7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

Biofilms are protective shields that microbes use to guard themselves from our immune system.  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, biofilms (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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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).

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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).

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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).

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

GI Pathogen Screening For BioFilms

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.

The lab I like to use the most is called the GI MAP Stool Analysis which is very good for picking up pathogens such as H Pylori and parasites as well as problematic bacteria.  Additionally, the Organic Acid Test is good at looking at potential pathogenic yeast and bacteria in the small intestine.

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

Final Thoughts on BioFilms

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.

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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

Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

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Biofilms, 7 Natural Agents That Disrupt Biofilms

Comments

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Comments

      1. So does that mean to complete the 14-day protocol without using probiotics or pre-biotics first and then when finished with the protocol restart the probiotics and prebiotics?

      2. Is it possible to have continuous waves of horrible die off for about a year now?
        Started taking NAC 2 months ago and the last 3 weeks have been horrible.

        Also can you die from too much die off? I have really bad days where I feel like I’m going to pass out, it scares me.

  1. Do you have any suggestions or a protocol for eliminating Klebsiella from gut in regard to Ankylosing Spondylitis flare ups?

  2. I have been coughing , choking up bio film for 4 mos. just finished the DesBio protocol for borrella, Epstein Barr, Babesia and the last co infection was bartonella. Haven’t been able to taste or smell since Nov. 2017. Been on 3 courses of antibiotics. Also, Betricide for tapeworm. NOTHING is breaking down the bio film, and I am going crazy…what should I do for immediate relief?
    Thanks in advance

      1. Do you suggest doing the Heavy Metal detox first or the biofilm protocol listed above for gut issues like lymphocytic colitis?

        1. Hey Shannon, if you know you have a biofilm, then I would recommend following the biofilm protocol in the article above. You may to investigate deeper and figure out what the underlying causes are before you can make a solid plan!

  3. Hello Dr. Jockers,

    First of all I love your site lots of amazing info.

    I have been dealing with Ureaplasma infection for the last 4 years and I have had enough of using tons of antibiotics. So recently I started a Biofilm Protocol but i don’t know if i’m doing it correctly.

    My doctor gave me Biofilm Busting enzymes, herbal antimicrobials and probiotics at the same time. ( Because before that I have been using antibiotics on& off for a long period of time)

    Do you have any special advise on Mycoplasma biofilms?

    In my case do you think it’s better to use everything at the same time or dividing on intervals?

    I live in Italy and Turkey and if I order some products from your site would it arrive or are there any customs procedures I should do?

    Many Thanks
    Melis

    1. Hey Melissa, I would recommend following something like what is mentioned above. After the 14 days recommended above, you would probably want to use ongoing anti-microbial support.

  4. Can it be possible to have a biofilm inside the vagina? I am having reoccurring bacterial vaginosis and I have been prescribed metrogel, but I feel it is useless. I’m having better luck juicing and taking oregano oil but I can’t completly rid myself of it. What would you suggest to break down this biofilm? Or will your protocol break this film down as well? I know sometimes things don’t make it that far down after passing through the stomach.

  5. Where should I start? I’m reacting to so many things. When I stop one diet and start another I stop some reactions and start others. And no matter what I try i cant lose weight. Ive been through many supplements and nothing seems to help. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  6. Dr. Jockers,
    I have Morgellons disease..would your products get rid of it and cure me?
    I have had symptoms for just two months..but need help, am desperate.
    thanks,

  7. Hi, just to mention that Candida is not a bacteria as mentioned in teh friendly/unfriendly bacteria. Candida is a yeast (fungi kingdom).

        1. Interesting you said that because I’ve noticed that my body odor has been stronger since I’ve been doing the biofilm regimen. Let’s hope it is a good thing. I wonder if when the odor stops being so strong that’s an indicator that the biofilms are destroyed.

  8. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure without blockage. Could this be caused by biofilms? I am finding the more I read about biofilms the clearer it becomes that they are culprits in many of our modern day maladies. Do you feel the above protocol would be a help in this situation with the congestive heart failure?

  9. I notice that your recommended protocol does not use all seven of the items you list as beneficial for getting rid of biofilm. Would it hurt to add in some apple cider vinegar, MCT oil, oregano, and garlic, along with your protocol? I’m already taking turmeric, MCT, and oregano daily.

    I’m excited to try this protocol along with some coffee enemas as I’ve been eating very strictly for about three months and am seeing some progress, but I think biofilm could very well be an issue for me.

  10. Hi! I would like to try your biofilm protocol. However, I am sensitive to Curcumin. Might you suggest a suitable alternative to Meriva? Thanks so much!

  11. Dr. Jockers,
    I love the knowledge you are putting out there for everyone, thank you! & you live in north Ga!
    My daughter has been suffering with BV for a few months now after giving birth & being given antibiotics by iv. They gave her another round to treat it & no help. She has abdominal cramping & nothing has helped it. She was on berberine (gave her diarrhea), boric acid, been on probiotics & a few other things. None helped at all. It has altered her life style & has been debilitating.
    What protocol should she start with?
    Also, would you accept her as a patient? She is not too far away from your location. Thank you for any help as this has been most troublesome.
    Sincerely- Becca

  12. Hello,

    I have an autistic 6 years old son and I have pulled lots biofilm and still pulling, he improved in speech and focus. but I feel there is alot in there. Can he still use your protocol.?

  13. Hello Dr. Jockers,
    My daughter has had a chronic sinus infection for many months (over 6). She’s been on antibiotics over and over, but it never goes away completely, then returns full blown.
    I’m not sure I completely understand biofilms, but from what I’ve read in the comments above, I’m wondering if there is a connection.
    Any thoughts?

  14. Willing to try the protocol however my question is dosage for each on Mg ? & is this overkill on dosage ?! Dangers ? Tia

  15. I decided to do this protocol because I have suffered from chronic bacterial vaginosis (BV) for over a year now. I am on day two and I believe I have developed a yeast infection. If I take a 1 or 3 day Monistat will this interfere with any of the pills?

    1. Hey Crandall, Sorry to hear about the yeast infection! If you are taking that medication, I would be sure to take it away from any supplements by at least 1 hour to make sure it is properly absorbed.

  16. Hello. Can I ask – regarding the agents listed — garlic, curcumin, oregano, cider vinegar — should these be taken with or without food? And can they be taken alongside your proteolytic enzyme regimine? And if so, how (when take what)?
    Is regular pasteurized apple cider vinegar ok, or does it have to be the type with “the mother”?

  17. Hi,

    How different should the protocol be if the basis for the biofilm is fungi (say, Candida Albicans) rather that some bacteria?
    Could that be contributing to the fact that chronic problems have not been resolved for someone who has been treated with garlic, oregano, turmeric, charcoal (and others)?…

    TIA!

  18. Is there any indication /sign when you’re doing the biofilm protocol that it actually is working and destroying the biofilm?
    If you’re not getting any such indicators should you keep doing the protocol until you do?
    …and if you get the signs and then they stop is that when you know that the biofilm has been eradicated and you can stop the protocol? Thank you!

    1. Hey Hankg, Testing is a great way to know if the biofilm program is working. The GI Map Stool Analysis is a fantastic test for overall gut health. It detects parasites, gut imbalances, H Pylori, and much more. Another option is the Complete Digestive Health Analysis. If you need more support and guidance, you can work with one of our functional health coaches. Here is some more information: https://drjockers.com/functional-nutrition-tips-to-find-a-great-health-coach/

      1. Thank you. I thought that pathogens that are enveloped in biofilm don’t show up in these tests. Or do they? Thanks!

        1. Hey Hankg, I recommend the biofilm protocol before the test. You should notice results within 2-4 weeks of improved symptoms and less inflammation. However, the GI-MAP is very sensitive and the only FDA-approved DNA test for gastrointestinal microbes and pathogens available.

  19. I’d like to hear some real human testimonies to the success of this protocol. I have 2 lesions on my chin that biofilm is keeping from healing for over 2 years. Pretty sure I have Morgellons. And certain the biofilm is preventing the healing. I am very healthy otherwise and take no Rx meds.

    1. Hi Carmie, Sorry to hear about that! While we don’t collect the testimonials, many people have seen good results. Wishing you the best with healing these lesions.

  20. Hi there!
    Will the biofilm protocol target what has pretty much become chronic bacterial vaginosis? I’ve had this issue for nearly 12 years and have not found relief with antibiotic treatment and have seen many OBGYN’s with no functional medicine background. I’ve recently just learned about biofilms and suspect that’s what is happening down there.

  21. Hello,

    I have a question. After finishing this protocol for Biofilm, is that it? Should I do anything else afterwards, say a diet or am I good to go? Also is it ok to exercise everyday after this protocol, or should I wait a certain amount of time? I am two days away from finishing the protocol after having a biofilm for 3 1/2 years and want to know if it is completely gone and if I am able to move on with my life from here.

    Thank You!

    -Christina

    1. Hey Christina, Keeping your stress levels low and maintaining good hydration is key while following the protocol and you may want to avoid high intensity workouts. You can do a 1 month run on Para 1 every 6 months. Adding fermented foods and drinks rich in probiotics and enzymes as well as digestive bitters and herbs will help maintain healthy gut bacteria and prevent microbial biofilms.

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