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Probiotics Symposium San Antonio, TX. Oct 24th, 2013

I flew in to San Antonio Texas last night for the 7th Annual Probiotics Symposium, held at Embassy Suites on the River Walk, sponsored by the The Institute of Medical Studies and supported by an educational grant from Klaire Labs. I’m happy to say that I have attended them all, knowing that they provide us with the latest development in the use of probiotics in clinical practice. San Antonio RiverWalk

The plane from Phoenix to San Antonio was a small one, so the attendants took our ‘rollies’ at the entrance to the plane to store in the hold as they would not fit in the overhead compartments. When we got to San Antonio, we waited at the plane entrance for our ‘rollies’ to arrive. To my horror, I watched a lady grab my suitcase and quickly walk away, wheeling my luggage, instead of her own, and, I was unable to catch up to her in time to stop her. The good news is that her phone number was clearly marked on her luggage, which was the only one left, unclaimed. The phone call was made and she immediately came back to the airport so we could exchange cases. It made me wonder if this was some kind of omen… I was truly grateful for the outcome!

The Symposium started off with a ‘pre-symposium day’ of information, presented by Dr Stephen Olmstead, Chief Science Officer for Prothera Inc and David Quig, PhD VP Scientific Support from Doctor’s Data Labs.

Dr Olmstead is very knowledgeable about probiotics and the role they play in keeping us healthy. He also gave us lots of incredibly detailed information about of the role of pathogen-associated biofilm dysbiosis in our bodies, the biofilm being the place where very often, candida and other pathogenic organisms, may hide out, often for long periods of time, and why it’s so difficult to get rid of the problems that arise as a result of their mere existence. Its fascinating to learn how innately ‘intelligent’ pathogen-associated biofilm is, and what’s more, it’s not that the concept of biofilm is new. We have known about biofilm every since we knew that microbiota even existed, however, its only recently that we are discovering how biofilm functions. Dr Olmstead recommended including 2 enzyme products that he formulated, Interfase and Interfase Plus, to be used in any protocol to break down pathogenic biofilm in the gut. (If you’d like to order Interfase or Interfase Plus – let us know by sending us a message –
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Talking about probiotics, he stressed how the normal central nervous system needs gut flora to develop. He stressed how probiotics protect us from pathogens, regulate our immune response and also give us nutritional support. Of course, it all starts with mom … the maternal probiotics are delivered to breast milk and then to the infant; so if Mom is healthy, that’s all the infant would need. Probiotics in mother’s milk is mainly made up of bifidus, so that’s why its always a good idea to supplement with bifidus for infants and kids struggling to get rid of any digestive complaints.

Dr Olmstead reminded us the term acidophilus had been used for a long time to refer to any probiotics and it was only in the 1970’s that it was reclassified. We know that this particular strain of lactobacillus is resistant to bile acids, helps break down casein and gluten and also keeps pathogens away.

He spoke, too, about Bacillus, the Gram-positive aerobes. We used to think that they were not part of microbiota, but now we know they are. They can actually function as anaerobes if need be. They are soil based organisms and are spoken about as ‘transient commensals’ as they are only in the gut for a short time. But, even though they are in the gut for a short time, they can be very effective in getting rid of bad bacteria (pathogens).

Dr Olmstead mentioned how probiotics were not regarded as very effective in treatment with IBD, even though, in his opinion, they are extremely effective. I was thrilled to hear that, as, in my private practice and managing Crohns.net as an e-commerce site for purchase and education about probiotics for the past 15 years, I know, too, from my clinical practice and experience that probiotics, have helped tens of thousands of patients world wide.

Probiotics are one of the key supplements included in my suggested protocol to deal with the signs and symptoms of Crohns disease and Ulcerative colitis. Olmstead mentioned that he found s boulardii particularly helpful in probiotic combinations for Crohn’s Disease patients. This is verified by clinical studies (Campieri et al 2000, 118, 781).  He also mentioned studies done by Gionchetti (2000 and 2003) and Mimura (2004) using VSL#3 probiotics that were very effective in reducing the number of relapses of pouchitis.

IMG_20131024_171806_328It was delightful to meet Dr Josephine Ruiz-Healy M.D. a local, San Antonian Integrative Pediatric physician who shared how her dad had been a surgeon practicing in Mexico and how she was introduced to integrative alternatives by him. She uses probiotics in her practice all the time.

More to come tomorrow!


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