“Disease-causing bacteria talk to each other with a chemical vocabulary,” says Doug Hibbins of Princeton University. Multiple studies have shown that during the time a biofilm is being created, the pathogens inside it can communicate with each other thanks to a phenomenon called quorum sensing. This process always them to create a stronger fort and multiply quickly. Whether it is in our gut or on our teeth, bacteria survive and thrive in a structure that they create around themselves.
If you run your tongue along your teeth after a long day and feel a slimy coating, this stuff is the beginning of biofilm. Little bugs, which are found everywhere inside and outside the body, create biological homes using a mixture of sugars and proteins. These structures are pretty tough. For example, biofilm in the mouth is dental plaque, that hard stuff the dentist scrapes off your teeth with a special dental tool.
In a healthy gut that is filled with beneficial microflora, the biofilm that they create is thin mucus. This healthy biofilm allows the passage of nutrients through the intestinal wall. Healthy gut biofilm is moistening, lubricating, and anti-inflammatory. An unhealthy gut biofilm, as you might suspect, does all the wrong things. For example, an unhealthy gut biofilm:
- Prevents the full absorption of nutrients across the intestinal wall.
- Protects disease-causing microorganisms from the immune system.
- Protects disease-causing microorganisms from antibiotics and antifungals (this means both herbal and pharmaceutical-grade).
- Promotes inflammation.
- Houses toxins like heavy metals.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, which are often thought to have an infectious root.
- Systemic Candida overgrowth.
- Heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux).
- Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which includes symptoms like heartburn, bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, brain fog, arthritis, acne, and other skin conditions.
- Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Unhealthy biofilm allows some infections to persist for years. This means that the body may become more susceptible to other infections, or co-infections, as well as other chronic degenerative diseases.
Apple cider vinegar, a popular all-purpose home remedy and household cleaning agent, is an acetic acid solution. Apple cider vinegar strips away important minerals from the biofilm matrix. It can be taken internally for this purpose.
There are two ways to rebuild your gut flora
1. Eat a diet of whole and nutrient-dense foods. Eating this way sounds like a lot work, and it is. But your health matters. Think of it this way: if you only cut out all processed flours, sugars, and refined oils, you are off to a good start!
2. Eat a diet rich in beneficial microbes. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and natto, cultured sauces and dips with sour cream and yogurt and spend money on a good probiotic taken withkefir each morning.