Tag Archives: Probiotic Supplements

POST-OP LIVER DETOXIFIERS

 

Source: Wikipedia
The liver is a large organ that sits above the stomach on the right side of the belly. Its main job is to filter the blood coming from the GI tract and then pass it on to the rest of the body. During this filtering, it detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. It also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. (Hoffman, 2019)
Since I have a history of having unpleasant reactions to even small doses of many Western medicines, I want to be sure to detoxify my liver after any surgical procedure that requires anesthesia, sedatives and other pharmaceuticals. This is what I worked out with the help of Dr Gabrielle Francis, my naturopath, acupuncturist, herbalist, chiropractor, and licensed massage therapist, to do after my two recent cataract surgeries:

 

FREQUENT ACUPUNCTURE FROM AN EXPERT PRACTITIONER

Acupuncture has helped me heal after these surgeries and also helped detox my body from whatever drugs I was given during the surgeries and the eye drops I had to use for many weeks post-op. Dr Francis, has geared each post-op acupuncture session to healing my eyes and clearing my body of toxins.

As New York City acupuncturist and herbalist Dr Christopher Peacock, DACM, MS, says, acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer “the perfect supplemental treatment to assist in surgical healing where even the tiniest of vasculature is often compromised at the incision site.” Here are a few ways that acupuncture helps us recover from surgery:
“1. Acupuncture is well known for inhibiting the inflammatory process. Inflammation, while sometimes necessary, can be quite painful and stagnating. If fresh blood isn’t permitted to move into an inflamed area, pain is often the result.
“2. Acupuncture promotes microcirculation in tiny vasculature that makes up the capillary bed. Acupuncture can stimulate your own bodies ability to reconnect the tiny blood vessels that have been compromised with your procedure.
“3. Acupuncture can alter the perception of pain. Because of its ability to encourage endorphin release and disarm the nervous system, acupuncture can inhibit pain signals.”
– (Peacock, 2019)
Lest you think acupuncture isn’t real, effective medicine, here are three examples:
1. While I was seeing Dr Yan Wu, LAC, for acupuncture here in New York, his wife needed a hysterectomy. She told her New York University Hospital doc she’d only agree to the surgery if it could be done with acupuncture given by her husband in lieu of pharmaceutical anesthesia and if she could also receive acupuncture from him for post-op pain relief and to promote healing.
Dr Wu was sufficiently well regarded that the hospital agreed – though I’m sure they were also required to have an anesthesiologist on hand in the OR. Many MDs and other medical personal came to observe the surgery. Mrs Wu said she felt no pain during the operation or post-op.
Dr Wu is the author of Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an original Chinese text written specifically for translation to English. Dr Wu is a linguist and physician, a visiting professor at the Pacific Institute of Chinese Medicine in New York, and a tenured faculty member at Beijing Peili Acupuncture College. His book describes traditional Chinese Medicine as practiced in the medical centers of the People’s Republic of China.
2. When I was in grad school, a young assistant professor in my department went to China with a group of psychologists. While they were in a remote area, her appendix ruptured and she needed immediate surgery. She was taken to a country clinic, helped up onto an operating table, draped to block her view of the surgical area and given acupuncture during the surgery. She said she felt some tugging sensations but never any pain.
After the operation was over, she was helped to stand and walk to her room where she was given more acupuncture for pain. When she got back home, she said though she never in a million years would have volunteered for any of that, if she ever needed surgery again, she’d want it done with acupuncture so she wouldn’t have to recover from both the surgery and the anesthetic.
Below is video of an open heart surgery being done in Shanghai in 2019 with acupuncture needles instead of pharmaceutical anesthesia. Only watch it if you’re not squeamish about seeing blood.

3. Some years ago I had two very sick cats and had veterinarian Dr Jeffrey Levy, DVM, CVA, of House Call Vet NYC come to my home to give them acupuncture treatments. The younger cat with serious IBD loved these treatments so much she’d present herself at his feet for him to put in the needles and then would purr happily. The older cat, with IBD and in end stage kidney failure, would sit happily in my arms while he put in the needles. Both cats lived considerably longer and in much better shape than their traditional vets thought they would.
Here’s a video of Dr Levy at work:

 

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR LIVER DETOXING

I wanted extra support from nutritional supplements to help detox my liver from the negative effects of whatever sedative/anesthesia I was given IV during the surgeries and also from ophthalmic prednisolone, the steroid eye drops I had to use for 5 1/2 weeks after each eye surgery.  These are the supplements I decided upon.
Milk Thistle
Milk thistle improves liver function by raising protective glutathione levels, helps reduce and reverse damage caused by toxins and free radicals and assists with maintaining a healthy weight.
The brand I like is Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) 30:1 Extract. I’m taking 2 capsules in the AM and 1 capsule in the PM during the weeks post-op while I need to use Prednisolone, steroid drops to keep my operated on eye from swelling.
– (Jarrow Formulas, 2019)

Zinc

Zinc supports immune health. It’s essential for growth and physical development, the immune system and most aspects of reproduction in both males and females. (Amazon, 2019). It helps protect the liver from damage, by reducing lipid (fatty) buildup.  (Smarter Reviews, 2019)
The zinc supplement I like is Designs for Health’s Zinc Supreme – 30 Milligrams Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate with B2, B6 + Taurine. I take 1 capsule after breakfast every morning regularly and find it protects me from catching whatever viral thing is going around.

BioInflaMax
BioInflaMax, made by Nutra BioGenesis, features a blend of herbs, enzymes and other select ingredients designed to help support gastrointestinal and whole-body cytokine balance, soothe local tissues, and promote body comfort.
CYTOKINE BALANCING: BioInflaMax contains a number of compounds that may have beneficial properties to help soothe and balance tissues. Ingredients include Bromelain‚ Curcumin‚ Boswellia, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine‚ Papain and Ginger.
TURMERIC: Curcumin is a bioactive compound that comes from the Indian curry spice turmeric‚ which has strong antioxidant properties. It has been the subject of scientific research for its reputed benefits on the body’s natural response to inflammation. BioInflaMax also features Black Pepper extract, which has been demonstrated to support curcumin bioavailability.
BOSWELLIA & L-GLUTAMINE: Boswellia-derived AKBA has been studied for its reputed effects in supporting joint motility, cellular immunity and gastrointestinal integrity. L-Glutamine is a preferred fuel source for enteric cells lining the intestinal tract and plays a role in cellular repair and mucosal immunity.
   – (Amazon, 2019B)

I’m taking 2 capsules of BioInflaMax AM & PM.

 

GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE TO PROTECT MY TENDONS FROM THE ANTIBIOTIC EYE DROPS

I needed to use an antibiotic eye drop called oxfloxacin 4X day for several days before each cataract surgery and then in lessening doses over the following 5 1/2 weeks. When I looked it up, I discovered it’s a fluoroquinolone, like Cipro.
Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics  commonly used to treat a variety of illnesses such as respiratory and urinary tract infections. These medicines include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and ofloxacin (Floxin). They’re so dangerous, the FDA requires a black box warning on them and recommends prescribing them only as a drug of last resort.
Source: Regenexx
See Cipro & Levaquin can cause tendinitis & tendon ruptures (Hardin, 2018) for more information on the fluoroquinolones.
Even though I didn’t need to take this drug systemically, I was still concerned about protecting my tendons and the rest of my body while on it so I asked Dr Francis what I could do to stay safe while using it. She recommended Integrative Therapeutics’ Glucosamine Sulfate-750: 1 capsule in the AM/ 1 capsule in the PM while on the antibiotic – to start post op since this supplement is also a blood thinner.
Glucosamine helps build and support joint cartilage,  lubricates and strengthens tendons. It’s a compound naturally found with joint cartilage that has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
The body needs glucosamine for synthesizing proteins and fats that form cartilage as well as playing an important role in building the joints, tendons and ligaments plus forming the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.
Glucosamine also helps  improve gut health and digestion, mobility, range of motion and general joint health. (Axe, 2019)

 

OCUFORCE FOR MY EYES

OcuForce, made by Designs for Health, supports eye health and healing:
  • LIMITS EYE DAMAGE – Exposure to toxins, ultraviolet light from the sun, and free radicals can all do significant damage to the eye. The simple act of letting light pass through the eye and hitting the retina increases the exposure of eye tissue to a range of different light generated free radicals. For this reason, it makes sense to optimize intake of eye nourishing nutrients, especially as we age.*
  • PROVIDES COMPREHENSIVE EYE SUPPORT – OcuForce is a comprehensive formulation containing a vast array of eye-supportive nutrients, including lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberry, Ginkgo biloba, curcumin, green tea, taurine, lipoic acid, vitamin A, and mixed carotenoids including beta carotene. This product does not contain synthetic carotenoids, as research shows that natural carotenoids offer a superior spectrum of benefits.*
  • IT PROVIDES CAROTENOID – Out of all the natural carotenoids in OcuForce, Lutein is the most important for the protection of the retina. Lutein, a yellow carotenoid found in foods such as corn, egg yolks, kale, spinach, and broccoli, protects the retina from the free radical damage it undergoes regularly. The lutein used in OcuForce is naturally derived from marigolds.
               – (Amazon, 2019B)

CORTISOL MANAGER

When I discovered that the ophthalmic prednisolone drops were interfering with my ability to fall and stay asleep, Dr Francis recommended the stress hormone stabilizer Cortisol Manager made by Integrative Therapeutics. Taking one at bedtime has helped but not fully solved the problem.

  • SLEEP AND STRESS SUPPORT – Contains non-habit forming, stress-reducing ingredients such as ashwagandha, L-theanine, magnolia, and epimedium.
  • STRESS HORMONE STABILIZER – Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” is naturally at its highest levels in the morning, and declines throughout the day. Too much stimulus (i.e. stress), can knock these levels out of their natural rhythm. Cortisol Manager helps support the body’s natural rise and fall of cortisol, resulting in feelings of relaxation and a more restful night’s sleep.
  • ALLEVITATE FATIGUE – with no morning drowsiness and without diminishing daytime alertness.
  • ADRENAL HEALTH SUPPORT – The adrenal glands play a large role in regulating stress levels. Cortisol Manager helps support adrenal health.
     – (Amazon, 2019D)

 

GI REVIVE & PROBIOTICS TO MAINTAIN GUT MICROBIOME HEALTH

GI Revive

To maintain the integrity of the mucosal lining of my gut (home to the friendly bacteria living in my gut), I continued taking G I Revive as usual: 2 capsules before each meal. This high quality nutritional supplement made by Designs for Health provides:
  • OPTIMAL GASTROINTESTINAL SUPPORT – GI-Revive combines L-glutamine, N-acetyl-glucosamine, MSM, DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow, chamomile, okra extract, cat’s claw (TOA-free), quercetin, and mucin for comprehensive support.
  • PROMOTE REGULARITY – Prune powder and citrus pectin are also included to aid occasional irregularity and promote healthy bowel function.
  • SUPPORT THE GUT LINING – This comprehensive formula contains ingredients designed to promote proper intestinal function and the mucosal lining.
     – (Amazon, 2019C)

Probiotics

Since the steroid drops are constipating, I also added some additional probiotic supplements to the ones I usually take to help with that:
Usual probiotics:
  • Dr Mercola’s Complete Probiotics (1 capsule before breakfast)
  • Dr Mercola’s Complete Spore Restore (1 capsule before breakfast)
Additional probiotics:
  • Align (1 capsule before breakfast)
  • Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir
And I’ve continued to take my usual digestive enzymes supplement:
  • Enzyme Science’s Complete Digestion (1 capsule before each meal)

SOME OTHER SUPPLEMENTS FOR LIVER HEALTH

Tocotrienols are a  potent form of vitamin E. Studies have found that tocotrienols taken at the clinically recommended dosage can help cleanse the liver of excess fat buildup. (Smarter Reviews, 2019)
Selenium is a powerful mineral that’s vital for healing and detoxing the liver from harmful buildups. It stimulates production of the antioxidant glutathione, which heals damaged liver tissue cells and promotes elasticity. (Smarter Reviews, 2019) & (WebMD, 2019)
Source: Dr. Jockers

 

FOODS THAT HELP THE LIVER DETOX THE BODY

Eating foods that the liver thrives on goes a long way to recovering from the stresses and pharmaceuticals involved in modern surgery.
Nutritionist Charles Passler, DC, points out the importance of keeping our livers working at high efficiency. “When the liver is working optimally, it can take toxins stored throughout your body, convert them into their water soluble form, and efficiently excrete them from your body.” Eating the right foods  greatly helps the liver flush out foreign chemicals. (Sarway, 2019)
Look for organic versions of all of these so you’re not consuming toxic pesticides as you’re trying to detoxify your liver:
GARLIC: Garlic activates the liver’s detoxifying enzymes. These enzymes help break down toxins and eliminate them from the body. Fresh garlic contains allicin, a compound that kills unfriendly, toxin-producing organisms in the GI tract.  Garlic contains a whopping 39 different antibacterial agents that protect our bodies against illnesses.
BEETS: “Beets activate liver enzymes and [affect] bile, which helps break down and absorb healthy fats and fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E,” says Dr. Passler. “When your liver transforms fat and soluble toxins into their water-soluble form for excretion, it binds many of those toxins to bile so they can be escorted out of your body in bowel movements.”
APPLES: Apples are rich in fiber, helping to clean out the bowels and introduce friendly bacteria. Be sure to choose organic since non-organic apples are one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops.
BROCCOLI SPROUTS: Dr Passler points out that broccoli sprouts are high in antioxidants and boost the liver’s production of glutathione even better than broccoli, supporting both phases of liver detoxification. Glutathione has antioxidant properties and also stimulates the immune system. It’s made up of three amino acids: L-cysteine, L-glutamate and glycine. You may remember from earlier posts that L-glutamate is the main building block in the mucosal lining of the intestines, where our probiotics live.
WATERMELON: A two-cup serving of watermelon provides the amount of daily fiber recommended by the American Liver Foundation. It also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that increases glutathione levels in the body.
FERMENTED FOODS: Tangy fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and real pickles fermented in brine (not the kind made with vinegar) are rich in gut-friendly probiotic bacteria that make our gut microbiomes happy.
WALNUTS: Walnuts increase circulation and blood flow in the body, assisting delivery of toxins to the liver where they’re broken down and eliminated. They also boost brain power.
AVOCADOS: Avocados provide fiber and healthy fats. They’re also a beautiful color and very tasty.
     -(Sarway, 2019)
Source: American Liver Foundation
The American Liver Foundation’s guideline for a diet to preserve the health of your liver:
“Avoid high calorie-meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice and regular pasta) and sugars. Don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish. For a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals. Also eat meat (but limit the amount of red meat), dairy (low-fat milk and small amounts of cheese) and fats (the “good” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish). Hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water.” (American Liver Foundation, 2013)

SOME OTHER FOODS THAT MAY IMPROVE LIVER HEALTH

COFFEE:  Coffee has the ability to prevent buildup of fat and collagen in the liver, increases antioxidant levels while decreasing inflammation and lowering the risk of developing liver disease, cancer and fatty liver.
TEA: Green and black teas are generally considered to beneficial, particularly for the liver. They have been shown to improve liver enzyme levels, reduce oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver. However, taking green tea extract has sometimes been found to cause liver damage.
GRAPEFRUIT: Naringenin and naringin, the two main antioxidants in grapefruit, help protect the liver from damage by reducing inflammation and protecting liver cells.
BLUEBERRIES & CRANBERRIES: Antioxidants called anthocyanins give these berries their distinctive colors and protect the liver from damage.
GRAPES:  A variety of beneficial plant compounds – including resveratrol – in red and purple grapes protect the liver from damage, increase antioxidant levels and protect against inflammation.
BEETROOT JUICE:  The nitrates and antioxidants called betalains in beetroot juice protect heart health, reduce oxidative damage and inflammation of the liver, and increase natural detoxifying liver enzymes.
CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES:  Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens are high in both fiber content and beneficial plant compounds. They increase levels of detoxification enzymes and protect against liver damage.
NUTS: Nuts contain high fat levels – including the antioxidant vitamin E – plus beneficial plant compounds that improve heart health and liver enzyme levels.
FATTY FISH:  The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish reduce inflammation, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and prevent fat from building up in the liver, normalizing enzyme level and improving insulin resistance.
OLIVE OIL:  Olive oil improves liver enzymes, fat levels and insulin sensitivity.
     – (HealthLine, 2017)
Source: eehealth.org

 

REFERENCES

Amazon.com. (2019A). BioInflaMax. See: https://www.amazon.com/Nutra-BioGenesis-BioInflaMax-Capsules-Inflammatory/dp/B01IDT2TRQ/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=bioinflamax&qid=1567383774&s=gateway&sr=8-4

Amazon.com. (2019B). OcuForce. See: https://www.amazon.com/Designs-Health-OcuForce-Therapeutic-Zeaxanthin/dp/B000FH11TC/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=ocuforce&qid=1567383271&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWVkwWkhDN0I2TVFPJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTMzODQ2MzFJNDRYUU45Q0JGMiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzY1NjM0MjNKNjlOR1BXMjZZSiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Amazon.com. (2019C). GI Revive. See: https://www.amazon.com/Designs-Health-Revive-Regularity-Marshmallow/dp/B00290AXJW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz-r-7oiy5AIVgp6fCh3jHAl6EAAYASAAEgJN1PD_BwE&hvadid=241903196859&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9067609&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=12630529196145025650&hvtargid=kwd-27363802891&hydadcr=24665_10401007&keywords=gi+revive&qid=1567424928&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExS0tCVkhOUDZBNkY2JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzM4MjE5MUpaN1NZNkRDWlpXVCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTExOTQ4MzVONlNDUTNPSlo4NCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Amazon.com. (2019D). Cortisol Manager. See: https://www.amazon.com/Cortisol-Manager-Integrative-Therapeutics-Ashwagandha/dp/B0031TRUOG?th=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1Yaj0e605AIVBYbICh0YXASbEAAYASAAEgJYEvD_BwE

American Liver Foundation. (2013). 13 Ways to a Healthy Liver. See: https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/

Axe, J. (2019). Glucosamine Benefits for Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis and More. See: https://draxe.com/nutrition/supplements/glucosamine/

Hardin, J.R. (2018). Cipro and Levaquin Can Cause Tendinitis and Tendon Rupture. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2018/08/24/cipro-levaquin-can-cause-tendinitis-tendon-ruptures/

Healthline. (2017). 11 Foods That Are Good for Your Liver. See: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-for-your-liver

Hoffman, M. (2019). Picture of the Liver. WebMD. See: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-liver#1

Peacock, C. (2019). Post Surgical Recovery Using Acupuncture. See: https://www.yinovacenter.com/blog/post-surgical-recovery-using-acupuncture/?matchtype=b&network=g&device=c&keyword=&campaign=730415643&adgroup=38277310956&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIroLkqZWu5AIVgrHtCh0jQwGVEAAYASAAEgJoEvD_BwE

Sarway, S. (2019). 8 Foods for Liver Health That Nutritionists Want You to Eat Every Day. See: https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/liver-and-gut-cleansing-foods/

Smarter Reviews. (2019). The Best Liver Health Supplements Of 2019: Learn what to look for and avoid when choosing a quality supplement for improved liver health. See: https://smarter-reviews.com/lp/liver-health-supplements?tr=p4K9O6n&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6LmCiNeJ4wIVD4_ICh08OQ-VEAAYASAAEgJlOvD_BwE

WebMD. (2019). Selenium. See: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-selenium#1

 

© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

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

In Response to “Do Probiotics Really Work?” (Scientific American, July 2017)

 

Source: Time Magazine

 

An article titled “Do Probiotics Really Work? in the current (July 2017) issue of Scientific American really irked me so I decided to send a Letter to the Editor responding to it. Since the chances my letter will get printed are slim and I think it addresses several important issues, I’m putting it into this post.

Continue reading In Response to “Do Probiotics Really Work?” (Scientific American, July 2017)

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.

No Bad Bruising After a Nasty Fall


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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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

 

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and other times MJ’s Herbals’ Arnica Salve.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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