“Some researchers believe many degenerative disease like Type II diabetes & some types of cancer are the result of a dysfunctional immune system.”
When a topic catches my attention, I attend conferences, pour over research papers and trace references until I have satisfied my intellectual lust for information. Such is the case on the topic of autoimmunity and the work of Dr. Alex Vasquez.
Autoimmunity, a condition in which our own immune system attacks other bodily systems, is one of the most rapidly growing conditions of our time. As we age there is a natural progression of our immune system. It changes and moves toward degrees of autoimmunity.
Some researchers believe that many of the degenerative diseases we contract like Type II diabetes and some types of cancer are the result of a skewed or dysfunctional immune system. Selfishly we want to be aware of the factors which modulate or encourage a balance of our immune system.
Starting with the basics, Dr. Vasquez, a physician on the forefront of Wellness, brings to light some very interesting benefits of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in our bowel, prebiotics are foods that feed the bacteria and synbiotics are combinations of probiotics and prebiotics.
Did you know that “diet” profoundly affects probiotic flora in the gut? We know that sugar and refined starches can create an environment that “limit” healthy flora. But according to Dr.Vasquez, food can be an “accelerator” for healthy bacteria.
Most people think of food in terms of taste. Some consider the types of calories they are ingesting. A rare individual may consider a food’s vitamin/mineral content. But to think that food can enhance probiotic growth is an idea most of us have never thought of.
Although the human body, consists of about 100 trillion cells, there are as many as ten times more microorganisms in our intestines. Over 95% of the bacteria in the gut are anaerobes. Directly, we can only supplement aerobic bacteria, but by eating more plant based foods and taking the right supplements, we can create an environment to let bacteria “intercreate.”
Plant based foods support healthy probiotics. There is a cross feeding that takes place. As elements interact, they can have an anti-inflammatory and a barrier strengthening effect on the gut. And here’s something I find both interesting and amazing. Healthy bacterial flora can “modify” the food we eat into a more viable or bioavailable form, which means nutrients are absorbed more readily.
We commonly think of probiotics flora as protection. For example, our flora can modify or change methylmercury, a highly absorbable toxin found in fish, and demethylate it into an inorganic form that is far less bioavailable. But bacteria in the gut actually modify many of the phytochemical agents in plants to make them more bio-available.
Some nutrients in foods are either non-absorbable in their natural state or they are not in their active forms. Once they are acted upon by the enzymatic activities of healthy bacteria, they can be utilized by the body. Probiotics can stimulate the conversion of the “inactive” nutrients from plant based food into “active” substances with anti-cancer properties. This modification process not only protects us but helps create an environment that facilitates a stronger immune system.
Hope this will inspire you to get off the refined foods and consume a higher percentage of plant based foods. Eating more plant based food could mean you might need to discover new ways to shop for food and maybe even new ways to prepare food. But eating healthier is a major component for wellness.
Also talk to Dr. Godo about probiotics. He will know which probiotic is best for you and which probiotic contains active healthy bacterial flora. Dr. Godo can help you with dosage, monitor your progress and even offer suggestions that will help you improve your diet.
We truly are living in exciting times that we can see the interconnectedness and interdependence of the human body. Conditions like autoimmune disease may be on the rise, but by practicing Wellness principles and living a Wellness lifestyle, you can stay healthy and live life to its fullest.
Dr. Jason Godo