Intestinal Dysbiosis Causes and Cures

Those who suffer with an overgrowth of unhealthy microorganisms in the bowels are said to have “intestinal dysbiosis”. It can be difficult to eradicate intestinal parasites completely and many sufferers find that they keep on recurring.

To reduce bowel infections with unfriendly bacteria, parasites and yeasts:

  • Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates as this is fuel for microorganisms especially yeasts
  • Avoid preserved foods, especially meats (pizza meats, corned beef, ham, devon, bacon, sausage, smoked meats and smoked fish etc.)
  • Avoid moldy or pickled foods such as old peanuts, green potatoes, dried fruits that are moldy or bitter and yeast extracts.
  • Avoid long term use of antibiotic and steroid drugs.
  • Eat plentiful fiber in the form of raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains, bran, ground seeds and legumes, raw or lightly cooked sweet corn.
  • This will have a “broom effect” and sweep the walls of the colon, removing layers of encrusted and hardened faces, which harbor unfriendly microorganisms.
  • Use a fiber powder daily to cleanse the colon – see “Fibertone”
  • Follow good hygiene practice
  • Use natural antibiotics to kill intestinal yeasts, bacteria and parasites.

Natural antibiotic foods, herbs and condiments are cabbage juice, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), raw garlic, onions, leeks, radishes, fenugreek, gingerroot, hot chili, lemon juice, turmeric, mustard and rosemary.

The most powerful natural antibiotic for the gut is, you guessed it, RAW garlic. Oh no you say, not that again! If you can manage to eat 4 to 6 cloves everyday for 4 weeks you will be amazed at the creatures that can be eradicated and expelled from your bowels. Garlic is able to kill bacteria, parasites and yeasts. If you have a large overgrowth, even higher doses may be required. Raw garlic cloves can be grated, chopped very finely or pressed in a garlic press, and then mixed well throughout your cooked food and salads. It tastes nicer with some cold pressed olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Raw onions and leeks also have valuable antibiotic effects in the bowel, and if you cannot tolerate garlic you may find that these things work well for you. Take supplements of Lactobacillus acidophilus (must be refrigerated), or use unflavored soy yogurts high in this friendly bacteria. This friendly bacterium fights the bad bacteria and helps to maintain ecological balance. It is particularly good after antibiotic therapy.

Typical herbs used to destroy and expel worms from the body are black walnut hulls, chaparral, cloves, licorice, gentian and wormwood. A natural anti-parasite remedy that can sometimes be quite helpful is called “Intestinal Parasite Cleanse” This is a combination of herbs such as Wormwood flower and leaf (artemisia vulgaris) and Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra). Start with one capsule three times daily. After two weeks use two capsules three times daily for up to two months. Call 1888 75 LIVER in the US for this product or see the online order form at Anti-parasitic remedies are often more effective if they are followed by a purge, during which many dead parasites will be expelled in the feces To achieve the required laxative effect you can take 1 to 2 teaspoons of epsom salts with four glasses of water, two hours after finishing the antiparasitic medication.

The herb Olive Leaf extract is very helpful in fighting an overgrowth of yeast and parasites, as well as bacteria and viruses in the bowel, and doses range from 500 to 1000mg (of a 10% extract), three times daily just before meals. Those who are frequent international travelers are more at risk from infections such as hepatitis B and gut infections, and although vaccinations against many of these things are available today, it is still wise to protect your liver and immune system so that they can cope with this increased challenge. Practice good hygiene, avoid contaminated water supplies, and boil your water. While traveling take a good liver tonic, garlic and olive leaf extract capsules to fight these unfriendly bugs while they are still in your gut, and before they get a chance to damage your liver.

Improve Dietary Habits

One of the most important and yet often overlooked strategies to improve bowel function for all people, is to drink more pure WATER. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen over the years with bowel problems who are chronically dehydrated. This causes the bowel contents to harden and stagnate, which can lead to overgrowth of bacteria and inflammation of the bowel lining. I recommend at least 2 liters of pure water daily, and in those with inflammatory bowel diseases up to 3 liters may be required everyday. By following the principles of the Liver Cleansing Diet, you will have the basic tools for a diet that is conducive to healthy bowels. Many people lack fiber because they eat refined sugars and carbohydrates, and too much animal meat and dairy products. Without fiber, the contents of the bowel will stagnate, which can lead to inflammation from excessive toxin formation.

Lack of fiber will also force the bowel muscles to contract too strongly in an effort to move the feces along to the rectum to stimulate a bowel movement. These excessive contractions will increase the pressure inside the bowel, which leads to spastic colon and the formation of pockets in the bowel wall (diverticula). Avoid excess alcohol as this can cause inflammation of the bowel wall. In some people alcohol causes a form of colitis and must be avoided completely. Avoid gastric irritants such as excess coffee, foods containing gluten found in wheat, rye, oats and barley, and all foods containing these. Avoid smoking. Thirty to forty percent of the diet should consist of RAW vegetables and fruits, with the ratio of vegetables to fruits being 4 to 1. In severe cases of candida it may be necessary to greatly reduce the amount of fruits and increase raw vegetables. Raw foods contain living enzymes, antibiotics and phytonutrients that improve digestion, fight unfriendly microorganisms and reduce inflammation of the bowel wall.

Improve Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients from Food

  • Chew food thoroughly and have teeth and jaw problems checked out early.
  • Do not eat very much if you are angry or stressed and do not over eat.
  • Drink only small amounts with meals because fluids will dilute the gastric juices needed for digestion.

The lining of the stomach produces hydrochloric acid, which provides the correct acidity for the digestive enzymes, pepsin and rennin, as well as those secreted in the small intestines to break down food. Hydrochloric acid is also required for efficient liberation of the important nutrient vitamin B 12. Deficiency of stomach hydrochloric acid is common in those over 60 years of age, and can lead to weakened digestion and deficiency of vitamin B 12. In these cases it is desirable to increase stomach hydrochloric acid, and this can be done with tablets of Betaine Hydrochloride. The usual dose is between 60 to 500 mg of Betaine Hydrochloride taken in the middle of a meal. Once dissolved in the stomach Betaine Hydrochloride yields 25% of its weight as hydrochloric acid. Another tablet to increase hydrochloric acid is Glutamic acid Hydrochloride, which is slightly less potent and requires a dose of 600 to 1800 mg during meals.

Those with a severe deficiency of stomach hydrochloric acid, known as Achlorhydria, may have an increased risk of stomach cancer and for this reason antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and selenium should be part of the daily supplementation program. Another useful technique to increase stomach acidity during a meal is to sip a glass of water containing 2 to 3 tablespoons of good quality organic apple cider vinegar with the juice of half a lemon added. Some people find that this practice really improves their digestion and reduces flatulence and abdominal bloating. If you find that you feel uncomfortable after eating a regular or large sized meal it is most worthwhile to try a supplement containing digestive enzymes. The pancreas produces vital enzymes called proteases, lipase and amylase, without which it is impossible to breakdown proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

It is not uncommon for a slight to moderate deficiency of these pancreatic enzymes to occur, especially in those over 50 years of age. Lack of these enzymes will result in poor breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, leaving only partially digested food to pass through the bowel. This reduces absorption of vital nutrients from the lining of the gut and malnutrition of some degree will result. Furthermore only partially digested proteins will be absorbed from the gut, which will overload the liver and may cause allergies. The growth of unfriendly microorganisms is more common inside intestines containing only partially digested foods. The most powerful way to take the full complement of digestive enzymes is in the form of some type of whole pancreas preparation, which comes from animal sources. Such a suitable preparation is called Pancreatin and the dosage is 2 – 4 grams with each meal.

This excellent product is available in the USA and is called “Super Digestive Enzymes”. This is available by calling the Phoenix mail order office on 1888 75 LIVER or use the secure online order form. Enzymes are available without a prescription in tablet, capsule, powder and liquid forms. You can also make your own digestive enzymes by drying papaya seeds and grinding them in a coffee grinder into a powder. Sprinkle the powder onto your food and it gives a slight peppery taste. Keep your enzyme supplements in a cool dry place to ensure potency. As we grow older the ability of the body to produce enzymes diminishes, and enzyme supplements can make a huge improvement to the digestive and nutritional health of persons over 50 years of age. The body can also obtain enzymes from ingested food.

Unfortunately food enzymes are extremely sensitive to heat, and even low to moderate heat destroys most of the enzymes in foods. This is one of the reasons I encourage people to eat more raw salads and fruits, as their natural enzyme molecules will improve your digestion and reduce the workload of the liver and pancreas. Foods that are high in enzymes are pineapples, papaya, avocados, mangos and bananas. Sprouts are a potent source of digestive enzymes. Enzymes extracted from papaya and pineapples are available in tablet form and are called papain and bromelain respectively. Although they are proteolytic enzymes and can help with the digestion of proteins, they are not as powerful as a whole pancreatic supplement. When introducing dried beans/legumes into your diet, to avoid unpleasant wind always presoak and cook them well. Start with small quantities and gradually build up.

Natural Remedies to help the Bowels

These can be used to increase fiber bulk, soothe irritated mucous linings and reduce muscular spasm in the bowels.

  • Aloe Vera juice can soothe the lining of the stomach and intestines and is useful for those with stomach ulcers, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Occasionally people became allergic to it, so do not use it continually.
  • Psyllium husks (or powder), are often used as a bowel cleansing fiber and help to remove stagnant waste material from bowel pockets. Like Aloe Vera, some people become allergic to it, so that it causes rashes and itching, so watch out for allergy symptoms if you use it long term.
  • A fiber powder that does not contain gluten or psyllium is called “Fibretone,” and may be beneficial if you have constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome, wheat and/or gluten intolerance, bloating or colonic spasm.
  • Antacids are often used by those with excess gastric acidity and/or reflux. Avoid the long-term use of antacids containing aluminum. Some simple and harmless antacids are sodium and potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide and calcium carbonate. Alfalfa juice or alfalfa tablets are alkaline and can soothe gastritis and/or reflux. A brand worth mentioning, that is free of aluminum, is Andrew’s Tums.
  • Soothing and anti-spasm herbs such as golden seal, marshmallow, meadowsweet, valerian, chamomile, peppermint, arrowroot, slippery elm powder will reduce colic and mild bowel inflammation, and benefit those with gastritis.
  • Digestive herbs such as dandelion, fennel, dill, aniseed, parsley, ginger root and catnip can reduce burping and flatulence.
  • Condiments that aid digestion and reduce flatulence are caraway, cardamom, coriander, cumin, cloves, gingerroot and tumeric. Tumeric is a liver tonic and the usual dose is 1 – 2 tsp of the powder daily used to flavor food or mixed in juices.

The colon can become easily overloaded with waste material and parasites, which produce toxins. If these toxins recirculate from the bowel back to the liver via the entero-hepatic circulation (see diagram 5), the liver must work harder to breakdown these toxins. These toxins can overload the body causing immune dysfunction and poor general health. If you are constipated the waste products left behind after digestion may stagnate inside your colon and decay.

This is why it’s important to “sweep the walls of your colon” regularly to eliminate stagnant and toxic waste. Dietary fiber can give your colon a thorough spring clean because it acts like a “broom” sweeping the walls of the colon free of encrusted waste material. It feels so good to eliminate these waste products regularly and easily without straining.

When you have a complete evacuation and all the waste products are swept out of the colon, you will notice that your bowel actions are larger, softer and more fibrous. After a complete bowel action your abdomen will flatten out so that the bloating will go away. Fiber stimulates natural healthy contractions in the colon so that the bowels do not become lazy.

Increased dietary fiber can help to:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Increase elimination of toxins via the bowel actions
  • Reduce the risk of bowel cancer
  • Reduce constipation
  • Reduce irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prevent hemorrhoids
  • Improve weight control by carrying fat out of the body through bowel actions. This reduces the amount of fat recirculating back to the liver via the entero-hepatic circulation.

Toxins in food and the environment

Most people would be unaware of the concept of the action of everyday chemicals as ‘endocrine disruptors’. Our body reacts to them as if they were hormones produced in us or intentionally taken. They are hormonally active substances which means they can cross placental barriers and may have profound effects on the offspring of animals which ingest them. The types of chemicals that mimic hormones are as diverse as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, plastics, solvents, and more.

Richard M. Sharpe, research physiologist with the Medical Research Council in Edinburgh, hypothesized that estrogens in the environment can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, possibly explaining phenomena such as earlier puberty, lowered sperm counts, and other reproductive anomalies exhibited by late 20th century females and males of many species. “Of all the hormones we know, the estrogens are the most potent. You can get biological effects from estrogen at levels so low you cannot measure them by any analytical method,” Sharpe has found through his research. Other environmentalists and scientists postulate effects ranging from behavioral changes to motor, intellectual, and immune system impairment.

Ingestion or exposure to these substances can have dramatic effects on our state of health and the development of disease. From The journal of complementary medicine march/april 2003 Vol2 no2: In estrogen sensitive breast tumors it is important to regulate estrogen metabolites. There are 2 pathways which estrogen may be metabolized to oestrone. Altering the ratio of these two pathways has a dramatic effect on the long term survival of the patient. One pathway (C16) that is influenced by xenoestrogens eg: DDT and other pesticides and herbicides, provides markers for the increased risk of breast cancer. The other pathway (C2) is associated with a decreased risk of malignancy and is stimulated by the brassica family. (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli).


Pesticide is a term encompassing a wide variety of substances used in food production to control undesirable plant, insect, and other animal populations. These may include Chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, organophosphates, plus others on an “as needed” basis Many factors influence the persistence of pesticide residues in or on food. Residues may vary depending on the time between application and harvest, exposure to wind, rain, or sunlight, and the amount removed during processing (washing, peeling or cooking). Residues of pesticides can be found in many foods including breast-milk. Particular care in assessing the safety of exposure to pesticide residues needs to be exercised for pesticides which could be transferred from food into breast milk and result in a relatively high exposure level to babies, and also to those which leave residues in foods which may be consumed in relatively higher amounts by children.


Certain antiparasitics are fat soluble and will therefore persist in the fat component of foods containing animal fats such as dairy products and the fatty parts of meat. This means that foods such as fatty meats, cheese, butter and other dairy products should be avoided when trying to lower the workload for the liver. Similarly, it is these fat soluble toxins that may be tucked away in our fatty deposits.

Vital Principles

Think Raw

Eat plentiful amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables and orange, yellow, purple and red colored fruits and vegetables. Thirty to forty percent of the diet should consist of raw fruits and vegetables. Try to eat some raw fruits or vegetables with EVERY meal as they contain living enzymes, vitamin C, natural antibiotic substances and anticancer phytonutrients. Great recipes can be found my famous book “The Liver Cleansing Diet”

Oil but Don’t Grease Your Body

Avoid the fats that present a high workload for the liver and gall bladder. These are full-cream dairy products, margarines, processed vegetable oils (hydrogenated fats), deep fried foods, foods that are not fresh and contain rancid fats, preserved meats, animal skins and fatty meats. In those with a dysfunctional liver, I recommend avoiding all animal milks and substituting them with oat, rice, almond or soymilks. Eat the “good fats” which contain essential fatty acids in their natural unprocessed form. These are found in cold pressed vegetable and seed oils, avocados, fish (especially oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, sablefish, flounder, trout, bass and mackerel), shrimp, prawns and crayfish, raw fresh nuts, raw fresh seeds such as flaxseeds (linseeds), sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, alfalfa seeds, pumpkin seeds and legumes (beans, peas and lentils).

Seeds such as flaxseeds can be ground freshly everyday (in a regular coffee grinder or food processor) and can be added to cereals, smoothies, fruit salads and vegetables. Spirulina, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, borage oil and lecithin also contain healthy oils to help the liver. Do not use butter and/or margarine on your breads and crackers. Replace them with tahini, humus, pesto, tomato paste or relish, freshly minced garlic and cold pressed oil (chili or other natural spices can be added if enjoyed), nut-spreads, fresh avocado, cold pressed olive oil or honey. The good fats are essential to build healthy cell membranes around the liver cells. As we get older we need to “oil” our bodies and not “grease” our bodies.

Think Natural

Avoid artificial chemicals and toxins such as insecticides, pesticides, and artificial sweeteners and colorings, (especially aspartame), flavorings and preservatives. Excess alcohol, particularly spirits, should be avoided.

Be Diverse

Consume a diverse range of proteins from grains, raw nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, seafood, and if desired, free range chicken (without the skin), and lean fresh red meats. If you do not want to eat red meat or poultry this is quite acceptable as there are many other sources of protein. It is safe to be a strict vegetarian, however you may need to take supplements of vitamin B 12, iron, taurine and carnitine to avoid poor metabolism and fatigue. To obtain first class protein, strict vegetarians need to combine 3 of the following 4 food classes at one meal – grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, otherwise valuable essential amino acids may be deficient. If your body is lacking amino acids you will be fatigued and you may suffer with mood changes, reduced cognitive function, hypoglycemia, poor immune and liver function and hair loss. I have met many strict vegans who felt unwell because they were lacking amino acids, iron and vitamin B 12, and after supplementing with these nutrients and modifying their diets they quickly regained excellent health.

Let Food Be Your Medicine

Many diseases can be overcome by eating healing foods that contain powerful medicinal properties. Optimal health and the prevention of disease is only possible by including these healing foods regularly in the diet. The healing substances found in certain foods or therapeutically active chemicals are known as phytochemicals. The culinary habits of different cultures have been recognized for decades as being influential in the incidence of diseases. Mediterranean countries have a lower prevalence of cardiovascular diseases because of the protective effect of traditional Mediterranean foods, such as olive oil, tomatoes and legumes. Broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family are known to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but it is only recently that scientists have isolated the phytochemicals which confer this protection. Broccoli has been found to contain a phytochemical called sulphoraphane, which enhances the phase two-detoxification pathway in the liver. Sulphoraphane has also been found to block mammary tumor formation in rats.

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which according to a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1997:66:116-22), is the most powerful of all the dietary carotenoids. The researchers found that the dietary intake of lycopene was linked to a lower risk of prostate problems. They also found that higher levels of lycopene in the blood lowered the risk of cell proliferation, which would theoretically exert a powerful anticancer effect. Cooking or chopping tomatoes increases the absorption of lycopene into the body. Cooking tomatoes in oil increases the availability of the lycopene to the body, which is another reason that Mediterranean cuisine confers health benefits. Beetroot is a beautiful deep purple color because it contains the antioxidant anthocyanidin. Constituents of beetroot have been shown to exert antiviral and anti-tumour effects in animal studies. Other foods, which also exert these properties, although to a lesser degree, are red and green peppers, red onion skins, paprika and cranberry. These foods contain healing phytonutrients such as carotenoids, capsanthin and anthocyanins.

Certain foods have high concentrations of plant hormones, which are known as phytoestrogens. Examples of these are the isoflavones genistein and daidzein (found in soya beans and red clover), and lignans (found in flaxseed). Asian communities consume a high intake of soy (approximately 25 – 50 grams daily), and have a significantly lower incidence of hormone dependent cancers of the prostate, uterus and breast. All legumes such as beans, peas and lentils contain beneficial phytoestrogens. A study published in the British Medical Journal in 1990, looked at a group of postmenopausal women who were given 45 grams of soy flour for 2 weeks, followed by 25 grams of flaxseed meal for 2 weeks, and then 10 grams of red clover sprouts. This produced improvements in various blood hormone levels and menopausal symptoms.

Asian and Mediterranean cuisines are now integrating themselves into the old fashioned Western diet consisting of meat, bread and 4 vegetables. This culinary multiculturalism has enormous and proven benefits for our health and also for our enjoyment. We all know that variety is the spice of life, and Asian and Mediterranean foods can add spice to our often-bland ways of eating. A wide range of Asian foods is now available from supermarkets and greengrocers as well as Chinese grocery stores. Typical Asian foods and vegetables such as ginger root, chili, garlic, Chinese water spinach, bok choy, lemongrass, coconut, tumeric, curry, Chinese mushrooms and many others can be experimented with, and gradually introduced into the diet if you want to expand the horizons of your taste buds.

Watch That Sweet Tooth

Use natural sugars from fresh fruits and juices, dried fruits, honey, molasses, fruit sorbets, fruit cakes, fruit jams, carob, date sugar, maple sugar or syrup or rice syrup. Avoid refined white sugar and candies, fizzy drinks, cakes and biscuits made with refined sugars. If you find you crave these foods on a regular basis you may have the very common metabolic imbalance known as Syndrome X. By following the eating principles and taking nutrients to rebalance the metabolism you can get cravings under control making weight loss and maintenance of energy much easier. See ‘Syndrome X’

Rehydrate Your Body

Drink large amounts of fluids such as water, raw juices and teas (green tea, herbal and regular weak tea is fine). Aim for 2 liters of fluid daily and this will avoid constipation problems and help your kidneys to eliminate the toxins that the liver has broken down. Use a household water filter. Water filters with sub-micron, solid carbon block filters are able to remove parasites and many toxic chemicals. Shop around and take a look at different types of filters before you buy and get professional advice as technology is improving rapidly. The liver is the major organ involved in detoxification, however it is still important to support the other body organs of elimination. The skin and the kidneys eliminate toxins through sweating and urine and this is why saunas and a high intake of filtered water can reduce symptoms of toxic overload.

Go Organic


Not many people want to eat fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed repeatedly with insecticides and fungicides, ripened with ethylene gas and perhaps waxed with an insect secretion. It is a little off putting while biting into your lovely red juicy steak to think that this animal may have been fed antibiotics and the ground-up remains of thousands of dead animals, and had potent sex hormones implanted into it to accelerate its growth. The healthy reputation of meat was tarnished by the epidemic of mad cow disease (BSE) that has been troubling England and other parts of Europe for some years now.

In 1996, the British government conceded that BSE could possibly pass to humans and cause a fatal type of dementia called Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD). The British government has banned farmers from feeding livestock the remains of dead cattle, and the use of meat and bone meal as an agricultural fertilizer. Dr. Carleton Gadjusek, noted for his Noble Prize winning research, believes that a form of BSE could manifest in chickens and pigs fed the melted down remains of many animals found in meat and bone meal. The disease may not be obvious because the animals are slaughtered before the disease has time to develop.

Ref 19. There are differing opinions regarding the causes and transmission of BSE and CJD, as it is difficult to detect in infected animals. For these important reasons it would be prudent to implement a worldwide total ban on feeding any animal tissue to livestock, as the WHO has called for. Organic food is sometimes called biodynamic food and is produced without synthetic herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, post-harvest fungicides, antibiotic growth-promoters, or size enhancing hormones. It relies upon Mother Nature’s forces, recycling of nutrients and sustainable methods of production. Foods certified as organic must be grown on farms that are inspected and fully certified according to a stringent set of standards. Packaged and/or processed organic foods are free from artificial preservatives, colorings, flavorings or additives, and should not contain irradiated or genetically modified ingredients.

Organic Food Sources and Control Growers who are inspected regularly by one of the Independent Certification Bodies produce the foods that are certified as organic.

USA: International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM)
Suite 15/118, 1st Avenue South, Jamestown ND USA 58401
Email: IFOAM@+/

The Organic Trade Association
PO Box 1078, Greenfield, MA 01302
Phone: (413) 774 5484 Fax: (413) 774 6432

Sustain, The Environmental Information Group
920 N. Franklin, Suite 206, Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: (312) 951 8999 Fax: (312) 951 5696

Christopher Argent/Steve Holmes (S&C Meats)
259 Shay Lane, Holmfield, Halifax HX2 9AG
Email: [email protected]

Keep Your Bowels Moving

Avoid constipation by having plenty of fiber found in unprocessed food and raw fruits and vegetables. One really good trick to keep your bowels moving is to grind flaxseed (linseed), sunflower seeds and almonds (LSA), in a coffee grinder to produce a fine powder, and eat 2 to 3 tablespoons of this powder daily. You can add other ground up seeds, that are high in fiber such as psyllium, pumpkin, sesame and alfalfa seeds to increase the fiber content of the powder. Add this powder to smoothies, vegetables, soups, cereals and fruit salads. Other good sources of fiber are brans made from wheat, oats, soy or rice. Sweet corn either raw or freshly and lightly cooked, is an excellent source of bowel cleansing fiber Fiber acts like a broom in your bowels and sweeps their walls clean of accumulated layers of waste products, which can then be eliminated in the bowel actions (feces).

Be a Gourmet not a Gourmand

Be selective and aim for food taste and quality, instead of quantity. Chew slowly so that you can tune into the subtle tastes of natural foods oils spices and herbs. Do not overeat and listen to the messages from your body. When you feel full and satisfied stop eating. Consistently overeating greatly increases the workload of the liver and this may reduce its capacity to detoxify harmful substances efficiently. Overworking the liver also reduces its ability to burn fat so that you will be more likely to develop a “”fatty liver””. Many people unwittingly “”dig their grave with their teeth””.

Pamper Your Liver

Eat foods to increase nutrients beneficial to liver function. These are:

Vitamin K – green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts. Arginine – this helps the liver to detoxify ammonia which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism. Arginine is found in legumes (beans peas and lentils) carob oats walnuts wheatgerm and seeds.

Antioxidants – found in fresh raw juices such as carrot celery beetroot dandelion apple pear and green drinks like wheatgrass and barley-grass juice and fresh fruits particularly citrus and kiwi fruit.

Selenium – sources of the antioxidant selenium are brazil nuts brewers yeast designer yeast powders (very good source) kelp brown rice molasses seafood wheatgerm whole-grains garlic and onions.

Methionine – is essential for detoxification. Is found in legumes eggs fish garlic onions seeds and meat.

Essential fatty acids – Seafood cod liver oil and fish oil. Seafood may be fresh canned or frozen such as sardines salmon mackerel tuna trout mullet blue mussels calamari tailor herring blue eye cod gemfish. Fresh avocado fresh raw nuts and seeds legumes (beans peas lentils) wholegrain wheatgerm green vegetables such as spinach green peas and green beans eggplant cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils freshly ground seeds especially flaxseeds (linseed) evening primrose oil black-currant seed oil star flower oil. Essential fatty acids are required for healthy membranes in every cell of the body and plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. This is why strict low fat diets are not beneficial for general health weight control or liver function.

Natural sulfur compounds – are found in eggs (preferably free range) garlic onions leeks shallots and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli cauliflower cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Practice Good Hygiene

The liver filter removes microorganisms from the blood stream which prevents them from getting deeper into the body where they may cause serious infections. To avoid overloading the liver filter it is important to avoid eating foods that are contaminated with high loads of unfriendly or dangerous (pathogenic) microorganisms. Although standards of living and sanitation have improved cases of food poisoning from parasites bacteria and viruses have been gradually increasing. This is often due to poor hygiene such as inadequate cleansing of areas where food is prepared and stored and lack of hand washing before preparing and eating food. This is more common today because people have a false sense of security brought about from antibiotic drugs however many new viruses and pathogenic bacteria resistant to antibiotics are emerging.

The excessive practice of feeding antibiotics to animals is contributing to the rising incidence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as E.coli Staphylococcus and Salmonella. Other microorganisms that can cause food poisoning are Campylobacter Listeria Yersinia Clostridium Botulinum and Shigella. Food poisoning can also occur from the toxins produced by some bacteria algae and molds. Shellfish grown in waters polluted with toxic algae bloom can accumulate their toxins which can cause severe neurological dysfunction. Foods contaminated by certain molds. or fungi which produce their own mycotoxins can make you sick. The fungus Aspergillus flavus produces the dangerous mycotoxin called aflotoxin. This can grow on damp maize wheat corn peanuts and some other crops.

People are eating out more and there is less cooking done in the home so it is difficult to control standards of food preparation for your family. People purchase foods from supermarkets where food may have traveled long distances and be stored or refrigerated for long periods picking up microorganisms along the way. Many processed foods contain preservatives which do not eradicate microorganisms but merely keep them in a dormant state. When this food gets into your intestines the preservatives are diluted and the bugs start to multiply. This is why it is important to purchase only fresh high quality foods. The risk of food contamination is increased by long storage times the number of people who handle and package food and inadequate cooling and re-heating temperatures. The intensive mass production of animal meats has helped to spread infections in food supplies.

Chickens fed stock-feed infected with the bacteria Salmonella (sometimes from the remains of other chickens) allow bacteria to recycle and multiply in the same way that cow cannibalism caused the epidemic of mad cow disease (BSE). Chickens infected with Salmonella or viruses and other animals reared in crowded conditions can easily cross-infect each other while alive or at the abattoir. John Pattison chairman of Britain’s BSE Advisory Committee believes that mad cow disease (BSE) spread in England from infected hamburger meat made with every part of an animal. Here is a quote taken from an Australian chicken processing company website: “”The components of a liver broiler (chicken) inedible by humans represents approximately 30% of the total weight of the chicken and will eventually be recycled as protein to be used in stock feed pellets””

Tips For Good Hygiene

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before preparing and eating food and after handling any raw meat or seafood. Brushing under the nails with a nailbrush can remove inaccessible bacteria. Wash kitchen utensils such as cutting boards grinders juicers and blenders and can openers thoroughly after each use. Replace cloths bottlebrushes pot scratchers and wettexes used to wash dishes frequently.

  • Only purchase fresh foods and avoid foods that are moldy or look too old. Avoid processed or preserved meats such as hamburger meat ham smoked and pickled meats and fish beef jerky bacon sausages fritz cabanossi pizza meats corned beef meat loaf rolled meats as found in delicatessens and sea food that has been mishandled or poorly stored.
  • Do not let food stand in warm temperatures for more than two hours.
  • Hot foods should be cooled quickly at room temperature and then refrigerated because gradual cooling allows microorganisms to grow.
  • For the same reasons do not eat food that has been cooked cooled and reheated more than once. It is times like these that pet dogs and cats are great for recycling food.
  • Refrigerate raw meat seafood or chicken as soon as possible to reduce bacterial multiplication.
  • Defrost poultry seafood or meat in a microwave oven or overnight in the refrigerator and not on a counter.
  • Cook all poultry seafood and meat thoroughly because the center of the food must reach 70C (158F) to kill bacteria.
  • Store raw meat and poultry at a lower level in the refrigerator to avoid their juices contaminating other foods.
  • Always refrigerate eggs and foods containing eggs and discard eggs with cracks.
  • Avoid nuts with mold on their shell or kernel or those with a bitter taste.
  • Boil for 5 minutes all tap water used for drinking food preparation and cooking.
  • Use antiseptics when cleaning the toilet bath and shower recess. Antiseptic soaps can be used in large households or share type accommodation.
  • Tea tree oil has useful antiseptic properties and effective antiseptics are easily found in supermarkets and pharmacies at reasonable prices.
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes and razor blades as serious blood borne infections can be transmitted this way.
Author: Sandra Cabot, MD