Many people might be worried about the Coles blanket-bagged-salad recall due to the Victoria salmonella outbreak. These are three natural ways to prevent salmonella poisoning and protect your family.
Your levels of beneficial bacteria should be increased.
Salmonella, a gram-negative bacteria that can cause severe gastroenteritis, is quite a nasty strain. It would help if you increased your beneficial bacteria levels when you were trying to prevent bacteria-induced food poisoning. If you are unlucky enough, this is the key to preventing the infection or drastically reducing symptoms (virulence).
Prebiotics and diet have been shown in 48 hours to increase your levels of beneficial species such as lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and other beneficial bacteria. It is a smart idea to improve your microbiota profile to prevent infection. Most gut bacteria live in the mucin layer, which covers the gut. They can get food and shelter here, so competition for attachment can be fierce.
It’s the same thing as searching for the best campsite when camping. You don’t want to be next to the toilet or camp kitchen.
Salmonella is a pathogenic (bad) bacteria. These bacteria are only interested in gaining access to the mucin layer, which allows them to eat, play, and reproduce quickly. The good bacteria will reduce the number of symptoms in your gut. If your intestinal lining is already crowded, the salmonella won’t be reproducing at the same speed and can make its way into your stool. Lower salmonella counts = fewer gut symptoms.
Top Tip #1
It would help if you took 5ml of Lactulose two times daily with or without food. Lactulose, a prebiotic fiber, has been extensively researched to increase lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. It is also effective against salmonella, according to some evidence. Actilax and Lac-dol are the brands sold by Australian chemists. Do not take this medication if you are suffering from severe lactose intolerance. The recommended therapeutic dose is 10ml twice daily. However, it would help if you started with the lower dose to avoid gas. This will cause gas and usually stops after five days. Children can use this medicine (just 5ml daily).
Acidify your stomach & your colon
Salmonella can tolerate a wide pH range of 4-8 but doesn’t thrive in more acidic environments. Healthy individuals can have stomach pH as low as 2. You should not take Nexium or Gaviscon if you have SIBO or bloating. As a first-line defense against salmonella, having healthy stomach acid is vital. It will help reduce the bacterial count.
A low pH will mean a slow transit time if you have diarrhea or other symptoms. Keep your colon acidic at around 5. Studies have shown that beneficial bacteria use SCFAs to kill salmonella in the stomach.
Top Tip #2
Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 100ml water. Drink this mixture at the beginning of your meal to acidify your stomach. To stimulate the production of gastric acid, herbal bitters can be taken. Taraxacum Officinale Radix (Dandelion root), Gentiana Lilia (Gentian), and Centaurium Eryhtraea(Centaury) are all good herbs. You could also drink Chinotto San Pellegrino, Angostura bitters or a combination thereof as an aperitif. It will still do the same (plus the sugar).
Top Tip #3
High-fiber foods will help acidify your colon and produce many SCFAs. You should aim for at least 50g of fiber daily. It would help if you ate various plant-based diets to get your fiber. The best choices include:
- Colored fruits and vegetables.
- Multi-colored whole grain (red and dark quinoa, red spelled and wild rice).
- Onions and garlic.
Reduce your intake of animal protein and saturated oil, as they feed E. coli. This is less beneficial and can make you a ‘bad guy.
Use a strain-specific probiotic
Some probiotic strains are more effective than others in preventing gastro. Contrary to popular belief, probiotics don’t recolonize your gut. They have beneficial effects on the GI tract, such as lowering colon pH and encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Top Tip #4
Daily intake of 1 Vaalia Yoghurt (in Australia) is recommended as it contains both Lactobacillus Acidophilus HTML5 and Bifidobacterium BB-12. Both strains are well-studied for bacterial gastro prevention.
Garlic should be eaten as you intend it.
Garlic is one of the most effective antimicrobials that you can find. It’s also cheap and delicious. It’s a selective antimicrobial that doesn’t harm beneficial bacteria.
Top Tip #5
Take 1 clove of freshly crushed garlic twice daily. If you are taking Warfarin or other blood thinners, it may be contra-indicated to consume garlic. The clove must first be crushed to activate the enzymes in garlic that produce antimicrobial compounds. If you have severe sulfur or fructose intolerance, avoid this product.
Top Tip #6
Last, DO NOT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS DURING A SALMONELLA OUTBREAK UNTIL ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Human studies have shown that broad-spectrum antibiotics can increase salmonellosis risk.