Binding agents are inert substances that are not digested or absorbed by the body. These binders can be used to “mop up” bio-toxins from bacterial, yeast, and mold die-off. I often use binders as a component of bio-film treatment, or during the initial stages of antibiotic therapy where we can expect significant bacterial die-off.
Binders are considered very safe to take, but should be spaced at least 1 hour away from other medications or supplements or they may interfere with absorption.
Think of a binding agent as a porous substance that soaks up toxins from microbe die-off, rather than allowing these bio-toxins to linger in the body.
When starting biofilm, yeast, mold, or bacterial treatment, symptoms that may suggest the need for binders include:
- Joint pain
- PANDAS/PANS symptom flare (more tics, anxiety, OCD, etc)
- Loose stools or constipation
What binders can we use?
- Cholestyramine: A prescription binder, generally used for mold die-off and Lyme disease. This binder is very expensive and may cause digestive discomfort, so I don’t use it quite as often.
- Activated charcoal and Takesumi charcoal: Charcoal binds toxins in the stomach and intestines, and is best for someone with looser stools rather than constipation. Charcoal is easily accessible, inexpensive and can be taken as a capsule or mixed in with water or milk/almond milk.
- Pectin (apple pectin or modified citrus pectin): Pectin binds toxins in the small and large intestine. This binder adds bulk to the stools and makes them softer and is therefore better for someone experiencing constipation.
- Bentonite clay: Clay is a very porous sponge that absorbs water in the digestive tract and draws toxins into the clay for excretion via the bowels. Clay is very safe and has little taste. Clay should be taken with a glass of water to facilitate expansion of the clay. Often clay is paired with psyllium husk fiber.
- Zeolite: Zeolite is another type of clay binder. Zeolite does work as a binder in the gastrointestinal tract, however a portion of zeolite is also absorbed into the blood stream and must be eliminated via the kidneys. Because of this, careful dosing is important so as to not place stress on the kidneys. Care should also be taken to not inhale zeolite powder as it has carcinogenic effects on the lungs. Bentonite clay or charcoal are safer options.
- Diatomaceous Earth: DE is a silica-based binder derived from fossilized algae. Because of the gentle abrasive effects of silica, DE is great for breaking down biofilms and destroying parasites. DE should be mixed with water and taken on an empty stomach. DE typically has little or no taste, and is easily tolerated.
- Chlorella: Chlorella is a green algae that can be used for gentle detox from bio-toxins, and is better suited for a patient with constipation as it largely comprised of soluble fibre. Chlorella also contains insoluble fibre that binds to and absorbs bio-toxins. Chlorella does not deplete minerals and can be taken with or without food. This algae is a very safe option, however it is not as effective of a bio-toxin binder as some of the others.