Probiotics, Fecal Transfer, and the Super-Organism Man
Is it wise to engage in biological germ warfare against ourselves when we our an organism that is 90% bacterial?
Date: 6/23/2010 6:10:25 PM ( 5 y ) ... viewed 5625 times
Recently, someone emailed me wanting to know my thoughts on fecal bacteriotherapy and the fecal enema procedure.It's an interesting question that creates more questions.
The human body is composed of around 10 trillion human cells that harbor 100 trillion micro-organisms. We are truly super-organisms, 10% human and 90% micro-organism (bacteria, yeast, fungus, parasites, etc). If you consider the number of genes present in these cells, we are 1% human and 99% micro-organisms. The micro-organism side of the equation is very misunderstood and under-addressed. Additionally, very little is known about the majority of these bacteria that inhabit our bodies.The flora of the intestinal tract evolves over the course of our lifetime based on factors such as vaginal vs. cesarean birth, food choices, chemicals, medications, heavy metals, the environment, etc.
The idea of fecal transfer seems to make sense, but the determination of what constitutes a proper donor for each person remains an unknown. In studies done to date, the approach usually involves a husband, wife, or significant other. The benefit of using a significant other as a donor has to do with them having the same diet more or less, and thus the same make-up of intestinal flora, minus the bad ones that may be affecting someone needing this therapeutic approach. This is probably more than anyone ever bargained for in any relationship.
Studies have shown that there are anywhere from 400 to 40,000 species of bacteria in the intestinal tract. Many of these aren't able to be grown outside of the intestinal tract as yet, and most species are still unknown. That alone makes fecal transfer as the best source for the majority of the bacteria that could benefit us. The number of probiotics that we have available to us to replace and support bacterial flora is still relatively small in contrast. We know the general benefits of probiotics and what we can expect based on the relatively small amount of research data that we have collecteed to date, but what about other micro-organisms like parasites. Researchers as the University of Iowa have used pork parasites to successfully treat Crohn's and Irritable Bowel Disease in subjects. That may seem like the opposite thing to do, yet it has proven to be very successful. We've been taught that parasites are bad for us, yet it seems that they also have a place in the dense ecosystem of our gut.
Perhaps, a good question to ask would be what does your body really need? Do you need species that are more necessary in the small intestine or large intestines? In terms of bacteria, Lactobacillus species are dominant in the small intestine and that can probably be handled very well by taking probiotics. Bifidobacterium species are abundant in the large intestine and that can also be addressed through probiotics. What about all the rest? An important species in the intestinal tract that is primarily found in the large intestine is E. coli. Most of us are aware of this organism for the news-making trouble that antibiotic-resistant and mutated strains can cause, but we aren't as familiar with its life-giving benefits or some research that has shown an anti-cancer effect associated with its use. This particular beneficial bacteria as a probiotic has been used in Europe and Russia for years and only recently in the US under the trade name Mutaflor.
Well, so far we have feces, parasites, and E. coli on our list of possible cures for what ails us. Not too inviting. While transferring someone else's fecal material into your body may be benign, beneficial, or even challenging on some levels, what if it's the one thing that works? Having an open mind is a good asset to keep present with us at all times. As I always tell groups when I lecture, we probably know about 1% of what goes on in the body, so it's best to keep your options open. Anyone who analyzes research as I have done daily for many years will know this to be true.
In the end, perhaps it's wisest to always question the use of antibiotics. Is it wise to engage in what amounts to as biological germ warfare against ourselves when we our an organism that is 90% bacterial? We understand too little at this point in time about the 400-40,000 species that reside in our intestinal tract. What we do know is that they are essential to our health. Research is showing that disruption of the normal bacterial ecosystem of our body can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cancer, as well as a host of other diseases and conditions. Keeping that ecosystem healthy and functional should be a primary objective for everyone. in the end, it may save you or a loved a lot of pain and suffering.
For more information on Dr. McCombs Candida Plan, go to http://candidaplan.com/,
or call us at 888.236.7780 to ask questions or schedule a consultation.
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