Home | Probiotics Home Page | Certified Organic Probiotic Formula | Ten FREE Cancer Reports
It seems that everything these days must be sanitised and sterilised with potent antimicrobial formulations before doing anything. We all seem to live in fear of catching some dreaded "lergy". Yet for those amongst us who have been fortunately exposed to dirt and soil organisms as we grow up, the incidence of troublesome conditions like Asthma, Crohn's disease, IBS and various allergies is actually far less through childhood and as we progress into adulthood, than it for those who've had a scrupulously clean upbringing . This isn't just some recent fad or anecdotal evidence, Russian scientists discovered the link to probiotics and soil organisms 20 or more years ago! More recent Western medical studies have been showing for many years now that probiotics are an important part of child's developing immune system.
Of course we confound most of the "fortunate" children's immune systems in the west by subjecting them to around 20 or more vaccinations starting from the day they are born. So with most foods contaminated with chemicals of one sort or another, vaccinations and sterilised surroundings for babies and toddlers - what chance do they have of ever developing a fully primed and complete immune system.
You know there is something you can do. Choose probiotics for life!
by M. Angela McGehee, Ph.D., Biology and Marine Sciences
Triclosan, a chemical used for its antibacterial properties, is an ingredient in many detergents, dish-washing liquids, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, antimicrobial creams, insect repellants, at least one brand of toothpaste, and an additive in various plastics and textiles. However, the safety of triclosan has been questioned in regard to environmental and human health. While the companies that manufacture products containing this chemical claim that it is safe, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered it as a pesticide. The chemical formulation and molecular structure of this compound are similar to some of the most toxic chemicals on earth, relating it to dioxins and PCBs. The EPA gives triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk.
Triclosan is a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals which is suspected of causing cancer in humans. Externally, phenol can cause a variety of skin irritations, but since it can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings, contact with it may cause little or no pain. Taken internally, even in small amounts, phenol can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, convulsions, coma and death. Additionally, chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides can be stored in body fat, sometimes accumulating to toxic levels. Long term exposure to repeated use of many pesticide products can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, suppress the immune system, and cause hormonal disruption, paralysis, sterility and brain hemorrhages.
Dioxins, PCBs, chlorophenols and many pesticides are categorized as persistent organic pollutants. In other words, they persist in the environment and accumulate to higher and higher concentrations with each step up the food chain. Virtually, every creature on earth has a measured amount of these pollutants in its body fat. Once absorbed into the fat cells, it is nearly impossible to eliminate these compounds. Triclosan is among this class of chemicals, and humans are among the animals at the top of the food chain. The health risks are considerable.
Employing a strong antibiotic agent such as triclosan for everyday use is of questionable value. Many antimicrobial treatments are toxic and take a shotgun approach to killing all microscopic organisms to which they are applied. However, this approach includes the risk of toxicity to host organisms, that is, the plants or animals (including humans) exposed to treatment for microbial infections. Toxic exposure to living creatures can also occur when food items and objects such as utensils or hard surfaces are treated with disinfectants for microbial contamination. Additionally, the shotgun approach destroys the beneficial bacteria which occur naturally in the environment and in our bodies. These so-called friendly bacteria, probiotics, cause no harm and often produce many beneficial effects such as aiding metabolism and inhibiting the invasion of harmful pathogens. Antimicrobials and disinfectants can also cause genetic mutations resulting in drug-resistant bacterial and mutant viruses, producing new strains of harmful microbes for which the human immune system has no defense.
Triclosan has not been completely tested and analyzed for all health and environmental risks, but since it occurs in the category of the chemicals which are known to have the detrimental effects described here, do you want it added to products you use every day?
COMMON DISINFECTANT TRICLOSAN COULD BREED SUPER-BUGS
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
It sounds like a good idea -- put a germ-killing disinfectant in toothpaste and soap to keep kids and adults safe from infection -- right? Wrong, Boston-based microbiologist Laura McMurry and colleagues at the Tufts University School of Medicine say.
McMurry said triclosan, a disinfectant widely used in products as diverse as kitchen sponges, soap, fabrics and plastics, is capable of forcing the emergence of ``superbugs'' that it cannot kill. And experiments have shown that it may not be the all-out germ-killer scientists once thought it was. Changing just one gene in the E. coli bacterium allowed it to resist triclosan's effects, McMurry said in a telephone interview. ``We were able to get resistance by simply changing an amino acid in the target.''
Triclosan is used so widely because it is what is known as a nonspecific biocide -- it kills all microbes. Like bleach and alcohol it was believed to interrupt so many cell processes there was no way any organism could develop resistance to it. ``It was just kind of thought it dissolved the membranes. If it does, then you are probably not going to get resistance. You would have to have a totally different membrane that would be resistant,'' McMurry said.
Most drugs used as antibiotics work on just a single process. For instance, penicillin stops many bacteria from building a strong cell wall by acting against one component, known as a mucopeptide. But this specific action means many bacteria, including the very common staphylococcus, can resist penicillin. That is why new generations of antibiotics have had to be developed.
MORE USE MEANS MORE CHANCE OF RESISTANCE The more a drug is used, the more chances bacteria have to evolve resistance. Unless all the bacteria in an infection are killed, the ones that survive exposure to a drug will be those that resist it in some way, while the weaker ones die first. Thus, a species of bacteria can evolve resistance, especially if this happens over and over again. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming a bigger and bigger problem. They range from penicillin-resistant gonorrhea to super-strains of staphylococcus that cannot be killed by vancomycin, the strongest antibiotic available.
For this reason, doctors are now being warned to cut back on frequent prescriptions of antibiotics except for people who really need them, and patients are being reminded to take their full course of drugs to make sure no resistant bacteria survive to breed more resistant bacteria. But no one had thought this evolutionary process was a problem with triclosan because it was thought to kill all bacteria. Then McMurry and her colleagues put this to the test, breeding bacteria that had various genetic mutations to see if they would resist triclosan. Writing in the most recent edition of the journal Nature, they said they had found one. It was a gene called fab1, which is involved in the creation of fatty acids in cells. McMurry said this could mean that bacteria could evolve resistance to triclosan, but she stressed that there is no evidence so far that this has happened in nature.
DAILY USE OF TRICLOSAN MAY BE UNWISE ‘We did find those triclosan-resistant mutants in the lab; we have not looked for them out in the real world. But the point is not that we've proved that it's really happened out there in the real world but that there is the potential.''
Considering this, she said, using triclosan daily in the home -- in products ranging from children's soaps to toothpaste to ``germ-free'' cutting boards -- may be unwise. "As I understand it, washing hands with soap, the goal of it is to wash off the bacteria. I think that unless it's in a setting where you are in a hospital or you are in a home with a really sick person, I think it is overkill,'' she said. "That's my suspicion. It's putting a chemical in there that I'm not sure is necessary.''
McMurry has not tested her mutant bacteria to see if they would resist triclosan in a real-life setting. "The amounts of triclosan employed in many of the hand soaps are quite high,'' she said. "I can't say with those high amounts that even my mutant would survive.'' But there is more than one way to fight off a drug. Sometimes bacteria evolve their own resistance, but they also have a habit of meeting and exchanging genes with one another. This means resistance to triclosan could be acquired, and not simply evolved.
When I was a boy growing up on a farm in New Zealand I was taught that cleanliness was next to godliness. Continual reminding by my parents to wash my hands before touching food or touching my face or mouth was ingrained into me. Of course with parents who had been born before the advent of antibiotics it made really good sense to prevent harmful bacteria getting into your system. However despite their very best efforts to keep me clean, along with two siblings, it is an impossibility for a toddler growing up on a mixed cattle and sheep farm not to "eat" a certain amount of dirt and other unsavoury material which had been passed through the gastro intestinal tract of hens and other farm animals.
Little did I know at the time, nor did my parents know, that I was getting some of the most potent probiotic micro soil organisms into my body that anyone could ever hope for and which no doubt allowed me to be virtually free of all the common maladies in my formative years which seemed to strike mostly town children. It seems these days that every second child growing up has asthma or develops allergies as they get older. Then they are prone to develop Crohn's disease and IBS and suffer from candida yeast infections as they reach adulthood and onto a life of misery and suffering.
At least more informed doctors are starting to realise that one of the keys to ongoing good health is to encourage good bacteria in the gut by using probiotics which facilitate the proper assimilation of nutrients through the gut wall and help to eliminate bad bacteria which are implicated in the above mentioned auto-immune problems.
Probiotics Home Page