- Biofilm Treatment Protocol: Natural Biofilm Disruptors That Work
- Signs you have a chronic biofilm infection
- The impact of biofilm on testing for root causes of IBS
- How Biofilm Makes Treatment Harder
- Natural biofilm disruptors
- The natural biofilm treatment protocol we use with our clients
- Recent developments in smart antibacterial surfaces to inhibit biofilm formation and bacterial infections – Journal of Materials Chemistry B (RSC Publishing)
- What Are Candida Biofilms? » The Candida Diet
- What Are Biofilms?
- Supplements to Fight Candida Biofilms
- Oregano oil
- Caprylic Acid
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- Breaking A Candida Biofilm
- 54 Natural Ways to Inhibit Biofilms
- Biofilms and Infection
- Why Are Biofilms Bad?
- Biofilms Are Resistant to Antibiotics:
- Current Methods of Treatment:
- Factors that Inhibit Biofilms: Natural Biofilm Disruptors
- Non-Herbal Biofilm Disruptors
Biofilm Treatment Protocol: Natural Biofilm Disruptors That Work
If you have a parasitic/bacterial (including SIBO)/yeast infection or overgrowth, particularly those with a history of treatment resistance, it is very ly you have an associated biofilm infection. This is because an estimated 80% of all GI infections are caused by biofilm-producing microbes.
Signs you have a chronic biofilm infection
While biofilm infections aren’t known for any specific symptoms, there are a few signs you might be suffering from a chronic biofilm infection.
While these are in no-way conclusive of a biofilm infection, here are a few signs to consider: > No/minimal pathogenic infections or overgrowths identified on comprehensive stool testing, despite chronic GI symptoms. > New infections show up on retesting, even after a round of antimicrobials.
This demonstrates that the biofilms have been sufficiently disrupted during the first round of treatment to show up on testing. > Previous treatments without natural biofilm disruptors have been unsuccessful.
The impact of biofilm on testing for root causes of IBS
When microorganisms are protected by their biofilm shield, they become almost invisible to detection, particularly for less sensitive forms of pathology testing. Planktonic microbes that have been released from the colony during dispersion become visible under a microscope. But those hiding inside a biofilm generally evade detection.
So when we are looking to see what bugs may be lurking inside your gut, they are often hiding in plain sight! This means that at times, it may appear as though you don’t have the kind of bugs we were expecting to see, and that are actually causing your symptoms. There is also the possibility that while some microbes may be detected – the planktonic ones – the full variety hiding in biofilm may not be detected.
It is for this reason that we recommend using a natural biofilm disruptor for at least two weeks prior to testing for IBS root causes. Which can be frustrating when you want to work out what is hiding in your gut quickly, we know. By disrupting the biofilm, we are more ly to get the full and accurate picture of exactly what is going on in the GI tract, and what we need to treat.
How Biofilm Makes Treatment Harder
When we can’t see the microorganisms or know just how much is there, effective treatment becomes difficult. This is because the quantity and type of microorganisms are what determine the types of antimicrobials required to help you heal. So if we can’t see all the microbes, we don’t know what to address.
Furthermore, just as biofilm provides a protective shield against detection, it also provides a level of protection against treatment. Antibiotics and antimicrobials can easily kill planktonic bacteria, but reaching those inside of biofilm can be difficult, as the antibiotic/antimicrobial agents cannot commonly penetrate the biofilm.
And in addition to this it has been suggested that any antibiotic that makes its way inside the biofilm may actually foster rather than prevent biofilm formation. These are just some of the many factors that contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance that has been occurring in recent years.
Since it has been established that biofilm formation and tenacious parasites, bacteria and fungi such as candida albicans seem to go hand-in-hand, researchers believe that antibiotic/antimicrobial treatment in combination with biofilm disruptors may be the answer to persistent infections. This certainly aligns with our experience in clinical practice and is why a natural biofilm disruptor needs to be included as part of any comprehensive IBS treatment protocol.
So how do we break apart the biofilm to reveal the colony of microbes hiding inside, and then create an effective biofilm treatment protocol?
Natural biofilm disruptors
Recently, discoveries have been made that suggest that microorganisms can communicate with one another via cell signalling which causes the same types of cells to form colonies together. This mechanism is known as Quorum Sensing – a secret code for bugs.
Quorum sensing allows the microorganism to work as a group, changing and adapting to their environment. Therefore, to rid the body of some types of biofilm requires interfering with quorum sensing and breaking down the biofilms.
Luckily there are many natural sources of quorum sensing inhibitors.
Foods and food-based supplements such as turmeric (containing Curcumin), garlic (containing ajoene and allicin), apple cider vinegar, vanilla beans, oregano oil (containing carvacrol) pomegranate (containing ellagic acid), and cinnamon (to name but a few) have been scientifically proven to disrupt or prevent biofilm formation.
The natural biofilm treatment protocol we use with our clients
At the moment, our go-to natural biofilm disruptor is Biofilm Defense by Kirkman Labs. We typically prefer blends for treating biofilms and the unique matrix-dissolving enzymes in Biofilm Defense seem to do the job.
It’s best taken 30 minutes before food and away from antimicrobials and other supplements. The recommended quantity to take is 1 capsule, daily. As with all supplements, we recommend only using this kind of product under the guidance of a skilled functional practitioner.
The product is currently available online here:
– Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VFK5Jy
– iHerb: https://iherb.co/jxFqaqr1
An alternative biofilm busting option is Klaire Labs, Interfase Plus, however this supplement contains egg and can be problematic for those who are sensitive. There are more alternatives, however we find that these can be challenging to use for various reasons, such as bromelain and papain which, in our experience, don’t work well for people who have SIBO.
Biofilm infections are a poorly understood part of chronic GI infections. Not only do they make detecting infections challenging, they also make effective treatment using conventional methods almost impossible.
But not anymore! We hope you found this blog helpful, and please make sure that any of your future protocols include a natural biofilm disruptor for the best chance of GI healing.
And if you are looking for more support to overcome an IBS label or other digestive symptoms, please visit the 'work with us' page to learn more.
Recent developments in smart antibacterial surfaces to inhibit biofilm formation and bacterial infections – Journal of Materials Chemistry B (RSC Publishing)
* Corresponding authors
a School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China
b Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wenzhou, China
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Fax: +86 577 88017524
Since their development over 70 years, antibiotics are still the most effective strategy to treat bacterial biofilms and infections. However, the overuse of antibiotics in human healthcare and industrial applications has resulted in the development of serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Therefore, alternative ways to prevent bacteria attachment and biofilm formation are urgently needed. Recently, mediated biofilm formation processes and smart antibacterial surfaces have emerged as promising strategies to prevent and treat bacterial infections.
This review discusses the recent progress in biofilm interference and smart antibacterial surfaces. Smart antibacterial and anti-biofilm surfaces should be responsive to the bacterial infection environment, switchable between various antibacterial functions and have a special bio-inspired structure and function.
The major topics discussed are: (i) smart anti-biofilm surfaces via the prevention of biofilm formation or promoting mature biofilm dissolution, (ii) smart materials for reversible killing and/or release of bacteria, (iii) smart surfaces responsive to bacterial infection microenvironments or external stimuli and (iv) bio-inspired surfaces with antifouling and bactericidal properties.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
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Back to tab navigation https://doi.org/10.1039/C8TB01245H J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018,6, 4274-4292
X. Li, B. Wu, H. Chen, K. Nan, Y. Jin, L. Sun and B. Wang, J. Mater. Chem.
B, 2018, 6, 4274
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What Are Candida Biofilms? » The Candida Diet
We often think of microbes as single cells that can be easily targeted by drugs, alternative medicine or our own immune systems. However, the reality is much more complicated. Many of these pathogens have evolved remarkably sophisticated ways to evade our best efforts at treatment.
Some of you may have heard of biofilms, especially if you’re familiar with Lyme Disease, and how they can protect pathogenic microorganisms from your immune system. Biofilms are structures that are formed naturally by many bacteria and fungi. They can make conditions urinary tract infections, ear infections, and Candida overgrowth much more difficult to treat.
Today I’m going to explain what biofilms are, how they are used by Candida albicans, and exactly what they mean for your Candida treatment.
What Are Biofilms?
The traditional way of looking at a microorganism was to examine it in a laboratory. Various antibiotics, antifungals and other treatments could then be applied, and the results collated and shared. However, as effective as this methodology can be, it does not take into account what happens when large numbers of those microorganisms group together in the human body.
Research over the past 10-20 years has started to show that microorganisms behave very differently when grouped together. In fact, some treatments that might work very well on a single cell can be complete failures against a large, well-established population. In many cases, this is because of biofilms.
A biofilm is a polysaccharide matrix that acts as a protective structure for the microorganism. In effect, the pathogen can hide within it. By producing a biofilm, the microorganism creates a shield to protect itself from whatever your doctor and immune system can throw at it.
Biofilms can exist both inside and outside the body. Sometimes they can even be useful (there are a number of industrial applications), but for the most part they are bad news.
Much of the research has looked at Candida biofilms on items prosthetic heart valves, intravenous catheters, and hip replacements.
However, biofilms are also part of the development of many clinical infections that develop in our bodies.
Candida albicans is the most common fungal biofilm found in hospitals, but it is also extremely difficult to treat. One study looked at the effectiveness of a group of antifungals (including prescription antifungals Nystatin and Diflucan) against Candida biofilms.
Researchers found that the antifungals were initially effective against Candida, but as the biofilm developed they became less and less effective. After 72 hours of biofilm development, the “C. albicans cells were highly resistant,” leading them to conclude that “drug resistance develops over time, coincident with biofilm maturation.
” Other studies refer to “a near-total resistance to antifungal agents by biofilm-associated Candida.”
What are these biofilms made of? Well, another study found Candida biofilms to be comprised of 32% glucose. So Candida needs sugar not just to grow and reproduce, but also to create the biofilm that protects it from your immune system.
Supplements to Fight Candida Biofilms
A wide range of natural remedies can be used to destroy Candida biofilms. Many of these have been used in traditional medicinal practices for centuries, but have also recently been clinically tested as effective solutions.
Oregano is one of nature’s most powerful antifungal herbs. However, oregano oil – the concentrated form of oregano – is even more powerful.
It’s been used in natural medicine throughout history, and has now been found to inhibit a variety of pathogens including fungal infections.
This is largely due to its active constituent, carvacrol, which rich in concentrated phenols that attack pathogenic fungi. Oregano also harbors antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.
One clinical study investigated the efficacy of oregano oil against pathogenic bacteria including multi-drug resistant microbes.
Oregano oil showed significant anti-bacterial activity against 11 of these microbes, including four methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA.
Most importantly, Oregano oil was found to effectively break down the biofilms formed by each of these pathogens (1).
In terms of treating Candida specifically, the powerful carvacrol constituent of Oregano oil has been found to inhibit a range of antibiotic resistant bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. At the same time, it has the ability to prevent these toxins from releasing harmful toxins, including biofilms (2).
Another major bonus is that Candida yeast doesn’t become resistant to oregano oil, which can happen with other anti-fungal agents.
Oregano oil supplements are generally available in capsule form at most health stores. Diluted oregano oil can also be taken orally.
Caprylic acid is the active antifungal constituent of coconut oil. As well as its many other health benefits, substantial research has suggested that caprylic acid has an ability to penetrate and eradicate persistent Candida biofilms.
A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology showed that a combination of caprylic acid and pectic acid (a soluble fiber in cell walls of certain fruits) was able to eliminate pathogenic biofilms within 60 minutes of exposure.
Even more impressively, the caprylic acid was able to destroy the biofilms without causing harm to the surrounding healthy cells.
As a result, the researchers suggested that caprylic acid may be used as an effective treatment against a number of infection-causing microorganisms (3).
As well as destroying the Candida biofilms, caprylic acid has been found to inhibit MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), as well as E. coli, Salmonella and P. aeruginosa bacteria.
While it’s easy to add coconut oil to your diet, it may be more efficient to take caprylic acid in concentrated supplement form.
Garlic is one of the most well-known seasonings in the world, and also one of the most celebrated natural medicines. Not only is garlic renowned for its potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, it’s an effective biofilm destroyer.
The allicin content of fresh garlic is a sulfuric compound that has powerful activity against both bacteria and fungi. Research has shown that it’s particularly effective against Candida biofilms, even those with increased resistance to other natural antifungal agents.
Interestingly, another study showed that fresh garlic extract is much more effective than garlic powder extract in treating Candida. Although dried garlic can eradicate Candida to some extent, fresh garlic provides a much broader activity against the morphology and growth of the Candida yeast. (4)
If using garlic as part of your Candida treatment regime, avoid cooking it for longer than five minutes as heat will destroy its therapeutic properties.
It’s also better taken with a little healthy fat (such as olive oil or coconut oil) as crushed garlic can burn sensitive membranes.
oregano oil, Candida is unly to develop a resistance to garlic, which makes it a promising option for long-term prevention.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
NAC is the supplement form of the amino acid cysteine. It’s required for replenishing the antioxidant glutathione. In cases where a natural antifungal isn’t able to break down the Candida biofilm on its own, NAC can speed up the process. NAC is a powerful biofilm disruptor that has been found to weaken and break down the biofilm matrix.
Studies have shown that NAC can reduce Candida albicans adherence by more than 32%. This is especially impressive when compared to pharmaceutical drugs such as ketoconazole, which typically reduce Candida growth by only around 25%. NAC is also found to have a more potent disruptive effect than ketoconazole (22-80.7%) on mature biofilms. (5)
NAC and ketoconazole are particularly useful when used together, showing total eradication of tough Candida biofilm. At the same time, NAC has been found to prevent further growth and replication of Candida, which is an important step in biofilm formation. It’s also able to change the texture of the biofilm, making it easier to break down.
It’s important to note that higher concentrations of NAC are more effective, as well as combining NAC with another antifungal. Most importantly, however, it appears that NAC is able to completely eradicate mature Candida biofilms in most cases.
NAC can be taken in capsule form, as an aerosol spray or in liquid or powder form. You can also find it in our recommended Liver Support supplement.
Lumbrokinases are a group of enzymes that have been isolated and created from various species of earthworms.
These enzymes are then used to treat various health conditions, such as breaking down blood clots in cases of thrombosis.
It works by reducing and then eliminating ‘sticky blood’, breaking down fibrin protein in the blood clot deposits that can form on the walls of blood vessels in people who have sticky blood.
Lumbrokinases are also proven biofilm disruptors which may be useful in treating Candida. other enzymes such as serrapeptase, lumbrokinase can be used as coatings on implants as a means of breaking down biofilms. It has shown some effectiveness in treating chronic strep throat. and there is anecdotal evidence that it may reduce the symptoms of autism in small children.
More recently, research has suggested that lumbrokinases may be useful for breaking down the biofilms associated with Lyme disease. This has raised the possibility of treating Candida biofilms in the same way. More research on using Lumbrokinase for fungal infections is pending.
Breaking A Candida Biofilm
There is no simple way to destroy a Candida biofilm in your gut. For the most part biofilms do exactly what they are designed to do – protect the Candida albicans cells from your immune system. There is no magic pill we can take to eliminate a Candida biofilm. It takes time and application.
Biofilms are one of the main reasons why a Candida overgrowth is so hard to beat. A longstanding Candida overgrowth has had plenty of time to create biofilms in your gut, and (as I’ve shown above) these are very resistant to many of the treatments we can throw at them. The longer the biofilm has had to develop, the more resistant it will be to antifungal treatments.
This is why using antifungal drugs alone is often not enough to beat a Candida overgrowth. We need to adopt several different strategies.
Our Candida treatment plan, the Ultimate Candida Diet, uses several different elements to fight Candida. These include antifungals, probiotics, and a low-sugar diet.
We also discuss the use of systemic enzymes, such as lumbrokinase, which have been shown to break down biofilms such as those created by Lyme, Candida, and other infections.
Adding these systemic enzymes to your treatment can make your probiotics and antifungal therapies much more effective.
Used alone, these strategies will ly fail. But used together, they can be highly effective.
The antifungals destroy the cell walls of the Candida; the enzymes break down the biofilms; the probiotics support your immune system and regulate the acidity in your gut; and the low-sugar diet deprives the Candida of the resources that it needs to grow. This combination of treatments is much more effective than using a single strategy.
PinterestEmail Filed under: About Candida, Antifungals, Probiotics
If you're looking for a more comprehensive Candida treatment plan, check out the Ultimate Candida Diet program, written by Lisa Richards and Dr Eric Wood. This plan is the latest research into Candida Related Complex, and contains everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth.
54 Natural Ways to Inhibit Biofilms
I’ve been getting more and more people with outstanding infections. Helping people who have chronic infections can be tricky because they are most ly to react to supplements, which is why such people often require a ‘slower’ approach (one that lessens reactions).
Identifying infections can also be really tricky. Is it bacterial, fungal, parasitic or viral? Biofilms make the equation more complex because even if someone took an anti-microbial that would kill their infection, biofilms can prevent this from happening.
Biofilms and Infection
About 80% of human infections affecting the gut, mouth, sex organs, lungs, heart, teeth, eyes, ear, and skin are caused by biofilm-associated microorganisms .
Some scientists think that antibiotics can actually induce biofilm formation .
Biofilms may be a reason why some people suddenly do worse for no apparent reason – because after biofilms grow, they disperse.
Biofilms also might be a reason why people avoid herbal supplements.
For example, if you take a supplement that breaks up biofilms, some of the bacterial products can be released, which can cause an immune reaction.
Why Are Biofilms Bad?
Currently, there is a large sum of money and research aimed at the use of and protection against biofilms .
Biofilms Are Resistant to Antibiotics:
Because biofilms protect the bacteria, infections are often more resistant to traditional antimicrobial treatments, making them a serious health risk .
Most, if not all, antibiotics and antiseptics fail to eradicate mature biofilms, and today, the poor efficiency of available antibiotics is a major challenge for the successful treatment of chronic infections .
Biofilm bacteria generally tolerate antibiotic treatment and this is because antibiotics can’t pass through the biofilm enough [3, 5].
Biofilms are known to be involved in many chronic infections such as in a chronic wound, lung, ear, heart and nose infections .
Most people (59%) with chronic sinus infections were found to have a bacterial biofilm, whereas none of the controls (people who didn’t have a sinus infection) had bacterial biofilm .
The most common biofilm that you might be familiar with is the plaque in your teeth .
Current Methods of Treatment:
At present, the most efficient treatment for biofilm infection is to mechanically remove the infected area or body part. This is sometimes possible if the focus is a catheter, an implant, or an infected organ that is eligible for transplantation .
So far, the two main strategies for preventing or suppressing bacterial biofilm infections are (1) early aggressive antibiotic treatment before the biofilm is formed or (2) chronic suppressive antibiotic treatment when the biofilm is established if it cannot be removed physically .
There are more than one million cases of catheter-associated urinary tract infections reported each year, many of which can be attributed to biofilm-associated bacteria .
Catheters have a surface that is conducive for biofilms to form, which is why infections are so common.
In the body, when biofilms form, they form a protective layer by which bacteria evade the immune system and antimicrobials.
Bacteria become tolerant to antibiotics and most other antimicrobial agents .
So if you have a fungal or bacterial infection that’s coated with a biofilm, one theory suggests that normal antibiotics and antifungals won’t kill the infection. This theory hasn’t been proven, though.
If you have a bacterial infection that persists despite antibiotic therapy and you have a high level of proinflammatory cytokines, some scientists think this implies that you either have a biofilm or a nonbacterial infection .
Factors that Inhibit Biofilms: Natural Biofilm Disruptors
When bacteria form biofilms, they don’t lump together by chance.
In order to form biofilms, bacteria need to communicate with each other .
One way to disrupt biofilm formation is to interrupt bacterial communication, also known as quorum sensing (QS) .
Scientists hypothesize that Quorum Sensing Inhibitors interrupt bacterial communication signals, which prevent them from aggregating .
If you think you have an infection, it’s important to urgently speak to a doctor to get an adequate diagnosis and treatment. You may try the additional strategies listed below if you and your doctor determine that they could be appropriate. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes.
Also, have in mind that supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use. In general, dietary supplements lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for supplements but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.
Non-Herbal Biofilm Disruptors
- Ozone [21, 22]
- Chitosan [23, 24, 9]
- NAC 
- Lactoferrin [15, 26]
- EDTA  – EDTA ly exerts antimicrobial activity by chelating magnesium and calcium – minerals necessary for growth and membrane stability and may also display anti-biofilm activity by reducing biofilm material (EPS) production and/or enhancing the detachment of bacterial cells from the biofilm. Magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and manganese appear to stabilize the biofilm matrix of a variety of organisms by enhancing structural integrity through electrostatic interactions that serve to cross-link the matrix .
- Zinc 
- Iron (29)
- Manganese 
- High alkalinity (magnesium?) 
- Monolaurin  (G+)
- Colloidal Silver 
- Zeolite (Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans) 
- L Reuteri 
- Citrate?  – Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate
- Norspermidine (found in chlorella) 
- Trypsin 
- Serratiopeptidase 
- Nattokinase 
- Farnesol 
- D-Amino Acids 
- Reserpine 
- Rifampicin