"Die-off… Is a Good Thing!" By Joanie Blaxter, National Educator, Just Thrive
A primary role of beneficial bacteria is to act as gut microbiome watchdogs that kill invading pathogens. Experts now estimate, however, that approximately 80-90% of Americans have an insufficient population of beneficial bacteria in combination with an overgrowth of bad bacteria. These pathogens are not generally lethal, but instead produce low-level irritants which inflame the gut wall, impact our immune system, leak into the bloodstream and challenge our liver and kidneys.
Die-off, also known as the Herxheimer Reaction, occurs when these gut pathogens are killed, causing their cell wall to burst open and dump toxins previously contained inside the bacteria into the intestines.
The good news is two-fold. This is a one-time spike because those bad bacteria are now dead and gone, never to bother us again. And, the more a pathogenic overgrowth is reduced, the closer we come to the long-term health associated with a balanced and resilient gut microbiome.
The bad news is we may (or may not) notice some uncomfortable symptoms from that temporary increase in die-off toxins.
- A recent clinical study showed that Just Thrive’s spore-based Probiotic alone increased keystone, beneficial gut bacteria by 10-100 FOLD at one cap daily in 3 weeks.
- That benefit appears to effectively DOUBLE with the addition of Precision Prebiotic at one scoop in 2 weeks, according to Kiran Krishnan, research microbiologist behind Just Thrive.
Detoxifying organs cleaning bacterially produced irritants from the bloodstream 24/7 may become temporarily overwhelmed by a one-time pathogenic die-off. Whether or not we experience a reaction will be determined by how fast low populations of beneficial bacteria increase, the numbers of pathological bacteria in the gut and the condition of the liver and kidneys.
Experiences Will Vary
Many report only an improvement in well-being upon starting these productsand have no die-off symptoms.
However, some may experience excessive fatigue in combination with a worsening of chronic symptoms. Because the gut microbiome is connected to the entire body, this aggravation can look like virtually anything, including mood disorders, increased gas and bloating, skin conditions, immune reactions, etc.
The solution, however, is always the same. Slow the dosage. If a gut-related aggravation is experienced:
- Celebrate! A die-off reaction indicates you’re on the road to greater microbiome balance.
- Wait until uncomfortable symptoms pass before taking the next dose. The goal is to match dosage to your body while gradually reaching the recommended one cap daily.
- Keep in mind there is absolutely no advantage to “muscling” through a reaction, rather than backing off. Simply lower the amount you take (i.e. take a half of a capsule or one capsule every other day until you tolerate well).
- You do not need to take the Probiotic and Prebiotic at the same time of day. The Prebiotic is not directly feeding the spore-based bacillus strains so much as it is providing nutrients for low populations of our permanent beneficial microbial residents.
Go Low, Go Slow
- PROBIOTIC: For the first three weeks, take the Probiotic after a meal to initiate the gut-reconditioning process. Start at a half-cap with a meal, and based on symptoms, work up to one cap daily. You can open up the capsule and mix the contents with food or drink and save the remaining contents for your next dose.
- PREBIOTIC: Once you are comfortably taking a full cap daily of the Probiotic, or at three weeks assuming you are easily tolerating the full maintenance dose, add in the Precision Prebiotic. Again, start low at ¼ - ½ scoop daily and increase based on how you feel.