We’ve done so much over the past few decades to kill off the bacteria around us, with hand washing (not a bad thing as you will find out), to using anti-bacterial washes and sprays, using anti-biotics, irradiating foods and chlorinating our water, science has worked hard to eradicate something which are learning to evolve, but which our health hangs on in some cases.
It’s only about 2 centuries ago that is was realised that not washing your hands could spread disease and create higher mortality rates. As with many new theories it took a while to be taken on board, and it was a doctor Semmelweis who worked in obstetrics who realised that some of his colleagues were going from working with cadavers to the maternity part of the hospital and not cleansing their hands effectively. He realised this by comparing mortality rates from the 2 clinics of those giving birth. Those who washed their hands after handling cadavers left more people alive he found and the hand washing procedure was forever put in place, in fact in 1980 it was reviewed, and then again in 1996 by the World Health Organisation who actually have a hand washing strategy in place. Sadly Semmelweis didn’t fair so well and ended his life being beaten to death in an insane asylum by those caring for him.
But back to bacteria, we have about 10 times the amount of bacteria in our body than we do cells, we are more bacteria than we imagine, so the idea we can kill them off in many respects doesn’t make total sense. Our health is profoundly affected by our bowel bacteria or flora and it’s makeup in the intestines, you can change and reverse or even create health conditions if this bowel flora is not in balance. That balance is all about food, nutrients, and lifestyle as well as our environment, they all affect the bacteria in our intestines, hence why someone like myself always works on getting the health of the gut right. In fact the naturopaths of old would have had you doing enema’s and colonics immediately to cleanse the gut, clearing out old waste and helping elimination happen, and prevent the reabsorption of old waste. I love using these techniques, they are still hugely valuable, and as far as I’m concerned very under used by most people.
Sadly most of us now have been given higher doses of antibiotics at some stage in our lives by our GP or consultant, it’s not as frequent now as it has been in the past but even in the medical establishments opinion, they have been over used particularly in animals where usage is high, and obviously carries a knock on effect into our health, hence the current view that in 2 decades our antibiotics will no longer be able to fight the current bacteria health issues that we have. Most antibiotics tend to kill off the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains, this makes milk and dairy sugars harder to break down and absorb, and has a knock on effect on the breakdown of other foods as well. This changes the level of immunity, and health overall, and changes the permeability of the gut wall.
But it’s not just antibiotics that are having the knock on effect on our gut bacteria, it’s also the food choices we make, processed and high sugar foods affect our intestinal bacteria, sweeteners and GMO’s, steroids, contraceptive pills, alcohol and tobacco are all even changing the microbiome of the gut. Why is that important? Well they create a serious imbalance in the bacterial strains, they erode away the integrity of the gut, and start to lay the foundations for mycelial candida, and even leads to colon cancer, puts it all in perspective now why I’m so keen to resolve the gut health.
Typical signs of dysbiosis in the bacteria of the gut include bloating, fatigue, hyperactivity, flatulence, diarrhoea, distention, UTI’s, itching, cravings, weight issues, PMS, irritability, memory issues, lack of concentration, extreme sensitivity to petrochemicals, or food allergies, aching and even vision issues.
The new name for probiotics are cultures, the EU now approves some of them and allows us to make claims about how they can improve health. They are shown to improve the health of the thymus, and spleen, increasing white blood cells, and therefore improving immunity. The use of cultures also help to reduce toxicity that is happening in the gut, which knocks on as some of you will know from me to the liver. Therefore the introduction of the right bacteria help to be liver protective, but more importantly research shows that the right bacteria can be anti cancinogenic, with anti tumour effects, in fact they are shown to help inhibit colon cancer. Does it stop there, well the consumption of fermented milk or yoghurt is shown to reduce cholesterol, knocking on it’s head how we should be not consuming fats and saturated ones at that!
The impact of altering the gut bacteria can be far spread across the body, not only affecting some of the aforementioned issues, but also halitosis, yes not only is resolving the bacteria in the mouth the issue here, but bad breath for me a sign of something deeper happening.
The gut mind link is now clearly established, and what naturopaths for years have been doing is now being supported by scientific research. The right bacteria can be neuroprotective, and the changes are mediated via the vagus nerve, spinal cord, or neuroendocrine systems, for those with mental health issues and stress this can be something to consider, that it is a knock on effect of a dysbiosis issue, in fact it is well known that dysbiosis of the bacteria will have an effect on memory and concentration, but also it has recently been found to also affect the brain structure, including circuitry and wiring!
Aloe vera has also been shown in research to help with the digestion of proteins, and with the improvement of the environment of the gut flora so it’s not just about taking the right bacteria it’s about how we need to create an environment in which they thrive. The impact that Aloe Vera had was to alter the pH of the intestinal tract, and of course the right pH matters in all areas of the body if we are to have good levels of health, but it definitely matters for the bacteria that need to live it in.
Avoid non organic meat the usage of hormones and antibiotics is shown to have a knock on effect on our health.
Consume fermented foods regularly, sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurts.
Aloe Vera may be a beneficial addition, see contraindications linked to your health and circumstances.
The information contained in this newsletter in no way is to be seen as medical advice, or is a replacement for seeing your GP or medical practitioner with a known medical condition.