In a recent Health Tip, we shared the story of how Hallelujah Acres has gone from its beginnings 20 years ago — and the belief that the only thing necessary for health was the Genesis 1:29 diet — to understanding that a select number of nutritional supplements are also necessary in order to obtain the best results in restoring the body to wellness and the best results in maintaining that wellness, too,
This change in our beliefs and teachings regarding supplements has come about as a result of the abundant research conducted over the past 15 years by our two researchers here at Hallelujah Acres, Michael Donaldson, PhD, and Olin Idol, ND, CNC. Their conclusions have not been based exclusively on scientific research, but also on the healing results obtained by thousands of people when various supplements were added to The Hallelujah Diet.
What I, myself, did not understand when The Hallelujah Diet had its beginning is that we live under entirely different environmental conditions than existed in the Garden of Eden into which God placed Adam and Eve. And that even doing the best we can to follow God’s diet, many of our foods today simply lack the vital life-force and nutrient density contained in the foods just a few decades ago, let alone what they contained in Biblical times.
How We Can Overcome This Lack
We recognize that supplements can become quite expensive and controversial, so we have tried to limit the number of supplements we recommend primarily to those that are the most vital. These are the same supplements that we have been exploring in our latest Health Tips.
Vitamin B12 – We learned that this essential vitamin is not found in any plant-sourced food consumed by vegetarians and vegans, and interestingly found in insufficient amounts in 39% of those who consume animal sourced foods on a daily basis. This makes supplementation essential, too.
Fats – We discussed why fat is vital to health, why it is important to have “good fats” in the diet, and warned of the dangers inherent in “bad fats.” This was a real eye-opener for many, as we learned that animal-sourced fats, the largest source of fat in the average American diet, are the primary cause of so many of the physical problems being experienced today. This makes ‘good fat’ supplementation an important health strategy.
Vitamin D3 – We learned that Vitamin D3 is technically not a vitamin at all, but rather an indispensable hormone that God designed our bodies to receive from the sun’s rays on our skin. Sadly, the majority of people today fail to get their RDA of sunshine, and thus supplementation is imperative.
Iodine – We talked about the importance of iodine in the diet. Once again we learned that most people have a serious deficiency in Iodine and that the only way to assure our body has a sufficient amount of this nutrient is by supplementation.
Today we are going to talk about another kind of supplement…probiotics, and why they are so important if one wants to gain and maintain their health.
Probiotics – The Life Within
When the microscope was first discovered some 300 years ago, medical science began to learn that a host of “invisible” organisms were living in and on people’s bodies. But it wasn’t until recently that medical science began to realize the importance of these tiny creatures in determining the health (or lack thereof) of the body.
We have recently discovered just how many of these microorganisms exist in our bodies – trillions! Amazingly, there are ten times more microbe cells in our bodies than there are body cells. These tiny microorganisms promote health within the body from the very first days of our life.
We have also discovered how imbalances of these microorganisms can affect almost every system in the body.
Some of these microorganisms enter the body when the child passes through the birth canal, which children taken by cesarean section fail to receive. But the majority of the microorganisms arrive in the first three years of life, and the majority of them come from the mother in breast fed infants, but which are seriously lacking in bottle fed infants.
Uncooked solid foods contain beneficial bacteria, viruses, and sometimes even fungi, while cooked foods are devoid of these beneficial microorganisms. Other microbes originate in everything placed in the mouth. Babies are notorious for placing things in their mouth which is likely the reason that by age three, a baby’s intestines are filled with some 100 trillion microorganisms, mostly bacteria, of about 600 different species.
The early entrance of these microorganisms plays a key role in the development of a child’s immune system and in determining how well the immune system will function for the rest of that child’s life.
It has been learned that 80% of the immune system is in the gut. So when antibiotics are given to children, especially early in life, friendly bacteria are destroyed and they tend to catch every infection they come in contact with. Healthy children, are on other hand are those who received no antibiotics.
Antibiotics do especially great harm to the immune system of a child, but they are harmful to anyone for that matter who does not follow treatment with antibiotics with a course of probiotics. Probiotics restore the friendly bacteria destroyed by antibiotics.
Antibiotics do not discriminate. They not only kill unfriendly bacteria, but also the friendly bacteria which are critical if a child is to develop a strong immune system and maintain the integrity of the immune system even in later years.
Sadly, too many pediatricians fail to consider the long-term effects these antibiotics have on a child’s immune system development. If these friendly bacteria are destroyed, it can have a lifetime effect upon the body’s ability to protect itself from unfriendly germs, viruses and bacteria.
Once the presence of good microbes have been established in the child, the mix of organisms within the body stays fairly stable unless drastically altered by exposure to antibiotics. Chemotherapy, radiation of the GI tract, certain drugs, and environmental conditions also can have a devastating effect.
In addition, as a person approaches their senior years, especially after the age of 65, colon bacteria begin to reduce in numbers because of reduced gut function, improper pH levels, aging of the immune system, and loss of stomach acidity. As a result there becomes an increasing need to provide the body with the friendly bacteria found in probiotics, which are necessary to restore and maintain a healthy immune system.
Healthy Diet Imperative for Colon Health
Dysbiosis refers to a condition related to microbial imbalances occurring both on and in the body. It has been associated with many different illnesses. Dysbiosis is most prominent in the digestive tract and on the skin.
The most critical need of the body in preventing dysbiosis is a vegan diet, a diet that contains lots of fiber. Fiber is what friendly bacteria feed on, and when it is lacking in the diet, friendly bacteria become weakened. Regrettably, the SAD diet consumed by most people today is almost totally devoid of fiber.
Destroyers of friendly bacteria include antacids and medications that lower stomach acid; chlorinated water, chemotherapy; antibacterial soaps, along with the antibacterial gel pumps and hand wipes found increasingly in today’s germophobic culture. These antibacterial gels and hand wipes not only destroy harmful bacteria, but also the friendly bacteria which protect the skin.
Most animal flesh and the milk from animals contain antibiotics that were given the animal in an effort to keep it alive until slaughter. The antibiotics in animal-source foods are then taken into the body when consumed and contribute to the destruction of friendly flora.
Drinking lots of water has been shown to help protect the good bacteria in the gut as does Vitamin D3. At least 2,000 IU of D3 are recommended to help provide that protection as well as a minimum of 300 mg of DHA.
The Hallelujah Diet promotes the daily use of both Vitamin D3 along with a teaspoon of Pharmax fish oil, which contains 750 mg of DHA.
The Hallelujah Diet
The Hallelujah Diet provides the nutrients the body needs to restore and maintain health, but if the body cannot absorb those nutrients, health cannot be restored or maintained. That’s where Probiotics come to the rescue.
The key to nutrient absorption is a healthy intestinal tract. The intestinal tract contains hundreds of species of bacteria (flora), weighing in the neighborhood of 3.5 pounds. A healthy intestinal tract contains approximately 80% of this volume in friendly flora and the remaining 20% unfriendly flora.
If this 80/20 ratio is out of balance, problems result including candida, which is caused when there is an overabundance of unfriendly flora. To correct the problem, simply change the ratio of friendly to unfriendly by increasing friendly flora — with probiotics.
Hallelujah Acres Research to the Rescue
Hallelujah Acres’ journey into probiotics research began before Hallelujah Acres had a probiotic supplement. Our Vice-President of Health, Olin Idol, was regularly speaking with people who adopted The Hallelujah Diet, yet their symptoms were getting worse even though they were taking a probiotic supplement.
We began to suspect that many of the probiotics that people were taking simply did not contain what they claimed or that the probiotics they did contain were not able to recolonize in the gut. (Our suspicions were confirmed many years later in a 2009 study of 25 different probiotic brands which revealed that eight of the brands contained less than 1% of the label claim while six contained less than 0.1% of the label claim.)
With probiotic efficacy in question, Hallelujah Acres decided that the only way to offer a probiotic that delivered what it claimed was to develop one ourselves. In the early 2000’s, we worked in partnership with a medical doctor and another organization to offer our first probiotic supplement. That supplement had about nine different strains of bacteria which supplied 2.2 billion colony forming units (CFU).
For the knowledge available at that time, having that first probiotic with consistent CFU was a major triumph. Later, as innovations in the probiotic industry developed, Hallelujah Acres expanded its probiotic line with a Professional Strength Probiotic formulation with 24 billion CFU in response to those with cancer who needed higher potency. And by the way, all Hallelujah Acres probiotics formulations passed the label claim test with flying colors.
There were still a few issues, however, that were not ideal.
In order to deliver what they claimed, Hallelujah Acres probiotic supplements had to be refrigerated, which was a difficult pill to swallow (if you will) for those with an on-the-go lifestyle. Secondly, we knew that a large percentage of a probiotics’ effectiveness takes place in the colon, but surviving acid conditions in the stomach and journeying through the small intestine meant there wasn’t much probiotic power left by the time it arrived at its most important destination: The small intestine and colon.
Typically, quality probiotics were thought to require either refrigeration or an astronomically high CFU count to survive the stomach acid and to (hopefully) provide some benefit to the small intestine and colon.
To resolve these issues, the research team at Hallelujah Acres began investigating alternatives that would buffer the probiotic so that more CFU would reach the colon without degradation, and eliminate the need for refrigeration.
This research resulted in Hallelujah Acres adaptation of a new line of high quality, non-refrigerated probiotics.
In fact, Hallelujah Acres new professional strength version contains less than half the number of CFU as its predecessor. Ironically, because of the new technology used to create them, much more of the probiotic in each tablet makes it to the colon than the previous version, and better yet, fewer probiotic tablets are required to gain superior results.
The secret lies in a patented probiotic delivery system. When moistened by fluids in the stomach, a protective later around the tablet forms to shield the probiotics from gastric acid. Once in the intestinal tract, bacteria are released from the tablet core through the protective layer, ensuring that a significant number of probiotics are released in both the small intestine and colon.
Only one tablet a day coats the entire gastrointestinal tract with beneficial bacteria – no other probiotic technology can do that.
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high, we will take a look at another supplement that has proven to have great benefit for those who have taken advantage of its use.
Trust you will join us next week for another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip.