Tag Archives: Chronic Inflammation

The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

 

10/21/2017

This is an excerpt from a longer article originally posted on 5/10/2015. For the full article, see INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES.

 

Source: Juice Hugger
Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m interested – for personal reasons and also just because it’s fascinating – in how the state of the probiotics in our gut microbiomes affects our health in general.
So this development is of great interest to me:

Continue reading The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE

 

Source: drjohnbergman.com
Have you been finding that exposure to an ever increasing number of foods, smells, or chemicals causes skin outbreaks, stuffy sinuses, a headache, brain fog, exhaustion, an upset GI tract, or just an overall unwell feeling? If you notice evidence that your body has become chronically  inflamed and you have an array of symptoms from this list, you may be struggling with histamine intolerance.

Continue reading HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE

LOW FAT DAIRY & PARKINSON’S DISEASE

 

Source: Parkinson’s News Today

 

A recently published study led by Dr Katherine C. Hughes at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health provides evidence of a positive correlation between consumption of low-fat dairy products and risk of developing Parkinson’s, a serious autoimmune disease. Subjects who consumed three or more servings of low-fat dairy a day were found to have a 34% greater risk of developing Parkinson’s compared to those who consumed less than one serving a day.  Dr Hughes study is the largest analysis of dairy and Parkinson’s to date. (Hughes, 2017) & (Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 2017)

Continue reading LOW FAT DAIRY & PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them?

 

Source: natural-health-journals.com
Spring has arrived. Maybe you’ve been hit hard with seasonal allergies this year and are suffering with clogged sinuses and the other symptoms that often go along with that misery: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue or weakness.
Have you noticed that the numerous ads for allergy medicines, both OTC and prescription, tout their ability to alleviate your SYMPTOMS but don’t say they’ll address the inflammatory response that’s CAUSING the allergies themselves?
Symptom relief is Western Medicine’s standard approach to allergies, as represented by this statement on  WebMD:

Continue reading Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them?

Psychobiotics for Anxiety and Depression

 

 

Source: Gut Health Project

 

It may strain the imagination to hear that several pounds of organisms live inside your gastrointestinal tract and that they are in constant communication with your brain, but it’s true. Actually, the communication is two way – gut to brain and brain to gut – and operates via biochemical signaling. This process is called the gut-brain axis. The gut microbiome is so so important to the body’s functioning it’s often now referred to as our second brain.
Recent research has also demonstrated that our mood is greatly affected by certain bacteria living in our gut microbiome. These bacteria profoundly influence how anxious or depressed we are. Having lots of friendly probiotic bacteria in there exerts anxiety-reducing and antidepressant effects on our emotions and physical bodies.
Fortunately for us, there is an emerging field of neuroscience called psychobiotics that is studying how changing the bacterial composition in the gut affects the brain. (Atlay, 2016)
Psychobiotics researchers are beginning to identify which probiotics have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects – boosting mood and cognitive function; decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Functional Medicine doc Kelly Brogan, along with numerous others, is convinced that mood disorders and many other psychiatric problems are the result of imbalances and chronic inflammation in the gut microbiome and that psychobiotics will become the treatment of choice for mood disorders and will also be used to prevent them. She wrote:
“For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.” (Brogan, 2014)

 

 

Source: Mercola

 

The well respected scientists who authored an article called Psychobiotics and the Manipulation of Bacteria–Gut–Brain Signals published a few months ago in Trends in Neurosciences believe that prebiotics (nondigestible plant fibers that nourish our probiotics) should also be included as actors in the gut-brain communication process and propose the diagram below to show how it all works (Sarkar, 2016):

 

Systems-Level Overview of Psychobiotic Action

Trends in Neuroscience

 

If you’re interested in a deeper understanding of how the process works, take a look at this explanation of the diagram provided by the authors:

“Probiotics directly introduce beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria into the gut. Prebiotics (e.g., galacto-oligosaccharides) support the growth of such bacteria. SCFAs and gut hormones: Both probiotics and prebiotics increase production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which interact with gut mucosal enteroendocrine cells and catalyse the release of gut hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide- 1 (GLP-1). Prebiotics may have stronger effects in this regard in comparison to probiotics. SCFAs and gut hormones enter circulation and can migrate into the central nervous system. Gut hormones are also secreted by tissues other than enteroendocrine cells. Neurotransmitters: psychobiotics enhance neurotransmitter production in the gut, including dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline (NA), and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which likely modulate neurotransmission in the proximal synapses of the enteric nervous system. Vagal connections: the vagus nerve synapses on enteric neurons and enables gut–brain communication. Stress, barrier function, and cytokines: barrier dysfunction is exacerbated through stress-induced glucocorticoid exposure. This enables migration of bacteria with pro-inflammatory components, increasing inflammation directly and also triggering a rise in pro-inflammatory cytokines via the immunogenic response. These cytokines impair the integrity of the blood–brain barrier and permit access to potentially pathogenic or inflammatory elements. Pro-inflammatory cytokines (red circles) also reduce the integrity of the gut barrier. Psychobiotic action restores gut barrier function and decreases circulating concentrations of glucocorticoids and pro-inflammatory cytokines. They also increase concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines (blue circles), which enhance integrity of the blood–brain barrier, the gut barrier, and reduce overall inflammation. Cytokines clustering at the brain represent cytokine interaction with the blood–brain barrier. Central lymphatic vessels: cytokines may interact more directly with the brain than previously appreciated through the recently discovered central lymphatic vessels.” (Sarkar, 2016)

 

 

 

THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS AND MOOD

The gut microbiome and the brain, working together via the gut-brain axis, are jointly responsible for maintaining health in the body – including mental health. If a body has an unbalanced gut microbiome containing too few or unbalanced probiotics and prebiotics (dysbiosis) – because its owner consumes a nutritionally impoverished diet, has taken antibiotics that have killed off many probiotics in the gut, has been exposed to toxins, and/or isn’t doing a good job managing stress, the body’s intestinal lining may become too porous (a condition called leaky gut), creating chronic inflammation in the body and eventually a series of autoimmune diseases – and apparently mood disorders too.
In the diagram above from the Sarkar article, blue arrows indicate psychobiotic processes and effects, while red arrows indicate processes associated with leaky gut and chronic inflammation.

 

 

 

RESEARCH FINDINGS ON PSYCHOBIOTICS FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

 

Source: Organic Sunshine
Here are some intriguing results from research studies on probiotics’ and prebiotics’ effects on anxiety and depression:
A 30-day human study found these two probiotics helpful for reducing anxiety as compared to a placebo (Sarkar, 2016)
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
  • Bifidobacterium longum
A mixture of these probiotics compared to a placebo, taken for four weeks, substantially reduced depression in human subjects (Sarkar, 2016)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum W23
  • Bifidobacterium lactis W52
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus W37
  • Lactobacillus brevis W63
  • Lactobacillus casei W56
  • Lactobacillus salivarius W24
  • Lactococcus lactis W19 and W58
In a study of academic stress, healthy medical students took either this probiotic or a placebo for eight weeks before an exam. The day before the exam, plasma cortisol was substantially lower in the probiotic group  compared to the placebo group. (Sarkar, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei Shirota
In another study, student athletes who were given this probiotic had elevated mood and reduced natural killer cell activity after strenuous exercise, relative to placebo:
  • Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 LG2809
When the probiotic was taken along with this protein in milk,
  • Alpha-lactalbumin
the students also experienced less fatigue. (Sarkar, 2016)
Irritable bowel syndrome is known to be associated with disturbances in the gut-brain axis and composition of the gut microbiome. IBS is a chronic inflammatory condition and is  often accompanied by anxiety and depression. After human study participants with IBS consumed this probiotic,  their level of inflammation was reduced (as measured by the ratio of interleukin-10 to interleukin-12), compared to those who took a placebo  (Sarkar, 2016):
  • Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
In a clinical trial of people with major depressive disorder, patients were given these probiotics:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (2 billion CFUs)
  • Lactobacillus casei (2 billion CFUs)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum (2 billion CFUs)
Compared with placebo, the people who took the probiotics were less depressed at the end of the eight week study  and also had significant decreases in systemic inflammation, reduced insulin resistance, and a significant rise in glutathione (the body’s master anti-oxidant). (University Health News, 2016)
A study looking at the effects of these probiotics (given as Probio’Stick®) on anxiety, depression, stress, and coping strategies in healthy human volunteers found a reduction of psychological distress (particularly depression, anger/hostility, and anxiety) and improved problem solving ability at the end of the 30 day study (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
  • Bifidobacterium longum R0175
Harrington states, “For anyone experiencing anxiety and/or depression, regular supplementation with this probiotic combination seems a natural and worthwhile practice. It is conceivable that such supplementation could reduce reliance on prescription medications and deliver freedom from the burdens of these common mental illnesses.” (Harrington, 2016)
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were given either this probiotic or a placebo daily for two months. The people who took the probiotic experienced a significant decrease in anxiety (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (24 billion colony forming units)
Animal studies have shown that this probiotic reduces depression by increasing dopamine and serotonin. This same probiotic decreased cortisol and increased dopamine and serotonin, normalizing the stress response system in depressed mice subjected to early-life stress  (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus plantarum strain PS128
These two probiotics have been shown to reduce anxiety-like behavior and improve performance on cognitive tests in anxious mice (University Health News, 2016):
  • Bifidobacterium longum 1714
  • Bifidobacterium breve 1205
The same probiotic shown to help people with chronic fatigue syndrome has also been shown to help humans and lab animals undergoing other kinds of stress. This probiotic (consumed as kefir, a fermented milk drink that’s loaded with a variety of probiotics) prevented stress-related cortisol increases and raised serotonin levels in stressed medical students. The kefir also decreased stress-related physical symptoms such as abdominal pain and colds (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota
Animal studies have also identified other probiotics that reduce stress-related depression and anxiety by affecting serotonin, cortisol, and other neuroactive compounds. These two, in combination, normalized anxious behaviors along with learning and memory impairments in immune-deficient rats (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 combined with Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011
This probiotic was more effective than the SSRI citalopram (Celexa) in reducing stress-induced anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction in rats. It lowered their cortisol and restored their serotonin and other brain neurochemical levels back to normal (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus NS8
Prebiotics, like probiotics, have also been identified as regulators of mood and brain function. A recent study found that this prebiotic decreased the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and improved emotional processing and lowered anxiety in healthy human volunteers (University Health News, 2016):
  • Bimuno-galactooligosaccharides, B-GOS
A study of people with IBS, who typically have decreased microbial diversity in their gut microbiomes and often suffer from anxiety, found that daily consumption of this prebiotic mixture for four weeks reduced their anxiety (University Health News, 2016):
  • a galactooligosaccharide-containing prebiotic mixture in powder form
An informative article called 10 Best Probiotics For Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification names the following as the most helpful probiotics for mood regulation, describes their functions in the body, presents relevant research results from studies in which they were used as psychobiotics, and recommends some specific probiotic products. The first nine in the list are probiotics; the 10th is a prebiotic:
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Transgalactooligosaccharides
The article also discusses pathogenic bacteria that may CAUSE anxiety and depression:
  • Citrobacter rodentium
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Clostridium
  • Enterococcus faecalis
Interestingly, these pathogenic bacteria have also been found to be associated with other serious physical problems, including GI disease, stress-induced memory dysfunction, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, and heart valve damage.

 

 

COMMERCIAL PSYCHOBIOTIC  SUPPLEMENTS

If your interest in the relationship between the probiotics in your gut microbiome and your mood has been piqued, perhaps you want to pick out one or more of the probiotics mentioned above to experiment with. Start with the one that interests you most and take it for a month so it has a chance to  colonize in your gut.
If deliberately encouraging a strain of bacteria to colonize your gut sounds too much like a scary science fiction movie, please remember that we’re talking about GOOD (probiotic) bacteria, ones that create health in the body, not HARMFUL (pathologic)  bacteria that create illness.

 

Source: Happy Oligo
Here are a few commercially available probiotic supplements that provide  psychobiotic and other benefits:

 

Life Extension Florassist Mood Capsules

This supplement contains 3 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of a blend of two probiotic strains demonstrated to improve mood, reduce perceived stress, and promote relaxation in humans.
  • Lactobacillus Helveticas strain R0052
  • Bifid bacterium longum strain R0175
“Research suggests specific probiotics positively influence biochemical signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system- resulting in positive effects on mood.” (Amazon.com, 2017)

Contains milk and soybeans. The ingredients may be from GMO sources.
Life Extension  says this about the GMO issue:
“Q. Should I be concerned with the usage of genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
“A. Soybeans are an example of a crop that has used extensive genetic engineering to increase crop yield. The reality is that soybean oil and soy lecithin are highly processed derivatives of soy … far removed from their soy origin. Genetic modification doesn’t alter the entire plant… only a specific gene. Thus, specific molecules like soy lecithin are the same whether they come from a GMO or non-GMO soy source. However, due to our sensitivity to customer concerns, products with corn and soy-based active ingredients are in process of having the labels updated to list when soy and corn-derived active ingredients have been certified to be from non-GM food crops. As the labels are updated the information will be transferred to the product descriptions on our website and directory. Currently Life Extension already offers several premium quality non-GMO soy isoflavone extract products.” (Life Extension, 2017)

 

 

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics Time-Release Micro-Pearls

 

At time of manufacture, contains 5 billion Colony Forming Units per BIO-tract pearl,  equivalent to 75 billion CFU. Contains a minimum of 1.5 CFU at time of expiration date.
The 15 Group, B. (2015). biotic strains in this  supplement are:
  • Lactobacillus plantarum – Secretes the oxidant hydrogen peroxide which acts as a weapon to protect your body and must be present for your immune system to function correctly. Creates a healthy barrier in your colon and helps lower luminal pH, creating an unfavorable environment for the growth of pathogens including molds, yeasts and bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus fermentum –  highly antimicrobial and antioxidative. Helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, yeast and other pathogens and has demonstrated clinical efficacy within immune health.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus – Creates a fortress of good colonies that helps keep unwanted organisms out of your gut. Studies show that L. acidophilus helps to reduce occasional diarrhea and enhances your immune system and may help to reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that those taking L. acidophilus experienced significantly more relief from their gastrointestinal discomfort than did those taking a placebo.
  • Bifidobacterium Infantis – Has been shown to reduce the major symptoms of GI disorders, including diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, cramping and constipation. It is particularly popular as a means of combating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and has been shown to improve digestion and the body’s ability to absorb and process nutrients.
  • Lactobacillus casei – Along with L. Acidolphilus, converts lactose into lactic acid, helping those who are lactose intolerant. Helps to encourage the growth of other beneficial bacteria.
  • Bifidobacterium longum – Assists in breaking down carbohydrates and fighting free radicals. Provides potent antioxidant support and helps reduce the effects of seasonal allergens.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus – Helps reduce occurrences of traveler’s diarrhea and food poisoning.
  • Bifidobacterium lactis – Helps decrease H. pylori (a bacterium associated with the majority of stomach ulcers) and helps the production of the front line cells in your immune system.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri – Improves cholesterol levels, reduces H. plyori, protects female urinary tract and vaginal health and aids infants’ GI health.
  • Lactobacillus salivarius – Helps with GI problems (especially diarrhea caused by antibiotics), helps lactose-intolerant people digest dairy. It may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, maintain dental health, help with IBS, and boost the immune system.
  • Lactobacillus paracasei – Is key for digestive function, boosts the immune system, and energy levels, resolves infant diarrhea. It may help fight infections and relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Lactobacillus gasseri – May speed up metabolism and encourage weight loss, protect against harmful organisms, lower cholesterol, reduce allergic response, ease symptoms of asthma in children, and lessen menstrual pain in women with endometriosis.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum – Protects the intestinal lining from damage from toxins and pathological germs. Produces important vitamins like B12, biotin, and K2. Helps digest sugar and reduces incidence of colds and flu.
  • Bifidobacterium breve – Protects colon function, alleviates constipation, reduces gas and diarrhea. Stimulates the immune system, inhibits E. coli and suppresses the fungus Candida. Ferments sugars and produces acetic and lactic acids. Helps digest plant  fibers typically thought of as undigestible. May reduce intestinal irritation and allergic responses.
  • Streptococcus thermopholus – Breaks down lactose into lactic acid and helps boost the immune system. May lower the risk of colon cancer. May protect intestinal tissues from irritation during chemotherapy . Correlates with better growth in children.
plus 25 mg of prebiotic:
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
This supplement is vegetarian; non-GMO; and free of yeast, lactose, soy, iron, gluten, wheat, nuts, preservatives, sugar, and artificial colors or flavors.
 – Information provided by Hyperbiotics on Amazon.com (2017), Dr Edward Group at Global Healing Center (2015A-F), and Examine.com (2011-2017).

 

 

Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support 299v Capsules

 

This supplement contains a single probiotic strain:
  • Lactobacillus plantarum 299v
Each veggie cap contains 10 billion viable cells of L. plantarum 299v, a clinically-documented, human-origin probiotic strain that resists stomach acid and bile salts and has been found to successfully colonize the human intestinal mucosa.
This strain reduces bloating, gas and Intestinal discomfort, and supports regularity.  The product is vegetarian/vegan and gluten free but contains trace amounts of soy.
– Amazon.com (2017)

 

 

align Probiotic Supplement Capsules

 

This supplement also contains a single probiotic strain:
  • Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
align was developed by gastroenterologists to promote and support a healthy digestive system. It’s especially useful for people with irritable bowel  syndrome (IBS) – sometimes called spastic colon. IBS is characterized by abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. (Amazon.com, 2017)
In the intestines of infants, B. infantis helps break down lactic acid in human breast milk.

“Adults who keep their B. infantis levels in balance enjoy better overall health, an active metabolism, and less discomfort after eating. British researchers reported it only took four weeks for women who took B. infantis to enjoy a significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. Another study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found B. infantis supports stomach health and digestion. But it does more than aid digestion. It also supports your immune system against unwanted bacterial growth in the intestines. And some strains even produce B vitamins.” (Group, 2015B)

 

 

Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula Capsules

The beneficial bacteria in BioKult are freeze dried, a process which protects them from the harsh acidic environment of the stomach so they survive to colonize the intestinal tract. Each capsule contains a minimum of 2 billion probiotic microorganisms. BioKult is gluten free, uses no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  It may contain traces of soy and milk from the growth medium of the strains. Lactose intolerant people shouldn’t have a problem with these traces of milk. BioKult is non-GMO. (Amazon.com, 2017)
Bio-Kult contains 14 probiotic strains:
  • Bacillus subtilis PXN 21
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum PXN 23
  • Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
  • Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
  • Bifidobacterium longum PXN 30
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus plantarum PXN 47
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Lactobacillus helveticus PXN 45
  • Lactobacillus salivarius PXN 57
  • Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis PXN 63
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66
Here’s information on the probiotic strains in Bio-Kult that haven’t already been discussed:
* Bacillus subtilis is ubiquitous in soil, produces an endospore that allows it to survive the stomach’s acidity. It is beneficial to the digestive system in general and is known to improve symptoms of IBS. It suppresses the growth of harmful pathogens, strengthens the gut’s mucosal lining, and enhances the growth of other good probiotic strains. (Jockers, 2014)
B. subtilis‘s other benefits include decreasing triglycerides, LDL levels and total cholesterol; increasing immunity; fighting viruses; improving leaky gut; decreasing inflammation;  decreasing diarrhea and nausea; improving dairy digestion; decreasing tooth decay; managing HIV symptoms; and fighting dyspepsia. (Jerkunica, 2009-2015)
* Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus is one of the bacterial strains used to turn milk into yogurt  and is also found in other naturally fermented foods.
* Lactobacillus helveticus provides many health benefits – including inhibition of pathogenic bacteria, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activity, anti-hypertensive activity, immunomodulatory activity, control of diarrhea, reduction of lactose intolerance, and enhancing recovery from gut atrophy induced by malnutrition. It has also been found to improve bone mineral density and bone mineral content, calcium and bone metabolism, arterial stiffness, and blood pressure. (Swartzburg, 2009)

 

* Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis, a strain of L. lactis,  is used widely in cheese making as a starter culture. It’s added to milk to make a variety of cultured dairy products: sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, Colby, Cheddar, and cottage cheese.
L. lactic ssp. lactis protects against strep throat, respiratory and non-respiratory diseases, L. lactis also delivers antigens that stimulate mucosal immunity to non-respiratory pathogens, including HIV, HPV, and the malarial parasite. It’s related to other lactic acid bacteria, such as L. acidophilus in the intestines and S. salivarius in the mouth. (Todar, 2008-2011)
I love this: In 2010, L. lactis was named Wisconsin’s Official State Microbe!
Source: Slideplayer

 

 

Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic

This is another probiotic supplement in pearl form, containing 4 billion cultures. The pearls contain no gluten, lactose, wheat, soy, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, chemicals, or artificial ingredients.

About the Product
  • Increases the probiotic bacterial profile in the gut microbiome.
  • Pearls versus capsules: The Time Release Patented Technology, BioTract, allows pearls to be smaller than capsules and easier to swallow. The manufacturer says this product is 15X more effective than capsules and delivers 15X more live bacteria into the intestinal tract.
  • Provides relief from gas, bloating, IBS, diarrhea, constipation and other bowel discomforts.
  • Boosts immunity, energy and mood.
  • Improves vitamin absorption, which gives a big boost to your immune system.
  • Protects the body from yeast overgrowth and improves digestion,  contributing to overall well-being and more energy.
  • Earth’s Pearl Probiotics support and improve healthy digestion, improving the bio-availability of nutrients from the healthy foods and supplements you are taking.
This supplement is good for yeast infections, diarrhea, gas, bloating, diverticulitis, colon issues, leaky gut, digestion issues, poor immune system, constipation, IBS, lactose intolerance, allergies, antibiotics.
Probiotic ingredients:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
Prebiotic ingredient:
  • Fructooligosaccharides
 (Amazon, 2017)

 

 

Probiotic Sticks

This probiotic supplement is for those who can’t or don’t like swallowing capsules. Each stick contains 3 billion active cells (guaranteed to expiration date). You tear the stick open and pour its contents onto your tongue, allow the powder to dissolve, and swallow. You could also mix the powder into water or juice, even stir it into a smoothie.
Each stick contains:
  • Bifidobacterium longum (R0175) 3.18 x 108 CFU
  • Lactobacillus helveticus (R0052) 2.682 x 109 CFU
Probiotic Sticks balance the intestinal microflora and help decrease stress-related GI symptoms – such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. They are micro-encapsulated and gastro-protected. The powder is a red plum flavor. (Amazon.com, 2017)
An Amazon customer reported, “It is the best probiotic I have ever used. It really helps with anxiety.”

 

These are only a few of the probiotic supplements on the market. Some research should help you find one that’s high quality and addresses your health issues.

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT

When selecting probiotic supplements, you want to make sure you’re getting something that your body can use. Many probiotic supplements on the market may start with billions of CFUs of various bacteria but they’ve died by the time you get them or they perish in the acidic environment of your stomach as they pass through on their way to your intestines (where you need them) and won’t do you any good. Do some research before purchasing. In general, try to get the highest quality supplements you can afford.
Dr David Williams proposes these four criteria for evaluating a probiotic supplement (Williams, 2017):
  • The specific probiotic strains included
  • The product’s packaging and delivery system
  • Product expiration dates
  • Money-back guarantee

I would add to his list:
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Free of other common allergens
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Is able to survive stomach acid to reach the intestines

 

 

KEFIR

Kefir is a fermented drink that’s loaded with probiotic bacteria, including many of the ones discussed above that have been found effective for anxiety and depression. It can be made from any type of milk – usually cow, goat or sheep, and also from coconut water, juices, rice, soy – even plain water. It has impressive medicinal benefits for healing leaky gut and can be given to newborns to improve their gut microbiomes. It also contains high levels of Vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals, Vitamin K2, biotin, folate, and digestive enzymes. The fermentation process breaks down the lactose in milk, rendering kefirs 99% lactose-free, so they’re tolerated well even by those who are lactose intolerant.
Kefir has been consumed for thousands of years for its numerous health benefits.

Lifeway organic plain kefir is an example of a tasty commercial kefir that’s widely available. Its culture contains 15-20 billion Colony Forming Units (CFUs) of live and active kefir cultures per cup. Kefir cultures include these probiotics:
  • Lactobacillus Lactis
  • Lactobacillus  Rhamnosus
  • Streptococcus Diacetylactis
  • Lactobacillus Plantarum
  • Lactobacillus Casei
  • Saccharomyces Florentinus
  • Leuconostoc Cremoris
  • Bifidobacterium Longum
  • Bifidobacterium Breve
  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium Lactis
  • Lactobacillus Reuteri
See these resources for more information on the probiotic superfood kefir:

 

 

 

OTHER FERMENTED FOODS

Adding lacto-fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles  to your daily diet will provide a good dose of probiotics. If you’re buying commercial versions of these foods, be aware that ‘pickled’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘fermented. Most pickles and pickled foods are made with vinegar and provide NO probiotic benefits. They’re also usually made with lots of processed salt, which isn’t good for us. Real, lacto-fermented pickles, sauerkraut, etc contain no vinegar. Instead, they are brined with water and salt, and are sold refrigerated because the culture in the jar is alive with probiotics that would be killed if exposed to heat .

 

EXAMPLE OF PICKLES MADE WITH VINEGAR

Ingredients: Pickles (Cucumbers, Salt, Calcium Chloride), Original Curing Brine, Water, Salt, Distilled White Vinegar, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate as a Preservative, Natural Flavoring, Polysorbate 80

 

EXAMPLES OF LACTO-FERMENTED PICKLES AND SAUERKRAUT

Pickles Ingredients: Cucumbers. Artesian Well Water, Garlic, Salt, Dill, Spices

Sauerkraut Ingredients: Cabbage, Artesian Well Water, Salt

You’ll notice that the Heinz Premium Genuine Dills are made with vinegar and require a preservative. They don’t contain probiotics and are sold at room temperature.
Bubbies’ Pure Kosher Dills and Sauerkraut are full of healthy probiotics created by lacto-fermentation, contain no vinegar or chemical preservatives and are sold refrigerated. My only objections to them are that the company apparently uses processed salt in its culture and the ingredients are probably genetically modified.
Source: Pinterest

 

A note on yogurt: The probiotics in most commercial yogurts get killed off by heat during processing. Look for yogurts that are still tangy tasting. You can also make your own.

 

 

Source: preventdisease.com
Functional Medicine doc Kelly Brogan says in “Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?” regarding getting your probiotics from food:
“Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.” (Brogan, 2014)

 

Source: Collective Evolution

 

“In the centuries before we had refrigeration or freezing, foods were often preserved by fermentation.  In eating and drinking those fermented foods, we regularly ingested prebiotics and probiotics that kept our gut flora balanced and happy.
“Live, lactic acid fermentation is the simplest and usually the safest way of preserving food. Before we had refrigeration, canning and chemical preservatives, humans in every culture preserved foods by fermenting them – sauerkraut, tempeh (fermented soybeans), miso (fermented soybean paste), kimchi, dry sausages, pickles, cheeses, yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread starters, beers and wines, among others.
“We pretty much stopped eating those digestion-enhancing foods when we started relying on foods kept ”fresh” by refrigeration and other artificial means – and even worse, started eating heavily processed, essentially fake and genetically altered foods. What we gave up in turning away from fermented foods was ingesting enough of the friendly bacteria our bodies need to maintain good health, the prebiotics and probiotics created by natural fermentation. (Hardin, 2011)
“Natural fermentation develops vast amounts of lactic acid bacteria, friendly bacteria our guts need to maintain good health. Take sauerkraut for example: The numbers of different lactic acid bacteria in live sauerkraut can reach concentrations of 10 (to the 8th) to 10 (to the 9th) per gram. ( Zdenka Samish,  1963)”
 – From my 2013-2014 post Prebiotics and Probiotics

 

 

 

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT

When selecting probiotic supplements, you want to make sure you’re getting something that your body can use. Many probiotic supplements on the market may start with billions of CFUs of various bacteria but they’ve died by the time you get them or they perish in the acidic environment of your stomach as they pass through on their way to your intestines (where you need them) and won’t do you any good. Do some research before purchasing. In general, try to find the best supplements you can afford.
Dr David Williams proposes these four criteria for evaluating a probiotic supplement (Williams, 2017):
  • The specific probiotic strains included
  • The product’s packaging and delivery system
  • Product expiration dates
  • Money-back guarantee

I would add to his list:
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Free of other common allergens
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Is able to survive stomach acid to reach the intestines

 

 

 

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PSYCHOBIOTICS

The 2016 University Health News article, The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics: What are pychobiotics? They’re mind-altering probiotics that researchers say can boost mood, decrease anxiety, and ease depression, among other benefits, in case you want to track back to any of the human or animal studies described above.
10 Best Probiotics for Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification is chock full of helpful, detailed information.
Safely Reduce Anxiety and Mood Disorders is an informative article by Stephen Harrington published by  Life Extension Magazine.
Nutrition therapist Jo A. Panyko’s 2016  book  Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it  is an informative source of information about probiotics in general and what they do for our bodies. She also has a useful website called Powerofprobiotics.
Dr Kelly Brogan and Kristin Loberg’s best selling book A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives makes the case that depression is not a genetic disease caused by chemical imbalances but rather a result of chronic inflammation in the gut microbiome.  Dr Brogan has a website called Kelly Brogan. Own Your Body. Free Your Mind. 
My 2015 post Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood

 

 

DOSAGES

The field of psychopbiotics is fairly new so dosages aren’t entirely clear yet. As the authors of The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics put it:
“The best psychobiotics and the best dosages for those psychobiotics have yet to be determined, but a number of them used in the studies described above are commercially available in probiotic supplements. Generally, at least 10 billion CFU’s per day are recommended for most probiotics, including psychobiotics, but higher or lower amounts may also be beneficial. Just make sure to give your psychobiotic a try for at least a month before deciding whether it’s working or not.” (University Health News, 2016)
A tip from my own experience: If the dosage instructions on your new probiotic supplement recommend taking more than one/day, it would probably be wise to start with one to see how your body reacts to it, stay on that dose for a while (at least a few days, maybe even a week), then work up to the recommended dose slowly.

 

Souce: Pinterest

 

 

PSYCHOBIOTICS VS PHARMACEUTICALS

While researchers currently can’t recommend doses for these probiotics and haven’t yet tested their long-term effects,  if you’re suffering from chronic anxiety and/or depression and are the sort of person who’s willing to be a pioneer, you might want to try adding them to your daily diet as an experiment and see if they help you.
I’ll point out here that the taking of prescription pharmaceuticals isn’t as scientific and safe as we’ve been led to believe.

 

Source: Quotes

 

 

 

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PROBIOTICS IN GENERAL

Michelle Schoffro Cook’s book The Probiotic Promise: Simple steps to heal your body from the inside out is a bible of information on how probiotics influence our health. She also has a blog, drmichellecook.com.
Nutrition therapist Jo A. Panyko’s 2016  book  Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it  is an informative source of information about probiotics in general and what they do for our bodies. She also has a useful website called Powerofprobiotics.
Ed Yong’s 2016 book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. It’s a #1 Amazon Best Seller in Microbiology – but don’t let that put you off. It’s a primer for anyone interested in learning more about how we interact with the huge variety of probiotic bacteria and other microbes living in and on us.
My 2013-2014 post Prebiotics and Probiotics.

 

 

A REQUEST

If you’re willing, it would be helpful if you’d share information about your experiences with any of these or other psychobiotic supplements or foods. The field is still in its infancy and we can learn from each other’s experiences – what worked for you and what didn’t.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Amazon.com. (2017). Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics.  See: https://www.amazon.com/Hyperbiotics-PRO-15-Probiotics-Technology-Supplement/dp/B00JEKYNZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483825983&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=hyperbiotics+pro-15&psc=1 and  https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx1GH3C15RF68NV/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B00JEKYNZA

Atlay, K. (2016). Psychobiotics: Harnessing gut bacteria to improve your brain. See: http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/health/article/2016/10/26/psychobiotics-harnessing-gut-bacteria-improve-your-brain

Axe, J. (2015).  7 Kefir Benefits and Nutrition Facts. See:  https://draxe.com/kefir-benefits/

Brogan, K. (2014). Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?. GreenMed Info. See: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/psychobiotics-bacteria-your-brain

Brogan, K. & Loberg, K. (2016). A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. See: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Your-Own-Depression-Reclaim/dp/0062405578

Brogan, K. (2017). Kelly Brogan. Own Your Body. Free Your Mind. See: http://kellybroganmd.com

Examine.com. (2011-2017). Lactobacillus reuteri. See: https://examine.com/supplements/lactobacillus-reuteri/

Group, E. (2015A). Bifidobacterium bifidum: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-bifidum-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015B). Bifidobacterium infantis: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-infantis-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015C). Bifidobacterium breve: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-breve-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015D). Lactobacillus gasseri: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-gasseri-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015E). Lactobacillus paracasei: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-paracasei-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015F). Lactobacillus salivarius: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-salivarius-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Kefir. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/kefir/

Hardin, J.R. (2013-2014). Prebiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesandYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/04/psychobiotics-your-gut-bacteria-your-mood/

Harrington, S. (2016). Safely reduce anxiety and mood disorders. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2016/3/safely-reduce-anxiety-and-mood-disorders/page-01

Jockers, D. (2014). Bacillus subtilis and the nutritional benefits of dirt. Natural News. See: http://www.naturalnews.com/046826_bacillus_subtilis_good_bacteria_dirt.html

Jerkunica, E. (2009-2015). Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Probiotic Information. Probiotics.org. See: http://probiotics.org/lactobacillus-bulgaricus/

Life Extension. (2017). You should know how far we carry our commitment to Quality, Purity & Efficacy. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/Health-Nutrition-Awards/Good-Manufacturing-Practice

Mental Health Daily. (2016). 10 Best Probiotics for Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification. See: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2016/03/01/10-best-probiotics-for-depression-anxiety-gut-brain-axis-modification/

Panyko, J.A. (2016). Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it. See: https://smile.amazon.com/Probiotics-Advantage-Probably-Enough-about/dp/1478767928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483397650&sr=8-1&keywords=probiotics+panyko

Panyko, J.A. (2016). PowerOfProbiotics.com: How to Be Healthy With Probiotics, From a Nutritionist. See: http://www.powerofprobiotics.com

Sarkar, A. et al. (2016). Psychobiotics and the Manipulation of Bacteria–Gut–Brain Signals. Trends in Neurosciences, 39:11, 763-781. See: http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/fulltext/S0166-2236(16)30113-8

Schoffro Cook, M. (2015). The Probiotic Promise: Simple steps to heal your body from the inside out. See: https://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Promise-Simple-Steps-Inside/dp/0738217956/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483402934&sr=8-2&keywords=schoffro+cook

Schoffro Cook, M. (2016). drmichellecook.com. See:  http://www.drmichellecook.com

Swartzburg, R. (2009). Lactobacillus Helveticus. Probiotics.org. See: http://www.probiotic.org/lactobacillus-helveticus.htm

Schwenk, D. (2015). Cultured Food for Health: A Guide to Healing Yourself with Probiotic Foods Kefir * Kombucha * Cultured Vegetables. See: https://www.amazon.com/Cultured-Food-Health-Probiotic-Vegetables/dp/1401947832/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=AX2C1JTDA62EGTMQT2QJ

Schwenk, D. (2017). CulturedFoodLife.com. See: https://www.culturedfoodlife.com

Todar, K.  (2008-2011). Lactococcus lactis nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe. Todar’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology. See: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html

University Health News. (2016). The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics: What are pychobiotics? They’re mind-altering probiotics that researchers say can boost mood, decrease anxiety, and ease depression, among other benefits. See: http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/the-best-probiotics-for-mood-enhancing-the-gut-brain-connection-with-psychobiotics/

Williams, D. (2017). How to Choose the Best Probiotic Supplement. See: http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/how-to-choose-the-best-probiotic-supplement/

Yong, E. (2016). I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. See: https://www.amazon.com/Contain-Multitudes-Microbes-Within-Grander/dp/0062368591/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483909736&sr=8-1&keywords=i+contain+multitudes

 

 

© Copyright 2017. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How to Survive Days of High Heat, Humidity & Pollution

Updated 7/30/2016.

 

(Source: www.8screensavers.com)
(Source: www.8screensavers.com)

 

One evening earlier this week my body suddenly felt like its power grid was shutting down and I was going to faint. Fortunately I was sitting at my computer desk at the time.
New York City, along with much of the country, has been suffering through a prolonged heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90’s, high humidity, and ‘bad air’ alerts nearly every day.  Even a short while spent outdoors produces heavy sweating as the body tries to keep itself at a reasonable working temperature.
I’d been trying to stay hydrated but this scary  experience made me realize I was probably dehydrated at the cellular level and needed to pay more attention to my electrolyte balance during this kind of weather.
So this is what I did – and will continue to do until the weather becomes more conducive to life:
  • Replenished my electrolytes with a packet of Emergen-C  Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai flavor) – because it’s what I had around – mixed into a cup of filtered water
  • Ate some pink sea salt to restore needed trace minerals to my body
  • Manually cleared the lymph glands in my neck and across the top of my chest to drain accumulated toxins from my lymphatic system and sinuses
  • Worked on my pyloric and ileocecal valves to get my digestion moving
  • Used a hollow, spiky 6″ Bodymind ball vertically along the center of my back to open up the energy channels running from my spine to the rest of my body

 

 

 

ELECTROLYTE BALANCE RESTORATION

 

(Source: the-sage.org)
(Source: the-sage.org)

 

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES

Electrolytes are minerals found in our bodily fluids. They carry an electric charge and are essential to keeping the heart, nerves and muscles functioning properly. Therefore, it is important to maintain a precise and constant balance of electrolytes to stay healthy. The kidneys play an important role in ensuring that electrolyte levels remain steady despite any changes the body may undergo. Having an electrolyte imbalance – an excess or a deficiency – in the body can be dangerous and in some cases fatal. (Gulati, 2011)
On average, the body produces about 100 watts of electricity a day. Our electrolytes take on a positive or negative charge when they dissolve in body fluid, enabling them to conduct electricity and move electrical charges or signals throughout your body. These charges are vital to many processes that keep us alive and functioning well, including the operation of the brain, nerves, and muscles, and the creation of new tissue. (Morris, 2015)

 

FUNCTIONS OF ELECTROLYTES

There are many electrolytes needed to run the body. Here’s a list of some of the most important ones and their primary functions (Morris, 2015):

Sodium

  • Helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure
  • Necessary for muscle and nerve function
  • Helps balance all the electrolytes

 

Chloride

  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Balances acidity and alkalinity, which helps maintain a healthy pH
  • Essential to proper digestion

 

Potassium

  • Regulates the heart and blood pressure
  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Aids in transmitting nerve impulses
  • Contributes to bone health
  • Necessary for muscle contraction

 

Magnesium

  • important to the production of DNA and RNA
  • Contributes to nerve and muscle function
  • Helps maintain heart rhythm
  • Helps regulate blood glucose levels
  • Enhances the immune system

 

Calcium

  • A key component of bones and teeth
  • Important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement
  • Contributes to blood clotting

 

Phosphate

  • Strengthens bones and teeth
  • Helps cells produce the energy needed for tissue growth and repair

 

Bicarbonate

  • Helps the body maintain a healthy pH
  • Regulates heart function

 

Our electrolytes perform many other functions, including regulating body temperature, respiratory rate, digestion, energy production, fluid transport across cells, ion transport, renal function (including bladder control), glucose metabolism, neurological function, signal transduction, thought, and memory; maintaining fluid levels; preventing cardiac arrhythmia. All our senses also rely on electrolytes in the body for gathering information and then transporting those messages to the brain and the muscles; and many, many more. (Kane, 2016)
It would be easier to count the number of stars in the sky than the number of functions electrolytes perform in our bodies. (Kline, 2015)

 

 

 

WHEN ELECTROLYTES BECOME UNBALANCED (Morris, 2015)

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

The levels of the fluids found inside and outside the cells of our bodies should remain fairly consistent. On average, about 40% of our fluids are inside the cells and 20% are outside the cells. Electrolytes help the body adjust these values to maintain a healthy percentage balance.
While it’s normal for our electrolyte levels to fluctuate, they can become seriously imbalanced – resulting in the creation of  too many or not enough minerals or electrolytes. Among the things that can cause such an imbalance are:
  • Fluid loss from heavy exercise or physical activity
  • Over hydration – drinking too much water
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs
  • Alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Severe burns
  • Some forms of cancer

 

 

 

EMERGEN-C

 

81MU-Oc9FaL._SX522_

 

 

I took a packet of Emergen-C Immune Plus because it was what happened to be at hand. If you prefer to avoid the sugars, colors, and flavors in Emergen-C products, you could use LyteShow or LyteCaps, and/or drink raw coconut water and switch from refined table salt to a pink sea salt.
Ingredients in Emergen-C Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai) packets:

 

81S3m4j-qbL._SX522_

If you can’t make out the fuzzy image above (the best I was able to find), see this page on VitaCost’s site – which also lists the less than desirable ingredients in Emergen-C, such as the fructose and maltodextrin.

 

 

 

LYTESHOW & LYTECAPS

These two electrolyte products will replenish your electrolytes without any of the calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in Emergen-C products:

717Dg5kSNJL._SY679_

Liquid: LyteShow – Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration – 40 Servings (With Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc)
Each 4 ounce bottle contains 40 servings of LyteShow concentrate. Depending on usage, each bottle lasts approximately 2-6 weeks. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains zinc, an essential trace element, and citric acid. (Amazon.com)

 

81CNF1eHZAL._SY679_

Capsules: LyteCaps – Perfect Balance of Electrolytes for Serious Rehydration – 30 Servings, 60 Vegetarian Capsules (With Magnesium, …
  • Each 60 vegetarian capsule bottle contains 30 servings of LyteCaps. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains Vitamin D3 and L-Tyrosine.
  • LyteCaps contains a carefully formulated balance of electrolytes in a dry, capsule form. Minerals include magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, as well as patented TRAACS® manganese and zinc.
  • Contains no calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Manufactured in an FDA-regulated and NSF GMP-certified facility.
  • Take LyteCaps with water to replace electrolytes and fluids lost from sweating, exercising, or even drinking alcohol. More comprehensive than your typical sports drinks, LyteCaps provides a health-focused alternative that can help prevent muscle cramps and help you recover quickly. (Amazon.com)

 

 

 

RAW COCONUT WATER

Then there’s my very favorite way to restore electrolytes: Hold Harmless Organic Raw Coconut Water. I like to mix it about 50/50 with filtered water.

 

CCW_Facts_OGP

 

HIMALAYAN PINK SEA SALT

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt contains 84 trace minerals, including the electrolytes our bodies need. I carry a small GoTubb of it in my purse when I’m traveling or eating out in my own city – and also sometimes just sprinkle some into my palm and lick it off.

 

 tumblr_mkbbrhqgn41ra1ir4o5_1280

 

Here’s a brief comparison of refined white table salt with Himalayan Pink Salt so you can see how switching from table salt to Himalayan Pink will benefit your health.

 

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For more information on the benefits of sea salts and health risks of refined table salt, see The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. (Hardin, 2014B) and Sea Salts vs White Table Salt (Hardin, 2016).

 

 

SPORTS DRINKS, ENERGY DRINKS & SODAS

 

(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)
(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)

 

It’s best to avoid a “sports drink” like GatorAde if possible – unless it’s the only thing available to you to avoid dehydration and electrolyte depletion. These drinks tend to be loaded with sugar (or, even worse for you, artificial sweeteners) and food dyes. You’ve no doubt observed their garish colors.

 

(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image )
(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image)

 

And I hope you know by now that sodas like Coke, Pepsi, and other soft drinks – both the regular and diet versions – are not good choices either, that they damage your health in the following ways:
  • Most of them contain caffeine
  • The diet or ‘lite’ versions contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, a  ‘sugar coated poison’.
  • They damage teeth
  • They weaken bones
  • They damage kidneys
  • They promote weight gain
  • They adversely affect fertility
  • They promote gastroesophageal reflux
  • They interfere with brain functioning
  • And … they’re actually DEHYDRATING to boot
For more information on why these pseudo-thirst quenchers are harmful, take a look at 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body
(Naik, 2016).

 

 

 

 

MANUAL CLEARING OF LYMPH GLANDS IN NECK & CHEST

 

(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that contains our white blood cells, protein molecules, various salts, glucose, bacteria.
Our lymphatic system is the body’s inner drainage network, protecting us from illness and disease-causing chronic inflammation. Its principal role is to protect the body against damage from infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and cancel cells while helping keep fluid levels in balance.
The lymph system consists of a complex network of vessels and nodes spanning almost the entire body, carrying fluids from tissues into the blood, and vice versa. This system is a critical part of our immune system and important for wound healing.
Along with those lymph vessels and nodes, the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are also part of the lymphatic system.
Lymph nodes are located near major arteries since the lymphatic system needs to connect to our blood flow to keep the blood clean. Some of the most prominent locations of our lymph nodes are the throat, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin.
Toxins, pathogenic bacteria, and other illness-causing microbes  enter our bodies every day and make their way into the lymphatic fluid. Eventually, this fluid and its contents can get trapped inside the lymph nodes, where infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes attempt to destroy them. Bacteria and toxins are filtered out and more white blood cells are produced, used up, and replenished.
Another important function of the lymphatic system is keeping bodily fluids in balance. (Axe, 2016)

 

 

lymphaticsystemgraphic1

 

Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic system has no type of pump. Movement of the lymph from the outer reaches of the body toward the heart occurs when we breathe and move our muscles. This arrangement worked well before we took to sitting as much as most of us do today – at desks, in cars, in front of the TV, as spectators at sporting events. In our sedentary life style, the lymph in the body is likely to become stagnant and fail to move toxins through the lymph nodes and out of the body.
See Fighting Off A Virus (Hardin, 2014A) for instructions on how to clear your own lymph glands manually. After even a few minutes squeezing out the lymph nodes on your neck or along the top of your chest, you’ll likely feel more a lot more alert, healthier, and happier.

 

 

 

PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES

 

PYLORIC VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE BOTTOM OF THE STOMACH & TOP OF THE SMALL INTESTINE

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

 

 

LOCATION OF ILEOCECAL VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE END OF THE SMALL INTESTINE & TOP OF THE LARGE INTESTINE

(Source: www.utahmillers.com)
(Source: www.utahmillers.com)

 

Malfunctioning pyloric and/or ileocecal valves play a part in many physical illnesses and conditions. Either or both of these valves can become sluggish and remain open when they should be closing or stay closed when they should be opening.
An ileocecal valve stuck in the open position can cause diarrhea, leading to dehydration and lack of energy. A valve sticking in the closed position can cause tightness in the bowel movements or constipation. Both conditions create a toxic condition and cause imbalances anywhere in the body where there is blood.
See MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM for various techniques to work on your pyloric and ileocecal valves.

 

 

BODYMIND BALLWORK

 

(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com )
(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com)
This technique is taught by Ellen Saltonstall at her yoga studio in New York City. “The distinct feature of Bodymind Ballwork is the use of rubber balls of varying sizes and textures (as small as a walnut and as big as a melon), which support, massage and stretch localized areas of the body.  There are techniques for every part of you, from head to toes. The result is a wonderful feeling of lightness and ease in the body, and quiet alertness in the mind.” (Saltonstall, 2016)
The ball I use down the center of my back is the green spiky one shown at the lower right of the photo above. It’s hollow and about 4″ in diameter.
See Ellen’s website for more information.  She’s currently at work on a book on BodyMind BallWork principles and techniques.

 

 

Many thanks to Ellen Saltonstall for bringing LyteShow to my attention.

 

 

 

CLEAR SIGNS IT’S TOO HOT OUTSIDE

damn_its_hot_outside_640_16

 

505135be5bea3e19e471339bc26bd29f

 

signs-its-hot-seagulls-beach

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Axe, J. (2016). The Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong & Effective. See: https://draxe.com/lymphatic-system/

Gulati, S. (2011). The Role Of Electrolytes In The Body. See: http://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/role-of-electrolytes-in-the-body/

Hardin, J.R. (2014A). Fighting Off A Virus. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/12/fight-viruses/

Hardin, J.R. (2014B). The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=healing+properties+unrefined+salts

Hardin, J.R. (2015). MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/08/15/malfunctioning-pyloric-ileocecal-valves-and-how-to-fix-them/

Hardin, J.R. (2016). Sea Salts vs White Table Salt. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/05/22/sea-salt-vs-white-table-salt/

Kane, E. (2016). The E-Lyte Story: Why You Need Electrolytes! BodyBio. See:  http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte-electrolyte-101

Kline, D. (2015). What Are Electrolytes And Why Do You Need Them? Cherish the Body. See: http://cherishthebody.com/what-are-electrolytes-and-why-do-you-need-them/

Morris, S.Y. (2015). How to Prevent an Electrolyte Imbalance. See: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-prevent-an-electrolyte-imbalance#Overview1

Naik, D. (2016). 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body. See: http://listsurge.com/10-reasons-why-drinking-coke-and-other-soda-drinks-may-be-harmful-for-your-body/

Saltonstall, E. (2016). Bodymind Ballwork. See: http://www.ellensaltonstall.com/ballwork-kinetic-awareness/

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Probiotics for Spring (and Other) Allergies

Updated on 4/4/2016. Last updated on 4/15/2016.

 

(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
A recent article called The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP, one of my favorite writers on probiotics and the gut microbiome, caught my eye and I want to share its information with those of you who suffer from allergies, seasonal or otherwise.
Her article starts out this way:

“Before you grab that decongestant to subdue your sinus congestion or antihistamine to stop the sneezing linked to spring allergies, you might want to give your gut some attention. More and more research shows that probiotics can reduce allergy symptoms and may even prevent allergic conditions altogether if they are started early in life. But not just any probiotic will do; with thousands of probiotic strains available, it’s important to choose the ones that have an anti-allergy effect. The right probiotic strains can heal the intestinal walls and reduce low-grade inflammation in the gut, but also prevent or reduce allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

 

(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)
(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)

 

The most common symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis are inflammation in the nose, sinuses and eyes. You inhale some pollen or other allergen and your nose and sinuses become congested or blocked. Maybe your eyes itch, burn, tear up or become red. Maybe your eyes become hypersensitive to light. Your nose may itch and discharge watery mucus. Your ear canals may get irritated. You sneeze a lot, feel physically depressed and generally miserable.

 

 

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ALLERGIES & ME

In my case, decades of year round chronic allergies resulted in the growth of nasal polyps in my sinuses that dropped down into my nose every time I inhaled, causing me to have to breathe only through my mouth. I was exhausted all the time, had frequent sinus infections, a tenderness in the bridge of my nose that made wearing glasses painful, and such swollen nasal and sinus tissue that I could never blow my noise. And I had to wear tinted glasses even indoors to deal with light sensitivity.
The chronic inflammation and difficulty breathing made me physically depressed and, as a result, I also believed I was emotionally depressed. Basically, I was and felt like an inflamed mess – and the number of things I was allergic to kept growing: cat dander, dust, cigarette smoke, foods, scents.
I went to allergy doctors who prescribed decongestants (they made my heart race) and antihistamines (most of them severally sapped the little energy I had). I remember lying on our living room couch once after taking a prescription pill containing both a decongestant and antihistamine, my sinuses so dried up I could hardly breathe and my heart beating so rapidly I thought I was going to die, unable to lift my head or get up to call for help … long before cell phones.
I told my ENT doc, after the second surgery to remove nasal polyps (the chronic inflammation caused them to grow back), that I was going to find a non-pharmaceutical/ non-surgical way to fix both my allergies and sinuses. He was a good guy and asked me to please let him know when I’d found the information I was seeking.

 

(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

 

Thankfully, I’ve been tenacious over several decades in seeking that information and choosing helpful health care providers to work with, never grew another nasal polyp, and am no longer done in by upper respiratory allergies.
This website, Allergies And your Gut, is a by product of that determined quest to feel well.

 

 

 

 

BACK TO MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK’S ARTICLE

“The ideal time to be introduced to beneficial allergy-preventing strains of bacteria is actually before birth. Research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that when a pregnant woman consumes probiotic-rich milk or yogurt during pregnancy, an infant or child is less likely to suffer from allergic conditions such as eczema or rhinoconjunctivitis.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

Of course, we’re not able to go back and make sure we got sufficient beneficial microbes during our fetal development but we can provide ourselves now with pertinent probiotics  to prevent or reverse our allergy symptoms and conditions.
The milk and yogurt products used in this study  contained three types of probiotic bacteria:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Cook reports on work done by scientists at the Osaka University School of Medicine that found ingestion of another probiotic,  Lactobacillus casei (L. casei), delayed the occurrence of allergy symptoms and reduced allergic nasal and sinus congestion. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study results were published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

 

 

BREWER’S YEAST (DRIED, FERMENTED SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE)

And finally, Cook cites 2009 research results from a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the medical journal Advanced Therapeutics demonstrating the benefits of consuming a dried, fermented probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Study participants consisted of 96 healthy people with a recent, clinically documented history of seasonal allergies. The researchers  were testing the efficacy of 500 mg of a fermented, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae product during the highest recorded concentrations of total pollen counts for the Midwest area where the study was conducted and found it reduced allergy symptoms, especially nasal congestion. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is also known as ‘brewer’s yeast’.

 

Dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast)
yeast-flakes
Dried yeast fermentate helps balance your immune system by:
  • boosting the strength of your skin and mucus membranes
  • stimulating immune cells
  • supporting the production of T-cell and B-cell immune factors
In case you want to read more on dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae, here’s a useful article about it.  (Day, 2014)
If you’re inclined to want your information from a strictly Western Medicine source, here’s information on Brewer’s Yeast from WebMD. (WebMD, 2016).
 Note added on 4/4/2016:
See Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s for a comparison of nutritional yeast vs brewer’s yeast. (Mercola, 4/4/2016)

4/15/2016

Following up on Scott Moshen’s helpful COMMENT below, I found Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for a reasonable price at my local health food store. It’s also available from Amazon.com. Bragg is also the long time maker of other raw, organic products that many health conscious people swear by, including an Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar  that’s unfiltered and contains the ‘mother’.

 

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PROBIOTICS VS DRUGS FOR ALLERGIES

If you’re like me, you prefer consuming foods and natural substances to taking pharmaceutical drugs whenever possible to prevent inflammatory, autoimmune problems – or to treat them if they have already developed.
The authors of the 2009 Advanced Therapeutics article described above noted:

“Allergic rhinitis (AR) impacts around 25% of the worldwide population. However, cost, safety, and a high dissatisfaction rate with numerous conventional medications continues to be an issue in the largest patient surveys, due primarily to a lack of efficacy on nasal congestion.” (Moyad et al, 2009)

And Cook has this to say on the subject:

“Unlike drug products, antihistamines and decongestants you take when symptoms are severe, the probiotic-based approach works differently. Probiotics are best taken on a daily basis (follow package instructions of the specific product(s) you select) before and during allergy season. Select products that contain the specific probiotic strains mentioned in this article, as others have not been tested for effectiveness against seasonal allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

For more information on the benefits of consuming fermented foods and how to do it, check out Cook’s article, 25 Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. (Cook, 3/10/2016)

 

(Source: www.amazon.com)
(Source: www.amazon.com)
I also recommend Dr Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook‘s book The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out to you. Here’s a list of its chapters:
  • Chapter 1: The Health Secret We’ve All Been Waiting For
  • Chapter 2: The Surprising Worlds Within Your Body
  • Chapter 3: From the Common Cold to Superbugs: Probiotics to the Rescue
  • Chapter 4: New Hope for Serious Illnesses
  • Chapter 5: How to Select Probiotic Supplements
  • Chapter 6: Fall in Love with Fermented Foods
  • Chapter 7: Easy, Delicious, Probiotic-Rich Recipes
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)

 

 

 

 

MICRO-ORGANISMS FOR PEOPLE AND PLANTS

 

 

VB montgomery bikle

 

I want to add to all the above what Professor of Geomorphology David R. Montgomery and Biologist and Environmental Planner Anne Biklé have to say about why allergies have become so prevalent. They are husband and wife – and the authors of an engaging and timely new book called The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health.
Their book began with a desire to create a garden in the yard of their house in Seattle. They soon discovered the soil had become barren, depleted of nutrients, dead – so they started feeding it a steady diet of organic matter (coffee grounds, wood chips, leaves, home-brewed compost – lots and lots of it). Soon the soil  was teeming with microbial life and supporting a lush garden supplying them with nutrient-rich organic plants.
As scientists, they were fascinated by this experiment. Then Anne was diagnosed with cancer and they turned their attention to the question of what supports health in the body. They began to move away from the view of microbes as mostly pathogenic and toward understanding that the vast arrays of invisible micro-organisms (pounds of them) that live in and on us are actually what maintain our health – or make us ill if they’re not well nurtured.
They’d seen this interaction at work in the relationship between the soil in their miraculous garden and the plants that grew in it. Now they were able to start understanding that the same relationship exists between the health of the micro-organisms in the various human microbiomes and the health of the host’s body.
Here’s part of what they have to say about gut micro-organisms and allergies:

“Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, neither of us can recall classmates or friends with severe enough allergies and asthma that it required hypervigilant parents and teachers to help them avoid near-death experiences. We also don’t recall today’s prevalence of common gut dysfunctions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

“In the past fifty years researchers have seen not just an uptick in the incidence of gut dysfunctions, but a fortyfold increase…. While our genes may make us more or less susceptible to such ailments, changes in our gut microbiome are increasingly implicated as well.

“Gut dysfunctions and autoimmune diseases like asthma and allergies are turning out to be, at least in part, consequences of an immune system gone alarmingly awry. The hallmark symptom of all these diseases is an over-the-top immune response that damages our own cells and tissues.

“How does our own immune system turn against us? Increasingly, it seems that a major contributing factor is a severe case of atrophy for our efficient and evolutionarily honed immune system. Without a challenging workout and the help of beneficial microbes, our specialized immune cells and tissue grow lazy, or one might say, hazy. It is the day in, day out saturation of the inside and outside of our bodies with microbes that tones and sharpens the various feedback loops that drive our immune system to learn and recognize microbial friends from foes. A too-clean environment, ultrasanitized food and water, repeated doses of antibiotics, and minimal contact with soil and nature all work against us. These factors interfere with communication between microbes and our immune system. And this throws off the balancing act of meting out inflammation that our immune system evolved to do.” (Montgomery & Biklé, 2016, 189-190)

I highly recommend this book to you. Some comments from reviewers:

“I love this book! It’s genial, erudite, and wise. Using their personal story, historical fact, and cutting-edge science, Montgomery and Biklé have given us a great gift – a deep understanding and appreciation of our relationship with the microbial world.”

The Hidden Half of Nature reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies.”

“I wish I had learned this in medical school.”

The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health.”

 

 

(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)
(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bertelsen, R.J. et al. (2014). Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 133:1, 165-71. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24034345

Cook, M.S. (3/10/2016). 25 Easy Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-easy-ways-to-get-more-fermented-foods-in-your-diet.html

Cook, M.S. (3/17/2016). The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-surprising-way-to-beat-spring-allergies.html

Cook, M.S. (2015). The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out. See: http://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Promise-Simple-Steps-Inside/dp/0738217956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929224&sr=1-1&keywords=probiotic+promise

Day, K. (8/17/2014). Nutrient Spotlight—Dried Yeast Fermentate. See: http://www.wholehealthinsider.com/newsletter/nutrient-spotlight-dried-yeast-fermentate/

Mercola, R. (4/4/2016). Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/04/nutritional-yeast.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20160404Z1&et_cid=DM102154&et_rid=1427794112

Montgomery, D.R. & Biklé, A. (2016). The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. See: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Half-Nature-Microbial-Health/dp/0393244407/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929335&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Hidden+Half+of+Nature%3A+The+Microbial+Roots+of+Life+and+Health

Moyad, M.A. et al. (2009). Immunogenic yeast-based fermentation product reduces allergic rhinitis-induced nasal congestion: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Advanced Therapeutics, 26:8, 795-804. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19672568

Tamura, M. et al. (2007). Effects of probiotics on allergic rhinitis induced by Japanese cedar pollen: randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 143:1, 75-82. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17199093

WebMD. (2016). Brewer’s Yeast. See: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-715-brewer’s%20yeast.aspx?activeingredientid=715&activeingredientname=brewer%27s%20yeast

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Tests for Gut Microbiome Imbalance

 

bacteria-harmony-with-title-4

A reader of my post Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria wrote to ask what tests to ask your doctor for if you have problems with your gut microbiome.
That’s not so easy to answer for two reasons: First, the whole field of gut bacteria is quite new. And second, many if not most doctors don’t know a whole lot about the gut microbiome and its role in keeping us healthy or making us sick.
That doctors often don’t know much about the gut microbiome is clearly related to it’s being a new field – but the situation is also made worse by the enormous pressures the pharmaceutical industry and what is sometimes referred to as the “medical–industrial complex” exert on doctors to continue along the current path of treating symptoms with drugs and/or surgeries while ignoring the symptoms’ underlying causes.
Let’s hope the paradigm will shift.

 

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MY MEDICAL JOURNEY – AND PERSONAL BIAS

It took me many decades to identify the underlying source of my own gut microbiome imbalance and autoimmune conditions and figure out how to correct them. On this journey, the types of professionals who were the most helpful have been Chiropractors who do Applied Kinesiology and know how to support health with nutrition (foods and nutritional supplements), Functional Medicine docs, Integrative Medicine docs, Naturopaths, Energy Medicine practitioners, and Nutritionists.
I’ve pretty much stopped relying on mainstream MD specialists – except for the rare ones who understand that pharmaceuticals only suppress symptoms but don’t correct any underlying problem.
When I have blood work done by my Internist (who’s a devoted doctor and a lovely man whom I enjoy seeing), I know I’m probably not going to take any pharmaceutical he might prescribe so ask to be emailed the  results and take them to the Chiropractor who’s my main health care provider. She reads the report, discusses the meaning of the results with me, and recommends what I can do about any problematic findings. For example, I have an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and sometimes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid problem). She has successfully regulated my thyroid functioning with nutritional supplements for many years.
Before asking my Internist for blood work, I also get my Chiropractor’s recommendations for exactly what blood work will be helpful. The Internists and Endocrinologists I’d seen in the past were likely to order only the basic thyroid tests. My Chiropractor orders those to see if my thyroid is under functioning, tests to measure whether my pituitary and adrenals are involved, and thyroid antibody tests to see if my thyroid is also having an autoimmune problem again.
So that’s where I’m coming from as I try to answer the question about what tests to request from a traditional medical doctor.

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

 

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When your intestinal mucosal lining (the place that’s home to your gut’s good bacteria and other probiotic micro-organisms) becomes abnormally permeable (a condition known as intestinal hyperpermeability), tiny leaks develop from your intestines into your bloodstream. These openings allow things (bad bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and other substances) to pass through the intestinal walls directly into your bloodstream instead of being propelled further along your GI tract to where they can be neutralized and/or excreted.
Your immune system reads these substances leaked into your bloodstream as dangerous invaders, triggering an autoimmune reaction.  As the leaks continue to allow more and more substances through the gut lining  directly into the bloodstream, your body becomes chronically inflamed … and chronic inflammation is a precursor to autoimmune diseases and a long list of other serious health problems. (Axe, 2016) & (Weil, 2005)

 

 

 

DR JOSH AXE’S RECOMMENDATIONS

Dr Josh Axe’s article What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? may help you figure out what tests to ask for if you suspect you have a leaky gut that’s causing various chronic autoimmune conditions and diseases – including dark circles under your eyes. Dr. Axe is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a Clinical Nutritionist, and a Chiropractor.
The tests he recommends are:

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

See Dr Axe’s article for more information on these tests.

 

 

 

TESTS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

 

(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)
(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)

 

In an article called Testing For Adrenal Fatigue, Wellness Coach and author Fawne Hansen discusses the types of tests needed to measure adrenal functioning. Among them are:
  • A series of cortisol measures
  • An ACTH Challenge
  • A variety of thyroid tests
Hansen says, “Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue from a single test or symptom is impossible. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors and naturopaths need to look at a range of tests, sometimes conducted multiple times, and take note of every symptom. This requires experience and a thorough knowledge of the various systems in our bodies, as well as some patience too. It may require two or three visits to the doctor before you can be sure that you have Adrenal Fatigue.” (Hansen, 2016)
She has written an eBook called The Adrenal Fatigue Solution with Naturopath Dr. Eric Wood.

 

 

 

BLOOD TESTS FOR ELEVATED INFLAMMATION

 

(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
Chronic inflammation in the body is a precursor to most kinds of diseases. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance produced in the liver that increases when there’s inflammation in the body.
There are two blood tests for elevated CRP:  One test can detect a general elevation of CRP, associated with general inflammatory changes in the body and considered a non-specific marker for disease. The other test, called hs-CRP (highly sensitive CRP), is a measure of inflammation in blood vessels and is used to help establish heart disease risk.
Integrative Medicine doc Andrew Weil, MD’s article Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP) explains the meaning of elevated CRP, its symptoms and causes, how it’s diagnosed, how conventional medicine treats it, and how he treats it with an anti-inflammatory diet. (Weil, 2016)

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE TESTING FOR GUT DYSBIOSIS

 

“THIS POLLUTED POND IS OVERGROWN WITH BACTERIA … SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR GUT IS OVERGROWN WITH THE BAD GUYS”http://www.therootofhealth.com/dysbiosis/

(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
Gut dysbiosis (sometimes called gut dysbacteriosis) is the technical term for a microbial imbalance in the digestive tract. MaryAnn Copson, who has worked in the Alternative, Functional, Holistic, and Energy Medicine fields for over 35 years, offers a DYSBIOSIS METABOLIC MARKERS KIT for comprehensive testing of gut dysbiosis.
Her extensive training includes:
  • Neuro-Reproductive Endocrine Certification
  • Certified Licensed Nutritionist
  • Robertson Research Institute Level II Verified Biochemical Profile Clinician for the Brain Chemistry Optimization Program
  • Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
  • Certified Reflexologist
  • Herbal Apprenticeship
  • Practitioner Byronomics Energy Management and Diagnosis
  • Nutritional Treatment for Mood Disorders
  • Metabolic Typing and Nutritional Planning
  • Supplements and other Natural Remedies
  • Vitamin D Deficiency Assessment and Nutritional Treatment
  • Genetics of Mood Disorders
See Testing for Dysbiosis to read more about the causes and effects of gut dysbiosis and to purchase a test kit. You collect the specimens in the privacy of your home and mail them in the kit directly to the independent medical lab she uses. She’ll forward a copy of your results to you when she’s received them and you then schedule a time for the two of you to talk. She’ll interpret your results for you and  discuss their implications along with possible nutritional and lifestyle treatment programs for re-balancing your gut flora.
From Copson’s site (Copson, 2014):

“Why test for Dysbiosis?

“Dybiosis can be a significant factor in many health problems. The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test, because it measures the by-products of microbial metabolism which are excreted in the urine, is particularly useful in detecting the presence of pathogenic microbial overgrowth and in guiding and monitoring therapy.

“Treatments for dysbiosis may involve removal of the offending organisms with anti-microbials. Dietary changes and food supplements are used for replacement of beneficial bacteria, restoration of digestive function, and mucosal repair.

“A repeat test should show improvement within 90 days.”

 

The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test measures the following:
  • Creatinine
  • Bacterial/Protozoal
  • Benzoate
  • Hippurate
  • Phenylpropionate
  • p-Cresol
  • p-Hydroxyphenylacetate
  • Tricarballylate
  • Clostridial
  • Dihydroxyphenylpropionate
  • Yeast/Fungal
  • Tartarate
  • Citramalate
  • B-Ketoglutarate

“All of the above compounds reported are produced by bacteria, yeast, fungi and protozoa that may colonize or grow in the small intestines. Dysbiosis involves overgrowth of one or more species leading to increased production of these compounds that are absorbed and excreted in the urine.” (Copson, 2014)

I don’t know if the kit, the lab work, and working with her (via phone or in person – she’s in Shipman, Virginia) on what to do about your results would be covered by your health insurance (if you’re lucky enough to have any).

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TOPICS MENTIONED IN THIS POST

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY

See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES for an explanation of how the condition of your intestinal lining  (the place where your gut probiotics live) affects your health.

 

(Source: healthy-family.org)
(Source: healthy-family.org)

 

 

 

IntestiNEW TO REDUCE GUT PERMEABILITY

See IntestiNEW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR  DIGESTIVE LINING  to read about IntestiNEW, a nutritional supplement that improves the condition of your gut’s intestinal lining and reduces chronic inflammation in the body.

 

intestinew

 

 

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES & CONDITIONS

autoimmunejpg-ca55facea37ead85
In autoimmune diseases and conditions, the immune system misreads healthy cells as if they were dangerous invaders and attempts to destroy them. An autoimmune process can affect one or more types of body tissues and organs.
If you wish to learn more, here are two lists of autoimmune diseases and conditions:
AUTOIMMUNE AND AUTOIMMUNE-RELATED DISEASES (AARDA, 2016)
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE LIST (Anon, 2014)
Note:
There are autoimmune conditions and diseases that don’t appear on these two lists.
Another note:
I was searching for a helpful article on autoimmunity to include here and was only finding ones claiming that autoimmune diseases are incurable but their symptoms could perhaps be reduced by pharmaceuticals. Then it occurred to me to google “autoimmune diseases alternative” and found this article by Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD: How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. (Hyman, 2015)
Dr Hyman is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
From Dr Hyman’s article:

“INFLAMMATION IS A “HOT” TOPIC IN MEDICINE. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease — from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression.

“Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.

“But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

“Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

“These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

“It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause.”

 

********************

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

– Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD

********************

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON THYROID FUNCTION TESTS

(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
See Thyroid Function Tests for what the American Thyroid Association says about commonly ordered thyroid tests. (American Thyroid Association, 2014)
Chiropractor and Nutritionist Dr David Dahlman’s article Thyroid Tests discusses how the thyroid works, which tests are needed to assess its function, and how to interpret those tests. (Dahlman, 2015)
An article by Naturopath Peter de Ruyter, called Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid, presents information on thyroid imbalances and thyroid function tests from a Holistic Medical perspective, which includes the adrenals’ relationship to the thyroid. (de Ruyter, 2012)

 

endocrine-glands-8-638

 

 

 

THE MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

See MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX for more information on how and why the US’s health care industry remains wedded to its focus on using pharmaceuticals and surgeries to treat symptoms rather than helping us stay healthy.
From the article:

“The concept of the medical-industrial complex was first introduced in the 1971 book, The American Health Empire (Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich 1971) by Health-PAC. The medical-industrial complex (MIC) refers to the health industry, which is composed of the multibillion-dollar congeries of enterprises including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, drug manufacturers, hospital supply and equipment companies, real estate and construction businesses, health systems consulting and accounting firms, and banks. As employed by the Ehrenreichs, the concept conveys the idea that an important (if not the primary) function of the health care system in the United States is business (that is, to make profits) with two other secondary functions, research and education.”

 

(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)
(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. (2016). List of Diseases: Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases. See: http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/

American Thyroid Association. (2014). Thyroid Function Tests. See: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/FunctionTests_brochure.pdf

Anon. (2014). Autoimmune Disease List. See: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com

Axe, J. (2016). What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? See: http://draxe.com/leaky-gut-test/

de Ruyter, P. (2012). Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid. See: http://www.holistic-hypothyroidism-solutions.com/alternative-hypothyroidism-tests.html

Copson, M. (2014). Testing for Dysbiosis. See: http://functionalhealthtests.com/dysbiosis.html

EduLearnSoc.org. (2012). Medical-Industrial Complex. See: http://edu.learnsoc.org/Chapters/21%20health%20and%20medicine/12%20medical-industrial%20complex.htm

Hansen, E. (2016). Testing for Adrenal Fatigue. See: http://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/testing-for-adrenal-fatigue/

Hansen, D. & Wood, E. (2014). The Adrenal Fatigue Solution: How to regain your vitality and restore your energy levels. (eBook). See: https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/get-started/

Hardin, J.R. (1/10/2016). IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/01/10/intestinew-to-help-strengthen-your-digestive-lining/

Hardin, J.R. (7/12/2015). Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/12/dark-circles-under-your-eyes-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Hardin, J.R. (5/10/2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Hyman, M. (2015). How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. See: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/

Weil, A. (2016). Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP). See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03424/Elevated-Creactive-Protein-CRP.html

Weil, A. (2005). What Is Leaky Gut? See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining

Updated 3/9/2016.

gutbacteria8

Our gut microbiomes, the several pounds of micro-organisms living inside our intestines and often referred to as Our Friends with Benefits,  affect pretty much every aspect of  our health – keeping us well or making us sick.

 

(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
I wrote about INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES in a 10 May 2015 post. Here’s part of that article as background for appreciating the value of a supplement called IntestiNEW that strengthens the intestine’s mucosal lining, where our gut microbiomes reside:

 

 

DIGESTION – FROM MOUTH TO ANUS

0120
The human digestive tract runs from the mouth at the top to the anus at the other end. Foreign matter (food) is taken in and partially broken down by chewing in the mouth. It then travels down through the esophagus to the stomach and from there into the small and large intestines, where it is selectively digested. During this trip, various phases of digestion take place  and nutrients are extracted and absorbed. The liver, gall bladder and pancreas, organs that aid in the digestive process, are located along the length of the GI tract.
The total length of the GI tract varies from person to person. In an adult male the range is 20 to 40 feet. On average, the small intestine in adults is 22 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet.
As you can intuit, a lot could go wrong during that long trip – and much of that depends on the quality of what you deliver to your mouth as ‘food’.
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

 

You can see the location of the mucosal layer (called ‘mucous coat’ in the diagram below) and the intestinal villi in this cross section of the human small intestine. The empty space in the center, just below the villi (the spikes you see in the image of a healthy mucosal membrane in the image to the left above),  is called the lumen, the tube in which food travels through the intestines.

excret_intestin_coupe_FF_en

(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)

 

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
Increased gut permeability – also known as hyper-permeable intestines or “leaky gut” – describes the intestinal lining’s having become more porous than it should be so the process of what is allowed out into the body no longer functions properly.  Larger, undigested food molecules and other bad things (such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste  that normally would continue on and get excreted through the anus) flow freely through these too-large holes in the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they don’t belong and are treated as dangerous invaders.
The  gut’s mucosal layer is thin, delicate – and very important. This is where our probiotic bacteria live, so degrading it also degrades the strength of our immune systems. The probiotics residing in the gut mucosal layer make up 70-90% of the human immune system.
Damage to the gut’s mucosal layer leads to a whole range of serious problems as the body tries to cope with the invaders being released into the bloodstream. Once this lining has become disturbed, allowing problematic things to flow through it into the blood stream, a cycle of chronic irritation begins, leading to chronic inflammation in the body and a whole series of autoimmune conditions.
wpid-screenshot_2014-09-22-18-44-15-11
It is well-known that the composition of the gut lining and its microbiota changes during animal development and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, and habitat. (Barker, 2013), (Conlon, 2014) & (Renew Life, undated)
So you can see the importance of keeping your gut lining, where those critters live, in good shape.

 

 

REGENERATION OF THE GUT LINING

 

(Source: www.stemcell.com)
(Source: www.stemcell.com)
The thin lining of our intestines is semi-permeable: a healthy lining membrane  allows nutrients to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream and prevents toxins, pathogens, and undigested food from exiting the digestive tract too early. When the lining becomes chronically damaged, allowing toxins, pathogens, and undigested food to  enter the bloodstream, chronic inflammation occurs in the body and many negative, autoimmune health conditions may ensue. (Renew Life, undated)
See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission (Hardin, 2014) for more information.
A healthy intestinal lining serves many functions, most critical among them:
  • Continuing the digestive processing of food after it leaves  the stomach
  • Absorbing nutrients from this partially digested food
  • Preventing harmful bacteria and undigested food particles from entering the bloodstream
Like our skin, the delicate mucosal lining of our small and large intestines sloughs off a layer of cells every 3-5 days and produces new cells to maintain its semi-permeable state. This process requires the amino acid L-Glutamine. (Renew Life, undated).
“Small populations of adult stem cells are responsible for the remarkable ability of the epithelial lining of the intestine to be efficiently renewed and repaired throughout life.” (Barker, 2013)
The human body’s GI tract is lined with mucosal tissues primarily comprised of epithelial cells attached to the underlying membrane. Tiny, finger-like projections called villi protrude from the intestinal walls and greatly increase their absorptive and surface areas.
“Digested nutrients (including sugars and amino acids) pass into the villi through diffusion. Circulating blood then carries these nutrients away.  Unlike the mucosal tissue of the inner surface of the eyelids or the mouth, the epithelial cells which line the inside of the stomach are exposed to much harsher conditions, e.g., acid (i.e., hydrochloric acid), sometimes alcohol, enzymes (e.g., pepsin) for digesting food and waste generated therefrom. Mucous secretion essentially protects the cells on the inside of the stomach and duodenum from damage by acid or enzymes, for example by presenting bicarbonate to neutralize some of the effects of acid on the stomach’s inner lining, as well as inhibitors to block the enzymatic activity. Once the mucous secretions of the epithelial cells stop, the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum would eventually be eroded by the combined action of acid and enzymes, leading to ulcer.” (MEBO, 2009)

 

 

INTESTINEW

IntestiNew is a dietary supplement designed and produced by Renew Life to soothe the digestive system and benefit the health of the mucosal lining of the intestines. It is available as a powder or in capsules.
intestinew-1The capsule form contains L-glutamine, N-acetyl D-glucosamine, gamma oryzanol, cranesbill root, ginger root, marigold flower, marshmallow root, vegetable fiber, and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWCaps-0813

The powder form contains the same ingredients with the exception of the vegetable fiber and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWPowder-0813

The glucosamine, L-glutamine, and the herbs in IntestiNew soothe and support the integrity of the intestinal lining.  The gamma oryzanol, a natural extract of rice oat bran, delivers essential antioxidant benefits to the digestive system. (Holt, 2016)
Both forms of the supplement are gluten free and contain no artificial ingredients.
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive are advised to consult their physicians before taking IntestiNEW, as are people taking pharmaceutical medications or having a medical condition.  The supplements contain an ingredient derived from crustacean shells (shrimp, lobster, and/or crab) so aren’t suitable for people with a shellfish allergy.

 

Time-to-balance-your-gut-health.-Before-the-bad-bugs-have-a-party.jpg

Although I couldn’t find any scientific papers on IntestiNEW, it has been well reviewed by customers on Amazon, iHerb, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitacost,  and National Nutrition. I second those reviews: Since I’ve been taking IntestiNEW, I’ve seen a big improvement in my digestive health. I started with a scoop (5.4 grams) stirred into an eight ounce glass of filtered water before breakfast and now take two capsules before each meal, with water)

 

Some of the many ways our gut bacteria affect our health:
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
My thanks to David Miller, MD, Supplements Specialist at Life Thyme Market in New York City, for recommending IntestiNew to me.

 

Colonoscopy-cartoon1

 

REFERENCES

Barker, N. (2013). Adult intestinal stem cells: critical drivers of epithelial homeostasis and regeneration.  Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 15:  19–33. See: http://www.nature.com/nrm/journal/v15/n1/full/nrm3721.html

Conlon, M.A. et al. (2015). The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Nutrients. 7(1): 17–44. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/

Hardin, J.R. (26 October 2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (10 May 2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Holt, L. (2016). IntestiNew Reviewed: Does IntestiNew Work? Daily Health Answers. See: https://www.dailyhealthanswers.com/intestinew-reviewed.html

MEBO. (2009). Regeneration of Gastro- Intestinal Tract. Human Body Regeneration Sciences. See: http://en.mebo.com/about/ShowInfo.asp?InfoID=1

Renew Life. (undated). INTESTINEW: Natural Ingredients Used Traditionally to Support a Healthy Intestinal Lining. See: http://www.renewlife.com/media/spec_sheets/SpecSheetRNLIntestiNew.pdf

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood

Updated 7/5/2015 & 7/9/2015.

 

(Source: jama.jamanetwork.com)
(Source: jama.jamanetwork.com)

 

Very good news! An exciting new field of medicine is on the horizon: PSYCHOBIOTICS.
PROBIOTICS are micro-organisms that have beneficial effects on the body when consumed.
Ted Dinan, Catherine Stanton, and John Cryan, pioneering researchers in the field, define a PSYCHOBIOTIC as “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness”. (Dinan, Stanton & Cryan, 2013)

 

(Source: www.youtube.com)
(Source: www.youtube.com)
Scientists are discovering that some probiotic micro-organisms living in our guts are also psychoactive. That is, they deliver neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin that influence the brain via the gut-brain axis.
I’d say that the field of psychobiotics in the not so distant future will be understood more broadly to include all of us, not just those with diagnosable mental illnesses. For example, we’ll be able to fine tune our anxiety levels day to day – by taking particular probiotics before events we know make us anxious (public speaking, flying, big dates, exams). And, even better, we’ll be able to AVOID depression’s deep troughs of despair and the exhausting paralysis of anxiety by nourishing healthy populations of the appropriate probiotics in our guts.
(Source: http://www.maryvancenc.com/
(Source: http://www.maryvancenc.com/

 

As we understand the gut-brain axis at this point, communications between the gut and the brain (and vice versa) travel via the long vagus nerve, spinal cord, and/or neuroendocrine systems to mediate various physical and mental states – including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Here’s a diagram of the vagus nerve’s path, showing the organs it connects between the brain at its top end and the intestines at its bottom end. You can see what an important communication highway it provides for the body, allowing the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, and intestines to ‘talk’ to one another.

 

THE VAGUS NERVE

It runs from the brain stem down each side of the neck, across the chest, down through the abdomen allowing the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidneys, stomach and intestines to communicate bi-directionally along its network.

(Source: emedicine.medscape.com)
(Source: emedicine.medscape.com)
“So far, psychobiotics have been most extensively studied in … patients with irritable bowel syndrome, where positive benefits have been reported for a number of organisms including Bifidobacterium infantis. Evidence is emerging of benefits in alleviating symptoms of depression and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Such benefits may be related to the anti-inflammatory actions of certain psychobiotics and a capacity to reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. ” (Dinan, Stanton & Cryan, 2013)
Did you notice the mention of the anti-inflammatory actions of probiotics in the quote above?
Most physical and mental diseases have inflammation as their root cause. The vast majority of our immune system, about 70% of it, is located in the gut microbiome. Unbalance in the composition of microbes there creates inflammation inside the intestinal linings, increasing gut permeability, leading to chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body – and disease.
This is my short hand explanation for how the connection works:
Chronic imbalance of microbes in the gut –> chronic inflammation in the gut –> increased gut permeability –> chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body –>  diseases in the gut and/or elsewhere in the body

 

(Source: www.nature.com)
(Source: www.nature.com)

 

These signaling irregularities affect our emotions, mental abilities, behaviors, and perception of and reactions to pain (nociception). The whole system is something like an enormous, highly complex switchboard. If something interferes with signaling somewhere in the system, a circuit can malfunction and perhaps cause the entire switchboard to break down.

 

(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

Chronic imbalances in our gut bacteria that lead to gut-brain axis signaling irregularities can also lead to a wide variety of other health problems – including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid problems, dental issues, cancers, degenerative neurological diseases, obesity, ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic Lyme disease … and many, many more. And they all begin with the health of the several pounds of miniscule critters living in our gut microbiomes.

 

 

gut-microbiome

 

Our gut microbiome, the 100 trillion micro-organisms (500-1,000 species of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other tiny life forms) living in our intestinal linings, is so important to the proper functioning of the entire body that many scientists now regard it as an organ in and of itself. The theory is that these micro-organisms  communicate with the nervous system using some of the same neurochemicals the body uses to relay messages in the brain. (Smith, 2015)
These several pounds of micro-organisms in our guts secrete a large number of neurochemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the very same chemicals our neurons use to communicate and regulate mood – and chemicals that also play a role in GI disorders, which, not strangely, are associated with high levels of depression and anxiety.  (Smith, 2015)

 

(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)
(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)

 

 

 

 

ANXIETY, OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOR, LEAKY GUT AND BACTEROIDES FRAGILIS

 

(Source: www.find-happiness.com)
(Source: www.find-happiness.com)

 

In 2013, microbiology researchers Mazmanian and Hsiao published research results that linked a specific variety of probiotic bacteria with anxious behaviors in mice. The mice were known to have alterations in their gut microbiota and GI barrier defects  (increased gut permeability, AKA leaky gut) and also exhibited anxious, obsessive behaviors (such as obsessively burying marbles). When they were given oral doses of  one of two strains of the bacterium Bacteroides fragilis (probiotic bacteria found in normal gut flora), both their GI problems and maladaptive behaviors improved. (Hsiao et al, 2013) (Smith, 2015)

 

 

 

 

STRESS, DEPRESSION AND THE PROBIOTICS LACTOBACILLUS AND BIFIDOBACTERIUM

 

 

(Source: www.menshealth.co.uk)
(Source: www.menshealth.co.uk)

 

A recent study found that a combination of the probiotics Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum (probiotic bacteria found in healthy human gut microbiomes) reduced anxiety, depression, and stress levels and improved coping strategies. (Messaoudi, 2011)
Our psychological and physiological reactions to fear and stress play a large role in depression. People suffering from major depression also have elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone our adrenals release to get us ready to fight for our lives or flee from the danger. Back when we frequently encountered predatory animals and were often in a fight or flight situation, this elevated release of cortisol was a very useful thing.
What often happens now is that we live in a state of chronic cortisol overproduction, over stimulated, afraid, unable to calm down, wearing out our adrenals. Chronically elevated cortisol production interferes with learning and memory, lowers immune functioning, decreases bone density, increases weight gain,  raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, leads to heart disease, increases risk for depression and anxiety, decreases resilience – and is generally exhausting. A combination of the probiotics, Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum, was found to reduce cortisol levels. (Berglund, 2013) (Davidson, 2014)
GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is our central nervous system’s chief inhibitory neurotransmitter, playing a central role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the body and regulating muscle tone. (Wikipedia, 2015)
Many physiological and psychological processes associated with depression, including negative ruminations, can be traced to a deficiency in the neurotransmitter GABA. Microbes that actively secrete GABA in the gut have been identified by researchers. Chief among them are strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Bifidobacterium longum has anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antimutagenic properties and may protect you from developing colon cancer.  It’s present in breast milk and is one of the first probiotics to colonize a newborn’s gut.

 

Emmenthaler Cheese
(Source: cheesecrafters.ca)
(Source: cheesecrafters.ca)

 

Swiss and Emmenthaler cheeses contain Lactobacillus helveticus. (We’re talking about real cheeses, not the tasteless, processed kinds often found prepackaged in the US.)

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

Bifodobacterium longum is found in unprocessed yogurts, various types of fermented dairy foods (kefir’s a good choice), and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut.
(Source: www.rsc.org)
(Source: www.rsc.org)
Good news for those of us who love dark chocolate: The plentiful polyphenols in dark chocolate serve as PREbiotics, nourishing the beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium  in our guts.  (Davidson, 2014) The higher the cacao and lower the sugar content the better. Organic and fair trade also if possible.
Both L. helveticus and B. longum can also be taken as supplements.

 

 

 

 

MOOD, OXYTOCIN AND LACTOBACILLUS REUTERI

 

(Source: www.bbc.co.uk)
(Source: www.bbc.co.uk)
A team of biologists at MIT found that another probiotic strain, Lactobacillus reuteri, improved mood, restored a youthful appearance to the skin, and promoted general health by increasing levels of oxytocin, the love hormone. (Davidson, 2015)
L. reuteri is one of the fastest colonizing probiotic bacteria available. This is a good thing – colonizing probiotic strains of bacteria in your gut can restore your health.

 

 

 

 

ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND LACTOBACILLUS RHAMNOSUS (Davidson, 2014) (Mercola, 2011) (Saey, 2011)

 

(Source: www.drperlmutter.com)
(Source: www.drperlmutter.com)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a bacterial strain that has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in anxious mice.
GABA, the central nervous system’s principal inhibitory neurotransmitter, regulates many physiological and psychological processes in the body. Alterations in GABA receptor expression are linked to the the development of anxiety and depression.
Study results published in 2011 shed light on exactly how L. rhamnosus in the gut impacts the brain’s chemistry.
The researchers found that the probiotic L. rhamnosus markedly affected GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.
When the vagus nerve was severed, GABA receptor levels and the animals’ behavior remained unchanged after treatment with L. rhamnosus, confirming that the vagus nerve is most likely the primary pathway of communication between the bacteria in the gut and the brain.
The researchers allow that the vagus nerve is the obvious communication route but perhaps not the only one, that messaging may also occur via other nerves or chemicals in the blood.
If you doubt there’s a direct connection between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health, keep in mind that functional bowel disorders and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are generally comorbid (they generally occur together).

Strains of L. rhamnosus  are found in some dairy products such as live culture yogurts, cheeses (eg, real Parmigiano Reggiano), and kefir. They’re also found in fermented dry sausages and some fermented soy cheeses. (Panyko, 2015)

 

 

 

PAIN, CHRONIC FATIGUE, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus improves the functioning of canabinoid receptors in the spinal cord that are important for regulating pain perception. (Davidson, 2014)
A 2009 study to see if treatment with live L. acidophilus was helpful for chronic fatigue syndrome and the depression that’s part of it showed promising results. When the researchers supplemented chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers with a live casie strain of L. acidophilus for two months, they saw a significant decrease in the subjects’ depression, anxiety, and general emotional distress. (Rao et al, 2009)
Food sources of L. acidophilus include live culture yogurt and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut, sauerkraut juice, kimchi, miso, chutneys, and kefir.

 

 

SEROTININ, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS

 

(Source: www.amazon.com)
(Source: www.amazon.com)
A number of microbes can produce other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. For example, Bifidobacterium infantis, taken as an probotic, alters serotonin levels – just like Prozac but without the undesirable side effects. (Davidson, 2014)
Bifidobacterium infantis has been clinically demonstrated to be very good at reducing the symptoms caused by chronic immune activation in the gut, autoimmune diseases, and excessive cortisol release. So it, along with some other probiotic bacteria, is a good choice for people with leaky gut, IBS, IBD, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. (Nootriment, 2015)
Infantis in this bacteria’s name indicates that it’s a strain vitally important for infant health.  B. infantis is usually one of the first probiotics mothers pass on to their babies during vaginal births. Many scientists and doctors therefore recommend that pregnant women take it as a supplement.
The main benefit from B. infantis is to improve digestion and protect us against infection and sickness. It has also been shown to fight allergies and prevent kidney stones. It accomplishes all this by producing large amounts of acid to make our digestive tracts and vaginas inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria and parasites. (Jerkunica, 2015)

 

 

 

(Source: www.starrybrook.com)
(Source: www.starrybrook.com)

 

 

 

 

 

FERMENTED FOODS

(Source: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com)
(Source: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com)

 

NOTE:
If you’ve decided to add ready-made fermented foods like sauerkraut or pickles to your diet for their probiotic benefits, remember it’s only the truly fermented versions that are helpful. The ones made with vinegar, although they may say ‘pickled’ on their labels, aren’t actually fermented and don’t offer any probiotic or enzymatic benefits. Look for the fermented versions in the refrigerated areas in stores.
Fermented foods contain living cultures. Refrigeration slows down the fermentation process. The brine may be cloudy – full of lactic acid bacterial growth (the desirable probiotics) created during fermentation. The jar lids may be slightly swollen from the  ongoing fermentation process. Fermented pickles have a complex taste – they’re alive on your tongue. Pickles made with vinegar taste like vinegar.

 

904e4a80c69ade6cdc800d4c0bbf9e3d
Years ago, when I was living in Cambridge, MA, my neighborhood grocery store was Savenor’s. Mrs Savenor kept a huge, wooden pickle barrel next to the checkout counter.  The top of the barrel was open. The brine was cloudy, sometimes scummy looking, and every once in a while the barrel emitted a big belch of gas. I thought the whole thing was unsanitary and never bought her pickles. Now I wish I’d known then what I’ve since learned about the benefits of that living culture.
Savenor’s was also where Julia Child shopped for her meats. The Childs lived in the neighborhood of beautiful big houses on the north side of Kirkland Street. I was in the neighborhood of old apartment buildings on the south side of Kirkland, where students and other people with little money lived.
Here’s a fond memoir about Mrs Savenor by one of her grandsons, Alan Savenor: How a Matriarch Ran Savenor’s. She was a character. Reputedly, she’d smuggled her young boys out of Lithuania by walking across the border with them under her voluminous, floor length skirt when the Nazis set about exterminating all the Jews there.

 

1165_Savenor_1

 

 

 

For those of you interested in improving your gut microbiomes and overall health by eating probiotic-rich foods, here’s a good article on Probiotics & Fermented Foods written by the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop.

 

 

(Source: fundrazr.com)
(Source: fundrazr.com)

 

 

 

YOUR BRAIN ON BUGS

This is what pioneering Integrative Health doc J. E. Williams, OMD, has to say about psychobiotics and how best to get them into your body:
“Microbiota, those microscopic bugs that live in your body—mainly in the gut—can influence brain chemistry and consequently behavior. We know that Clostridium difficile, the nasty gut hospital-based gut infection that kills 14,000 people each year in the U.S., is associated with depression and dementia. Two antidepressants, mirtazapine (Remeron) and fluoxetine (Prozac), are linked to a nearly 50 percent increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection.
“Doctors have long known that foods and changes in the gastrointestinal system are associated with mood changes. Does the pathway to happiness actually exist in your gut?

Sources of Psychobiotics

“Probiotics come in a variety of forms, from powders and capsules to foods such as yogurt, dairy drinks, infant formulas, cheese, and even some energy snack bars. Any of these forms may be effective for digestive problems as long as they contain the right kind of beneficial organisms in adequate numbers.
“In my clinical experience, I’ve found that supplements with live friendly bacteria in high dosages are more effective for treatment of depression, immune deficiency, and gastrointestinal problems then consuming yogurt or fermented vegetables alone.

Friendly Psychobiotics

  • Bacteriodies fragilis
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus brevis

Brain-Immune-Gut Axis

“We’re finding that most diseases, including psychiatric illnesses, have inflammation as their root cause. Inflammation is associated with immune system imbalance and disruption of hormone activity. Probiotics may also influence how your genes work. Psychobiotics could target genes responsible influencing neurotransmitters like GABA that have a strong connection to mood and behavior.
“We know that “gluten brain” is a type of mental fog common in people with gluten sensitivity. People with gluten sensitivity feel better when eliminating wheat, but the benefit is limited. If you have tried the gluten-free diet and wonder what’s next, consider psychobiotics
“The autonomic nervous system links the brain and gut largely through the vagus nerve. More than 90 percent of the body’s serotonin, a feel good neurotransmitter, lies within the gut. In fact, your gut has a mind of its own and it’s called the enteric nervous system.
“Changes in diet have immediate effects on the bacterial composition in your gut. Antibiotics have disastrous effects on gut bacteria. Now we have good research and more than enough clinical evidence that specialized probiotic bacteria are essential for health, and also profoundly influence mood.
“So, it’s not surprising that when your gut is healthier, so is your brain and mood. Your immune system works better too, so you have fewer episodes of the cold and/or flu.”
– Williams, 2014

 

 

 

 

IS YOUR FATE IN YOUR GENES?: GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS

 

Time_DNA_Destiny_Cover

 

If there’s been mental illness – say depression, anxiety or panic disorder, OCD, autism, schizophrenia – in your family as far back as anyone can remember, you needn’t feel that you or your children are doomed. Genetics is the study of genes, heredity, and genetic variation in living organisms. Epigenetics is the study of factors that turn genes on and off and affect how cells read genes.
Your genetics account for only 25% of the chance you’ll develop a disease. The other 75% is environmental (both internal and external) and therefore largely up to you. So take very good care of your gut microbiome. Provide it with lots of good microbes (probiotics and psychobiotics) to keep a good balance in there and avoid the bad ones (bacterial pathogens and other toxins) as much as possible.
This is also true of genetic predispositions for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer,  and pretty much every other illness. You are not a prisoner of your genes. Probiotics influence activity in our genes, allowing them to express their contents in a positive, disease-fighting manner.
Research has shown that probiotic bacteria produce positive changes in the mucosal lining of the small intestines which affect gene activity and cellular reactions.

“Consumption of a dairy drink containing three strains of probiotic bacteria was associated with changes in the activity of hundreds of genes, with the changes resembling the effects of certain medicines in the human body, including medicines that positively influence the immune system and those for lowering blood pressure.”

– Mercola, 2010

 

 

 

a0ac7e351844f2584c807e6fb546da39

 

 

STAY TUNED! There’s lots of good research being done now on the relationship between probiotics in the gut,  mood – and pretty much every other working of the body.

 

 

 

(Source: www.medscape.com)
(Source: www.medscape.com)

 

 

Many thanks to both Liz Poirier and Alex Tatusian for pointing me to the New York Times Magazine article by Peter Andrey Smith, which prompted this post: Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?  It’s very good and I recommend reading it.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Berglund, C. (2013).  Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1: 5 simple ways to lower your cortisol levels without drugs. See: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

Davidson, J. (2014). Nature’s Bounty: The Psychobiotic Revolution. Psychology Today. See: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201404/natures-bounty-the-psychobiotic-revolution

Dinan, T.G., Stanton, C., Cryan, J.F. (2013). Psychobiotics: A Novel Class of Psychotropic. Biological Psychiatry: A Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Therapeutics. See: http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(13)00408-3/abstract

Hsiao, E.Y. et al. (2013). Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Cell, 155:7, 1451-63. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24315484

Jerkunica, E. (2015). Facts About B. Infantis Probiotic Strain. See: http://probiotics.org/9-health-benefits-of-bifidobacterium-infantis/

Mercola, R. (2010). The Healing Power of Probiotics Impresses Researchers. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/11/probiotics-healing-power-impresses-researchers.aspx

Mercola, R. (2011). Hike Up Your Happy Hormones With Probiotic Supplements. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/22/this-supplement-can-actually-make-you-happy.aspx

Messaoudi, M. et al. (2011). Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 105:5, 755-64. See

Nootriment. (2015). Bifidobacterium Infantis Probiotic Supplements Review. See: http://nootriment.com/bifidobacterium-infantis/

Panyko, J. (2015). Lactobacillus rhamnosus: Probiotic Bacteria with Impressive Health Benefits. See: http://www.powerofprobiotics.com/Lactobacillus-rhamnosus.html

Rao, A.V. et al. (2009). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Gut Pathogens, 1:6. See: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/1/1/6

Sacramento Natural Foods Coop. (undated). Probiotics & Fermented Foods. See: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=438%3Aprobiotics-a-fermented-foods&catid=59%3Aconsumer-guides&lang=us&Itemid=65

Saey, T. H. (2011). Belly bacteria boss the brain: Gut microbes can change neurochemistry and influence behavior. Science. News. See: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/belly-bacteria-boss-brain

Savenor, A. (2013). How a Matriarch Ran Savenor’s. See: http://www.theeditorial.com/think/2013/12/10/how-a-matriarch-ran-savenors

Smith, P.A. (6/28/2015). Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? New York Times Magazine. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/magazine/can-the-bacteria-in-your-gut-explain-your-mood.html?_r=1

Wikipedia. (6/23/2015). gamma-Aminobutyric acid. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid

Williams, J.E. (2014). YOUR BRAIN ON BUGS—WILL BACTERIA BE THE NEXT TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION? See: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2014/02/28/your-brain-on-bugs-will-bacteria-be-the-next-treatment-for-anxiety-and-depression

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

GLUTEN INTOLERANCE IS REAL

 

 

(Source: carrotstick.dk)
(Source: carrotstick.dk)

 

 

GLUTEN: WHAT IS IT AND WHERE IS IT FOUND?

Gluten is a protein composite comprised of gliadin and glutelin, conjoined with starch, in the endosperm of various grass-related grains, such as wheat, barley and rye.  Gluten is what makes bread dough elastic, helps it rise and keep it’s shape, and gives it a pleasantly chewy texture. Gluten is also used now in a large numbers foods as a thickener, binder, flavor enhancer and protein supplement.
Along with the obvious sources such as breads, cakes and pasta, you’ll encounter gluten  hidden in many processed foods – salad dressings, soups, beer, some chocolates, some licorice, flavored coffees and teas, imitation bacon bits and seafood, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, sauces, marinades, gravies, seasonings, soy sauce. See Hidden Sources of Gluten: How to recognize gluten that’s not obvious on the label for a fairly comprehensive list.

 

 

Processed-food-and-gluten-free

Gluten is also found in a variety of pharmaceuticals (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ARTICLE THAT WAS THE IMPETUS FOR THIS POST ON GLUTEN

 

(Source: The New Yorker)
(Source: The New Yorker)

 

 

Michael Specter’s article about gluten in The New Yorker‘s food issue (11/3/2014) so irritated me I felt compelled to address the misinformation in it. The article is called Against the Grain: Should you go gluten-free? . (Specter, 11/3/2014)
Specter has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. His writings focus on science and technology as well as global public health. He has also written for The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Looking him up after finishing the article, I was amazed to learn that he was also the author of a book published in 2009 entitled Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. Despite my hopeful reaction to the word ‘denialism’ in the title, I learned from its review on Amazon that the denial Specter was addressing in this book is Americans’ growing mistrust of science.
So now the focus of this New Yorker article makes sense – he’s a true believer in the gods of modern science, technology and ‘progress’. From the Amazon review of Denialism:

“In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and ‘natural’ cures have almost no value, and often cause harm…. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed…. As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress.”

 

 

(Source: www.flickriver.com)
(Source: www.flickriver.com)
In the New Yorker article, Specter takes a belittling tone toward the many people who are finding their physicians unable or unwilling to help them track down the root cause of their various ill health symptoms so take over that search themselves.
But does it strike YOU as the least bit odd for people to look elsewhere when they realize they’re not getting adequate advice from their doctors, not being believed when they report noticing correlations between eating X and feeling Y afterwards, or – even worse – being given drugs for what ails them, only to develop other symptoms on top of the ones they already reported?
That was certainly my experience with the allergies I suffered with for 40 years. All my doctors ever offered me were various antihistamines and decongestants – and eventually surgery when my body had become so inflamed polyps were growing inside my sinuses making it difficult to breathe. I had horrible reactions to all the drugs and none of them stopped my allergies. After the second nasal polyp surgery, I told my ENT doc that I wasn’t willing to live like that anymore and was going to find a way to fix my allergies rather than just try to treat their symptoms. He was smart and a really good human being. His response was, “I believe you. Will you let me know when you’ve figured it out?” That conversation took place about 35 years ago and my journey to figure it out led to this website.
BTW, my other experiences over the years trying to get help with my own and my family’s autoimmune and other health problems were pretty much the same as the allergies tale above until I basically stopped seeing MDs and started working with so-called ‘alternative’ health care providers who knew about identifying and correcting underlying causes rather than treating symptoms.
So it makes sense to ME that many people have decided to eliminate gluten from their diets to see if that might help. We know something is wrong and we want help getting better and then staying healthy. If we were getting adequate guidance from our doctors, we wouldn’t be so inclined to look for it elsewhere.
Please note that I am NOT saying physicians are evil or stupid. What I AM saying is that too few of them understand much about nutrition or inflammatory processes in the gut and many of them practice exactly as they were trained, in a medical model focusing on identifying diseases after they’ve developed and then treating symptoms with drugs or surgery while ignoring what’s producing those symptoms – and this is not helping us get or stay well.
This Western Medical approach also costs a bundle of money and causes a lot of unnecessary suffering.

 

(Source: cabralwellnessinstitute.com)
(Source: cabralwellnessinstitute.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TESTS FOR GLUTEN SENSITIVITY AND ALLERGY

 

 

(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)
(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)

 

Specter writes, “At present, there are no blood tests, biopsies, genetic markers, or antibodies that can confirm a diagnosis of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.” This claim is  incorrect.
An example: Cell Science Systems is a company offering a blood test for food sensitivity/intolerance and celiac disease risk factors.
From the Cell Science Systems website:

CSS has developed the only gut health profile (GHP) that evaluates the GI tract on a genetic, antibody and cellular level. Nowhere else can you test specific genetic predisposition to celiac disease as well as antibody testing and immune system activation to food sensitivities. Understand your genetic based risk of celiac disease

  • Non celiac reactions to gluten, known as Test for Food Sensivity/intolerance
  • Determines genetic based risk for celiac disease
  • One simple blood draw
  • Comprehensive genetic, antibody, and cellular analysis

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present. Celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 people, or close to 1% of the population. However, few people – some estimates are as few as 5% of the total – know they have the condition.

Test for Food Sensivity, also known as non-celiac Test for Food Sensivity or sometimes gluten intolerance, has been recently recognized as a stand-alone condition by the medical community. Many believe that Test for Food Sensitivity involves a different immune system reaction than celiac disease. A team of researchers, led by Dr. Alessio Fasano, hypothesizes that a person with Test for Food Sensitivity experiences a direct reaction to gluten – i.e., your body views the protein as an invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside your digestive tract.

Food sensitivity/intolerance is a non-IgE mediated reaction involving the innate immune system’s response to foods that are otherwise safe. The Alcat Test is considered the, “gold standard” laboratory method for identification of non-IgE mediated reactions to over 400 different foods, chemicals, and other categories of substances. It is a functional response test and captures the final common pathway of many of the pathogenic mechanisms, immunologic, toxic, and pharmacologic, that underlie non-IgE mediated reactions to foods and chemicals.

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: lactosesintolerances.blogspot.com)
(Source: lactosesintolerances.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

COMMON SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH GLUTEN INTOLERANCE AND SENSITIVITY (Camp, 2012) (EnteroLab, 2014)

GI: Digestive problems, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel
Physical and Neurological: Headaches, cognitive impairment, brain fog, mood swings, depression, ADHD-like behavior
Bones and Joints: Osteoporosis, fractures, bone and joint pain
Skin: Eczema, psoriasis, rashes, easy bruising
Reproductive: Hormone imbalances, menstrual irregularities, infertility
General: Chronic fatigue, weight loss or gain

This table from the Wall Street Journal differentiates between gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and celiac disease.

 

against-the-grain

 

 

GLUTEN FREE PROCESSED FOODS

Specter expends some energy attacking the gluten free foods industry. I have to agree with him here. Of course trying to replace gluten-containing foods with a bunch of seemingly familiar gluten-free substitutes isn’t going to improve anyone’s health. As he points out, processed foods loaded with sugar, fats, non-gluten-containing refined carbohydrates and salt are quite just plain unhealthy.

 

 

(Source: simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com)
(Source: simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com)

 

What’s needed is a return to eating real, unprocessed, nutrient-filled, non-GMO  foods grown without a load of toxic pesticides.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT COULD IT BE IN GLUTEN THAT’S CAUSING SO MANY PEOPLE TO REACT BADLY TO IT?

 

Specter poses the reasonable question, “How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening?” After going through some possible clues to answering his question, he ends up focusing on what he calls “gluten anxiety” and classifies it as a food fad.
He says, “Doctors rarely diagnose non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and many don’t believe that it exists.” He goes on to quote Joseph A. Murray, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease: “Everyone is trying to figure out what is going on, but nobody in medicine, at least not in my field, thinks this adds up to anything like the number of people who say they feel better when they take gluten out of their diet. It’s hard to put a number on these things, but I would have to say that at least seventy percent of it is hype and desire. There is just nothing obviously related to gluten that is wrong with most of these people.”
Specter also interviewed Peter H. R. Green, MD, Director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University, and Attending Physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr Green is recognized as a prominent celiac doctor. Green told Specter, “In the absence of celiac disease, physicians don’t usually tell people they are sensitive to gluten. This is becoming one of the most difficult problems that I face in my daily practice.”
Dr Green then goes on to rail against  chiropractors and psychiatrists who suggest giving up gluten to their patients to see if their symptoms reduce.
It seems both Specter and Dr Green are unaware that many chiropractors are highly trained in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of health problems – including digestive issues, allergies and food sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, chronic inflammation, migraines, sinus and respiratory problems, insomnia and other sleep problems, thyroid conditions, elevated cholesterol, fertility problems, PMS, PCOS, and symptoms that are unresolved after repeatedly seeking help from MDs.

 

 

 

(Source: becuo.com)
(Source: becuo.com)
Specter and Dr Green also seem oblivious to the existence of research on the connections between the probiotics in our intestinal microbiota and mental health. Here are a few examples, including one specifically about gluten and mental health:

Selhub et al. (2014). Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry

Ji, S. (2013). 60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia

Bested et al. (2013). Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health

In fact, it’s likely that the future of psychotropic medicine will be diet and microbes like probiotics, not pharmaceuticals. We’re learning that what we eat and the micro-organisms living inside our guts strongly influence both our mental and physical health.
Pharmaceuticals given for problems like depression and anxiety work this way:

 

(Source: drsaulmarcus.com)
(Source: drsaulmarcus.com)

 

 

Symptom suppression certainly doesn’t address the underlying causes of anything. Correcting imbalances in the gut microbiome does. And also, as anyone who’s ever taken pharmaceuticals knows, they’re sort of poisonous – producing “side effects”. Working to get your gut bacteria and the other micro critters in there to work well addresses your health problems directly and doesn’t involve introducing any poisons.
Stay tuned – there’s some exciting research underway now on the gut microbiome and all that it influences.

 

(Source: tv.greenmedinfo.com)
Kelley Brogan, MD. (Source: tv.greenmedinfo.com)
Kelly Brogan, MD, is a psychiatrist who has looked extensively at the literature on gluten’s effects on the brain. She points out that gluten produces considerable inflammation in the body. It is well known that chronic inflammation leads to all sorts of autoimmune diseases and other serious problems. Her excellent and informative article This Is Your Gut (and Brain) on Wheat lays out a clear explanation of what happens in the body when it consumes gluten. Specter and Green’s annoying comments about psychiatrists who talk about gluten with their ailing patients aside, I highly recommend taking a look at this short article. (Brogan, 2013)

 

 

And-then

So back to Specter’s question from the beginning of this section:  What could have turned gluten into a widespread, serious health problem in the US in recent years.
Here’s a likely answer: the widespread use of the toxic chemical glyphosate.

 

 

(Source: gmo-awareness.com)
(Source: gmo-awareness.com)

 

 

Even though wheat is not a genetically modified crop, Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killer, Roundup, is widely used on wheat fields before harvests to ‘dry down’ the wheat and even organic wheat fields are often  contaminated with glyphosate from poor farming practices.  (Shilhavy, 2014)
From Shilhavy’s article, ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide:

In fact, beer brewers are having a problem with glyphosate. A few years ago, when one of my colleagues wanted to get more Abraxis test strips for testing materials for glyphosate residue, he was told that they had a 3 month backlog. He asked, what was causing this? He was told that every load of malt barley coming out of North Dakota has to be tested, because the glyphosate levels were so high that it kills the yeast in the brew mix.

 

 

contaminated_wheat_grain

 

 

The graph below plots celiac incidence against the use of glyphosate on wheat crops  between 1990 and 2010. You can see the two rising in tandem.  In fact, the connection between glyphosate and celiac disease correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on either corn or soy, crops which are largely genetically modified to be able to tolerate heavy applications of Roundup.

 

Celiac Incidence/ Glyphosate Applied to Wheat 1990-2010

(Sources: USDA:NASS, CDC. Figure courtesy of Nancy Swanson)
(Sources: USDA:NASS, CDC. Figure courtesy of Nancy Swanson)
This graph appears in an article called Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology.  (Samsel & Seneff, 2013)
From the article’s abstract:

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup(®), is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria….  Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest…. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.

I also recommend taking a look at this article: Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Radically Increased Celiac Disease (Mercola, 2014)

 

Stephanie Seneff, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at M.I.T.
Stephanie Seneff, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at M.I.T.

 

 

 

 

 

AND BTW, THERE’S EVIDENCE THAT SIMPLY AVOIDING GLUTEN DOESN’T SUFFICE FOR HEALING CELIAC DISEASE (Reasoner, 2014)

Here’s a shocker that challenges current medical advice for celiacs –
The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, one of the US’s leading treatment and research center for Celiac Disease, reports:

“While healing may take up to 2 years for many older adults, new research shows that the small intestines of up to 60% of adults never completely heal, especially when adherence to the diet is less than optimal.”

If you’re struggling with celiac disease, you might want to read Jordan Reasoner’s interesting article The Gluten-Free Lie: Why Most Celiacs are Slowly Dying.
From Reasoner’s article:

Conventional medicine usually works like this…

I have a problem, the doctor figures out what the problem is, and gives me a conventional prescription generally supported by Doctors, researchers, and the FDA.

This prescription is supposed to be relatively safe and effective in accordance with the laws in the United States and most modern countries.

But what if the conventional prescription doesn’t work?

Like people with Celiac Disease that follow a strict gluten-free diet and don’t get better….

 

Only 8% of Adult Patients Healed on a Gluten-Free Diet…

A 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at 465 Celiac Disease patients and found only 8% of adult patients reached “histological normalization” after following a gluten-free diet for 16 months, meaning their gut tissue completely recovered to that of a healthy person. The authors stated:

“Complete normalization of duodenal lesions is exceptionally rare in adult coeliac patients despite adherence to GFD”

These people followed a strict gluten-free diet for 16 months and most didn’t heal their gut. The success rate of the conventional Celiac Disease prescription isn’t working… and the research is exploding the truth.

Another 2010 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at 381 adults with biopsy-proven Celiac Disease. The authors found small intestine mucosal recovery occurred in only 34% of participants following a gluten-free diet for 2 years. They concluded:

“Mucosal recovery was absent in a substantial portion of adults with CD after treatment with a GFD.”

 

65% of Gluten-Free Celiacs Still Have a Raging Fire in Their Gut

The same 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics of 465 Celiac Disease patients 16 months gluten-free found that 65% still had “persistent intraepithelial lymphocytosis,” a.k.a. inflammation in the gut.

 

This is highly significant. It is well known that gut inflammation is associated with a huge variety of health issues, including all the autoimmune diseases and cancer. So if celiacs follow their doctors’ advice and only avoid gluten but are still at high risk for  chronic  gut inflammation, they are definitely not healed and will never achieve good health.
Again from Reasoner’s article:
56% Have Poor Vitamin Status After 10 Years Gluten-Free

A 2002 study in the of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at the vitamin status of 30 adults with Celiac Disease showing “biopsy-proven remission,” after following a gluten-free diet for 8-12 years. They found that 56% had poor vitamin status, suggesting that proper nutrient uptake is not occurring. The authors concluded that:

“It is generally assumed that coeliac patients adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for years will consume a diet that is nutritionally adequate. This is supported by the demonstration of a normal bone mineral density up to 10 years of dietary treatment. Our results may indicate otherwise. We found signs indicative of a poor vitamin status in 56% of treated adult coeliac patients.”

Even after following the conventional Celiac prescription for 10 years, 56% still showed signs of poor nutrient uptake – meaning their digestive system still isn’t working like it’s designed to.

That means after 10 years of being gluten-free, HALF of all Celiacs are likely starving for the critical nutrients required for health and longevity. It’s no wonder we have a 77X increased risk for lymphoma.

 

 

(Source: whole9life.com)
(Source: whole9life.com)

 

 

(Source: www.precisionnutrition.com)
(Source: www.precisionnutrition.com)
The Gluten-Free Diet Doesn’t Fix Leaky Gut
Reasoner discusses the role of gliadin (gluten is comprised of gliadin and glutenin in equal parts) in initiating leaky gut* by increasing the zonulin** protein in celiacs. Zonulin levels do fall in celiacs following a strict gluten free diet – but a gluten free diet doesn’t eliminate leaky gut. Gluten free celiacs continue to have elevated levels of zonulin compared to non-celiacs.

 

(Source: www.radiancehealthcenter.com)

* Leaky Gut Syndromes are clinical disorders associated with increased intestinal permeability. These disorders include inflammatory and infectious bowel diseases, chronic inflammatory arthrititis, cryptogenic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and dermatitis herpetiformis, many diseases triggered by food allergy or specific food intolerance, including eczema, urticaria, and irritable bowel syndrome, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndromes, chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic carcinoma.  (Galland, undated)

 

 

(Source: healthbeginsathome.com)
(Source: healthbeginsathome.com)

 

** Zonulin is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. (Wikipedia, 8/21/14)

I highly recommend looking at Reasoner’s site for information on what, besides avoiding gluten, is necessary to fix Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Dr Galland’s piece on LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE is a bit technical and was apparently posted in the early 1990s but even if you skip over those parts, you’ll learn a great deal about how to protect or restore your health.

 

 

(Source: www.drsharma.ca)
(Source: www.drsharma.ca)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bested, A.C. et al. (2013). Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health.Gut Pathogens, 5:3 See: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/5/1/3

Brogan, K. (2013). This Is Your Body (and Brain) on Gluten. See: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/your-body-and-brain-gluten

Camp, M. (2012). The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease. See: https://drmorgancamp.wordpress.com/tag/gluten/

Cell Science Systems. (2014). Test for Food Sensivity/intolerance and celiac disease risk factors with one convenient laboratory test. See: https://www.alcat.com/landing/gluten-sensitivity-test.php

EnteroLab. (2014). Which Test to Order. EnteroLab: Specialized Laboratory Testing for Optimal Intestinal and Overall Health. See: https://www.enterolab.com/staticpages/testtoorder.aspx

Galland, L. (undated). LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE. See: http://www.mdheal.org/leakygut.htm

Hatfield, H. (2014). Hidden Sources of Gluten: How to recognize gluten that’s not obvious on the label. WebMD. See: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/hidden-sources-of-gluten

Mercola, R. (2014). Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Radically Increased Celiac Disease. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/14/glyphosate-celiac-disease-connection.aspx?e_cid=20140914Z1_SNL_Art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140914Z1&et_cid=DM55859&et_rid=658330142

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. (2014). Gluten in Medications: NFCA and the Pharmaceutical Industry. See: http://www.celiaccentral.org/gluteninmeds/Pharmacy/321/

Reasoner, J. (2014). The Gluten-Free Lie: Why Most Celiacs are Slowly Dying. SCD Lifestyle. See: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/

Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 6(4):159-84. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678255

Selhub, E.M. et al. (2014). Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry.Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 33:2. See: http://www.jphysiolanthropol.com/content/33/1/2

Shilhavy, B. (2014). ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide. HealthImpactNews.com. See: http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/alert-certified-organic-food-grown-in-u-s-found-contaminated-with-glyphosate-herbicide/

Specter, M. (2009). Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594202303/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

Specter, M. (11/3/2014). Against the Grain: Should you go gluten-free? The New Yorker. See: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/03/grain

Wikipedia. (8/21/2014). Zonulin. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zonulin

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission

 

 

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HOW AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES DEVELOP

Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing auto-antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune diseases are generally classified as systemic (those that damage more than one organ or part of the body) or localized (those that damage a single organ or type of tissue). This distinction is somewhat artificial since localized autoimmune disorders often extend beyond the targeted tissues, indirectly affecting other organs and systems. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2014)

 

 

(Source: www.nj.com)
(Source: www.nj.com)

 

 

In a scientific literature review article entitled The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system, the authors examined articles on atopic* diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and treatment of these conditions with probiotics. They  concluded that the evidence strongly points to the intestinal microflora’s having important “protective, metabolic, trophic** and immunological functions” and that the micro-organisms comprising the gut microbiome are “able to establish a ‘cross-talk’ with the immune component of mucosal immunity…. When one or more steps in this fine interaction fail, autoimmune or auto-inflammatory diseases may occur. Furthermore, it results from the data that probiotics, used for the treatment of the diseases caused by the dysregulation of the immune system, can have a beneficial effect.” (Purchiaroni et al, 2013)
* Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions
** Trophic: Of or relating to nutrition; promoting cellular growth, differentiation, and survival

 

(Source; www.slideshare.net)
(Source; www.slideshare.net)

 

 

Here’s my short hand version of the process:
Chronic unbalance in the content of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) –> leaky gut –> chronic inflammation, which eventually –> one or more autoimmune diseases.
Some examples of autoimmune diseases:
  •  Acne
  •  Allergies
  •  Asthma
  •  Cardiac myopathy
  •  Celiac disease
  •  Chronic inflammatory liver disease (autoimmune hepatitis)
  •  Eczema
  •  Lupus
  •  Lyme disease, chronic
  •  Multiple sclerosis
  •  Peripheral neuropathy
  •  Psoriasis
  •  Psoriatic arthritis
  •  Raynaud’s phenomenon
  •  Rheumatic fever
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis
  •  Rosacea
  •  Scleroderma
  •  Ulcerative colitis
  •  Vitiligo
See AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS for a more complete list of the autoimmune disorders and more information about them.

(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)
(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)

 

 

 

 

HOW TO PUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES IN REMISSION

In talking about how to prevent autoimmune diseases disorders and how to reverse them if you’re already suffering with one or more, I’m going to focus on the work of a very smart scientist, writer and mother, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne in this discussion. As you read on, you’ll see why.

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, earned a doctorate in medical biophysics at the age of 26 and then spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After the birth of her second child, she began experimenting with the Paleo lifestyle – which greatly improved her health.
Over time, she healed herself of a long list of autoimmune conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and Lichen Planus (an inflammatory skin condition).
Inspired by this success, Dr. Ballantyne created the popular health blog ThePaleoMom.com and became co-host of a top-rated podcast, The Paleo View.
Ballantyne is passionate about providing straightforward explanations of the science behind her diet and lifestyle recommendations for managing autoimmune disease. A lover of food and cooking, the next logical step for her was to write a book called The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. (Ballantyne, 2014b) This was soon followed by a companion book called The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul (Ballantyne, 2014c)

 

 

 

(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)
(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com )
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

 

From Amazon.com’s description of The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body:

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you’re among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that’s no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as “healthy”—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Find out which simple lifestyle changes—along with changes in diet—will make the biggest difference for your health….

Simple strategies for lifestyle adjustments, including small steps that can make a huge difference, guide you through the most important changes to support healing.

Do you have a complicated condition that requires medical intervention, medication, or supplements? Dr. Ballantyne also walks you through the most useful medical tests, treatments, and supplements (as well as the most counterproductive ones) to help you open a dialogue with your physician.

 

 

 

(Source; consciouslifenews.com)
(Source; consciouslifenews.com)

 

This comment about Ballantyne’s first book on its Amazon.com page struck me as summing up the battle against autoimmune diseases – and sound advice on how to live a satisfying life in general. The writer describes how she used Ballantyne’s guidelines to make her autoimmune diseases go into remission and get her life back on track. The comment is long but I think very much worth reading:

 

How The Paleo Approach Saved My Health (after years of low-carb paleo)

By Stacy & Matt, the Paleo Parents on January 28, 2014

 

paleo-parents2

 

While you all have waited patiently for years as Dr. Sarah Ballantyne wrote The Paleo Approach, I was lucky enough to begin following her protocol well before it was available to the public. I started my journey on healing when Practical Paleo first came out and I started with the methodologies Diane put forth for autoimmune conditions (autoimmune protocol: AIP).

Problem was, after following the AIP for nearly 3 months I wasn’t seeing healing. Some of the super negative symptoms were alleviated, like adrenal fatigue, clumps of hair falling out and terrible acne, but when I reintroduced foods I would get flares again. I distinctly remember it being SO. HARD. Like, temper tantrums in the car hard because everything, EVERYTHING I was used to eating had eggs or nightshades and I was overwhelmed at the idea of living the rest of my life that way. All of which contributed to my ongoing struggles with depression – the obsession with food was beginning to overwhelm me, it was starting to cause disordered eating again, as I looked for ways to “get around” the AIP.

I was so frustrated, I began talking with Sarah about what her thoughts and recommendations were. It was at this time that Sarah was hundreds of thousands of words deep into writing The Paleo Approach (no, seriously, it’s a tome). There were a few things she shared with me about what she found in the scientific literature about recommendations she was going to make, versus things I’d read in Practical Paleo and other resources.

And so it began, in 2013 I started following The Paleo Approach. Mostly this meant that I focused more on what to add to my diet instead of what to remove from it. Sarah and I talked every week on The Paleo View and nearly each episode each one of us would get more and more geeked out on nutrient-density, our new favorite word. We began exploring healing foods; Matt and I became so inspired that we wrote the nose-to-tail cookbook, Beyond Bacon – almost every recipe of which includes bone stock and/or lard (high in Vitamin D and easy for me to digest).

I’d been following a low-fat, low-carb version of paleo for years. Turns out, it made me sick. It affected my adrenals, thyroid function, and ability for my body to heal itself. I was nutrient-poor, despite eating what I thought was the best diet possible. Perhaps for some people eating that way is healthy for them, but for me as a busy woman with no gallbladder and previous metabolic syndrome, it ended up as a disaster long-term. Turns out, a high protein diet (especially when the protein is mostly poultry) wasn’t doing what I thought it was for my health. I got over my fear of fat and incorporated more nutrient-dense healing fats, specifically lard, coconut oil and ghee/butter (I was shocked how well I tolerated ghee and butter after a lifetime of being dairy intolerant). I switched my proteins to a majority of grass-fed red meat and pastured pork, added seafood and incorporated the true superfoods: organ meat and bone broth.

One of the things I learned from Sarah is the importance of vegetables. I’ve popularized #morevegetablesthanavegetarian in social media – but it was Sarah’s focus on the importance of vegetables – specifically a variety of colorful ones – that really made me focus on them. For a while, I’d actually reduced the types of vegetables I was eating because I wanted to stay away from foods high in insoluble fiber – which I personally let affect the quantity of veggies I was eating. When Sarah told me she had research that greens rich in insoluble fiber, even cruciferous ones, showed to be positive healing foods from her research it was a big change in how I approached nourishing myself. As I started adding in much more vegetables, especially leafy greens, it was amazing how much it affected my digestion and how I felt.

From the prior AIP protocol I was already consuming fermented foods rich in probiotics, which is another big important factor in helping to heal the gut through food. So then I turned to lifestyle factors.

I learned to love myself and let things go. I know… it’s hokey. And intangible. And something I can’t possibly define for you to replicate… although I’ve tried to articulate it a zillion times on The Paleo View. Stress Management was defined and something I began when I first started Practical Paleo`s AIP. But it’s not something one can fix overnight. Over time, and through Sarah’s repeated reminders of the scientific backing behind stress being a leading causes of health deterioration, I learned how to slay the stress monster.

First, I gave myself permission to do something(s) for me. Without guilt or remorse. It was really hard in the beginning to know I was missing out on time I could (or as I thought, should) be doing: helping with dinner, spending time with the kids, staying later at the office, etc. But then I realized I deserve to take care of the only body I’ll have to carry me through this life. My children deserve a role model to show them that sometimes it’s OK to stop and put the gas mask on yourself before helping others – I learned to take care of myself first before putting others ahead of me. This, was huge.

I learned to breathe. There was a point at which my stress levels had caused an eye twitch I couldn’t get rid of for months. And I had begun grinding my teeth and experiencing frequent headaches from it. I even had about a 6 week period of time where I was experiencing frequent anxiety attacks in crossfit, unable to breathe when something ended up being harder than I anticipated. It made me want to quit, and I’ve never been a quitter. It was at this time Sarah talked to me about relaxation techniques she highly encouraged. It was so bizarre for this scientist to be telling me to do some hokey-pokey-crunchy-granola-meditation… but she was right. My body was overwhelmed and needed a break. So several times a day I intentionally stood up and walked around the office, finding someone to smile with and change my environment while activating happy hormones. During crossfit I learned to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth with deep, intentional breaths. Soon, the twitching and anxiety attacks just went away!

I learned to let things go. This was the hardest for me and is something I’m still actively working on. I talk out loud about what I can or cannot do. It’s about acknowledgement, doing what you’re able the best you can, and then forgiveness. What a concept… all backed by science to help you be healthier!

Be positive! No, really. Of course not everything’s great. But almost everything has something positive about it. So I learned to frame things to myself positively and it helped me have an overall positive outlook and attitude.

Sarah goes over LOTS more stuff in The Paleo Approach but these are the things that I personally applied to my own life.

The results?

I’ve resolved ALL of the autoimmune related health issues I experienced in 2011 and 2012.

Let me restate that, because I want to make sure it’s heard. I no longer have symptoms of autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, micro-nutrient deficiencies, skin breakouts or depression (at all). My body has not only recovered fully from the autoimmune flare, but I’ve actually been able to heal my body even further – now able to consume foods like high quality heavy cream and cheeses without distress! And when accidentally exposed to gluten or intentionally eat things I know my body has a difficult time with (like nightshades or grains) I find each and every time my body responds better than the time before. I have successfully reintroduced nuts, seeds, chocolate, egg yolks and seed spices (all in moderation) but have found that egg whites and nightshade vegetables (except peeled white potatoes) are something I can not (yet) tolerate.

I plan to continue my healing journey and hope to be a role model for those out there with autoimmune conditions. Keeping in mind that 2 years ago I was depressed with barely enough energy to slog through the day (thyroid and adrenal issues), I now am a fully charged woman who manages this blog, a podcast, writing books, a full-time job, raising 3 boys AND am training for a StrongMan competition in just a few months. I’m happy to report that The Paleo Approach quite literally gave me my life back.

 

 

(Source: The Paleo Mom)
(Source: The Paleo Mom)

 

 

On her own  blog, ThePaleoMom.com, Sarah Ballantyne says this about how  autoimmune diseases develop and how to put them into remission (Ballantyne, 2014a):

Autoimmune disease is caused by the immune system losing the ability to differentiate proteins belonging to your own body with proteins belonging to a foreign invader (like a bacteria, virus or parasite). What causes symptoms is the build up of damage to cells, tissues and/or organs in the body–damage caused by your own immune system attacking those cells. Which proteins/cells are attacked is what separates once disease from another. In Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the thyroid gland is attacked. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the tissues of your joints are attacked. In psoriasis, proteins within the layers of cells that make up your skin are attacked. However, the root cause is the same.

Genetic predisposition to autoimmunity makes up about one third of your risk of developing an autoimmune disease. The other two thirds of your risk come from environmental factors, which include: diet, lifestyle, infections (both prior and persistent) exposure to toxins, hormones, weight, etc. While you cannot control your genetics or whether or not you had mono as a kid, you do have an immense amount of control over your diet and lifestyle (and the extent that these affect hormones and weight and even toxin exposure). By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal. By addressing important lifestyle factors and changing your focus to eating nutrient-dense foods that support optimal gut health (and optimal health of your gut microorganisms), that restore levels of important nutrients and provide all of the building blocks that your body needs to heal and properly regulate the immune system, that help resolve inflammation and support organ function, you create an environment in your body conducive to healing.

This is not a cure (once your body learns to attack itself, it can never un-learn this), but you can put your disease into remission, often permanently.

 

 

And a little humor to close:

 

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(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)
(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

American Association for Clinical Chemistry. (2014). Autoimmune disorders. Lab Tests Online. See: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/autoimmune/?gclid=CLOyz8GNy8ECFSZo7AodHwgAKQ

Ballantyne, S. (2014a). The Autoimmune Protocol. ThePaleoMom.com. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol

Ballantyne, S. (2014b). The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1936608391?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1936608391&linkCode=xm2&tag=wwwthepaleomo-20

Ballantyne, S. (2014c). The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul. See: http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Approach-Cookbook-Detailed-Nourish/dp/162860008X/ref=la_B00B0QLZ5W_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411740448&sr=1-2

Ballantyne, S. (2014d). The Paleo View Podcasts. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/podcast

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Autoimmune Disorders. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/autoimmune-conditions-diseases/

Purchiaroni, F. et al. (2013). The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 17:3, 323-33. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Climate Change Impacts Allergies and Asthma

 

 

images

 

 

Extreme weather events, from coastal flooding, intense heat, record amounts of rainfall in some areas and historic droughts in others, are becoming increasingly common as the Earth’s average temperature rises. The World Meteorological Organization has linked some of 2013’s most extreme weather events – think back to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as well as flooding in central Europe and record high temperatures in Australia, Asia and Africa to human-induced climate change. “There’s been a general disruption of nature,” says Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s health and environmental program. In may, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) released a comprehensive report on the impacts of climate change. It bluntly states: “Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and in some regions, more severe droughts.”

– Claire Cagne, Wild Weather & Our Allergies, Allergic Living, Summer 2014

 

This is very bad news for people with allergies and asthma – more moisture and higher temperatures mean increased levels of mold, pollen and air pollution.
Temperatures across the U.S. are projected to increase anywhere from 5-10  degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century so the challenges we encounter from climate change are likely to get worse. (Gagne, 2014)

 

 

 

 

allergies

 

AIR-BORNE ALLERGENS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

According to the EPA’s report on climate change and air-borne allergens, A Review of the Impact of Climate Variability and Change on Aeroallergens and Their Associated Effects (EPA, 2011):
  •  Aeroallergens include pollens, which can be produced by weeds, grasses and trees,   as well as molds, dust particles, ash and indoor allergens.
  • Aeroallergens such as dust, ragweed, pollen and molds impact half of all Americans.
  • Treatment for allergies in the US costs $21 billion annually.
  • Three major allergic diseases have been associated with exposure to aeroallergens: hay fever, asthma and eczema.  Collectively, these three allergic diseases rank sixth for annual expenditures among chronic health conditions in the United States.
  • Beyond the direct cost of medical care are the indirect, but substantial, costs associated with lost time at work, school and play.
  • Increases in temperature, carbon dioxide and precipitation will cause the proliferation of weedy plants that are known producers of allergenic pollen.  Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for plant growth.  Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation will cause some plants to grow faster, bloom earlier and produce more pollen.
  • Climate-related temperature changes are expected to increase the potency of airborne allergens, increasing the concentration of pollen in the air, the length of the allergy season and the strength of airborne allergens.
  • Climate change will allow allergen-producing plant species to move into new areas.
  • Wind-blown dust, carrying pollens and molds from outside of the United States, could expose people to allergens they had not previously contacted.  Exposure to more potent concentrations of pollen and mold may make current non-sufferers more likely to develop allergic symptoms.

 

 

Wildfires in Colorado, 2012
Wildfires in Colorado, 2012

 

 

Drought in California, 2014
Drought in California, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVIER, MORE FREQUENT RAINS PRODUCE MORE MOLD

 

 

Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012
Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012

 

Molds can cause serious health problems in susceptible individuals. Here’s information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the city’s health crisis following Hurricane Sandy (RebuildAdjustNY.org, 2013):
  • Toxins produced by mold, known at myotoxins, can cause headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, inability to concentrate and memory loss.
  • Chronic exposure to mold can lead to permanent lung disease
  • According to the Institute of Medicine, “There (is) sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”
  • According to a World Health Organization-cited study, building dampness/mold increases the occurrence of respiratory and asthma-related health incidents by 30-50%.
  • A second study estimated that 21%of the cases of asthma in the United States could be attributable to dampness and mold in housing, for a total annual national cost of $3.5 billion.
  • Sandy-impacted neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to health effects from mold.
  • According to then Mayor Bloomberg, 70,000 – 80,000 homes suffered water damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • About 180,000 – 210,000 New Yorkers could be currently exposed to Sandy-related mold.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for 45,000+ children under the age of 5 and senior New Yorkers who are considered highly vulnerable to mod-related ailments.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
  • Sandy-affected neighborhoods reported more than 30,000 asthma-related emergency room visits between 2008 and 2010.
  • Children and seniors comprise about 25% of the population in Sandy-affected neighborhoods.
  • Asthmatics comprise more than 25%of the Sandy-affected neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

 

 

Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy
Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy

 

Mold damage is not always as easy to detect as in the photo above. It can be growing inside walls or behind wallpaper so not necessarily be visible.
Mold growing behind wallpaper
Mold growing behind wallpaper
And dead mold spore can still cause allergic reactions in some people so killing the mold may not be sufficient – it must also be removed. (EPA, 2012)

 

 

 

 

SO HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR CHANCES OF INCREASED SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA?

 

 

immune-response

 

We know that 80-90% of our immune system resides in the mucosa of our guts. An unbalanced, impaired gut microbiome produces chronic inflammation in the body. Over time, this inflammation produces autoimmune conditions (such as allergies and asthma) – as well as gum disease, repeating UTIs, heart disease, nail fungus, some cancers, and much more.
Mast cells located in our skin, connective tissues, and the mucosal linings of our stomachs and intestines, are an essential part of our immune defenses. These unique cells are tasked with activating the immune system to defend us from harmful invaders.
In people with allergies, the immune system misidentifies innocuous substances as dangerous pathogens and sends out mast cells to combat them – as if Attila’s Huns were at the gate and needed to be attacked at all costs, even to the point of destroying the body in the process.
The real solution for both allergy and asthma sufferers isn’t just treating the symptoms but working to restore the health of the friendly bacteria living in the gut with the goal of normalizing the immune system. A healthy, balanced gut immune system will stop producing inflammation and allow a return to health.
As climate change exposes us to increasing numbers of molds and other allergens, we’re all going to need immune systems that are up to dealing with the challenge.

 

 

Boost-Immunity-Healthy-Smoothies

 

 

 

For more information on allergies, asthma, autoimmune conditions, the role of inflammation in these problems, and how to strengthen your immune system, see:

GUT SYMBIOSIS VS DYSBIOSIS

INFLAMMATION

ALLERGIES

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

ASTHMA

SUPER IMMUNITY

PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS

SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII

KEFIR

THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET (SAD)

HOW TO REVERSE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

ADDICTIONS – GLUTEN

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD

TRANSFER FACTOR

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Cagne, C. (2014). Wild Weather & Our Allergies. Allergic Living, 4:2, 32-37.

EPA. (2012). A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home: Hidden Mold. See:  http://www.epa.gov/mold/hiddenmold.html

RebuildAdjustNY.org. (2013). Mold: NYC’s Health Crisis Post-Sandy. See:  http://www.rebuildajustny.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Resource-Post-mold-remediation-Sandy-Mold-Health-Fact-Sheet2.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Allergies Getting Worse? See: http://www.epa.gov/research/gems/scinews_aeroallergens.htm

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.