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BACTERIA

There are around 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water and approximately five nonillion bacteria on planet Earth forming a biomass that exceeds that of all plants and animals. Bacteria are vital for recycling nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere and putrefaction. In the biological communities surrounding hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, bacteria provide the nutrients needed to sustain life by converting dissolved compounds such as hydrogen sulphide and methane. Most bacteria have not yet been characterised.

Bacteria are prokaryotic microorganisms, typically a few micrometres in length and have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most habitats on the planet, growing in soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste and deep in the Earth's crust, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals, providing outstanding examples of mutualism in the digestive tracts of humans, termites and cockroaches.

Most of the cells in the human body are not human. They are bacteria. From the invisible strands of fungi that can sprout between the toes, to the kilogram of bacterial matter in the intestines and another kilogram on the skin, people are best viewed as walking "super organisms," highly complex conglomerations of human cells, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Understanding the workings of the super organism is crucial to the development of personalized medicine and health care in the future because individuals can have very different responses to food and drugs, depending on their microbial fauna.

It had been said that more than 500 different species of bacteria exist inside the human body and a roughly similar number on the skin making up more than 100 trillion cells. Because the human body is made of only approximately 37.2 trillion human cells, we are somewhat outnumbered by the aliens. If that were the case, It would follow that most of the genes in our bodies are from bacteria too. However, research in 2016 has revealed that an average adult male who is 70 kilograms, 20–30 years old and 1.7 metres tall contains on average about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria. But another person might have half as many or twice as many bacteria so it is therefore difficult to surmise exactly how many bacteria exist within and upon a human being at any given time.

Bacteria are prokaryotic organisms, meaning they lack a nucleus. Bacteria are also unicellular and contain a peptidoglycan cell wall. Contrarily, Human cells are eukaryotic, meaning they do contain a nucleus. Human cells also contain a cell membrane, but do not have a peptidoglycan cell wall. Peptidoglycan, also known as murein, is a polymer consisting of sugars and amino acids that forms a mesh-like layer outside the plasma membrane of bacteria.

Luckily for humans, the bacteria that live inside the body are, on the whole, 'commensal' sharing the food that is consumed. (The word derives from the Latin meaning 'to share a table for dinner') and are in actual fact beneficial. Commensal bacteria protect the body from potentially dangerous infections. They do this through close interaction with the immune systems. Without properly controlling the numbers of the commensal bacteria present in the body serious health conditions arise. Understanding the function and role of the different species of bacteria in the human body is vital if there is ever to be an end to disease and infection.

In the digestive system (from mouth to anus) there are ten times the bacteria as the numbers of all the human cells. Humans would not function at all if it wasn't for the friendly bacteria in the guts, where battles are fought, essential substances are manufactured and the immune system is bolstered.

Probiotics provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts because they help increase the friendly bacteria numbers which in turn will help our immune function, digestion and absorption of nutrients and foods. Good bacteria are often found in two types, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.

Different species are found in each of these groups. Other types of good bacteria include Lactobacillus casei shirota and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillus casei shirota helps support immune system function and helps with the movement of food through the gut.

Lactobacillus bulgaricus can possibly relieve symptoms resulting from lactose intolerance, which is when a person cannot properly digest the lactose found in many milk and dairy products. 

Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidus are encapsulated bacteria that have a tough outer coating which protects them from the body's immune system and so are more difficult for the body to fight off. Saliva helps to eliminate some of the bad bacteria that enters the mouth as does the acidity of the gut.

But proper dental and personal hygiene and the consuming of healthy nutritious natural unprocessed foods is the ultimate way to keep the balance of our bacteria right.

Bacteria are unicellular organisms that are so small their presence often goes undetected by the human eye so in future we may have to see a bacteriologist rather than a doctor to check how our commensal bacteria are doing instead of how we are doing ourselves. This is because we are simply just the host shell which is used by the bacteria to live in. If we look after the good bacteria that are living in every one of us we can then look towards having good health and longevity. We are responsible for allowing bad bacteria to come into contact with our bodies and then not providing the right natural ingredients in our foods for the good bacteria to defend us from attack. Basically it comes down to a case of numbers. The less good bacteria we host the less likely we can ward off infection and disease.

 

PREVENT BACTERIAL INFECTIONS SPREADING

To combat the spread of bad bacteria the answer is to keep very clean. Personal and household cleanliness is of ultimate importance. Wash hands whenever they have come into contact with surfaces that might harbour bad bacteria from others, especially after handling money or touching handles and after visiting the toilet. Use a tea tree oil solution.

For hand washing instructions click the image below to enlarge:

hand washing

Wash bedding, towels and clothes at least once a week in hot temperatures, (daily if there is an infection) and keep surfaces, especially those touched by human hands or food and floors in the home clean and dust free. 90% of dust in the home is human skin which mites and bacteria thrive upon. Some bacteria can live without sustenance on surfaces for a long time.

As well as a healthy diet, including all the foods listed below, vaccines can be given to prevent serious bacteria infections such as polio and influenza. It is especially recommended for children, the elderly, those with a suppressed immune system, those taking steroid anti rejection drugs or those with a malfunctioning or missing spleen. Keeping the liver, intestines, bowels & kidneys healthy by a good diet of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices will help with fighting bacteria infections too.

See the Cleansers page.

Vaccines make the body create antibodies to particular virulent and often dangerous bacteria infections. They are not harmful because they are working in conjunction with the body's immune system.

Polio could be eradicated from the world completely (the same as smallpox has been) if all those left in the small areas it is prevalent would agree to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, some religions are against vaccinations which is not helping the spread of this devastating disease.

For a list of bacteria, the conditions that they can cause and the natural antibiotics that can be used to control them see the A-Z of Bacteria and treatments

BACTERIA AND THE CONDITIONS THEY CAN CAUSE

Certain bacteria can infect of certain parts of the body and many can spread to any tissues and organs and cause various diseases, especially when an individual’s immune system is compromised.

To view a list of these bacteria, the conditions they cause and the natural antibiotics that work for each one see: The A-Z of bacteria

 

BACTERIAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES

  • Anthrax: Multiplication of Bacillus anthracis in the body causing a painless skin sore (ulcer) with a black centre that appears after the small blisters or bumps. Most often the sore will be on the face, neck, arms, or hands. Can be fatal.

  • Bacterial meningitis: Inflammation of the protective membranes of the central nervous system.

  • Botulism: Blockage of nerve function and respiratory, as well as musculoskeletal paralysis.

  • Brucellosis: Entrance of Brucella bacteria by direct contact or untreated/contaminated milk of animals.

  • Campylobacteriosis: An inflammatory and at times accompanied by bloody diarrhoea or dysentery.

  • Cat scratch disease, also known as cat scratch fever, Teeny's disease, or subacute regional lymphadenitis, and known to have been caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae. Symptoms start to show between seven days or up to two months post a cat scratch; tender regional lymphadenopathy, slight fever, headache, chills, malaise, abdominal pain, backache, convulsions or sterile suppurative papules at the site of inoculation occur.

  • Clostridium perfringens (formerly known as C. welchii, or Bacillus welchii): This is a bacteria found in soil and contaminated undercooked meat. It is widely distributed in the environment and foods, and forms part of the normal gut flora in man and animals. Spores of C. perfringens survive cooking and, during slow cooling and unrefrigerated storage, germinate to form vegetative (growing) cells. Under optimal growth conditions the organism has a generation time of 10 to 12 minutes, and gastroenteritis often follows ingestion of food containing large numbers of vegetative cells. Food poisoning most often occurs when food (usually meat) is prepared in advance and kept warm for several hours before serving. Food poisoning from this bacteria can cause diarrhoea and stomach cramps that usually resolve within 24 hours. However, the bacterium is also responsible for 80-95% of cases of gas gangrene, a rare but very severe form of gangrene (tissue death). One particular strain of C. perfringens, Type B,  makes a toxin that can travel through blood to the brain and kill myelin producing cells which is the damage seen in Multiple Sclerosis.

  • Cholera: Ttransmission of Vibrio cholerae by ingestion of contaminated food or water causes diarrhoea.

  • Diphtheria: Upper respiratory tract illness causing sore throat, low-grade fever and an adherent layer on the tonsils, nasal cavity and pharynx.

  • Epidemic typhus: Caused by louse-borne bacteria.

  • Gonorrhoea: Common sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoea. One natural treatment alternative to antibiotics for gonorrhoea is fagara.

  • Impetigo: Superficial skin infection common in the age group of two to six.

  • Kawasaki disease: An autoimmune disease also regarded as lymph node syndrome, is a condition that affects the medium-sized blood vessels; being marked by a tendency for the blood vessels to abnormally swell up. Can be a complication caused by leptospirosis.

  • Legionellosis: Pneumonia or mild respiratory illness, like acute influenza.

  • Leprosy (Hansen's disease): Granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract caused by Mycobacterium leprae

  • Leptospirosis (Weils disease, field fever, rat catcher's yellows, pretibial fever): Biphasic disease with meningitis, liver damage and renal failure caused by the leptospira spp bacteria. Naturally aquatic organisms, found in fresh water, damp soil, vegetation, and mud. Flooding may spread the organism. Mainly caught from rats but can infect other wild mammals and dogs, pigs and cattle. Infected animals carry the bacteria in their kidneys, often without becoming unwell. They can excrete leptospires in their urine for some time. The spirochaetes are shed from the urine and can survive in the environment for several months in moist, warm conditions. They enter the bloodstream through broken skin or the mucosa. Water-borne transmission has also been documented. Infection occurs as two syndromes: anicteric (which is self-limiting) and icteric leptospirosis (Weil's disease).

  • Listeriosis occurs in newborns, the elderly and immune-compromised patients caused by the listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

  • Lyme disease: Rash and flu symptoms followed by musculoskeletal, psychiatric, neurologic, arthritic and cardiac manifestations and many other symptoms including those associated with Parkinson's disease. Caught from ticks that feed upon deer.

  • Melioidosis (Whitmore's disease): caused by burkholderia pseudomallei which is found in soil and water in tropical climates. There are several types of melioidosis infection, each with their own set of symptoms. Melioidosis has a wide range of signs and symptoms that can be mistaken for other diseases such as tuberculosis or pneumonia.

  • MRSA infection: characterised by rapid weight loss, boils and muscle depletion.

  • Mycobacterium abscessus; bacteria (which is distantly related to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis) It was thought that this bacteria could only be caught from water and soil but has now been discovered to be able to infect person to person. It is believed that it becomes aerosolised when people cough and because this bacteria is tough it hangs around in the air. It causes lung damage and can be incredibly hard to treat with infected patients needing months of treatment with toxic drugs. Betulinic acid, a tumour fighting, antifungal, anti inflammatory and antibacterial compound found in the bark of white birch trees, and chaga mushrooms and winged beans can treat mycobacterium abscessus bacteria infections and tuberculosis.

  • Nocardiosis, Nocardia asteroides or Nocardia brasiliensis; affects either the lungs or the entire body.

  • Pertussis; (Whooping cough): severe hacking cough followed by palpitations caused by bordetella pertussis.

  • Plague; occurs, when a person is bitten by an infected flea.

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia: is a very serious illness of the lungs and respiratory system, where the alveoli are inflamed and filled with fluid. It is caused by streptococcus pneumoniae. It may begin with a severe teeth-chattering chill lasting 30 minutes with high fever then a couch and the production of rusty or blood-streaked sputum. It is spread through contact with respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person. It is common for people, especially children, to carry the bacteria in their throats without being sick.

  • Psittacosis; contracted from parrots, pigeons, hens, ducks, sparrows and seagulls.

  • Q fever; due to inhalation of contaminated particles in the air or contact with the vaginal mucus, milk, faeces, semen and urine of infected animals. It is also called query fever and is an infection caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. The bacteria are most commonly found in cattle, sheep, and goats around the world. Humans can contract Q fever when they breathe in dust that was contaminated by infected animals.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; severe rickettsial illness. The bacteria are found in ticks, lice, fleas, mites, chiggers and mammals in the United States and inhabit the white blood cells and destroy them in the process..

  • Salmonellosis; causes typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever and food-borne illness.

  • Scarlet fever: Infection may occur through bloodstream or skin and underlying tissues.

  • Shigellosis : Dysentery due to poor hygiene.

  • Syphilis: Sexually transmitted disease due to sexual contact or congenital mode.

  • Tetanus: Prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibres caused by clostridium tetani

  • Trachoma: Infectious disease of the human eye usually leading to blindness.

  • Tuberculosis: generally attacks the lungs, but may affect central nervous system, circulatory system, lymphatic system, bones, joints, genitourinary system and skin.

  • Tularemia: Headache, fatigue, muscle pains, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, inflammation of face and eyes and lymph nodes.

  • Typhoid fever: Due to ingestion of food or water adulterated with faeces of an infected person.

  • Typhus: Severe headache, sustained high fever, severe muscle pain, rash, cough, chills, stupor, decreasing blood pressure, and delirium characterize it

  • Urinary tract infections: Cystitis or pyelonephritis is caused by the escherichia coli bacteria

PROBIOTIC (FRIENDLY) BACTERIA

Probiotic "good bacteria" are essential in digesting food. For example, the helpful Lactobacillus bacteria produce lactase enzymes which digest the lactose found in milk and dairy products (and may also aid in reducing migraine attacks). Other lacto bacteria digest carbohydrates. Without probiotics to digest foods, humans could not get enough nutrition to survive.

When the food passing through the small intestine and is not properly digested and the nutrients are not well absorbed, people tend to eat even more food in an attempt to get the missing nutrients they need to survive. This is one of the causes of weight gain as people age and build up more and more mucoid plaque.

These bio-friendly bacteria or probiotics displace those harmful pathogenic micro-organisms (the bad bacteria, parasites, yeast and fungus) that cause constipation and diarrhoea and vaginitis and do not leave them room to attach themselves and multiply on the inner surface of the colon and small intestine. Those which cannot attach themselves to the lining would normally end up being excreted from the body in the faeces, but when the intestines have a build up of mucus and waste material sticking to that lining, it provides a perfect place for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, fungus and parasites to reside, feed, reproduce and multiply, and produce their poisonous toxins.

In a healthy digestive system, there should be about 80 to 85 percent bio-friendly bacteria (like Acidophilus and Bifidus) and only 15 to 20 percent yeast and fungus. In a healthy body, there will three pounds of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract, bacteria which help to digest and absorb the nutrients in food. There will be about four pounds of good and bad bacteria in the whole body. There should be more individual probiotic bacteria organisms in the gut than there are cells in the lining of the digestive tract.

However today, processed foods, alcoholic beverages and antibiotics fed to the animals humans eat means the number of probiotic bacteria that survive to do their job in the human gastrointestinal tract is getting less and less. Taking antibiotic drugs kills the good probiotic bacteria along with the pathogenic bacteria. The chlorine and fluorine in tap water helps kill toxic bacteria in the water supply, but can also kill the probiotic bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract. A charcoal filter can remove the chlorine from tap water but not the fluoride.

Chemical preservatives in processed foods keep bacteria from growing in the products and obviously when ingested will also kill the bacteria which are supposed to be growing in the digestive tract. With less of the good protective probiotic bacteria in the human system it is no wonder the pathogenic bacteria, yeast, fungi, and parasites are proliferating and causing so many health problems today.

Beneficial intestinal bacteria

  • Bifidobacterium longum

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus

  • Lactobacillus casei

  • Lactobacillus salivarius

  • Neisseria cinerea

  • Neisseria flavescens

  • Neisseria lactamica

  • Neisseria mucosa

  • Neisseria sicca

  • Neisseria subflava

  • Streptococcus thermophilus

To keep the beneficial bacteria balanced and fed the most important foods to ingest is fibre and prebiotics and probiotics. See the Fibre page to learn more.

BACTERIAL DISEASES

Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)

Anthrax is an acute and an infectious disease occurring in ruminant animals who survive on plant-based foods like sheep, goats, cows, buffaloes, etc. However, the anthrax spores/strains can be transmitted to human race when in contact with infected animals or on consumption of their products. This causes them to be infected and ultimately be diseased. The causative agent of anthrax is a rod-shaped bacterium Bacillus anthracis which is a Gram-positive bacteria. Anthrax can spread from one animal to another animal or human beings, through air inhaled or food/meat contaminated with spores. The bacterium has an ability to change forms (e.g., spores) and become dormant when exposed to extreme conditions of temperature, light, etc., and live for a longer period in that form. Once the spores enter into the new host's body or come in contact with a suitable environment, the bacteria becomes active. Production of anthrax spores has been used as biological weapons by certain terrorist groups threatening the lives of millions.

There are about 89 strains of anthrax bacteria which cause various forms of this disease in animals and humans. However, there are three main types of anthrax disease:

  1. Cutaneous Anthrax: This type of anthrax spreads through direct contact with the skin of an infected animal or human.

  2. Gastrointestinal Anthrax: This type of anthrax is caused by consumption of infected food/meat.

  3. Pulmonary Anthrax: This is also known as respiratory, pneumonic or inhalational anthrax. It spreads through respiratory tract of the host when a person inhales the spores. The resulting infection is highly lethal and the mortality rates are almost 100%. This type of infection takes very less time to attack and kill the host.

The infection can be spread by direct contact with the skin or tissues of an infected animal/human to a healthy animal/human (there have been no known cases of this disease-spreading from one person to another) or by inhaling the air in which bacterium of this disease is active. In some cases, the incubation period after exposure to the bacteria can be as long as 57-60 days (in case of contact with the skin of an infected person/animal) and in some cases, it can be as small as 2-3 days (if the airborne spores are inhaled directly into the lungs). The intestinal form of this disease occurs when food contaminated by the spores is eaten by an animal or a human being.

Symptoms

Cutaneous Anthrax: boil-like skin lesions that start with skin bumps and form ulcers with black, painless patches/eschars.
The ulcers start as small, black patches on skin (itchy and irritating lesions). The area on the skin from where the spores penetrated the skin start showing changes from day 2. There is an uneasy feeling due to the toxin excreted by the bacterium.

Gastrointestinal Anthrax: vomiting of blood, acute inflammation of the intestinal tract, severe diarrhea, gastrointestinal difficulty, loss of appetite, collapse of intestinal tract, lesions in intestinal area as well as in mouth and throat, uneasy feeling due to the toxin excreted by the bacterium.

Pulmonary Anthrax: flu-like and common cold symptoms, problems related to the respiratory system occur, within a couple of days, the patient's respiratory system collapses completely.

Once diagnosed with the disease, high doses of antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, penicillin, tetracycline, etc. are used in case of skin infections. The treatment duration in case of cutaneous anthrax infection is 7 to 10 days.

In case of inhalational anthrax infection, a combination of powerful antibiotics are used to treat the disease. The length of the treatment stretches to 60 days.

Vaccination against this disease is also available. Hence, people like lab technicians, veterinarians, cattle breeders, etc., should take special care and be vaccinated. However, it needs at least a year (during which a person is given 5 doses of vaccine) to make an individual immune to this disease.

Cholera (Vibrio Cholerae)

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a comma-shaped bacterium; Vibrio Cholerae. This bacterium causes acute diarrhoea and an intestinal infection through the ingestion of contaminated water or raw undercooked food. Cholera is derived from the Greek word ‘Khole’ meaning ‘flow of bile’. In Latin, the word Cholera means ‘bilious diarrhoea’. The toxins in the cholera bacteria cause water in the body to be expelled quickly.

Within one to five days of ingesting the cholera bacterium, a person will develop symptoms that range from mild to severe. Cholera is a potentially life threatening disease and requires awareness and early recognition of the symptoms so as to avoid complications and fatalities.

Symptoms of cholera
 
  • Dehydration

  • Diarrhoea (watery with a fishy smell)

  • Dry mouth and skin

  • Dry mucous membranes

  • Excessive thirst

  • Exhaustion and weakness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Irritability and restlessness

  • Leg cramps and muscle cramps

  • Loss of skin elasticity

  • Low blood pressure

  • Low urine output

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Stomach cramps

  • Sunken eyes

The watery diarrhoea may contain flecks of mucous and cells that lend it the term ‘rice-water stools’. The volume of diarrhoea from a person suffering from cholera is very high. An adult can produce nearly 10 to 18 litres of diarrheal fluid in a day. This can cause severe dehydration rapidly and therefore requires immediate medical treatment as soon as the symptoms become evident. Dehydration can lead to renal failure, electrolyte failure, shock, coma and even death. In countries that are underdeveloped, cholera epidemics can result in nearly 60% fatalities.

Precautions to take to avoid cholera in areas where it is common are:

  • Always boil water before use or only drink from sealed bottles or water purified with iodine or chlorine.

  • Always cook food thoroughly especially seafood like oysters.

  • Always wash hands well after handling uncooked foods or going to the toilet.

  • Always dispose of waste carefully.

  • Soak fruit and vegetables in clean water with bicarbonate of soda, lemon and vinegar before using.

  • Avoid ice, unclean fruits, raw foods, salads and ice cream when travelling in high cholera areas.

Never take anti-diarrhoea medications when suffering from cholera as this prevents the elimination of the bacteria and toxins.

Nature cures for treating cholera

The quickest way to rehydrate someone is for them to slowly drink 1 litre of water to which 4 teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt has been added. The following can help as they have antibacterial or rehydrating properties as well as being nutritious.

Aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, chilli pepper, garlic, ginger, papaya fruit and seeds, radishes and turmeric can help to eliminate the bacteria from the intestines.

Coconut water, cucumber juice and pineapple juice can relieve excessive thirst and prevent dehydration. Coconut also has antibacterial properties.

Guava tree root bark; a decoction with boiled water should be drunk twice daily to reduce cholera symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Lemon juice; can reduce the levels of cholera bacilli in the intestines and digestive system.

Onions and fresh black pepper ground together can treat restlessness and thirst.

Nutmeg; steep half a nutmeg in half a litre of water and make an infusion and add half a litre of coconut water. Drink this 15ml at a time. Nutmeg powder may be used instead.

Rough chaff (Achyranthes aspera) should be mixed with half cup of water and drunk daily.

Once recovery from watery diarrhoea to a semi-solid stool takes place then the diet can include buttermilk and semi-soft boiled rice. Solid foods and uncooked vegetables should be avoided until there is complete recovery.

A glass of lime juice in warm water with honey should be consumed upon waking up. Then fresh fruit and fruit juices, cottage cheese, milk, soft cooked whole grains, steamed vegetables and wholegrain tortillas can be slowly introduced.

Nature cures for infections

Blueberry juice, cranberry juice, ginger and pomegranate juice prevent the E.coli bacteria from adhere to the urinary tract lining and have powerful antibacterial properties thus preventing the development of infection.

Cinnamon has powerful antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.

Echinacea, grapefruit seed extract and wormwood taken together has very effective antibiotic properties against the enterococcus, staphylococcus and other bacteria. Grapefruit seed extract is made from the seeds and connecting tissues of the fruit.

Holy basil and neem leaves have powerful antibacterial activity against Enterococcus faecalis bacteria.

Brassicas, garlic, onion, olive oil and pepper can help to reduce inflammation caused by these bacterial infections.

See more on the Medicinal Herbs and Spices page.

 Escherichia coli

E. coli is the name of a germ, or bacterium, that lives in the digestive tracts of animals and humans. There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless. But some can cause bloody diarrhoea. These are called enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). One common type is called E. coli O157:H7. In some people, this type may cause severe anaemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death. Other strains can cause urinary tract infections or other infections.

You get an E. coli infection by coming into contact with the faeces or stool of humans or animals. This can happen when water is drunk or food consumed that has been contaminated by faeces. E. coli can get into meat during processing. If the infected meat is not cooked to160F (71C), the bacteria can survive and infect a person when they eat the meat. 

Human or animal faeces infected with E. coli sometimes get into lakes, pools and water supplies. People can become infected when a contaminated city or town water supply has not been properly treated with chlorine or when people accidentally swallow contaminated water while swimming in a lake, pool or irrigation canal. The bacteria can also spread from one person to another, usually when an infected person does not wash his or her hands well after a bowel movement. E. coli can spread from an infected person's hands to other people or to objects. The main symptoms of an E. coli infection are: Bloody diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Urinary infections can cause pain when urinating and frequent urination.

Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiellapneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Enterococcus faecalis is a strain of bacteria that is known as a commensal organism in the intestines. This means that it is normally found in the intestine, particularly the large intestine, of most human beings. Normally it is not pathogenic, which means that, when it is contained within the intestines, it does not cause any sort of disease. It is able to survive the high concentrations of bile within the intestines and may actually play a role in digestion as it breaks down complex carbohydrates. Because this is an organism that is found in the human body it has also over time become resistant to many common antibiotics.

Although Enterococcus faecalis is usually harmless, because of its resistance to antibiotics, it can sometimes overgrow the intestines after a course of antibiotics, leading to intestinal problems. It can then cause a serious infection if the intestines become perforated and it is able to escape into the abdominal cavity, where it can spread to other organs as well as cause a massive infection. Finally, in the event that it spreads into the bloodstream, it may cause bacterial sepsis and can spread to the brain or the heart.

E. coli, Klebsiellapneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis are the major pathogens that cause kidney and urinary tract infections.

Lactobacilli

Not long after a female infant is born, the Lactobacilli bacteria are found in the vagina. They stay there for several weeks, making the environment of the vagina acidic while they make acid from stored glucose. A mixture of various bacteria then inhabit the vagina and it stops being acidic. When she reaches puberty, however, so many Lactobacilli are now in the vagina, that it becomes acidic once again. The acidic environment created by the Lactobacilli protects the vagina from being inhabited by harmful microorganisms.

Neisseria

Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes the sexually transmitted disease named gonorrhoea and Neisseria meningitidis causes meningitis, or the inflammation and infection of the meninges membrane that covers the brain. Yet, there are other Neisseria bacteria that are part of the normal flora of the respiratory tract. Like Lactobacillus, they hardly ever cause any disease.

Examples of this group include N. mucosa, N. flavescens, N. sicca, N. cinerea, N. lactamica and N. subflava. From three to 40 percent of people have N. lactamica, especially children. While this beneficial group of Neisseria protect against any harmful bacteria that may enter the respiratory tract, N. lactamica has proteins that specifically help the immune system to destroy the N. meningitidis bacteria that causes meningitis.

For natural remedies see Gonorrhoea

Porphyromonas gingivalis

P. gingivalis is a significant deterrent to oral health. It helps the initiation and progression of periodontal disease in which gums become red and swollen and bleed easily. This bacteria infiltrates the sub gingival region and adheres to dental tissues or other bacteria. Although gingivitis and periodontal disease attribute to a localized region around the tooth, persistent proliferation of this bacterium can cause major systemic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and early deliveries in pregnant women. Regularly flossing and brushing your teeth, in tandem with annual professional dental cleanings can prevent P. gingivalis from overtaking the bacterial balance in the mouth.

Salmonella

Salmonella is a type of bacteria. It's usually found in poultry, eggs, unprocessed milk and in meat and water. It may also be carried by pets like tortoises, turtles, rodents and birds. It usually causes food poisoning, but one type of salmonella bacteria is the cause of typhoid fever. The salmonella bacteria attacks the stomach and intestines. In more serious cases, the bacteria may enter the lymph tracts, which carry water and protein to the blood, and the blood itself.

The bacteria attack all age groups and both sexes. Children, the elderly and people who are already ill are much more likely to get a serious infection, as are people who have low gastric acidity or who regularly take antacids. Symptoms are diarrhoea, without blood, headaches, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting and fever. In the case of less serious infections, there are fewer symptoms, usually only diarrhoea two or three times a day for a couple of days. Most mild types of salmonella infection clear up in four to seven days without requiring any treatment other than rest and plenty of liquid. See also Food poisoning

Staphylococcua epidermidis

This bacteria is one of the normal microbial flora of the skin and being on the skin, it provides an important first line of defence against harmful bacteria. There are approximately 10,000 to 100,000 Staphylococcus epidermidis on each square centimetre of skin. Some of them are on the outermost layer of the skin, while others are in the hair follicles and will travel to the outer skin layer after people wash their hands. This bacteria is also found in the mucous membranes of the throat.

Streptococcus mutans

Streptococcus mutans is a dental pathogen and is the leading cause of tooth decay around the world, Often seen as the most cariogenic, meaning cavity-causing, of all the Streptococci bacteria in the oral cavity, S. mutans sticks to the teeth's surface and feeds on simple carbohydrate procured through eating. This bacteria is present in virtually everyone in the world and preventative measures include a regular brushing and flossing regimen to minimise bacterial proliferation. See Tooth decay

Streptococcus pyogenes

This human pathogen, also known as group A streptococcus (GAS) is the leading cause of bacterial pharyngitis and tonsillitis. It may also produce scarlet fever as well as strep throat, pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome, in addition to ear and sinus infections, sinusitis, otitis, arthritis and bone infections. Incubation period is typically two to four days, and if strep throat is not treated, a person can stay contagious for several days to weeks after the illness has passed. People can also be carriers of strep without being sick or demonstrating symptoms.
Some strains prefer skin, producing either superficial (impetigo) or deep (cellulitis) infections. Later, following skin infections an after effect of disease or injury can include rheumatic fever following respiratory infections and glomerulonephritis (a painful kidney disease).

It is very important to treat a strep infection within nine days, because in rare cases it can lead to an autoimmune reaction - rheumatic fever - that can affect the joints, skin, heart and kidneys. Rheumatic fever can cause permanent damage to the heart valves as well as other disorders of the heart. It can also lead to a syndrome called Sydenham's chorea, which causes emotional instability, muscle weakness and jerky movements of the hands, feet and face. This autoimmune reaction can also cause inflammation of the kidneys, producing a condition called poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis that can lead to permanent kidney damage.

Streptococcus pyogenes is the leading causative agent of rheumatic fever. Despite its reputation as a disease gone-by, acute rheumatic fever remains the leading cause of heart disease among children worldwide especially in the third world. Once inside a person, the bacteria often subvert the immune system, allowing them to attack heart tissue. In severe cases, surgery is required to replace damaged heart valves. Researchers have tried for many years to make the connection between bacterial infection and heart disease. 

There are more than a hundred varieties of group A Streptococcus each of which is distinguished by the type of 'M' protein it has. The M proteins serve as important virulence factors that help the organism resist phagocytosis (cell eating). Two M18 proteins in particular caught the attention of the researchers. They look like another M18 protein, called SPEC, which triggers a massive immune reaction in host cells and leads to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, these types of protein are called superantigens, which allow the bacterium to survive in the host for an extended period of time. Occasionally, S. pyogenes causes rapid and progressive infection of subcutaneous tissue resulting in massive systematic inflammation and tissue destruction - hence the dramatic reports of "flesh-eating" bacteria.

See also

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever (sometimes called scarlatina) is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, which is commonly found on the skin or in the throat, where it can live without causing problems. However, under some circumstances, they can also cause diseases like scarlet fever. Scarlet fever is usually a complication following infection by a particular group of strep bacteria that cause strep throat.

It is mainly a childhood disease and is most common between the ages of two and eight years but can infect children up to the age of 15. It is rarely seen in adults. It is usually spread by coughing, sneezing or breathing out. Scarlet fever can also be caught through direct contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person, meaning it can live on eating utensils or surfaces such as tables.

It is important to keep children at home when they have this highly contagious infection and teach them to hold a had over their mouth when sneezing and coughing and wash their hands often. Do not let them share drinking glasses, cups, toothbrushes or utensils. Clean all surfaces that the child can touch in the home often (including toilet flush levers, light switches, door handles and banisters etc) and change their toothbrush when they have recovered.

The first symptoms that appear are usually a sore throat, cough and nasal congestion followed by a fine, red, raised, sandpapery rash. Along with a sore throat, there is often a bright red tongue with white patches on the tongue and tonsils. The rash typically starts on the face, and then rapidly spreads to the chest, trunk and extremities. It does not include the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. The rash is often worse in skin folds around the groin, arms and legs. This rash usually lasts about a week and skin can slough off as the redness fades.

Symptoms take around two to five days to develop after infection.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Sore throat

  • Cough and nasal congestion

  • High temperature and fever

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • White coating on the tongue

  • Swollen glands in the neck (enlarged and tender lymph nodes )

  • Feeling tired and unwell

  • Flushed face, but pale around the mouth

  • Peeling skin on the fingertips, toes and groin area as the rash fades

Natural Remedies for Scarlet Fever

Anti-inflammatory gargle
Echinacea, sage and marigold are soothing and anti-inflammatory herbs.

Antimicrobial gargle
Echinacea, goldenseal and myrrh are antibacterial and immune-stimulating herbs.

Pain relief gargle
Propolis, peppermint and ginger are antimicrobial and anodyne herbs.

Astragalus is a Chinese herb which has a long history of treating bacteria infections by boosting the immune system. It can be obtained in tincture or capsule form and is safe for children at half the adult dose stipulated.

Passion fruit contains components which have the ability to relieve sore throat and hoarseness.

A sore throat can be soothed with ice lollies made with fresh fruit juice and the teas of herbs listed here which is especially good for children.

Chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, onions and radishes are especially good dietary additions since they have antibiotic and antiviral properties.

Pineapple juice can rehydrate the body during a fever.

See more Remedies for fever and infection below.

Treponema denticola

T. denticola aids in the progression of periodontal disease, inflammation and gum recession. This bacterium invades healthy gingival tissues and can infect the root canals of teeth causing severe pain and, in some cases, the need for dental surgery. P. gingivalis and T. denticola can decrease the effectiveness of normal human bacterial inhibitors in the mouth leading to severe periodontal degradation over time.

See Tooth decay

Viridans streptococcus

The mucous membranes that line the throat and mouth do not usually have any bacteria in them initially, but they may get bacteria as the infant passes through the birth canal of the mother. By four to 12 hours after an infant is born, Viridans streptococcus is the main microbial flora of the mouth and throat, and it stays that way for life. Both S. epidermidis and V. streptococcus can cause endocarditis, or the inflammation of the inner layer of the heart muscle, if they gain access to the bloodstream and reach the heart. Just as S. epidermidis protects against harmful bacteria that may contact the skin, V. streptococcus is beneficial because it protects against harmful bacteria that may try to invade the mouth and throat.

For a full list of bacteria and where they reside in the body see the Bacteria list

SYMPTOMS OF BACTERIAL INFECTION

A high temperature fever is usually the main symptom that can be caused by a bacteria or virus infection and a blood test needs to be done to ascertain the cause. Other symptoms can be unusual tiredness, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

FEVER

Fever is an elevation in body temperature. It's the body's protective mechanism against infection. The elevation in temperature happens when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and viruses that could harm the body.

Normal body temperature ranges from 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, but varies throughout the day. Usually is lower in the early morning and higher in late afternoon. A fever is consider to be any temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. One should get concern when temperature raises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for an adult and 103 degrees Fahrenheit for children. Often, having high temperature is helpful for the body; it's the way the body acts to destroy harmful microbes. In an adult, temperatures under 103 degrees Fahrenheit encourage the body to create more immune cells. A fever of 104 or higher can be a risk for people with cardiac problems, since it accelerates the heart beat and makes it work harder, and can cause irregular rhythms, chest pain or even heart attack. When a person has had a fever over 106 degrees for a long period of time, can cause dehydration and brain damage.

The old saying "feed a cold and starve a fever" is good advice. When a fever is present only liquids should be drunk.

Natural remedies to reduce a fever

Plenty of bottled mineral water

Juices

Aloe vera, coconut water and pineapple (prevents dehydration) and radish juice in warm water with ginger, honey and freshly squeezed lemon.

NOTE: Do not take ginger if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen or in the first trimester of pregnancy due to the risk of bleeding.

Teas

Steep one or more of the following ingredients in a cup of hot water for ten minutes then strain and sip slowly. Can be gently reheated but do not boil.

A tea made with the following ingredients can be taken to lower fever and fight infection:

Externally

A slice of raw onion or crushed garlic and olive oil placed on the soles of the feet can bring down the fever.

Avoid

When suffering a fever avoid supplements containing iron or zinc as iron causes great tension in a body that is fighting infection and zinc is not absorbed by the body during fever.

Daily morning liver cleanser

Take all these five ingredients together in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning to help the body fight against pathogenic bacteria.

NATURE CURES BACTERIA INFECTIONS

Antibiotics are ineffective since they work by destroying the specialised structures of all bacteria in the body including those that are vital to normal functions and who assist the immune system and produce some nutrients the body requires. There are many plants with powerful antimicrobial properties, in their leaves, stems, seeds and roots, as they have evolved to produce chemicals that can kill the bacteria, fungi and viruses that attack them as they do not have an immune system. When humans and animals consume these plants they same antimicrobial effect will occur within the body. Most aromatic herbs and spices produce volatile oils that have this ability.

For a full list of antibacterial herbs, spices and other plant foods see the A-Z of antimicrobial plant foods

Mushrooms that exhibit powerful antibacterial properties are:

Apple cider vinegar has powerful antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It also helps to alkalise the body which can prevent infection. Consume one tablespoon every day. Vinegar makes a good natural cleaner for the home as well. See Hygiene, Toxins and Health.

Aubergine: The seeds of aubergine are an immune system stimulant. Intake of half a gram to one gram of these seeds daily for three days will help develop immunity against many bacteria and  viruses, especially measles, for one year.

Fagara: is an effective natural treatment alternative to antibiotics.

Grape seed extract has been proven to kill around 800 species of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. The proanthocyanidins in grape seeds also activate a protein in the body called JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), which regulates apoptosis which prevents cancer cells from proliferating. JNKs are master protein kinases that regulate many physiological processes.

Honey was used by Roman soldiers as an antibiotic to help wounds heal quicker and prevent infection.

Oregano contains an oil called carvacrol that has powerful antibacterial properties. It is particularly good at fighting intestinal bacterial infections.

The medicinal mushrooms, crushed seeds and chopped herbs should be steeped in hot water for 30 minutes, strained off then the liquid drunk as a tea, soup or broth 3 times a day until the infection is gone.

The herb roots should be chopped up and simmered for 30 minutes before consuming along with the juice once a day until the infection is gone.

Add any of these medicinal herbs, spices and mushrooms to meals and with fruit juices and honey which may help some of them be more palatable.

Reishi mushrooms can be placed in hot water and taken as tea, hot chocolate, mocha or latte as an alternative to coffee.

NOTE: Avoid reishi mushrooms if taking medication for anti-hypertensive, blood sugar lowering medications and anti-coagulants or are pregnant. Side effects may cause mouth dryness, bleeding from the nose and bloody stools.

Fermented foods such as the following help to stabilise the balance of the intestinal flora:

Probiotic foods that contain beneficial bacteria

  • Brine pickles (eggs, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables that have been fermented by lactic acid bacteria) helps to provide additional beneficial (probiotic) bacteria to the intestines.

  • Kefir (fermented milk drink)

  • Kimchi (a fermented, spicy Korean side dish)

  • Kombucha (fermented black or green Asian tea)

  • Miso (a Japanese fermented seasoning made with soya beans, salt and a type of fungus called koji)

  • Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Tempeh (fermented soya beans)

  • Yoghurt (plain with live cultures)

NATURE CURES DIET (To recover from bacterial infections)

A wholesome healthy diet of the natural foods will boost the immune system and help the body to fight off  infections naturally. The nutritional value of foods is important. Wasting valuable time eating the wrong foods is damaging the body further and allowing viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and parasites and worms to flourish each time they are consumed. They all reproduce so fast that just one high-sugar and low-nutrient meal can help them spread to other parts of the body and cause immeasurable damage. The following pages can help you lean what foods you need to keep the immune system working well.

  • Fibre

  • Minerals

  • Nutrients

  • Protein

  • Raw juice therapy Drinking three glasses of pure, additive free, unsweetened juices per day can help to fight off bacterial infections. Choose any of the following and blend together if desired. The best foods to juice are: apple, apricot, beetroot, blueberries, carrot, celery, cranberry, cucumber, elderberry, ginger, grapes, lemon, lime, mosambi, nasturtium, onion, papaya, parsley, pineapple, pomegranate, radish and watercress.

  • Sprouting is a simple way to provide additional nutritional value to foods.

To benefit from red and yellow plant foods containing carotenoids like tomatoes and carrots always eat together with fat-rich foods like avocado, coconut oil, fish, nut, olive, seed and other plant oils because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture of the essential vitamin A nutrient.

Drink at least six glasses of bottled mineral water per day to avoid chemicals additives such as fluoride and chlorine and provide more of the essential minerals the body needs. One glass should be consumed just before sleeping to help the body eliminate waste and toxins from the body and the brain whilst you sleep.

NUTRIENTS THAT HAVE ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES

In order for the immune system to effectively fight off bacterial infections there are many nutrients that must be available in sufficient levels for the body to use.

Boron Boron is a mineral found in foods that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. To gain sufficient boron from plants and vegetables they have to be grown in boron rich soil.

Supplements are not advised as toxicity can be harmful Symptoms of toxicity are: red rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased blood circulation, shock followed by coma. Symptoms occur at doses of approximately 100 milligram. A dose of 15 to 20 grams is fatal, for children 3 to 6 grams is fatal. 

 

Natural sources of boron

  • Almonds

  • Apples (red)

  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Broccoli

  • Carrots

  • Chia seeds

  • Chick peas

  • Grapes (red)

  • Hemp seeds

  • Honey

  • Legumes

  • Onions

  • Oranges

  • Pears

  • Prunes

  • Raisins

  • Potatoes

  • Parsnips

  • Sumac

  • Teff

  • Walnuts

Vitamin A: Low vitamin A levels can adversely affect the bones, digestive system, eyes, hair, immune system, skin and urinary tract.

Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet:

  1. Preformed vitamin A (retinol and its esterified form, retinyl ester)

  2. Provitamin A carotenoids.

Preformed vitamin A is found in foods from animal sources, including dairy products, fish, and meat (especially liver). By far the most important provitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other provitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A but, as they are fat-soluble, they must be consumed with some healthy oil in order to be absorbed such as coconut, fish, nuts, olive or seed oils. For example, there is no point eating a raw carrot on its own as the body will not be able to use the beta-carotene it contains.

NOTE: high levels of vitamin A consumption can cause birth defects so the foods below are best limited during pregnancy and supplements containing vitamin A should be avoided.

Natural sources of preformed vitamin A

  • Beef

  • Cheese

  • Crab

  • Cuttlefish

  • Egg yolks

  • Fish and fish eggs

  • Game birds

  • Lamb

  • Lobster

  • Milk (full cream)

  • Organ meats

  • Rabbit

  • Shellfish

  • Venison

Highest sources of pro-formed vitamin A in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Cayenne chilli powder, paprika 49254 g

  • Sweet potato 19218  g

  • Carrots 17033  g

  • Pumpkin 15563  g

  • Kale 14704  g

  • Dried apricots 12669  g

  • Butternut squash 11155  g

  • Dried mint 10579  g

  • Cos or romaine lettuce 8710  g

  • Parsley 8424  g

  • Cress 6917  g

  • Watercress 3191  g

  • Broccoli 2622  g

  • Butter 2499  g

  • Peas 2100  g

  • Apricots 1926  g

  • Tofu 1913  g

  • Carrot juice 1912  g

  • Passion fruit 1272  g

  • Courgettes 1117  g

  • Tomatoes 833  g

NOTE: One g is one microgram.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is required to protect against infection and assist with clearing up infections and is thought to enhance the immune system. It can also can kill the antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.

Vitamin C increases iron uptake, which vitamin E inhibits. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the same ratio. See Vitamin E below.

NOTE: Vitamin C supplements might raise blood sugar. In older people with diabetes, vitamin C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from heart disease therefore it is wiser to choose foods rich in vitamin C rather than supplements.

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  • Camu camu berries 532 mg

  • Rosehips 426 mg

  • Green chillies 242.5 mg

  • Guavas 228.3 mg

  • Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  • Black currants 181 mg

  • Thyme 160.01 mg

  • Red chillies 143.7 mg

  • Drumstick pods 141 mg

  • Kale 120 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  • Broccoli 89 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 85 mg

  • Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  • Chilli pepper 76 mg

  • Mustard greens 70 mg

  • Cress 69 mg

  • Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  • Swede 62 mg

  • Basil 61 mg

  • Papaya 60 mg

  • Rosemary 61 mg

  • Strawberries 58 mg

  • Chives 58 mg

  • Oranges 53.2 mg

  • Lemons 53 mg

  • Pineapple 48 mg

  • Cauliflower 48 mg

  • Kumquats 43.9 mg

  • Watercress 43 mg

  • Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  • Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  • Melon 36.7 mg

  • Elderberries 36 mg

  • Breadfruit 29 mg

  • Coriander 27 mg

Vitamin E: Low levels of vitamin E can adversely affect the brain, bones, fertility, gallbladder, immune system, lungs, muscles, nerves, skin and the veins

NOTE: High doses of vitamin E supplements can greatly suppress blood coagulation and clotting thus increasing risk of excessive bleeding or haemorrhage. Also synthetic vitamin E is only 50% as absorbable as natural vitamin E and does not contain any tocotreinols, making it a very poor substitute for natural food sources of vitamin E.

Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg

 

Vitamin D: It is estimated that around 70% of the world's population in the northern hemisphere are lacking in vitamin D that is an essential nutrient for the immune system to function correctly. However, this figure may be much higher as testing vitamin D levels is not done on a regular basis, if at all, in most people.

 

Vitamin D is produced by cholesterol in the skin when it is exposed to sunshine. It is then stored in the fatty tissues of the body for between 30-60 days. During the winter months there is often not enough to last through until the sun reaches its optimal strength again around April leading to a deficiency unless extra vitamin D rich foods are consumed.

 

Midday outdoor sun exposure on bare skin as often as possible for 15 minutes (without sunscreen) is recommended so the body can make enough vitamin D. It will not work through windows and cloud cover reduces the amount of vitamin D produced by 50%. In winter months vitamin D must come from the diet.

There are more than 900 genes that Vitamin D is now known to switch on and off and, in doing so, alters the body’s vulnerability to disease. The large number of genes involved explains how so many quite different diseases can be caused by insufficient sunshine.

After the age of 50 the body becomes less proficient at converting the sun's rays to vitamin D and the kidneys become less efficient at making this process take place. It is important to check levels every six months over the age of 50, especially around December and January.

It is also difficult for vegetarians to gain sufficient vitamin D as there are few plant foods that provide it. However certain mushrooms listed below and hemp seeds are two ways of gaining extra in their diet.

Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed

  • Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU

  • Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU

  • Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU

  • Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU

  • Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU

  • Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU

  • Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU

  • Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU

  • Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU

  • Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU

  • Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU

  • Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU

  • Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU

  • Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU

NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

NOTE: Supplements must be vitamin D3 and not D2 and check that aspartame or any other artificial sweetener has not been added to chewable forms. Consuming natural foods that are rich in vitamin D is far healthier and safer than taking supplements except krill oil capsules (1000 mg per day) as this can be beneficial due to the content of vitamin D and other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin.

Zinc: Zinc, together with copper, improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium. Alcohol and some medications cause the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods if on medications or if alcohol is consumed regularly.

Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, broccoli, buffalo, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

PH balance

It is important to address the acid/alkaline balance in the body. An acidic environment causes bacteria and other microbes to flourish. Check the pH of saliva with pHydrion paper. If the saliva pH is below 7.2 then there may be an imbalance of the bacteria flora in the intestines. To increase the oral pH to a normal 7.2 or greater, drink one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a cup of water. It is that simple to neutralise the acids that cause bacteria imbalance and infections, anaemia, halitosis, hay fever, mouth sores, proliferation of worms and parasites, tooth cavities and decay, virus infections and even oral cancer.

Cleaning teeth regularly with bicarbonate of soda can help keep the alkaline levels in check and has no toxic chemicals that are added to toothpastes and alcohol in mouthwashes which encourage an environment suitable for the growth of pathogenic bacteria and parasites. Coconut oil is also antibacterial and can be mixed with bicarbonate of soda to produce a natural toothpaste. It has been proved that the strong antibacterial mouthwashes that contain alcohol encourages the proliferation of worms and parasites by killing the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.

Trimethylamine-N-oxide

Some bacteria in the intestines turn lecithin, a nutrient found in avocado, beef, egg yolks, legumes, nuts, oily fish, organ meats, pork, soya and whole grains, into an artery-clogging compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).

Some intestinal bacteria also transform carnitine, a nutrient found in beef, cheese, halibut, milk, oily fish, pork, poultry, rabbit and venison into trimethylamine-N-oxide.

Both lecithin and carnitine are manufactured by the human body and essential for vital processes in the body.

Lecithin is produced in the liver and consists of fatty acids and choline and is essential for processes in all cells of the body.

Carnitine is made in the body from the two amino acids, lysine and methionine, and is essential to lipid metabolism.

However, excess trimethylamine-N-oxide, caused by certain bacteria in the intestines, transforming lecithin and carnitine which is derived from animal foods into this compound, can lead to blood cholesterol build-up on artery walls, causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and, if the build up ruptures and blocks an artery, results in a stroke or heart attack.

It is therefore healthier to ensure the plant nutrients required for the body to manufacture it's own lecithin and carnitine are present rather than consuming animal products which contain these nutrients which feeds the trimethylamine-N-oxide producing bacteria in the intestines instead.

Natural plant foods to consume to ensure the body can produce it's own lecithin and carnitine are:

AVOIDING BACTERIAL INFECTIONS

The answer is to ultimate disease free health and vitality is to correctly balance the bacteria that naturally exist within the human body by ingesting only those natural foods that can help to do this. Once the body is under attack, especially if the individual is very young, aging or immune suppressed, this is even more vital. Foods of poor nutritional value, over indulgence of unhealthy fats, sugar and toxins introduced to the system simply makes the fight even more difficult and can result in further attacks which the weakened immune system will be unable to fight off.

Wash hands regularly especially after touching any surface others may have been touched by others such as door handles, cash machines, money etc. This is especially important before eating or doing anything that involves the hands touching the mouth such as smoking. It is good to get into the habit of washing the hands as soon as getting home. Always use a tissue when sneezing and coughing and dispose of it properly.

When infected with a bacteria stay away from substances that will make it harder for the body to fight off infection such as:

CONCLUSION

There is no point prescribing medication to relieve the pain or symptoms of bacterial infections when the root cause is the diet of the individual. Pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever are natural bodily responses which are trying to tell the individual that there is a problem and they must expel the pathogens and introduce more, or care for, the beneficial bacteria already present that can assist in the fight. Introducing powerful chemicals simply serves to make this fight even more impossible by indiscriminately killing off all bacteria present. The result is a mutation of the pathogenic bacterium which can now successfully thrive with no adversary to stop them.

A complete overhaul of dietary habits needs to be put in place and a natural cleanse of the system from within will give the body the power and where with all to fight off any disease without drugs. There are hundreds of natural herbal remedies which are more powerful and far kinder than drugs because they do not cause 'side affects' as they work in unison with the bodily systems. Unfortunately, if these remedies are easily available or easy to grow at home they do not get the massive marketing campaigns and media attention that synthetic man made 'cures' do. Not only that, they are denigrated as being 'old wives tales' or 'folk lore'. But thousands of years of successful treatment using these remedies cannot be wrong. Some synthetically produced drugs have had less than 10 years experimentation and yet are pronounced the safe and the right way to 'fix' disease because they can be bottled or packaged and sold world wide.

The effect on each individual of this forceful medication is completely different yet they are sold in 'one size fits all' amounts which can have disastrous affects on the bodies of susceptible individuals. The problem is that these 'side effects' can be very slow to emerge by which time it is not possible to accurately diagnose the cause. Then more drugs are administered to counteract these 'side effects' until the individual is unable to stop any medications because if they do the system, which is now being managed artificially (and not very successfully), has lost the ability to take care of itself.

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"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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