Category Archives: Blog: Microbiome

Digestion: You & Your Microbiome Eats

You eat to feed your microbiome,  which in turn, feeds you, or not.
YOU CAN BE WELL FED… BUT MALNOURISHED!

You are NOT what you eat which is contrary to what we hear time and again.

  • Rather, you are what you feed your microbiome.  
  • You are what you digest.
  • You are what you absorb. 

We will discuss lots of practical digestion strategies beginning at the brain and ending at… yep, the commode.

Arguably, poor digestion is the leading cause of disease in the US.   A dsyfunctional gut:
  1. Impairs absorption of vitamins and minerals,
  2. Increases the risk of infections in the gut as well as systemically since immunity is reduced (80 to 85% of our immunity is in the gut),
  3. Increases the risk of abnormal bacterial overgrowth as well as yeast overgrowth in the gut since a pathogenic microbiota can flourish at the expense of beneficial microbiota,
  4. Down regulates our immune system since the gut is unable to perform it’s role of digestion of vitamins and minerals, manufacture of vitamins and antibiotics, and maintenance  of a homeostasis balanced microbiome ecosystem,
  5. Conditions that can result from poor digestion include:
    • SIBO
    • FODMAPS intolerance
    • Fructose malabsorption
    • IBS
    • Gluten sensitivity
    • Other food sensitivities
    • Increased intestinal permeability 
    • Autoimmunity
    • Systemic inflammation:  In addition to gliaden crossing the gut wall, LPS (end-products of certain microbiota strains) crosses the gut wall).  LPS can then cross the blood/brain barrier and impact brain health.  LPS is in fact used in research to induce inflammation in animals as noted in this Medical News Today article, “Newly created turmeric-based formulation releases anti-inflammatory power throughout body “: The researchers injected mice with lipopolysaccharide, a bacteria cell wall extract that stimulates an immune reaction in animals. Curcumin can target many molecules, but the research team zeroed in on NF-kB, a protein that is known to play an important role in the immune response.”  
  6. An antibiotic impacted gut can decrease microbiome  diversity  which is associated with reduced immune system functioning.

To begin, understand enzymes and deficiencies which are a root cause of microbiome disruption having disease consequences by reading the post: “Digestive Enzymes & Disease w/Focus On Autism”.

And for more on microbiome impact from eating nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory whole foods, check out:

“Some of My Best Friends Are Germs”, NY Times article, Michael Pollan, May 2013.

Click here to read full article

Microbiome Changes from Diet & Enviro Affect Health_Alm

Summary:   Eric Alm’s MIT lab gene sequencing shows microbiome changes from diet & environment (antibiotics and international travel.) Changes to microbiome due to antibiotic was permanent.

I am the ninth viewer of this Microbiome Manipulation via Diet and Environment (YouTube), Eric Alm, PhD, MIT.  It doesn’t get much more current than that!  The study Dr. Alm discusses (daily stool sequencing for one year for several participants) can be read at Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales

Dr. Eric Alm is one of my favorite researchers; our paths first crossed with Eric Alm: A year in the life of my gut microbiome (2012 GET Conference) (YouTube) which is re-discussed in the second section of his most recently published YouTube.  The 2012 GET Conference provides more insight though, if desired, into the second Pearl listed below.

Click here to read full article

MICROBIOME RESOURCES: Podcasts & Books

For more awesome microbiome resources and podcasts such as this, drop down the menu THE SCIENCE BEHIND FOOD AND DISEASE  located over on the top right sidebar and link to Blog: Resources – Podcasts, Books….  You can also head on over to the Page “USEFUL MICROBIOME LINKS.”

Awesome microbiome resources: Dr Peter Attia, MD:

“I dream of the day when our patients can shed their excess pounds and cure themselves of insulin resistance because as medical professionals we’ve shed our excess medical baggage and cured ourselves of new idea resistance sufficiently to go back to our original ideals: open minds, the courage to throw out yesterday’s ideas when they don’t appear to be working, and the understanding that scientific truth isn’t final but constantly evolving.”

Peter Attia: What if we’re wrong about diabetes? TedTalk

Click here to read full article

MICROBIOME RULES; WHAT IS MICROBIOME?

SUMMARY:  Your gut microbiome allows you to live your life with health, wellness, and vitality, or illness and disease.  Without a doubt, the MICROBIOME RULES; WHAT IS MICROBIOME?

If you haven’t already done so, you should read the post, “Diet and other things Determines Our Microbiome” to be certain you are up to date not only with what this dynamic virtual organ is, but also are cognizant of the many factors that affect the microbiome.  
We can modulate this microbiome; the science is exploding daily with research that is unveiling the vast impact the gut microbiome has on all of our inner workings.
FOOD ALTERS THE MICROBIOME, with a focus here on celiac and autism, although the insight applies to all autoimmunes and chronic disease.

The post “Food Managing Autism and IBD: The Studies,” details the studies (and includes current ongoing clinical trials) showing dietary intervention (that heals the gut) can result in IBD remission or management of autism.  Such occurs through optimization of the microbiome since the food we feed the microbiome, determines the gut’s community of microbiota, whose role is to affect immunity, health, wellness, and vitality.  Thus, anyone looking to improve health needs to look first at optimizing the gut microbiome.

Click here to read full article

DIET & OTHER THINGS: WHAT DETERMINES MICROBIOME?

Summary:  WHAT DETERMINES MICROBIOME?  Learn that we truly are what we eat, inhale, and absorb since that is what feeds our microbiome.   70% of the microbiome is very stable and supports basic life function, but 30% is very variable and host manipulable. A 30% change is huge because for the microbiome, 30% of the 39 trillion bacterial cells comprising the microbiome results in nearly 11.7 trillion organisms that can be modulated through diet and lifestyle nudging towards an anti-inflammatory state.  These changes increase immunity; 80% of our immunity comes from our gut microbiome.

Click here to read full article

CANCER MICROBIOME IS MESSED UP?

SUMMARY:  CANCER MICROBIOME.  Be it linked to the gut microbiome or specific tissue,… It was just a matter of time until researchers linked cancer to the microbiome.

Cancer Microbiome

“These studies demonstrate that microbiota can increase or decrease cancer susceptibility and progression by diverse mechanisms such as by modulating inflammation, influencing the genomic stability of host cells and producing metabolites that function as histone deacetylase inhibitors to epigenetically regulate host gene expression. One might consider microbiota as tractable environmental factors because they are highly quantifiable and relatively stable within an individual compared with our exposures to external agents. At the same time, however, diet can modulate the composition of microbial communities within our gut, and this supports the idea that probiotics and prebiotics can be effective chemoprevention strategies. The trajectory of where the current work is headed suggests that microbiota will continue to provide insight into the basic mechanisms of carcinogenesis and that microbiota will also become targets for therapeutic intervention.” – Emerging roles of the microbiome in cancer, Carcinogenesis. 2013 Dec 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Click here to read full article