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Article by Marie Cargill:
DO YOU/DON’T YOU?

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Supporting your intestines during antibiotic treatment.

Antibiotics are non-discriminatory: they will kill both disease-causing bacteria and other micro- organisms as well as the beneficial, natural-occurring microflora in the digestive tract. What the kill off will do is leave the intestines deficient in good microflora; such a deficiency produces immediate changes in food absorption and elimination.

Beneficial intestinal microflora is absolutely necessary to a healthy GI system: they stimulate numerous intestinal brush border enzymes to maintain normal digestive functions. Among the e many factors they secrete are the enzymes to reduce dietary protein allergies, preventing auto immune problems and leaky gut syndrome. They stimulate glucose and sodium absorption and produce fatty acids such as butyrate which in turn nourishes colon tissue and is an anti-cancer factor in the colon. These microflora suppress populations of pathogens such as Candida, yeasts, and protozoas as well as inhibit entertoxin infections and inflammation such as Giardia, listeria, salmonella, shigella, and e.coli. Beneficial microflora is very involved in enhancing immune system activity. Some of the microflora enhance white cell phagocytic activity through stimulating B cell proliferation and antibody protection. Some of these amazing powerful intestinal microflora keep the intestines functioning normally during antibiotic therapy helping to prevent associated problems such as diarrhea.

One of these species is Saccharomyces boulardii, a non-pathogenic, transient yeast, hardy, acid-resistant, temperature tolerant and not affected by anti-bacterial agents. This organism is distinct from brewer’s yeast and different from pathogenic Candida species. Research has found that S. boulardi supports healthy intestinal functions in antibiotic- associated diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and traveler’s diarrhea.

L. rhamnosus, another species not affected by anti-bacterial agents is a transient Lactobacillus that colonizes the small intestines when consumed. It favorably enhances innate and acquired immunity by inducing T cell responsiveness and increases killing activity of natural killer cells. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on the mucosa.

B. bifidum and B. breve are two species found in the colon’s microflora. They replenish colonic bifidobacterial populations important to immune response and the suppression of overgrowth of pathogenic microbes, particularly Clostridium difficile and Candida albicans. Both species restore normal microorganisms helping in cases of rotavirus diarrhea and camplyobacter enteritis.

Several strains also support the body against parasites such as amoebas and Giardiasis preventing adhesion to intestinal walls and subsequent build up of amebic and Giardia cysts. The answer to the question of taking probiotics during antibiotic therapy should be a definite “yes”. The broad, versatile gastrointestinal effects of these microflora can mean the difference to quick recovery. Probiotics should be taken at least one hour before to two hours after ingestion of antibiotics. When pathogenic bacteria die, release of cellular debris and by-products may induce a “die-off” effect. This is rare and transient, may produce abdominal discomfort and gas, but passes quickly. The fast and effective improvement in symptoms is the reward for adding probiotics.

Antibiotics are not the only solution to pathogens and parasites. Most people don’t know that enzymes are a powerful tool in killing and preventing regrowth of pathogens in the intestine. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus MRSA, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Candida paratropicalis all form biofilms in the colon where the pathogens embed themselves. Certain enzyme combinations disrupt the biofilm matrix as well as degrade bacterial and yeast cell wall structure. This killing off then leads to the formation of healthy intestinal microbial biofilm communities. If enzymes are combined with a high potency, broad, multispecies probiotic formula and a prebiotic formula, most pathogens can be eliminated from the GI system.

Prebiotics influence GI health in several ways and are not as well appreciated as probiotics. Prebotics promote normal colon transit time by increasing bulk . They enhance the absorption of calcium and magnesium and increase production of fatty acid chains, and produce butyrate important as an anti-cancer agent. They have a favorable effect on triglyceride metabolism. Along with enzymes they decrease populations of pathogens. Primarily classified as fiber, prebiotics are a food source for beneficial intestinal bacteria; by having prebiotics available, colonies of good bacteria increase. This increase causes colon transit time to become normal; the gut’s mucosal barrier improves; and immune functions increase dramatically.

Clinical and laboratory evidence has been accumulating implicating multisystem abnormalities playing a role in autism spectrum disorders. Many children on the autism spectrum exhibit sensitivities to foods and environmental toxins. These sensitivities perpetuate symptoms of the problem and the only way to treat is through a biomedical approach. Probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and supplements are key components in such an approach. No two individuals on the autism spectrum present with the same pathologies and treatment should vary, tailored to each child’s needs.

Children on the autism spectrum have significant gastrointestinal pathology which may include microbial pathogens such as Candida albicans and Clostridium; they may show increased intestinal permeability such as leaky gut and malabsorption.

Probiotics supplements should be one of the first nutritional interventions to help eliminate pathogens, restore and maintain a healthy balance of flora and support immune system functions of the GI tract. If antibiotics or 2 antifungal agents or metal chelating agents are used to detox, the toxins and by-products generated from these agents will disturb the balance of intestinal microflora. Supplementing antibiotic therapy with probiotics resistant to antibiotics will assist detoxification, reduce uptake of toxins, replace beneficial microflora, and ameliorate any symptoms such as diarrhea. Overgrowth of Candida yeast species is a frequent problems in children on the autism spectrum. Saccharomyces boulardi, a probiotic mentioned earlier has the ability to produce antifungal agents that naturally inhibit or kill Candida species.

Children on the autism spectrum have inadequate production of digestive enzymes resulting in impaired digestion and symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, dyspepsia, gastric reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. Incomplete breakdown of gluten and casein in foods results in the generation of neurologically active peptides. These peptides are opiate-like substances which adversely affect development and signal processing in the brain. A digestive enzyme blend can break down peptides as well as improve digestion.

Using vitamins and minerals helps correct nutritional deficits common in autism spectrum disorders. If the GI system is impaired, there is no significant absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. With improved gut functions, the vitamins most often recommended are:

  • carotenes,
  • B complex particularly niacin (B3) ,
  • pantothenic acid (B5),
  • thiamine (B1),
  • biotin,
  • vitamin E and D,
  • calcium,
  • magnesium,
  • selenium, and
  • zinc.

Children also show increased oxidative stress - the overload of free radicals - and need antioxidant supplements such as bio-flavonoids.

Amino acids, organic compounds linked to form proteins, are the building blocks of the entire body. They are required to build and repair cells, tissue, and organs; they are the basis of enzymes, hormones, and RNA and DNA and facilitate exchange of nutrients between cells and body tissues, blood, and lymph systems. If a child is not consuming, digesting and absorbing adequate amounts of proteins, supplementation is necessary.

There’s no limit to the amount of effective intervention you can use to help your body repair itself, and to keep your body on a healthier tract.

For supplies and further information consult Marie Cargill.

 

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