Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
on 11 August 2015
When I was given antibiotics for a week because a tooth was pulled, I was worried because antibiotics are dangerous; they damage gut health, which is a major player in body health generally - as explained in "Brain Maker". I started probiotics with the core "top five" species recommended by Perlmutter as well as this acacia fibre because it's organic - he lists acacia powder as one of the top food sources of prebiotics.
He writes: Prebiotics, the ingredients that gut bacteria love to eat to fuel their growth and activity, can easily be ingested through certain foods. It has been estimated that for every 100 grams of consumed carbohydrates that qualify as prebiotics, a full 30 grams of bacteria are produced. One of the benefits of having good bacteria in the gut is that they are able to use fibre-rich foods that we consume, which would otherwise be non-digestible, as a substrate for their own metabolism. As our gut bacteria metabolize these otherwise non-digestible foods, they produce those short-chain fatty acids we’ve discussed that help us stay healthy. As you’ll recall, for example, butyric acid is produced, which improves the health of the intestinal lining. In addition, short-chain fatty acids help regulate sodium and water absorption and enhance our ability to absorb important minerals and calcium. They effectively lower the pH in the gut, which inhibits the growth of potential pathogens or damaging bacteria. And they enhance immune function.
Prebiotics, by definition, must have three characteristics. First and foremost, they must be non-digestible, meaning they pass through the stomach without being broken down by either gastric acids or enzymes. Second, they have to be able to be fermented or metabolized by the intestinal bacteria. And third, this activity has to confer health benefits. We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating fibre. It turns out that the effects of dietary fibre on the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut may well be fibre’s most important aspect.
Foods high in prebiotics have been part of our diet since prehistoric times. It has been estimated that the typical hunter-gatherer in our distant past consumed as much as 135 g of inulin, a type of fibre, each day. Prebiotics occur naturally in a variety of foods, including chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onions, leeks, and jicama or Mexican yam. Science has firmly documented many other health benefits of prebiotics:
* They reduce febrile (fever-related) illnesses associated with diarrhea or respiratory events as well as the amount of antibiotics infants need.
* They reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel diseases, and therefore help protect against colon cancer.
* They enhance the absorption of minerals in the body, including magnesium, possibly iron, and calcium (in one study, just 8 grams of prebiotics a day was shown to have a big effect on the uptake of calcium in the body that led to an increase in bone density).
* They lower some risk factors for cardiovascular disease, largely by reducing inflammation.
* They promote a sense of fullness or satiety, prevent obesity, and spur weight-loss. (Their effect on hormones is related to appetite; studies show that animals given prebiotics produce less ghrelin, the body’s signal to the brain that it’s time to eat. Studies have also shown that prebiotics like inulin dramatically change the F/B ratio for the better.)
* They reduce glycation, which increases free radicals, triggers inflammation, and lowers insulin resistance, and so compromises the integrity of the gut lining.
Perlmutter recommends aiming for 12 grams daily, either from real foods, a supplement, or a combination thereof. As the microbiome in the gut has thousands of species, not hundreds as was previously thought, I added Prescript-Assist Soil Based Probiotic and whichever is cheapest at the time I'm buying of the few products that contain all 5 of what Perlmutter advises as the "core" species for the digestive system: Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics and Therbiotic / Probiota Sensitive and Garden of Life Primal Defense HSO Probiotic Formula.
Later note: “Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal" by Anthony William is all about regular misdiagnosis, mystery illnesses, the myth of "autoimmune" diseases and simple, clear instructions for healing. In one section, William discusses “gut microbes”:
Take steps to restore your gut’s normal levels of good bacteria. Cultured probiotics sitting on the shelves of the health food store or fermented foods that claim to have beneficial bacteria aren’t the answer. Most, if not all, of these microorganisms will die in your stomach before they descend and reach the small intestine. And factory-produced probiotics never reach that last part of the small intestine, the ileum—which is the region that needs them most.
There are probiotics that stay alive in the gut and are responsible for restoring the intestinal flora, including in the ileum. These are barely known and we take them for granted. Yet they are remarkably powerful and can greatly improve your health and life. Those with good gut health usually have accidentally and occasionally consumed these naturally occurring, life-giving probiotics and beneficial microorganisms. Where can you find them? On fresh, living foods.
The special probiotics that live on fruits and vegetables are what I call elevated microorganisms, or sometimes elevated biotics, because they harbor energy from God and the sun. Elevated microorganisms are not to be confused with soil-borne organisms and probiotics derived from soil. Elevated microorganisms are the most gut-renewing option. They are the very microorganisms that the ileum harbors, and they create the B12 that the body, particularly the brain, most recognizes.
A top source of elevated microorganisms is sprouts. Alfalfa, broccoli, clover, fenugreek, lentil, mustard, sunflower, kale, and other seeds like them, when sprouted, are living micro-gardens. In this tiny, nascent form of life, they’re teeming with beneficial bacteria that will help your gut thrive. Again, these beneficial bacteria are different from soil-borne organisms and “prebiotics.” Elevated microorganisms are always found aboveground, on the leaves and skins of fruit and vegetables.
If you have access to an organic farm, farmers’ market, or your own garden, you can eat some of its vegetables and fruits to get elevated microorganisms into your diet. The key here is to eat the produce fresh, raw, and unwashed. (Although a gentle rinse without soap can be OK.) Millions of revitalizing probiotics and microorganisms exist on the surfaces of these foods. It’s imperative to use your judgment, though, about when it’s safe to eat unwashed fruits and vegetables. Only do it when you know the growing source and are sure that there are no toxins or other contaminants that could make you sick.
When you pluck a piece of kale from the ground, you can see a film in the pockets of the leaf. This isn’t soil or dirt or soil-based organisms. This film is made up of elevated microorganisms—a naturally occurring probiotic that hasn’t yet been washed off. (Not to be confused with a manure-caked piece of kale, which is best to gently rinse off.) When you eat the leaf of kale, the pockets of good bacteria get folded and trapped, so they often bypass the stomach. When they’re released in the intestines, these millions of microorganisms have phenomenal effects on digestion and the immune system, as they find their way down to your ileum and replenish your B12 production and storage bank.
A raw, unwashed piece of kale straight from an organic garden—or a handful of sprouts from a countertop garden, or a fresh, pesticide-free apple plucked from the tree—outshines every single soilbased or lab-created probiotic and fermented food available. If you’ve eaten just one of these items that’s coated with elevated microorganisms just one time in your life, it has protected you to some degree, without your awareness. And the more fresh, chemical-free, wax-free, unwashed produce you eat, the more benefits you get.
Prebiotics have recently become popular. What the term really translates to is eating certain fruits and vegetables that feed the productive bacteria in the gut. Truth is, every fruit and vegetable that you can eat raw feeds that good bacteria.
It is beneficial to take quality store-bought probiotics or soil-borne probiotics. It’s best that you also take in good bacteria from living produce, though, because nothing can compare. Ingesting the elevated microorganisms on a fresh vegetable leaf or fruit skin is like 9,000 horsepower, whereas store-bought probiotics have the power of one miniature donkey.
Rejuvenating gut flora with raw, organic, unwashed produce is how you truly restore gut health. It’s also how you heal so-called MTHFR gene mutations and other methylation issues. Note that the medical communities’ label “MTHFR gene mutation” is inaccurate, though. People with this condition do not actually have a gene defect; rather, their bodies are experiencing toxic overload that’s preventing the conversion of nutrients to micronutrients. These powerful microorganisms can lower homocysteine levels and virtually reverse an MTHFR gene mutation diagnosis.