Probiotics and Liver Health

By maintaining a constant temperature, the human gut provides an appealing habitat for many bacteria to grow. While the human body hosts trillions of bacteria known as normal intestinal flora, about 85 percent of these bacteria are considered harmless, some even beneficial. Our normal flora produces essential nutrients and generates by-products that help reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, digestive disorders, metabolic syndromes as well as liver and heart disease.

Aging and alterations in the intestine’s environment caused by antibiotic use disrupt the digestive system’s balance. In the case of antibiotics, the medicine kills everything living in the gut, including harmful bacteria as well as healthy intestinal flora. Killing off healthy flora allows harmful intestinal bacteria to gain proportional dominance. This relative imbalance of microbes in the gut sets the stage for a wide range of unhealthy conditions.

A 2003 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University looked at the connection between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and intestinal bacteria over-growth. Researchers concluded that intestinal bacteria play a significant role in hepatic insulin resistance and NAFLD.

Researchers at the Imperial College of London recently surmised that altering the intestine’s microbial environment could be effective in addressing insulin resistance.  Researchers found that genetics is responsible for the presence of a specific type of microbe in mice intestines. This microbial excess predisposed mice to insulin resistance and NAFLD.

Researchers are hopeful that their observations of a mouse’s intestinal environment will translate into improving human health. When the mice in this study were fed a high fat diet, the microbes transformed choline, the nutrient essential for metabolizing fat, into methylamines. Scientists believe methylamines, which can only be produced by the microbes in the intestines, lead to insulin resistance. In addition, because choline is needed to transport fat out of the liver, altering choline metabolism leads to fat accumulation, and in turn, NAFLD. By changing the balance of intestinal microbes, it will be possible to reduce someone’s chances of becoming insulin resistant, developing NAFLD or suffering from associated problems.

Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels. By pushing glucose out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells where it is converted into energy, insulin keeps blood glucose levels in check. Cells that are insulin resistant lead to decreased energy production, resulting in fatigue. High amounts of insulin in the blood increase triglycerides, which deposit fatty acids in the liver. In prolonged cases of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus develops. Being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating a diet rich in sugar and fat and a preponderance of intestinal microbes all promote insulin resistance.

Probiotics utilize beneficial bacteria to support the health of the gastrointestinal system by suppressing the growth of, or destroying undesirable bacteria. The regular use of probiotics can re-colonize the gastrointestinal tract with enough normal flora to prevent potentially damaging microbes from gaining dominance. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins 2003 study evaluating probiotic use to improve NAFLD suggested the inclusion of probiotics in a plan to prevent additional accumulation of fat in the liver.

Living with microbes in the gut is a normal occurrence in the human gastrointestinal system. However, the recent determination that an intestinal microbial imbalance encourages insulin resistance and NAFLD demonstrates that people concerned with these conditions should aim to preserve or build up healthy intestinal flora. Used around the world for gastrointestinal health, the regular use of probiotics is the most acknowledged way to support a favorable balance of intestinal microbes.

What is Clostridium difficile?

Several customers have contacted us with questions about the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. dif), a bacteria that can cause serious infection. C. dif infections are on the increase lately, but you can prevent falling ill to this and other bacterial infections by supplementing treatment with Del-Immune V®.

C. dif is a bacteria in your intestines. The body has lots of “good” and necessary bacteria, but lots of “bad” or dangerous bacteria lurk there, too. C. dif is a “bad” bacteria. When you are healthy, the millions of good bacteria keep C. dif under control and in smaller numbers. However, when you take an antibiotic, the levels of good bacteria are reduced down to a smaller number. If C. dif doesn’t get killed by the antibiotics, it’s possible that it will overpopulate in the intestine or colon and cause an illness called Clostridium difficile colitis.

C. dif is resistant to most antibiotics and can live on almost any surface in a hospital or nursing home for long periods of time. C. dif infections can range in severity from asymptomatic to severe and life-threatening. People are most often infected in hospitals, nursing homes or institutions. The rate of C. dif infections is estimated to be 13 percent in patients during hospital stays of up to two weeks and 50 percent in those with hospital stays longer than four weeks.

Metronidazole is the drug of choice when treating C. dif, but treatment with probiotics like Del-Immune V® has also shown to be effective. Dr. Roger Mazlen, M.D. says, “Because of the potentially life-threatening nature of Clostridium difficile, it’s very important to support the immune system before the infection gets too advanced. Del-Immune V® will support and assist any treatment and help with an easy recovery.”

To find out more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.

Probiotics in Intestine are Critical to Effective Immune System Response

With all the opportunities there are to get sick, it’s important that we protect ourselves in every possible way. Any comprehensive health strategy should include the digestive system — a majority of human immune activity (some studies estimate as much as 70%!) occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The first step in lysing lactobacillus rhamnosus.

l. rhamnosus (DV strain) undergoing lysing

The intestine is home to a list of good bacteria (over 1,000 species) each with specific functions that contribute to maintaining health. Some GI bacteria make vitamin B-1; others help make enzymes needed for digestion. These are known as friendly bacteria, or probiotics. Ongoing research of priobiotics’ role in immune function began in about 1960.

Priobiotic cells are like tiny factories. Within and surrounding each of the cells and their walls are microscopic biological substances.

The second step in lysing lactobacillus bacteria

Del-Immune V (DV strain)

Many of these biological functions are not available for use until the cell is broken and its contents are exposed to the intestine.

This breaking apart of cells is called “lysing,” and the resulting products are called “lysates.” This process occurs naturally in the lower end of our small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. Biochemical substances called muramyl peptides then become available to initiate an immune response. Extensive research has demonstrated that muramyl peptides — perform the following important tasks:

  • Stimulation of non-specific resistance to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections
  • Stimulation of antibodies when used with an antigen, like a vaccine
  • Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in viral infections
  • Believed to increase resistance of respiratory tract mucosa to bacterial and viral infections
  • Modulate the immune response, which means stimulating activity when needed and becoming inactive when not needed

When consumed, the Delpro probiotics for immune health deliver the active substances directly to the stomach and the immune response is quickly launched, triggered by muramyl peptides. To find out more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.