Healthy Gut Bacteria: Maintaining a Healthy Biological Terrain
What is healthy gut bacteria? Where can you get healthy gut bacteria? How can healthy gut bacteria change your life? these are questions you as well as many others have. Our internal biological terrain determines the environment upon which cancer cells grow. An acidic environment is pro-cancer, while an alkaline environment is anti-cancer. The terrain is also influenced by the amount of healthy gut bacteria present and the transit time of food through the gut. Maintaining a healthy alkaline biological terrain is an important component of any cancer therapy program.
A modern day diet high in fat and sugar is devoid of most enzymes. Furthermore, a high protein diet common in the developed world consumes most enzymes secreted by our pancreas, leaving little left over for anticancer activity. What does this have to do with healthy gut bacteria? Well, A heavy dose of proteolytic pancreatic enzyme is an important part of any comprehensive anti-cancer program. These enzymes:
- Attack the coating on tumor cells which disguise them from recognition by the immune system to that the antigens are exposed.
- Digest the protein coating that protects cancer cells from being destroyed by our immune system.
- Stimulates various components of the immune system such as Natural Killer cells, T-cells and Tumor Necrosis factor.
- Remove the “sticky” coating on cancer cells that allow them to adhere to other parts of the body, in effect, lessening the chances of metastases.
- Enter cancer cells during their reproductive phase when they are not yet formed and destroy them. Vitamin A increases this effect. In Germany, it is injected directly into tumors causing them to dissolve.
- Help ensure that large, potential allergy-triggering food particles do not enter the blood circulation through a leaky gut.
- Reduce the acidity of the internal terrain.
Dose: Start with 1 tablet 3-4 times a day, increasing gradually every 5 days by one till 5 tablets 4 times a day is reached. Total: 15-20 tablets a day.
Optimal gastrointestinal health depends on the balance of microscopic interplay between billions of beneficial (“good”) and pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria, healthy gut bacteria. Both are needed for normal bowel functions. A well-maintained balance between these opposing microorganisms is essential for a properly functioning digestive tract and prevent toxins from building up. Awll maintained balance must include healthy gut bacteria, which is not encoraged through the common western diet.
Many scientists at the forefront of probiotics research believe that the toxins secreted from the pathogens rather than the pathogens are responsible for diseases. Although this is not a widely recognized fact among the traditional medical establishment, this statement has been proven without doubt. In fact, It is now well established that infection and toxins from infectious bacteria, fungi, and viruses cause cancer. For example, human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, H. pylori can cause stomach cancer, hepatitis can cause liver cancer, and HIV virus can cause Kaposi sarcoma. Fungi toxin such as aflatoxins can cause primary liver cancer.
About 400 species of these “good bugs” inhabit the intestines. Their total population is about 100 times the number of cells in your body. Remarkably, these microorganisms coexist peacefully in a carefully balanced internal ecosystem. As long as they flourish, they prevent pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria and fungi from colonizing. In this way, beneficial bacteria help keep you healthy. If the delicate intestinal environment is a disrupted, pathogenic bacterium, parasites and fungi such as clostridia, salmonella, staphylococcus, Blastocystis hominis and Candida albicans often move in, multiply and attack the beneficial bacteria.
Research has shown that the “good” bacteria or otherwise known as probiotics, help defend our bodies from the pathogenic species of bacteria and detoxify toxic chemicals. They also produce valuable vitamins including biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin K. The bacteria assist in breaking down dietary proteins into amino acids, which are then reconfigured into “new” proteins that are useful for the body. “Good” bacteria also ensure that toxins are excreted from the bowels (via the stool) rather than absorbed into the bloodstream.
One such “good” bacterium is acidophilus. They stimulate activity in the thymus and spleen (both are key immune system glands). They prompt your body to manufacture natural antibodies. Certain acidophilus strains even protect against the formation of tumors and promote production of interferon, a hormone that protects against cancer. When probiotics are present, they secrete mediators in which the pathogenic forms cannot grow. However, when the micro-organic forms take over, they will exclude the probiotics with their toxins. Replacing our natural flora is vital to prevent any disease and to keep our bowels healthy and populated with probiotics. By taking probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus, they can help us to detoxify the internal terrain.
Numerous studies have been conducted to understand the mechanism of how probiotics work. Many amazing facts have been established concerning the beneficial and therapeutic aspects of probiotics including:
- Increased enzyme production such as proteases that digest proteins and lipases that digest fats.
- Improved bowel transit time and texture of the fecal matter.
- Increases synthesis of immune antibodies and augmentation of gamma-interferon production.
- Reduction of lactose intolerance caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase which leads to reduced bloating, gas formation and stomach discomfort after milk consumption.
- Act as an anti-toxin with anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor agent.
- Relief of dermatitis and other skin disorders by improving gastrointestinal bacteria balance.
Probiotics also have another benefit, if the intestines are not inhabitable for the malevolent microorganisms:
They help reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the body, namely pathogenic bacteria and fungi that produce their own toxins. At a local level, this minimizes the risk of colon cancer, protects the entire body and improves overall health on a larger scale. Opportunistic infections are common in weakened cancer patients. Having an abundance of healthy flora in the digestive tract will enhance the breakdown of food, resulting in a more alkaline environment that is dreaded by the cancer cell. Anti-fungal drugs are effective against cancer because it can induce apoptosis and deregulate the immune system.
Regular supplementation with probiotics such as acidophilus repopulates your intestinal tract with benevolent bugs. These microorganisms restore and maintain balance within your internal ecosystem while displacing noxious bacteria and fungi at the same time. They also increase the acidity of the intestinal environment that “useful” bugs thrive in (acidophilus literally means “love of acid”) and harmful bugs detest.
In addition to probiotics, it is important to consider the role of fungus in cancer. There are 400,000 species of fungi, out of which 400 are pathogens. Its job is to decay matters into fundamental components. Maitake mushroom, a medical and anti-cancer mushroom, contains beta 1,3 glucan that induces apoptosis in cancer cell. It is interesting to note that certain chemotherapeutic agent employ the same principal and contain beta 1,3 glucan as well. As our vitality goes down, fungus (yeast) steps in as the undertaker of our body to start its degradation work. Most end stage cancer patients have yeast infections.
Dose: Acidophilus supplements are widely available in health food stores and drugstores. Selecting from among the numerous “something-dophilus” products may appear a daunting task. Examine the labels and you will discover a variety of “useful” bugs including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus faecium. Some products may contain fructo-oligosaccharides, which are sugars that nourish beneficial bacteria to make them colonize faster. All of these “ingredients” are acceptable and any combination of them works well.
Remember that acidophilus supplements contain living organisms so freshness is critical. Purchase a product well before its expiry date, which should be clearly displayed. Once the supplements are opened, keep them refrigerated. Discard any supplements that are more than six months old. Dosage varies from one product to another. It is best to refer to the instructions on the label.
There are 3 algae and 2 cereal grasses that are commonly classified as “Green Foods”. The algae are chlorella, spirulina and green blue algae (aphanizomenon flas-aquae). The grasses are wheat grass and barley grass. Of the five, chlorella is probably the best. All green food, in addition to being highly nutritious, alkalinizes the body and prevent cancer growth.
Chlorella is a unique single-celled fresh water green algae. It contains amino acids (protein), enzymes (including pepsin for digestion), vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. It is a self-contained whole food. It is a complete protein source. It contains 18 of the 22 known amino acids, include the 8 essential amino acids. Compare to others, chlorella contain 50-60 percent protein, spirulina 73%, blue green algae 56%, barley grass 14% and wheat grass 18%.
Chlorella also has the highest content of chlorophyll of any plant. In fact, it has 5 to 10 times the chlorophyll content of spirulina, wheat grass and barley grass. It is also higher in chlorophyll than blue green algae.
The anti-cancer properties of Chlorella are many, including the following:
- Chlorella stimulates Interferon, our body’s natural defense against cancer. Chlorella’s unique cell wall is unique in its ability to mediate interferon production and fight cancer and sets it apart from other sets “green” foods. Chlorella’s tough cell wall makes it a far superior nutrient compare to the other algae or grasses. Its cell wall has been shown to eliminate toxins, pesticides, and heavy metals from the body. It also induces interferon production in the body, which is important to immune function.
- The nucleus of chlorella contains a substance called chlorella growth factor (CGF). CGF improves resistance to abdominal tumors while increasing the number of immune cells in the abdominal cavity. Laboratory mice fed chlorella have obtained life span increases of over 30%. Many researchers feel the CGF is responsible for this increase.
- Chlorella Increases T-Cells and B-Cells lymphocytes. Mice that were injected with cancer cells showed a higher resistance to this challenge if they had been fed chlorella.
- Chlorella improves fatigue often associated with chemotherapy. White blood cell count is often improved.
Taking chlorella by itself is not easy. Consider blending the chlorella with vegetable juice or water and take with meals. Fruit juice is not recommended due to its high sugar content and lack of fiber. Chlorella enhances the reproduction rate of our normal gastrointestinal flora that enhances the breakdown of food. Some people who begin to take chlorella for the first time may go through cleansing reactions, sometimes referred to as a “healing crisis”. This cleansing reaction comes in the form of intestinal activity such as gas, cramping, constipation or diarrhea. Some may feel a “toxic release” during the initial course of intake, especially if the previous diet is one of high fat and refined sugar. Very sensitive individuals may want to start with as little as 300 mg a day and gradually increase the dose by 500 mg every 3-5 days.
Dose: Preventive Dose: 3 grams a day; Therapeutic dosage ranges from 10-30 grams a day. Average intake: 5-10 grams a day. Chlorella can be taken at any time of the day. It can be taken all at once or it can be taken in small dosages throughout the day, which is preferable. There is no established toxic dose for chlorella. It is a whole food, not a concentrate or extract, therefore you cannot take too much of it because of its detoxifying abilities.
The average American diet is low in fiber (5-15 grams). For optimal bowel health, 25-30 grams of fiber is needed. This can be achieved by taking in half a cup of bran, one cup of legume, 2 cups of vegetables, 3 fruits, whole grain bread and cereal on a daily basis. If you are not, consider fiber supplementation together with digestive enzymes and higher intake of water to enhance gastrointestinal health and increase healthy gut bacteria. All fiber supplements are best taken one hour before a meal so as not to interfere with absorption of nutrients.
There are two types of fibers – soluble and insoluble. Many take soluble fiber such as Psyllium to lower cholesterol. Soluble fibers are found abundant in fruits, oat bran, legumes, apple pectin, and guar gum. If you are currently on soluble fiber for cholesterol control, there is no reason to stop for the simple reason that soluble fiber does lower cholesterol and helps transit time.
For cancer treatment specifically, take additional vegetables and whole grain products such as wheat bran that will provide you with insoluble fiber, and healthy gut bacteria, the key to preventing cancer. A number of factors may contribute to this protective effect. By speeding food through the intestines, fiber reduces the time the intestinal lining is exposed to any cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) that may be present in the food. Fiber attracts water to the stool, which dilutes the carcinogens and reduces their cancer-causing potential. Fiber may also alter the normal bacteria and acidity in the digestive system, reducing the production of carcinogens. Regardless of whether you are taking soluble or insoluble fiber, do remember to make sure your water intake is at least 8-10 glasses a day and use pancreatic enzymes.
Fiber alkalinizes the body and at the same time it detoxifies. All cancer patients should have an optimized digestive track and an alkaline internal terrain increasing the level of healthy gut bacteria. Taking fiber is one sure way to achieve that.
Dose: 15- 35 grams of fiber a day is needed as the minimum amount to enhance digestive health and promote smooth transit time.
© Copyright 2004 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr Lam, I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your cookbook! It's not just the healthy recipes, but the great information you provide as well. Thank you so much for writing your cookbook and sharing the information you have learned with us. I have adrenal fatigue and it is very hard to deal with and it is not easy to find good information.
Thank you so much for your help.