Tag Archives: Fermented Foods

Probiotics for Babies

Published on 3/6/2016. Updated on 3/8/2017.

Source: ProbioticsAmerica.com

 

This post grew out of a question from the mother of a one-year old C-section baby. She wrote:
“Do you ever look at gut health in infants? My daughter had to be born c-section and therefore didn’t get a lot of the good bacteria from me that she would have received in a vaginal birth. So, she still struggles a bit with some digestive issues. I know many mothers that also struggle with this.”

Continue reading Probiotics for Babies

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.

 

 

1192bc66146b1640928751a11eaaec94

 

 

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’.

 

91ZCglJQH8L._SY679_

 

 

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.

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.

PREbiotics and PRObiotics

(Source: autoimmunesociety.org)
(Source: autoimmunesociety.org)
A lot is being written these days about the importance of probiotics for maintaining or restoring good health. Probiotics are micro-organisms, mostly friendly bacteria and some yeasts, that we consume to create a healthy and balanced gut microbiome. Probiotics are essential to our health – an unbalanced gut microbiome produces chronic inflammation in the gut and in other parts of the body, leading to all sorts of autoimmune diseases and other serious health problems. If your gut microbiome is lacking in probiotics, pathogenic bacteria can move in opportunistically and take over.
Did you know we also need PREbiotics to feed those PRObiotics and keep them healthy?Probiotics-vs-Prebiotics-Graphic

PROBIOTICS

There are three types of probiotics (Huffnagle, 2008):
  • Ones that can live in your gut only a day or two after ingestion
  • Ones that are able to live in there for a few weeks
  • Ones that can colonize your gut and stay permanently – unless they’re killed off by taking antibiotics
Most probiotic supplements on the market are the second type. Remember to take probiotic supplements just before each meal (15 minutes or less before eating).
A variety of probiotics, including highly beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, are found plentifully in naturally fermented foods such as:
  • Kefir
  • Yogurts with live bacteria
  • Probiotic “shots”
  • Aged cheeses
  • Cultured dairy products such as buttermilk, sour cream & enriched cottage cheese
  • Naturally fermented pickles, sauerkraut, kimchee & miso
  • Kombucha
NOTES:
  1. Probiotics are created naturally during the fermentation process. Pickles, sauerkraut, and other foods that have been “pickled” with vinegar do not contain probiotics.
  2. Probiotics are living micro-organisms. Exposure to heat kills them so they won’t be able to provide you with their full benefit if you cook them.
(Source: drjockers.com)
(Source: drjockers.com)
Here’s a useful WebMD slide show on the topic: Slideshow: Top Foods for Probiotics.
(Source: www.hannahhepworth.com)
(Source: www.hannahhepworth.com)
Information from Good Bacteria Supplements – Probiotics Create A Healthy Life Gut Check, an article about the role of probiotics posted on ArthritisReliefNaturally.com:

Medical researchers are finding that one of the keys to good health could be tied directly to the good bacteria living in our guts – specifically, in the world of microbes that live in our digestive tracts.

Historically, until about 2001, probiotics were considered only within the realm of complementary and alternative medicine. As our understanding of the immune system and how it works has expanded, so has the understanding of the importance of probiotics and probiotic microbes in the gastrointestinal tract in regulating the immune system.

One of the country’s leading researchers into the world of probiotics is Gary Huffnagle, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Health System, a professor of internal medicine and microbiology and immunology. He has published more than 90 articles about microbes and the immune system in peer-reviewed scientific journals, academic reviews and textbooks. He is the co-author of The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements.

Huffnagle’s research documents the key role of good bacteria probiotics and prebiotics in restoring healthy balance to our bodies, improving immune system functioning, and curbing inflammation.

He advocates the use of probiotic foods and supplements to prevent and relieve allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, and the negative side effects of antibiotic use.

He presents new evidence that probiotics may help fight asthma, cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia—and even obesity (a factor in joint pain and overall health).

New evidence that good bacteria fight many diseases

“We’re now finding that eliminating all the good microbes from our body results in a weaker immune system, which we believe is leading to problems such as increased incidence of chronic disease, including allergies like asthma,” Huffnagle says. “Once you take antibiotics as your physician prescribed, follow it with some form of probiotic supplement to get the microflora in your gut back to where it should be. Your recovery and your health will be much greater.”

Since probiotic microbes do not cause disease, there’s no such thing as having too much of them.

diseases-in-the-digestive-system-student-nurses-37-728

PREBIOTICS

PREbiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial micro-organisms in the intestines. Foods that are high in soluable fiber will provide good prebiotics in your gut, allowing your probiotics to thrive so you can avoid illness and enjoy good health.
(Source: www.exhibithealth.com)
(Source: www.exhibithealth.com)

WANT TO READ MORE?

If you want to learn more about prebiotics and probiotics, I recommend taking a look at Gary Huffnagle’s excellent book The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements.
It presents the important relationship between our digestive system and our immune system in an informative, easy to understand way. Huffnagle is Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School and a leading authority on the role of the gut microbiome on inflammatory processes (Huffnagle, 2008).
From  a Publisher’s Weekly review of Dr Huffnagle’s book:

The Probiotic Revolution by Gary Huffnagle PhD – Holding antibiotics and poor diet responsible for any number of autoimmune disorders – allergies, asthma, skin problems and chronic inflammation – renowned immunology specialist Huffnagle presents, with infectious enthusiasm, the cure for a trigger-happy immune system: probiotics, the good microbes found in fermented foods like yogurt, aged cheese, kefir and kimchi. Once probiotics are introduced to the system, they begin killing off potentially harmful bugs by competing for resources; the resulting balance, Huffnagle shows, will restore proper
immunologic function.

418669_140114144202_DSC_0358

If you want more information, I also recommend these books and websites:
By Sarah Ballantyne, PhD – AKA The Paleo Mom:
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
By Amy Myers, MD:
(Source: store.amymyersmd.com)
(Source: store.amymyersmd.com)

REFERENCES

ArthritisReliefNaturally.com. (2008). Good Bacteria Supplements – Probiotics Create A Healthy Life Gut Check. See: http://www.arthritis-relief-naturally.com/good-bacteria.html

Ballantyne, S. (2014). 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. (2014). ThePaleoMom.com. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/about-sarah-2

Huffnagle, G. with Wernick, S. (2008). The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements. See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Probiotics-Revolution-Definitive-Supplements/dp/0553804928/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

Myers, A. (2014). AmyMyersMD.com. See: http://www.amymyersmd.com/

Myers, A. (2015). The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062347470/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062347470&linkCode=as2&tag=ammymd-20&linkId=LDMIVZQVD46VKEFZ

WebMD. (2014). Slideshow: Top Foods for Probiotics. See: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-10/slideshow-probiotics

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

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

No Bad Bruising After a Nasty Fall


Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/allergi9/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-spamshield/wp-spamshield.php on line 2033

Updated 7/6/2014, 7/25/2014 & 1/30/2015.

 

9092096-businessman-falling-down-the-stairs

 

No, I didn’t fall down the stairs like the unfortunate man in the photo above – but I certainly did splat face down onto the floor in my own apartment a week ago. I was holding the phone in my left hand and running to answer the doorbell when I apparently tripped over the edge of a small carpet. I suspect my cat had flipped it over while she was racing around that morning and I didn’t notice it since my eyes were on the doorbell intercom screen.
At any rate, I landed gracelessly and heavily on both knees, elbows,  hands, upper chest, and chin – causing me to bite my upper lip in the bargain. But I didn’t let go of the phone so the poor woman on the other end heard me go down – and heard whatever utterances I made in the process.
As I was lying there, the ad, “Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!’ flashed through my mind. It turned out I was able to push myself up to standing, tell the woman I’d  call her back and answer the bell.
Fortunately, my chiropractor had time to squeeze in an appointment a few hours later. She got my skeleton more or less back into alignment – not fun. Then the only way I was able to get off the chiropractic table, where she had me lying face down to work on my back, was to ooze slowly onto the floor and pull myself up from there. Definitely not fun.
According to bone scans a few years ago, my osteopenia has become osteoporosis so a fall like this might have had serious consequences.
In the past, whenever I’ve fallen or bumped myself, colorful bruises going from blue and red to yellow and green have always resulted.
OK. That’s the background of why I’m writing this blog post. It’s what happened after the fall that has amazed me and will likely interest you.

 

 

 

 

bruises_by_freakmo_sfx-d60zc2z

 

 

bruise01

 

 

 

 

WHY BRUISES FORM AND HOW THEY HEAL

Reprinted from Bruises: Causes and Treatments by Sarah Winkler (1998-2014)

Bruising appears when tiny blood vessel, or capillaries, break due to a blow to the skin. The appearance of a bruise changes over time, and you can tell how old a bruise is and where it is in the process of healing by observing its color. Generally, your skin should look normal again in about two to three weeks after an injury.

  • When a bruise is brand new, it will appear reddish due to the color of the blood that leaked from the capillaries under the skin.
  • At one to two days old, a bruise will take on a bluish or purple color. The swelling at the site of the bruise will cause oxygen to be cut off, and hemoglobin, the substance that carries iron in your blood, will turn blue.
  • At six days old, a bruise will turn a greenish color as the hemoglobin breaks down and the area begins to heal itself.
  • At eight to nine days old, a bruise will then turn yellow or brown. This is the final stage in the body’s re-absorption of the blood.

 

 

 

 

 

Arnica montana (Credit: Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen)
Arnica montana
(Credit: Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen)

 

 

ARNICA

After I’d scraped myself off the floor and dealt with the postman, I immediately started taking Boiron’s homeopathic Arnica montana pellets – five pellets dissolved under the tongue 3X/day.

 

306960075134

 

I also started applying arnica externally to the bruises where the skin hadn’t been broken – sometimes my old favorite, Nelson’s Arnica Cream,

 

nelsons-arnicare-arnica-cream-30g__50175_zoom

 

 

and other times MJ’s Herbals’ Arnica Salve.

 

812dxejbV3L._SY355_

 

 

Arnica montana, a European daisy-like mountain plant also known as leopard’s bane, wolf’s bane and mountain tobacco, has been used for centuries to heal bruises, sprains, sore muscles, muscle spasms, arthritis and joint pain. It comes in the form of homeopathic ointments, creams, gels and salves to be applied externally to areas with unbroken skin; homeopathic pellets to be taken internally; and tinctures to be used in compresses. (Weil, 2014) (Wikipedia, 2014)

 

 

 

 

PROBIOTICS FROM SUPPLEMENTS AND FERMENTED FOODS

 

bacteria

 

I’ve been taking probiotics and other high quality supplements for several years now to keep my gut microbiome – and everything else – healthy. Apparently I’ve been successful:  My last thermography report showed only a slight amount of inflammation in my digestive tract and elsewhere, a huge improvement from where I started.
Currently, I’m taking:
  • Flora Synergy (Energenix)                                          5 2x/day before meals
  • Catalyst-C (Energenix)                                                 1 3x/day before meals
  • Saccharomyces boulardii + MOS (Jarrow)          1-2 3x/day after meals
  • Transfer Factor Plus (4Life)                                       1-2 3x/day before meals
  • Coral Legend Plus (Premier Research Lab)        1 2x/day before meals
  • Phyto Cal-Mag Plus (Energetix)                               3 @ lunch/3 after dinner
  • Allicidin (Premier Research Labs)                           2 2x/day after meals
  • D3 5000iu (Metagenics)                                               1x/day
  • Ostera (Metagenics)                                                      1x/day
  • Super Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate                    1 2x/day                                                            1,000mg soft gels (Carlson)
NOTE: This is the right combination of probiotics and other supplements for me. That doesn’t mean it’s what would be good for you.

 

I’ve also been eating more cleanly – no gluten, more greens, more healthy saturated fats (from animal and other sources – such as coconuts), fewer unhealthy fats, less refined sugar, fewer processed foods, more organic foods, fewer GMO foods and products. And I’ve included fermented foods such as kefir and real sauerkraut in my diet and started taking a juice-based supplement called Jusuru Life Blend (more on it below).

 

To read more about probiotics, see Prebiotics and Probiotics.
To read more about the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, see here.
To read about kefir, see Kefir.

 

 

 

 

LIQUID BIOCELL LIFE   (Jusuru, 2013)

After the fall, I increased my daily dose of Liquid BioCell Life (formerly called Jusuru) from 2 ounces 1X/day to 2 ounces 2X/day to promote healing in my ribs, cartilage and the areas of soft tissue damage.
Liquid BioCell Life is an innovative, well-researched and tested, juice-based neutraceutical that promotes joint, skin, cardiovascular and cellular health. Research on fruit-derived polyphenols has demonstrated their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, neutralizing the free radicals that cause cell damage.
Jusuru, the company name, comes from the Japanese word meaning, ‘To live!’
Liquid BioCell Life contains:
  • BioCell Collagen®
  • Resveratrol
  • Antioxidants

 

 

BIOCELL COLLAGEN®

BioCell Collagen contains Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate, ingredients that have been shown in clinical trails to:
  • Promote skin firmness, resilience and hydration
  • Promotes joint lubrication and improves joint mobility
  • Reduce stiffness and discomfort
  • Rebuild cartilage and connective tissue
  • Help retard the overall aging process
  • Improve eye health
  • Nourish the scalp for healthier hair
  • Strengthen nails
  • Improve gum health by strengthening gingival fibers that attach the teeth
HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN
  • The most abundant protein found in joint cartilage and the dermis of the skin
  • Provides the structural framework for connective tissues to keep skin firm and resilient, and joints active and fluid
HYALURONIC ACID
  • The gel-like substance that holds cells together
  • A molecule that helps provide hydration to skin and lubrication to joints
  • Found anywhere there is moisture in the body

 

CHONDROITIN SULFATE
  • A naturally occurring protein
  • Gives cartilage its amazing shock-absorbing properties
  • Fills the ground substance in skin dermis

 

 

 

RESVERATROL

  • A potent antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes that makes red wine good for you
  • Each 2-ounce dose of Jusuru Life Blend contains the same amount of resveratrol as 4 bottles of red wine
  • “The French Paradox” explains why the French are heart-healthy and age gracefully

 

 

 

ANTIOXIDANTS

  • Antioxidant health benefits delivered via 13 superfruits – blueberry, mangosteen, açai berry, noni, red grapes, maqui, strawberry, apple, nopal, jujube, gogi, cranberry and pomegranate
  • Neutralizes free radicals to start the chain reaction toward improved health

 

I can attest that the juice is delicious tasting! It has also been most helpful in healing my colon from the nasty Clostridium difficile infection I battled in 2010.
See the Jusuru Life Blend Product Fact Sheet for a list of research reports on the supplement.


 

 

WOBENZYM® N

 

 

wobenzym-n1

 

 

When I spoke with David Miller, MD, one of my trusted health advisers,  six days after the fall, he approved of what I was doing and taking to recover from my injuries. He also suggested adding another supplement, Wobenzym® N – a combination of enzymes that’s especially good for promoting bone, tendon and muscle healing. It’s a German product that’s been around for 50 years.
The dose Dr Miller recommended for me is five tablets 2-3 hours after dinner or 45 minutes before a meal.

 

 

 

ABOUT WOBENZYM N  (Douglas Laboratories Canada, 2008) (Garden of Life, 2014)

 

Wobenzym N is a systemic enzyme formula containing a synergistic combination of plant-based enzymes, pancreatic enzymes and antioxidants. It was first introduced in Germany in the 1960’s. Its powerful yet delicate enzymes are contained in a vegetable-based enteric coating to ensure they reach the small intestine intact. The enzymes then get absorbed from the small intestine into the blood stream.
Wobenzym N:
  • Provides clinically demonstrated relief from everyday aches, pains and muscle soreness due to everyday activity and injuries
  • Promotes increased flexibility and mobility
  • Supports joint and tendon health
  • Maintains and supports a balanced immune system
  • Promotes health blood circulation
  • Supports health aging
  • Works holistically — throughout the entire body

 

 

BENEFITS OF THE ENZYMES IN WOBENZYM N
Enzymes are fascinating essential biological catalysts involved in almost every single process in the body. They initiate millions of chemical reactions every second in the human body. It is easy to see why supplementing with systemic enzymes can have far-reaching benefits to the human body.
The enzyme blend in Wobenzym N contains the following, clinically studied enzymes: pancreatin, papain (papaya extract), bromelain (pineapple extract), trypsin and chymotrypsin (pancreatic enzymes). Each of these is a protease – meaning they break down proteins. The formula also contains the antioxidant flavonoid rutin.
This supplement provides systematic enzyme support to assist the body’s various regulatory and communication systems, especially the immune system. As I’ve stressed throughout this site, a balanced immune system is necessary for good health. In order to make sure that the systemic effect of the enzyme support succeeds, active enzyme molecules must be available in the small intestine for absorption.

 

WHY THE ENZYMES NEED TO BE TAKEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Wobenzym N is best taken on an empty stomach – at least 30 minutes before a meal or at least two hours after the last meal of the day – to maximize its absorption from the small intestine into the blood stream.
For the enzymes to function properly, the supplement should be taken with a glass of water at room temperature or below. If it’s taken with a warm to hot liquid such as coffee or tea, the enteric coating on the tablets may become compromised, interfering with the enzymes’ reaching the small intestine. Taking it with milk may disturb the absorption of the enzymes within the small intestine.

 

 

Wobenzym-N Ingredients List
Wobenzym-N Ingredients List

 

 

For more information on Wobenzym-N, see Douglas Laboratories – Canada’s Fact Sheet and  Garden of Life.

 

 

 

THE HEALING THAT HAS AMAZED ME

During this past week since I fell, I’ve seen only a tiny, pale blue bruise on one leg – and that little one disappeared after a day. The tips of both elbows are bright red but have never turned any other color. I continue to be sore, swollen in the damaged places and stiff in the knees but the heavy bruising I was expecting never materialized. I figured this all was either a sign of something dreadful – or a very good sign.
The second night after the fall, when the tissue swelling had gone down a little on the side of my chest that had taken the brunt of the fall, I realized there was also some sharp pain underneath so had chest X-rays the following day – which revealed small fractures in the 6th and 9th ribs on that side. Four X-rays of my injured left hand didn’t reveal any breakage.
My health adviser,  David Miller, MD, gave an interesting explanation for why I’ve had no visible bruises anyplace on my body from that major fall: He says it’s because all the probiotic and other supplements I take regularly, plus the Jusuru drink supplement I’ve been taking the last few months, have gotten my circulatory system into great shape, allowing the blood that escaped from the damaged capillaries to get quickly and efficiently re-absorbed by my body. The homeopathic Arnica montana I’ve been taken internally and the arnica salve and cream I’ve applied externally since the fall have helped too. He expects my ribs to heal quickly. (Miller, 2014) Given what’s happened already – and what’s not happened,  I do too.

 

 

 

Pain-Scale

 

 

I’d rate the pain resulting from this fall as 3.5 at its highest and most of the time as around 2. Using Kristin Prevallet’s techniques as described in her book Visual Comfort: Pain Management and the Unconscious Mind, I’ve been able to get it to 0.5 much of the time – ie, I’m not much aware of it.
For more on Kristin’s techniques, see Visualize Comfort.

 

 

 

 

 

june-july_stump

 

 

UPDATE A MONTH AFTER THE FALL

July 8th:
About two weeks after the fall, to further support healing, Dr Miller suggested I increase my dose of Wobenzym N for five days, from 5 tablets before bedtime to 10 tablets 45 minutes before breakfast + 10 tablets 45 minutes before dinner or at bedtime – and then return to 5 tablets before bedtime.
July 11th:
City MD, where I had the chest and hand X-rays a few days after the fall, made a follow-up appointment for me with a hand surgeon. She said she couldn’t tell what she needed to know from those four X-rays of my hand so did five more, looked at the area with ultrasound, and fit my hand with a splint to immobilize the possibly broken thumb. She also ordered two MRI’s so she could see if there was perhaps a bone chip or ligament damage around the thumb or in the wrist.
The splint was a mixed blessing – it gave my thumb and wrist a rest but pressed right on the exquisitely painful area.
July 16th:
The MRI’s told the hand surgeon that there were no broken bones or bone chips, the tendons were unharmed, but there was considerable arthritis in that thumb (from an old repetitive strain injury) and a large fluid-filled cyst at the joint in my left thumb that was causing swelling, pain, and impeding usage – a result of the fall.
She used an U/S machine to locate the cyst and give a cortisone shot right into it. Not fun – but the swelling and pain did recede and gave me back the use of that hand.
She also cut the splint down and made it looser in the area of the cyst. I only wear the splint now when I’m in a situation (such as on the subway or in a crowd) where my hand might get bumped.
July 23
This is the most interesting experience so far in my efforts to heal from the fall:
I saw a chiropractor who works mostly with energy to heal the physical body and soothe the energy stored in the body from past traumas.
These are the healing modalities he uses:
Applied Kinesiology, Total Body Modification (TBM), Matrix Energetics + Garcia Innergetics (Quantum Physics-based energy work), Yuen Method (energy-based work), Eyelight Therapy, Natural Healing Systems, Graston (myofascial technique used by pro and college sports teams), Theta Healing (energy-based work focused on flipping belief systems), NET (Neuro-Emotional Technique), The Sedona Method, Sat Nam Rasayan (yogic healing), Cold Low Level Laser therapy, Activator, and other modalities + techniques he’s created on his own. He also draws upon his knowledge as a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, certified
Sedona Method coach, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, and Kabbalah Student.
I had some quite vivid dreams that night – not nightmares. In the one I remember, my left leg from ankle to just above the knee was covered with vivid red and blue bruises. Supposedly they were an aftermath of the 6/25 fall but even in the dream I knew they weren’t really there.
I felt very good the following day – barely aware of my fractured ribs, the residual swelling in my left thumb area was gone, and I generally felt lighter in my body and mind.
There was also lots of peeing going on yesterday & today – releasing of toxins.
While I’m certainly not glad to have fallen and incurred these injuries, I am glad for what I’ve learned during the healing process this past month.

 

 

 

healing-beach-help-it

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Douglas Laboratories – Canada. (2008). Wobenzym-N.  See:  http://www.wobenzym.ca/facts.cfm

Garden of Life. (2014). Wobenzym-N. See:  http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Immunity-Support/Wobenzym-N.aspx

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

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

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Saccharomyces boulardii. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/saccharomyces-boulardii/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Visualize Comfort. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/06/30/visualizing-comfort/

Jusuru. (2013). Jusuru Life Blend™ Product Fact Sheet. See:  http://www.jusururesources.com/Product%20Materials/Jusuru_ProductFactSheet_USA_v01_Sep2011.pdf

Miller, D. (2014). Personal communication.

Prevallet, K. (2014). Visualize Comfort: Pain Management and the Unconscious Mind (Book 3, v.1).  Wide Reality Books: NYC.

Weil, A. (2014). Herbal Remedies – Arnica. See:   http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00027/Arnica-Dr-Weil-Herbal-Remedies.html

Wikipedia. (2014). Arnica montana. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnica_montana

Winkler, S. (1998-2014. Bruises: Causes and Treatments. HowStuffWorks.com.  See: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/beauty/bruise1.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.