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More Butyrate Series, Part 8: Clostridium butyricum for the Brain, for Colon and Bladder Cancer, and for Milk Allergy

I hate disclaimers. I don’t feel like they should be necessary on an internet site, where people should be reluctant to believe anybody or anything. But, sometimes we’re gullible and vulnerable, especially when it comes to our health. So I just want to remind readers that I am not recommending Clostridium butyricum. I am not speaking against it either.  What you put in your mouth is as personal as who you let French kiss you. Have caution.  I do.

Do I think Clostridium butyricum sounds like a decent probiotic? On paper it does. But I’m aware that each person’s gut is unique beyond comprehension. Its function is as varied as each person’s diet, stress level, and sleep pattern. That’s pretty varied. Please never go out and buy or use a supplement because I mention it. I’d feel just horrible about that. Read the studies I reference. Read the internet anecdotes for the good AND THE BAD. Then, talk with your doctor about if he or she sees any harm for you based on what he or she knows about you.

Try hard to make your diet as real and whole as you realistically can. That’s a great start for health! And also try hard to savor each person you love in your life. Our life on Earth really is unpredictable, and each moment counts. For more on Clostridium butyricum on my site, read here, here, and here.  I’ve enjoyed searching for information about it and putting it in one “place.” I hope if you’re reading this far, you find what you’re searching for. If you can’t understand something, please ask.

Clostridium butyricum For Vascular Dementia

In a vascular model of disease, mice with carotid artery occlusion who were given Clostridium butyricum (strain WZMC1016 dosed at 5 x 10 ^6, 5 x 10^7, 5 X 10^8) had improved cognitive test scores.

In humans, this might translate into someone who has vascular dementia from atherosclerosis—“clogged arteries.” The probiotic-treated mice fared significantly better on motor skills testing and cognitive skills testing (numerically significant at the two higher doses). Their brains looked better in the hippocampal region, a region known to be exceptionally sensitive to low blood flow, than the non-treated vascular occlusion subjects. Please notice that dose did affect the outcome!

The specifics, if you’re interested, also indicated that the probiotic treated mice had:

  • Increased levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)
  • Increased ratio of Bcl-2 to BAX (antiapoptotic to proapoptotic factors)  (10^7, 10^8 doses)
  • Increased ratio of p-Akt/Akt (Akt phosphorylation=p-Akt) (5×10^7, 5×10^8 doses)
  • Structural preservation of the hippocampus with reduced apoptosis of neurons in the hippocampus (dose of 5 x 10^8)
  • Increased butyrate in the feces
  • Increased butyrate in the brain (10^7, 10^8 doses)
  • Increased diversity of GI bacteria (“drastically changed” were the words) (10^7, 10^8 doses).

Source: Liu J, Sun J, Wang F, et al. Neuroprotective Effects of Clostridium butyricum against Vascular Dementia in Mice via Metabolic Butyrate. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015:412946. doi:10.1155/2015/412946.

Clostridium butyricum for Stroke

In a mouse study which simulated cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injuries, such as those which may be found in a stroke in humans, mice who were pretreated with Clostridium butyricum (strain WZMC1018 at 1 x 10^9 dose) had less neurological deficits than the other mice.

In addition, in the probiotic treated mice it was found that:

  • The expression of Caspase-3 and Bax were significantly decreased
  • The Bcl-2/Bax ratio was significantly increased
  • Butyrate content in the brain was significantly increased
  • Apoptosis in the hippocampus was ameliorated
  • Decreased contents of MDA; increased SOD in the brain tissue.

Source: Clostridium butyricum pretreatment attenuates cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice via anti-oxidation and anti-apoptosis.Sun J, Ling Z, Wang F, Chen W, Li H, Jin J, Zhang H, Pang M, Yu J, Liu JNeurosci Lett. 2016 Feb 2;613:30-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.12.047. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Clostridium butyricum in Traumatic Brain Injury

In a traumatic brain injury model, Clostridium butyricum administration in mice resulted in improved outcomes.

Specifically found were:

  • Improved neurological deficits
  • Decreased brain edema
  • Less impairment in the blood brain barrier
  • Increased GLP-1 production in colon and increased GLP-1 receptor protein expression in the brain  (GLP-1 is glucagon-like peptide-1 and is considered a mediator between the gut and the brain.)
  • An improved intestinal barrier, evidenced by decreased serum D-lactate levels.

Source: Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13260. [Epub ahead of print]Clostridium butyricum exerts a neuroprotective effect in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury via the gut-brain axis.Li H, Sun J, Du J, Wang F, Fang R, Yu C, Xiong J, Chen W, Lu Z, Liu J.

Clostridium butyricum for Prevention of Anxiety

Laryngeal cancer patients who required surgery (laryngectomy) had lower anxiety parameters when they received Clostridium butyricum before surgery.

Human laryngeal cancer patients received Clostridium butyricum (420 mg/capsule, two capsules twice a day) prior to surgery for about 14 days. When compared to placebo-receiving laryngeal cancer surgical patients, they had:

  • Lower corticotropin-releasing factor levels (CRF), a stress-related hormone, also commonly known as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)
  • Lower morning and evening heart rates
  • Lower anxiety test scores.

Source: Yang, Hui & Zhao, Xiaoyun & Tang, Shan & Huang, Hua & Zhao, Xiulan & Ning, Zhuohui & Fu, Xiurong & Zhang, Caihong. (2014). Probiotics reduce psychological stress in patients before laryngeal cancer surgery. Asia-Pacific journal of clinical oncology. 12. 10.1111/ajco.12120.

Clostridium butyricum for Bladder Cancer and Colon Cancer

The association of Clostridia affecting cancer goes back to 1813, when it was noted that patients who acquired gas gangrene (Clostridium perfringens infection) had cancer regression! Because they are anaerobic organisms, they emerge from spore form to vegetative form in the anaerobic, necrotic centers of tumors, where the bacteria can promote tumor destruction. (1)

An in vitro and in vivo mouse study showed that Clostridium butyricum induced bladder cancer tumor cell death (apoptosis). 

Rather than oral administration, Clostridium butyricum (both in the in vitro and in vivo arms) was directly applied to the tumor cells. The study found the administration:

  • Increased TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand ) release from polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), perhaps more effectively and safely than the current therapy, BCG
  • Drastically suppressed growth of bladder cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Sources: (1) Mowday AM, Guise CP, Ackerley DF, et al. Advancing Clostridia to Clinical Trial: Past Lessons and Recent Progress. Dachs G, ed. Cancers. 2016;8(7):63. doi:10.3390/cancers8070063.

(2) Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 shows antitumor effects by enhancing the release of TRAIL from neutrophils through MMP-8. Masahide Shinnoh and Mano Horinaka et al. Journal of Oncology. March 2013. Volume 42 Issue 3. pp 903-911.

In a colon cancer model study, researchers found that Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium butyricum inhibited proliferation of colorectal cancer cells and promoted cancer cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo.

Mice with induced colon cancer were used for the in vivo study, and human colon cancer cells used for the in vitro study. The researchers noted improved inflammatory markers and immune responses.

  • TLR4 mRNA was decreased with the probiotic administration.
  • NfKb was also decreased with the administration of the probiotics.
  • The probiotic treated cancer-model mice had downregulation of Th17 cells as compared to the non-treated cancer mice.

Source: Chen ZF, Ai LY, Wang JL, Ren LL, Yu YN, Xu J, Chen HY, Yu J, Li M, Qin WX, et al. Probiotics Clostridium butyricum and Bacillus subtilis ameliorate intestinal tumorigenesis. Future Microbiol. 2015;10:1433–1445. doi: 10.2217/fmb.15.66.

Clostridium butyricum to reduce food allergy (milk allergy)

Clostridium butyricum reduced intestinal anaphylaxis to beta-lactoglobulin in mice with induced allergy and the researchers felt the probiotic might have potential as a  supplemental therapy for food allergy.

Mice who had a milk allergy to beta-lactoglobulin were given Clostridium butyricum. When given the probiotic, the treated mice, as compared to the untreated mice, had:

  • Decreased diarrhea
  • Improved villus histological integrity with decreased amount of inflammatory cells [It really was pretty cool if you like histology.]
  • Increased CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Treg cells in the MLN and high levels of TGF-β and IL-10 in the serum
  • High levels of TGF-β and IL-10 in the serum
  • Reversed imbalance of Th1/Th2 andTh17/Treg.

Source: Zhang J, Su H, Li Q, et al. Oral administration of Clostridium butyricum CGMCC0313-1 inhibits β-lactoglobulin-induced intestinal anaphylaxis in a mouse model of food allergy. Gut Pathogens. 2017;9:11. doi:10.1186/s13099-017-0160-6.

Closing and Personal Anecdote

I think that’s all the studies I’ll go through on Clostridium butyricum for a while. My eyes were kind of drooping near the end. Make sure and comment on typos or wrong information so I can address them!

I did try this probiotic several times off and on over the last couple of years at all kinds of doses. I had no major issues from it when I took it, but I did have some minor ones. (But my gut is not your gut.) Despite this probiotic reportedly being used for constipation in Asia, I found that my baseline constipation increased and I had to increase my magnesium laxative use while taking it. I also experienced bloating. I had a good sense of well-being on the probiotic, but I have a tendency to have that much of the time anyhow. I seemed to wake up earlier, but I think that could be anything. Due to the constipation and (painless but pretty significant) bloating, I could never extend my use of this probiotic more than two weeks. I didn’t know if it was the probiotic itself or the lactose in it.

That’s it for today.

Terri F

 

 

More Butyrate Series, Part 8: Clostridium butyricum to Prevent Pathogenic Infections (C. diff, E. coli, H. pylori, and Candida), Leaky Gut, and Tube Feeding Diarrhea

When would a person consider adding Clostridium butyricum to their health plan? That’s what I’m exploring as I continue to write up what I discovered from scientific studies about Clostridium butyricum. Today will finish up exploring the gastrointestinal studies. You may read more that I have written about Clostridium butyricum here and here. I try to write in simple terms while still maintaining medical accuracy. If you see a typo or mis-information, please point it out! I really appreciate the opportunity to fix it. If you just don’t understand something and really want to, I enjoy questions and do my best to answer them as thoroughly as I can.

Please remember this is not medical advice. Probiotics are still supplements, and supplements can have deleterious effects on health, either directly, by interactions, or even because of their fillers (and commercial forms of Clostridium butyricum seem to have lactose and/or potato starch). As you search for health, don’t forget certain human health necessities: sleep; movement; sunshine; nature; strong, nurturing relationships; freedom from an unforgiving and hateful heart; and self-acceptance. I feel there are more, but I’ll stop there for now. I’m always floored at how we will search for health in a pill or diet while neglecting these basic requirements.

 

Clostridium butyricum to prevent pathogenic infections from other organisms: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Helicobacter pylori, and Candida

When given prophylactically, Clostridium butyricum prevented death from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in 100% of mice. [I’m always fascinated by studies with “100% results.”]

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is a dangerous human pathogen which can lead to significant bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, and death. Germ-free mice were inoculated with the virulent bacterial strain Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Mice who received no Clostridium butyricum probiotic ALL died from entrohemorrhagic E. coli complications. When given the probiotic prophylactically before receiving the virulent E. coli strain, 100% of the mice survived. If the Clostridium butyricum was given two days into the infection rather than prophylactically, then 50% died.The probiotic used was Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 strain.

Source: Takahashi, M., Taguchi, H., Yamaguchi, H., Osaki, T., Komatsu, A. and Kamiya, S. (2004), The effect of probiotic treatment with Clostridium butyricum on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in mice. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 41: 219–226.

In vitro co-culture and cell-to-cell contact of Clostridium butyricum  MIYAIRI 588 and Clostridium difficile greatly decreased and even negated the cellular toxicity of Clostridium difficile toxin.

Both Clostridium difficile andClostridium butyricum are Gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria, but Clostridium butyricum grows faster and uses a wider range of substrates, while also producing butyric acid (butyrate) and a bacteriocin (a microbial “antibiotic”). Researchers found that Clostridium butyricum diminished the cytotoxicity of Clostridium difficile and explored why:

  • Clostridium butyricum cells themselves needed to be present to prevent the cytotoxicity from Clostridium difficile. Using supernatant (fluid with no actual bacterial cells but still with the substances excreted/secreted from the bacteria) from Clostridium butyricum culture did not reduce cytotoxicity or reduce the growth of Clostridium difficile, neither did simply separating the two bacterial cultures by a permeable membrane (but impermeable by the bacteria themselves–so basically having the cells together in proximity with the same environment, but without the cells themselves being able to touch each other).
  • Clostridium butyricum blocked Clostridium difficile‘s germination, perhaps by increasing the amount of organic acids present, such as butyric acid. Clostridium butyricum cultures produce a pH of about 4.8, while Clostridium difficile cultures exhibit a pH of about 6.2, which is similar to the gut’s pH. Co-cultures of the two bacteria together produced a lower pH, which may affect the growth of C. diff and deteriorate the function of one of its toxins, toxin B.

Source: Woo TD, Oka K, Takahashi M, Hojo F, Osaki T, Hanawa T, Kurata S, Yonezawa H, Kamiya S. Inhibition of the cytotoxic effect of Clostridium difficile in vitro by Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 strain. J Med Microbiol. 2011;60:1617–1625.

A very small human study reported that patients given antibiotic therapy to eradicate Helicobacter pylori had detectable fecal Clostridium difficile toxin A, BUT double doses of Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588 strain prevented detection of any fecal Clostridium difficile toxin A, indicating that a higher dose of Clostridium butyricum may help prevent antibiotic associated C. diff colitis.

When antibiotics are given, it disrupts the normal suppression of Clostridium difficile (which can live in a healthy person’s gut) in the GI tract, allowing diarrhea or even C. difficile pseudomembranous colitis to occur. Researchers looked for toxin A from C. difficile bacteria when patients were treated with antibiotics alone to eradicate H. pylori or treated with antibiotics and Clostridium butyricum probiotic. A “regular” dose of Clostridium butyricum probiotic did not prevent Clostridium difficile toxin A detection, although it seemed to decrease when compared to the control using no probiotic.  However, doubling the dose of probiotic prevented C. difficile toxin A detection. Specifically MIYA-BM was used and it has 10^7 colony forming units (CFU) per tablet. A “regular” dose was six tablets and a double dose was 12 tablets.

Source: Microbiology and Immunology. Efficacy of Clostridium butyricum preparation concomitantly with Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy in relation to changes in the intestinal microbiota. Kyoto Imase, Motomichi Takahashi, Akifumi Tanaka, Kengo Tokunaga, Hajime Sugano, Mamoru Tanaka, Hitoshi Ishida, Shigeru Kamiya and Shin’ichi Takahashi. Volume 52, Issue 3, Version of Record online: 8 APR 2008

In vivo and in vitro testing indicated that Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588 strain could inhibit, and often eradicate, Helicobacter pylori growth and presence in germ free mice.

This study suggests an antagonistic relationship between Clostridium butyricum and Helicobacter pylori.

  • In  vitro, the butyric acid produced by C. butyricum inhibited H. pylori growth in a direct manner, no matter what the pH, indicating that butyric acid itself was antibacterial. (In contrast, lactic acid also inhibited H. pylori, but not when the pH was adjusted, indicating the effect was pH induced rather than directly from the lactic acid itself.)
  • Pre-incubation of cells with the probiotic inhibited the binding ability of H. pylori to a gastric-mucosal type line of cells.
  • In mice with persistent H. pylori infection, Clostridium butyricum resulted in a rapid reduction of H. pylori and then eventually after three weeks, elimination.

Source: J Med Microbiol. 2000 Jul;49(7):635-42. Studies of the effect of Clostridium butyricum on Helicobacter pylori in several test models including gnotobiotic mice. Takahashi M, Taguchi H, Yamaguchi H, Osaki T, Kamiya S.

Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588, when given prophylactically to mice, decreased mortality from systemic Candida albicans

The mice were pre-treated for three days intraperitoneally with heat-killed C. butyricum and then inoculated intravenously with a virulent strain of Candida albicans. There was significant increase in survival at all doses of the administered C. butyricum, indicating anti-candidal activity.

Source: Hour-Young, Chen & Kaneda, Satoru & Mikami, Yuzuru & Arai, Tadashi & Igarashi, Kazuei & Saito, Masayoshi & Miyoshi, Takeyoshi & Fuse, Akira. (1987). Protection activity induced by the bacterial vaccine, heat-killed Clostridium butyricum against Candida albicans infections in mice.. Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology. 28. 262-269. 10.3314/jjmm1960.28.262.

Might help to reverse leaky gut (increased gastrointestinal permeability)

Clostridium butyricum use in a mouse model of obesity and insulin resistance showed parameters that might be relevant to improving leaky gut (increased gastrointestinal permeability).

Researchers in China wanted to explore the effect of Clostridium butyricum (strain: CBO313.1) on high fat diet obesity and insulin resistance in mice, speculating that short chain fatty acid production and colon barrier functions contribute to these inflammatory-type conditions. They found that the use of Clostridium butyricum:

  • Reduced colon permeability by upregulating the tight junction (TJ) proteins (claudin-1 and occludin)
  • Contributed to a decreased circulating endotoxin level (LPS)
  • Suppressed adipose inflammation
  • Suppressed high fat diet induced low grade colitis
  • Increased short chain fatty acid production in the colon
  • Restored impaired colon permeability

Source: Shang H, Sun J, Chen YQ (2016) Clostridium Butyricum CGMCC0313.1 Modulates Lipid Profile, Insulin Resistance and Colon Homeostasis in Obese Mice. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0154373. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154373

To prevent tube feeding diarrhea

In elderly patients who developed diarrhea in response to required long-term tube feedings, giving Clostridium butyricum to the patients normalized their stool.

The study is written in Japanese, so I have no further details.

Source: Ito, Hayashi, Iguchi, Endo, Nakao, Nabeshima, Ogura. Effects of administration of Clostridium butyricum to patients receiving long-term tube feeding. Jpn. J. Geriat. 34. 298-304. 1997.

Closing

That’s all for today. Do take care. Do look for things you can change in your life without a pill. Move more. Get outside more. Without squashing your own self, get along better with others. Your thoughts are your “inner stew.” They’re what you eat every single moment. Explore them. They make a HUGE difference to health.

Terri F.

More Butyrate Series, Part 8: Clostridium butyricum and Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

Clostridium butyricum, a soil-based probiotic used commonly in Asia, colonizes the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of about 10-20% of the human population. Although it does produce butyrate in the GI tract, studies show it creates beneficial effects independently of butyrate too. I do not endorse Clostridium butyricum supplements. I became interested in learning about them because I’m interested in the effect of butyrate on slow colon motility. When I started reading about Clostridium butyricum, it sounded like a nice little probiotic, to the point that I have expanded Part 8 of my Butyrate Series much more than I anticipated in order to elaborate on Clostridium butyricum. (See the first post of Part 8 here.)

I’d like to highlight studies on Clostridium butyricum’s use for GI diseases in this and the next post (or two). Please, remember, I am NOT recommending this probiotic for anyone. I just enjoy reading, researching, and compiling information on niches I am learning about. Do NOT use anything on this blog as medical advice, even if I seem nice, honest, and have certain initials after my name. Anyone on the internet can feed you a line.

By all means, if you think Clostridium butyricum sounds right for you, print off the studies I cite, highlight important points, and hand them to your healthcare provider to see what they think. Although most of the information I have read about Clostridium butyricum, both scientifically and anecdotally, has been positive, I have read tidbits where it made some people worse. (Please pay attention. The Clostridium butyricum probiotics I have found have lactose in them and potato starch, which I know many readers are sensitive to.)

And, as always, please help me with typos or incorrect information. And because it’s more important than anything, be kind and gracious from your heart to all. This world is hurting.  And…now back to science.

Ulcerative colitis

Clostridium butyricum (Bio-Three brand) promoted remission in refractory ulcerative colitis patients, particularly if they started the study with low fecal Bifidobacteria counts.

Twenty refractory ulcerative colitis patients received Bio-Three, nine tablets daily for a month.

  • Nine of the 20 (45%) patients went into remission
  • Two of 20 had a positive response but not full remission
  • In total, 55% had clinical and endoscopic improvement.
  • Nine had no response or worsened. (One of 20 became worse.)
  • 10 of the 20 patients also received 100 grams of “fiber,” which seemed to make no difference in any parameter.
  • Response to the probioitic was not correlated with initial severity of disease symptoms. A person with “terrible” ulcerative colitis symptoms could do–or not do–as well on the probiotic as someone with “mild” symptoms .
  • Patients’ fecal biomes were able to be categorized into three distinct clusters, and those in the clusters with lower Bifidobacteria seemed to respond better to the probiotic and had improved fecal microbiota profiles after therapy.

Source: Clinical effectiveness of probiotics therapy (BIO-THREE) in patients with ulcerative colitis refractory to conventional therapy. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Vol. 42 , Iss. 11, 2007.

Clostridium butyricum (Bio-Three brand) maintained clinical remission better than placebo did in already controlled ulcerative colitis patients over the course of a year, although the results were not statistically significant.

Of forty-six patients, half received three tablets of Bio-Three three times daily and the other half received placebo doses instead.

  • At three months, the relapse rates in the probiotic therapy group was 0% compared to 17.4% for placebo.
  • At six months, the relapse rate in the probiotic group was 8.7% compared to 26.1% in the placebo group.
  • At 9 months, the relapse rate in the probiotic group was 21.7% compared to 34.8% in the placebo group.
  • At 12 months, the remission rate was 30.5 % in the probiotic group and 43.4% in the placebo group.
  • Fecal flora was analyzed and three clusters of bacterial profiles were identified: cluster I, cluster II, and cluster III. Cluster II has the highest levels of Bididobacteria and benefitted the least from the addition of the probiotic. Cluster I had the lowest level of Bifidobacteria and benefitted the most from the addition of the probiotic, which seems, among other things, to shift the flora to be more consistent with a cluster II bacterial profile. Cluster III was somewhere in the middle for Bifidobacteria.
  • The butyrate to acetate ratio was higher in patients who relapsed. The researchers suggest that the colonic cells are not able to uptake butyrate properly so it persists in the fecal matter.

Source: Yoshimatsu Y, Yamada A, Furukawa R, Sono K, Osamura A, Nakamura K, Aoki H, Tsuda Y, Hosoe N, Takada N, Suzuki Y. Effectiveness of probiotic therapy for the prevention of relapse in patients with inactive ulcerative colitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(19): 5985-5994.

[So why not just take Bifido? I think one has to think about the whole climate of the GI tract. Clostridium butyricum would not directly inoculate Bifido. I’d like to think it creates bacteriocins (its own natural antibiotics) and pH changes that can then allow Bifido to properly reproduce and thrive as indicated. Like bringing in hummingbirds by planting geraniums and butterfly bushes. I can put hummingbird food out in winter and bring them, but I haven’t really provided them an environment to prosper. It’s all about cultivating an environment for cure to effect itself–not about taking the magic pill for cure. That’s why food is key.]

Treating ulcerative colitis patients who had food allergies with Clostridium butyricum (420 mg twice daily, brand not mentioned) plus specific immunotherapy for a year reduced the need ulcerative colitis medication.

[Aside: If you have ulcerative colitis, has your healthcare professional suggested food allergy for your consideration?]

Eighty patients with food allergy (diagnosed by skin testing) associated ulcerative colitis were divided into four groups: placebo, Clostridium butyricum only, specific immunotherapy only (SIT), or Clostridium butyricum with specific immunotherapy together. Using Clostridium butyricum alone or specific immunotherapy alone non-significantly reduced the need for ulcerative colitis medication. However, using the treatments together significantly impacted and reduced the need for medication for ulcerative colitis.

The study also investigated the cellular differences and immune response differences among the placebo group, the food allergy ulcerative colitis group, and the non-food allergy ulcerative colitis group. There were marked, significant differences among the groups, reflecting the significance of food allergy on the cellular response of the body. This study found that food allergy associated ulcerative colitis has unique cellular and immune response differences. [It reinforced in my mind the need for inflammatory bowel patients to modify their diets, especially looking at the top 8 allergenic foods.]

Source: Specific immunotherapy plus Clostridium butyricum alleviates ulcerative colitis in patients with food allergy. Bin La. Fan Yan. Dong Lu. & Zhenlv Lin. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 25587 (2016).

Taking Clostridium butyricum (Miya-BM, three tablets three times daily) after total proctocolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis seemed to decrease the risk of pouchitis compared to placebo over a two-year period.

Nine patients received the probiotic and eight patients received a placebo; however only seven of the probiotic patients completed the study. Only 1 of the probiotic recipients developed pouchitis, whereas 4 of the placebo patients did. The difference was not statistically significant. Miya-BM was the probiotic. It is the same strain and made by the same manufacturer as the Miyarisan Miyairi CBM 588 I mentioned in the last post. However, the label for the Miyarisan Miyairi CBM 588 tablets that I see have 270 mg compared to the 20 mg mentioned for this study. I’m not sure how to compare that for equivalent dosing among Clostridium butyricum probiotics.

As mentioned in the other studies above, Bifidobacteria increased with use of the Clostridium butyricum. (It also increased in the placebo arm, but the placebo was lactose, which the researchers feel may have allowed Bifidobacteria to increase.) It was also found that Escherichia coli also decreased with Clostridium butyricum use. One last interesting parameter to point out is the effect of Clostridium butyricum on AST and ALT values (“liver function tests”). Clostridium butyricum significantly reduced AST and ALT values compared to placebo.

Source: The effect of Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI on the prevention of pouchitis and alteration of the microbiota profile in patients with ulcerative colitis. Yasueda, A., Mizushima, T., Nezu, R. et al. Surg Today (2016) 46: 939.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Although Clostridium butyricum is commonly used in Asia for diverse indications, which I assume includes general symptoms of abdominal discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea (aka, irritable bowel syndrome), I did not readily find irritable bowel studies using Clostridium butyricum. I’ll present what I did find.

A new 2018 study on mice concluded that Clostridium butyricum may exert a beneficial action on visceral hypersensitivity of IBS by inhibiting low grade inflammation of colonic mucous through its action on NLRP6.

NLRP6 is thought to help stabilize the intestinal epithelium to allow repair. In this mouse study, Clostridium butyricum (dose: 1.25×10^9 CFU once daily for 7 days) increased NLRP6 while inflammatory IL-18 and IL-1B were decreased. Inflammatory infiltration into the colonic mucosa was decreased in the mice who received the probiotic. Mice who received Clostridium butyricum had less visceral sensitivity.

Source: Kejia Zhao, Leimin Yu, Xi Wang, Yibo He, Bin Lu; Clostridium butyricum regulates visceral hypersensitivity of irritable bowel syndrome by inhibiting colonic mucous low grade inflammation through its action on NLRP6, Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica, Volume 50, Issue 2, 1 February 2018, Pages 216–223.

In a 2013 Chinese study, two groups of irritable bowel patients received the same dietary information and were maintained on common drug treatments. However, in addition, one group received Clostridium butyricum 500 mg twice a day for a month. At the end of the month, the researchers reported a significant improvement in symptoms of the Clostridium butyricum group.

The study is a Chinese study, and I cannot find it any more than I reference.

Source: http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-GLYZ201303005.htm.
Zhu Ya-bi, Li Hong-guang, Wang Chang-xiong, Wang Wang-yue. Effects of clostridium butyricum in adjuvant treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The Chinese Journal of Pharmacology. 2013.

To prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea

In children who required antibiotics, Clostridium butyricum (MIYAIRI) decreased the frequency of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The probiotic was effective in both prophylactic prevention of diarrhea and also in treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Study participants were divided into three groups: antibiotic only, antibiotic with Clostridium butyricum started half-way through the duration of antibiotic, and antibiotic with Clostridium butyricum given at the start of antibiotic dosing. The dose of Clostridium butyricum CBM was 1-4 grams daily of 10^7 CFUs in the form of a dissolvable powder. When the dose was higher than 3 grams, the beneficial effect of the Clostridium butyricum on loose stools was statistically significant: 83% versus 49%. Stool studies also showed that a more normal microbial flora was preserved with concomitant use of the probiotic.

Source: SEKI, H., SHIOHARA, M., MATSUMURA, T., MIYAGAWA, N., TANAKA, M., KOMIYAMA, A. and KURATA, S. (2003), Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children by Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI. Pediatrics International, 45: 86–90.

In a small study of 19 patients being treated for Helicobacter pylori with amoxicillin and clarithromycin, Clostridium butyricum (Miyairi CBM 588) at increasing doses eliminated diarrhea and/or soft stools. (A “regular” dose of 6 tablets of 10^7 CFUs showed a decrease in diarrhea, but a double dose of 12 tablets seemed to prevent diarrhea completely.)

Source: Efficacy of Clostridium butyricum preparation concomitantly with Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy in relation to changes in the intestinal microbiota. Kyoto Imase, Motomichi Takahashi, Akifumi Tanaka, Kengo Tokunaga, Hajime Sugano, Mamoru Tanaka, Hitoshi Ishida, Shigeru Kamiya and Shin’ichi Takahashi. Microbiology and Immunology. Volume 52, Issue 3, Version of Record online: 8 APR 2008.

Closing

I’ll have more coming on leaky gut, anxiety, pathogenic gut infections, and more!

Terri

Butyrate Series, Part 8

Hello! I have not stopped working on and constructing butyrate posts (or other posts, like recipes and homeschooling posts), but I haven’t been able to complete them in a very timely manner. Whew! Homeschooling is hard work! However, I’m ready to start posting the next installment of my Butyrate Series. Let’s look at another way to potentially increase butyrate production in the body. . .

Warning: Writing up what I’ve learned about certain topics is simply a hobby of mine. It’s my entertainment and way to unwind from motherhood, homeschooling, and housework. When you read my writing, I’d like you to enter into an agreement with me: you read it to see what I think I’ve learned, but you do not read it with the thought that I am some expert or that I can possibly help you. I can’t help you. Supplements and treatments discussed enthusiastically on the internet can be dangerous. You, however, armed with knowledge and curiosity, can take the initiative to safely and non-ignorantly make a difference for yourself. This site is not medical advice.

Probiotics to (directly) increase butyrate

The Japanese have used a strain of Clostridium butyricum, a direct butyrate-producing bacteria, as a probiotic since about the 1970s. Savvy health professionals know butyrate best for its gut benefits (healing leaky gut, improving the mucous barrier, and improving motility), but it also has positive effects on the kidneys, brain, and metabolism–not to mention colon cancer prevention. Despite its structural simplicity, the little short chain fatty acid called butyrate truly makes a powerful, all-encompassing health difference.

Personally, my favorite way to increase butyrate in the body is NOT to take supplements– but to eat green bananas, leftover boiled cassava root, and/or leftover potatoes. Aiming to eat whole, real food is always best, but it may not be enough for select problems.  I get that. So I’m curious about all the other ways to increase butyrate.

If you have read any of my butyrate posts, you may remember that I outlined and explored four potential ways to increase the body’s butyrate levels:

  1. Eat butyrate-rich foods, like butter from grass-fed cows.
  2. Eat foods that butyrate-producing bacteria like to metabolize, particularly green bananas, green plantains, refrigerated and then reheated potatoes, beans, lentils, cassava root, and/or rice.
  3. Take butyrate supplements directly.
  4. Take probiotics which contain bacteria known to make butyrate.

Since last writing, I’ve expanded my list of potential butyrate-producing methods that I’d maybe eventually like to write about:

5. Take probiotics which support butyrate-producing bacteria in the GI tract.
6.  Consume prebiotic fibers which enhance butyrate production by GI tract bacteria.
7. Maybe we could somehow upregulate our colonic butyrate importers, such as MCT1 and SMCT1. (1, 2)

My other butyrate posts have waded through points one through three. After quite a gap in my writing due to my work raising four wonderful people in the early stages of life, let’s talk about point number four: probiotics which contain bacteria known to directly make butyrate.

Commercially available butyrate-producing probiotics

The only direct butyrate-producing bacteria (that I found) that we have available as a probiotic for human consumption is Clostridium butyricum. Quite a bit of searching turned up only two different probiotic brands to buy with Clostridium butyricum. (Have you seen any others I’ve missed?) Although both probiotics contain spores of the same species, Clostridium butyricum, they are different strains of the species.

When ingested, the bacterial spores germinate and grow in the intestinal tract, making the short chain fatty acids butyrate and acetate (6). Both strains and brands have studies behind them for various health conditions which I’ll try to discuss in this thread of posts (but not in this post today). Both probiotics can be found on Amazon.

  1. MIYAIRI 588 (CBM 588) Miyarisan Tablets
  • A one-strain probiotic of Clostridium butyricum
  • Manufactured in Japan and distributed there as an over-the-counter medicine
  • Commonly available and used in Asia
  • Available in two strengths: standard and strong. If you look at my citation number 4, you’ll find the recommended dose and much, much more about this probiotic.
  • Other listed ingredients are lactose, corn starch, talc, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate
  • History: First isolated from feces by Dr. Chikaji Miyairi in Japan in 1933. CBM 588 is the 588th MIYAIRI strain, isolated from a soil sample in Nagano, Japan in 1963.
  • As mentioned, the probiotic is composed of spores of C. butyricum (rather than “live,” active bacteria), which are then activated in the gastrointestinal tract, making the probiotic quite shelf stable with no refrigeration required. (3, 4)

2. Advanced Orthomolecular Research Probiotic-3

  • A three-strain probiotic which includes Clostridium butyricum TO-A, Enterococcus faecium (same as Streptococcus faecalis) T-110, and Bacillus subtilis TO-A (some places I see the label with Bacillus mesentericus)
  • Only the Clostridium butyricum is the direct butyrate-producing bacteria
  • Also contains lactose, potato starch, polyvinyl alcohol, providone, and sodium stearyl fumarate
  • If I understand correctly, it contains Bio-Three probiotic formula. I believe the “TO-A” implies that the strain was produced by the TOA Pharmaceutical company in Japan (inferred from Bio-Three website). The Bio-Three formulation is used in Japan, and has studies behind it.
  • No refrigeration necessary. As with the Miyairi probiotic, the Clostridium butyricum is in the shelf-stable spore form. (5)

About Clostridia and the bacterial species Clostridium butyricum in general

When we are about one month old, different commensal species of Clostridia start to colonize our gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. They are supposed to be there and provide specific and essential benefits to us without causing harm. Since we only typically hear of the toxic Clostridial diseases like botulism, tetanus, and “C. diff.,”  it may sound strange to some of you to know you healthfully have an abundance of clostridium residing in your GI tract! If you think of Clostridia as a “bad” class of bacteria, you might find it even more disturbing and confusing to know that a known pathogen like Clostridium difficile (the culprit in C. diff pseudomembranous colitis) can be part of a normal human gut biome or can actually prevent infection. (6-9)

[Opinionated aside: The fascinating idea that a strain of C. difficile, a bacteria we think of as toxic, can be normal flora supports why I would argue with people that we have to stop oversimplifying health, stop trying to peg things, and start convincing people to do complete overhauls to their modern lifestyles and mindsets to bring the body into rhythm with itself. Don’t just take butyrate supplements and butyrate-enhancing probioitics—investigate your life, eating, habits and make impact changes. Being honest with and scrutinizing oneself often hurts for several months, but if done properly, you move past the pain, and healing and change can begin. Perfection will never be reached in this realm, but progress feels so good to a mind and body.]

Clostridium butyricum is one species of Clostridia bacteria. It is Gram-positive, rod-shaped, and anaerobic. It lives in soil and in the GI tracts of birds and mammals and can be found on the skins of potatoes, Swedes, and even in cream and yoghurt. It ferments starches to produce butyrate. When C. butyricum is exposed to a stressful environment, it can form endospores, an alternative form which allows it to survive the stressful conditions, to later reactivate when exposed to desirable conditions. It is the spores which are used in the probiotic formulation, allowing them to be shelf-stable without refrigeration for several years. (3, 4)

Some of you may have read about the clusters of clostridia and wondered about that. The Clostridia microbiological class (to which C. butyricum belongs) is exceptionally diverse, and even the commonly accepted shared characteristics, such as being rod-shaped (bacillus), anaerobic, and spore forming, have variations and exceptions to the rules. In the attempt to break down, stratify, and classify the types of Clostridia, the species C. butyricum is categorized into what is called “Cluster I Clostridia.” Cluster I Clostridia aren’t common inhabitants of the human gut. Human guts seem to mostly contain butyrate-producing bacteria from Clostridium clusters IV and XIVa rather than cluster I, but some human GI tracts do contain Clostridium butyricum, so clearly it does naturally happen. Fecal studies have found Clostridium butyricum in about 10-20% of its surveys. (6-9)

For all practical purposes, C. butyricum is a non-toxic clostridium species, but there have been reports that it can acquire some of the toxic genes from other clostridia, leading to production of poisonous toxins which may contribute to infant botulism or infant necrotizing enterocolitis. Regarding adults, one case of sepsis from Clostridium butyricum has been reported in an intravenous drug user and one case of antibiotic associated diarrhea has been reported. The complexities of toxin acquisition/production depend on the strain, the host, and interactions with other strains. Some strains of Clostridium butyricum are probiotic and beneficial and other strains show virulence. The probiotic strains mentioned are tested for non-virulence.  (6, 7)

Closing

I’ll cut off this post for today and try to clean up my next writing segment regarding specific uses of the probiotic Clostridium butyricum. I do not have it “polished up” yet, but posting this half will force my hand to get the rest of it tidied up and posted for those interested. I’d like it if you’d point out typos or mis-information to me so I can make corrections. Thanks in advance.

Please keep in mind: I don’t really care about probiotics or bacteria or food. What I really care about is that you grasp your life, your whole life, and tenaciously latch on to the things that are good and real– and that you weed out the things that are bad for you and noxious. I love life. I’ve had my share of challenges, smaller than many, bigger than some. But no matter what, I try to choose to face life HEAD ON with as much transparency as I can. And each new day, each new week, each new stress, shows me how to become more true and real.

The best to you,

Terri F

Citations:

  1. Pedro Gancalves, Fa’tima Martel. Butyrate and Colorectal Cancer: The Role of Butyrate Transport. Current Drug Metabolism. Volume 14, Issue 9, 2013.
  2. Pedro Gonçalves, Fátima Martel. Regulation of colonic epithelial butyrate transport: Focus on colorectal cancer. Biomedical Journal. Volume 1, Issue 3, July–August 2016, Pages 83-91.
  3. Wikipedia site regarding Clostridium butyricumhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_butyricum
  4. Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588 Novel Food Application, public version: C. butyricum MIYAIRI 588 as a novel food supplement.  Probiotic food supplement. Miyarisan pharmaceutical company, LTD. https://acnfp.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/mnt/drupal_data/sources/files/multimedia/pdfs/clostridiumbutyricumdossier.pdf
  5. Bio-Three website: http://www.bio-three.com/
  6. N.Cassir, S.Benamar, B.La Scola. Clostridium butyricum: from beneficial to a new emerging pathogen. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages 37-45. Review. 
  7. Rousseau, Clotilde & Poilane, Isabelle & De Pontual, Loic & Maherault, Anne-Claire & Le Monnier, Alban & Collignon, Anne. Clostridium difficile Carriage in Healthy Infants in the Community: A Potential Reservoir for Pathogenic Strains. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2012. 55. 1209-15.
  8. CS Cummins and JL Johnson. Taxonomy of the Clostridia : Wall Composition and DNA Homologies in Clostridium butyricum and Other Butyric Acid-producing Clostridia. Journal of General Microbiology.   (197 I), 67,33-46
  9. Lopetuso LR, Scaldaferri F, Petito V, Gasbarrini A. Commensal Clostridia: leading players in the maintenance of gut homeostasis. Gut Pathogens. 2013;5:23. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-5-23.

 

On Waiting Patiently for What You Want

When the hour comes, find it. Don’t let it pass. But don’t force it. Wait on it. Wait on it. Like waiting to make a left-hand turn at a busy intersection. If you wait patiently long enough, your opportunity comes. Ignore the honking of your brain telling you to, “Go. Go now.” You know the time’s not right. You’d be cutting it too close.

I’m waiting on the routine hour or two of writing time I had in the past for this blog to come back to me. I know it will when the toddler gets a little older and doesn’t need my hands and feet so much from morning to night. I’m waiting patiently and calmly on my “left turn.” I know it will come. Yes, I get a little resentful at times that carving out an hour to write seems to be impossible without throwing the house out of equilibrium too much somewhere else. But it will come IF and AS I am patiently and persistently waiting on it.

Is there a place in life where you need to be patiently and persistently looking for that nice interval to get back in the flow of traffic again? I’m waiting and watching with you. I won’t turn into traffic and crash, and I won’t wait for midnight to make an easy, but too late, turn. I’m on the lookout for that good, timely opening. It always comes if I’m looking for it.

I have been absent here simply because I cannot get to the laptop to research and write. Thankfully, everything in “our little box” (my home) is going refreshingly well, one of those few lulls that life gives you every now and then! I just can’t carve out writing time! I’ve tried staying up late. That didn’t work. I’ve tried going to the library. That doesn’t work. And so on. But, I’ll figure it out. And I hope, in nutrition, health, education, whatever it is, I hope you do too!

Don’t give up. Look for a way. Problem solve. Wait patiently, yet with a steady persistent vision.

Hope to write more soon! But only as traffic and my driving skills allow! Thanks for your vote of confidence in reading what I write. It is valued.

Terri

 

My Experience With Working and Homeschooling

For two years I worked as a physician (as a hospitalist, if you know what that is) and homeschooled. It was a crazy time of life for me, and I didn’t like the chaos. Some of my best friends with kids say that working keeps them sane. Or that it makes them better parents. I kind of wondered at first what was wrong with me. Why wasn’t I a happy and working mom? Or a happy working and homeschooling mom? Was I somehow weak or flawed? Was I just not capable of being a modern woman?

Nah. I know I’m as capable as the next man or woman. But I didn’t want to do it. Homeschooling, “mommy-ing,” and working concomitantly didn’t make my heart happy. It didn’t add to my life. I don’t like frazzle. I don’t like chronic chaos. I don’t like being spread thin. And, notably, I could not make the transfer from work to kids. In some ways, I feel more “man” in this regard than my husband (who is what I call “all guy”), who can walk in the door and be fully vested in us, granting hugs all around.

Not me! Me? Point me to the nearest man cave! After a 12 hour day of work back in the day, I was like, “I’d prefer it if I didn’t see anyone until the Queen (me) has bathed, fully supped, checked her written correspondence, and then, perhaps then, she’ll grant kisses on chubby little hands on their way to bed.”

WHOA! Who wants that woman for a mom? WHO wants to be that woman? Not me! I didn’t like that me! I’m a good, kind, loving, and compassionate mom, and I needed to create the environment that allowed the real mommy-me to shine.

So when people ask me, “Can you work and homeschool?” My answer is, “Of course you can! I don’t want to, but you sure can!” I thought I’d share myself as a case-study for those exploring this question for themselves. Perchance, by seeing some of yourself–or NOT seeing yourself–in me, you’ll be better prepared to answer the question with awareness of yourself.

Yes, this helps…

First let’s look at the properties of my life that allowed me to feel comfortable homeschooling and working for a while:

  • An exceptionally supportive husband
  • Very flexible hours
  • Kind co-workers
  • Only homeschooling one child at first, who was in her early years (kindergarten through about second grade)
  • I kept the curriculum basic and felt 90% free to adapt it to how she learned (which wasn’t how I wanted her to learn…).
  • Living in a warm climate which allowed lots of outdoor time
  • Good friends already in place for my kids to hang out with on weekends and evenings (These friends went to school and were not homeschooled.)
  • A strong homeschool co-op for activities as we wanted them and where we could (and did!) meet new friends when I wasn’t working
  • I sent one younger sibling to a wonderful morning pre-school which she loved, leaving just the baby who still napped, so we could homeschool during morning nap time on my days off.
  • My daughter was young enough to cooperate with some weekend and evening work if we didn’t get things done.
  • My female doctor friends from medical school encouraging me to follow my heart

Mmm. That doesn’t sound pleasant…

Now let’s look at the other side which really began limiting a positive homeschooling and life experience:

  • I was tired all the time and very forgetful. I physically felt bad and wondered what was wrong with me.
  • The part of me that needs alone time to recover was battered, raped, and abused.
  • Work called more and I could give less. I felt guilty because my co-workers were good people who worked too much themselves, and here I was telling them “no.”
  • My kids needed me more and I felt guilty.
  • My husband wanted me and he was last on the list.
  • Physical messes in my home affect me greatly and with me gone working, there were more physical messes.
  • The schoolwork started requiring more time and effort.
  • It just didn’t feel like there was time for the refrigerator to break, the air conditioning to need fixed, fleas to get in the house, doctor’s appointments, sick days—-in general, no time for life to happen.
  • Schoolwork didn’t happen well without me there to guide it or push it along. (I had a recalcitrant student who has now blossomed incredibly.) A sitter or grandparent just didn’t have the same effect as mom.
  • I had a toddler. Toddlers are very demanding.
  • I had a nursing baby.
  • I was perpetually irritable.

Why do I need this?

When working and homeschooling became more than I wanted to piggyback, then I stopped and looked at WHY I wanted to work:

  • I had loans to pay off.
  • Because I had put SO much effort into getting where I was at! Twelve years of my life and tons of delayed gratification!
  • I liked being a hospitalist doctor a lot. Taking care of hospitalized, acutely ill patients is usually very rewarding.
  • Work offered rhythm, constancy, and community. When I walked into the hospital, I knew exactly what to expect. (Yes, each day and patient was different! But the rhythm of the system was the same.)
  • It worked a whole different part of my brain than child rearing and housework, and that felt good. Kind of like a back rub for the brain!
  • To provide a sense of equality with my husband in our household. (I’m a wee-bit competitive.)
  • I felt respected and well-liked.
  • I felt it was a service still being asked of me by my God.
  • I didn’t want to be “just” a stay-at-home mom.

Maybe if…

I often sit around, just for fun, and wonder what would have allowed me to homeschool and work. I think maybe I could have done both if:

  • I had immediate family living in the same town
  • Someone else would have been as good as I was at getting my daughter to do her work
  • If external chaos didn’t faze me so strongly
  • If my life situation necessitated it
  • My husband had a knack for teaching young children
  • The kids weren’t so young
  • I could have lowered expectations in all areas of my life
  • Monkeys flew and unicorns swam

Closing

Many people find my little spot here when they are searching about homeschooling and quitting work. I liked working as a medical doctor, but once I had kids, the same overachieving, perfectionist, benevolent tendencies that allowed me to succeed in medicine are the exact same traits that demanded me to achieve success my way in motherhood. I wish I could have it all: work, kids, homeschooling, a happy me, a happy marriage, exercise, three real-food-meals a day, friends, a clean and tidy house, sleep, a well-decorated house, church, a new kitchen, a dog, a blog, flying monkeys and swimming unicorns.

But I can’t. For me, I decided I didn’t need professional satisfaction or resting on laurels. I did need to keep learning and sharing (so I study and write little articles for this blog on alternative health). I needed to know I could work if necessary or desired (so I keep my licenses up). I needed to know that I was providing safety, security, and a strong psychological, emotional, educational, and spiritual core for my kids (and me!!!!). I needed to have time to foster a relationship with my husband. I needed some semblance of order.

No matter what—I don’t need aeronautical primates or aquatic, horned equines that just don’t exist.

Good luck to you! It’s a “live, studio audience,” so feel free to ask questions or leave comments on your experience.

Terri

Photo attribution:  Sonarpulse. origenal:Huji [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

More Diet Advice to a Friend

You’re “fat” and you’re determined to do something about that. But you’re overwhelmed at the road ahead of you, which you’ve skipped down before, thinking, “This time! This time!” Darn it– that time and that time must have been circular highways, because somehow you ended back here at fat again.

Again. Again. Why is it always again? You’ve lost 8.1256 pounds this month’s go-round, but do you really have what it takes to ditch 50 pounds for FORever?

Forever means like, well, forever. Never stop. Ever. Suddenly, you dip your head, slump your shoulders, let out a deep sigh, and look at the ground. Maybe I can’t do it, you think. Why try?

Why try? Why try? I’ll tell you why. For every ray of sunshine that rises in the morning. For every star in the evening sky. For every smudge on the wall from the hand of your child. For every kiss from your husband. For me writing this post. For you wanting it so badly. For your liver, heart, brain, hormones, ovaries (if you have them) and knees, all weight-sensitive body parts.

Don’t be overwhelmed. You can do this! While it IS all about the long haul, the victory is won in the moment! Every moment presents each of us with the same important question: Will I keep my motivation in this moment? Not, “Will I keep my motivation for a year?” Or, “Can I eat this way for 30 days?” NO. Repeatedly for the rest of our lives the question is, “Will I keep my motivation in THIS moment?” And if you don’t, you truly, really do have the next moment.

Motivational Baloney

That’s great talk, Terri. That’s  motivational. For a moment. Till I fail. Motivational speakers help us for a moment. And only a moment. Everybody knows that.

That’s right. That’s right. That’s 100% true. The only person who can change anything is you. But I believe in you.

My mom once told me, “Terri, I wish I had your self-confidence.” I about fell off of my chair. First, this is the woman who made me most of who I am. Second, I’m not that self-confident. I believe in myself. I believe I can find a way. I don’t give up easily when handed a problem. But when I was on the volleyball end-line serving the game-point serve for the win, I really didn’t want to be there, despite a 98% successful serving percentage. When I started writing about nutrition, I was scared, thinking maybe the die-hard Paleo, Raw Foodists, low-carbers, Mediterranean dieters, or heck, even the food pyramid advocates were right. Doubt assailed, and continues to assail, me like a mad hornet. I have enough self-doubt for about 20 people. (Want some? No, no. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to show you it can be done, self-doubt and all.)

I’m helping my good friend Annie again with her forever weight loss plan, and I’m sharing things we talk about. I don’t know if I’m “qualified” or not. I’m not a nutritionist or a health coach or even a practicing physician anymore. You should check out everything you read here and not act blindly on any of it, especially health-related stuff. I can’t know the ins and outs of your story. I know I once struggled with bulimia and food addiction. I know obesity runs in my family. I know I’ve gained a new assurance around food, what I eat, and why I eat it with each passing year, and I know it’s required a hard look at my diet, my thought life, my history, my spirituality, and my driving motivation.

I’ve read about obese people losing all their weight and arriving at skinny, only to realize it didn’t provide the peace and security they envisioned. I don’t want that for any of you. This means interior work must be a priority as well as exterior work. I believe we are presented with problems in life to reach wholeness. It’s better than any video game you could ever play or design.

Doubtful and overwhelming thoughts crave full expression, not submersion. 

We’re only as strong as our ability to express our greatest weaknesses and fears. If you want to put obesity behind you, you have to face-to-face encounter your negative feelings. Instead of submerging negative feelings, they MUST be met and offered the light of day. I mean, for crying out loud, they’re there! The way people try to hide things is almost comical, if it wasn’t so sad. Hiding dirty socks under the bed for too long just keeps the room SMELLY!

I beg you to work very hard all day to catch negative emotions and name them. They are the junk food poisoning your brain and keeping you obese, telling you words like:

  • always
  • never
  • failure
  • can’t do it
  • too much
  • overwhelmed
  • stressed
  • weak
  • ugly
  • fat
  • too hard

So remember.

Permanently losing weight comes one choice, each moment at a time. You can change any bad choice now and from this choice onward.

Permanently losing weight requires cleaning up your thought life by identifying your feelings and expressing them fully to yourself. Start this assignment today. Now. (And teach it to your kids and spouse.) How did this article make you feel? Why?

Weight loss itself will NOT bring you happiness. Permanently changing the patterns that keep you on the circular highway of weight loss will.

You are worth it. Your body is worth it. Your kids are worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your God is worth it. Persist despite your awareness of self-doubt.

I’ll keep sharing ideas that Annie and I discuss as they come up. There are MANY. If permanent weight loss was just moderately hard, you’d have done it a long time ago!

Terri