The Way to BE

Bacteria that Heals Your Gut: Relief from Inflammatory Bowel Disorders

Your gastrointestinal tract is an open door to the outside world.

We are constantly ingesting all kinds of microorganisms with our food. This could be any assortment of viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Mostly, these are harmless. A healthy person carries far more bacteria than human cells, a ratio of about ten to one.

While there are about ten trillion cells in the human body, a healthy person is also carrying around four trillion viruses. Many microorganisms live symbiotically with humans. If a microorganism is designed to host on humans, the gut has a number of defenses that protect it from pathogenic invasion.

The gut houses the largest mass of lymphoid tissue in the human body.

This mass, known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), is the digestive tract’s immune system and sits just below the mucosal barrier of the intestines. The mucosal barrier keeps gut microflora and other contents of the intestine in place. Inflammation makes the intestinal tract permeable, and beneficial microflora actually help to repair the lining of the gut. The intestinal epithelial cells, the immune system, and beneficial microbes are all in constant dialogue with each other.

Scientists have known for some time that beneficial microbiota can help heal inflammatory bowel conditions.

Until recently, they did not know the exact mechanism. What they did know was that the small cells which line the intestine, the intestinal epithelial cells, are in extreme close quarters with beneficial bacteria. Together these form a barrier.

In the gut, this barrier protects the deep interior of the body from outside microorganisms, antigens, and even large undigested food particles. By migrating into small gaps or variances in the intestinal wall, friendly bacteria are known to repair these gaps, which form during inflammatory conditions.

Eating a regular diet of fermented veggies will provide your gut with the beneficial bacteria it needs to naturally heal inflammatory bowel disorders!

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine teamed up and discovered that Lactobacillus bacteria actually promote a biochemical response in intestinal epithelial cells. Lactobacillus is the group of bacteria most known for their role in traditional fermented food like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchee.

Dr. Andrew Neish, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University, says that, "It's been known for years that probiotic bacteria can have these kinds of helpful effects, but it wasn't really clear how this worked. We've identified one example, among many, of how certain kinds of bacteria have specific biochemical functions in the body."

What they found is that Lactobacillus microbes prompt intestinal epithelial cells to release Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). In large quantities, ROS cause oxidative stress to the body because they are so highly reactive. However, in small amounts, such as the amount produced by intestinal epithelial cells when they come in contact with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, the ROS stimulates the formation of focal adhesions.

These focal adhesions are structures on the epithelial cells that act as anchors for their movement. They are where the cells attach to the matrix surrounding them, sort of like laying down tracks. Focal adhesions actually help to increase the motility of epithelial cells, ultimately leading to gut repair.

What researchers knew before they began the study was that immune cells respond to bacteria by generating ROS. In the recent research cited above, Niesh and his colleagues believe that ROS production signifies tissue maintenance rather than a component of defense, and that it is a marker of cohabitation and adaption. While systemic oxidative stress is linked to heart disease, stroke, and cancer, local and controlled ROS can be a way to send signals and communicate.

While science lays bare the many facets of beneficial bacteria, making sure that you constantly nourish your body with traditional fermented foods is a great way to keep your gut populated with beneficial flora.

We suggest adding these two steps to your daily diet:

  1. Include fermented foods in every meal. The Vegetable Starter and the Kefir Starter are great ways to create fermented foods at home.
  2. Beginning and ending your day with at least 3 oz. of a probiotic beverage, like Body Ecology Cocobiotic, will make a huge difference in the inner ecology of your gastrointestinal tract!

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Beneficial bacteria can help to heal inflammatory conditions in the gut. The small cells of the intestines work together with good bacteria to form a healthy gut barrier. This barrier works to keep out harmful microorganisms and even large particles of undigested food.

Scientists have researched further to find that friendly bacteria can improve the motility of intestinal cells and lead to gut repair. This is why it is so important to include fermented foods and probiotic beverages as a part of your daily diet for optimal digestive health!

Product Recommendations:

  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home
  • Kefir Starter

    Kefir Starter

    Better Digestion, Boost Immunity

    Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.

    Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!

    Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!

    Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!

    • Digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates
    • Has anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties
    • Rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins
    • An absolute must after antibiotic use



P. A. Swanson, A. Kumar, S. Samarin, M. Vijay-Kumar, K. Kundu, N. Murthy, J. Hansen, A. Nusrat, A. S. Neish. Enteric commensal bacteria potentiate epithelial restitution via reactive oxygen species-mediated inactivation of focal adhesion kinase phosphatases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010042108

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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