Over the years I’ve tried a lot of protocols to work on healing the gut and boosting the immune system. It’s exciting when something comes along that promises to cultivate an entirely new ecosystem. After all, 70 percent of the immune system is located in or near the digestive system. This past summer I started a new protocol called the Bravo oral GcMAF Protocol. My doctor suggested the 13 week program to help with intestinal repair and to rebuild my gut terrain.
A year earlier, I went on a journey of treatments that included countless oral and IV antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease while supplementing with probiotics and fermented or cultured foods. Afterward I still felt like my gut flora was not in the best shape. Because Bravo is made with a natural food, a yogurt culture you make on your own, I jumped at the chance to experiment.
While it is difficult to quantify success after finishing the 13 week protocol, my symptoms continued for the first month on the protocol. I did not notice much change in the first few weeks. After the first month I was introduced to ASEA and then I noticed significant improvement in my health soon after. The only noticeable change I felt from the Bravo protocol was more consistent stool type although transit time increased. This may have occurred since breakfasts for those 13 weeks generally only consisted of the Bravo Super Shake. Since the Bravo protocol was not the only thing introduced during this period I cannot comment on it’s sole effectiveness. However, since ASEA works to increase cell communication I believe there may be a beneficial synergistic effect with the two. For someone with a history of antibiotic treatments or a serious immune-related health challenge I believe the Bravo protocol would be worth a try, especially when high priced probiotic supplements often contain very few probiotic varieties. It is important to consult your physician or a healthcare professional before any new protocol.
What is Bravo?
Bravo is a homemade yogurt kit. The kit includes 13 individual packets of powdered probiotic strains and 13 individual containers of powdered organic Swiss colostrum. The company provides clear and simple instructions on how to make one quart of yogurt at home each week by heating the milk briefly and then adding the powders. It can be made within about 10 minutes on the stove top and only requires that you purchase your own milk in addition to the kit. The yogurt cultures for one day, covered at room temperature. I used organic raw pastured cow’s milk and raw pastured goat’s milk to make the yogurt and found the process each week of making the yogurt to be pretty easy. It tasted just like normal unflavored yogurt. For me, cow’s milk created a thicker consistency than when I tried making it with goat’s milk.
The benefits of Bravo over other yogurts or probiotic supplements is that it contains 42 strains to repopulate the gut with healthy innate strains and it also upregulates GcMAF. Typical store bought yogurt may only contain a few varieties of probiotic strains. Similarly, probiotic supplements often have billions of beneficial bacteria in them, but only in a few varieties. Continued consumption of only a few strains of probiotics may lead to a monoculture environment where too many of one type of bacteria cause an imbalance in the body.
GcMAF is normally made in humans that are healthy. It assists the immune system by eliminating unwanted cells and debris found in the blood. As a protein, GcMAF is absorbed through the mucosa first in the mouth where it can activate macrophages, the white blood cells that seek out and eliminate foreign toxic cells in the body.
What is the Bravo Protocol?
For GcMAF to work efficiently adequate vitamin D levels, oleic acid and protein are necessary. Oleic acid is produced by Bravo while vitamin D and protein are suggested in supplemental form along with the Bravo yogurt in a daily shake. Ingredients for the suggested Bravo immune booster super shake are listed here.
In my daily morning shake I included:
- 6 Tb Bravo yogurt
- 5 tablets MAP® Master Amino Acid Pattern
- 5,000 IU vitamin D3
- 3 tsp Bulletproof XCT oil
- 1 tsp Lekithos sunflower lecithin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp noni powder
- 1 handful berries and or fresh figs
- 1/4 tsp Sweet Leaf stevia
- 1 inch chunk peeled fresh ginger
- 1 Tb hemp seeds
- 1 Tb chia or flax seeds
- 1 1/2 cups water
Is Bravo easy to make?
Yes. I was surprised it only took a few minutes each week to make the yogurt on the stove top, let it cool for a few hours and then culture overnight. The company provides a great instructional video which answered all my questions. Each morning I blended the additional ingredients together with the Bravo yogurt in a blender.
Where do you get Bravo?
I purchased my kit from Green Health Cube in Los Gatos, CA. You can order it online here. One of the downsides is cost. At $400 for the kit it ends up costing about $4.40 per day for a total of 13 weeks. While not cheap, I feel this is one of the best ways to rebuild a healthy ecosystem within the digestive tract.
Other Resources regarding Bravo and GcMAF
- Bravo USA website
- Founder Marco Ruggiero, MD, PhD at the 2015 Autism One conference talking about Bravo
- Recipe for the Bravo Immune Booster Super Shake Recipe
- About GcMAF
Disclosure: I received no commission for this review and purchased the kit and additional shake ingredients myself for testing purposes.