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Probiotics and the Brain-Multiple sclerosis

By Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB - Neurology
Functional Nutrition.

Everyone knows that the brain is a valuable organ. Well, for that matter, most of our organs are valuable. It’s just that the brain is one of those where even subtle changes in the blood that feeds the brain can bring on big changes in behavior, that everyone can notice. You can’t say that of most of our other organs.

A brand new study in the journal Neurology looked into some of these small changes, specifically with the immune system within. The study looked at the disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the white matter (nerve extensions) of the brain. It also looked at probiotics as a possible treatment for the condition.

The logic works like this: In MS, the white matter of the central nervous system is damaged by an overactive and over-sensitive immune system. Since we know that intestinal bacteria can help regulate the immune system, it was thought that probiotics might be able to decrease the immune system’s attack on the white matter and decrease the effects and progression of MS.

They used a probiotic of bacteria common in yogurt containing Bifidobactor, Lactobacillis and Streptococcus bacteria. These are microbes that are known to increase IL-10, a molecule that increases Regulatory T cells that will slow the immune system down.

Up to this point, this particular blend of probiotic has been helpful in controlling diabetes, colitis, and IBS, so it would be reasonable that it could also be affective in an autoimmune nerve condition. The results were interesting. First of all, the markers that studied that showed general inflammation decreased significantly and also lead to a decrease specific neurological markers related to MS.

This more than just interesting. It is important. While most of us don’t have MS, we are all dealing with some level of inflammation. Some us, especially those that are eating the Standard American Diet, living with high levels of stress, decreased sleep, and little exercise are “going down”. This study shows that increasing the level of good bacteria can decrease the inflammation that is responsible for the majority of degenerative diseases and MS in particular.

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The Gut, Inflammation and Depression

America is finally realizing that depression is a serious concern. Of course, the pharmaceutical companies have known for years that there’s money to be made, but now society is on full alert. It’s taken a few miss-steps with celebrities, but the message is clear; those suffering from depression aren’t just having the “blues”, they are suffering, and in a big way. What can we do to help these people? Well, this is one of those times where the best approach is to get back to finding the underlying cause.

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BAD BREATH and 4 Gut diseases that cause it


Hi there, it’s Dr. Davis again and today I’d like to talk about halitosis or bad breath. Well, specifically about the causes of breath problems that may not have occurred to you. Of course bad breath won’t kill you but it surly could kill a relationship, and for that matter, kill a career if your work has any social component. Bad breath doesn’t only affect the sufferer but those that are close by. These, of course, are the same people that are wondering if they should say something or just bear with it and not stand too close. But more importantly, bad breath equals bad health. In this case your breath doubles as a barometer for the health status of several body systems. The good news is that modern testing and treatment for halitosis has advanced way beyond flossing, and it works.

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What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

By Doc Don Davis            .................. I’m sure you know the feeling, even though you may not know the name. Irritable bowel syndrome or Spastic Colon is one of the most common intestinal disorders. Most doctors and patients find it hard to clearly define just what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is. It used to be a diagnosis of exclusion where the doctor would finally label your symptoms as IBS when they couldn’t think of anything else to call it,But IBS research has advanced so much in the last 5 years that it has cleared the path to a much fuller understanding of the cause and effects of IBS. This syndrome – or collection of symptoms, may start with (photo) indigestion, bloating, gas and abnormal bowel frequency and then progress to (photo) abdominal pain, cramping, heartburn, diarrhea alternating with constipation and nausea. In addition, many patients have what…

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The Second Brain- in your Gut

By Doc Don Davis            .................. Today I’d like to talk about a second brain that we all have that resides in our intestines.  You would think one brain would be enough, but we actually have two brains; one at the top of the spinal cord and one large, powerful “brain” in the gut, called the enteric nervous system.  Anyone that has given a speech and experienced the predictable performance-related stomach distress knows that your gut is listening closely to your brain.  But what can the brain learn from the stomach?  As it turns out, plenty. You see, the brain and the gut, including the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and colon are intimately connected by the huge vagus nerve in a two-way street. Scientists were recently shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the vagus neurons carry information from the gut to the…

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What’s the deal with gluten?

By Doc Don Davis            .................. Why is it so controversial? It’s clearly part of the modern nutritional landscape that results in a lot distress, both nutritionally and politically.  I'm not only talking about standard medicine vs alternative therapies even though that's part of it.  I'm referring to the severe and widespread damage of undiagnosed gluten sensitivity vs the psychological reluctance to give up what we consider one of the most emotionally attractive and satisfying foods of all time. Gluten containing foods like cookies and breads, stimulate the addiction areas of the brain raising dopamine levels promoting carbohydrate seeking behavior, binging, and food habits that are not consistent with human health.  I don't think I have witnessed a more passive-aggressive food option. And the "political correctness" of being gluten free discourages rational discussion about bagels and beer. Let's face it, if you aren't gluten-free you aren't…

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Parkinson’s and the Gut

By Doc Don Davis            .................. I’m rarely surprised by the outcome of the scientific studies I read, but I was startled when I recently read an article in the annals of Neurology addressing the link between the gut and Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease of the nervous system resulting in a gradual irreversible loss of movement control. It’s been in the news for several years because of its’ unfortunate affects on Mohamad Ali and Michael J Fox. We’ve known for decades that Parkinson’s develops because of degeneration in a particular place in the brain called the substantia nigra and causing decrease production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. We thought the degeneration occurred because of our unlucky genes or exposure to toxic substances like pesticides or oxidative stress. We now know that a clumped form of a protein called alpha-synuclein, has been found to…

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Foods that Help the “Good” Bacteria

By Doc Don Davis            .................. Today I’d like to talk about Pre-Biotics and irritable bowel syndrome.  That's right PRE-biotics, not PRO-biotics.  I made a previous video where I discussed probiotics, the microbes from natural fermented sources that help you to increase your good bacteria over bad bacteria.  If you don't remember or haven't seen our video on that subject, probiotics can not only balance your beneficial gut bugs but can: Directly regulate the immune system Decrease the affects of lactose - or dairy intolerance Decrease cancer promoting enzymes by bad bacteria Help with constipation Decrease upper respiratory and urinary infections Increase the cleansing wave of activity of the intestines Help you lose weight by decreasing inflammation. Not only that, they make Vitamin K, folate and short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that feed the cells of the intestines.  That's lot to do, and that's why we…

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