Again, here is an article by others, but VERY informative and important. It explains how traditional Western diets high in protein and processed foods and low in soluble fiber are causing literal “rotting” inside the intestines, leading to abnormal intestinal flora balance and most of our current diseases.
by Leo Galland, M.D., F.A.C.N., and Stephanie Barrie, N.D.
ABSTRACT: With the advent of biochemical and microbial stool analysis panels, an increasing number of physicians are seeking a clearer understanding of the relationship between the ecology of the digestive tract and local and systemic factors affecting health and disease. Dysbiosis is a state of living with intestinal flora that has harmful effects. It can be described as being due to either putrefaction, fermentation, deficiency, or sensitization. A number of inflammatory diseases within the bowel or involving skin and connective tissue have been reported in association with dysbiosis. This article details the relationships, causes and treatment options for dysbiotic related conditions.
Recognition that intestinal flora have a major impact on human health first developed with the birth of microbiology in the late nineteenth century. It is generally accepted that our relationship with indigenous gut flora is “Eu-symbiotic,” meaning a state of living together that is beneficial. Metchinkoff popularized the idea of “Dys-symbiosis, or Dysbiosis,” a state of living with intestinal flora thathas harmful effects. He postulated that toxic amines produced by bacterial putrefaction of food were the cause of degenerative diseases, and that ingestion of fermented foods containing Lactobacilli could prolong life by decreasing gut putrefaction(1). Although Metchnikoff’s ideas have been largely ignored in the United States, they have influenced four generations of European physicians. The notion that dysbiotic relationships with gut microflora may influence the development of inflammatory diseases and cancer has received considerable experimental support over the past two decades, but the mechanisms involved are far more diverse than Metchnikoff imagined.
The stool of healthy human beings consuming a Western diet contains 24 x 105¡ bacteria/gram. Twenty species comprise 75% of the total number of colonies; non-spore forming anaerobes predominate over aerobes by a ratio of 5000:1(2). Organisms cultured from mucosal surfaces are significantly different from those found in stool and vary among different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The bacterial concentration in the stomach and small intestine is several orders of magnitude less than in the colon. The major mucosal organisms there are coccobacilli(1) and streptococci(3). The predominant organisms cultured from gastric and duodenal aspirates, are yeasts and Lactobacilli(2), living in the lumen. In the colon, the presence of these organisms is overshadowed by spirochetes and fusfform bacteria on the mucosal surface and anaerobic rods like Eubacterium, Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium in the lumen. Benefits and adverse effects of the normal gut microflora are listed in Table 1 & 2 and have been described elsewhere(4).
Materials and Methods
lntestinal dysbiosis should be considered as a mechanism promoting disease in all patients with chronic gastrointestinal, inflammatory or autoimmune disorders, food allergy and intolerance, breast and colon cancer, and unexplained fatigue, malnutrition or neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The most useful test for this condition is a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) which includes:
a) biochemical measurements of digestion/maldigestion (fecal chymotrypsin, fecal triglycerides, meat and vegetable fibers, pH), intestinal absorption/ malabsorption (long chain fatty acids, fecal cholesterol, and total short chain fatty acids)
b) metabolic markers of intestinal metabolism
c) identification of the bacterial microflora, including friendly, pathogenic and imbalanced flora
d) detection of abnormal gut mycology
The authors have developed a Gut Dysbiosis Score (Table 3) to make the CDSA more useful.
Interpretation of Gut Dysbiosis Score (Refers to Table 3)
Excess meat or vegetable fibers or triglycerides (one point each) suggest mal- digestion. This is a common effect of bacterial overgrowth but can also con- tribute to its cause.
Excess cholesterol or fatty acids (one point each) is indicative of malabsorp- tion; bacterial overgrowth produces this by interfering with micelle forma- tion.
Low concentrations of butyrate or SCFA (two points each) indicate insuffi- cient anaerobic fermentation of soluble fiber. This may result from a low fiber diet deficiency of Bifidobacteria.
High concentrations of butyrate or SCFA (two points each) is indicative of increased anaerobic fermentation.
Alkaline stool pH (two points) often accompanies a low butyrate. When it is associated with a normal butyrate it signifies increased ammonia production, reflecting a diet high in meat or excessive urease activity of intestinal bacte- ria. Bacterial cultures can provide more direct evidence of dysbiosis. The most common finding is:
A lack of Lactobacillus or of E.Coli on stool culture (3 points each) High levels of uncommon or atypical Enterobacteriaceae or of Klebsiella, Proteus or Pseudomonas, may reflect small bowel overgrowth of these organisms (score 1 point for each.)
Total Score-7 points or more is always associated with clinical dysbiosis; 5-6 is probable dysbiosis; 3-4 is borderline. There are rare cases in which a score less than 3 occurs in a dysbiotic stool. These cases are usually under treatment at the time the stool is obtained. In severe cases abnormal blood tests may be found. There may be erythrocyte macrocytosis, low circulating vitamin B12 or hypoalbuminemia. Urinary excretion of essential amino acids may also be low, signifying impaired assimilation of dietary protein.