How Biofilms Can Impact Health
by Dr. Gary Kracoff
People that suffer from recurring infections such as candida, mold and Lyme disease may have a biofilm that needs to be addressed. When the same infection returns time after time, even though a proper protocol was taken, the underlying issue is likely that biofilms are causing a resistant framework preventing full resolution. Growing research involving chronic conditions related to the presence of biofilms suggests that they can often be an overlooked issue.
THE ESSENCE OF BIOFILMS
Biofilm is a gel-like substance that contain microbes, made up of bacteria, fungi and other microbes, that can attach to any cell or structure in the body. In the gut, they are complex communities that adhere to the surface of the intestinal lining and form a protective matrix which can contribute to the development of a healthy gut microbiota by providing a protective environment for beneficial bacteria. They can also help maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier and modulate immune responses.
Biofilms also surround and protect many infecting microbes from immune system detection. These organisms use quorum sensing (a communication system used by microbes) to assemble a system of extracellular polymeric substances that surrounds and adheres to the organisms inside.
HOW BIOFILMS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO CHRONIC CONDITIONS
The aforementioned conditions may involve the formation of biofilms which contribute to chronic or recurring infections and make treatment more challenging. Because biofilms are highly resistant to antimicrobials and antibiotics, the microbes go undetected and are challenging to address.
Candida can form biofilms in various parts of the body, including the gut, that are often resistant to conventional antifungal treatments, which makes them difficult to eradicate, can contribute to persistent or recurrent infections and may be associated with symptoms such as digestive issues, fatigue and immune dysfunction.
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) transmitted through tick bites, can also form biofilms. They can allow the bacteria to evade the immune system and antibiotics, leading to chronic Lyme disease.
Mold biofilms can be found in damp outdoor environments or within the respiratory system. Biofilms can provide an advantageous environment for mold, making it more resistant to cleaning and remediation efforts, and contribute to respiratory symptoms and allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
HOW BIOFILMS CAN THRIVE AND INTERFERE WITH TREATMENT
The biofilm matrix creates a physical barrier that shields the microorganisms within it, providing protection from mechanical removal, such as through the body’s immune responses or physical cleaning methods. The problem is that these protective mechanisms can also allow mold, Lyme bacteria, and candida to persist, evade the immune system, and resist conventional treatments.
Along with acting as a barrier that restricts the penetration of antibiotics and antimicrobials, biofilms can also trap and concentrate essential nutrients, providing themselves with a continuous supply of nourishment to thrive. As the microorganisms engage in cooperative interactions, they further enhance their own survival and resistance. Some of them may even produce substances that protect others from external threats or enhance their ability to resist treatments.
ISSUES AND PREPARATION TO DISSOLVE BIOFILMS
Disrupting or dissolving biofilms can help overcome their ability to flourish and improve the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapies against them. Working with a knowledgeable practitioner is necessary for good outcomes. Before attempting a protocol to counteract them, careful planning and considerations must be taken into account to prepare the body for this process. Digestion, elimination and detox pathways all need to be working and supported before treatment begins. After the proper preparation has been done, using a blend of botanicals and enzymes can help disrupt the biofilm.
MECHANISMS FOR RESOLUTION
Many herbal and enzyme products disrupt the biofilm matrix, interrupt quorum-sensing (biofilm intra/intercommunications) and support the body’s anti-adhesion properties which helps dissolve the biofilm and allows the offending organisms to be destroyed.
The best solution is to use products specifically designed to clean the body of biofilm. Enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional who is versed in the mechanisms of biofilms, chronic conditions and the most effective products and protocols to promote resolution and healing.
Dr. Gary Kracoff is a registered pharmacist with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine at the Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center, at 577 Main St., Waltham, MA. Genova Diagnostic labs are available onsite as well as consultations with their professional pharmacists and dieticians. For more information, call 781-893-3870 ext. 2 or visit NaturalCompounder.com.