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You're Full of It...


8-19-08

...uh ...I mean, full of them.

Bugs I mean. Full of bugs. Before I forget, I want to follow up on the previous post and talk about something you might find a bit gross.

Did you know that in order to be properly healthy you need about five pounds (750 trillion) of beneficial organisms in your gut? The symbiotic relationship between you and the bugs that live on your, uh... inside your gut... those bugs help do things for you like manage lactose intolerance, prevent colon cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent irritible bowel syndrome and colitis, etc., etc.

It's a bug eat bug world in there!

There are lots of bad bugs in your intestines - bad for your body, bad for your blood. Bad bugs and fungus that produce things that contribute to all sorts of stress, disease, and aging. There are good bugs that live there just for the purpose to fight off the bad bugs. Sort of like a war going on and we are rooting for the good guys. Go bugs!

I bet you didn't know that the good bugs eat different food than the bad bugs? Yep. There are certain types of sugars that the good bugs feed on (prebiotics they call them) - and the bad bugs live better on the regular sugars.
So you can help the "troops" by sending down supplies for the good guys not the bad ones
(so much for my morning apple fritter :(

I find it amazing that God designed human breast milk to be quite full of sugars that are not normally digestible by babies - those sugars primarily support the rapid growth and colonization of good bugs in their gut. I design computer programs, not sure if I would have approved God's original body design if I saw it was full of bugs (grin).

If the good bugs in your gut are loosing the battle, you can always send down reinforcements - there are foods you eat that are crawling with good bugs, ready to go to work inside your gut. They call those foods probiotics. (live culture yogurt, kefir, etc.) There is a plethora of information on probiotics available. Just a few months ago here at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee for Grand Rounds a visiting professor from Canada gave a detailed presentation on this subject. I gathered a bunch of probiotic study links here.

So where am I going with this and what does this have to do with Jaymun? Well, just this past weekend I stumbled on the differences between Vitamin K1, K2, and K3 (phylloquinone ,menaquinone, and menadione). Vitamin K1 is found in plants and stored in the liver. That is the vitamin they give babies a shot of when they are first born to help blood clotting.

Then I found some articles on how Vitamin K2 helps fight cancer (liver cancer for starters). So I thought, what about Jaymun's AML? Sure enough, I found several studies about Vitamin K2 and leukemia.

So, I thought, Ok... what herbs do we need to eat to get Vitamin K2???
That was when I discovered that Vitamin K2 does not come from plants (although you can get some from fermented food like kefir). The Vitamin K2 that lasts in your body longer (MK-7 - longer half life) is mainly produced by the good bugs in your gut. So that's the symbiotic bargain. You send down the good sugars, and the bugs (when they are not fighting the war) make Vitamin K2 for you.

All of a sudden lots of bells started dinging in my head. Because what is the main danger to the good bugs in your gut? Prolonged antibiotics. What kind of person is exposed to prolonged antibiotics? Cancer patients with no immune system. I bet if they did a study of cancer patients who had infections (and were on antibiotics) vs. cancer patients who had no infections and no antibiotics, you would find a direct correlation between the length of antibiotics and the probability, rapidity, and intensity of relapse.

And what about looking at cancer survivors (in remission) who are later on antibiotics for other things (ear infections, strep throat, bronchitis, etc.). My theory is that temporary disruption of Vitamin K2 could very well contribute to a relapse.

I could be all wrong, but, in any event, before I even figure out whether enough Vitamin K2 could be theraputic for Jaymun's cancer, I don't see how it would hurt to recommend other people to take Vitamin K2 (menaquinone 4 or 7? see below) when they are on antibiotics, or in recovery from chemo. I suppose I should eat probiotic foods that are rich in the type of bacteria that creates what some people think is the best kind of Vitamin K2 (Natto, phew... ugh... :)

That way if somebody tells me I'm full of it, I can smile, pat my gut, and say...

...at least my bugs are better than yours!


P.S. Unanswered question - different types of Vit K2 (MK-4 MK-7, etc.) - do they all have equal anti-cancer effects? - most studies were on Vit K2 (MK-4) but the half-life of MK-7 is much longer making it easier to achieve a theraputic level.

P.P.S. Vitamin K2 is fat soluable - you need bilary or pancreatic juices to absorb it - so eat fat along with it (olive oil).

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