What is a Biofilm?
A biofilm is a slimy, impenetrable barrier or matrix mostly made up of protein and polysaccharides (sugars) which microbial colonies create in order to protect themselves in a threatening environment. Biofilms are not limited to bacteria as yeast and other microbial species create biofilms as well.
However, for the purposes of this article, we are speaking directly about bacterial biofilms. Once they begin to form, they adhere to surfaces like crazy glue and become almost impossible to penetrate.
You probably have experienced a biofilm first hand. The cavity causing bacteria that live in our mouth create biofilms. Perhaps you’ve felt the slimy feeling running your tongue across your teeth if you haven’t brushed in a while. Or if you’ve ever seen a clogged sink drain or Jacuzzi drain? Or even the slimy surfaces of the Jacuzzi?
These are all places where bacterial biofilms form and cause problems.
When they form in your gut and other bodily systems, they allow various colonies of bacteria to proliferate while keeping them safe from your immune system and microbial agents.
As I mentioned before, bacteria use this biofilm to protect themselves from our immune system, but it’s also used as an intricate communication system to relay important messages about colonizing, etc.
Biofilm Can Host Many Different Species of Microbes
The biofilm layer is non-discriminatory and underneath its layer are all kinds of microbial species including bacteria, yeasts and molds. It also is a collector of heavy metals and other toxins that end up getting trapped within its slimy matrix.
Biofilm is notorious in the medical field for being difficult to deal with as it forms on bodily implant devices such as catheters, pacemakers and even breast implants.
Many people who have had medical implants have found that their health slowly and mysteriously began to diminish following their procedure. Although it hasn’t been proven, there are many who are convinced that biofilms may have a role in their reduction in health.
What Can Be Done?
There are in fact, a number of things that can help dissolve biofilm you can expose the pathogenic overgrowth happening beneath them.
The author has personally tried a few unorthodox methods with varying degrees of success, with the safest and most effective result being proteolytic enzymes.
How Enzymes Dissolve Biofilm
These enzymes are very effective at degrading the protein structures of the biofilm. In fact, our body already creates these enzymes. However, dissolving biofilm is a fairly large job and it requires a lot more enzymes than our body normally produces.
Along with proteolytic enzymes, dissolving biofilm also requires the use of a few other compounds such as cellulase and hemicellulase which will assist in the breakdown of the polysaccharide element of biofilm.
When dissolving biofilm, it is also helpful to utilize elements that address the potential Herxheimer reaction that can happen. When biofilm is dissolved, it can release endotoxins which make up the cell membranes of bacteria as well as metals, which are required for biofilm formation, to be released into the body and overburdening your detox channels.
One of the elements which can help bind with these metals is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), which is a compound that binds with the metals needed for biofilm formation.
Another compound which can help lessen the Herxheimer reaction is activated charcoal. Charcoal has the ability to bind with and absorb toxins that are being released so that they can safely exit the body through the stool.
However, you will want to avoid taking charcoal with your supplements as it can have the same effect and absorb these beneficial effects of your supplements potentially causing them to be useless.
Lastly, making sure to colonize the gut with friendly bacteria is critical as they can help act as the garbage collectors, making things a bit easier to manage. The most potent probiotics we’ve used hands down are the soil-based probiotics.
These are also known as spore-forming and have the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and hostile environments including bile and stomach acid in the stomach before reaching the intestine.
They only ‘awaken’ from their spore state once they reach a favorable environment with the right pH which is in the intestinal tract.
Therefore, it is not essential to take these specialized soil probiotics in the large quantities you normally see the lacto and bifido type probiotics taken in. Lacto and bifido type probiotics are very sensitive to heat and stomach acid, thereby requiring large numbers per dose to ensure that some numbers reach the intestinal tract.
If you would like a brief summary of how we relieved our health challenges, you can download our FREE Action Plan, which outlines the 3 phases that we followed to have lasting success.