Multiple body systems’ dysfunction causing illness is not uncommon, especially in special needs individuals. Recent scientific research points to the “microbiome” as a possible source of these connections.
Kirkman® recently added two new products to its Microbiome Balance line, Microbiome Toxicity Control (#4538-120) and Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme w/DPP-IV (#4234-120). These products, along with Kirkman’s Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend (#4465-060)provide a nutritional protocol for supporting the microbiome.
What’s the Microbiome?
The microbiome refers to the genetic makeup of all the microorganisms in the human body. There are an estimated 30-100 trillion microbial cells that make up the microbiome, compared to the 10 trillion human cells that make up the human genome, successfully mapped in 2003 as a result of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Genome Project (HGP). In 2008, the NIH launched the Human Microbiome Project as a counterpart to the HGP to explore the complex eco-system and genome of the body’s microbiome.
The Gut is the Focus
Much of the current research regarding the “microbiome” is centered on the gut, where the vast majority of microbes reside. The gut is an important source of tributaries to other parts of the body that control our health, like our immune system and our central nervous system. When the gut is healthy with beneficial microbiota, the immune system is strengthened so that it can fight off pathogenic microorganisms before they develop into illness or serious health conditions.
Scientists also know that chemicals produced by gut microbiota communicate with the central nervous system and may affect cognitive functions, but exactly to what extent is still unclear to researchers.
Taking a Common Sense Approach
A common sense approach to microbiota health is a good default position to take while scientists take on the complex job of fully understanding the microbiome – - remove toxins, add good bacteria and provide the body with the nutrients required for overall good health. Taking targeted and effective nutritional supplements can make up for the nutrients that may be missing from the diet to accomplish these purposes.
Exposure to chemicals, such as pesticides, can disrupt a healthy balance of gastrointestinal microbiota. This product is a hypoallergenic blend of natural ingredients known to support the body’s detoxification pathways. These natural pathways are mechanisms for removing environmental contaminants, which can invade the body from toxins in the air, water, food or other environmental sources. Microbiome Toxicity Control is hypoallergenic, free of casein, gluten and common allergens and contains the following ingredients:
- vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, which enhance the body’s detoxification pathways;
- taurine, a sulfur based amino acid with detoxifying properties;
- curcumin (turmeric), a spice with detoxification properties;
- milk thistle, a flowering plant which detoxifies the body’s organs;
- glutathione, the body’s most powerful immune system supporter;
- N-acetyl cysteine, an ingredient known for strong antioxidant activity;
- calcium D-glucarate, which acts in a similar manner as natural fruits and vegetables, also known to support detoxification.
Though a thorough genetic evaluation is needed to fully analyze the current state of a person’s microbiome, adding beneficial bacteria by taking a high strength probiotic is a good way to add beneficial bacteria to microbiota.
The two most important groups of beneficial bacteria residing in the intestines are the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. Lactobacillus reside mainly in the small intestine, while Bifidobacterium reside, to some degree, in the small intestine but are more predominant in the large intestine.
Bifidobacterium strains are also of great importance to babies and nursing mothers. Both Lactobacillus strains and Bifidobacterium strains have been clinically shown to help ensure proper nutrient absorption, support healthy digestive function and maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Kirkman’s Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend consists of 60 billion colony-forming units of several different strains of these beneficial organisms including:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Bifidobacterium bifidum lactis*
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Bifidobacterium breve
* There are two different strains of Bifido lactis in this product, which accounts for the eight strain count.
This probiotic is a broad-spectrum formulation that will provide a good overall foundation for a healthy microbiome. Eating healthy foods, avoiding processed chemicals from foods and avoiding environmental toxins can also play a positive role toward a healthy microbiome.
Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme w/DPP-IV is formulated to support digestive activity for a full range of foods. A unique blend of 17 pure, plant-based enzymes that are recognized as essential for the effective digestion of all food groups, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and fiber under a wide range of pH conditions are included in this formulation. The addition of the dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) enzyme analog supports the ability of the body to degrade peptides formed from exposure to casein and gluten.
In situations where undigested protein fragments are left in the gut, a healthy microbiome can become unhealthy because of the disrupted messaging that has resulted. Individuals particularly sensitive to these undigested protein fragments can experience very negative responses, which often manifest as pain or negative behavior. DPP-IV can support the digestion of these undigested protein fragments and help prevent these undesirable responses.
Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme with DPP-IV provides a comprehensive “foundation” of supplemental enzymes to support optimal digestion. Each enzyme works independently, but also synergistically to impact digestion of all dietary components. This proprietary product provides a combination of proteases, amylases, lipases, disaccharides and cellulases that replace the enzymes lost in cooking, thus lessening the burden on the body’s digestive tract so that it can function optimally, while also supporting optimal nutrient absorption.