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Autism Coach

Eliminate Biofilms to Restore Health

Posted by Susan Bennett on

Over 80% of all infections are created by micro-organisms producing a biofilm. A biofilm is a slime formed by a colony of micro-organisms that lives under the biofilm and hides from both the immune system and antibiotics. This colony of pathogenic organisms is glued to a surface and protectively covered by the biofilm.

The vast majority infections that are antibiotic resistant and difficult to treat are protected by a biofilm. To get permanently get rid of most chronic infections, the biofilm protecting it must be eradicated and prevented from re-establishing itself.

An example of a biofilm is the plaque on your teeth. The pathogenic micro-organisms living under the dental plaque excrete acid that eats away at teeth and causes cavities, and also excrete other by-products that cause bad breath.

Biofilms on teeth also enable micro-organisms to get below the exposed surface of the tooth, between the tooth and gums. These micro-organisms underneath produce by-products that cause cavities, inflammation in the gums and loss of gum tissue, and eat away at the jawbone and ligaments that connect the tooth to the bone - causing gum disease.

Why it is Important for Your Health to Treat Biofilms

It is important to treat biofilms in the mouth not only for dental health but because these biofilm-forming micro-organisms can spread from the mouth to the rest of the body.

Biofilms in other areas of the body and are implicated in health problems in the digestive tract, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system:

  • Plaque in arteries contributes to atherosclerosis and heart problems.
  • Plaque in the intestinal tract causes inflammation plays a part in conditions such as irritable bowel, acid reflux, colitis, and Crohn's Disease.
  • Plaque in the respiratory system contributes to chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
  • Plaque in the pancreas, gall bladder and liver contributes to health issues in these organs.
  • Plaque in the brain contributes to neurological conditions.

Pathogenic microbes tend to thrive and overgrow under a biofilm. These pathogens produce a myriad of toxic byproducts which can contribute to a wide variety of physical and mental health issues. In addition, recent research is indicating that some of these pathogens rob your body of amino acids and other nutrients to sustain themselves.

On the other hand, beneficial microbes tend to compete with and crowd out pathogens outside of a biofilm. The byproducts of beneficial microbes in the digestive tract include amino acids, B vitamins, and building blocks for calming neurotransmitters. Beneficial microbes actually create many of the nutrients your body needs.

Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Thrive Under Biofilms

Research is indicating that biofilms support the growth of pathogenic gram-negative bacteria, as opposed to beneficial micro-organisms such as probiotics which are gram-positive. So there is a much higher ratio of pathogentic bacteria to beneficial bacteria living under a biofilm.

Gram negative bacteria include a rogue's gallery of antibiotic resistant pathogens including: e. coli, c. difficile, klebsiella, salmonella, helicobater (causes ulcers), MRSA (antibiotic resistant form of staph), legionella (Legionnaire's Disease).

Gram positive bacteria tend to be beneficial, such as lactobacillus acidophilus which is found in yoghurt.

(In case you are wondering, Gram is a staining technique used by scientists to identify bacteria under a microscope. In Gram's method, a violet dye is applied, then a decolorizing agent and then a red dye is applied to the bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria retain the first dye and appear violet, while Gram-negative bacteria lose color and then appear red.)

Biofilms enable Pathogens to Overgrow

Biofilms actually enable vastly larger number of micro-organisms to grow under them. The number of micro-organisms living under a biofilm can so rapidly grow that if these micro-organisms were laid end to end, they would reach to the sun in back within a 24 hour period:

Stages of Biofilm Development

The five stages of biofilm development are:

  1. Initial reversible attachment of free swimming micro-organisms to surface
  2. Permanent chemical attachment, single layer, bugs begin making slime
  3. Early vertical development
  4. Multiple towers with channels between, maturing biofilm
  5. Mature biofilm with seeding / dispersal of more free swimming micro-organisms

Here is a picture of how colonies of micro-organisms quickly grow on a surface and spread under a biofilm:

This colony of largely pathogenic microorganisms can include bacteria and candida. 

Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Thrive Under Biofilms

Research is indicating that biofilms support the growth of pathogenic gram-negative bacteria, as opposed to beneficial micro-organisms such as probiotics which are gram-positive. So there is a much higher ratio of pathogentic bacteria to beneficial bacteria living under a biofilm.

Gram negative bacteria include a rogue's gallery of antibiotic resistant pathogens including: e. coli, c. difficile, klebsiella, salmonella, helicobater (causes ulcers), MRSA (antibiotic resistant form of staph), legionella (Legionnaire's Disease).

Gram positive bacteria tend to be beneficial, such as lactobacillus acidophilus which is found in yoghurt.

(Gram is a staining technique used by scientists to identify bacteria under a microscope. In Gram's method, a violet dye is applied, then a decolorizing agent and then a red dye is applied to the bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria retain the first dye and appear violet, while Gram-negative bacteria lose color and then appear red.)

Why are some Microbial Pathogens Antibiotic Resistant?

It turns out that the antibiotic resistant pathogenic forms of gram negative bacteria not form and thrive under biofilms but create a slowing growing single-celled organism called a persister cell to rebuild the biofilm.

There are two primary methods pathogens use to evade detection and elimination by antibiotics:

  • hiding under a slimy biofilm protects pathogens from coming into contact with the antibiotic
  • persister cells that anchor and regenerate the biofilm (1) If the persister cell is largely dormant, it can't be killed by an antibiotic. It remains dormant during courses of antibiotics, and afterwards it fully activates to multiply the pathogens and regenerate the biofilm.

Persister cells are the source of many of the recurrent bacterial infections that are hard to get rid of. The antibiotic kills most of the bacteria but the dormant persister cells survive and restore the pathogens and biofilm. Persister cells are able to survive sustained periods of antibiotic exposure through dormancy and when environmental stressors like antibiotics are remove, they revert to a an active growing form of the pathogen.

Biofilms Form Throughout the Body

Biofilms don't just stay on the teeth and in the mouth.

Biofilms and Heart Disease

There is a correlation between gum disease caused by plaque and heart disease. The micro-organisms that form plaque in your mouth spread to the arteries and form plaque in arteries (2):

plaque-in-artery.jpg

Biofilms and the Digestive System

The micro-organisms that create plaque in your mouth also travel to your intestinal tract and form a biofilm there as well. Colonies of micro-organisms in the intestinal tract also form a biofilm that lines the walls of the intestinal tract and protects intestinal pathogens. (3)

Biofilms in the intestinal tract are linked bacteria implicated in ulcers, acid reflux.

Pathogens that tend to overgrow under a biofilm in the intestinal tract include:

  • Candida
  • E. Coli
  • Klebsiella
  • Strep
  • Staph
  • Clostridium

When they overgrow, these pathogens produce excessive levels of toxins such as ammonia, oxalic acid, proprionic acid, p-Cresol, that overwhelm the body's ability to detoxify and travel to the brain where they act as neurotoxins. These neurotoxins disrupt neurological development in young children and cause neurological damage that leads to neurological diseases in the elderly.

Biofilms in the gall bladder as linked to gallstones and gallbladder cancer. (4)

Bacteria living in the mouth associated with the plaque in gum disease are linked to a person's risk of pancreatic cancer. (5)

Biofilms and the Lungs

They can also travel to the lungs, contributing to lung conditions including chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia. We are also offering an inhalant product to remove biofilms from the respiratory system, called I Help You Breathe. (6)

Nutrients/Supplements that Help to Degrade Biofilms

These include:


References

1. Persister Cells. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/persister-cell

2. Biofilms in artherosclerosis. https://www.omicsonline.org/a-possible-role-of-bacterial-biofilm-in-the-pathogenesis-of-atherosclerosis-2155-9597.1000127.php?aid=4160

3. Biofilms and gastrointestinal diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395855/

4. Biofilms in the Gall Bladder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618536/

5. Bacteria in the Mouth Linked to Pancreatic Cancer. https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/45900/title/Mouth-Microbes-and-Pancreatic-Cancer/

6. Chronic Sinus infection and biofilms. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S209588111630004X

7. Biofilm treatment of H. Pylori infection with N-Acetyl Cysteine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20478402

8. Effectiveness of Stevia against Borrelia Burdorferi. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681354/

9. Biofilms and human Infection. http://entkent.com/biofilms-and-infection/

References:

1.  HIV biofilms.  http://www.ppt-health.com/hiv-and-aids/hiv-biofil...

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  • antibiotic resistant biofilms
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