Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 12, 2007

Came across an interesting article on intestinal bacteria:

Digestive problems comprise the number one health problem in North America. These concerns, encompassing everything from hemorrhoids to colon cancer, result in more time lost-at work, school, and play-than any other health problem. They also appear to be occurring with much more frequency-while many of them were almost unheard of in our grandparents’ times, they are cropping up more and more and at an earlier and earlier age. One way to help maintain digestive health is to be aware of and “take care of” our intestinal flora-the trillions of bacteria that make the digestive tract their home.

We may not know it, but bacteria thrive in our bodies. There are more bacteria in the digestive system than there are cells in the body-some one hundred trillion. Their total weight is about 4 lbs (1.8 kg)-the size of the liver.

Like many groups of living things, bacteria have both “friendly” and “unfriendly” populations. Most of us are aware of the unfriendly bacteria: we all know the pain and damage that can result when such bacteria as E. coli and Salmonella spp. are loose in our bodies.

We are not always aware of the role the friendly bacteria play. Their major role is in balancing and counteracting the unfriendly bacteria. When friendly bacteria are not at appropriate levels, and when unfriendly bacteria dominate, health problems can result. These include gas, bloating, intestinal toxicity, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients.

Friendly bacteria do much more than counter the unfriendly bacteria. They also provide us with other, powerful benefits. Friendly bacteria manufacture vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A, and K, and essential fatty acids; aid in the digestive process by helping digest lactose (milk sugar) and protein; clean the intestinal tract, purify the colon, and promote regular bowel movements; produce antibiotics and anti-fungals that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. In 1988, the U.S. surgeon general’s report noted that “Normal microbial flora provide a passive mechanism to prevent infection;” contribute to the destruction of molds, viruses, and parasites; increase the number of immune system cells; create lactic acid, which balances intestinal pH; protect us from environmental toxins such as pesticides and pollutants, reduce toxic waste at the cellular level, and stimulate the repair mechanism of cells; help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and break down and rebuild hormones.

Lactobacilli are one of the most important types of friendly bacteria found in the digestive tract. These bacteria get their name (lacto) because they are able to turn milk sugar into lactic acid. They play a key role in producing fermented milk, yogurt, and cheeses.

The “father” of lactobacilli could well be Elie Metchnikoff, who, in 1908, noted that people in Bulgaria lived longer than those in other countries, despite the fact that Bulgaria was considered “underdeveloped.” His investigation of this led him to diet, yogurt, and lactobacilli. His work was the first to prove that lactobacilli could transform milk sugar into lactic acid. Metchnikoff also hypothesized that this acidity would provide a hostile environment to unfriendly bacteria. This was later proved correct.

Lactobacilli are able to “balance” unfriendly bacteria because when they produce lactic acid, they alter the intestinal environment, making it unsuitable for unfriendly bacteria. In other words, lactobacilli don’t destroy the unfriendly bacteria; they destroy their home, forcing them to leave.

Lactobacilli have other benefits. They may help normalize cholesterol levels, and certain strains may antagonize Candida albicans. There is indirect evidence that lactobacilli may help relieve anxiety and depression. This is because the amino acid tryptophan serves as an antidepressant, and lactobacilli release this amino acid.

As living creatures, friendly bacteria need to “eat.” When they receive nourishment, via the foods we eat or supplements, they are able to maintain a stable population and continue to protect our health. A favorite food of friendly bacteria is fructooligosaccharides, or FOS.

Although FOS are new to many in North America, they are well-known to others. In Japan, FOS are routinely added to some 500 food products for health reasons.

FOS are sugars linked together in such a way that they cannot be digested. Instead, FOS pass through the stomach to the small intestine and colon where they are consumed by our friendly bacteria.

Feeding friendly bacteria is not all that FOS do for us. FOS can also reduce the growth of unfriendly bacteria, maintain regular bowel movements, maintain cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

FOS should not be seen as a replacement for friendly bacteria. They are meant to amplify the benefits of friendly bacteria, not replace them.

Lactobacillus salivarius is specially stabilized type of friendly bacteria that flourishes in the small intestine. L. salivarius is a new culture, requiring a special culturing process. After years of research, it is just now becoming available.

L. salivarius is classified as a facultative bacterium, which means it can survive and grow in both anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) environments, although its main effects take place in anaerobic conditions.

This is a decided advantage over the well-known Lactobacillus acidophilus, which has little or no growth in an aerobic environment. One unique benefit of L. salivarius is its ability to help break down undigested protein and disengage the toxins produced by protein putrefactions. Another benefit is its rapid reproduction-it doubles its population every 20 minutes.

Lactobacillus plantarum variant OM is another facultative bacteria, and this strain is found in the large intestine. It has the unique ability to “liquefy gelatin.” Gelatin is used to determine if a product can break down protein into usable nutrients (amino acids). Thus, L. plantarum variant OM rapidly digests protein.

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February 12, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 12, 2007

Today I wanted to try going back to the garlic. I don’t really have the time to take it when I’m home on the weekends. So it’s back to work, and back to taking garlic. I wanted to try a higher dosage and I manage to eat three cloves of garlic before noon.

I checked in the mirror and I have thrush. It’s been better than this so how did it get worse? I had a cucumber for breakfast, plain yogurt and garlic so how did I get thrush?

I mentioned my morning experiment with my wife and she checked with her friend who also has candida. He said that taking garlic will kill the good bacteria as well as the bad and was the reason I have thrush. I can’t imagine garlic being that bad so I decide to do some research:

Supporting probiotics with diet

It’s important to support probiotic use and your existing friendly flora through optimal nutrition, especially by minimizing refined sugar and processed foods in your diet. For more information refer to our nutritional and lifestyle guidelines.

Good bacteria feast on fiber. The bad guys love refined sugar and animal fat. Given a ready supply of vegetables, legumes and whole grains, good bacteria live long and prosper. Polyphenols, found in foods like garlic, green tea and ginseng, are also helpful in fostering friendly flora.

Fermented foods such as miso, tempeh, soy sauce and yogurt are renowned for their health-boosting qualities. They introduce active probiotic cultures that help wedge out unfriendly bacteria by competing directly with two main food poisoners: the toxic strains of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Many longevity experts have extolled the health benefits of eating fermented foods — now you know why!

A few nutrients called prebiotics have been isolated that set the stage for probiotic survival. These include fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and inulin, which are natural sugars found in bananas, chicory root, onions, leeks, fruit, soybeans, sweet potatoes, asparagus and some whole grains. Prebiotics help probiotics survive passage through the acidity of the stomach and foster their growth in the intestines and colon.

A night of trying to find any reference to the fact that garlic is bad for your intestinal flora and I’ve found nothing. The above article states that garlic is good for your flora so I don’t know what to think. I ate three cloves of garlic and I ate them with plain yogurt. Then I come across another reference:

Some manufacturers have enteric-coated their garlic powder so that it would bypass the stomach. Assuming the best, that a high quality garlic powder is used initially (one that is not exposed to high temperatures which can deactivate alliinase), this form of garlic could potentially deliver alliin and alliinase to the intestinal tract. However, simulated intestinal fluids have been shown to inhibit 40% of the allicin production. The remaining allicin may exert anti-microbial effects on bad bacteria, however, it may also destroy friendly bacteria.

So does this explain the thrush? Possibly, but I’m also using the Colloidal Silver. Can that have an effect on the friendly bacteria? Yup…

Top grade Colloidal Silver contains 99.999% pure colloidal silver particles 0.0001 microns in diameter with a concentration of 20 parts per million that have little effect on the friendly bacteria in our digestive tract. However, be aware of products with higher concentrations as they can attack friendly bacteria just like some antibiotics. This could upset your natural balance and lead to other complications. With colloidal silver, higher concentrations are not necessarily better. As a matter of fact, the opposite is usually true.

The spray that I have is only 5 to 6 ppm but I’ll see if there is any change tomorrow without the garlic and if not, I’ll stop taking it altogether.

February 12, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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