In the microbiology world, microbes do not normally live as free-floating throughout our gastrointestinal tract. Microorganisms naturally prefer to live in protected communities called biofilm. An example, would be dental plaque or the film covering the mouth when we first wake up.

Microbes prefer to live within biofilm because it increases their survival. It is highly resistant to physical stresses such as the force that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract as it contracts. This resistance allows biofilms to develop and persist in favorable environments without dislodgement. Within biofilms, microorganisms are protected from being attacked from invaders including our body’s immune responses.

What is the importance of biofilm? Biofilm is increasingly recognized as a major factor in chronic diseases. The presence of biofilm explains why many common infections are difficult to treat with antimicrobial agents and are characterized by recurrent relapses. Antimicrobial agents may improve symptoms as pathogens are killed, but the underlying source of infection are within their protective biofilm, and cannot be eradicated.

Hundreds of microbial species call the gastrointestinal tract home. They outnumber human cells by a factor of 10 and have more than 100 times the amount of genetic information. The gastrointestinal microflora prefers life within biofilm. There are healthy gastrointestional biofilms as well as pathogenic gastrointestinal biofilms. Pathogenic biofilms are found in inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. Candida species also form biofilms. The combination of antifungals with agents designed to disrupt biofilm along with pro- and prebiotics to reestablish a balanced, healthy gastrointestinal balance may offer an innovative approach to treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other chronic disorders associated with gastrointestinal dysbiosis and Candida biofilms.

Approaches to pathogenic biofilm: A nonpharmaceutical approach to pathogenic biofilm eradication involves the use of digestive enzymes and chelating agents available as nutritional supplements together with naturally occurring antimicrobial agents.

Bacteria and fungi prefer life within biofilm communities where they are protected from predation, antimicrobials, and immune responses. Biofilm is increasingly implicated in a variety of acute and chronic diseases.

Our office works with many patients with these conditions. Dr. Jurgelewicz uses a product that has a unique enzyme formation especially designed to break down biofilm as well as degrade bacterial and yeast cell wall structures.

Life on the Edge: The Clinical Implications of Gastrointestinal Biofilm. Stephen Olmstead, MD, Dennis Meiss, PhD, and Janet Ralston, BS.

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