top of page

Topic 4 - Probiotics


There is no doubt that probiotics play a role in the prevention of cancer. If you look at your tongue, you can get a sense of what is happening in your gut. If your tongue is overly coated or has a bad odor then you could have an overgrowth of bad bacteria or fungus in your gut. Another test is to spit into a glass of water first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Try to get saliva as well as some phlegm when you spit. If you have a healthy gut, your phlegm will be diluted and disappear when you shake the glass. If your phlegm is too thick to dissolve, then you likely have a gut issue. If it is yellow or grayish then it could be a bacterial infection.


There are so many types of bacteria that scientists have not identified all of them.


Recent studies of pregnant women show that there is a connection between women with certain types of bacteria in their gut and children with Autism. The children are known to have brain lesions.


Dr. Liu believes that there is a connection between cancer, autoimmunity and the gut. He always checks the gut health condition of people with cancer. Recently, two of his patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing chemotherapy had such good results that their doctor at MGH commented that they are the only two to have such positive results in two years. Chemotherapy has adverse reactions on the gut; a truly traumatic reaction that significantly destroys gut health.


How to choose your probiotic:


1.Check that it is gastric acid resistant (so it won’t dissolve in your stomach.).


  1. Humans have more than 70 varieties of Acidophilus lactobacillus in their gut. The common commercial ones contain 13. A good brand should have at least 4  species of acidophilus. It is suggested that you should look for a brand with different acidophilus every half year if you can not achieve the expected results, because everyone may carry different colonies. One company that Dr. Liu recommends is Nature’s Way. The brand Raw has more than 30 different types of probiotics and is recommended for those with significant gut issues. 


Studies suggest that you should take a probiotic for at least two months in order to improve gut health.  If you have had cancer or if you have candida or a fungus, etc., then it is not as easy to restore the gut and can take 4 to 6 months. Take a probiotic under doctor’s orders every 6 months If your symptoms are not resolved then try a new one that has a different variety than the previous brand. 


One way that you can check your probiotic at home is to put it in milk, check it in 24 hours and see if it has fermented. . Ideally, this should may work even with pasteurized milk. It won’t taste like yogurt but it should be fermented. Dr. Liu has cultured bacteria and observed it under a microscope to see if it is still alive, in order to check the efficacy of probiotics. 


Dr. Liu recommends kefir, which is an ancient type of yogurt. Kefir can be made from almond milk or coconut milk. Kefir can be purchased in the supermarket. Look for one that is hypoallergenic. Some people may be able to  digest Kefir even they are lactose intolerant and cannot breakdown the lactose in milk products. Try to eat 1 cup per day of good quality yogurt. Never buy one with sugar! 


The optimal way to purchase yogurt is in a clay pot, not a plastic container, but this is not available in the US. People who live in areas with the longest life expectancies in the world commonly are those who make their own yogurt.  It tastes like Beijing yogurt. Tibetan yogurt is also excellent and has a unique taste. Sophia’s yogurt is Watertown is good quality. (Sophia’s Greek pantry, 265 Belmont Street, Belmont MA 02478). 


Kimchi, miso soup and probiotic cheese are all good. Keep in mind that some homemade kimchi may include yeast, so if you get bloated after eating it, you are sensitive to yeast and should not eat it. If you ever have red rash or itchiness after eating any of these then you likely have an allergy. Dairy can be tricky for many people. Old cheese, like blue cheese, is not good. It may be made in a high moisture basement and can easily become contaminated. 


Kombucha started in the 1960s in China. You can purchase the culture and make it yourself. Traditionally it was passed from home to home. Dr. Liu recommends the Whole Food brand kombucha drink . Costco also sells the same brand (GT’s organic and raw Kombucha). A good probiotic culture should break down the sugar. Kombucha is easily contaminated as yeast is everywhere in the environment. It requires a sterile environment and disposable tools to make it.


Eat your food as soon as possible and try to avoid eating food that has been sitting in the refrigerator. You can cook food again to kill bacteria, but it is not safe as it will not kill the toxins released by the bacteria, which remain in the food. Also, some fungus is cold resistant.


Roots are safer than leaves. Leafy greens may produce toxins overnight. 4 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature at which refrigerators are set, is not safe, as fungus grows at that temperature. So be sure to clean your refrigerator often and cook and eat your food right away. Be extra cautious when your immune system is compromised.


  1. Are there heavy metals in seaweed?

Seafood has 13x more heavy metals than fish, etc. But they also have properties that extract heavy metals from the body. Seaweed from Japan used to be the best until the Fukushima accident. Red seaweed is from the deep water and is the food that salmon eat and from which they get their pinkish hue. The salmon get their omega 3 from the seaweed and would have no omega 3 without it. Studies have shown that within 2 generations salmon loses Omega 3 without the seaweed. Seaweed from Northern Maine and Canada is safest as it is far away from industry and less likely to be contaminated. ( Mary suggests buying seaweed directly from You can read about them here:


The best solution is to take seaweed in capsule form, such as those from Nature’s Way.  The company has to check for heavy metal content so you know it is safe. Otherwise, try to find seaweed that has been tested for heavy metal content. A small amount of heavy metals can be chelated by the seaweed naturally. Seaweed in kelp is one of the best prebiotics, with 50% polysaccharides. 


Studies have shown that 70% of American women lack iodine due to poor diet. Japanese women traditionally eat up to 12 mg of iodine per day through fish and seaweed intake. Dr. Liu recommends his patients take kelp in doses of 400 mcg/day, which is still relatively low and a safe dosage. Medical studies have used the breast cancer model on animals, adding iodine. The group given iodine showed significant growth inhibition of cancerous tumors. In China, the first medicine for any cyst or nodule is a combination of kelp and other seaweed. 


In regards to the thyroid, iodine function affects T4 to T3 transfer. Most thyroid function is from T3, not T4. T4 needs to be converted into T3 in the liver. Therefore, T3 and T4 and TSH  should be tested together. 

Daily practice


Basic Daoyin posture - Keep your feet flat on the floor. Use your legs muscle to stand tall. (Please sit if you feel dizzy or cannot do this exercise standing up!) This basic Daoyin position is very important. When you bend your knees, push your pelvis in a little. Use your muscles and open your toes, pressing down into the floor. Stand strong. Dr. Liu demonstrated for us how you can’t be pushed over if you stand like this. Stand as if a string is pulling you up from the top of your head. 


Qi practice - Video of Holding the Ball and Rooster is online at:



This exercise is at

Open chest with hands out, Feet shoulder width and parallel.

Bend knees, palms facing and breathe in. Breathe out bend knees and lower.

Keep your shoulders back and down - this is not an arm exercise.

Shoulders expand with the movement

Benefit of training the chest to open and close is to let more oxygen in. Use abdominal breathing. 



This exercise is at 3:00 of Daoyin-Qigong-Video online

Feet shoulder width apart. Palms face down - push down and back using wrists, keeping palms at waist level. Arms go back; push neck and stretch up. Feel the stretch/tension in shoulder blades. Stretch and breathe in, bend and relax. Relax chin and keep head level. Do not lift up your chin! Shoulders are down and relaxed.


Squeeze your shoulder blades. Focus on your spine as you breathe out. All the fluid goes up the spine. Stretch the spine up as if you are growing taller. Think of your spine as a fountain.


Breathe OUT as you stretch up but don't stick your neck out. Stretch your body and neck UP.


Rooster is designed for neck problems. Feel the stretch of the muscles at the back of the neck and middle of the back as you open your chest. Relax like a shrimp and then stand and stretch as your chest opens and closes.


Relax your diaphragm and let it push up naturally. The pelvic tilt lets the diaphragm expand downwards and massages the inner organs. Keep your spine straight. Only arms push back.


2nd principle of Daoyin - use the mind to start. Chin is lowered and tucked and leg muscles are strong and tight. Older people’s necks get shorter and shorter. Daoyin is designed against incorrect movement and postures of everyday life. Pushing down as spine goes up is an opposite action. As of there's a hole in the top of your head. Let you Qi go up your spine and squeeze out the top of your brain like a fountain. Simple action, complex mechanism - basic principles of Daoyin




Dr. Liu demonstrates this online at:


1.GROIN Keep feet shoulder width apart and knees pointing forward. Pelvis is tilted slightly. When you punch, you are bringing your energy down.


2.BELOW NAVEL The navel is the body's gate. Alternate hands. As you stand tall, bring your energy up and inhale and hold your Qi.  Practice bending and standing a few times before punching.  


Don't lean forward as you punch. You should feel straighter and taller. As in Tai Chi, relax left and go powerfully to the right.


3.MIDBACK Use the back of your hand to hit. Alternate hands right and left as you twist. Spiral up, relax and punch.

Do all 4 Percussion exercises in a row, 2 reps each 8x

Repeat basic Qi Practice of holding a ball.


After class, you should feel as if you massaged every muscle. The following day you should feel relaxed without pain or soreness. If you feel pain, do the exercises with smaller, gentler movements. You should feel energized after practicing, which is why in China they do Tai Chi in the morning in the park.

bottom of page