned previously, gastric acidity is
the first line of defense against exogenous        DIET
organisms infecting or inhabiting the GI
tract. A deficiency in this acidity, leading to    High consumption of sugar or fat, the typi-
conditions such as hypochlorhydria and             cal American diet, is a factor that contrib-
achlorhydria, will promote the develop-            utes to dysbiosis, and it deserves special
ment of dysbiosis. While this deficiency is        attention. The typical Western diet consists
more prevalent in the elderly, it can occur in     of 100 pounds of refined sugar per in-
all ages. With age the cells in the lining of      dividual annually. 1 In most cases, a
the stomach (parietal cells) that produce          diet high in sugar means the individ-
hydrochloric acid become less efficient. In        ual is taking in excessive calories with
fact, it is estimated that most people over        very few nutrients. In addition to cre-
40 years of age have some level of hydro-          ating nutritional starvation of the
chloric acid deficiency and digestive en-          beneficial bacteria and altering the
zyme deficiencies. This contributes to dys-        body’s pH, sugar promotes the growth
biosis by:                                         of yeasts such as Candida albicans.
                                                   Thus, high sugar diets increase the likeli-
                                                   hood of developing candidiasis, a systemic
1. Compromising the body’s ability to              yeast-overgrowth. Metabolic byproducts of
   properly digest protein. When this hap-         candida include alcohol and hydroxyl radi-
   pens, the incompletely digested protein         cals, which create other health issues. Al-
   is dumped into the small intestine              cohol alters the intestinal ecology. Fer-
   where it cannot be properly broken              mented alcohols also introduce yeast into
   down, and putrefaction occurs. With             the system while the alcohol itself contrib-
   proper digestion, meat normally re-             utes to altering the intestinal ecology.
   mains in the stomach two to four hours.         Foods containing yeast also contribute to
   Putrefaction is the process whereby             the overgrowth of Candida.
   partially digested material sits in the
   gut, rotting and decaying rather than           In the last 100 years, the diet in Western
   being properly digested. This leads to          countries has also doubled in cholesterol
   a production and buildup of toxins              consumption, increased ten-fold in sodium
   within the digestive tract that create lo-      consumption and quadrupled in saturated
   cal and systemic problems.                      fat consumption. Other characteristics of
2. Compromising the body’s first line of           the Western diet include insufficient con-
   defense against exogenous pathologi-            sumption of vegetable fibers, minerals
   cal organisms. As previously men-               (such as potassium, magnesium, chromium
   tioned, the acidity of the gastric juices       and calcium), vitamins, antioxidants and
                                                   omega 3 essential fatty acids. 1 Fats (the

                                                                                                   Page 3
  appropriate type), are important in hormone            of refined or processed foods), drinking
  synthesis and absorption of fat-soluble vita-          fluoridated and/or chlorinated water,
  mins. However, the wrong type of fats                  travel, viral infections, toxic metals and
  (hydrogenated and transfatty acids) can actu-          other forms of environmental pollution.
  ally promote inflammatory processes and in-            These all adversely alter the balance of the
  terfere with absorption of some nutrients.             intestinal bacteria and enzymes, creating a
  These indigestible or partially digestible fats        dysbiotic situation in which “bad” bacteria
  create an ideal breeding ground for patho-             flourish.
  gens.
                                                             SYMPTOMS OF DYSBIOSIS
  FOOD-BORNE PATHOGENS
                                                         Metabolic byproducts of the “bad” bacteria
  Food-borne pathogens can annihilate the bal-           are toxic and can create a wide variety of
  ance of organisms in the GI tract. Many of             symptoms. Digestive complaints are the
  these organisms even kill, with nationwide             most common and include flatulence, bloat-
  estimates of food-borne pathogen associ-               ing, intestinal pain and inflammation,
  ated deaths as high as 9,000 annually. It is           cramping and constipation and/or diarrhea.
  estimated that in the United States, more              Unfortunately, the cause of these symp-
  than 6.5 million cases of illness from food-           toms is frequently misunderstood and mis-
  borne microbial pathogens occur annu-                  diagnosed.       When the symptoms are
  ally. 5                                                treated but the cause of the problem is not
                                                         corrected (as is often the case) more seri-
  There are three classifications of food-borne          ous systemic disorders can develop. In
  illnesses:                                             fact, intestinal dysbiosis should be
                                                         considered as a possible cause, or
                                                         at least a contributing factor in pa-
  1. Infections occur when pathogenic or-
                                                         tients who have asthma, bronchi-
     ganisms invade and penetrate the intesti-
                                                         tis, allergies, autoimmune disor-
     nal mucosa.
                                                         ders, breast and colon cancer, un-
  2. Toxicoinfections: Some pathogenic                   explained fatigue or neuropsy-
     bacteria in our system actively secrete             chiatric symptoms.
     toxins which may not make us acutely ill
     but place stresses on the system. This              The fact that much more than the local-
     can weaken our immune response and                  ized gastrointestinal environment is af-
     our ability to neutralize such toxins in the        fected by dysbiosis cannot be emphasized
     liver or kidneys.                                   strongly enough. As mentioned previously,
                                                         systemic effects can occur in all body sys-
  3. Intoxications occur when pathogenic or-             tems and organs.         Halitosis, adrenal
     ganisms produce a toxin in food prior to            stress, diarrhea, candida, leaky gut syn-
     its consumption. This is the most com-              drome, colon cancer and breast cancer
     mon cause or form of food-borne illness.            are just a few examples of some of the
     Intoxications are also the quickest to              symptoms or consequences of dysbiosis.
     manifest symptoms, occurring anywhere               The following list shows that dysbiosis can
     from 15 minutes to several hours later,             contribute to a wide range of problems. It is
     depending on the organism ingested.                 a serious condition that must be addressed
                                                         if optimum health is to be achieved. Symp-
  Examples of food-borne pathogens include               toms can include:
  Campylobacter sp., E. coli, Salmonella sp.,
  Shigella sp., Botulinus and Staphylococcus             !   Acne
  aureus. If the intestinal microflora is intact         !   ADD/Autism
  and “good” organisms exist in healthy num-             !   Aggressive Behavior
  bers, exposure to these pathogenic organ-              !   Arrhythmia/Palpitations
  isms is less likely to result in ill effects, or the   !   Arthritis
  effects may be minimized.                              !   Asthma/Allergies/Hayfever
                                                         !   Belching/Bloating
  OTHER CAUSES                                           !   Blurred Vision
                                                         !   Brain Fog/Memory Problems/Confusion
  Other factors that can cause dysbiosis in-             !   Cardiovascular Symptoms/Disease
  clude    lif est yle ch ang es,    st ress             !   Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  (psychological and/or physical), excessive             !   Constipation/Diarrhea/Gas
  alcohol use, eating habits (consumption                !   Cystitis/Urethritis

Page 4
!   Dental Caries                               rapidly multiply and become an important
!   Depression                                  part of the immune system. If the intestinal
!   Diaper Rash                                 lining is coated with beneficial bacteria,
!   Dry Eyes/Mouth                              there is no room for pathological organisms
!   Eczema                                      to attach. A detailed discussion of each
!   Fibromyalgia                                type of beneficial intestinal bacteria follows.
!   Fungus (Finger/Toe)
!   Inflammation                                LACTOBACILLUS
!   Leaky Gut Syndrome
!   Menopausal/PMS symptoms                     Lactobacilli are found primarily in the small
!   Periodontal Disease/Halitosis               intestine and play an important role in the
!   Poor Concentration/Learning                 initial stages of digestion and assimilation
!   Tinnitis                                    of food. Lactobacilli provide a number of
!   Vertigo/Dizziness                           important benefits that affect the health of
!   Weight Gain/Overweight                      the intestinal mucosa as well as the
!   Yeast Infections                            general overall health of the individual.
                                                Some of the important activities of lactoba-
Many of these conditions would indicate         cilli, especially lactobacillus acidophilus, in-
that the dysbiosis has evolved into leaky       clude synthesis of various B vitamins,
gut syndrome. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome          assistance in digestion and assimilation
(CFS), for example, is now recognized by        of food, antibiotic-like effects against
many professionals as a health condition        certain pathogenic organisms, detoxifi-
that is characterized by a toxic overload       cation of toxic metabolites from other
and a breakdown of the individual’s im-         bacteria and helping with lactose intol-
mune system. Case studies indicate that         erance.
a high percentage of patients with
chronic fatigue may have dysbiosis as           Antimicrobial
a result of recurrent antibiotic treat-
ment. 3 Many medical authorities now            Lactobacilli function in several ways that
concur with this theory.                        help prevent pathological organisms from
                                                proliferating in the GI tract. They require
In the end, correcting Dysbiosis may be as      amino acids, peptides, nucleotide bases,
simple as fortifying the GI tract with “good”   fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and
bacteria, known as Probiotics.                  minerals as well as a pH of 5.5 to 5.8 for
                                                optimal growth. Metabolic byproducts in-
             PROBIOTICS                         clude lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
                                                Although the exact mechanism is not
Probiotics are considered functional foods      clearly understood, these metabolic by-
and contain beneficial bacteria. They can       products exert an inhibitory effect on a
re-establish colonization and restore           number of pathogenic and nonpatho-
the microfloral balance of the intestinal       genic bacteria and fungi. 6, 7 These in-
           tract. Three of the most impor-      clude organisms such as Salmonella, E.
                tant species of beneficial      coli, Clostridium, staphylococcus, and can-
                intestinal organisms are        dida. 7
               Lactobacillus acidophilus,
               Bifidobacterium bifidum          Lactobacilli are also able to produce a
              (Bifidus) and Saccharomy-         number of natural antibiotics such as
                  ces Boulardii. Lactoba-       bulgarican and acidophilin. 7 Due to their
                     cillus and Saccharo-       anaerobic activity, these are difficult to iso-
                       myces Boulardii pri-     late outside the GI tract. By ingesting the
                        marily colonize the     beneficial bacteria that are known to pro-
upper GI tract (small intestine), while bifi-   duce these agents in the GI tract as part of
dobacteria are anaerobic bacteria that pre-     their metabolic processes, we can gain
dominate in the lower GI tract (large intes-    benefit from these natural antibiotics
tine).     Many Soil-Based Organisms            through their inhibitory mechanisms on un-
(SBO’s) have very recently been found to        desirable organisms.
benefit the human GI tract as well.
                                                Lactose Intolerance
In a healthy intestinal environment, most of
these organisms attach themselves to the        Lactobacilli also produce the lactose hydro-
surfaces of the intestinal tract, where they    lyzing enzyme B-galactosidase, which aids


                                                                                          Page 5
   in the digestion of lactose, or milk sugar.          and enhancing the immune system in
   Many who are lactose intolerant can toler-           early colon cancer. 10
   ate fermented dairy products as they in-
   duce intestinal lactase. 8 It is possible that   ! Lactobacillus GG – Effective for pre-
   probiotic supplementation can help lactose         vention of antibiotic associated diar-
   intolerant individuals.                            rhea, rotavirus diarrhea, Clostridium dif-
                                                      ficile diarrhea, and Crohn’s disease.
   Cholesterol Assimilation                           Has also shown antagonistic activity
                                                      against carcinogenic bacteria. 10
   Certain lactobacilli seem able to enzymati-
   cally modify the cholesterol molecule and        ! L. Plantarum – There are many strains
   may therefore be beneficial in lowering cho-       of L. Plantarum. They produce acetate
   lesterol levels.9 The beneficial bacteria con-     and lactate, possess conversion path-
   vert cholesterol into coprostanol, a less          ways for malate, tartrate and citrate into
   soluble substance, which is then excreted.         lactate or acetate and are able to
   When lactobacilli levels are inadequate,           deaminate arginine into ornithine and
   more cholesterol is absorbed back into             serine into pyruvate. 1 One of the most
   the body, contributing to elevated blood           important features of L. plantarum is
   levels of cholesterol and increasing the risk      that it has at least six different path-
   of cardiovascular disease. However, stud-          ways to degrade arginine and all of
   ies in man have shown mixed results and            those produce nitric oxide. Antibiotics
   no clear hypocholesterolemic effects.              depress or interrupt those functions.
                                                      Nitric oxide produced by enzyme activi-
   Vitamin Production                                 ties provides beneficial effects to the GI
                                                      system. 1
   The lactobacilli synthesize B vitamins
   such as B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, folic acid          ! L. Rhamnosus – Inhibitory effect on
   and vitamin K in our intestinal tract as           bacterial & fungal vaginal infections
   metabolic byproducts. There is also some           and helps prevent diseases from in-
   evidence that mineral uptake may be en-            testinal infection by sticking to the
   hanced, particularly calcium and magne-            mucosal walls. Has been found to
   sium.                                              decrease B-glucuronidase, nitrore-
                                                      ductase and hydrolase activities and
   Identified Forms Of Lactobaccilli                  may have cancer preventive effects
                                                      for this reason. 1 Also effective in pre-
   ! L. Acidophilus – May help reduce                 venting and treating many forms of di-
     cholesterol and lactose intolerance,             arrhea.
     controls diarrhea and helps prevent
     colonization of unhealthy bacteria. En-        ! L. Salivarius – Has been shown to
     hances the immune system.                        produce alpha-Galactosidase, which
                                                      helps reduce flatulence. In addition, L-
   ! L. Brevis – Inhibits growth of certain           Salivarius is highly resistant to tetra-
     pathogenic bacteria and may alleviate            cycline and other types of antibiotic
     post antibiotic treatment syndromes.             therapy thus reducing antibiotic in-
                                                      duced diarrhea.
   ! L. Bulgaricus – Beneficial against in-
     testinal infections and enhances the im-       Other forms of beneficial bacilli
     mune system through its production of
     antibiotics and lactic acid.                   ! Streptococcus thermophilus - En-
                                                      hances digestion of milk sugars & ex-
   ! L. Casei – Coats the intestinal mucosa           erts an inhibitory effect on pathogenic
     and protects against invasion and ac-            bacteria.
     tivities of pathogenic organisms, thus
     aiding and supporting the immune sys-          ! Enterococcus faecium - Inhibits the
     tem; contributes to intestinal peristalsis       growth of certain pathogens that cause
     and helps eliminate the harmful amines           diarrhea. Experimentally demonstrated
     from amino acids metabolism. Has                 inhibition of E. coli, Listeria, Salmo-
     been used in prevention of intestinal            nella, Shigella and Staphylococcus
     disturbances and treatment of rotavirus          aureus. It has decreased the amount
     diarrhea. Also has shown positive ef-            of S. typhimurium in the spleen of mice
     fects in the treatment of bladder cancer         in animal studies. 11 E. faecium strain

Page 6
    SF68 has also been used to treat pa-             small amounts in the vaginal tract. B-
    tients who have hepatic encephalopa-             Infantis functions synergistically with B.
    thy. 8                                           Bifidum.
                                                  SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII
! Bacillus subtilis - Effective against
  pathogenic bacteria & beneficial in             Bacteria are not the only types of organ-
  some intestinal disorders.                      isms that have proven to benefit human
                                                  health. Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) is a
BIFIDOBACTERIA                                    species of yeast similar to brewer’s yeast
                                                  that exerts a direct antagonistic effect
While lactobacilli protect the small intestine,   against a number of pathological organisms
bifidobacteria are abundant in the colon,         including Candida albicans and C. pseu-
the lower portions of the small intestine and     dotropicalis. It may actually help prevent
the vaginal tract. The health of the large in-    Candida from spreading.
testine is dependent upon adequate coloni-
zation of these organisms. Bifidobacteria         Diarrhea
produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), in-
cluding acetic, propionic, butyric, lactic and    There are also studies that indicate SB pro-
formic acids, with acetic acid being most         tects the gut from amoebas and cholera
     plentifully produced.15 Acetic acid is im-   and alleviates diarrhea resulting from C.
     portant because GI health exerts a wide      difficile, Crohn’s disease, traveler’s diarrhea
     range of antimicrobial activity against      and diarrhea of unknown cause in people
    yeasts, molds, and bacteria. Thus, a          with AIDS. 12, 13 SB has been shown to be
   healthy intestinal environment allows for      effective in preventing diarrhea in critically
      active production of organic acids          ill tube-fed patients as well. A study done
          and antibiotics, which function         in Europe on SB and Crohn’s disease indi-
            as an integral part of our im-        cated a decrease in the frequency of bowel
           mune system.                           movements in the tenth week with no ad-
                                                  verse effects. While S. boulardii does not
Adequate colonization of these beneficial         prevent acquisition of the pathogen, it
bacteria also protects us simply by occupy-       seems to reduce the incidence of diarrhea
ing space. The presence of billions of            associated with the pathogen. It is thought
beneficial bacteria within the intestinal tract   that some of this activity occurs through en-
literally leaves no room for undesirable          zymatic modification of toxin receptors. In
organisms or parasites to attach. This is         a double blind controlled study using 180
known by microbiologists as the principle of      patients, only 9.5% of those receiving S.
exclusion. Competition for nutrients is an-       boulardii experienced diarrhea compared to
other factor. When adequate numbers of            22% who received placebo when C. difficile
beneficial organisms are present, they con-       was introduced. 13
sume most of the available bacterial nutri-
ents, making it difficult for pathogenic or-      Immune System
ganisms to proliferate.
                                                  SB also increases several immune sys-
Some of the bifidobacteria include:               tem markers and enhances the activity
                                                  of beneficial enzymes in the intestinal mu-
! B. Longum - Potential toxicities from           cosa. People who have a poor tolerance of
  the nitrites in the diet may be pre-            wheat have elevated anti-gliadin levels,
  vented.                                         which increases allergenic response and
                                                  putrefaction. Exactly how SB works isn’t
! B. Bifidum - Abundant in the lower              known, but people who take SB will, over
  portion of the small intestine and vagi-        time, have a lowered anti-gliadin level. This
  nal tract, helps manufacture B vitamins,        improves allergenicity as well as nutritional
  inhibits colonization of Candida and de-        uptake in the GI system. Inflammatory is-
  toxifies bile. Since estrogen is conju-         sues in the gut have also been shown to di-
  gated by the liver, estrogen recycling          minish with the introduction of SB.
  should be more efficient when bile is
  nontoxic.                                       Although other forms of yeast such as Can-
                                                  dida are normally absorbed through the
! B. Infantis - Has been shown to be the          system, SB yeast is not. In fact, animal
  main inhabitant of every healthy infant’s       studies indicate that SB decreases prolif-
  gastrointestinal tract. It is also found in     eration of systemic Candida albicans,


                                                                                           Page 7
  presumably through some type of im-              suming SBO’s. The following is an expla-
  mune stimulation. SB moves through the           nation of those benefits as known to us to-
  GI tract and is excreted through the stool in    day.
  3 to 5 days. It is not sensitive to many anti-
  biotics, which is not the case with most of      ! SBO’s eliminate accumulated putre-
  the other GI flora. For someone at risk for        faction.    These organisms actually
  C.difficile overgrowth (which some antibiot-       consume and digest the putrefaction,
  ics can contribute to the development of),         dislodging it from the walls of the intes-
  taking SB may keep proliferation of the bac-       tines and thereby allowing its elimina-
  teria in check.                                    tion from the body. 17

  SOIL-BASED ORGANISMS                             ! SBO’s break food down into its most
                                                     basic elements, which allows for im-
  Even more recent than the discovery of the         proved assimilation and absorption of
  benefits of SB is the discovery of the bene-       nutrients. This process creates an im-
  ficial bacteria known as soil-based organ-         proved nutritional state and enhances
  isms. As we are learning more about the            cellular growth and development. It
  role of microorganisms and biological bal-         also improves waste elimination. 17
  ance in health, we are discovering that only
  a small percentage of the millions of dif-       ! SBO’s work symbiotically with cer-
  ferent types of bacteria on this earth are         tain cells, helping them to rid them-
  toxic to humans or animals. Our fear of            selves of toxins. This improves the
  these organisms and perception of them as          body’s functioning on a cellular level.
  bad has led to overuse of pesticides in agri-
  culture and antibiotics in humans. As a re-      ! SBO’s quickly engulf and ingest
  sult, the natural biological balance of the        many pathological viruses, fungi,
  microflora of the earth and of humans has          yeasts and molds, allowing the im-
  been disrupted.                                    mune system to rest. These microbes
                                                     include candida, penicillium, mucor ra-
  In earlier times, mankind ate a diet consist-      cemosus and aspergillus niger, among
  ing of raw fermented foods and fresh, raw          others. 17
  organic foods. In this way, people ingested
  a sufficient number of microorganisms that       ! SBO’s enhance the immune system
  were beneficial to health. As industrializa-       in various ways:
  tion has occurred, modern agricultural
  and food processing techniques have
  virtually destroyed many of these organ-         1. They stimulate the body’s production
  isms and effectively eliminated them from           of alpha-interferon, which is a key
  the diet. Today we are discovering that             regulator of the immune response.
  these bacteria from the earth (soil-based           Through scientific attempts to repli-
  organisms or SBO’s) provide numerous                cate the body’s interferon, we now
  benefits to overall health and wellness.            know that there are many sub-species
  These SBO’s properly represent the living           of interferon that are required to protect
  ecology of organic agriculture and food. Al-        the body’s cells against various viruses
  though there is little to no research on            and other antigens. In lab tests, SBO’s
  them, they are perfectly safe as we have            have also been shown to stimulate
  been eating them in our food supply for             at least 16 out of approximately 20
  thousands of years and, if we were eating           sub-species of interferon and to pro-
  live foods, we would be consuming them              vide over 50 different immune modulat-
  now. A full spectrum blend of friendly bac-         ing effects. 17 These effects hold prom-
  teria that includes SBO’s is safe and effec-        ise for those suffering from chronic de-
  tive for children, infants, pregnant women          generative diseases such as hepatitis B
  and pets of any age.16 It is interesting to         and C, viral herpes, chronic fatigue
  note that Americans experience far more             syndrome and so on.
  bowel and digestive system problems than         2. They stimulate β-lymphocytes which in
  do people from non-industrialized countries.        turn leads to the production of mass
  Those people have diets significantly               quantities of antibodies. The inter-
  higher in intake of fresh raw plant life            esting feature of these antibodies is
  that includes soil-based organisms.                 that they are non-specific in that they
                                                      have not identified or been pro-
  Many benefits can be derived from con-              grammed to attack any infectious or

Page 8
    pathogenic agent. 17 They wait in re-         SBO’s offer a high quality and variety of mi-
    serve until they are needed and at that       croorganisms to affect human health in a
    time will imprint for the invading patho-     positive manner. They are safe and non-
    gen and work to destroy it. It has been       toxic. It is significant to note that many
    noted that these extra antibodies re-         SBO’s have a long shelf-life, are stable
    main present as long as SBO’s are in-         at room temperature and are acid-
    gested, but once ingestion ceases, the        resistant, which creates a much more reli-
    reservoir of antibodies disappears.           able bacterial supplement.

3. They produce lactoferrin, an iron              Some of the soil based organisms that
   binding protein, as a metabolic byprod-        have been identified include Artherobacter
   uct. Lactoferrin is necessary in order         agilis, A. citreus, A. gloviformis, A. leuteus
   for the body to retrieve iron from the         and A simplex; Acinetobacter calcoaceti-
   foods eaten and help deliver it to where       cus; Azotobacter chroococcum, Az. Pas-
   it is needed. Many people who test as          pali; Azospirillum brasiliense; Aspergillus
   iron deficient actually have low lactofer-     terrieus; Baccillus brevis, B subtilis; Bacter-
   rin levels. This prevents proper assimi-       oids lipolyticum and Succinogenes; Brevi-
   lation of iron. In addition, if there is ex-   bacterium lipolyticum; Kurtha zopfii; My-
          cess iron floating around in the        rothecium verrucaria; Psudomonas calcis,
          body (such as can occur with iron       Ps. Dentrificans, Ps. Fluorescens; Phanero-
          supplementation), it will support       chaete chrysoporium; Rhizzopus oryzae;
         the growth of harmful organisms          Strteptomyces fradiae, S. cellulosae;
        such as yeasts, viruses, parasites        Trichoderma viridae.      This is not an all-
            and pathogenic bacteria.17 If         inclusive list and most of these names will
               there is adequate lactoferrin      be foreign to you. Again, there is little to
                 in the system, the iron is not   date of specific information on individual
                  available for those organ-      SBO’s, except for B. Subtilis.
   isms to flourish and proliferate.
                                                  B. Subtilis
! SBO’s produce SOD, Super Oxide
  Dismutase, as a metabolic byproduct.            Of all the soil-based organisms listed, the
  SOD is known to be a powerful anti-             only one that has been well documented is
  oxidant and enzyme. It is difficult to          B. subtilis. It has a fascinating history of
  obtain from our food and a deficiency           discovery. In 1941 a group of Nazi Ger-
  may be associated with certain forms of         mans in North Africa were taken with dys-
  cancer. Studies done at Johns Hop-              entery. The Nazis began to observe the
  kins University have shown positive re-         native Arabs and noticed that although they
  sults with the use of SOD in eliminating        caught dysentery, they did not die and it did
  or decreasing tissue damage in dam-             not last long. At the first sign of diarrhea,
  aged hearts, kidneys, the intestines,           they were observed to follow around a
  the pancreas and the skin. These re-            horse or camel until it would drop its
  sults are thought to be due to the enzy-        dung. At which point they would immedi-
  matic activity of SOD in increasing en-         ately pick up the droppings and consume
  ergy production efficiency within the           them! This eliminated the dysentery almost
  cells of organ tissues. This allows             overnight. When questioned about it, the
  them to nourish and repair themselves           Arabs explained that they had no idea why
  more efficiently and effectively. 17            it worked but their ancestors had always
                                                  practiced this habit because it always
! SBO’s produce a specific type of                worked. The dung had to be fresh, how-
  DNA/RNA that is desirable to the                ever, or it would not work.
  body. In this way, SBO’s help the body
  to activate and expedite cellular self-         The Nazis began careful examination of the
  repair on wounds and injuries.                  fresh camel and horse dung and were able
                                                  to isolate the bacterial organism Bacillus
! SBO’s are able to correct deficien-             subtilis. It turns out that it practically canni-
  cies in nutrient absorption by provid-          balizes pathogenic organisms in the human
  ing a unique level of micronutrient sup-        body. Soon the Nazis had produced gal-
  port. This allows the system to more            lons of active B. subtilis and adminis-
  adequately and appropriately assimi-            tered them to the troops and eliminated
  late the nutrients available through food       dysentery. 17 This bacteria has been used
  intake.                                         extensively worldwide for dysentery and


                                                                                            Page 9
   other intestinal problems but in the U.S. it      adequate fiber and eliminating processed
   began to lose favor after the pharmaceuti-        and refined foods from the diet will go a
   cal companies began promoting antibiotics         long way toward optimizing intestinal
   as “wonder drugs” in the 1950’s.                  health. Many lifestyle factors may be unal-
                                                     terable, but diet is one factor where control
   As you can see, we have much to learn and         can be exercised.
   much to benefit from SBO’s. By following a
   more ecologically balanced and sound for-         Diet
   mula,    all individuals stand to benefit
   greatly.
                                                     Olive and rice oils should be used for cook-
   OTHER FACTORS IN GI TRACT                         ing. Protein should be high quality and
   ECOLOGY                                           should primarily come from fish, chicken or
                                                     soy. For some people, red meat is accept-
   In addition to the microbes already men-          able, with lamb being the most easily di-
   tioned, various other organisms and sub-          gested.
   stances that contribute to the dynamics of
   the intestinal microecology.
                                                     Milk and dairy are common allergens
                                                     and increase mucus production in the body,
   Pseudomonas aeruginosa may be patho-              which can be detrimental to the GI tract.
   genic or non-pathogenic. In excess or in          They should therefore be avoided. Alcohol,
   compromised immune systems, it may be             caffeine and carbonated beverages should
   responsible for producing gut inflammation        be avoided because they alter the pH of the
   and diarrhea. It has been associated with         gut, interfering with proper digestion and
   infections of the urinary tract, burns, and       assimilation of nutrients. Carbonated bev-
   various wounds.                                   erages also contain phosphorus, which can
                                                     create calcium imbalances in the body.
   Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), pro-             Diet sodas contain toxic substances.
   duced during fermentation of soluble fibers
   by the colon, provide the largest percent-
   age of energy requirements of the intestinal      Fresh fruits and vegetables and
   mucosa. The most prevalent ones were              whole grains help keep the GI tract
   mentioned above and they make a major             balanced in pH as well as appropri-
   contribution to human metabolism. Butyric         ate organisms. They are a good
   acid is not only the major fuel for the epithe-   source of nutrients, particularly anti-
   lium of the colon, it can also be therapeutic     oxidants and fiber. When possible,
   in such disease entities as diverticulitis        it is preferable for all foods to be or-
   and an insufficiency has been associ-             ganic. Pesticides and food addi-
   ated with colon cancer. In addition, acetic       tives can place a burden on the de-
   and propionic acids contribute to the stabil-     toxification processes of the GI tract,
   ity of lipid and cholesterol metabolism. If fi-   particularly when dysbiosis is present. It is
   ber is deficient in the diet, it stands to rea-   also imperative to always drink large quan-
   son that there will be a deficiency of short-     tities of high quality water.
   chain fatty acids. We now know that short-
   chain fatty acids play a role in overall health
                                                     Lifestyle
   and homeostasis, particularly of the human
   colonic physiology. 2
                                                     While diet is quite possibly the most impor-
   SIgA is an immunoglobulin that plays a role       tant factor in preventing dysbiosis, various
   in the first line of defense of the intestinal    lifestyle patterns can greatly affect GI
   mucosa relative to permeability.                  health. Positive lifestyle factors to consider
                                                     include exercise and reducing stress. Exer-
   PREVENTING AND CORRECTING                         cise is important in burning calories and
           DYSBIOSIS                                 working the muscles and lungs. Exercise
                                                     supports the immune system and helps
                                                     the body deal more effectively with stress.
   PREVENTION
                                                     It improves the body’s ability to deliver
                                                     blood and oxygen supplies to body tissues
   The keys to preventing dysbiosis are re-          and can increase blood flow and oxygen
   lated to diet and lifestyle. Consuming            content to tissues.
   highly nutritious foods, keeping saturated
   fats and sugars to a minimum, consuming
Page 10
Stress alters the environment of the GI           ries for humans.
tract and can actually reduce the num-
ber of beneficial bacteria. Learning to ap-       Controlled dietary studies in humans with
propriately deal with stress can go a long        FOS administration have shown not only
way in preventing an imbalance of organ-          a ten-fold increase in fecal bifidobacte-
isms. Eliminating unnecessary stressors is        ria but also a decrease in fecal clos-
important. Techniques and activities to           tridia and enterobacteria. 13
help decrease negative responses to stress
include yoga, meditation, hobbies, sports         Bananas, beer, onions, rye, honey and
activities, relaxation techniques and deep        oats naturally contain small amounts of
breathing exercises.                              FOS, although probably not in adequate
                                                  enough amounts to make much difference.
                                                  It is now produced commercially for the
Supplements and Herbals
                                                  probiotics industry and can be purchased
                                                  separately. It is often found as an added
To maintain overall good health, a good           ingredient in probiotic products.
multivitamin and mineral is always a
wise investment. Most people do not eat           CORRECTING DYSBIOSIS
three well-balanced meals daily and given
today’s agricultural practices and the condi-     While prevention is critical for many peo-
tion of our soils, many of the foods eaten to-    ple, dysbiosis is already a major problem in
day are not nutrient rich. A good high qual-      an astonishing number of Americans. Cor-
ity multivitamin is just good insurance.          recting this condition is relatively simple,
                                                  but may take months to accomplish. Con-
                                                  sultation with a professional and high
Herbals should be selected according to
                                                  doses of probiotics may be necessary, but
overall health and lifestyle. Tonic herbs are
                                                  diet and lifestyle changes are not op-
good in health maintenance. Siberian gin-
                                                  tional if good GI health is to be achieved
seng, for instance, is a good overall tonic
                                                  and maintained. Lifestyle recommenda-
and supports the adrenal glands. The adre-
                                                  tions for correcting Dysbiosis are the same
nal glands respond to stress with hormonal
                                                  as those listed in the Prevention section of
secretions that can alter the GI system. In
                                                  this article. Diet requirements, however,
addition, toxins within the GI         sys-
                                                  may differ slightly.
tem also affect the adrenal
glands.
                                                  Diet
It is a good idea to take a                              Changes in the diet will alter the
probiotic on a regular basis                                           makeup of the in-
as a preventive measure.                                               testinal microflora.
People without dysbiosis can
                                                                       The     type     and
probably do fine with a probiotic
                                                                      amount of carbo-
once or twice a week. Anyone
                                                                     hydrates, fat, pro-
on antibiotics or other medications
                                                                    tein and fiber in-
that alter the GI tract ecology should
                                                                     gested have a major
take probiotics daily during the course
                                                                          influence on the
of treatment and continue for 7-14 days
                                                                               organisms
after treatment.
                                                                                 inhabiting
                                                                                  our      GI
FOS, fructooligosaccharides, may also                                              tracts.
be beneficial. The meaning of this word is
as follows: fructo = fruit; oligo = short; sac-
                                                  The same dietary rules apply in correction
charides = sugars. Fructooligosaccharides
                                                  as in prevention. Healthy, nutritious foods
are short-chain fruit sugars. These sugars
                                                  with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
are a preferred food source for the benefi-
                                                  and high quality protein are crucial. When
cial bacteria in the large intestine. Although
                                                  cooking, avoid the use of saturated fats
our bodies do not possess the necessary
                                                  and oils and use olive and rice bran oils in-
enzymes to metabolize them, the bifidobac-
                                                  stead. Avoid refined and processed foods,
teria do have the enzymes necessary to
                                                  white sugar and flour and artificial sweet-
metabolize FOS. FOS offers no benefit to
                                                  eners. Pork, shellfish and dairy should be
the pathological organisms. These sugars
                                                  avoided. Pork is the most difficult food
are non-digestible and contain zero calo-
                                                  for the body to digest and it is heavily

                                                                                        Page 11
          viral and parasite laden. Shellfish are
          often high in bacteria and may be toxic         While we still do not completely understand
          with pollutants.                                these fibers, it is clear they are poorly di-
                                                          gested by human enzymes, if at all. How-
          Drink at least one liter of high quality fil-   ever, in the gut, bacterial enzymes do di-
          tered water daily. Water is essential in        gest soluble fibers, producing short-chain
          all the detoxification processes of the         fatty acids in the process. 2 As these fibers
          body. Alcohol, caffeine, milk and car-          pass through the digestive system, they are
          bonated beverages should be completely          converted into gels.
          eliminated from the diet.
                                                          There is an enormous amount of informa-
          Fiber                                           tion available in various publications (books
                                                          and magazines) about the benefits of fiber
          One of the most important components            in many diseases. Although the mecha-
          of diet is fiber. Putrefaction (as defined      nisms may not be completely understood,
          earlier) is an aspect of dysbiosis usually      there are reports of conditions such as
          caused by diets that are high in fat and        elevated blood pressure, elevated cho-
          meat products and low in fiber (the typi-       lesterol and triglycerides, atherosclero-
          cal American diet). Fiber is the pre-           sis, diabetes, obesity and gallstones be-
          ferred food and source of energy for            ing positively affected by soluble fibers.
          the beneficial bacteria residing in the         This is most likely due to improving transit
          large intestine. This microbial population      times, absorption of endotoxins as well as
          is pathologically altered by high fat/low fi-   improving the microecology of the GI tract.
          ber diets. These unhealthy diets encour-
          age the growth and proliferation of Bac-        Insoluble fiber is found in plant and animal
          teroides, a gram negative anaerobic bac-        skeletons and is primarily made up of lign-
          teria that lives in many areas of the body      ins and cellulose. They are poorly digested
            (including the bowels). An overgrowth         and as they pass through the GI tract they
                      of these bacteria can signifi-      perform functions that maintain certain
                      cantly reduce the “good” flora      physiochemical properties. They absorb
                      in the GI tract. Bifidobacteria     and hold water, bind up chemicals and min-
                     are particularly at risk since       erals and form gels. This binding capac-
                    they are one of the predominant       ity allows them to absorb carcinogens,
                        organisms in the gut.        It   which are then excreted in the stool. Fecal
                           seems logical to conclude      bulk is also increased by insoluble fibers
                             that many of today’s de-     through water absorption. The swelling of
                           generative diseases, while     the fiber increases the urge to evacuate,
                              due to long-term effects    speeding up transit times and decreasing
          of dietary intake or deficiency, are di-        the amount of time toxic substances are in
          rectly related to changes in the mi-            contact with the intestinal epithelium.
          croecology of the GI tract. 2
                                                          The types of intestinal organisms that in-
          As a supportive substance, dietary fi-          habit the GI tract are influenced by the type
          ber will improve the balance of the in-         and quantity of fiber consumed. Diets low
          testinal microflora and exert a benefi-         in fiber support the proliferation of organ-
          cial effect on the individual’s overall         isms capable of transforming bile acids into
          health. In dysbiotic patients, fiber intake     metabolites that are carcinogenic. A fiber
          often should be increased. Lack of ade-         that “scrubs” the inside of the intestines is
          quate fiber predisposes one to more             the preferred choice. It will bind with mu-
          health problems due to the alteration of        cus, waste and toxins and excrete them.
          gut microecology and metabolic proc-            Green leafy vegetables, brown rice and cru-
          esses that occur as a result of the affect      ciferous vegetables are good dietary
          on short-chain fatty acids.                     sources of fiber. Ground psyllium and
                                                          ground flaxseed are the preferred sup-
          There are primarily two types of fiber.         plemental fiber sources.
          Soluble fiber is mostly hemicellulose,
          the type found in a plant’s sticky compo-       Diabetics will find fiber to be especially
          nents (such as pectin, gum and muci-            beneficial. A diet high in fiber can help im-
          lage). Fruits, vegetables, whole grains,        prove blood glucose control, regulate
          legumes and psyllium are examples of            plasma insulin levels and normalize blood
          foods containing soluble fiber.                 lipid levels.

Page 12
Nutritional Supplements                            ! Potassium: Deficiency symptoms in-
                                                     clude acne, constipation, glucose intol-
Increasing fiber intake can set the stage for        erance and sodium retention. Potas-
an all-out attack on dysbiosis. Supplemen-           sium citrate helps to maintain stable
tation is then necessary to give the body            blood pressure.
what it needs to continue the war. Follow-
ing is a list that should be helpful although it   ! Chromium aids in food metabolism,
is not all-inclusive.                                enzyme activation and regulation of
                                                     cholesterol. Chromium is necessary
! Vitamin B Complex: The family of B                 for proper insulin transport ability.
  vitamins work together to ensure
  proper metabolic nutrition. Vitamin B            ! Manganese: Deficiency symptoms in-
  Complex components are generally                   clude glucose intolerance, hypercho-
  present in even a poor diet, but they re-          lesterolemia, pancreatic damage, nau-
  quire a proper environment in the gut to           sea, weight loss and disturbed carbo-
  be activated and absorbed. A defi-                 hydrate metabolism.
  ciency in any of the individual B vita-
  mins can lead to constipation, diar-             ! Glutamine is an amino acid that
  rhea, loss of appetite, abdominal                  serves as a source of fuel for cells lin-
  cramps, elevated cholesterol or a                  ing the intestines and is important for
  myriad of other dietary illnesses. A               immune function. Glutamine is abso-
  supplement that provides a high level              lutely essential for proper repair and
  of Vitamin B Complex should provide                maintenance of the gut lining.
  adequate protection against dietary de-
  ficiency.                                        ! Inositol is required for proper forma-
                                                     tion of cell membranes. It affects nerve
! Magnesium is one of the most impor-                transmissions and helps in transporting
  tant minerals in proper gut function.              fats within the body.
  Magnesium deficiency can cause gut
  spasms, constipation, increased blood            ! DGL Licorice is used for condi-
  lipids, sleep disorders and depression.            tions of the digestive tract, such
  Amino acid metabolism and GI fluid                 as ulcers. It increases the pro-
  transport rely on an adequate supply of            duction of mucin which acts as
  magnesium.                                         a protectant for the digestive
                                                     tract. Licorice also inhibits the
! Digestive Enzymes such as pan-                     growth of helicobacter pylori.
  creatin, pepsin, bromelain, papain and
  oxbile help assist the body in breaking          Herbs
  down complex long chain molecules
  into easily assimilated nutrients. A defi-       Many herbs and spices used for food
  ciency in any of the essential enzymes           preparation and preservation possess an-
  leads to improper stomach digestion              timicrobial activity.
  which translates into intestinal gas,
  cramping and bloating from putrefac-             ! Garlic: Numerous studies have docu-
  tion of partially digested food that has           mented the antimicrobial activity of gar-
  entered the intestine.                             lic against a wide range of bacteria, vi-
                                                     ruses, fungi and parasites. About three
! Folic acid is a good antidote for                  small cloves per day (10 grams) must
  chronic diarrhea. Deficiency can cause             be used to be effective.
  GI symptoms, anorexia and chronic in-
  flammatory bowel disease.                        ! Onions have also been shown to pos-
                                                     sess antimicrobial activity, but at a sig-
! Vitamin E aids in lipid absorption, col-           nificantly lower potency than garlic. 1
  lagen production, hormone production
  and provides antioxidant activity.               ! Ginger, containing over 400 active in-
                                                     gredients, has been used to treat di-
! Copper is important in the production              gestive complaints for centuries. Its
  of energy, the healing process and sen-            constituents help protect the intestinal
  sitivity to taste. Deficiency can cause            lining against ulceration and are active
  diarrhea and osteoporosis.                         against a wide variety of intestinal


                                                                                                  Page 13
              parasites.                                   organs or tissues (and their secretions) that
                                                           have been affected by bacteria, fungi, ova,
          ! Turmeric can be used to relieve intesti-       parasites, viruses and/or yeast. By homeo-
            nal gas, but it also has antifungal activ-     pathically stimulating the body’s immune re-
            ity. It specifically reduces the number        sponse against these diseased tissues and
            of gas-forming bacteria. 500 mg twice          their causative pathogens, many of the
            daily is the usual dose.                       pathogens will be eliminated by the body’s
                                                           own defense system. Homeopathic practi-
          ! Goldenseal, or berberine, is often used        tioners report that combination nosode ho-
            to successfully treat inflammations of         meopathic products can be used to suc-
            the GI tract as well as bronchitis and         cessfully treat dysbiosis.
            cystitis. It inhibits the growth of various
            bacteria, fungi and viruses. 250 mg.           Other homeopathic agents may be effective
            four times daily when needed is the            in stimulating the body’s own defenses
            suggested dose. It is not to be taken          against candida infection, viral assault or
            daily for an indefinite period. Long-          parasitic infestation. Homeopathics offer
            term daily use will kill the beneficial        an excellent addition to an integrated ap-
            bacteria as well as the pathogenic bac-        proach to optimal health.
            teria.
                                                                DYSBIOSIS AND HEALTH
          ! Oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme                        CONDITIONS
            all have microbe-fighting capabilities.
            The concentrated essential oils from           Animal and human studies indicate probi-
            these herbs are irritating and should          otics provide immune modulation. They
            only be used with qualified medical su-        may act as adjuvants in antigen-specific im-
            pervision, but the whole herbs are gen-        mune responses or strengthen nonspecific
            erally safe. Some practitioners have           defense mechanisms against tumors and
            reported success using capsules con-           infections. In these studies, ingestion of bifi-
            taining standardized oregano extract to        dobacteria and lactobaccilli increased sys-
            treat various parasitic and yeast condi-       temic immune response, with significant
            tions.                                         increases in phagocytic activity that was di-
                                                           rectly related to increased fecal coloniza-
          Natural therapies that are frequently            tion. When fecal colonization decreased,
          used to treat intestinal yeast overgrowth        phagocytic activity decreased. 19 This may
          include caprylic acid and citrus seed.           be related to Peyer’s patches in the gut,
          Each can be used alone or in combination         which are a part of the gut-associated lym-
          with short-chain fatty acids such as sorbic      phoid tissue (GALT). In addition, in vitro
          or propionic acid.                               studies have shown probiotics to induce in-
                                                           terferon production by human lymphocytes
                    A combination of black walnut          and peritoneal macrophages. In mice, they
                      hulls, wormwood and common           have induced endogenous tumor necrosis
                    cloves is one of the most success-     factor-a production as well as enhancing
          ful herbal therapies for the treatment of a      macrophage and neutrophil functions. In
          wide range of intestinal parasites. All three    vivo human studies revealed a decrease in
          herbs must be used together for this ther-       phagocytic activity six weeks after discon-
          apy to be effective. Black walnut hulls          tinuation of probiotics. However, this activ-
          and wormwood kill the adults and the             ity remained higher than it had been prior to
          developmental stages of about 100 dif-           probiotic ingestion. 19 While this indicates
          ferent parasites. Cloves kill the eggs.          an overall improvement, it would also seem
          Thus the use of all three breaks the cycle       to indicate a need for continued probiotic
          by killing off the adults, while eggs and lar-   supplementation for maximum immune sys-
          vae are destroyed before they can reach          tem benefits.
          adulthood.
                                                           Other animal studies have shown positive
          Homeopathics                                     epithelial alterations in the GI tract and
                                                           changes in the IgA and SIgA levels with
          Many homeopathics support the activities         probiotic administration. L. casei in par-
          of the body in normalizing and removing          ticular was noted to increase the mucosal
          pathogenic organisms. Truly stubborn or-         immune response, and much of this was
          ganisms may require the use of nosodes.          relevant to stimulation of secretory IgA. As
          Nosodes are homeopathic attenuations of          lactobaccilli dosage increased, so did the
Page 14
number of IgA-producing cells. These ef-           paired immunity, heart disease, hypoglyce-
fects were observed with L. casei alone, but       mia, osteoporosis, mood swings and diabe-
not with L. acidophilus alone. 18, 20              tes. Eliminating dysbiosis will reduce adre-
                                                   nal stress.
The Peyer’s patches also play a role in im-
munoregulatory mechanisms in this area as          Diarrhea: Many dysbiotic individuals will
well. Migration through the epithelium of          have problems with diarrhea. This is the
certain cell types stimulates functions that       body’s normal attempt to eliminate poisons,
increase T lymphocytes and macrophages.            bacteria and viruses from the body. It may
All of these factors improve mucosal immu-         also be due to peristaltic stimulation from
nity. The immune system does not function          toxic metabolites. In the presence of dys-
alone and ideally works in equilibrium with        biosis, parasites can accumulate in greater
other body systems such as the nervous             numbers and can cause diarrhea. In addi-
and endocrine systems.                             tion, dysbiotic individuals may shift back
                                                   and forth between diarrhea and constipa-
When the intestinal microflora are in bal-         tion. Eliminating the dysbiosis will often-
ance, this healthy ecosystem promotes the          times eliminate the diarrhea.
health of the host. On the other hand, the
phrase “death begins in the colon” has of-         Candida: Everyone has yeast. Candida al-
ten been used by health professionals. Fol-        bicans lives in the mouth, throat, genitouri-
lowing is a brief review of some of the            nary tract and the intestines of humans. All
health problems that develop when a high           yeasts, including candida, are fungi. Can-
fat/low fiber diet alters the intestinal ecosys-   dida is supposed to be in the human body.
tem. When the immune system is impaired            The problem occurs when the immune
and nutritional deficits and toxins are pre-       system becomes weakened and Candida
sent, then the stage is set for the develop-       overgrowth occurs.
ment of many diseases. Some conditions
which occur as a result of dysbiosis in-           Being an “opportunistic organism”, candida
clude halitosis, adrenal stress, diarrhea,         will attempt to colonize all bodily tissues if
candida, leaky gut syndrome, colon can-            given the chance, meaning it can spread to
cer and breast cancer.                             all parts of the body. This leads to systemic
                                                   candida overgrowth, which in turn fur-
HEALTH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY                          ther weakens the immune system and
DYSBIOSIS                                          eventually leads to many health prob-
                                                   lems. Once this occurs, it is ex-
Halitosis: Bad breath can occur due to             tremely difficult to eliminate.
gum disease, but is almost always related
to dysbiosis. This is especially true in the       Many things can contribute to yeast
elderly. Toxins present in the GI tract cre-       overgrowth in the body, including antibi-
ate odors as a result of their metabolic           otics, birth control (pills or devices), tap
processes. One of the organs of detoxifi-          water consumption, excessive stress
cation is the lung. Thus, halitosis may be         (which elevates cortisol levels), drugs and
the result of the body’s attempt to detoxify       alcohol, diets high in carbohydrates – espe-
through the lung tissue. The air that is ex-       cially simple carbohydrates, hormonal im-
haled contains noxious fumes from the tox-         balances, hypothyroidism, diabetes, consti-
ins being eliminated. Dysbiosis can also           pation, excessive bowel cleanses, parasites
occur in the oral cavity (tongue and back of       and/or intestinal worms, and immune defi-
throat). Eliminating the dysbiosis will, in        ciency. Dysbiosis can allow Candida the
many cases, eliminate the halitosis.               opportunity not only to grow, but to
                                                   thrive.
Adrenal Stress: The body’s two adrenal
glands are about the size of a peas, and           In a baby, for example, oral thrush is an
one sits atop each kidney. They are in-            overgrowth of Candida, indicating the im-
volved in many important functions in the          mune system is weakened. If the body is
body and interrelate with other glands. The        unable to maintain the balance between
toxins that are released due to dysbiosis          Candida and other bacteria present in the
can place a strain on the adrenal glands           body, the Candida will quickly grow unhin-
and can alter their normal regulatory              dered.
functions. This can lead to irregular corti-
sol levels, which in turn leads to such con-       Seventy-nine different toxins are known to
ditions as fatigue, insomnia, further im-          be released by Candida. These in turn


                                                                                                    Page 15
          place an even heavier burden on the im-          form (conjugated) for excretion. Deconju-
          mune system. One of the most detrimental         gation frees up bile acids, making them
          metabolic by-products of Candida is acetal-      toxic to the epithelial cells that line the co-
          dehyde. It is similar to formaldehyde and        lon. Increased incidences of colon cancer
          can affect the metabolic, neurological,          are associated with deconjugated bile ac-
          endocrine and immune systems.                    ids.

          Leaky Gut Syndrome:           Simply defined,    Breast Cancer: An increased risk of breast
          leaky gut syndrome occurs when the mem-          cancer is associated with a dysbiotic colon.
          branous lining of the digestive tract has        As mentioned previously, estrogens are
          been compromised, allowing unwanted              normally conjugated in the liver for excre-
          toxins and food molecules into the               tion in the bile via the colon. Dysbiosis can
          bloodstream. Much as a car’s tire will con-      interfere with the normal metabolism of es-
          tinue to go flat with a slow leak and hamper     trogen, particularly when the bile becomes
          the vehicle‘s ability to move efficiently, the   toxic thus freeing up the estrogens to be re-
          body will continue to be poisoned by a           absorbed back into the body. Higher life-
          leaky gut. The consequences can be dev-          time exposure to estrogen can significantly
          astating. For example, protein molecules         increase the risk of breast cancer. In other
          are large and, if allowed into the blood-        words, an unhealthy diet causes the prolif-
          stream before properly metabolized, will be      eration of pathogenic organisms that
          recognized by the immune system as a             produce enzymes which can deconju-
          foreign body. This sets off an immune re-        gate estrogens.        Instead of being ex-
          sponse that can be just as powerful as a re-     creted, female hormones are reabsorbed,
          sponse to viruses or other foreign invaders.     increasing breast cancer risks.

          It has also been theorized that leaky guy        HOW HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
          may be a contributing factor to some             CAN HELP
          autoimmune diseases.         This theory is
          based on the fact that genetic similarities
                                                           From this list of dysbiosis-induced health
          exist between exogenous (proteins we take
                                                           problems, it should be apparent that health-
          into our bodies) and endogenous proteins
                                                           care providers must address this situation.
          (proteins that make up our bodies). The
                                                           As one begins to comprehend the immune-
          immune system does not differentiate be-
                                                           enhancing properties of probiotics and the
          tween these two proteins once antibodies
                                                           potential health problems associated with
          have been developed. If an organ contains
                                                           dysbiosis, it is staggering to consider the
          a similar molecule, it will be attacked as a
                                                           implications of the millions of antibiotic
           foreign body.
                                                           prescriptions filled each year. There are
                                                           enormous numbers of people who are de-
          Leaky gut commonly leads to increased
                                                           veloping compromised immune function
          allergenicity, digestive problems and nu-
                                                           problems which are secondary to dysbiosis.
          tritional deficiencies.
                                                           The origin of these problems is not only
                                                           rarely recognized, but is frequently misun-
                Colon Cancer: Bacteroides
                                                           derstood and often misdiagnosed. Sadly,
                  (previously mentioned) produce an
                                                           most physicians and most patients do
                   enzyme, urease, which hydrolyzes
                                                           not know that probiotics should follow a
          the urea in animal protein to ammonia.
                                                           course of antibiotics.         Hence, those
          This results in higher colonic pH. An ele-
                                                           healthcare professionals who are aware of
          vated colonic pH has been associated
                                                           the significance of this problem have a pro-
          with a higher incidence of colon cancer.
                                                           fessional responsibility to teach people how
          This offers one scientific explanation of how
                                                           to avoid the complications that can occur
          a diet low in fiber and high in fat and animal
                                                           when taking antibiotics.
          protein increases cancer risk. In addition,
          the longer a toxin sits in the colon, the more
                                                           This should be a regular part of any phar-
          time it has to do damage, not only locally
                                                           macist’s patient counseling services. Coun-
          but systemically.
                                                           seling customers about this topic should not
                                                           take long or be difficult for the customer to
          An enzyme called beta-glucoronidase that
                                                           understand. When a customer is picking
          hydrolyzes or deconjugates bile acids is
                                                           up an antibiotic, ask them if they know
          also produced by pathogenic bacteria that
                                                           about acidophilus or probiotics. The an-
          proliferate in a high fat/low fiber diet. Bile
                                                           swer is usually “No” and you can then ex-
          acids are normally bound into an insoluble
                                                           plain, “Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria,

Page 16
or the good guys, in our gastrointestinal         sensitivity to gluten proteins will never feel
system. When you take an antibiotic, you          better until these proteins are removed from
not only kill off the bad bacteria or organ-      the diet.
isms; you also kill off the good bacteria.
These organisms, called probiotics, have          GI Health Panel – Includes pathogen
many important functions in our bodies and        screening for bacteria, fungi, yeast and
need to be replaced.”                             various parasites; measures enzyme levels
                                                  and immunochemical markers for intoler-
When counseling a woman, you can ex-              ance to grains, protein, etc.; measures in-
plain, “One of the main functions of the pro-     testinal function markers to evaluate irrita-
biotic organisms is that they keep yeast          tion and inflammation; measures markers
growth under control. When you take an            that indicate overall status of gut immunity
antibiotic you kill off the good bacteria, par-   and integrity.
ticularly the acidophilus and bifidus. The
yeast that is normally present can go into a      Dysbiosis Metabolic Markers – Detects
significant overgrowth and you could end          byproducts of intestinal microbial growth
up with a vaginal yeast infection. The best       that have been absorbed into the blood-
way to prevent a yeast infection is to take a     stream, discriminating among microbial
well formulated probiotic daily during the        classes, yeast, clostridia, bacteria and pro-
course of antibiotic treatment. Then con-         tozoa.
tinue daily dosing for two weeks after finish-
ing your course of antibiotics.”                  Organic Acid – One of the most compre-
                                                  hensive nutritional testing programs. Meas-
For the parent who is picking up an antibi-       ures markers in energy production, func-
otic for a child, also explain to them that the   tional cofactors, detoxification, fatty acid
probiotic organisms help with digestion           oxidation, neurotransmitter metabolism and
and production of a number of B-                  dysbiosis markers.
vitamins as well as some natural antibiot-
ics in our bodies. If these beneficial bac-       Yeast Screen – Detects all types of yeast
teria are killed off, a child is more likely      overgrowth, not just Candida albicans.
to have problems with digestion and ear
infections and will also have a weaker im-        Other labs that may be considered
mune system. Actually, this is a strong ar-       include Digestive Efficiency
gument for probiotic replacement therapy in       Panel, Fatty Acids, Urine Metal
people of all ages. The dose for children         Minerals (if heavy metals are sus-
ten and over is the same as the dose for          pected), amino acids, and IgG4.
adults. For children under 10, suggest cut-
ting the dose in half and give daily for two      Significance of some of the test re-
weeks. For infants, cut the dose by one           sults
third to one fourth the adult dose.
                                                  ! Short-chain fatty acids have been dis-
                                                    cussed. If these are elevated, it may
LABORATORY TESTING
                                                    be an indication of bacterial excess
                                                    within the gut and/or impaired absorp-
If a client is having a hard time believing the
                                                    tion of nutrients (particularly of fats).
information you are sharing on dysbiosis,
                                                    This could indicate inflammation of the
laboratory tests can be done to validate
                                                    mucosa of the small intestine.
dysbiosis and the presence of pathogenic
organisms. Tests to consider are:                 ! A deficiency or low level of short-chain
                                                    fatty acids is indicative of insufficient
Adrenal Stress Index – Measures 24-hour             dietary fiber, malfunctions in metabo-
cortisol production at selected time frames         lism or other conditions relative to dys-
that correspond to the body’s natural bio-          biosis.
rhythm. Cortisol has a major affect on our
energy maintenance, immune function, hor-         ! Low levels of the short-chain fatty acid
mones and feedback to other organ sys-              N-butyrate have been associated with
tems. An ASI also measures DHEA levels              colon cancer.
(the building block for other hormones in
the body), SIgA (a measure of proper gut          ! Elevations of the short-chain fatty acids
function and determinate of leaky gut syn-          valerate and iso-butyrate indicate insuf-
drome), and antigliadin (an indicator of glu-       ficient protein digestion since they are
ten sensitivity). A person with a significant       produced during bacterial fermentation


                                                                                                   Page 17
                                                 of proteins.                                                             For example, strains of acidophilus that
                                                                                                                          originate from the human intestinal tract
                                          ! Low SIgA levels indicate increased                                            have been determined to adhere to the lin-
                                            susceptibility to allergies and infections.                                   ing of the gut mucosa much more effec-
                                          ! Elevation of β-glucuronidase indicates                                        tively than strains of acidophilus that origi-
                                            altered intestinal pH, overgrowth of                                          nate from cattle or other animals. However,
                                            pathogenic bacteria and reduced levels                                        even different human strains of acidophilus
                                            of beneficial bacteria, excessive dietary                                     vary greatly in their ability to survive and
                                            fat and increased carcinogens in the GI                                       grow in the hostile environment of the GI
                                            tract (increases risk for colon cancer).                                      tract. Their survival and proliferation de-
                                                                                                                          pends on their tolerance of stomach acid
                                          ! Visual and microscopic examination of                                         and intestinal bile, their production of natu-
                                            fecal material (via a Digestive Effi-                                         ral antibiotics and their ability to adhere to
                                            ciency laboratory test) can reveal sev-                                       the intestinal wall.
                                            eral important factors. For example,
                                            stool colored yellow to green can occur                                       The method used to culture, package, ship
                                            with diarrhea and indicate a sterilized                                       and store probiotic products is also impor-
                                            bowel – often seen with antibiotic use.                                       tant. These fragile organisms are heat,
                                            Dark, tarry or red stool indicates intesti-                                   light and moisture sensitive and these
                                            nal bleeding. Tan or gray stool indi-                                         factors will ultimately affect the strength and
                                            cates problems with fat digestion, usu-                                       viability of the product purchased by the
                                            ally indicative of problems with the bile                                     consumer. For this reason, it is important
                                            duct. The presence of occult blood can                                        that independent laboratories provide verifi-
                                            indicate hemorrhoids, cancer or high                                          cation of the quantity and viability of the or-
                                            red meat consumption. The presence                                            ganisms. Not only should this be verified at
                                            of mucus or pus indicates bowel disor-                                        the packaging date, but also at the expira-
                                            ders such as inflammation, IBS, diver-                                        tion date of the product after a certain pe-
                                            ticulitis and or polyps.                                                      riod of “shelf life” time.

                                          ! The presence of cholesterol in the stool                                      Potency of probiotic products varies widely.
                                            indicates impaired digestion, malab-                                          While some labels claim to contain “millions
                                            sorption or IBS. Decreased chymotryp-                                         of organisms,” better quality products usu-
                                            sin indicates insufficient HCl acid and/                                      ally contain billions of CFUs (colony forming
                                            or pancreatic enzymes and thus, poor                                          units) per dose. For those formulas with
                                            digestion.                                                                    a wide variety of organisms, such a high
                                                                                                                          CFU may not be necessary due to the
                                               SELECTION AND DOSING OF                                                    synergistic properties between the vari-
                                                     PROBIOTICS                                                           ous organisms.

                                                 After testing has validated the exis-                                    In most cases, probiotics should be refriger-
                                                  tence of a GI problem, the very first                                   ated for optimum potency. However, there
                                                   part of any support program must                                       is a relatively new “freeze drying” technique
                                          be Probiotics. During the past several dec-                                     that enables probiotics to maintain their po-
                                          ades, an enormous amount of research has                                        tency without being refrigerated. Refrigera-
                                          been conducted on many of the different                                         tion is always advisable after a bottle has
                                          strains of L. acidophilus and bifidobacteria,                                   been opened as a precaution for viability
                                          and some on Saccharomyces boulardii and                                         and longevity.
                                          other forms of beneficial microorganisms.
                                                                                                                          Individuals with dysbiosis should consider
                                          Among the factors that affect the quality                                       ingesting a probiotic containing 10 to 20 bil-
                                          and effectiveness of probiotic products are                                     lion CFU’s of a single or double-strain Pro-
                                          the strains of bacteria, the culture method,                                    biotic or use a high-potency multi-strain
                                          packaging and handling and the concentra-                                       synergistic probiotic every day for two
                                          tion and viability of the organisms in the                                      weeks, especially after taking antibiotics.
                                          product.                                                                        Better outcomes will be obtained when
                                                                                                                          probiotics are taken at bedtime or twice
                                          Host specificity is another important factor.
  This material is provided for educational and informational purposes only to licensed health care professionals. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy
  cannot be guaranteed. Herbs and other natural substances are very powerful and can occasionally cause dangerous allergic reactions in a small percentage of the population. Licensed health
  care professionals should rely on sound professional judgment when recommending herbs and natural medicines to specific individuals. Individual use of herbs and natural medicines should be
  supervised by an appropriate health care professional. The use of any specific product should always be in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions.



Page 18
daily between meals on an empty stom-            The second important immune system de-
ach. The farther away from meals they            velopment factor is breastfeeding. It is be-
are taken, the fewer good organisms              yond the scope of this article to discuss the
are destroyed by stomach acids.                  many benefits and the large number of im-
                                                 munoglobulins that are transferred from
Products like yogurt and acidophilus con-        mother to infant during breastfeeding.
taining milk do contain some of the live or-     However, it is applicable to comment that
ganisms, but the amount of beneficial bac-       scientists have discovered mother’s milk
teria in these products is not nearly            (but not cow’s milk) contains a disac-
enough to re-colonize the GI tract after         charide amino sugar that is a required
taking a round of antibiotics.                   growth factor for the beneficial bacteria.
                                                 Thus, there is a substance in mother’s milk
INFANTS                                          that specifically stimulates the growth and
                                                 proliferation of bifidobacteria in infants.
Colonization of the GI tract is a special        Studies show that the fecal flora of breast-
consideration in infants. It cannot be em-       fed infants is 99 percent bifidobacteria,
phasized enough how important it is for in-      but the fecal flora in bottle fed infants is
fants to start out life with a strong, fully     less than 20 percent bifidobacteria. C-
functioning immune system. One impor-            section, bottle-fed and premature babies
tant aspect of creating this foundation is       have a much higher incidence of colic, diar-
the development of a healthy GI tract mi-        rhea, gas, fungal diaper rash, ear infec-
croecology. There are two situations or          tions, etc.
factors that play a critical role in determin-
ing whether or not an infant gets the op-        Healthcare professionals have an opportu-
portunity to develop a healthy immune            nity and a professional responsibility to
system after being born.                         educate pregnant women about the impor-
                                                 tance of helping their newborn babies de-
The first determining factor is a vaginal        velop a healthy intestinal microflora as soon
birth. An infant is born with a sterile GI       as possible after birth. Encourage women
tract, or essentially without microor-           to breastfeed and recommend probiotic
ganisms in the gut. However, as an in-           supplementation when infants are
fant passes through the vaginal canal dur-       born by C-section, born prema-
ing a vaginal delivery, the infant’s head        turely, or if the mother is unable or
and body are coated with the slimy mu-           choosing not to breastfeed. Have
cous secretions from the mother’s vaginal        the mother place a little on the
lining. These vaginal mucosal secretions         nipple or the tip of the finger and
contain large numbers of beneficial bacte-       let the baby suck it off. This will
ria, some of which get into the infant’s         help colonize the infant’s GI system
mouth and down the throat into the stom-         and may prevent health problems
ach. The proliferation of these bacteria is      later in life.
the beginning of developing a healthy in-
testinal microflora and a healthy immune                    FINAL REMARKS
system, assuming that the mother has
these organisms in her vaginal canal. If         Health professionals are accepting the im-
she is dysbiotic herself, she may not have       portance of good digestion, nutrient assimi-
these organisms and the dysbiosis can be         lation, waste elimination and general intesti-
passed on to the infant. There is a high         nal health as one of the primary keys to
rate of cesarean births in the United            health and longevity. As highlighted in this
States, approximately 23 percent annu-           article, a healthy intestinal ecology is abso-
ally, which means there are many infants         lutely essential to good health. People in
born every year whose immune systems             reasonably good health should take a
are immediately compromised due to their         good quality probiotic product several
unnatural birthing procedure.        Conse-      times per week, making it part of a regu-
quently, the premature infant who is sent        lar supplementation program. Individu-
off to the neonatal unit suffers stress and      als in less than optimal health should
is given antibiotics and other medications       take a daily dose. People on antibiotics
that prevent proliferation of these bacterial    should take probiotics daily throughout
organisms even if born vaginally. All these      the medication cycle and for two weeks
infants could greatly benefit from probiotic     thereafter.
supplementation.                                 For people who take antibiotics or other GI
                                                 tract altering medications and for those who


                                                                                                  Page 19
  may have developed dysbiosis for some other
  reason, counseling on how to implement high-
  dosage probiotic supplementation to rebuild the
  GI organisms and improve overall health is ad-
  vised. Treating but not correcting digestive
  complaints leads to more serious sympto-
  matic systemic disorders. Probiotics can pos-
  sibly decrease cancer risks by eliminating the
  cancer-causing enzymes and strengthening the
  immune system by enhancing the growth of
  beneficial bacteria.

  Promoting the use of probiotics is a simple, ef-
  fective measure in generating more business
  and developing happy, healthy customers who
  view you as the professional.




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        tinal Microecology.” J Clin Gastroenterol 1998; 27(2): 99-100.
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   4.   www.fightbac.org; web site for The Partnership for Food Safety Education.
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   12. Scarpignato, Carmelo and Patrick Rampal. “Prevention and Treatment of Traveler’s Diarrhea: A Clinical Pharma-
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   13. Macfarlane, George T. and John H. Cummings. “Probiotics And Prebiotics: Can Regulating The Activity Of Intesti-
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   15. Living Ecology, The Nutrition Foundation for a Living Body & Earth by Zane Baranowski, CN. Capstone Publishing,
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