WHAT I DO
I am a wife, mom, medical researcher, attorney, and mechanical engineer. I juggle these roles to pioneer public health change based on the science. I liaison with researchers, scientists, doctors, and experts to unravel and present complicated medical and system information in a manner that all can use for improved health and wellness. Microbiome information is cutting edge; this website is cited and referenced in Camilia R. Martin , M.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School,
An Introduction to the Microbiome Webinar – Dec 11, 2014
I teach the implications of the human microbiome which regulates 70 to 80 percent of our immunity and directly impacts health, wellness and performance (see posts here, here and here).
The human microbiome originates at birth by mode of delivery and feeding. Our human genomes are similar but our microbiomes are 99 percent different, and we have all changed it profoundly during our lifetimes in manners only now being understood resulting in anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory, microbiome based immune status.
My work has been published, “A Medical Evolution: New DNA Techniques Reveal How Gut Bacteria Could Change Everything,” by Patricia Carter, CAM Magazine, November, 2014, pages 34-36. The article summarizes Dr. Rob Knight’s October, 2014 presentation on the latest in microbiome research and includes the 11 factors found from the American Gut data that optimizes the gut microbiome.
HOW IT ALL HAPPENED
I fell down the gut microbiome rabbit hole around 2006, and that is where I have been since. While I use knowledge of the microbiome everyday in my family, I literally harnessed the power of the microbiome successfully three times in my family to manage and turn around specific disease. My microbiome education began with understanding the eye microbiome to resolve a parasitic contact lens related eye infection for my oldest child. That effort ended with my (and two other moms) instigation of a global CDC/FDA recall of the contact lens disinfection solution that permitted breakthrough of the parasite (details are below). On the heels of this effort, I learned and used diet and nutrition so as to permit elite collegiate Division 1 athletic performance for my oldest despite her having mild chronic kidney disease, so as to not further impact kidney function. Those nutrition lessons were later expanded to implement alternative medicine diets (PALEO/SCD/UMass IBD-AID/GAPS/AIP/FODMAPS/WAHLs) for management of chronic disease and remission of autoimmune disease, medication-free, in myself and in many of those I teach microbiome to.
There have been thousands of papers published in recent years on the microbiome. I read the papers, and I created this website as a repository for my research. Little did I know so many would find it so helpful. Little did I know that my work would become referenced on Harvard’s “Introduction to the Microbiome” PowerPoint or reprinted in the UK CAM Magazine. Little did I know that I would be involved in profiling Pittsburgh ferment gut consumers for upcoming probiotic studies for Dr. Rob Knight. I am thrilled so many find my research helpful. Read it if you dare to learn. Posts are loaded with technical details and reference citations, after-all, it is written like a brief by an attorney — engineer.
The human microbiome contains trillions of bacteria (along with viruses and fungi) and affects 70 to 80 percent of our immunity. My research found many anecdotal success stories of gut microbiome healing protocols that were managing many chronic disease and autoimmunes, leading to reduction (if not downright elimination) of medications. I follow the science and clinical trials associated with such healing protocols and share what I learn in this website.
Specialized course work includes:
Expert microbiome lectures include: Martin Blaser, Sibyl Bucheli, Gregory Caporaso, Charlotte Carter, David Carter, Tom Cech, Elizabeth Costello, Justine Debelius, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Pieter Dorrestein, Jack Gilbert, Philip Hugenholtz, Greg Humphrey, Embriette Hyde, Janet Jansson, Jeff Leach, Cathy Lozupone, Daniel McDonald, Valerie McKenzie, Sarkis Mazmanian, Norm Pace, Dorota Porazinska, Luke Ursell, Will Van Treuren, Yoshiki Vasquez-Baeza, Zhenjiang (Zech) Xu, Michael Pollan, and Luke Thompson.
University of Colorado Boulder Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome. Instructors: Dr. Rob Knight (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science, Biofrontiers Institute), Jessica L. Metcalf (Senior Research Associate, BioFrontiers Institute), and Katherine R. Amato (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, BioFrontiers Institute).
The Science of Natural Healing. Instructor: Dr. Mimi Guarneri, Founder of Scripts Center for Integrative Medicine in CA, board certified in cardiology, internal-nuclear- and holistic medicine. Author, “The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing.” Western medicine focuses on disease w/o the underlying cause. Physicians make a diagnosis, offer a drug/surgical treatment, & provide no instructions for disease reversal. This course taught: causes of disease, state-of-the art biomarkers & imaging for diagnosis; solutions for disease prevention, reversal, and treatment; nutrition’s role in health with clear guidance on eliminating common inflammation causing and allergy-inducing foods; how to replace such with foods that lead to production of healthy proteins; food quality & industrialization with altered nutrition; and herbal medicine-vitamins-supplements. Solutions taught immediately improve chronic conditions including arthritis and heart disease, and full programs are offered for naturally treating diabetes, high cholesterol, & high blood pressure.
Cross Talk Between Gut & Brain, Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Autism Research Institute.
1st International Symposium on the Microbiome in Health and Disease with a Special Focus on Autism with world renowned speakers investigating the microbiome in health and disease with a special focus on how microbiome abnormalities may underlie some types of Autism and how manipulating the microbiome may help elucidate mechanisms of this challenging disorder and pave a path towards new treatments for affected children. Speakers included: Mr. John Rodakis and Dr. Richard Frye, Dr. Carl Cerniglia, Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Dr. Tore Midtvedt, Dr. William Parker, Dr. Jim Adams and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Dr. Derrick MacFabe, Dr. Richard Frye, and Dr. Susan Swedo.
WHAT I RESEARCH
My work centers on the The Human Microbiome Project, launched in 2008 and still ongoing, as a United States National Institutes of Health initiative having the goal of identifying and characterizing the microorganisms which are found in association with both healthy and diseased humans. This project has created a frenzy in the research community as more and more evidence shows that the gut microbiome, where 70 to 80 percent of our immunity resides, affects everything about our health and emotional and mental wellbeing.
Just to name a few, studies now show: inflammation, digestive problems, chronic disease, allergies, arthritis, skin disorders including acne, psoriasis and eczema, autism, insulin resistance, overall adiposity, dyslipidemia, gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmunity, all gut-brain interactions such as mood, depression, dementia, eating disorders, and obesity, and cancer is affected by the community of bacteria (along with gut infections, viruses, fungi, and parasites) that occupies the ecosytem of the gut microbiome.
Many of these diseases are seemingly unrelated but are actually caused by gut microbiome community problems called dysbiois (inbalance of the community). If you want to fix your health and emotional and mental well-being, you must start in your gut. Gut health literally affects your entire body.
The Human Microbiome Project effort came on the heels of The Human Genome Project which was an international scientific research project having the goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. It remains the world’s largest collaborative biological project. Work ensued beginning in 1984 (planning phase) with start-up in 1984 and subsequent completion occurring in 2003. This phase in simpleton, made all realize that the gut microbiome is our largest virtual organ for the first time and opened the floodgates for it’s role in our total health.
Check out the “Useful Microbiome Link” page to see just a few of the many studies I synthesize such as: pubmed, scientific and nutrition journals, clinical trials, ground breaking and state-of-the-art conferences, and university works including reports such as: FAQ: Human Microbiome, January 2014 Report by the American Academy of Microbiology:
The lessons learned from these efforts and the corresponding research is that the gut microbiome can be practically optimized for all of us focusing on anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin, and healing components of diet and lifestyle in concert with optimization of digestion. This is incredibly empowering as we can control the expression of our genes (epigenetics) by diet and lifestyle choices if we are aware. Also intriguing, some investigators suggest those not ill can apply such protocols at an 80/20 ratio, however those ill should be strict at 100% compliance to achieve remission. I teach these protocols, called “Whole Health Pillars“:
This site shares all of this information and provides a resource for my corporate education clientele who want to stay current on this cutting edge research. My clientele have been able to manage chronic disease and autoimmunity, weaning and eliminating medications as they optimize their gut microbiome. They also have been able to connect the dots for the metabolic syndrome and use this information for sustainable dramatic weight loss. Always a plus… increased energy and vitality results from optimizing the gut biome!
HOW FAR WILL I GO? SAVING MILLIONS OF EYES BY INSTIGATING A FDA RECALL; THAT’S HOW FAR
Effecting public health changes using my legal and engineering background seems to be what I do best. My former position involved the global recall of contact lens disinfection solutions in the mid-2007’s. Such solutions were initially being recalled due to fusarium breakthrough in the early 2000s (Bausch & Lomb Renew). On the heels of this epidemic, another occurred which was ultimately determined to be due to acanthamoeba parasite breakthrough and biofilm adhesions. I and three moms effected the FDA recall due to acanthamoeba parasite breakthrough in 2007 :
“Advanced Medical Optics Voluntarily Recalls Complete MoisturePlus Contact Lens Solution”, FDA IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE, May 2007 or if link fails to locate archive, see CCD MMWR here.
“Advanced Medical’s Shares Sink On Recall of Contact Lens Solution,” Wall Street Journal, May 2007 “…[the recall] likely ends Advanced Medical’s pursuit [to purchase Bausch & Lomb which had just endured the Renew multipurpose contact lens disinfection product recall due to fusarium eye infections] because of the recall’s distraction and the elimination of a key cash flow generator.”
This grassroots effort included liaison with corneal experts, researchers, the CDC, the FDA, the EPA, Federal Parasitic Division, multiple federal and state public health agencies and legislatures, as well as many medical research facilities. An acanthamoeba eye infection can be blinding and advance from a corneal transplant to eye nucleation. My daughter was a victim, and my involvement brought two states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, into the mix bolstering the other moms’ allegations in one state, Illinois.
MY HOPE IF YOU ARE HERE
I am hoping if you are here, that your take away from my site guides you and your family towards incredible health, wellness, and vitality and that you seek such beyond the conventional paradigm if need be, as I have.
The definition of the word “doctor” doesn’t mean healer; it means teacher. I am not a doctor. My message goal is to always be fundamentally on point with the most well respected scientific literature fully supportive of my words.
Side note: does your doctor decently teach? Mine did not. I now teach them and show them by doing, and they are listening.
As always, certainly contact me with any questions or concerns that you believe I might have insight into, and I will do my best to address such.
Best of health and wellness to you,
♥Last updated: May 9, 2017 at 10:01 am to add “see CCD MMWR here” since FDA archive may not be active. Prior update March 7, 2017added: My work has been published, “A Medical Evolution: New DNA Techniques Reveal How Gut Bacteria Could Change Everything,” by Patricia Carter, CAM Magazine, November, 2014. Summarizes Dr. Rob Knight’s October, 2014 presentation on the latest in microbiome research and includes the 11 factors found from the American Gut data that optimizes the gut microbiome.