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Obesity, Diabetes, Inflammation, Bacterial Endotoxin

In looking to understand more about the causes of common diseases, we would all do well to become experts on bacterial endotoxin.  Bacterial endotoxin, otherwise known as lipopolysaccharide, is a toxin that is generated inside the body as a result of gram negative bacteria being there (it is a component of their cell wall).  When these bacteria die, they release the toxin.  This toxin causes an inflammatory immune response that has systemic consequences, partly because it ends up in the blood stream by passing through the intestinal wall.  The main cause for an increase in endotoxin is an increase in bacteria as well as an increase in intestinal permeability (leakiness), and that can be caused by many things, including processed food diets and anything that lowers beneficial bacteria or damages the intestinal wall (antibiotics, steroids, etc.). 

Very recent research has correlated bacterial endotoxin with obesity, insulin resistance (diabetes), and dyslipidemia (collectively known as metabolic syndrome):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21636801

Here is a very recent study specifically suggesting that endotoxin causes obesity in humans:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23235292

Endotoxin induced inflammation has a negative impact on brain function and memory:
http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~msrazy/PDF/KrabbeBBI05.pdf
Intestinal bacteria have been shown to play a role in brain development and adult behavior:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-neuroscience-of-gut

Endotoxin has been associated with cardiovascular disease:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20876680
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10588212
http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/24/12/2227.short

How does one potentially help lower endotoxin levels and their absorption into the bloodstream?
-By eating less processed food (especially starch).
-By supporting healthy liver and gallbladder function.  The liver and gallbladder (through bile production and secretion) play a significant role in preventing endotoxin from getting into the bloodstream:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8335381
-Raw carrots may be helpful:
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/32/9/1889.abstract
-Zinc Carnosine helps protect against the effects of endotoxin and supports the health of the stomach and intestinal mucosa:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872229/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856764/


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