According to Dr Campbell, people who suffer from eczema, asthma, digestive problems and anaemia are very likely to have abnormal intestinal flora. This is because gut flora plays a very active role in the immune system, and the latter allergies and disorders are all a result of a malfunctioning immune system.
E.coli (good E.coli is from the same family as the negative E.coli you might already have heard of)
E.coli are very important good bacteria present in the gut of healthy individuals. They protect the body from pathogenic species of the same family and provide vitamin K2, B1, B2, B6 and B12. They are also very involved in the correct functioning of the immune system. There are other equally important strains of good bacteria that help the body absorb nutrients from the food we eat as well as actively synthesise amino acids and the above mentioned vitamins, among other important roles.
As we depend on this intestinal flora to make important substances that keep us healthy, when our gut is lacking them, we become deficient in vitamins, regardless of our diet, as the good bacteria is also needed to absorb vitamins and minerals from our food. Supplementation isn’t the answer either, as without healthy gut flora it is difficult to digest them too! Even if you were able to, you’d need to take them every hour to ensure a steady stream of vitamins and active substances needed by the body. But the beneficial bacteria in the gut can make these themselves, so the most effective way to restore your health and resolve the vitamin deficiencies is to repair your gut.
In order to digest lactose (milk sugar) we need E.coli, among other good bacteria in the gut. E.coli appear in the gut of healthy babies in the first few days after birth and remain there for life as long as they are not destroyed by antibiotics and other environmental factors. The state of a baby’s gut depends on the mothers. The baby’s first contact with microbes takes place during birth as it swallows liquids from its mother’s vagina. If its mother has unhealthy intestinal flora, the same will be true of the microbes in her vagina. It is the good bacteria in the vagina which keeps it healthy but like intestinal flora it is easily damaged by antibiotics and antibacterial drugs. The good bacteria protects the vagina from infection; thrush for example can not exist in its presence. When the mother of a GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) child does not have trouble with her gut flora, the father has been proven to. (Click here for more information on what damages good bacteria in the gut as well as in the vagina.) A baby’s health also depends on whether they are being breast-fed, and receiving all the good bacteria they need from their mother’s breast milk. Even if the mother passes on pathogenic bacteria to the child, they will also pass on antibodies they have developed to tackle them. Once the baby is no longer breast-fed however, this protection will also cease. The pathogenic bacteria is not recognised as bad and left to flourish by the baby’s immune system, as it has always been present due to the state of the mother’s own intestinal flora. It is still better for a child to be breastfed by a mother with abnormal gut flora however than not to be breastfed at all. Often once breastfeeding stops, health problems begin, from ear infections and eczema to digestive problems. There is also the question of the mother’s own toxic load which is easily passed onto the baby, but for more information on this I would read Dr Campbell’s book. Click here for more info on milk intolerance.
Anaemia is a result of abnormal gut flora. This is not just because they are unable to produce their own vitamins, or absorb them from their food; it is also because they have a range of pathogenic bacteria reigning their gut which are iron-loving (such as Actinomyces spp., Corynebacterium spp., pathogenic strains of E.coli and Mycobacterium spp). These bad bacteria consumes all iron which comes from the diet leaving the body iron-deficient. Sadly, the supplementation of iron will only worsen the problem, strengthening these bacteria. To remedy the problem, the body needs a whole range of vitamins and amino acids.
The essential bacteria in the digestive system engage the lymphoid tissue of the gut wall – an important member of the immune system. They are also involved in the production of lymphocytes and immunoglobulins. A healthy gut wall is heavily armed with lymphocytes ready to attack invaders. Research shows that where the gut flora is damaged, there are much less lymphocytes and as a result the body is poorly protected.
Secretory Immunoglobulin A (IgA)
IgA is the most important immunoglobulin produced by lymphocutes in the gut wall, it is also produced by all of the body’s mucous membranes. IgA is excreted in body fluids. Its purpose is to destroy and inactivate invading bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses in order to protect the mucous membranes. So IgA handles the unwanted invaders entering the digestive system with food and drink. Not only is good bacteria involved in its production, it also protects IgA by slowing down its degradation so that it has more time to work. Dr Natacha Campbell explains in her book that GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) people are deficient in IgA as a result of the poor state of their gut; leaving them vulnerable to invading bacteria and viruses from vaccinations. This explains the link between MS and the Hepatitis B Jab as well as Autism and MMR. According to Dr Campbell it is common that GAPs people are deficient in IgA because of their abnormal intestinal flora. The immune system of people with GAP syndrome is compromised. It starts to attack the body’s brain and nervous system with antibodies it produces. To most people with MS, this will sound very familiar.
Neutrophils & Macrophages
Lymphocytes are not the only immune cells needed in the digestive wall. A deficiency in good bacteria in the gut means other immune cells; neutrophils and macrophages, do not work correctly either. These are activated by Th1 (a type of Helper T lymphocyte) gather and clean up inflamed and infected tissues, destroying the debris of bacteria, toxins and viruses. These cells work by swallowing up invaders, but in the presence of abnormal gut flora, are unable to destroy them, and so the viruses and bacteria are able to survive inside them. In a healthy gut, billions of these cells leave the blood via the gut wall.
Healthy intestinal flora plays an important role in the production of cytokines, interferons and other immune system regulators. On the surface of the gut epithelium, beneficial bacteria as well as the cells of this epithelium are able to swap antigens and in the process improve the efficiency of many immune responses. However, in people with abnormal intestinal flora, this ability to exchange antigens works against them as numerous pathogenic microbes can do the same and fool the immune system into attacking its own tissues. Research has proven that when intestinal flora is damaged, the entire immune system becomes unbalanced, leaving the person immune-compromised. When the gut starts allowing harmful microbes and toxins in, the body activates Th2 cells (a type of Helper T lymphocyte) – the ones which are very active in allergic reactions such as those common in people with asthma, eczema and hay fever as well as others. These cells become overactive. A person with an overactive Th2 system is not only predisposed thus to allergic reactions but also chronic inflammation and autoimmune illnesses. Under-active Th1 and overactive Th2 is seen in most cases of allergies, asthma, autism, auto-immune conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), chronic viral infections, eczema, and most other GAPS conditions.
Opportunistic Flora Are Not All Bad
When under tight control of good bacteria, the opportunistic bacteria are useful to the gut. They help out with digestion by breaking down bile acids and lipids. It is when their numbers are allowed to get out of hand, by the absence of good gut flora, that they are able to cause disease.
In conclusion, our intestinal flora acts as an essential part of our immune system. When a baby’s gut flora is not balanced in the first 20 days of its life, it is left immune-compromised. Abnormal gut flora means the immune system does not receive the constant nourishment it needs to function correctly. To know more about what damages gut flora click here. Furthermore, any of the viruses allowed to take hold in the body in the absence of good bacteria have a direct and damaging effect on immunity. Don’t you think it is time to fix that intestinal flora?
For further information on how information abnormal bacteria can lead to cerebral depression with withdrawal symptoms, behavioural and emotional abnormalities and intellectual regression, as well as cause anger, irritability, inability to deal with stress, poor memory, impaired intellectual function and poor immunity; read Dr Campbell’s fascinating Gut and Psychology Syndrome.