Small Friends with Big Jobs
By Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.
The human body is a technological masterpiece that is home to a vast variety of friendly microorganisms. These microorganisms keep us alive, well, and mentally stable. When the natural ecosystem within the body becomes altered through the consumption of unnatural foods, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and stress, the expression of our genes is negatively influenced. Assaulted with unfamiliar, toxic substances, our health and everything that goes along with it is often lost. Fortunately, I know of a few friends that have earned a reputation for helping improve health!
Before introducing them, let’s look at how stress takes a toll on the body’s ecosystem. Our basic internal programming has kept us safe for many thousands of years. When life is calm, the adrenal glands produce 30 to 40 different hormones, which control digestion, body repair, and the immune system. When under stress, the body goes into what’s commonly referred to as “fight or flight.”
Whenever we are threatened or even feel threatened by something, this response kicks in to help ensure our survival. In “fight or flight” mode, the body redirects its energy to run only key body systems. Digestion stops, the immune system shuts down, and hormones are altered. To understand what’s happening in this scenario, think about how the Captain in Star Trek or the Commander in Charge in a typical space drama directs the crew to run 100% of the spacecraft’s power – other than basic life support – to the shields and weapons when under attack.
In the past, the biggest immediate threats were from large predators looking for a meal – and our ancestors were on the menu! In the early days, hunting tools were primitive and it’s likely that most animals were so enormous that running from them was a wise choice. Since unnecessary body systems were shut down, their energy was rerouted to fight their predator or run as quickly as possible to stay alive and fight another day.
In today’s world we have different threats. The big animals that used to be threats have been replaced by the tiniest of things that can hardly be seen. It seems ironic that one of the biggest threats to our health in today’s world are microbes, also called germs. Do you see a problem here? As stated earlier, our instinctual response is to shut down all body systems, including the immune system, when feeling threatened or stressed.
In the case when the threat is a microbe or a germ, we may be even more susceptible to being invaded by these germs because the body’s natural defense has been turned off by being in the “fight or flight” response mode. If this scenario seems perplexing, I agree. However, I suggest that you do not resort to fear. Have you heard of the rule that says, Whatever you fear will come to visit you – and what you don’t fear will have little interest in you?
This is where I’m going to tell you about the friends we can call on to help us deal with stress, as well as germs and viruses. Our gastrointestinal system is a host to good bacteria, commonly referred to as probiotics. They outnumber the cells of our own body by approximately ten to one in a healthy person. They protect us from bad bacteria, produce vitamins, provide true life support, and do not shut down when we feel threatened. We cannot be functionally healthy without them. It is estimated that there are over 400 different kinds, each with a special function that keeps us both healthy, safe, happy and sane. The idea of probiotics is not new. Every culture has been eating fermented cultured foods throughout recorded history.
We come into the world free of all kinds of bacteria, having been under the protection of our mother’s immune system. As we exit through the birth canal, nature’s first miracle is bestowed upon us as we are inoculated (given) good bacteria from our mothers’. However, this does not take place to the same degree in a Cesarean section delivery (according to Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, MD.)
The next set of good bacteria (probiotics) comes when friends and relatives hug and kiss the new baby. This is so important for the child and is part of our natural survival mechanism. Perhaps this is why most people can hardly resist doing this. I know this is a happy part of caring for my new little patients. We also see kids being naturally affectionate when receiving this life protecting gift. Then, as we go through the next stages of life, we play in the dirt and eat and handle things that make most adults cringe. Luckily, all of these things continue to add to the body’s probiotic library.
Over fifty years ago, Dr. Royal Lee knew that it was necessary to eat real food for probiotics to grow and live successfully in our bodies. Even back then, food was already starting to be altered to the point that gut health was being negatively affected. His research led him to the development of a pre-biotic that turned carbohydrates in the gut into a lactic acid environment to support healthy bacteria and push out bad organisms, such as Candida albicans.
Modern research has led to the development of specific probiotics that can freshen your breath, support your gums and teeth, protect you from the effects of antibiotic therapy, reduce and/or eliminate allergies, reduce the risk of autoimmune disease, reduce post heart attack symptoms, help with depression and anxiety, reduce the effects of diabetes, help correct leaky gut associated with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, and much more. Come to our informative workshop to learn more and find out if any of these (modern) designer probiotics can help you. Perhaps you’ll make some new friends!
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Brimhall Certified Wellness Doctor with over 35 years of experience helping people improve their health. Join Dr. Karl on Thursday, August 25, at 7pm to learn more about specific probiotics and pre-biotics, and how they are used to target specific health concerns. RSVP: 734-425-8220. For more information, see www.KarlWellnessCenter.com