Biofilm Busting Protocol for H. pylori and Other Gram-Negative Bacteria
A specific question has been asked a lot lately, “what is you biofilm busting protocol? Most of these questions have been directed to me by those diagnosed with or think they may have H. pylori bacterial infection or Lyme Disease (See also: Biofilms of Borrelia burgdorferi And Clinical Implications for Chronic borreliosis by Alan B. MacDonald, MD). The reason that I’ve put this “biofilm busting protocol” post together is because of this fact: “the day I discovered how to handle biofilm in the human body, was the day that chronic conditions, from the sinus to the prostate, were no longer a ‘project’, so to speak, to handle.” I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like help with an intestinal or biofilm-related problem, please go here.
First, a little about biofilm:
Fig. 1: The biofilm life cycle. 1: individual cells populate the surface. 2: An extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced and attachment becomes irreversible. 3 & 4: biofilm architecture develops and matures. 5: single cells are released from the biofilm.
Here is an excerpt from a Klaire Labs, product monograph, which is a basic primer on the topic (My additions are in RED) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 60% of all human infections and 80% of refractory infections (def. unresponsive to medical treatment) are attributable to biofilm colonies. I have seen this, most commonly, in cases I’ve worked up, where the pathogen is: Chlamydia pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Helicobacter pylori, [Lyme disease – Borrelia burgdorferi] and Candida albicans.
- The protection conferred upon microorganisms by biofilm allows them to achieve a high level of antibiotic resistance, stealth, and invisibility.
- Biofilm not only provides a physical barrier to antimicrobial agents (pharmaceutical antibiotics) and host antibodies but facilitate the exchange of antibiotic-resistant genetic material between organisms and may contain antibiotic-degrading (hydrolysing) enzymes such as b-lactamase, effectively neutralizing incoming antibiotic (b-lactam antibiotics) molecules.
- In fact, biofilm communities can be 400-1000 times more resistant to antibiotics than free-floating bacteria.
- The decreased growth rate of sessile microorganisms (def. Permanently attached to a substrate; not free to move about; “an attached oyster”) also reduces their antibiotic susceptibility as most antimicrobial agents require rapid cell growth in order to effectively kill or inhibit the microbes. Biofilm thus renders pathogenic microorganisms enormously difficult to eradicate, and can almost single-handedly contribute to localized or systemic inflammatory reactions and delayed wound healing. “…. Once established, however, biofilm infections persist. They are rarely resolved by host defense mechanisms, even in individuals with healthy innate and adaptive immune reactions. Active host responses, such as invading neutrophils (the most abundant type of white blood cells in mammals and form an essential part of the innate immune system), can even be detrimental since those cells can cause collateral damage to neighboring healthy host tissue. Biofilm infections respond only transiently to antibiotic therapy.” James Garth, PhD
- Depending on the type of biofilm, one or more species of pathogens may be found embedded in the extracellular polymeric substance (def. Composed primarily of polysaccharides and can either stay attached to the cell’s outer surface or be secreted into its growth medium). Bacterial extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) may be a carrier of, or may have heavy metals embedded in them, thus the indication for chelation w/EDTA. EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, is a chelating agent used to lower one’s body burden of heavy metals).
Pathogenic bacteria known to reside in biofilms include, but are not limited to: Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria), Escherichia coli, Candida albicans (yeast and fungal mutation), Clostridium difficile (the most common cause of GI infection, a growing epidemic and the reason why an Organic Acids Test is so Important to perform), Clostridium perfringens, Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Vibrio cholerae. Chlamydophila species such as Chlamydia pneumoniae don’t form biofilm, as they are intercellular, but may somehow get accidentally get caught up in them before entering a host cell. Here is a good video on Chlamydia and biofilm (Video [biofilm section 7:45 min. mark] – Dr. Wilmore Webley on C. pneumoniae & Biofilms).
The number of human diseases shown to be associated with biofilm is ever expanding and includes chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis (chronic sinus infections), cystic fibrosis pneumonia, infective endocarditis, periodontitis, recurrent otitis media (ear infection), and virtually all device and implant related infections. Strong evidence is also beginning to emerge for an etiologic (causative) role of pathogenic mucosal biofilm in gastrointestinal diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): SIBO, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and possibly leaky gut.
Dr. Marcus Ettinger’s Biofilm Busting Protocol:
Please Do Not Self Treat! For more information on why I’m suggesting this, read my updated, update below.
A. Biofilm Busting Products. This is just a partial list of the products that can be used, and not all of these products will be, or should be, used at the same time. Additional nutraceuticals may be needed, based on each individual’s unique situation and genetics.
- Monolaurin or Lauricidin [AKA Glyceryl laurate or glycerol monolaurate] (monolaurin information).
- Nattokinase (a potent oral fibrinolytic enzyme supplement) Some prefer Boluoke Lumbrokinase.
- InterFase Plus™ (broad-spectrum enzyme formula w/EDTA – The non-EDTA version can be used by those who can’t tolerate that ingredient)
- NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)
- Lactoferrin (I like Nutricillin by Ecological Formulas) Dr. Anju Usman of Illinois states, “Our bodies make proteins, transferrin and lactoferrin, which mop up iron and block the ability of biofilm to form,” she said. “But pathogenic bacteria secrete iron chelators to snatch up iron and thus compete with the transferrin and lactoferrin for what they need to survive.”
- Xylitol (sugar alcohol)
- Nutiva Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil (42-52% Medium Chain Fatty Acids [MCFA], lauric acid, by volume)
- Serrapeptase (a potent oral fibrinolytic enzyme supplement)
- Turmeric, Neem oil, Reishi Mushroom
- BFB-1™ & BFB-2™
- Smilax Officinalis
- Carbonized Bamboo
IMPORTANT; PLEASE READ: Updated, Update – 19 August 2014 (Original: 08 Aug 2013): I have been helping patients with H. pylori, a biofilm-producing bacteria, for almost 7 years now. In the beginning, eradicating this bug was very easy, in my opinion. As time progressed I noticed that the same protocol I had been using was becoming less and less effective – on first-timers, not re-treatments. There are now H. pylori strains that are now ‘multiple drug-resistant’. Medically there is no real explanation for this. Energetically there is a very good explanation, for me anyway, based on the research done by Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., on Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance. Please read about his theory for further clarification.
Because of this new shift in loss of effectiveness, in some patients, I have had to use more than one round of products or add more products to the protocol. The end result has always been eradication but it’s now taking more to achieve this result. Also, there are many people contacting me and letting me know that they have undergone triple and quadruple therapies to no avail. This proves in my mind that biofilm and the bacteria that create them are learning to defend themselves more effectively. They are adapting and mutating, genetically, to survive. Good for them and bad for us.
My theory is that with the introduction of hundreds of blogs, chat-rooms and websites devoted to H. pylori and biofilm, more and more people are self-treating. This self-treating is not killing the H. pylori or eliminating the biofilm but to the contrary, making them both stronger by building up the biofilm defense. Every time a bacteria that produces a biofilm is unsuccessfully treated it becomes more resistant to the next protocol. When this is combined with the theory of Morphic Fields, it’s no wonder that H. pylori and biofilm eradication is becoming harder and harder to achieve. The point of all of this is that there is still effective treatment options available, it may just take a little more time and/or more products, allopathic (Prevpac or Pylera) and/or natural to get to the desired end result – H. pylori and biofilm eradication.
Lastly, I am not against self-treating per se. The issue is that the information, out on the web, on biofilm and H. pylori, is not comprehensive or clear enough for the layperson to be their own doctor or to successfully self-treat. I have always advocated and promoted that if you want to get better with or at something, you need a coach who is an expert in that field or subject. There are times and places where self-help is good , but biofilm and H. pylori treatment is not one of them. This is just my opinion.
Additional Data – Interview with Dr. Cohen concerning biofilm and enzyme therapies (Nattokinase and Lumbrokinase) and “Effect of xylitol on an in vitro model of oral biofilm“ – PubMed (I have seen increased effectiveness since adding this to the protocol)
B. Avoid supplemental forms of minerals, especially: iron, magnesium, and calcium during the biofilm protocol, as they may contribute to biofilm formation or increase biofilm density, thus decreasing the overall effectiveness of the biofilm protocol.
C. Take a broad-spectrum probiotic and prebiotic – Do not use either if you have SIBO. I like Progurt, Xymogen’s ProbioMax Daily DF or Biotics Research BioDof 7. VSL-3 can also be used (for a short period only) as well as Elaine Gotschall’s SCD™ yoghurt. These products will help to crowd out the bad bacteria, and also help disrupt and replace biofilm colonies along the mucous membrane.
D. Saccharomyces boulardii is another addition that will have positive benefits in any H. pylori, SIBO or Candida eradication protocol. Make sure there isn’t a prebiotic in the formulation.
A recent meta-analysis involving 14 RCTs (1671 patients) evaluated the role of probiotics in H. pylori eradication [Tong et al. 2007]. In patients with H. pylori infection, probiotic supplementation improved eradication rates and reduced treatment-related side effects and individual symptoms [Tong et al. 2007]. In this meta-analysis, only one RCT evaluated S. boulardii and found that it decreased the risk of diarrhea when given concomitantly to patients receiving triple eradication therapy for H. pylori [Duman et al. 2005]. S. boulardii induces morphologic changes in H. pylori cells consistent with cellular damage [Vandenplas et al. 2009] and was shown to cause a reduction in H. pylori colonization in infected children by 12% [Gotteland et al. 2005]. Of four RCTs testing S. boulardii in H. pylori infections, two were in children [Gotteland et al. 2005; Hurduc et al. 2009] and two in adults [Cindoruk et al. 2007; Cremonini et al. 2002]. Although there was no significant difference in H. pylori eradication between the S. boulardii and placebo groups, a significantly lower relative rate of AAD (16.1–25%) was observed. In a recent meta-analysis, the H. pylori eradication rate in the triple therapy group was 71% and increased significantly to 80% with S. boulardii supplementation [Szajewska et al. 2010]. Thus, S. boulardii may not be effective in eradicating H. pylori alone, but it is effective in reducing the side effects of the standard triple therapy (Prevpac) or the quadruple therapy (Pylera).
E. Specific additions based on condition (This not a complete list):
- Candida albicans – SF722* (10-Undecenoic Acid) Thorne Research. This is as close as you can get to a medication and still be a natural substance. There are a few chat rooms blasting this product, based on who knows what – can’t make everyone happy. I’ve used SF722 for over 15 years and it is amazing – never a problem! *Do not take SF722 if you are allergic to fish. ADP by Biotics Research is also a dynamite product. There are many other amazing products that can be added to complement the SF722 and ADP. It’s really a matter of how many pills someone wants/doesn’t want to take per day or the severity of one’s condition, that will determine, if or which, additional products will be added. If the Candida albicans overgrowth is severe, has not responded to holistic methods or has mutated into its more virulent hyphal form/fungal infection (nails, underarms, groin or skin); Diflucan (fluconazole), a prescription medication, is my personal preference, but Nizoral (ketoconazole) can also be used. In Azole-resistant Candida albicans, lactoferrin must be added to either medication in order to increase their effectiveness. There are certain B vitamins, minerals and amino acids that possess synergistic properties and I find them indispensable when taking Diflucan (fluconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole), and for supporting candida (yeast/fungal) treatment, and die-off symptoms.
- Chlamydia pneumonia, Klebsiella pneumoniae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Pneumatrophin-PMG by Standard Process, Inc. I use this because it helps direct the body’s attention to the affected area and assists the body’s healing efforts to the lung, where it’s needed most. Apex Energetics, H-PLR is also a mandatory addition. I also like to use OOrganik-15™ and Pneuma-Zyme™ by Biotics Research with some of my patients who manifest asthma, a chronic cough and/or emphysema-like symptoms.
- H. pylori Protocol – My Story and Program
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis – Quercitin and Bromelain combination by Now Foods. Decreases inflammation and oxidant stress in the prostate while increasing local concentrations of beta-endorphins. Apex Energetics, H-PLR is also a mandatory addition.
E. Specific dietary restrictions and additions will need to be implemented. These will be determined on a case by case basis. After the desired result is achieved, there will need to be a rebuilding and regeneration protocol. This is as important as eliminating the biofilm.
Biofilm testing is also available through Fry Laboratories. Fry Laboratories, L.L.C. is an independent clinical diagnostic and research laboratory located in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are committed to understanding chronic diseases and contributing to their cure through advancements in diagnostics and basic science research with emphasis on chronic inflammatory diseases, vector-borne diseases, and their intersection. Our clinical diagnostic laboratory offers general and targeted immunology services in conjunction with standard and cutting edge infectious disease detection and identification technologies. Our signature services include microscopy for visual identification and quantification of a wide range of blood-borne pathogens, co-infection serology, biofilm detection, and genus-wide molecular detection technology with sequencing for individualized species and/or strain identification. We participate in both CAP and API quality control programs and provide worldwide testing service.
Diseases of Interest: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Veterans Illness, Chronic Lyme Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Crohn’s Disease.
Infections of Interest: Borrelia (Lyme), Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Q-Fever (Coxiella), Toxoplasma, Rickettsia, Plasmodium, XMRV
Important: This post is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician before starting any nutritional or biofilm protocol on your own.
Effect of ciprofloxacin and N-acetylcysteine on bacterial adherence and biofilm formation on ureteral stent surfaces – PubMed