lipopolysaccharide endotoxin

Have you heard of Lipopolysaccharide endotoxin?

What is a lipopolysaccharide endotoxin?

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are an endotoxin primarily produced by certain (gram-negative) bacteria.  The LPS is a natural component of the outer membrane of these bacteria, which gets released into the gut when the bacteria die off. Species that are commonly found in the gut like Escherichia coli, Bacteroides fragilis, Citrobacter and Klebsiella produce LPS.

Why are lipopolysaccharide endotoxins considered ‘bad’?

Lipopolysaccharide endotoxin can enter the bloodstream through a process known as translocation, which can occur when the gut barrier becomes compromised. LPS can also enter the bloodstream through ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Once in the bloodstream, LPS can trigger an immune response, leading to inflammation and tissue damage. LPS drives a range of health issues, including chronic inflammation, fatigue, depression, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic disorders.

Our gut can handle some lipopolysaccharide, however it can reach a threshold. Certainly in the case of chronic constpation, the endotoxins are not being cleared often enough. 

Lipopolysaccharide endotoxin and leaky gut.

To add insult to injury, lipopolysaccharide endotoxin can contribute to the development of leaky gut. How? By activating inflammation, disrupting tight junctions in the intestinal lining and increasing the passage of LPS and other toxins into the blood. So it becomes a vicious cycle.  

Therefore, reducing  lipopolysaccharide endotoxin levels in the gut can be an important part of treating leaky gut and improving gut health, as well as whole body health. 

How do I know if I have high lipopolysaccharide?

  1. Stool test: A stool sample can be analyzed to determine the composition of the gut microbiome, including the presence of LPS-producing bacteria. 

  2. Blood test: High levels of lipopolysaccharide endotoxin in the gut can lead to the release of LPS into the bloodstream, which can be detected with a blood test. Elevated levels of LPS in the blood often indicate increased permeability of the gut lining and inflammation.

  3. Symptoms: Some symptoms and conditions may be indicative of excessive LPS:

  • Diabetes type 2
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome,
  • Fatty liver
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Depression
  • Auto-immune conditions

How do I reduce lipopolysaccharide?

Dietary modifications

If you have identified a high load of lipopolysaccharide endotoxin in your gut microbiome, you may want to reduce fats in your diet temporarily. This includes saturated fats from animal meats and dairy products or even coconut oil. The logic behind reducing dietary fats is that LPS producing bacteria feed on bile – which is produced in the presence of fats in the digestive system. 

Additionally, reduce processed foods, sugar, and alcohol. Instead, have fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to help reduce LPS levels in the gut.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, prebiotics help reduce the number of LPS-producing bacteria.

Likewise, probiotics can help reduce LPS levels in the gut microbiome by increasing beneficial bacteria and decreasing the harmful bacteria that produce LPS. Some strains of probiotics, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, have been shown to reduce LPS levels in the gut by promoting a healthy balance of bacteria.

Sleep & Exercise

Sleep is critical for the body’s ability to repair and regenerate tissues, including the gut lining. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to changes in the gut microbiome, including decreased bacterial diversity and increased harmful bacteria.

Poor sleep has also been associated with increased intestinal permeability, which can lead to the release of LPS from the gut into the bloodstream. Therefore, getting adequate and restful sleep is crucial for supporting a healthy gut microbiome and reducing LPS levels.

Similarly, regular exercise has been shown to positively impact the gut microbiome. In fact, exercise has been linked to increased bacterial diversity and a more beneficial composition of gut bacteria. In addition, regular moderate intensity exercise reduces inflammation, improves gut barrier function, and reduces intestinal permeability. These benefits may help to reduce the production and release of LPS from the gut into the bloodstream.

Immuron Protectyn®

Protectyn® is scientifically formulated to be high in specific antibodies, namely anti-LPS antibodies, which target and remove harmful Bacteria and LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) Toxins. Derived from colostrum, it has a unique ability to neutralize lipopolysaccharide (LPS).  Protectyn® contains antibodies, including immunoglobulin A (IgA). Basically, the IgA binds to and neutralizes LPS in the gut, preventing it from crossing the gut barrier and entering the bloodstream.
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