I had the opportunity to listen to a talk given recently by Jon Vanderhoof, a pediatrician from the University of Nebraska. He was talking about the wonders and peculiarities of Lactobacillus GG and its role in digestive health.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is a probiotic unlike any other because it has little “hairs”(pili) that helps it stick to the inner lining of the digestive system. It also acts as the good guy which promotes the proliferation of other good bacteria in the neighborhood and it survives stomach acidity, making it likely to reach the intestinal walls where it’s needed the most. Vanderhoof was presenting his clinical experience with the use of Lactobacillus GG in children’s gut problems and he seemed to be very pleased with the results.
It was interesting to see how researchers are approaching the role of food allergens and their role in modern diseases, a damage which doesn’t involve the classically allergic mediated reactions and its diagnostic tools with such things as a prick test. In fact, from a strictly mainstream medicine point of view, Vanderhoof explained that a host of inflammatory conditions along the digestive tube were increasingly associated with food intolerances. He gave the example of proctitis (inflammation of the rectum) as a reaction to gluten intolerance and other “idiopathic” diseases as well. He explained that gut motility issues (i.e. constipation) in small children were a result of gut inflammation due to food sensitivities. This is arguably the case for everybody else I should add! He emphasized that he was seeing children constipated as the only reaction to a milk allergy. Other less fortunate little ones were having blood on their stools and vomiting (among other things) in response to their mother’s awful diet. So of course, mothers are instructed to do an elimination diet when they are breastfeeding their babies.
Gluten also shows up in mother’s milk contributing thus to colics, failure to thrive, acid reflux, diarrhea, eczema, chronic diaper rash, vomiting, seizures and so forth. For more information see glutenfreesociety.org
The classical allergic reaction is IgE mediated (a component of your defense system) and it could send you to the emergency room for a life saving adrenaline shot. It can be that dramatic. But as classical as it may be, it is actually very rare. Most food allergens create great havoc through a non-dramatic but very harmful long-term effect.
The most common food allergens are from agricultural-based foods, either GMO or non-GMO. This is one of the reasons why a paleo or ketogenic diet can be very beneficial for a lot of folks with several different conditions or health problems.
Anyhow, the take home message is that Lactobacillus GG seems to be unique in its capacity to promote gut health and wellness in general, and that foods from the Agricultural revolution are at the root of mankind’s deteriorating health.
Vanderhoof seemed to imply that Lactobacillus GG would increase the chance that a baby would tolerate a certain food allergen better. But if the body reacts to certain foods as it does, it is probably because the food per se is very harmful and was never part of mankind’s natural diet to begin with. Arguably the case for GMOs and the so called Agricultural revolution! For more information see Origins of Agriculture – Did Civilization Arise to Deliver a Fix?
Below are some assorted studies and quotes that are relevant to the topic at hand. Read more…