Potent Lactic-Acid Bacteria for Heavy-Metal Decontamination

Image Dinosaur We learned more about “natural history”, spending several Sunday afternoons visiting a paleontologist friend’s laboratory, then we had all the years spent strolling through sterile, hands-off museums.

As much an educator, as scientist, he encouraged “hands-on” learning, urging us to handle broken, scarred and shattered dinosaur bones mined from his secret-location dinosaur quarry.

One specimen stands out in my memory – a large femur, still partially entombed in its rock-slab. Across its expanse, a 6-inch crevasse had been carved out of the bone by large teeth, driven by powerful jars. What wasn’t clear was whether or not that was the fatal blow, ending the creature’s life.

In response to our speculations, our scientist-friend pointed towards the neighboring fossil-preparation table holding a 4-foot tail section. Like the femur, the vertebrae were partially exposed above the rock and dirt, neatly laid end-to-end. Between each vertebrae were sections of packed dirt, easily cleaned away with a few gentle chisel strokes and swipes of a brush. There was one section, between the 2nd and 3rd vertebrae, different from the others. The gap wasn’t filled with rock and dirt, but instead, a strange, twisted dark, solid mass, fusing the two vertebrae together.

The mass was cancer – osteosarcoma – a much more “likely cause of this grand beast’s demise”, said our friend, the paleontologist.

My brain struggled trying to connect the pieces of the puzzle. An ancient creature, living during a time when there were no car fumes, synthetic pesticides, toxic cleaning chemicals, or heavy metals pouring from industrial smokestacks, was struck down by what I’d viewed as a modern disease.

Since then, I’ve learned some amazing and wondrous things, such as virulent, life-threatening toxins – heavy metals, cyanotoxins and mycotoxins have always existed, threatening the lives of animals and humans.

Fermented Dosa Batter They’ve been just as much a part of this world as have the beneficial microbes permeating our soil, air, and water. I’ve also learned that we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made – that with the right nutritional support, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and following traditional ancient-paths of food production and preservation (drying, salting, curing, brining, fermenting, and pickling) that we stand a better chance of neutralizing those things which might do us harm.

Times of drought, stress, volcanoes or any number of other natural-disasters could well have weakened both a viable food-supply and the immune system of what was finally identified as a magnificent Sauropod. Like him, we are both a microbial-being, as well as a chemical-being, our digestive system in need of daily-supplementation of lactic-acid bacteria that not only aid digestion, restoring the mucosa lining of our “guts”, but also powerful in defending and protecting our lives.

Lactic acid bacteria have been identified as potent tools for the decontamination of heavy metals, cyanotoxins and mycotoxins.Research Abstract

The next time you create a batch of traditionally-fermented sourdough bread, consider the beneficial lactic-acid bacteria hard at work, neutralizing the naturally-occurring mycotoxins that are on the surface of most grains.

Or contemplate the fermented red-lentil dosa made with rice, a grain known to contain high levels of lead from lead arsenate once used extensively on croplands.

Industrial-processed boxed cereals, breads, cookies, cakes, biscuits, muffins and other grain-based products that have not been created with a traditional sourdough fermentation process, will not offer the same advantages, an issue the industrialized “food” conglomerates would love to mass-produce.

Why wait for them to discover what thousands of generations knew intuitively throughout time – that lacto-fermented foods, created in small-batches at home, offers a wide-range of lactic-acid bacteria benefits.

Use Pickl-It to put the power of naturally-occurring lactic-acid bacteria to work in your grains, seeds and legumes.

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Keywords: aflatoxin;combination;heavy metal;lactic acid bacteria;microcystin

Abstract Aims:  The primary objective of this study was to compare the removal of cadmium, lead, aflatoxin B1 and microcystin-LR from aqueous solution by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. rhamnosus LC705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii shermanii JS and Bifidobacterium breve Bbi99/E8, separately and in combination.

Methods and Results:  The removal of toxins and heavy metals was assessed in batch experiments. The removal of all compounds was observed to be strain specific. The removal of lead by a combination of all the strains used was observed to be lower than could be predicted from the removal by single strains (P < 0·05). A similar trend was also observed with the other compounds studied.

Conclusions:  The results show that the toxin-removal capacity of a combination of strains of lactic acid bacteria is not the sum of their individual capacities. Therefore, pure single strains should be used when the goal is to remove single compounds. The use of combinations of strains may be beneficial when several compounds are removed together. This needs to be studied in future experiments.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  Lactic acid bacteria have been identified as potent tools for the decontamination of heavy metals, cyanotoxins and mycotoxins. The results of this study should be considered when selecting combinations of bacteria for the simultaneous removal of several toxic compounds.