My next post will be on avoiding food poisoning, but before I post on that issue I need to point out that there obviously exists a balance between living in disease causing filth and being obsessively hygienic. A lot of research suggests that we need various probiotics in order to be healthy, and that a large number of health problems occur because we have cleaned up our environment so thoroughly that we don’t have the necessary symbiotes in our bodies any more.
The hygiene hypothesis seems to be gradually being refined into what has been called the Old Friends Hypothesis. The shift is from one of believing that we benefit from infections with various organisms in general sort of way, to saying that bad organisms are bad for us, and good organisms (symbiotes) are good for us. So, obviously we should try to avoid the bad ones and seek out the good ones. Here are two previous blog posts of mine that touch on this issue The Umami Hypothesis – Lost Wanderer and Apitherapy & Biotherapy – Lost Wanderer.
Here is a general survey of some of this material by Gut Buddies: ‘Friendly’ bacteria: side-lined healers - Gut Buddies (Some of the friendly bacteria (and products) referred to by Gut Buddies in this post are: segmented filamentous bacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, Puritan’s Pride, Lactobacillus reuteri, B. infantis 35624, Lactobacillus F19, L. acidophilus NCFB 1748 and B. lactis Bb12, Advanced Oral Hygiene with S. salivarius and B. coagulans, PerioBalance with Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis, Halofuginone, and Bacillus polyfermenticus).
Helminths (hookworms and whipworms, etc.) have been apparently very effective in helping with numerous allergic and autoimmune conditions, including allergies, asthma, autism, Crohn’s Disease, Eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and Ulcerative Colitis. (AutoimmuneTherapies) (Hookworms are our Little Friends - Lost Wanderer)
Similar immune-modifying symbiote-based therapies might help with many other diseases and conditions:
Aortic dissection (Inflammation Critical in Aortic Dissection, Researchers Find via The worm’s next success? – Gut Buddies)
Autism (Autism May Be Linked to Mom’s Autoimmune Disease (type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease) via Autoimmune & biotherapy news 2009/7/9 – Gut Buddies) (See also: The Vitamin D Theory of Autism – Lost Wanderer)
Dental Issues (Probiotic lozenges promote oral health - Gut Buddies (GUM PerioBalance (Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis) and Advanced Oral Hygiene lozenges (S. salivarius and B. coagulans)
Diabetes (Diabetes- Lost Wanderer)
Flatulence Odor (You Can be a God/Goddess – Lost Wanderer (Odafree/Whiff withYucca Shidgera from desert Yucca, Fructo-oligosacharides from Jerusalem artichokes, and Copper Chlorophyllin from alfalfa. Local inventor clearing the air on pill that helps you breathe)
Migraine Headaches (Migraine Headaches - Lost Wanderer)
(Childhood: Food Allergies May Be Linked to Obesity by Nicholas Bakalar and The Effect of The ALCAT Test Diet Therapy for Food Sensitivity in Patient’s With Obesity via Obesity As An Immune Disorder III – Matt Metzgar)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (Link Discovered Between Antibodies To Strep Throat Bacteria And Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (and Tourette syndrome) In Mice (Group A beta-hemolytic streptoccoccus (GABHS)) via The worm’s next success? – Gut Buddies)
Recently, Matt Metzgar has been posting a lot on the topics of probiotics (1) and prebiotics. Matt began by pointing out the site Paleobiotics, which discusses how the ancient diet influenced people’s gut flora. The diets of hunter gatherers would have had a lot of indigestible fibers in them, which were instead consumed by our gut bacteria. Since we no long eat this sort of diet we harbor somewhat different colonies of bacteria, to the likely detriment of our health. Matt points out that in one study (Can vegetables help you resist infection?) that men who took prebiotics massively increased their good gut bacteria, but the group only taking a probiotic didn’t benefit very much. (See also: Eat Bugs. Not Too Much. Mainly With Plants via Prebiotics versus Probiotics - Matt Metzgar)
Conditions that Matt talks about that might be influenced by the types of bacteria we harbor include:
Allergies (The role of Probiotics in allergic diseases, Maternal breast-milk and intestinal bifidobacteria guide the compositional development of the Bifidobacterium microbiota in infants at risk of allergic disease, (bifidobacteria) Babies, Bacteria and Breast Milk: Genome Sequence Reveals Evolutionary Alliance (Bifidobacterium longum supsp. infantis) via Balancing Bacteria - Matt Metzgar and Babies and Bacteria – Matt Metzgar)
Anxiety, in patients with chronic fatigue (A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria) via Probiotics and Mood – Matt Metzgar)
Cold and flu symptoms in children (Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children, (Lactobacillus acidophilus or L acidophilus NCFM in combination with Bifidobacterium animalis) and HOWARU (Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) via Probiotics for Children – Matt Metzgar)
(The effects of manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study, Streptococcus mutans in saliva of normal subjects and neck and head irradiated cancer subjects after consumption of honey via Honey and Oral Health - Matt Metzgar)
(Peelu, Comparative effect of chewing sticks and toothbrushing on plaque removal and gingival health, Subgingival plaque microbiota in Saudi Arabians after use of miswak chewing stick and toothbrush, Chewing sticks versus toothbrushes via Chewing on Fiber II - Matt Metzgar)
(Dietary fiber intake and dental health status in urban-marginal, and rural communities in central Mexico and A longitudinal study of the relationship between diet intake and dental caries and periodontal disease in elderly Japanese subjects via Chewing on Fiber - Matt Metzgar)
(See also: Dental Related Information – Lost Wanderer)
(1) In addition to the conditions mentioned in this post, probiotics might also help with such things as lactose intolerance, colon cancer, cholesterol, improving immune function and preventing infections, improving mineral absorption, preventing harmful bacterial growth under stress, and managing urogenital health. (Probiotic – Wikipedia)