GIVE YOURSELF A HUG
HOW TO REBUILD YOUR GUT MICROBIOME AND
HEAL Ur GUT
You are truly a ‘super-organism’
It is estimated that 90 trillion bacteria inhabit your gut (and other places in your body that are wet, dark and warm). Thus, they outnumber your own cells 13 to one.
Their 75,000 genes outnumber yours 3 to 1. Thus, they make more chemicals, more proteins and more messages than you do.
You are symbiots – you derive benefit from each other.
And it is medically wrong to consider you an organism of 7 trillion cells and a mere 25,000 genes – you are a ‘super-organism’ of 100 trillion cells and 100,000 genes.
They control you - it's not the other way round. Sure, you can destroy them in a couple of days – but you wouldn’t want to. They make compounds that you simply cannot make for yourself; compounds that are essential to your good health.
Scientists are now calling the microbiome ‘The largest organ in your body’. Some call it ‘your second brain’. But then the chemicals made in the gut do not merely control your physical health. They have also been shown to control your mental health too – mood swings, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all have links to the gut via the blood and lymph and the vagus nerve.
Being ‘sick to your stomach’ or ‘having a gut feeling’, are not empty claims.
From 2007 to 2011, a $178 million project (the Human Microbiome Project) involving 200 top scientists across the USA showed fascinating insights across all illnesses.
It's all in our book 'The Secret source of your Good Health', first penned in 2013.
Your gut bacteria control your health
One consistent finding in the past five years is that your gut bacteria get ill first – and you can't get better until they get better.
Of course, your doctor's drugs and, particularly, antibiotics make matters worse.
Without going in to detail, as it is all detailed in the book, here are just some of the things your microbiome does for you:
- It controls the formation and memory of roughly 85% of your immune system. It’s the fundamental driver of your body’s defence system.
- At night time it consumes up to 2.2 lbs of yeasts and microbes that entered your body with the food and drink you consumed that day – it’s your first line of defence.
- It MAKES B vitamins, vitamin K and short chain esters. So it is vital to your DNA replication, to controlling dangerous homocysteine levels (that lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s), to protecting your liver, to stopping bad cholesterol formation, to controlling inflammation, and even to killing cancer cells.
- It helps remove toxic compounds from the body.
I could go on; it does far more.
What makes your microbiome sick?
Of course drugs, particular PPIs and antibiotics can devastate the microbiome. But so does smoking, pickles (vinegar), stress and alcohol as they cange the acidity in the gut and damage the good bacteria while favouring the pathogens.
A diet high in refined and processed foods, sugar, cows' dairy, saturated fat, coffee, gluten grains and importantly chemical toxins (even chlorine) can change the pH and/or favour the pathogens over the commensal bacteria.
And you could pick up a parasite on your travels, or from eating improperly washed fruit, or shell fish. Even kissing!
Understanding the problem caused by ‘parasites’
Already researchers in the USA and Europe have shown that taking drugs and, particularly, antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heart problems, damages the microbiome quickly. Some kill indiscriminately, but most usually it is the ´commensal´ bacteria that are destroyed most quickly as these ´good guys´ are fragile, whilst pathogens are hardy.
Thus, just a 5-day course of antibiotics may kill a great many of the good guys after only a couple of days but hardly affect the pathogens at all. (Indeed, I have known patients who did not eradicate their pathogens even after 8 weeks of antibiotics; and in some studies in America the use of pathogen-killing drugs and antibiotics actually makes matters worse!)
This leads to a complete imbalance - a new microbiome in which the pathogens are over-represented. And pathogens make chemicals, which are toxic; some even carcinogenic.
But there´s a second problem. Without a strong presence of commensal bacteria, yeasts can flourish. At night time, your commensal bacteria devour the yeasts and microbes that arrived in your body with your daily diet; the good bacteria are your first line of defence. Without the good guys present in force, yeasts – typically Candida albicans - will flourish, their plant-like roots punching holes in the gut wall, allowing chemicals, toxins and even yeasts to enter the blood stream. Result? Leaky gut syndrome, which we will cover later.
C. They are all Parasites – and they damage you
If the inhabitants of your gut are not paying their way, they are not symbiots, they are parasites. A parasite is a foreign body, which lives off a host. It deprives the host of its full nourishment from the food it consumes, it produces chemicals that can harm the host, and it damages organs like the liver and the gut lining. Yeasts, microbes, pathogens and viruses in your body are parasites.
D. A loss of DIVERSITY and VOLUME
Above, I said that your gut gets ill first, and you cannot get better until your gut gets better. What did I mean by that? All the recent research shows that people with chronic illness have lost BOTH volume in their microbiome, and diversity. Without key commensal bacteria controlling proceedings, the ‘bad guys’ are let loose.
In many cases, an over-presence of a specific bacterium is clearly linked to a particular illness – IBS, colorectal cancer and Parkinson’s patients have each been found to have high levels of particular pathogenic bacteria.
And so, it is blatantly clear that the main job in hand is to eradicate both the yeasts and the pathogens whilst replenishing the lost commensal bacteria.
A common mistake that people make is that they think pathogens and yeasts can be killed off quickly. This cannot be done overnight. It takes at least 8 weeks to be sure that you have killed off the stronger pathogens or parasites. My daughter, Catherine, with her brain tumour, spent months trying to kill off her yeasts. A blood test showed they were still there – worse, they were in her brain.
Another great mistake that people make is that they read about Sauerkraut, unpasteurized milk, kombucha or kefir and start to consume it without first eradicating their pathogens, which remain in the gut, albeit in small numbers (a few million) making their toxic chemicals, but being largely masked by the effects of the new commensal bacteria.
E. Healing a damaged gut
Sorting out the microbiome is only part of the job. Healing the gut lining, calming the inflammation, stopping the porosity, rebuilding the mucin layer – there’s more to do.
The damage done to the gut lining is very real. Research has shown that yeasts can produce gaps between the gut cells and a gut protein, zonulin, can exacerbate this. (And gluten protein gliadin can increase zonulin levels!)
The lining of the gut then becomes inflamed and you have 'Leaky Gut Syndrome'.
This allows food molecules, chemicals, toxins, proteins, bacteria and more into the blood stream.
Stop. Have you ever had any of the following symptoms?
Diarrhoea, and/or constipation; fatigue, mystery pans in muscles or joints; bloating after meals, burping, flatulence, mouth ulcers, thrush, cystitis, yellow-toe nails?
Crohn’s, IBS, Lupus and diverticulitis are linked to yeast infections and leaky gut.
Then there are 'auto-immune' diseases, depression, eczema, allergies, and psoriasis.
Next, there are ‘more serious’ illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, ME and MS, which have been linked to leaky gut syndrome.
So Give yourself a HUG - Heal Ur Gut now!!
You can rebuild your microbiome - if you know how. All you have to do is give yourself a HUG.
As it says in my book, ´The Secret Source of your Good Health´, a healthy gut microbiome MUST be rebuilt, if you are to improve your personal odds of beating illnesses - even chronic illnesses.
IBS is known to be caused by excesses of the bacterium Clostridium difficile. This bacterium is also prevalent in some cases in America where people go into hospital for a routine operation, take antibiotics and end up extremely ill. 14,000 people died last year from this in the USA!
In Australia, Doctors like Professor Thomas Borody have been treating people with serious cases of Clostridium difficile for years by using enemas made from the stools of healthy people.
In America, Dr. Colleen Kelley conducted Clinical Trials in Rhode Island´s Medical Center. This treatment (‘fecal enemas’ in a ‘fecal transplant’) proved extremely effective and far, far better than any drug treatment, which actually seemed to make matters worse!
You may not wish to go to this extreme. In which case, there is a simple four-step programme to regenerate volume and diversity in your microbiome and heal the lining - we call it the HUG Protocol.
Restrict, Eliminate, Replenish, Heal - The 12 week course
Take a probiotic containing Lactic Acid bacteria and Bifidobacterium.
L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus produce lactic acid in the gut, changing the pH (making it more acid) and pathogens do not like this. There is a medical myth that you need ‘alkaline drinks’ (e.g. milk of magnesia, sodium bicarbonate) to calm your gut. Actually the bad guys don’t like acid – they like alkaline!
L. acidophilus is slower growing than many more prolific bacteria, and thus needs to be ‘topped up’ regularly. It is found commonly in fermented foods.
Bifidobacteria are the first bacteria the baby takes on board as it passes through mum´s birth canal. They help keep baby protected for the first 6 months of life. Bifidobacterium produces acetic acid, which has more effect on moulds and yeasts than lactic acid.
L. rhamnosus has also been shown in research to ´conduct´ the microbiome - it lifts levels of good bacteria, and lowers levels of pathogens. It is also very anti-inflammatory in the compounds it produces. And it helps heal the mucin layer protecting the gut lining. It is found naturally in parmesan cheese!
Interestingly, - especially given a recent tendency of UK doctors and nurses to tell patients not to take probiotics when on chemo - in October 2015, research covered in Cancer Watch showed that Bifidobacteria could dramatically aid the performance of chemotherapy drugs and even boost the immune system to recognise rogue and cancer cells better than the new ´wonder´ immunotherapies.
For the record, none of the bacteria listed here, or in common high street supplements is in the top 60 by volume in the microbiome. However, they all have a natural ‘antibiotic effect’ in the gut - we are choosing bugs for purpose. The three above ‘hold’ the bad guys in check.
This is the essential step too many people do not take. They take probiotics and a host of probiotic foods like Sauerkraut and unpasteurised milk, without killing the pathogens or yeasts first. Of course, probiotic foods can do a job; but not a complete eradication of the bad guys. Simply suppressing the pathogens is not enough. Pathogens make chemicals, most of which are toxic, and some carcinogenic. I know of several patients who had clearly been infected with a parasite 20 years before developing their cancer. Did it bother them? No. Did they even notice it? No. Had it gone away? No. The University of Maryland Medical School states that parasites in your body can stay ‘hidden’ for years and that keeping them in check is not the same as eradicating them from your body.
First, you need to kill your yeasts - natural compounds like caprylic acid, paud´arco, garlic, oregano and cinnamon can each and all be very effective.
Then, you need to kill your pathogens - natural herbs like cloves, slippery elm, black walnut and pau d´arco can make an impact here.
Another natural compound - artemesinin, or sweet wormwood, can be effective against pathogens and yeasts. It is used against malarial parasites and there is research showing it kills cancer cells. However, in the longer term it is toxic – absinthe is made from it – so it should only be used in short bursts of two to four weeks.
Up to 50 per cent of Americans are thought to have a parasitic infection in their body. Researchers at the University of Maryland believe the figure is higher. Spend time in a third world country and the figure is definitely likely to be higher. I live in Thailand – I have now had four parasites in ten years.
There is only a fine line between a ‘pathogen’ and a full-blown parasite like Shigella.
If you have a parasite you need to understand the life cycle and that no amount of sauerkraut consumption is going to eradicate it.
If you think you may have a parasite - an extreme pathogen - you need a specific anti-parasite treatment. And this is NOT a quick fix although, incredibly, some people think you can do it in 15 days. It needs at least eight weeks – four to kill the adults and four to kill their offspring, which may have even been laid in places such as your liver!
One problem is that doctors in the Western world don’t know too much about parasites – they send off a stool sample to be checked, but have to tell the lab technician what to look for (usually having to name 6 possibilities). A negative result just means that the technician did not find one of those six present! Then the drugs are very specific. What works against one parasite often has little effect against another.
Fortunately there are some very effective herbs. Black walnut, pau d’arco and wormwood can kill the adults; cloves, the eggs. Fennel, garlic, black cumin and curcumin are also helpful.
a) Re-establish diversity by consuming, for example, a little raw, unpasteurised milk, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and/or apple cider vinegar.
b) Re-establish volume by consuming relevant Prebiotic foods the good bacteria love - like pectins (apples and carrots) for acidophilus; and inulin (onions and chicory) for Bifido strains. These good guys love fibre. You can turn them from 8 billion to 8 trillion in just a few days if you feed them right.
It is also important to take a probiotic that has a delivery system – it needs to pass through the stomach unscathed – it is trying to reach the intestine where it will work.
Next, it is important your probiotic actually comes with a little ‘nourishment’. These bugs are like babies. The moment they are released they need a few pectins and polysaccharides around.
Finally, never take a probiotic with a hot liquid, nor ice. Don’t keep it in damp conditions or in a fridge. And beware probiotics from your local chain store – unknowledgeable staff leaving boxes in heat or cold can kill the bacteria. Research shows up to 35% can be dead! Buy direct from the manufacturer.
Remember - you only need a Probiotic with a few strains of good bacteria - the three strains above are crucial (I use Modere protozymes). You need about 8 billion a day and then by feeding them correctly, you will generate about 8 trillion in your gut. There are 90 trillion bacteria there after all.
In a healthy gut, the mucin layer is thick and protects the lining. In a ‘leaky gut’ it is thin and needs to be healed. Damage occurs to Immunoglobulins, which are an important part of our early immune system. Then there are other problems – like mineral deficiencies, as the lining fails to transport key ingredients from your food.
There are compounds that can help heal the gut lining, like MSM, glutamate (typically from bone broth/chicken soup), essential fatty acids like omega-3, aloe vera and certain anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, (like magnesium, vitamin E, curcumin). Even chili peppers can help.
Exercise is also known to help.
Then there are essential oils like lavender and thyme, cumin and peppermint.
What make it worse? To repeat: alcohol, coffee, sugar, vinegar, processed foods, NSAIDs, drugs, PPIs and antibiotics.
Again, commensal bacteria can help. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown in research from Emory University to actually increase mucin layers and repair damage to the intestinal lining.
A Timetable for healing your gut
Phase I is to take ‘holding’ probotics whilst using the ‘eliminating’ protocol.
You might try 2 weeks of caprylic acid or oregano oil followed by two weeks of artemesinin, and then repeat this month.
You might also take a proprietary Parasite Cleanse – one month to eliminate the adults – the second to eliminate the offspring. (And, if you have a partner, they should do this too as a parasite is easily passed between you.)
Phase II is to move on to eating probiotic foods, whilst still taking the probiotic brand for a further month.
Throughout the 3 months total protocol, you should take a mineral supplement, a B complex along with vitamin K2, MSM, omega-3, bone broth, curcumin (with olive oil and black pepper) and grated ginger.
´FIND OUT MORE - READ ´The Secret Source of your Good Health´ - click here to buy´
Next, feed your bacteria well!
An American Study by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRNF) has found that low fibre diets can cause ‘waves of extinction’ in commensal bacteria in just a few days. Worryingly, if this is allowed to continue for long periods and even generations, the problems can ONLY be fixed by fecal transplants – the studies were done on mice.
As it explains in my book, the opposite is true too. Good bacteria love fibrous foods like inulin (chicory, onions), and pectins (whole oats, flaxseed, apples, carrots) and green vegetables like cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These foods increase their numbers in 12 hours.
Indeed there was research covered in Health Watch that people eating the highest amounts of natural fibre had the strongest immune systems. Gut bacteria can go from billions to trillions in a couple of days if fed correctly - so don't bother with probiotics offering 250 billion and 40 strains - they're a waste of money.
Polysaccharides such as oligofructose, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) or galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are also extremely helpful. Such foods are termed Prebiotics. Personally, I use flaxseed and psyllium seeds on my whole oat porridge, I eat a lot of salads – onions, spring onions, fennel, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, beetroot, herbs and garlic with olive oil, nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, and pulses, broccoli and other green vegetables. But then, I wrote a book called The Rainbow Diet!
PROBIOTIC? People ask me why I recommend the MODERE product Protozymes.
1. Because it contains the three bacteria I named in the article.
2. Because it has a delivery system that gets it through the stomach.
3. It was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride who is an expert at these things.
4. Because it contains food inside the capsule - food that makes the bacteria grow and multiply. You need 3 trillion, not 3 billion to do the job.
CLICK HERE to discover more about MODERE
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