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probiotics and detox

Probiotics May Help Detoxification

Background: In the past, detoxification was something health minded people did several times a year as colon and liver cleanses. Major detox is accomplished by these two organs so keeping them in good working condition is paramount, effective cleanses do this.

Today however, with more toxins in foods and the environment than ever, continuous daily detoxification is needed in addition to periodic cleansing. As doctor Russell Blaylock emphasized in his November 2012 Blaylock Wellness Report (Vol. 9, No. 11): Food toxin dangers are all around us!

Frequently used pesticides like Paraquat, Maneb, Roundup, and Rotenone are toxic for reasons not related to how they kill weeds or bugs and are commonly found in fresh fruits and vegetables.

These and many other pesticides negatively affect our cellular enzymes, cell membranes, molecular signaling, and our nervous system and have been proven to cause a plethora of diseases when ingested at levels of parts-per-billion (ppb). A Google search here will keep you reading for weeks.

Furthermore, certified organic produce is no safe escape! Due to wind and rain dispersion from conventional farms, organic crops are not completely free of pesticide toxins.

The Dirty Dozen list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables is published periodically:

How can Probiotics Help?

Probiotics are far and away the most important dietary supplement you can take, even more important than a multi-vitamin! A bold but true statement.

They keep the digestive system, the colon in particular, clean running and in a state of Eubiosis where good bugs, strains of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, prevent a state of Dysbiosis where Hostile Intestinal Bacteria (HIB) dominate and make you sick. It takes multi-billions of CFU (colony forming units) of the right strains of probiotics, that must get delivered alive through stomach acid, to make Eubiosis happen. When your intestinal tract is in a state of Eubiosis the probiotics in control are able to assist in detoxification of food toxins including pesticides.

Here are the top six modes of action used by probiotics to improve detoxification:

1. Regularity, Regularity, Regularity:

Regularity is the signature of Eubiosis and probiotic control of the intestinal flora. When waste moves fast and effectively out of the body toxins have less time to hang around and get absorbed (see: Huffnagle, G.B., The Probiotics Revolution, 2008, Bantam Books).

2. Liver Assist:

Probiotics help the liver with detoxification by boosting the effectiveness of the Glucuronic Acid Escort Cycle. Glucuronic acid is produced in the liver and binds to many toxins and “escorts” them out of the body in a bowel movement. That’s provided the toxin doesn’t get detached in the colon by HIB bacteria and reabsorbed! Probiotics inhibit the HIB that cause toxin detachment! This has been well established in the scientific literature (see: Sellman, S., Hormone Heresy, 2001, Bridger House Publishers).

3. Modulate Immune System: In particular the T-reg cells that produce cytokine IL-10 (calms down excess inflammatory reactions)are affected. Certain strains of probiotics enhance T-reg cell ability to produce IL-10 so a balanced attack can be made on toxins that have been absorbed, an over active attack that does not calm down can often cause more damage than the toxin itself (see: World Journal Gastroenterology, 2007,13(2): 236-243).

4.BioFilm Interaction:

Biofilms are slime layers that are composed of mucins produced by goblet cells in the intestinal wall that get mixed with polysaccharide slime produced by intestinal bacteria. Much of the microbial activity in the intestinal tract occurs in these biofilms so it is important to keep them Eubiotic with probiotics in control. Dysbiotic biofilms with HIB bacteria in control can prevent desirable detoxification events: An example is the prevention of protoxins from being converted to active toxins. Many protoxins from food, nitrite and nitrate in sausage and ham are examples, get actively converted to carcinogenic toxins when certain HIB like Clostridia are in control, now they can cause cancer or other diseases. Probiotics, by producing lactic acid, keep the HIB in check and allow protoxins to pass out of the body without causing harm (see: Probert, H.M. and Gibson, G.R., Bacterial Biofilms in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract, Curr. Issues Intest. Microbiol. (2002) 3: 23-27).

5.Increase Absorption of Antidote Supplements:

There are key dietary supplements that offset the toxicity of pesticide toxins, since it is impossible to completely avoid these toxins it is smart to consider including some of these supplements in your daily diet. Most antidotes are natural antioxidants whose absorption can be inhibited in a Dysbiotic intestinal tract with HIB bacteria in control. Probiotics benefit the absorption of such supplements by keeping intestinal surfaces clean and free of invasive pathogens like E. coli. Examples of antidote supplements: Vitamin-C, Natural Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex, Magnesium Citrate, Lipoic Acid, NAC, Curcumin, Quercetin, Melatonin (see: The Blaylock Wellness Reports: August 2012, Vol. 9. No. 8 and November 2012, Vol. 9. No. 11.).

6. Synergisms with Soluble Fiber: This mode of action may the most important. Soluble fiber products such as products containing PHGG (partially hydrolyzed guar gum) or inulin or isomalto-oligosaccharides, as well as other types, have the ability to not only feed probiotic bacteria (they are Prebiotics) but also to transport toxins out of the body by direct adsorption akin to what the liver does in number 2 above. Only it is very difficult for HIB bacteria to disconnect the toxins from these fibers so out they go with the feces. By feeding the probiotics, so numbers 1—5 above take place effectively, and then by escorting the toxins out, you have with Soluble Fiber + Probiotics the best one-two punch in the detox business (see: Watson, B., The Fiber 35 Diet, 2007, Free Press).

The preceding guidelines regarding detoxification with probiotics are presented here for educational purposes. The references cited are not all inclusive to what has been said. Much more information exists and can now be found in libraries on the Internet. More research regarding detoxification is required, however, probiotics are very safe and are growing in usage by as much as 30% per year in the USA because they support general intestinal health. That they may also help detoxify the body should be considered a special bonus.

Randolph S. Porubcan Consulting Biochemist