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Dealing with a condition like Parkinson’s disease usually involves medication that treats the disease’s symptoms. Recent studies, however, suggest there may be a cure not in drugs but in bacteria, specifically the bacteria in our gut.
Bacteria and Parkinson’s Symptoms
Researchers have recently discovered a link between gut bacteria and Parkinson’s disease. They studied the way that changes in gut flora in mice allowed for the manifestation of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. What were some of the bacteria that made way for Parkinson’s symptoms? Bacteria from the guts of humans with Parkinson’s. (1)
These findings suggest that the root cause of Parkinson’s is an unbalanced gut microbiome. And if an imbalance of bacteria is the root cause of Parkinson’s, then maybe a balance could be an effective means of preventing, slowing down, or even curing, the disease.
The key, then, might be in probiotics. Maybe soon, those with Parkinson’s will receive prescriptions for probiotics rather than drugs.
And that would probably be for the best. What would you rather take: chemical drugs with potentially life-threatening side effects, or a helping of good bacteria that are supposed to be in your gut anyway?
The Gut May Be the Body’s First Line of Defense
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a link between gut flora and physical (and mental) wellbeing. We’ve seen links between the gut and:
It’s almost a trend. The more time that passes, the more we learn that so many diseases and conditions are actually related to the gut, such as:
●Irritable bowel syndrome
●Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
●Loss of short-term memory
●Type 1 diabetes
We’ve seen several times that the bacteria in our gut is responsible for a good portion of our overall health. And it makes sense. 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, after all. So in a way, our gut may really be our body’s first line of defense against anything that might harm it.
But if something gets past that line of defense and a disease or a condition takes root, we have to ask: What happened to the gut to allow that disease or condition in?
Our gut could act as a physical wall between us and invasive microorganisms. It’s the lining of our gut that keeps those microorganisms from getting to places in the body where they don’t belong. But like any wall, it can be chipped away at. It can be damaged.
Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the gut lining becomes perforated and weakened. The gaps in the gut lining allow for microorganisms to escape the gut and make their way into the bloodstream where they don’t belong. All those microorganisms, poking around the body in places where they shouldn’t be, could confuse the immune system and trigger immune responses.
A leaky gut could let bad things into your body, but it could also prevent good things from staying in your body. Signs of malabsorption and malnutrition, like low vitamin and mineral levels, may be indicative of a leaky gut.
But what results in a leaky gut?
●Antibiotics, including those fed to livestock
●Grain proteins, including gluten
All of these may either eliminate good bacteria in and on your body, promote the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut, or introduce toxins into your body that may disrupt your gut microflora. If the bacteria in your gut are imbalanced, they may promote damage to your gut lining.
What’s Wrong with Your Gut?
Fixing the gut lining—and the immune system as a result—could be more than just a matter of eating the right food. Yes, 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, so it does make sense to target the gut in order to strengthen the immune system. It also makes sense to do this through diet.
But you can’t just start shovelling generically healthy food into your stomach and hope that fixes things. You have to know precisely what’s wrong with the gut so that you could know the best way to strengthen it.
In order to know exactly where your gut needs support, you should come in for our digestive tract tests. Our digestive tract tests analyze:
●Digestion and absorption
●Gut immunology as related to allergies, inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, etc.
●The microbiology of your gut, including any bacterial overgrowth, parasites, probiotics, and yeast
Our digestive tract tests will identify your gut’s weak points so that we will know how best to approach your unique issues and give your gut and your immune system the support they need.
Getting Your Gut Back in Shape
After determining what your gut needs, we could determine the kinds of foods and probiotics that could seal your gut, rebalance it, and strengthen your immune system. After all, what we ingest may be the best way to introduce good bacteria to our gut. It’s that bacteria that could strengthen our gut lining and, as a result, our immune system. So you’d want to get a good helping of good bacteria, or probiotics, to keep your gut and the rest of you feeling strong and healthy, right?
Your food is one of the best places to get probiotics, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right kinds of probiotics from the right kinds of food. You might see any regular yogurt claim to contain probiotics, but those yogurts may also be loaded with sugars and preservatives, effectively cancelling out any benefits that its probiotics could offer you.
Fermented foods may be the best source of natural probiotics that you could find. Not only that, but fermented foods may:
●Provide you with crucial amounts of necessary B and K2 vitamins
●Optimize your immune system
●Support your body’s detoxification system
Some specific fermented foods you could consider include:
●Fermented raw milk
●Fermented vegetables and soy
●Lassi, an Indian yogurt drink
Three probiotic strains you’ll likely want to have in your food are Lactobacillus, E. coli, and Bifidobacteria. These strains support your intestinal tract, so they could strengthen your gut lining and your immune system.
You could also take high-quality, medical-grade probiotics like Probiotic Synergy™ to supplement your dietary intake of probiotics.
When it comes to probiotics and dietary changes, it’s about supporting your gut and (by extension) the rest of your body, from your mood to your nerves. There isn’t a cure for Parkinson’s yet, but we may be on the right path now. If there’s a chance that targeting your gut through diet or probiotics could prevent, slow down, or even cure Parkinson’s disease, wouldn’t you take it?