Heavy Metals and the Flora
The effect of heavy metals on bacteria is quite variable. For many
the effects are the same as they are for cells in the body such as
blocking uptake of needed nutrients, substituting for them in the cell
metabolism, creating more free radicals, inactivating enzyme functions
and so forth. Some bacteria have developed the ability to block heavy
metal absorption, rapidly excrete heavy metal or bind the metals in the
cell in ways that deactivate their toxic effects. Due to the lack of
full knowledge of the bowel contents and of the exact effects of metal
on the millions of bacteria, it is hard to say what effect ingestion of
heavy metal has on the flora in any specific way.
The toxicity of metals in the gut are strongly moderated by the
presence of metallothionein. Metallothionein is involved in many
functions of the body, including immunity, brain and gastrointestinal
tract maturation, and the regulation of metals. Metallothionein is
essential for maintenance of the proper ratio of copper to zinc. So much
so, that a zinc/copper imbalance is the main indicator for a
metallothionein malfunction. The malfunction could be due to a genetic
weakness but may also be primarily induced by nutritional deficiencies
and imbalances. The primary nutrient needed in the formation of
metallothionein is zinc.
Therefore, metals that compete with zinc such as mercury and cadmium will eventually disturb metallothionein function. Metallothionein is
crucial to the body in regulating and coping with toxic metals. It
envelopes metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium, binding with them
and carrying them out of the body. Mercury or lead in the gut require
metallothionein in order to disable the toxic substance.
is ingested in any form, it produces destructive changes in the mucous
membrane linings of the gastro-intestinal tract. It enters the blood
circulation, travels to the tissues, and then damages literally every
cell with which it comes into contact. Mercury has a long history of use as a disinfectant, and antibiotic. It is still used as an
antibacterial preservative so it is certain that it would kill at
least some of the flora. Ideally, ingested mercury is bound to
metallothionein and transported out of the body through the bile and
through the kidneys.
Without the effect of metallothionein, the toxic metals will
interact with chemicals called sulfhydral groups. A combination of
sulphur and hydrogen, these groups have tremendous power to bind to
mercury, lead, and cadmium but especially mercury. Among the sulfhydral
groups in the intestines are the enzymes that break down casein and
gluten. Toxic metals and low zinc interfere with the enzyme functions
giving rise to gluten intolerance to grains such as wheat, rye, barley
and oats, and to dairy intolerance.
Daily Consumption of Probiotics Is
An Ancient Practice for Health
The use of probiotics is an ancient practice thousands of years old.
All over the world people have used lactic acid producing bacteria to
ferment milk, fruit and vegetables, beans, fish meat and cereal.
Fermented foods taste better, are easier to digest and keep longer.
Sauerkraut, sourdough breads, salami, olives, yogurt, kefir, cheeses,
soy sauce, miso and fermented grains are still eaten all over the world.
Lactobacilli are a large family of bacteria that are essential
inhabitants of the gut, mucous membranes throughout the body, and are
present in large numbers in human breast milk.
Probiotic spores have been shown to be a crucial part of the gut flora. These bacterial strains are very common in people who live
close to nature such as hunter/gatherers, yet they are nearly absent
from city dwellers. They nourish your own good flora.
Drugs of all kinds, chlorine, sugar, alcohol, heavy metals, toxic
chemicals, nutritional deficiencies and immune deficiencies all deplete the
beneficial flora and favor pathogenic organisms. Because of this constant toxic exposure, everyone needs to
constantly promote the health of the flora.
To restore and keep the tremendous health benefits of a healthy flora, the use of probiotic supplements,
probiotic foods, and pre-biotics which feed the flora such as fiber and
inulin along with the avoidance of toxins of all kinds must be a lifetime process.
Re-establishing a Healthy Flora
Correcting gut dysbiosis requires an aggressive program of no sugar from any source including fruit, and a low
carbohydrate intake combined with increasing the levels of beneficial flora with probiotic supplements
as tolerated. Various herbs and other substances kill
yeasts and pathogenic bacteria such as garlic supplements of all
kinds. Although eating garlic is
always a good idea, supplements are required for an effective result when fighting infections
and over-growths of pathogens such as candida.
The most effective herbal treatment I have ever found for the control of candida and the restoration of good health after years of dysbiosis is a Chinese herbal formula called Health
Concerns Phellostatin. This product must be used very cautiously at
first as it is very effective and can cause significant discomfort due to the toxic
effects of die-off of the pathogens in the gut if the dose is too high.
It is best to work up to a high
dose of probiotics and garlic supplements, and make sure sugar is completely out of the diet before attempting
to use Phellostatin. It will not only kill pathogens, it will help
the body heal from the damage caused by candida overgrowth.
Just Thrive or Mega Sporebiotic are the best probiotic
formulas to rebuild the beneficial intestinal flora. The probiotic
spores survive the digestive tract 100%, unlike other probiotic
They garden the gut, killing off the bad bugs
and feeding the good ones. They nourish the gut lining, help digest
food, make antibiotics that kill candida and pathogenic bacteria
strains, feed your own good flora, and produce vitamins -- including
beta-carotene and Co-Q10. They can improve mood issues and train the
immune system of the gut improving auto-immune and immune deficiency
issues. Excellent for irritable bowel conditions.
particularly helpful for SIBO and candida. Start at a low dose, 1/4 to
1/2 capsule every other day, as die off will happen fairly strongly at
first for most people. Work up to the full dose of one capsule per
day. A sugar-free diet is essential when clearing candida and gut
Candida Die-Off and Detox
It is important to kill off candida slowly. Trying to eliminate it too quickly can result in severe reactions including a flare up of symptoms related to the candida infection, flu-like detox symptoms that can become debilitating, all types of digestive discomfort and even swelling of the liver as the body is overwhelmed with the release of toxins as the candida is killed. Always back off on the dose of anything designed to kill yeast whether a medication, herbal formula or other method if these symptoms occur. Mild symptoms that are tolerable and come and go are normal.
The well known and commonly available Chinese herbal formula called
Yin Chao, or Yin Qiao (or Cold Snap in health food stores) is very helpful in relieving detox and die-off
symptoms. It can also be used for general discomfort ranging from sore throats, insect
bites, ear aches, and non-chronic headaches to poison oak and
neuralgia, especially trigeminal neuralgia. It is especially helpful in
candida detoxification and can be used quite freely to control the
flu-like symptoms typical of candida die off.
It can be taken up to every hour at first until the symptoms begin to subside.
Then just take it whenever the symptoms begin to re-occur. Taken right away and
frequently during the onset of a cold, it can stop it or make it much
milder. Yin Chao
is very helpful for cold and flu symptoms and reduces fever. The main
contraindication to high doses is loose bowels although only a few have this problem
and it is usually temporary. For a few, it is just too laxative at high
After a while, as the pathogens clear the system, the die-off and
detox symptoms will become mild or non-existent. The liver will be able to
handle the toxins released and no particular symptoms will occur. The reduction in toxicity over all means you will feel better and better as health is restored.