Dr. Laura on Detoxification

Detoxification is a continual process. This happens at a cellular level throughout the body especially in the liver, kidney, lungs, skin, gastrointestinal tract and emotions.

Cellular toxins

When a cell encounters a toxin, be it too much sugar or alcohol, pesticides, BPA, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chemical flame retardants, phthalates, viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites it mounts a cell danger response (CDR).  This load triggers a series of protective reactions that slows the transport of   goods across the cellular membrane. The membrane walls thicken just like our ancestors ravaged in war, built their walled cities for protection. This response to cellular danger is a fundamental component of innate immunity and can be helpful in times of distress.

Seasonal influence on detoxification

There comes a time when things must come and go from this walled city.  Seasonal influence provide an important basis for organ focus. For example, in the height of summer, the emotions, digestive and energy movement are most active. Autumn is more a time for the lungs and large intestine.  Winter brings the kidney and bladder centre stage. Finally in spring the liver and gallbladder are most ready to clear out the build up from the cold winter months.

Long term effects of toxic exposure

Long term toxic exposure with little support leads to chronic disease. This is when the cells continually want to keep their walls of protection. This is not healthy. Garbage builds up, and the inward flow of nutrients slow down. We also get this feeling after the long, cold winter months as we have hibernated inside, put the heat on and slowed our movement in and out of the house. It is always interesting what tends to happen at human levels of behaviour are also reflected at levels of cellular behaviour.

With this in mind, it might be proactive to think about more outside activities to keep your cells and energy from becoming too stagnant. The kidneys and urinary bladder are likely more open to accept attention in the winter time.  The urinary bladder is pretty straight forward in its function; eliminating water soluble waste that has been prepared by the supporting organs in the body. The kidneys themselves are responsible for blood filtration, mineral and acid base balance. They decide what gets filtered out and what gets recycled back into the body. In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys include the adrenals, our body’s organs that help us adapt to stress.  It is important through the winter months to also ensure the adrenal glands are well supported.

Near the end of one season and the beginning of another, during equinox, the need for the organs shift. So in late winter, early spring, the stage prepares for the kidneys, adrenals and bladder to fade and the liver and gallbladder begin to take centre stage. If the flow of energy through these organs is not smooth, it generally results in a lack of creativity and feelings of irritability and nagging frustration.

Organ System Screening

Electro dermal screening (EDS) can provide insight into the health of your detoxification organs. Much like an EKG on the heart or EEG on the brain, nervous system conductance related to each organ may be captured at peripheral points of the nervous system on the hands and feet. The onsite EDS equipment at Forward Health is German engineered, precise and needle free. 

Detoxification Plan

Together with sensitive body biofeedback from the EDS equipment and understanding what’s bothering you, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can create a clear detoxification plan to help you relax those walls you and your cells have built, and get the river of life flowing smoothly once again.

Resources:
Teeguarden, Ron. 1984. Chinese Tonic Herbs. Japan Publications New York.
Naviaux, Robert. 2013. Metabolic Features of the Cell Danger Response. Mitochondrion Volume 16, May 2014, Pages 7-17 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2013.08.006.

 

Dr. Laura Shares: GUT Viruses Implicated in Parkinson’s Disease

This article on the link between viruses found in the gastrointestinal tract and Parkinson’s Disease is from www.medscape.com

Gut Viruses a Potential Trigger for Parkinson’s Disease?

Pauline Anderson

July 19, 2018

Shifts in gut bacteriophages, viruses that infect and replicate within bacteria, are implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), new research suggests.

“Most likely, bacteriophages are previously overlooked triggers for the development of Parkinson disease in some patient populations,” lead author George Tetz, MD, PhD, head of R&D at the Human Microbiology Institute, a not-for-profit scientific research organization in New York City, and of the Tetz Laboratories, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr George Tetz

Although the results need to be confirmed, they open the door for discussing bacteriophages as a novel therapeutic target and diagnostic tool for patients with PD, said Tetz.

The study was published online July 17 in Scientific Reports.

Incidence Rising

The incidence of PD is on the rise in the Western world, with a higher prevalence among white men.

PD symptoms of tremors and motor symptoms are mainly related to depletion of dopamine in the striatum. The hallmark pathological signs of PD are Lewy bodies, which have a main component of α-synuclein protein.

While genetic risk factors contribute to PD, about 90% of PD cases are attributed to environmental factors. Up to 75% of patients have gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities that can precede motor symptoms by many years.

Given the influence of gut bacteria on human health and the early involvement of GI microbiota in PD, the concept that the microbiota-gut-brain axis plays a role in PD has recently emerged.

The human GI tract houses bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, including bacteriophages, which outnumber other viral and bacterial species.

How bacteriophages negatively affect health has recently gained scientific interest.

“These bacterial viruses can lead to the death of bacterial populations,” said Tetz.

He and his team previously showed that bacteriophage administration can cause shifts in mammalian microbiota, leading to increased intestinal permeability and triggering chronic inflammation.

Gut bacteria may be implicated in PD through several pathways. One such pathway outlined by the authors involves the enteric nervous system (ENS), which  that is in constant direct communication with the brain through the vagus nerve.

Vagus Nerve a Disease Pathway?

According to the model of gut-originating, inflammation-driven PD pathogenesis, PD starts in the ENS and spreads through the vagus nerve to the central nervous system.

This concept is confirmed by the presence of α-synuclein aggregates in myenteric neurons of the ENS before the onset of PD motor symptoms, the authors note.

An unrelated 2016 study, reported by Medscape Medical News, showed that truncal vagotomy, or removal of the vagus nerve, was associated with a reduced risk for PD.

The authors of that study concluded that this finding suggests Parkinson’s pathology may ascend from the gut to the brain via the vagus nerve.

In the new study, Tetz and colleagues note that changes in the composition of gut microbiota may cause alterations in the intestinal barrier function and permeability, affecting both the immune system and the ENS.

The new analysis was based on another study that included 31 patients, mean age about 65 years, with early-stage PD and 28 sex- and age-matched people without PD.

The patients with PD had not yet been treated with L-dopa. This, said Tetz, is very important.

“It’s well-known that the administration of dopamine in Parkinson’s disease patients leads to a significant shift of the microbiome.”

Patients with chronic and inflammatory GI diseases and those using laxatives, immune suppressants, or antibiotics in the past 3 months were excluded from the study.

To analyze the study participants’ fecal samples, researchers used metagenomics analysis and a unique algorithm developed by the authors to quantify bacterial and phage content. They also examined the phage/bacteria ratio.

Environmental Origin?

Under normal circumstances, this ratio is 1, which means one bacterium has one bacteriophage inserted in its genome, said Tetz.

“Alterations of this ratio represent an increase of bacteriophages, and as a result, lead to a decrease of bacterial populations that are killed by these bacteriophages.”

The investigators found a significant between-group difference in the phage/bacterial ratio for Lactococcus (lactic acid bacteria). There was more than a 10-fold decrease in Lactococcus species  in patients with PD compared with controls.

Lactococcus plays an important role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, including dopamine. It also regulates intestinal permeability, another factor implicated in PD pathogenesis.

Despite the “striking” depletion of Lactococcus species in patients with PD, the total number of respective Lactococcus phages was about the same between the PD and control groups, the investigators report.

To investigate this discrepancy and a possible role of bacteriophages in the depletion of Lactococcus, the researchers divided Lactococcus phages into two clusters: strictly virulent (lytic), which can lead to the death of bacterial populations, or temperate. They compared the distribution of these two types between patients with PD and controls.

In the control group, the number of the lytic and temperate phages was similar, whereas in the PD group, most lactococcal phages were strictly virulent.

Tetz noted that the increase in these strictly lytic phages was accompanied by a decrease of Lactococcus bacteria. This, he said, suggests that the depletion of Lactococcus in patients with PD could be caused by lytic phages.

It’s not clear why the patients with PD had increased levels of lytic phages — whether, for example, it was from diet or a particular genetic susceptibility. This question must be addressed in further experiments, which are already in the planning stages, said Tetz.

However, he believes that the appearance of these lytic phages is most likely due to some external factor. The fact that these phages are lytic, meaning they enter microbiota, lead to the death of the bacterial population, and don’t persist for long in the gut, “would suggest that it’s something that originates from the environment.”

Dairy to Blame?

He noted that the type of phages that were increased in patients with PD in the study are found in yogurt and other dairy products. But he said it’s too early to conclude that such products play any role in PD.

The investigators believe that boosting Lactococcus bacterial species, or preventing a drop in levels, may prove useful in halting the development of PD.

But he stressed the importance of “diagnosing the death of the Lactococcus population at the appropriate time — before and not after the development of the disease.”

While it’s still unclear whether changes in dairy food consumption, or use of supplements, would change the gut Lactococcus population, fecal transplants are an intervention under active investigation.

However, Tetz believes that to be successful, such transplants would likely need to involve a limited number of bacterial species.

“There are a lot of drawbacks to regular fecal transplants, especially in the elderly population,” said Tetz. “It can lead to unpredictable shifts of the microbiome,” so new methods and new algorithms need to be developed “to make it safer.”
In light of these new results, bacteriophages should be added to the list of possible factors associated with the development of PD, the authors note.

They add that gut phagobiota composition may serve as a diagnostic tool as well as a target for therapeutic intervention.

The research team has also investigated the role of bacteriophages in type 1 diabetes. Tetz said the results “have revealed a striking difference” in children with this autoimmune disease.

Gaining Momentum

Commenting on the findings for Medscape Medical News, Michael S. Okun, MD, professor and chair of neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, and medical director, Parkinson’s Foundation, said the idea that change in the gut microbiome and bacterial content may be important to PD is “gaining momentum.”

The new study, which is “novel” in that it analyzed the phage/bacteria ratio in study participants, contributes useful information on the topic, said Okun.

“There were possibly important shifts in the phage/bacteria ratio in lactic acid bacteria potentially important to dopamine and to intestinal permeability.”

The depletion in Lactococcus was “intriguing” as previous studies have linked dairy products to development of PD, said Okun.

However, he warned that the new study needs to be interpreted carefully because all the patients with PD were drug naive and there were only 31 of them.

Okun agreed with the authors that it would be “speculative” to use this information “as a direct link” to the cause of or potential treatments for PD.

“Understanding the microbiome in Parkinson may unlock new diets or treatment approaches, or even help current medications and therapies work more effectively, but much more research will be required.”

Tetz and Okun have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Sci Rep. Published online July 17, 2018. Full text

For more Medscape Neurology news, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Flourish Your Flora

When the bacteria and yeasts in the gut, also sometimes referred to as microflora, micro biome or simply “flora”, are imbalanced, it can not only promote gassiness and bloating, it fails to provide the front line defence needed to prevent disease.  A healthy microflora will mean a healthy person! 70-80% of our immune system is in our gastrointestinal tract and the microbes in there play a big part in many aspects of our health.

What affects Flora in a Bad Way?

  • Antibiotic use
  • NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Aspirin, Celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac and indomethacin)
  • Birth control pills
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep deprivation—even a single night of significant sleep deprivation can affect intestinal permeability and other aspects of digestion and gut function.
  • Overeating – even overeating in a single meal can affect the micro biome
  • Physical inactivity or excess physical activity
  • Hypothyroidism, (T3 is required for intestinal motility, less T3 leads to constipation)
  • Hyperthyroidism  (Too much T3 leads to diarrhea and loose stools).
  • HPA axis dysfunction -changes in cortisol secretion can lead to flora changes through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Excess alcohol intake (increases intestinal permeability)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Environmental toxins such as mold, biotoxins, and heavy metals.

Good Flora Provides

Protective, Structural and Metabolic Function.

Protection.

  • Pathogen displacement
  • Nutrient competition
  • Receptor competition
  • Antimicrobial compounds

Structure.

  • Barrier fortification
  • Induction of IgA
  • Apical tightening of tight junctions
  • Immune system development

Metabolic function.

  • Aid in absorption of energy and minerals from food
  • Production of some vitamins
  • Help reduce inflammation. 

Flourish Your Flora

Fermented foods provide naturally occurring probiotics to the human through diet and have a long history of safe use. It is important to feed the gut micro biome with the right microbes every day in order to maintain beneificial protection, structure and function.

Yogurt: Fermented milk product. Slightly tart, varying thickness and creaminess. Yogurt is abundant in calcium, zinc, B vitamins, and probiotics; it is a good source of protein; and it may be supplemented with vitamin D and additional probiotics associated with positive health outcomes. Traditional yogurt contains: Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii (bulgaricus), and Streptococcus thermophiles. For best nutrition, opt for yogurt with no added sugar or flavours and one that states “live and active cultures”.

Recent studies have shown that yogurt consumption is associated with a healthier diet and metabolic profile in adults. In children, frequent yogurt consumption is associated with a lower fasting insulin level, reduced insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity.

Kefir: Fermented milk. Taste is tangy and smooth. Much like a liquid yogurt with about three times the amount of probiotics per serving. Kefir typically contains the following beneficial bacteria: Lactococcus lactis (lactis, cremoris, diacetylactis), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (cremoris), Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)and Saccaromyces unisporus.

Kefir is also a reasonable source of phosphorus and protein, vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin that aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. Kefir can be calming with its calcium, magnesium, and tryptophan.

Also good news for people lacking lactase, the enzyme required to break down lactose (sugar in milk products). Not only does fermentation reduce lactose content in kefir from 5% to 3.6%, the beta-galactosidase in kefir additionally breakdown lactose. For this reason, Kefir is good to help re-build tolerance to lactose, especially those with Candidiasis. Generally, it is suggested to start with two shooter cups of kefir in the morning (about 4oz) on an empty stomach. Every other day increase the amount by an additional shooter cup (2 oz) until you are able to drink a full 8oz (236ml).

Kombucha: Fermented black tea. Look for ones that are raw and do not have sugar listed on the list of ingredients. Gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Craze started 2,000 years ago in the Orient. It’s tart, fizzes and is somewhat acidic: a bit of an acquired taste. Kombucha received some bad rap based on the home preparations fermented in lead-glazed ceramic containers (what were they thinking!). Any fermentation process is best done in clean glass, in conditions away from the risk of possible contaminants. Follow clean fermentation practice if brewing at home. Kombucha tea can contain up to 1.5% alcohol, vinegar (acetic acid), probiotics, B vitamins, and caffeine. If left unrefrigerated, the alcohol will continue to build. If pasteurized, the probiotic content will be killed. Probiotics are grown from a “scoby” which is made of Acetobacter xylinoides, Acetobacter ketogenum a Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Saccharomycodes apiculatus, Zygosaccharomyes species, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Schizosaccharomyces pombe: Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Gluconacetobacter kombuchae, and Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis. In animal studies, kombucha has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.

Note: Too much kombucha can be toxic to those with weakened immune systems. A moderate serving is about 4oz a day, more increase risk for metabolic acidosis.

Fermented Vegetables: Pickles, Beets, Kimchi, Sauerkraut…pretty much any vegetable can be fermented. Traditionally, the vegetable is soaked in brine (salt) that kills off harmful bacteria. In the fermentation stage, the naturally remaining Lactobacillus bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid, which preserves the vegetables and gives them their unique, tangy flavor. Think of combining prebiotics in your fermented vegetable recipes for added goodness.

More at: https://chriskresser.com/become-a-fermentation-ninja-without-leaving-your-pajamas/ 

  • Feed the flora! Just like fish in an aquarium, your need to feed your flora. You need prebiotics to feed the colonies of probotics (Lactic Acid producing Bacteria). Prebiotics are non-digestible plant-derived carbohydrates. Not only is it important to supplement with fermented foods that provide beneficial bacteria, it is important to also provide the food that stimulates probiotic growth and further fermentation in the colon. Diets complete with prebiotics and probiotics have shown to reduce reactive oxygen species and markers of inflammation. Prebiotics include fructans like inulin or fructo-oligosaccharides which in English means chicory root powder or as it is labeled, FOS (Fermenting Oxygen Species). Inulin is also naturally found in asparagus, bananas, burdock root, dandelion root, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks and onions.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown ND.