Year: 2014

Garlics effect on Probiotics

November 14, 2014

In a recent study by Booyens and Thantsha (2013), Garlic was acknowledged as a powerful broad spectrum anti-microbial, able to kill many types of pathogens (see the many studies in references below).

But what is the effect of garlic on probiotic organisms such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium?

Booyens and Thantsha (2013) investigated the antimicrobial effects of different garlic preparations on five strains of Bifidobacteria and one strain of Lactobacillus.

What Booyens and Thantsha discovered was that certain strains of Bifido where more susceptible to garlic’s antimicrobial effects than others, with B. lactis being the least effected, following by some B. longum strains (but not others) and then bifidum being the most sensitive, whilst the L. acidophilus was not effected at all.

Some issues arise in the design of this study: the first issue is that Bifido is an anaerobe and therefore hard to study outside the body. It is exceedingly difficult to get it to grow. Some of the difficulties may be due simply to Bifido’s general sensitivity outside the body.

The second issue is that Booyens and Thantasha (2013) used very specific strains so we cannot generalize the results to all strains of Bifido.  Third, different growing methods result in different hardiness of the microorganism. Therefore some are more susceptible than others to heat, acid, and antimicrobials.

Forth, within the Bifido family, some species were less susceptible to garlic, but no further human studies were done to ascertain the amounts of garlic a person can take with certain species of Bifido.  This demonstrates the difficulties of studying microbiome.

The one Lactobacillus species that was analyzed was acidophilus and it appeared to not be effected by the garlic.  This result add to the body of evidence that confirms the genus Lactobacillus a resistant to garlic.

Overall, the conclusions we take from this research is that Lactobacillus maintains its status as resistant to garlic and therefore is a probiotic that can be taken with garlic at the same time, whereas, regarding the Bifido species selection as the authors of the research state, “Caution is therefore advised when using probiotic Bifidobacteria and garlic simultaneously.”


Booyens and Thantsha, 2013, Antibacterial effect of hydrosoluble extracts of garlic (Allium sativum) against Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus acidophilus, African Journal of Microbiology Research, 7(8), pp. 669-677.  (See the full research)

Clinical Notes:

We love garlic as an antimicrobial for the GI tract.  It covers so many possible pathogens.  These include Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, Bacillus, Clostridium, Neisseria, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Shigella, Mycobacterium and Helicobacter— all potential poster bacteria for life threatening diseases.  (Ankri and Mirelman, 1999; Belguith et al., 2010; Deresse, 2010; Gupta and Ravishanka, 2005; Uchida et al., 1975; Cellinin et al., 1996; Sivam, 2001 respectively).

The antimicrobial power of garlic doesn’t stop here, for it has also proven to be a very effective antifungal (i.e. inhibiting and killing Candida albicans), antiprotozoal (think of Giardia and Cryptosporidium, both dangerous infections prevented and stopped by garlic) and antiviral properties —garlic kills viruses upon direct contact, including those responsible for viral meningitis, viral pneumonia, as well as herpes infections.  (Ankri and Mirelman, 1999; Harris et al., 2001)

Though there is substantial evidence to support the claim for pathogens, there is limited literature on its effects on beneficial bacteria, specifically probiotic bifidobacteria.  This study reveals for the first time, susceptibility of Bifidobacteria to antibacterial activity of garlic.


Ankri S, Mirelman D (1999). Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes Infect. 2:125-129.

Belguith HF, Kthiri A, Chati A, Abu Sofah J, Ben H, Ladoulsi A (2010). Inhibitory effect of aqueous garlic extract (Allium sativum).  Food Sci. Technol. 37:263-268.

Deresse D (2010). Antibacterial effect of garlic (allium sativum) on Staphylococcu aureus:  An in vitro study.  Asian J. Med. Sci. 2:62-65.

Gupta S, Ravishankar S (2005).  A comparison of the antimicrobial activity of garlic, ginger, carrot, and turmeric pastes against Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in laboratory buffer and ground beef. Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 2:330-340.

Uchida Y, Takahashi T, Sato N (1975).  The characteristics of the antibacterial activity of garlic.  Jpn. J. Antibiot. 28:638-646.

Cellini L, Campli D, Masulli E, Bartolomeo DS, Allocati N (1996). Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by garlic extract (Allium sativum). FEMS Immuno. Med. Microbiol. 13:273-277.

Sivam GP (2001). Protection against Helicobacter pylori and other bacterial infections by garlic. J. Nutr. 131:1106S-1108S.

Harris JC, Cottreli SL, Plummer S, Lloyd D (2001).  Antimicrobial properties of Allium sativum (garlic).  Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 57:282-286.

Virunga on Netflix:  Leonardo DiCaprio hopes to save one of the last pristine places on Earth with moving gorilla documentary.  It centers on a motley crew of park rangers made up of an ex-child soldier, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a Belgian conservationist who are trying to protect the UNESCO heritage site from not only poachers and armed militia but oil corporations interested in the park’s resources.

“I really think we’re at a pivotal point in human history, there’s destruction going on not only in Africa but in Asia, Brazil and more, where corporate interests are now infiltrating these last pristine places on Earth.”

“A lot of people think that multi-trillion dollar industries cannot be fought, but with enough backlash from the media and the public these places can be saved.”

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Last week we began sharing our collective recipes—yours and ours—that we have shared and exchanged over the last decade. Last week we brought new research to help out in the Colds and Flu season (for immune support). Lets continue our discussion on handling a nasty cold.

The British Journal of Nutrition meta-analysis research by King et al. (2014), demonstrated the effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults resulting in a reduction in days loss to work and school.

For the recipe, use one of two Therapeutic Foods probiotic formulas, the Supernatant and the Original Synbiotic Formulas.

The Organic Freeze-dried Garlic is a great partner to the probiotics.  Today we want to expand on the garlic ingredient. Let me share with you a foundational research for the use of garlic to prevent colds and also reduce the effects of a cold.

In a 2001 trial, 146 volunteers were randomized to receive a placebo or an allicin-containing garlic supplement, one capsule daily, over a 12-week period.  [That would certainly cover the flu and cold season].  The active-treatment group had significantly fewer colds than the placebo group- 24 vs. 65.

The placebo group, in contrast, recorded significantly more days challenged virally- 366 vs. 111, and significantly longer duration of symptoms- 5.01 vs. 1.52.

Peter Joslin, (2001). Preventing the Common Cold with a Garlic Supplement: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey, Advances in Therapy, 18(4): 189-193.

Therapeutic Food Recipe for Colds and Flu:

Supernatant Synbiotic Formula- one capsule daily
Original Synbiotic Formula- one teaspoon daily

Freeze-dried Organic Garlic- one capsule daily

When you feel a cold coming on: Take the recipe twice daily. If it is especially a nasty cold, you may increase the garlic to two capsules, and open up in water (mix with probiotic if you wish), let sit for one minute (to create the allicin) and drink!

More on Garlic next week. There are many recipes and uses for garlic as it is a powerful Therapeutic Food.


Clinical Notes:

We love Garlic as a therapeutic food supplement.  It has such a broad spectrum of applications, particularly as an antimicrobial.  As many of you know it was called the Russian Penicillin During WWI where garlic poultices were used to prevent wound infection.  Louis Pasteur in 1858 recognized and researched on the antibiotic properties of garlic.  In traditional medicine all over the world it has been used against bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral infections.


The Food Revolution Network

Toxic food is fueling epidemics of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, ill health, and environmental destruction.  Join the Food Revolution Network to get insights you can trust and support you can use, from some of the top food experts on the planet.

Last week was the start of the Food Revolution Network’s 6-week Healthy Kitchen online class.  I joined myself and it is absolutely fantastic and will be illuminating for everyone.  It is not to late to join into it.  Just click on their website above and you’ll see how to join in.


©2005 – 2014 BioImmersion Inc. All Rights Reserved

Since the cold and flu season is upon us, let me share a large study that examines probiotics use to shorten the duration of a cold!

King et al.’s (2014) meta-analysis research on the effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious condition found a reduction in the number of days absent from work or school in those who used probiotic to treat or prevent colds and flu.

We would also suggest using a capsule of the Organic Garlic with the probiotics, as garlic does not harm the lactic acid organisms.

In a brief meta-analysis on probiotic, our Medical Director Dr. George Kessler found that “the research into the relationship between our microbiome and health related issues have recently increased at break neck speed.”

In fact, the amount of research over the last ten years on the human microbiome is enormous, demonstrating that probiotics are used for many different conditions. Yet we have only discovered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the importance of maintaining the proper balance of probiotics.  Keep your eye on the work within the most prestigious circles of mainstream medical science, (e.g. NIH’s Human Microbiome Project) to continue to learn how to utilize probiotics in your practices.

We will share the rest of Dr. Kessler’s monograph’s recent studies into probiotics’ many uses next week.

Reference: King, S. et al. (2014). Effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  British Journal of Nutrition. 112(1), 41-54.


Clinical Notes:

Two of our most basic, straight forward, and popular synbiotic formulas (remember the definition of synbiotic means a formula that contains prebiotic and probiotic) are the Original Synbiotic Formula and the Supernatant Synbiotic Formula.  Both are perfect for the cold and flu season.

The Original Synbiotic Formula is in a powder format and contains pedigreed strains of L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, S. thermophiles and B. longum with organic inulin (a soluble fiber derived from organic chicory root).  One teaspoon delivers a cfu of 20 billion and 3.5 grams of fiber.  Take ¼ to 1 tsp daily. (cfu: colony forming units)

The Supernatant Synbiotic Formula is in a capsule format and contains pedigreed strains of L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. bulgaricus, L. helveticus, S. thermophilius, B. infantis, and B. longum along with supernatant (see link) all carried with inulin in a vegetarian capsule make with cellulose only.  Each capsule contains a 15.5 cfu count.  Take one capsule daily.

Both are wonderful and very effective probiotics and prefect for the cold and flu season.


David Suzuki aims to change Canada’s Constitution with Blue Dot Tour.  He planned the tour as a catalyst to try to bring about constitutional guarantees to clean air, clean water, and healthy food.  The tour has begun!  It is very exciting and already producing results.  See The Blue Dot Tour and also click on inside the very beautiful short video they produced called Shoulders

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When we think of food as medicine, right at the top of this list should be the health building power of fermented foods.  Our gastrointestinal microbiome thrives with the support of friendly, health-promoting bacteria that only properly cultured fermented foods and property selected and manufactured probiotics supplements can provide.  (See more)

Yolanda Sanz et al. (2010) in “Probiotics as Drugs Against Human Gastrointestinal Pathogens” in Frontiers in Anti-infective Drug Discovery, 1, 107-123, focus on the healthy immune stimulating function that good bacteria can provide.

Sanz et al. nicely summarize the possible mechanisms, the action of probiotics against gastrointestinal pathogens.  These categories include (1) modification of the environmental conditions, (2) competition for nutrients and adhesion sites, (3) production of antimicrobial compounds, (4) modulation of the immune and non-immune defense mechanisms of the host, and (5) regulation of the intestinal neuromuscular function.

But there is more.

Imbedded within Sanz et al.’s research is a leading edge concept that we have utilized in our Bulgarian collection of probiotic formulas. We will also be expanding our probiotic offering with a new synbiotic formula, with the focus on priming the immune system.

This formula is designed to strengthen the mechanism and function of the immune system. We will share more in next week’s Forward Thinking.

Our Therapeutic Foods Synbiotic Formulas supply wonderful, healthy bacteria that support good digestion, the elimination of toxins, regulating immunity and preventing pathogen colonization and invasion.the Product of the Month.

Clinical Notes:

What we call our Bulgarian synbiotic formulas are the Supernatant Synbiotic Formula, the Cranberry Pomegranate Synbiotic Formula and the No. 7 Systemic Booster.  These formulas were created as the result of our collaborative work with Bulgarian and American scientists.

It was clear from the very beginning of creating our synbiotic formulas that one of the ingredients that our Bulgarian team of scientists insisted must be in all the formulas was the supernatant.  To produce supernatant we took L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilis, put them in a broth of carefully selected foods for the growth, and then collected their metabolic byproducts—their digestive enzymes, their B and K vitamins, their lactic acid, their bacterocines, their biosurfactants and their oligoribonucleotides.

Once these metabolites were produced we then collected this supernatant material and added to it the bulgaricus and thermophilis as dead whole cells, and the whole lot was freeze-dried.  This supernatant our Bulgarian scientist assured us had strong healthy immune stimulating properties, without over stimulating the system, more of a waking it up, yet balancing the immune response as the same time.

Supernatant Synbiotic Formula:  take one capsule a day or as directed by your health practitioner

Cranberry Pomegranate Synbiotic Formula:  take one capsule a day or as directed by your health practitioner.

No. 7 Systemic Booster:  take one tsp. a day or as directed by your health practitioner.


Welcome to the Healthy Kitchen Power Hour with John and Ocean Robbins.  The goal is to make it easy to integrate your beliefs about food into your day-to-day life.  This is a free global event hosted by John and Ocean.

©2005 – 2014 BioImmersion Inc. All Rights Reserved

Eat Your Greens

October 17, 2014

Cruciferous vegetables are packed with phytochemicals that have health giving power.  In last week’s Forward Thinking we discussed how cruciferous vegetables prime our immune system and thereby protecting our body from pathogens and disease.

This week we focus on cruciferous vegetables’ ability to up-regulate our body’s transcription of Phase 2 Enzymes.  In layman’s terms, these wonderful vegetables stimulate our genes to produce specific enzymes (called P2Ps) that support the detoxification of our blood by the liver.

James et al. (2012), in “Novel Concepts of Broccoli Sulforaphanes and Disease,” update us on evidence supporting Phase II enzyme induction by sulforaphanes.  Their conclusion was that the overall weight of evidence currently available supports a Phase 2 antioxidant enzyme-related function for broccoli and provides a strong argument for increasing the intake of broccoli.

Reference: James et al., (2012). Novel concepts of broccoli sulforaphanes and disease:  Induction of Phase 2 antioxidant and detoxification enzymes by enhanced-glucoraphanin broccoli. Nutrition Reviews, 70(11), 654-665.

Take a look at our Cruciferous Sprouts as the Product of the Month.

Clinical Notes:

This is why we choose cruciferous sprouts as our source material for our cruciferous vegetable supplement because sprouts yield a many fold increase in the precursor molecule for sulforaphane—the glucosinolates.  Pilot studies on sprouts were able to show a 2.6 fold increase of Phase 2 enzymes by human liver cells by taking 2 capsules a day.  Each capsule is filled with broccoli sprouts, daikon radish sprouts, red radish sprouts, water cress sprouts, kale sprouts, mustard spouts and cabbage sprouts.

See here the Cruciferous Sprout Complex


The Planet just had its warmest September on Record.  Global warming is happening and we are the causative agent.  What can we do?

The Pacific Islanders in Micronesia are doing something as they are witnessing their very homes, their atolls losing land mass yearly as the oceans are rising.  See this link to about The Pacific Warriors who are traveling tomorrow from 12 Pacific Islands to Australia, to take the fight to save their homes directly to the fossil fuel industry.  Using traditional canoes, 30 Pacific Climate Warriors are going to paddle into the oncoming path of coal ships in an effort to shut down the world’s biggest coal port for a day.

©2005 – 2014 BioImmersion Inc. All Rights Reserved