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Century-old phages may be the answer to helping prevent foodborne illness

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Ecophage

In light of last year’s recall of 62,000 pounds of raw beef (and the many other recalls that occurred throughout this year), our world-renowned team of health experts introduced EcoPhage. These powerful bacteriophages help fight against harmful gut bacteria.

Just last year, government officials found over 62,000 pounds of raw beef, from an Aurora, Illinois, company, possibly tainted with E. coli bacteria.1 Fast-forward to this year, and we’re again seeing thousands of pounds of meat being recalled for potential E. coli contamination.2

The promising use of phages against the flu could yield new options in stimulating antiviral immunity to fight COVID-19.

In fact, within the past year, according to the USDA’s current recall list, there have been 15 food recalls due to possible misbranding, mislabeling, and contaminations of E. coli, undeclared allergens, foreign matter, Salmonella, and Listeria.3

The CDC even estimates that 1 in 6 Americans, or 48 million people, get sick from foodborne diseases each year.4

For those who want to protect their digestive system from foodborne bacteria, and even harmful pathogens, century-old bacteriophages are now coming to the forefront as a powerful product to help prevent the harmful effects of bacteria overgrowth, like E. coli.

EcoPhage: Help is here to create a healthy immune system

Containing a high-quality combination of four of the most well-researched phages, bacteriophages like those in EcoPhage exclusively attack gut pathogens and leave healthy gut flora completely intact — cleaning up the gut, urinary tract, and birth canal to restore order and promote a healthy immune system.

Research shows that the genome of the bacteriophage, T4, for example, has the genes to kill pathogenic E. coli.5 Phages act quickly, are effective against antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and disrupt bacterial biofilms that can disable treatment from occurring.6,7

Pioneered in Europe before the advent of antibiotics, bacteriophages like EcoPhage selectively target specific, harmful bacteria, while leaving beneficial microbes to flourish. This is one of the most relevant tools to treat bad bacteria since the good bacteria in your gut naturally limit the growth of other harmful bacteria.

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How does EcoPhage work? It may make probiotics more effective

Unlike other prebiotics, the phages in EcoPhage function quite differently. As the phages kill the bad bacteria, they leave more room for the good bacteria to remain and colonize — even encouraging the growth of the most important bacteria like Bifidus, Lactobacillus, and Bacillus.

When the bad bacteria explode, the nutrients inside the cell walls become food for the beneficial microbes.

The phage then travels into the small intestine and immediately recognizes any pathogenic bacteria living where they’re not supposed to be, and it attacks. Attaching itself to the cell wall of the bad bacteria, it then punches a hole in its outer membrane and injects its own DNA into the bacteria.

The phage virus comes alive at that point, eats some of the nutrients inside the bad bacteria, and starts growing trillions of copies of itself. So many copies are reproduced that the bad bacteria swell up and explode, spilling trillions of new viruses out into the bloodstream.

These viruses then find other bad bacteria to infect, destroying them too. There are also no known side effects or cross-reactions with other medications when using phages.

The latest studies show that this chain of events — often called “phage therapy” — could offer a potential treatment for influenza, prosthetic joint infections, and even alcoholic liver disease.8-10 The promising use of phages against the flu could yield new options in stimulating antiviral immunity to fight COVID-19.11

An easy way to help you and your loved ones stay protected

When you eat out, you’re constantly exposed to pathogens. The same goes for certain foods we eat at home.  We may think what we’re eating is good, even if it’s organic, but sometimes, that’s not the case.

So, one of the best ways to protect ourselves from harmful pathogens is to create a hardy inner ecosystem full of beneficial bacteria. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds. Watch one — or both — of the videos below to find out how phages fit into your healthy lifestyle.

REFERENCES:

    1. “Aurora Packing Company, Inc. Recalls Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination.” USDA, May 2019.
    2. “Lakeside Refrigerated Services Recalls Beef Products due to Possible E.coli O157:H7 Contamination.” USDA, June 2020.
    3. “Current Recalls and Alerts.” USDA, 2020.
    4. “Foodborne Germs and Illnesses.” CDC, 2020.
    5. BERTANI G. Studies on lysogenesis. I. The mode of phage liberation by lysogenic Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1951;62(3):293-300. doi:10.1128/JB.62.3.293-300.1951.
    6. Joshua M. Hardy, Rhys A. Dunstan, Rhys Grinter, Matthew J. Belousoff, Jiawei Wang, Derek Pickard, Hariprasad Venugopal, Gordon Dougan, Trevor Lithgow, Fasséli Coulibaly. The architecture and stabilisation of flagellotropic tailed bacteriophages. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17505-w.
7. Jin Woo Jun, Se Chang Park, Anu Wicklund, Mikael Skurnik. Bacteriophages reduce Yersinia enterocolitica contamination of food and kitchenware. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.02.007.
    8. Daniel Lauster, Simon Klenk, Kai Ludwig, Saba Nojoumi, Sandra Behren, Lutz Adam, Marlena Stadtmüller, Sandra Saenger, Stephanie Zimmler, Katja Hönzke, Ling Yao, Ute Hoffmann, Markus Bardua, Alf Hamann, Martin Witzenrath, Leif E. Sander, Thorsten Wolff, Andreas C. Hocke, Stefan Hippenstiel, Sacha De Carlo, Jens Neudecker, Klaus Osterrieder, Nediljko Budisa, Roland R. Netz, Christoph Böttcher, Susanne Liese, Andreas Herrmann, Christian P. R. Hackenberger. Phage capsid nanoparticles with defined ligand arrangement block influenza virus entry. Nature Nanotechnology, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41565-020-0660-2.
    9. Edison J Cano, Katherine M Caflisch, Paul L Bollyky, Jonas D Van Belleghem, Robin Patel, Joseph Fackler, Michael J Brownstein, Bri’Anna Horne, Biswajit Biswas, Matthew Henry, Francisco Malagon, David G Lewallen, Gina A Suh. Phage Therapy for Limb-threatening Prosthetic Knee Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection: Case Report and In Vitro Characterization of Anti-biofilm Activity. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2020; DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciaa705.
    10. Yi Duan, Cristina Llorente, Sonja Lang, Katharina Brandl, Huikuan Chu, Lu Jiang, Richard C. White, Thomas H. Clarke, Kevin Nguyen, Manolito Torralba, Yan Shao, Jinyuan Liu, Adriana Hernandez-Morales, Lauren Lessor, Imran R. Rahman, Yukiko Miyamoto, Melissa Ly, Bei Gao, Weizhong Sun, Roman Kiesel, Felix Hutmacher, Suhan Lee, Meritxell Ventura-Cots, Francisco Bosques-Padilla, Elizabeth C. Verna, Juan G. Abraldes, Robert S. Brown, Victor Vargas, Jose Altamirano, Juan Caballería, Debbie L. Shawcross, Samuel B. Ho, Alexandre Louvet, Michael R. Lucey, Philippe Mathurin, Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, Ramon Bataller, Xin M. Tu, Lars Eckmann, Wilfred A. van der Donk, Ry Young, Trevor D. Lawley, Peter Stärkel, David Pride, Derrick E. Fouts, Bernd Schnabl. Bacteriophage targeting of gut bacterium attenuates alcoholic liver disease. Nature, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1742-x.
    11. Górski A, Międzybrodzki R, Żaczek M, Borysowski J. Phages in the fight against COVID-19?. Future Microbiol. 2020;15:1095-1100. doi:10.2217/fmb-2020-0082.

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