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Probiotic: Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
Having healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract has long been regarded as a prerequisite for good health. Older civilizations promoted this with fermented substances such as sauerkraut, unpasteurized yogurt, kombucha (fermented tea, mushroom, sugar) and raw milk. The lining surface of the intestines constitutes the largest immune structure in the human body. More than 50% of the body’s vital immune cells reside in the intestinal lining. Bacteria in the intestines improve the function of the whole intestinal tract, protect our body against pathogenic bacteria by blocking their entrance into the body, create needed vitamins and hormones and maintain the chemical balance of the intestinal tract.
Healthy intestinal bacteria stimulate the immunologic function of the spleen, create a protective barrier against harmful organisms by coating the intestinal lining, compete with harmful bacteria for nutrients which curtails growth of bad bacteria, produce the beneficial natural antibiotic substances (acidophillin, bifidin, hydrogen peroxide), increases the bioavailability of calcium aid by fermenting soluble fiber are able to supply 5 to 10% of the body’s energy needs. The normal balance of healthy bacteria is 85% good and 15% bad. This ratio is now reversed for most Americans.
Death of many healthy intestinal bacteria damages the function of the lining membrane of the intestine. When this membrane has been injured partially digested proteins, toxins, undigested food particles and infectious substances can penetrate the normally protective intestinal lining. These “foreign” substances can initiate allergic responses to food, start infectious problems and lead to autoimmune reactions against the “foreign substances”. Unfortunately healthy intestinal bacteria can be killed by many commonly experienced exposures:
- Courses of antibiotics kill healthy intestinal bacteria leaving dangerous anaerobic bacteria, yeast, fungi and mycoplasma to proliferate replacing the desirable intestinal bacteria. This may result in deterioration in immune defenses permitting new infectious diseases to occur easily and frequently.
- Chlorine used to sterilize drinking water kills healthy bacteria
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory bacteria kill healthy intestinal bacteria. These drugs are widely used in inflammatory diseases.
- Fluoride used in water for its supposed ability to prevent cavities is toxic to the good intestinal bacteria.
Because of the beneficial effects of having healthy intestinal bacteria many persons take probiotics. Probiotic substances contain living bacteria supplied in capsules and other novel forms of administration, that are thought to supply the intestinal tract with a large quantity of desirable living bacteria. All these probiotic products suffer from the same problem. It is impossible to know whether these products are actually delivering any living good bacteria to the intestines. Careful research studies have revealed that probiotic products often contain no living bacteria or so few that they could not be expected to bring about any meaningful benefit to health. Obviously, the consumer may be wasting his money.
Some probiotics contain bacteria not normally found in the intestines. When these products are stopped these foreign bacteria are rapidly replaced by the common intestinal flora thus stopping any further benefits from the added bacteria. A retired US pharmacist, Dr. Robert Sichel, had a daughter with a serious Hepatitis C infection. Dr. Sichel’s search for something that might help her led him to a Russian product derived from lactobacillus Bulgarica. When his daughter took this Russian preparation her blood viral load fell from 200,000 to zero and blood chemistries became normal allowing a complete recovery to occur.
European research had discovered that fragments of certain bacterial cell walls were actually more effective in stimulating immune health than were living bacterial cells. The potency of this nonbacterial Russian product is continuous not steadily deteriorating as are probiotic preparations whose bacteria are constantly dying in their capsules before use. Because these bacterial cell fragments are not living bacteria they can be easily shipped and stored without refrigeration. Bacterial cell wall fragments have proven to be a more effective stimulus to the immune system than are living bacteria.
Russia experienced a major public health catastrophe when bacillus anthrax at a bio-warfare facility in Sverdlosk was accidentally released in 1979 into the air. An estimated 100 persons died and many more were chronically ill from this infection. Another major health problem occurred after the nuclear plant meltdown at Chernobyl. These problems led the State Scientific Research Institute of Highly Pure Bio-preparations in St. Petersburg to initiate a program to find a protective agent against bio-warfare infections and radiation injury, that was promptly effective, safe and inexpensive. They screened 600 substances before deciding that a species of lactobacillus bulgaricus cell wall appeared to meet all criteria. This original bacterial species was isolated from raw milk on a farm near St. Petersburg.
Subsequent research by Vivolac Cultures Corporation of Indianapolis, Indiana revealed that the Russian product was actually lactobacillus rhamnose. In the process of growing this bacillus in a more nutritious media and using longer fermentation times a better product was created that was at least twice as effective as the Russian product. These lactobacilli are used to create cheese and yogurt.
Why Does Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Work?
The special strain of L. rhamnose contains peptidoglycans, lipopolysaccharides and other cell wall fractions that markedly enhance immunity. The peptidoglycans and lipopolysaccharides strongly stimulate the formation of new mucosal and circulating lymphocytes as well as increase cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin 2 (IL-2). TNF-alpha and Il-2 are key substances in breaking tumor cell walls and killing invading infectious pathogens. The immune enhancing factors in L-rhamnose seem to normalize the production of TFN-alpha and IL-2 so destructive injury from excess cytokines does not occur.
Bulgaria began using cell wall l.bulgaricus in 1988. Absenteeisms due to infectious illness was a problem then. When workers were given L. bulgaricus prophylacticly absenteeism from infectious illness declined by 80%. No adverse reactions were noted. Everything that contributes to good health (organic food, sunlight, pure water, nutrients) helps the immune system. Adverse life styles with inadequate diet, air pollution, contaminated water and high stress levels all contribute to slow or incomplete recovery from illness.
Benefits of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
There are many patients who can be helped by Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. Among these are patients with:
- Malignant Diseases (cancer, lymphoma, leukemia) All patients with malignancies have impaired immune function. In a Russian study 15% of Chernobyl radiation injured patients with cancer, who were treated with only lactobacillus bulgarica survived. Many others were able to complete recommended chemotherapy and radiation programs without bone marrow suppression while taking lactobacillus bulgaricus.
- Autoimmune Diseases All patients with autoimmune illnesses (systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, auto immune hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, psoriasis, the noninfectious form of Addison’s Disease, Sjogren’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) have abnormal immune function. DIV can correct the overactivity of the immune system seen in these patients and promote the return of normal immune responses.
- Patients With Frequently Recurring and Non-resolving Infectious Illnesses These patients have a good chance of being helped with DIV. Included in this category would be sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, colds, otitis media, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, hepatitis A,B, and C, malaria, bronchiectasis, urinary tract infections and osteomyelitis. Recovery in many of these patients could be at least partially due to a stronger better performing immune system after administration of DIM. Bacterial resistance does not develop because DIV works on the immune system and has no effect on infectious organisms.
- Radiation Injury Patients suffering radiation injury can experience prompt improvement in their suppressed bone marrow cell production with DIM therapy.
- Patients With Systemic and Chronic Skin Fungal Infections(cocidiomycosis, histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, cryptococcosis, sporotrichosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis and mucormycosis). Some of these patients are known to have specific immune defects such as HIV. Conventional fungal therapy is not always effective and has toxic side effects in some patients. Often fungal skin infections resolve with specific antifungal drug therapy only to recur when the therapy is stopped. DIV should increase the incidence of complete uneventful recovery by improving immune function.
- Allergic Diseases Individuals with asthma, hay fever, urticaria, anaphylaxis, glomerulonephritis, and alveolitis might notice decreasing symptoms because of a healthier immune system after use of DIV.
- Diseases With Severe Fatigue One of the most consistent results of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus therapy has been relief from severe fatigue. This means that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Hepatitis and Malignancies are likely to notice significant improvement in fatigue and energy levels after DIV therapy.
- Gastrointestinal Conditions Probiotic therapy has been found to be quite helpful in resolving gastrointestinal symptoms (cramping pain, gas, heartburn, belching, diarrhea, constipation). Prolonged probiotic therapy has resulted in healing at least one person with severe ulcerative colitis. There is every reason to believe that Lactobacillus Rhamnosus would be at least as effective and possibly exceed probiotic results for abdominal complaints.
- HIV Infection Patients with AIDS, ARC and HIV+ who take Lactobacillus Rhamnosus may have very slow initial improvement in T4 counts. The T8 values often rise faster than T4. However, clinical improvement starts at once with decreased infections. Eventually the T4 count increases and the T4/T8 ratio becomes normal. This improvement requires 4 to 6 times the usual dose (8 to 12 capsules daily).
- Non-healing Bone Fractures Bone fractures that do not heal constitute a difficult problem for orthopedic surgeons. Use of DIV is reported to result in healing of the separated bone fragments. This may occur because improved immune function allows resolution of the fibrous tissue separating the bone fragments.
Massive Trauma, Severe Burns And Hospital Acquired Infections
Hospitals are using large amounts of antibiotics. This results in creation of bacterial species that are resistant to most antibiotics. Unfortunate patients acquiring these resistant infections may not recover because of lack of effective pharmaceutical therapy and hospital formularies that do not contain natural anti-infective healing products. Patients who suffer major trauma with multiple fractures, lacerations of liver or spleen and perforated intestines etc. frequently die of serious infections. These persons have such serious nutritional needs their immune systems often are unable to construct the immune substances needed to prevent an overwhelming infections. Patients with large burns lose massive quantities of protein from the surfaces where skin has been denuded. There is simultaneous need for the formation of new skin and subcutaneous tissues. These massive nutritional needs make it difficult for the immune system to stay healthy and create enough immune cells and protective substances. This lack often permits a fatal infection to develop.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus begins to work within 6 hours. Patients with severe burns, massive trauma and hospital acquired infections might be better able to survive if they were started on Lactobacillus Rhamnosus before serious infectious problems have a chance to get started. Most US hospitals do not stock alternative therapies for infection. For this reason relatives or friends will need to supply DIV. These critically ill patients need 3 to 4 capsules of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus twice daily. In my opinion some of these patients at risk for life threatening infections may be able to avoid these infections and have a better chance for survival if they start taking DIV at once on entry. There is also a real possibility that hospital stays will be shorter with DIV preventing problems. Obviously some person will need to know about this immune enhancing therapy and be able to provide it as most hospitals are solely involved with pharmaceutical products.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Therapy In Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a serious illness which often terminates fatally. The most frequent disease needing liver transplantation is Hepatitis C. Many persons with Hepatitis C are troubled by “brain fog”. These persons have difficulty carrying out complex mental tasks. They are often unable to continue in the management type position they held prior to the onset of Hepatitis C symptoms. Some persons with Hepatitis C have disabling muscle pain. The course of Hepatitis C is often slowly progressive until liver transplantation or death occurs.
Approximately 50 patients with Hepatitis C have been treated with DIV. About half of these patients had disappearance of viral loads, return of blood tests to normal brain fog ceases and all symptoms disappear. The remaining half lose their brain fog and feel better. However, they continue to have abnormal liver function and persisting viral loads in the blood.
Persons with Hepatitis C should be treated with 2 to 3 capsules of DIV twice daily. When symptoms and lab studies are normal the DIV can be stopped but regular health surveillance should be continued.
Case 1 A 47 year old woman developed abdominal fluid with an enlargement of her girth. Ultrasound disclosed a 10 cm. ovarian mass. She was started on DIV 2 capsules twice daily for 4 weeks prior to abdominal surgery. The surgeon was pleasantly surprised in the operating room because he was able to peel the tumor mass away from the intestine so no bowel resection was needed. The pathologic specimen showed evidence of tumor spread (metastasis). This patient has continued DIV 2 capsules twice daily. Two years later she appears well and her Ca 125 blood test for ovarian cancer has returned to normal.
Case 2 A 19 year old male with Cystic Fibrosis started DIV to improve his immune system in a dosage of one capsule twice daily. He began the DIV during a period when he was ill with a lung infection severe enough he was contemplating return to the hospital. His symptoms completely cleared and he was able to gain 9 pounds. Weight gain is normally quite difficult for cystic fibrosis patients. His FEV-1 breathing test has improved from 28 % to 37 %. He states that “he is unable to recall, when he has felt this good”. His family is convinced that he is better than he has been for several years.
Case 3 A female with long standing yeast problems had failed to exhibit significant improvement despite Crook low yeast low sugar diet and Nystatin. She was bothered by a heavy vaginal discharge, urinary frequency and urgency, severe abdominal cramping whenever she ate carbohydrates such as sugar, processed foods, beer and wine. On this dietary program for 6 months her symptoms were less but still present. She started on DIV one capsule twice daily but lowered her dose to one daily after 3 days. Within 48 hours her symptoms were gone, sleep was improved, energy was better, and her health has remained fine with no vaginal discharge or cramping pain. She continues on a carbohydrate restricted diet and DIV.
Case 4 This 60 year old male had a transurethral resection of the prostate followed in six weeks by a radical prostatectomy for cancer. He was weak, had frequent colds and had a chronic fungal infection of his feet and ankles. To improve his immune system he began DIV. Within three days his energy level was higher than it had been in years In 10 days the fungal foot infection was gone and did not return. His chronic daily episodes of severe heartburn, diarrhea and cramping pain were greatly improved and have remained so. He remains on DIV.
I think Lactobacillus Rhamnosus represents an important advance in health care because it has the ability to significantly improve immune system function. This product avoids the inconsistent performance seen with the living bacteria probiotic substances.
1, Wilson, James ND, PhD. The Immunity System pg. 4 Nutrition Dynamics Inc. Health News Website