Q & A with Jon 2004
Question 1: Dysbiosis
Should I be concerned with dysbiosis? I haven't had antibiotics in years, and I drink filtered water. I would think that keeps me safe, but I seem to have many of the symptoms, including regular bouts of candida overgrowth. Would I benefit from using a probiotic supplement?
If you are healthy, there should hundreds of trillions of beneficial bacteria living inside your intestinal tract -- from your mouth to your anus. (And for that matter, in your urinary tract too.) These beneficial bacteria not only aid in digestion and provide as much as 40% of your immune function, they also hold harmful bacteria in check and provide a major bulwark against many autoimmune disorders. Dysbiosis occurs when the number of these beneficial bacteria drops significantly, and opportunistic bad bacteria multiply aggressively to take their place.
How common is dysbiosis? Very! For example: in a healthy colon, you should have anywhere from 100 billion to 100 trillion beneficial bacteria (primarily bifidus) per milliliter of matter (about 1/5 of a teaspoon). In people who eat a typical western diet, that number typically is as little as 4. Not 4 trillion, or 4 billion -- just 4. Compare 4 to 100 trillion, and you have a sense of the scope of the problem.
Why is it so low? Well, you certainly addressed two of the prime factors in your question. Doctors who administer antibiotics without bothering to rebuild the beneficial bacteria upon completion of the round of drugs have contributed significantly to the problem. But so does chlorinated water. In fact, that's why the chlorine is added to the water, to kill bacteria -- and it does. The problem is chlorine doesn't know the difference between good and bad bacteria. It kills both, and unfortunately, bad bacteria tend to be more opportunistic. They survive better than the good guys, build up a tolerance to the chlorine, and multiply to fill the space left by the death of the good bacteria. By the way, I'm not saying we should stop chlorinating water. It stops the spread of disease in our public drinking water. I'm just saying we shouldn't drink that same water (or bathe in it for that matter) without removing the chlorine first.
But that doesn't explain your problem. So what other factors create a state of dysbiosis? As it turns out, there are many.
- Disruptions and changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the bowels can play a major role in reducing the growth of beneficial bacteria. In addition, these changes tend to favor the growth of harmful viral and fungal organisms as well as putrefactive, disease-causing bacteria.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Advil, Motrin, Midol, etc. are destructive to intestinal flora.
- Chlorine in the drinking water not only serves to kill bacteria in the water; it is equally devastating to the colonies of beneficial bacteria living in the intestines.
- Radiation and chemotherapy are devastating to your inner bacterial environment.
- Virtually all meat, chicken, and dairy that you eat (other than organic) is loaded with antibiotics, which destroy all of the beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
- A diet high in meats and fats, because they take so long to break down in the human body, promotes the growth of the harmful, putrefying bacteria.
- Constipation, of course, allows harmful bacteria to hang around longer, which allows them to proliferate.
- Cigarettes, alcohol, and stress are also major culprits, as are some antibiotic herbs, such as goldenseal (if taken in sufficient quantity).
- And if that's not enough, over time, the colonies of friendly bacteria just naturally age and lose their vitality.
In "olden days" we weren't exposed to the above factors. In addition, we regularly replenished our beneficial bacteria with a whole range of fermented foods -- not just yogurt, but with other "soured" foods such as buttermilk and sauerkraut as well. And we were exposed to beneficial soil-based organisms that were not washed off the freshly harvested produce.
And what are the symptoms of dysbiosis? Well, among others:
- Poor digestion
- Severely compromised immune system
- Hormonal imbalances
- Depression, anxiety, and mood swings
- Autoimmune disorders -- including Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome
- And, of course, Candida overgrowth
The bottom line is that if you want to avoid dysbiosis, you have to supplement with a good probiotic formula. Store bought yogurt won't cut it. Most yogurt you buy nowadays has been "sterilized" to prolong shelf life. And even if it hasn't, the limited number of strains used to make the yogurt (2 or 3 at most) don't come close to providing what you need. For more information on how to choose a good formula, check out Chapter 4 of Lessons from the Miracle Doctors. (Keep in mind that most formulas are badly designed to begin with, but beyond that, they have virtually no "activity" left by the time you actually take them.)
Question 2: Heavy Metals
I noticed that you created a formula called Metal Magic™ to remove heavy metals from the body. But I don't use aluminum cookware or commercial deodorants, and I had all of my amalgam fillings replaced. Do I need to worry about heavy metals? Would using Metal Magic™ help me?
If only it were that easy to avoid exposure to heavy metals. Unfortunately, heavy metals are everywhere.
- Almost all fish that you buy in the market is contaminated with mercury -- particularly swordfish, shark, and roughy.
- The water we drink contains heavy metals -- and most water filters are chlorine focused and do not remove these metals. Incidentally, I recommend the Aquaspace triple filter because it does just that. By the way, if you use my name when you order, they'll pass my 20% discount on to you.
- Stainless steel cookware may not contain aluminum, but it does contain nickel, which is highly toxic and may be a major contributing factor in prostate cancer and breast cancer.
- Wine bottle wraps
- Tile and linoleum
- Crystal glassware
- Carried into your house on the soles of your shoes
In fact, research has now shown that a number of toxins, including mercury, are carried on the wind from industrial countries to the far off Artic, where they have contaminated the bodies of the natives to such a degree that their breast milk qualifies as hazardous waste. According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly all Inuit tested in Greenland and more than half in Canada have levels of PCBs and mercury exceeding international health guidelines.
Bottom line: You can't avoid exposure.
In Chapter 13 of Miracle Doctors, I detail how you can remove these heavy metals from your body on a regular basis, thereby significantly improving your health. Metal Magic™ was merely formulated to make the process easier. Incidentally, over the last couple of months, I have been told by several chiropractors who have adopted the formula and regularly order several dozen bottles at a time that it works extraordinarily well -- always nice to hear.
Question 3: Proteolytic Enzymes
Actually, this is question from me to all of you -- at least the several thousand of you who have been using the Proteolytic Enzyme formula that I released through Baseline Nutritionals® in December.
Over the last 60 days, we have received a number of testimonials telling us that heavy dental plaque was either eliminated or greatly reduced in less than a week on the Proteolytic Enzyme formula. Although theoretically possible, this is unheard of with any other proteolytic formula that I know of. If true, it represents an astounding breakthrough. If you have had a similar experience, please let us know ASAP. Email us here. Tell us how much plaque was removed, and how long it took. We are looking to understand how real this phenomenon is before we bring it to the dental community for testing.
Thanks for your help!