The Essential Requirement of a Balanced Microbiome in the Human Gut

Modern medicine has come a long way in treating infections caused by pathogenic bacteria.  The use of antibiotics has saved many people who have been exposed, either internally or externally, to opportunistic and sometimes deadly pathogens that are a part of the natural system of life on this planet. But, are these wonder drugs called antibiotics really the panacea we have been led to believe they are?

Nature also provides for its inhabitants, of which we have become a dominant part, with natural ways to deal with these exposures.  The discovery of Penicillin though, created an environment of subjective invincibility against any bacteria which we felt was detrimental to us.   This concept grew to include viruses and pretty much anything else that appeared to our western medical system to be creating a state of dis-ease with their patients.  We have subsequently learned that antibiotics such as penicillin are virtually ineffective against viruses and are very detrimental to our resident GI tract biome, including bacteria and fungi.  When these antibiotics were found to be ineffective, doctors would then blame a particular organ and suggest removal or tell their patient it was autoimmune, idiopathic, or all in their head. 

This scenario, which has been played out millions of times, has resulted in unnecessary surgeries and excessive intake of pharmaceutical drugs designed to either mask a symptom or block a bodily function.   The subsequent suffering and premature death that has resulted is unacceptable.

What was forgotten or maybe not realized, until much later, was the fact that our digestive tract is an incredible blend of bacteria and fungi that perform many different functions
necessary for all living things to thrive optimally.  One of these roles is acting as a major defense against ingested organisms of a pathogenic nature.

Here is where it gets interesting.  Penicillin, derived from a fungus, has a detrimental effect on all bacteria-good and bad.  It also damages the fungal biome of the gut, which is essential to keep all of the gut microbes in optimal balance.  Penicillin and more than likely all antibiotics, are virtually non-discriminatory when it comes to overwhelming our gut flora, including both fungus and bacteria, except for the fungus called Candida Albicans. 

From here on, you are reading my own opinion.  I believe that the Candida fungus is a resident fungus normally kept in check by the other beneficial resident bacteria and fungi residing in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  It has one very important function which is normally only activated when the body stops functioning—it recycles us!  In this way, baring human intervention, all organisms including humans are recycled to the earth after they die.

So, what happens if this particular fungi becomes over-populated and gets loose within a living organism—and how does this happen?  The primary food of this organism is sugar.  Average refined sugar consumption today is more than 125 pounds per year, versus 1 pound at the beginning of the 20th century (1900).  After World War II ended, sugar was no longer rationed, thus beginning an explosive growth in the consumption of this incredibly addictive, and when consumed in excess in its refined state, toxic substance.

Penicillin was developed in the 1930's and began to show its amazing effectiveness during World War II.   After the war, western medicine doctors started using this new drug every time anyone got a fever or the sniffles.   Being born in 1945, I was given shots of penicillin routinely, every time I felt the least bit off.  At that time, the doctor came to the house and upon opening his black case and withdrawing his hypodermic needle, the chase was on as this was not on my list of ways to feel better.  I knew then this stuff wasn’t good for me.

While maybe not in such a dramatic fashion, this scenario has been repeated millions of time since then on millions of people to one degree or another.

What was not recognized then, and by many physicians even to this day, is that antibiotics are non-discriminate.  In other words, they kill all bacteria and fungi in the gut but seem to leave Candida alone allowing it to proliferate and begin its primary task of recycling.  This may be because of its primary roll as our recycler or some other symbiotic relationship with fungal sourced antibiotics.

The other missing data point between 1945 and now was the importance of our GI tract microbiome (Intestinal Bacterial Colony).  This balance may be the most important in the human organism along with a proper cellular and tissue mineral balance.

So what happens when we disrupt our gut microbiome by destroying it with antibiotics and exposing it to huge amounts of refined sugars?  Because Candida appears to be unaffected by antibiotics and its primary, if not only food, is sugar and is consumed virtually daily, it proliferates.  If you have ever seen bread that has turned moldy, many times long tendrils or
filaments will grow out of the bread.  This also happens in our GI tract.  These filaments penetrate our intestinal wall creating holes that they can pass through to begin their colonization of our tissues.  This is the first stage of its attempts to perform its primary biological function—to recycle its host—us.  This is currently known as leaky gut-the precursor to numerous illnesses classified as auto-immune.

Interestingly, this is why Egyptians, in the process of mummification, removed the intestinal tract of the deceased.  They were effectively removing the recycling system, therefore preventing the decay and decomposition of the body back to the earth.  This allowed the body to remain intact for thousands of years.  This decomposition function prevents a build-up of organic matter on the surface of the earth.

The concept of a healthy microbiome has been around for a long time and yet goes virtually unrecognized by many practitioners of western medicine today.  Our microbiome was effectively dealt with in our human history through the fermentation of vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi, and dairy products like yogurt and kefir, all rich in healthful bacteria.

Starting in the 20th century, we have discovered how to make probiotics and deliver them in powdered form, which has been very helpful and effective in restoring our microbiome after damage from antibiotics.  What I have recently discovered though is that the gut bacteria are only half of the story.  What we have been missing is the fungi, currently described as our mycobiome.  Research is now demonstrating that there should be a complex population of fungi always present in our GI track functioning synergistically with our gut bacteria.
Not only does our microbiome work to defend us from pathogenic microbes, they also create and deliver numerous compounds essential for optimal functioning of the human organism.

Our GI bacteria are responsible for making our B Vitamins.  Our GI fungi for making complex sugars such as Beta Glucans, which are believed to be essential for intercellular communication.  I believe that bacteria and fungi both have many more essential biological functions that will become apparent as more research is done.  Both work synergistically to contain Candida Albicans until we stop living when it does its job.

Dr. Tuillo Simoncini in his monumental book, "Cancer Is A Fungus," eloquently describes his research into what tumors in the body are actually comprised of…candida fungus!  Is this what modern western medicine is calling cancer?  If so, then we are the creators of our own demise.  Consuming excessive sugar in combination with antibiotics has created the perfect environment to create the proliferation of this recycling organism, which is manifested as what we now call cancer.

It is quite ironic that western medicine uses antibiotic soups called chemotherapy and antifungals to then lower the fungal overgrowth, all in an attempt to kill off the suspected pathogens assumed to be causing the patient to be at dis-ease.  This is effectively destroying everything left of our myco/microbiome that could possibly hold in check our recycler.

The assumption that we must kill the pathogen is a consequence of the “Germ Theory of Disease” model developed in the early 1900's.  In fact, it is our compromised GI tract terrain that has created the problem in the first place.  Current treatments only exacerbate an already imbalanced system leading to normally very poor outcomes.  The concept of supplementation with probiotics is very helpful and has showed good results in rebalancing the microbiome.  This though is only half of the story.  The other half is our resident fungal population.  What is ironic, is our current phobia for mushrooms, as they are classified as fungus just like candida.  What we are missing in this generalization is that there are healthful fungi and detrimental fungi, just like there are both kinds of bacteria.  When our gut is in balance with both, we can deal with the detrimental effects of any ingested pathogens.

I have been dealing with such an imbalance for over 25 years as a result of excessive sugar consumption in combination with excessive antibiotic intake in my earlier years.  Over the last 10 years I have continuously supplemented with probiotics, and while it has helped, it has not resolved all of my symptoms-particularly the rashes.  After taking a six mushroom blend for only 2 months, the rashes are 90% resolved and the functioning of my large intestine is dramatically improved.   As with any rebalancing, die-off symptoms are inevitable and yet nowhere near as severe as the symptoms of a candida fungus overgrowth.

It is quite apparent to me that where we need to be focusing our health efforts today is two-fold: Diet and a healthy balanced gut.  What is interesting is that this is much easier than it may appear at first glance. 

The first lifestyle change is to eliminate refined sugar from your diet, eat organically raised foods as much as possible,
limit foods processed by man and reduce animal protein intake making sure you buy animal products that are free range raised.  This will help immensely to feed your gut flora and therefore the rest of your body with synergistic nutrients that the human body evolved eating, instead of foods replete with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and genetically modified foods and meat.

The second lifestyle change is to repopulate your gut with both beneficial bacteria and fungi in order to bring your tier one defense system back into optimal balance.  Eidon has developed a myco/microbiotic blend of eight mushrooms and two probiotics to do just this.

By rebalancing the gut, backed up by a diet to feed it properly and working at the same time to rebalance one’s cellular mineral levels, one can begin their journey towards optimal health.

If you have questions about the information contained in this article, feel free to call me.  Please read the articles and books referenced in this article.

In good health,
Rick Wagner, M.S., C.N.
CEO, Eidon, Inc.


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