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Lipopolysaccharides and Endotoxins

Lipopolysaccharides are large molecules composed of sugars and fats which are endotoxins found within a bacterial cell. LPS is secreted as part of the normal physiological activity of membrane vesicle trafficking and protects the membrane from certain chemical attacks. LPS activates the hosts’ immune response by stimulating white blood cells (i.e., neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells) to secrete certain enzymes that deactivate them. Additionally, these WBC’s secrete proinflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide, and eicosanoids, and the resulting cellular response is the release of superoxide, a free radical that causes oxidative stress. This may function as an adaptive host strategy to manage the toxic effects of LPS.

LPS and inflammation may be the most important factors contributing to the varied clinical manifestations of infections, especially for tick-borne pathogens. Excessive release of LPS can lead to endotoxemia (septicemia) and requires immediate medical attention.

It is thought that lipooligosaccharides may cause autoimmune disease (i.e., multiple sclerosis) by a mechanism known as molecular mimicry. Many bacteria employ molecular mimicry strategies to fool the hosts’ immune systems.

Scientists believe that lingering LPS long after a bacterial infection has been eradicated may cause continued host immunosuppression and persistent symptoms. It has been proposed that if LPS is not removed, illness is likely to continue.

Cellular detox using German biological medicines and herbs can help reduce the effects of endotoxemia. Toxin binders such as apple pectin, chlorella, zeolite, charcoal, and Cholestyramine may also be useful.

Perhaps one of the oldest and most effective ways to cleanse the body is to fast or eat a solely plant-based diet. This may not be appropriate for all patients so it is best to discuss this with your physician.

For more information about Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and Endotoxins ask Dr. Marra during your next visit!