Dr Karen Beckers 4-Point Criteria for an Effective Immune Harmonising Formula
If there’s one thing Dr. Karen Becker has learned about immune function, is it takes a delicate dance to get it just right. For example, Echinacea, while it is a well-known herb for immune support, it can be a bad choice for the wrong pet – or wrong condition. And there are many, many questionable options like Echinacea... So how does Dr. Mercola choose what to use for my feline and canine patients? Here’s Dr. Karen Beckers 4-point criterion for picking the right substances to help balance immune function:
- Must be very safe and unable to do harm, no matter the condition
- Must support all conditions related to immune function
- Must encourage the immune system to behave normally
- Must have a balancing effect and be able to restore homeostasis
Dr. Karen Becker has found four substances that stand out for their ability to promote immune balance, no matter if the immune system is underperforming or on overdrive. And the key is to combine these four together to create a synergistic formula that provides total immune balance.
And we're sure you’ll be pleased to know that all four have withstood the test of time in Karen's practice. Some, as you’ll soon see, come backed by a treasure trove of exciting research, too.
So let’s take a look at the first of these four substances... a unique type of fibre from a tree - Natural Larch Tree Extract which may work wonders for your pet’s cellular and gut health. Arabinogalactans are a special type of digestible or soluble fibre, which act as prebiotics, that is, they provide food for the beneficial bacteria living in your pet’s gut. This fibre is found in many different vegetables and plants, but researchers prefer to use arabinogalactan from Western larch trees in studies for two simple reasons: It’s far more concentrated than food or herb-based sources, and it’s a natural extract, not a drug. For the same amount of arabinogalactan researchers have used in studies, your pet would need to eat the equivalent of a full pound of arabinogalactan-containing foods like carrots, corn, and pears, something not recommended for dogs or cats! There’s even more arabinogalactan in larch tree extract than highly prized shitake mushrooms, another rich source. Perhaps that’s why Native Americans have used larch bark for hundreds of years for their formulas.
So what can larch arabinogalactans potentially do for your pet? Once this prebiotic fibre enters your pet’s gut, it begins to ferment. This valuable fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids that help:
- Protect your pet’s intestinal lining
- Support colon health
- Promote a healthy normal inflammatory response
- Produce butyrate, a substance that promotes healthy cell growth
- Fuel the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria
- Activate important immune cells – macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells
Not Just a Human Thing – Pets Can Get Leaky Gut - Itchy skin and ears, and other allergic signs are some of the most common complaints from pet parents. Traditional veterinarians tend to look only on the surface – and treat accordingly. Dr. Karen Becker has learned to look much deeper to the root cause of many allergy symptoms which can be traced to your pet’s microbiome i.e. his or her unique collection of bacteria that resides in the intestines. Approximately 70 percent of your pet’s immune system lives in her gut. So, if your pet’s microbiome isn’t up to par, her immune health may not be either. That’s why traditional treatments often don’t work for these types of symptoms. In fact, they can make things worse as many of these treatments can harm or upset the delicate balance in your pet’s gut flora, along with stress, processed food and high carbohydrate diets.
When your pet’s beneficial bacteria become unbalanced, dysbiosis and a condition called leaky gut can develop. With leaky gut, the junctions between the cells in your pet’s gut lining loosen. These openings can allow rogue substances, toxins, and undigested food to leak through and enter his bloodstream, something that is not supposed to happen! In response to these foreign invaders, your pet’s immune system can over-react, leading to inflammation, joint discomfort, a worsening of allergy symptoms, and a host of health issues. Larch arabinogalactans, and the short-chain fatty acids they produce can play important roles in helping to protect the mucosal cells in your pet’s intestinal lining and helping to balance the immune response throughout your pet’s body. Arabinogalactans are especially useful for immunodeficient animals.
Colostrum: The first milk a mammal mother produces for her newborn within the first few hours is a special milk called colostrum. Colostrum provides a human or animal baby with vital nutrients like vitamins, electrolytes and the natural antibodies she needs to support her not yet fully developed immune system. It’s Mother Nature’s way of providing what’s known as passive immunity and jump-starting the newborn’s immature immune system. However, researchers are discovering what Ayurvedic and other early practitioners have known for years that Colostrum may provide important benefits for adult mammals too. There are over 1,000 clinical studies documenting the potential benefits of colostrum, specifically bovine or cow colostrum.
Why bovine colostrum? Researchers have found it:
- Is a universal donor for all mammals, meaning it can potentially benefit humans as well as dogs and cats
- The immune and growth factors in cow’s colostrum is nearly identical to human
- It is up to 100 to 1000 times more potent than human colostrum, making it an outstanding choice for any mammal
Even though colostrum is an animal product, Dr Karen Becker can feel good about using it with their pet patients because they know that cows produce more colostrum than any other domestic animal and it can be obtained in a humane manner.
7 Good Reasons to Give Your Pet Bovine Colostrum
Dr Karen Becker believes there are at least seven (and probably many more) good reasons to give your dog or cat bovine colostrum:
- A hormone in colostrum called Proline-Rich Polypeptide (PRP) helps balance immune function, can help boost an under-active immune system or help down-regulate one that’s overly active
- Contains important immune factors like lactoferrin and immunoglobulins, including IgG, to support the body’s protective functions against invaders and toxin buildup
- Its growth hormone helps boost cell, tissue, and organ repair to help reduce the signs of cellular aging
- Helps seal the gastrointestinal tract lining to help prevent leaky gut
- Contains probiotics to help restore a healthy gut microbiome Its cytokines promote healthy cellular growth and a healthy inflammatory response
- Growth factors in colostrum promote healthy tissues, cellular repair, and wound healing
Colostrum contains many nutrients that can potentially benefit your dog or cat. Some of these factors are not produced by your pet’s body and must be provided through diet. These include 17 essential amino acids, glyconutrients that support white blood cell activity, and essential fatty acids.
With the current state of commercial pet food, Dr. Mercola highly recommend supplementing your pet’s diet with bovine colostrum. However, make sure it comes from healthy cows that are not fed synthetic hormones or routine antibiotics!
Moringa Oleifera: is one of the hottest new botanicals to hit the market in recent years. Only it’s not new, as it has been used extensively for years in dogs and cats. And it has a long colourful history of use. Originally from Southern India and Northern Africa, Moringa Oleifera has been used by the native peoples for food and for multiple health purposes for themselves and their animals. Many parts of the moringa or Malunggay tree are used, but its leaves, when dried, offer the greatest value as a supplement. A rarity in the plant world, they contain complete proteins and more than 90 bioavailable nutrients and 46 antioxidants. Because of moringa’s potential for health, the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation are supporting its on-going research. The National Institutes of Health recognised it as the Botanical of the Year for 2007. Far from being just the latest nutritional fad, the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union now plants and cultivates this exceptional tree in different locations, including Africa, in order to help combat malnutrition.
Moringa offers the same benefits for animals as it does for humans. So what makes it so potentially valuable for your pet?
Dr Karen Becker uses moringa as a whole food supplement because it’s terrific for supporting immune function. It’s a boon for pets consuming less than optimal nutrition to quickly boost cellular nutrition. Because a dog or cat’s body views moringa as food, Karen has found this herb to be especially beneficial for sensitive patients who can't tolerate other supplements. Here are some other reasons, besides its abundant vitamins and minerals that Dr. Karen Becker chooses to use moringa for their pet patients:
- Contains chlorogenic acid which helps slow cells’ absorption of sugar and other beneficial plant compounds like isothiocyanates to promote healthy, normal blood sugar levels
- Helps promote a healthy balanced immune response Its isothiocyanates, flavonoids and phenolic acids promote a normal healthy inflammatory response, helpful for flexible and comfortable joint movement
- It supports cardiovascular health (was even shown in rabbit studies to lower cholesterol levels and reduce plaque formation)
- May help protect against heavy metals and arsenic toxicity, a common contaminant in staple food items, such as rice
- May help support digestive and liver health
Yeast Fermentate: Dr Karen Becker has a huge bias against yeast as she hasnt found any type of yeast to be an animal’s best friend. That is, until she discovered Yeast Fermentate. Years back, a very well-known producer of a yeast fermentate product contacted Dr. Mercola. They wanted them to help prove to the world that it could offer immune-balancing benefits, especially to debilitated animals. Well, you could imagine Dr. Karen Beckers shock and disbelief when they were told it was a yeast product. Long story short, Dr. Karen Becker found out that this product wasn’t new. It had been developed 60 years ago to help ease the weaning stress that pigs often encounter on farms, and to help factory-farmed chickens and cows endure everyday stress. What especially caught her attention during her research was that the people working with this yeast fermentate reported greater health!
In a nutshell, here’s what led Dr. Karen Becker to feel comfortable using this yeast product on their clients:
- There were no negative immunologic effects – no yeast reaction (In fact, in my clinical experience, it actually helps support body defenses against yeast!)
- It helped very stressed and sick animals regain their health
- It contained no gluten
- It helped promote a normal, healthy allergic response
Most importantly, Dr.Karen Becker learned that the fermentation process used to make this product cancels any of yeast’s potentially negative effects. And it did an outstanding job of supporting balanced immune function in the animals studied, as well as their own patients!
Could This Special Yeast Fermentate Help Your Pet? Maybe you’re wondering, what exactly is this yeast fermentate? The yeast fermentate used is a concentrated formula, made in the U.S., of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols (antioxidants) and other natural ingredients. It starts with baker’s yeast, that safe, natural organism that’s been used over the years to make breads, wine, and beer. Through an oxygen-rich process, the microorganism multiplies. The microorganisms are then put under stress to produce beneficial metabolites. The natural fermentation product that results contains a multitude of proteins, peptides, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds. It also contains wholesome beta glucans and mannans from the yeast cell wall.
In human research studies, this special yeast fermentate has been shown to help support immune function. It significantly increases Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and antioxidant protection within only hours of consumption. Lab studies and a human clinical study also suggest yeast fermentate acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In pets, it may help increase serum IgA levels, an important antibody for supporting normal immune function. In fact in Dr Karen Beckers practice it was one of the only things her IgA deficient patients responded to!
Many animals are born with less-than-ideal immune function, and this natural immune support has been a godsend for these animals. Plus, it’s safe to use in pets, and both cats and dogs like its mild flavor.
To summarize, working like a super-multivitamin supplement for pets, Karen's clinical experience shows yeast fermentate may help:
- Support your pet’s normal, healthy immune response
- Support digestive function and gut health
- Promote flexibility and comfortable movement
- Provide support for environmental allergies
- Support a normal, healthy inflammatory response Support a healthy, vibrant coat
Dr. Karen Beckers 4-in-1 Immune Balance for Pets - – A Revolutionary Approach to Immune Health
No one has ever combined these four immune balancing compounds before of Larch Arabinogalactan, Colostrum, Organic Moringa, and Yeast Fermentate. That is, until now. Each one is exceptional in its own right but juggling four different supplements each day can be overwhelming, so when Karen decided to create this product for Dr. Mercola, she combined all four for optimal immune balancing support into one convenient product.
So in summary, Dr Becker recommends Pet Immune Balanve for dogs and cats of all ages and breeds, however there are some groups that she feels can especially benefit:
- Pets who are born immuno-deficient
- Pets who might benefit from extra inflammatory support on an on-going basis
- Pets genetically compromised or disposed to certain conditions, including “runts” and “poor doers”
- Pets who are suffering from infections and weak and debilitated
- Pets who will be boarded or living in a different environment
- Pets coming from foster homes or dogs homes
- Pets exposed to other animals in dog parks and other public areas Pets being treated for health conditions, including immune dysfunction
- Pets eating a processed, commercially prepared diet Pets facing a stressful experience, such as house guests and travel
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