Robert G. Silverman, DC, CNS, CCN

Environmental Toxins: Effect on the Gut-to-Brain Axis in Health and Disease


2019 Advancing Naturopathic Medicine

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Presented by: Robert G. Silverman, DC,

Naturopathic care includes treating many patients with joint disorders. Some of
our most common musculoskeletal conditions have an autoimmune component
to their etiology and may account for their relentless progression and difficulty in
treatment. The role of dietary and gut-related pathogens as triggers or

exacerbators of joint disorders has been defined; the gut-joint axis is real. Gut-
related antigens from bacteria, oral pathogens and food proteins can play a role
in multiple joint disorders including joint tissue inflammation, tissue
autoimmunity and tissue degeneration. Gram-negative bacteria in the gut
produce a toxin called lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which, if translocated to the
bloodstream, upregulates the production of inflammatory cytokines that target
joints, as seen in arthritis. Antibodies made against specific foods (gliadin, dairy
proteins, pork) and pathogens (Clostridium botulinum, Porphyromonas
gingivalis, Streptococcus and Klebsiella) are known to cross-react with joint
tissues, such as collagen, fibulin and arthritic peptide. Additionally, lectins and
agglutinins from wheat, lentils, peas and beans, can bind to cartilage and
connective tissue. These mechanisms result in the destruction of self-tissues.
Tissue antibodies can appear in the blood up to 10 years before the onset of
disease. If detected in the early subclinical stages of autoimmunity, protocols can
be implemented to stop the autoimmune process and potentially prevent the
onset of disease. Through inflammation, cross-reactivity and covalent binding,
gut-related antigens can contribute to joint disorders. When the gut barrier is
broken these potential triggers of joint disorders can more easily ignite or fuel the
autoimmune pathogenesis. Thus, the importance of intestinal barrier health
cannot be emphasized enough. Gut barrier integrity testing, autoantibody
assessments, identification of environmental triggers and intestinal barrier
practitioner protocols will be presented.

Doctors attending this lecture should understand and be ready for "Monday-
morning" clinic implementation on areas such as: Connecting the gut and
immune system with joints for better management of chronic joint disorders;
knowing how to expertly assess intestinal barrier dysfunctions; being able to
identify key gut-related triggers of joint disorders; using predictive antibodies for
the identification of tissue damage caused environmental triggers; understanding
how to repair the broken intestinal barrier; and knowing ways to keep the gut
barrier functioning throughout one's lifetime for healthier living.