7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms - DrJockers.com

7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

We live in an amazingly fast-paced society that makes ground-breaking advances in science almost constantly. Every time we make a new discovery, it opens the doors to newer and deeper questions. Along with the solution of one problem comes the discovery of a new problem.  Case and point, the biofilm (I’ll explain what this is in a second).

Something I’ve noticed for a long time is how important gut health is for overall wellbeing. Conditions like leaky gut or the presence of a foreign pathogen in the digestive tract can drastically interfere with a person’s health. Something that has not been fully understood for a long time is why some GI disorders are so tough to get rid of.

GI Pathogens & Health

With someone who is experiencing chronic digestive issues, after addressing leaky gut and food sensitivities, I always look toward the presence of pathogens in the gut. This could be things like bad bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungus that make a home along the walls of the stomach and intestines.

Once these things are present they can create inflammation in the gut, release toxins directly into the blood stream, and interfere with proper immune function. These contribute to things like autoimmunity and brain fog (among many others).

Given that proper microbial diversity in the gut is absolutely critical for mental and immune health, you simply cannot experience optimal health without it.

Hidden In Plain Sight

There have been solutions in both the traditional as well as the natural medicine realm for ridding gut pathogens for some time. Unfortunately, both approaches often do not fully eradicate the pathogen.

If they do remove the pathogen, they create damage in the gut microbiome that ultimately allows new pathogens to take their place.

Now we have a solid understanding of why pathogens in the gut can be so hard to treat… they’ve been hidden. We now know that many pathogens adhere to the lining of the gut, colonize, and form a protective barrier around themselves called a biofilm.

What Is A Biofilm?

I believe that pathogens present in the gut may be a much larger issue than we originally thought. This is because biofilm-producing microorganisms are now estimated to be involved with 80% of all GI infections in humans (1). A biofilm is formed of what are called extracellular polymers that act like a glue and create a physical barrier around colonizing bacteria, fungus, parasites, etc.

Once a pathogen colonizes and begins to form biofilm, it becomes harder to detect and remove; especially the longer it is present. Not only do biofilms shield the pathogen from our own immune system, but they also accelerate the growth and dispersion of the pathogen throughout the GI tract while providing an environment for new pathogens to attach and grow.

It is interesting to wonder how many chronic health issues go unsolved due to undetected infections like this. The answer is probably way too many.

How Do We Deal With Biofilms?

All this talk about biofilms may sound disconcerting so far but, now that we know about them, this information is actually quite empowering. By taking steps to safely break up biofilms, we drastically increase our ability to detect and destroy unwanted pathogens. Thanks to recent scientific advances, this is now possible.

The traditional approach to GI infection would be to administer prescription antibiotics. Time has shown that this approach is not very effective. In fact, prescription anti-biotics have often been isolated as a contributor to biofilm formation (2).

Luckily, research has highlighted some natural alternatives that are able to address biofilms gently without creating deeper issues. These are my top 7.

Curcumin

Turmeric and its primary active constituent, curcumin, seems to be one of the most diversely beneficial natural compounds currently known to man.

Likewise, a 2014 study review acknowledged curcumin as an effective anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, as well as anti-parasitic. On top of the anti-pathogen benefits, curcumin has also been deemed significantly effective at disrupting biofilm (3).

Another 2013 study found that out of 35 different compounds observed, curcumin landed itself as one of the top six biofilm-disrupting agents (4).

Apple Cider Vinegar

Another great biofilm disruptor is the ancient tonic, apple cider vinegar. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to kill unwanted bacteria while also cutting through mature biofilms in chronic infections (5).

Although more research is needed on acetic acid for this effect, apple cider vinegar can be a cheap and effective addition to a biofilm eradication protocol.

Oregano 

Oregano (oregano oil especially) has been used for a long time to naturally eradicate unwanted pathogens from the GI tract. Oregano’s well-studied active constituent, carvacrol, has a long list of documented benefits for the body.

In terms of pathogen eradication, carvacrol has been shown to inhibit antibiotic resistant bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Additionally, it has been shown that this powerful compound also inhibits the release of harmful toxins released by these pathogens, including biofilms (6, 7).

Garlic 

Garlic is a powerful broad-spectrum anti-pathogenic food. Not only does the active component allicin have the ability to destroy antibacterial resistant bacteria, but has been shown to inhibit biofilm formation as well.

Biofilm formation is thought to rely on a bacterial communication process called quorum sensing. Quorum sensing is how bacteria communicate, evaluate their surroundings, and decide the perfect moment to spread (8). For bacteria, this is an important survival mechanism. For humans, this can be a huge problem. When the immune system becomes weak, opportunities arise for these kinds of infections to spread rapidly.

Luckily, allicin in garlic has been shown to disrupt this communication process and biofilm growth (9).

Berberine

Unlike the compounds listed so far, berberine is less likely to be found in the common household. Isolated from Oregon grape, goldenseal, and a few other herbs, this compound has an impressive list of benefits.

It has been found that berberine has both anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties while also being a potent anti-microbial with few side effects (10). This is why berberine is a key ingredient in my GI Regulator that I use with all of my patients who are trying rid themselves of pathogens in the digestive tract.

Activated Charcoal

While activated charcoal isn’t directly involved in breaking up biofilms, it is a crucial step in a biofilm-breaking protocol.

When a biofilm is broken and anti-microbial compounds destroy unwanted pathogens in the gut, a massive toxin load is unleashed. If not properly absorbed and passed through the stool, the toxic dieoff can lead to what is known as a Herxheimer reaction.

This is when toxins are dumped partially from one area of the body but then begin to reabsorb if not properly removed.

This reaction leads to unpleasant flu-like symptoms and can be debilitating if steps are not taken to absorb and get rid of these toxins.

Activated charcoal is extremely useful for absorbing the toxins from pathogenic dieoff and passing them through the stool. This is why I consider it absolutely critical for safe and effective biofilm removal.

Proteolytic Enzymes

Enzymes are considered catalysts of biochemical processes. This simply means they assist chemical processes in the body by allowing them to occur much faster.

Proteolytic enzymes assist the body in breaking down proteins and can be very effective at dissolving biofilms. Particularly serratiopeptidase and trypsin have been studied for the ability to mitigate the formation of biofilms after orthopedic surgery, a potentially dangerous complication (11).

The Power Of Synergy & My Biofilm Protocol

In order to effectively remove a biofilm from the body, a multi-directional approach is needed. First, you need to physically breakdown or dissolve the biofilm. Next, steps need to be taken to disrupt and kill the underlying pathogen that formed the biofilm. Finally, compounds need to be used to absorb the debris from the pathogenic dieoff so that the body is not overburdened by the toxic load.

Each of the compounds listed above addresses biofilm formation in its own unique way. By combining them into a comprehensive protocol, every aspect of biofilm eradication can be addressed.

My protocol combines proteolytic enzymes with antimicrobial herbs and activated charcoal to bust that biofilm once and for all. Below is the exact protocol I recommend and I get great results with it.

Upon Rising: 3 Proteo Enzyme Capsules

+90 Mins, With Breakfast: 2 Capsules Each of GI Regulator & Meriva

+90 Mins: 2 Activated Charcoal Capsules

+90 Mins: 3 Proteo Enzyme Capsules

+90 Mins, With Lunch: 2 Capsules Each of GI Regulator & Meriva

+90 Mins: 2 Activated Charcoal Capsules

+90 Mins: 3 Proteo Enzyme Capsules

+90 Mins, With Dinner: 2 Capsules Each of GI Regulator & Meriva

+90 Mins: 2 Activated Charcoal Capsules

+90 Mins: 3 Proteo Enzyme Capsules

This is ONE DAY of the biofilm protocol. For effective eradication, I recommend following this protocol daily for 14 Days in a row.

Additional Considerations

In addition to following the protocol outlined above, you will want to take steps to optimize the immune system and create an internal environment that is not conducive to the regrowth of harmful pathogens. For example:

  • Avoid sugary and high-carb foods that feed unwanted bacteria and fungus
  • Hydrate Very Well: During this protocol, your body will be releasing a high load of toxins, drink plenty of water to support your body’s ability to get toxins out the body
  • Control Your Stress: Being under a high amount of physical or emotional stress hampers the immune system and lowers your ability to fight infection

GI Pathogen Screening

Because it is so important for overall health, optimizing gut function is a foundational aspect of my healing approach. Among my top strategies is having my patients complete functional lab work that includes a comprehensive stool test. This test is effective at uncovering pathogens in the digestive tract.

I will often recommend this test on its own or as part of my Complete Digestive Health Analysis Report. Before completing such a test, it may be necessary to follow a modified version of the biofilm removal protocol outlined above.

This is important because pathogens hidden by biofilms will not be picked up by the lab report.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to our developing understanding of pathogens and biofilms, eradicating stubborn and once hidden infections from the body is now possible.

As a common underlying factor to many chronic health conditions, this newfound understanding has the potential to change many people’s lives.

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Sources For This Article Include:

1. Mogosanu, G. D., Grumezescu, A. M., Huang, K.-S., Bejenaru, L. E., & Bejenaru, C. (2015). Prevention of microbial communities: novel approaches based natural products. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 16(2), 94–111. PMID: 25594287
2. Böttcher, T., Kolodkin-Gal, I., Kolter, R., Losick, R., & Clardy, J. (2013). Synthesis and activity of biomimetic biofilm disruptors. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135(8), 2927–2930. PMID: 23406351
3. Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, S., Abdul Kadir, H., Hassandarvish, P., Tajik, H., Abubakar, S., & Zandi, K. (2014). A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin. BioMed Research International. PMID: 24877064
4. Magesh, H., Kumar, A., Alam, A., Priyam, Sekar, U., Sumantran, V. N., & Vaidyanathan, R. (2013). Identification of natural compounds which inhibit biofilm formation in clinical isolates of Kiebsiella pneumoniae. Section Title: Microbial, Algal, and Fungal Biochemistry, 51(9), 764–772. PMID: 24377137
5. Bjarnsholt, T., Alhede, M., Jensen, P. Ø., Nielsen, A. K., Johansen, H. K., Homøe, P., … Kirketerp-Møller, K. (2015). Antibiofilm Properties of Acetic Acid. Advances in Wound Care, 4(7), 363–372. PMID: 26155378
6. Nostro, A., Roccaro, A. S., Bisignano, G., Marino, A., Cannatelli, M. A., Pizzimenti, F. C., … Blanco, A. R. (2007). Effects of oregano, carvacrol and thymol on Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 56(4), 519–523. PMID: 17374894
7. Friedman, M. (2014). Chemistry and multibeneficial bioactivities of carvacrol (4-isopropyl-2-methylphenol), a component of essential oils produced by aromatic plants and spices. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. PMID: 25058878
8. Rutherford, S. T., & Bassler, B. L. (2012). Bacterial quorum sensing: its role in virulence and possibilities for its control. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. PMID: 23125205
9. Ta, C. A. K., & Arnason, J. T. (2016). Mini review of phytochemicals and plant taxa with activity as microbial biofilm and quorum sensing inhibitors. Molecules. PMID: 26712734
10. Kumar, A., Ekavali, Chopra, K., Mukherjee, M., Pottabathini, R., & Dhull, D. K. (2015). Current knowledge and pharmacological profile of berberine: An update. European Journal of Pharmacology. PMID: 26092760
11. Chaignon, P., Sadovskaya, I., Ragunah, C., Ramasubbu, N., Kaplan, J. B., & Jabbouri, S. (2007). Susceptibility of staphylococcal biofilms to enzymatic treatments depends on their chemical composition. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 75(1), 125–132. PMID: 17221196

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One Response to 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

  1. William June 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Thank you!

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