Summary: The 2014 1st International Symposium on the Microbiome in Health and Disease with a Special Focus on Autism brought out anecdotal parent findings that autism symptoms improved or worsened on antibiotics. Baylor College of Medicine study in conjunction with Texas Children’s Hospital, is now investigating those findings! If you have an autistic child, consider enrolling now before they are sick, so you have a test kit if prescribed an antibiotic over the next two years. You would send microbiome samples pre and post the antibiotic. Those are to be evaluated for changes to behavior and the microbiome — the bacteria, yeasts and fungi that also inhabit the gut, as well as examining metabolites (small chemical molecules) found in the GI tract. The study is free to participants and fully paid for by N of One: Autism Research Foundation which is founded by John Rodakis, the father of an autistic son who experienced symptom improvement due to an antibiotic dose Thanksgiving 2012. Participate if you can to increase understanding of Antibiotics, Autism Symptoms which at present, has a gap in the published autism research. This initial data may more effectively sub-type autism and develop and deliver more effective microbial-based interventions.
SUMMARY: Why Must You Understand Epigenetics? Because epigenetics is the real driver of your health status, and diet plays a major role in gene expression (aka epigenetics), at least in this post’s animal study! Mention this fun fact at holiday gatherings as others notice and comment — good and bad — about your favor of healthy whole foods with resist of the nutritionally empty and microbiome harming options! Epigenetics is a big word but it simply means the process by which your genes are turned on or off (aka expressed) in good or bad ways. You already know, diet pre-selects “who” comprises the gut microbiome. This post shares the University of Wisconsin-Madison mouse study which found that the molecules produced by the microbiome (aka metabolites) tells our genes what to do (turn on or off). This study looked at two diets: a carbohydrate rich diet (one rich in plant carbohydrates similar to fruits and vegetables humans consume) and pitted it against the Western, Standard American Diet (SAD) (think high in simple refined carbs, added sugars, and unhealthy fats — this is found in most all home cooked, grocery prepared, and restaurant meals as they use convenient processed ingredients). Their results showed the plant based diet yielded a more rich microbiome which in turn, produced metabolites that seemed to favor host-microbe communication as they chemically communicated with cells, including cells FAR beyond the colon (the liver and white fat tissue), to dictate gene expression and health (metabolic — insulin, lipid to name a few) in its host. In contrast, the metabolites of the SAD did not provide this communication likely because it was MISSING the necessary metabolites to do so! If you think this is awkward party talk, what is even MORE AWKWARD is feeling others watch what you eat so that they can learn what foods express their genes best! You’ve worked hard to learn microbiome. I am in awe and proud of you. Now it’s your turn to pay it forward and teach others by doing!
SUMMARY: Yesterday, Dec. 1, 2016, a major gut — brain animal study paper published finding for Microbiome: Parkinson’s begins in gut, at least in mice. While this has been kicked around for years, this animal mouse study finally proves the theory, and this post documents the Dec 2016 Parkinson’s mouse study. You’ll recognize some of the authors: Rob Knight, Sarkis K. Mazmanian, Ali Keshavarzian, and Kathleen M. Shannon if you follow my work as I have worked with these labs or follow them closely. If you have or are concerned with brain and cognition, be it autism, MS, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc… consider extending this papers findings and seriously start looking in your gut for answers to the why in your brain. I can’t stand that it takes so long for folks to get real and realize that what goes into our body impacts the brain too. Usually they don’t get it until they have major symptoms of impairment. It’s also beyond me that folks don’t understand that bowel habits are windows into how our body handles what we put into it. My pearl there is that you need to know what the Bristol Stool Chart is and how to use its incredibly useful information to learn what your body, especially what your microbiome or those trillions of beasties, thinks about the menu you feed it. Though the human studies are far off, the writing is on the wall. if you care about your brain, START fixing your gut. This post was updated Jan 25 and 26, 2017 to include a webinar and podcast dated Jan 17 and 19, 2017, discussing the Mazmanium study along with insights for diet and the Parkinson’s microbiome.
SUMMARY: Our food choices are fundamental for health. The next Integrated Functional Medicine Grand Rounds installment with Cleveland Clinic is coming up on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Listen, for FREE as Dr. Alessio FASANO, MD speaks on How Early Nutrition Influences Microbiome, Disease. This is an incredible opportunity officially titled: “How Early Nutrition Influences Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Profiles in Health and Disease: Shifting From a Disease-Centered Approach to Patient-Oriented Functional Medicine.” For background, I have followed Dr. Fasano’s work for ages. He is a leading gut inflammation light who put Celiac Disease, and Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, on the map in the US when all US health agencies literally told him those were “across the pond”. When that happens, you know you are about to make a major break thru that will ruffle lots of feathers. He persevered, and his findings will re-write the medical books. Those findings opened the doors for what is now understood as: Gut permeability ⇒ immune stimulation ⇒ inflammation ⇒ gut and systemic ramifications ⇒ autoimmune and chronic disease. Listen in to Dr. Fasano, FREE, Early Nutrition Influences Microbiome, Disease!
SUMMARY: This is not a 1950s sci-fi movie. This is what is likely happening now in your gut according to an amazing study just now publishing in Cell. If you are eating the Standard American Diet, the normal, helpful bacteria in your gut are not getting natural whole food fiber. Instead they are being fed fiber additives supplemented in processed foods, or isolated fiber supplements you are buying. Surprisingly, both the fiber additives and the supplements FAIL to feed your microbiome, and instead, they CANNIBALIZE the mucus lining for fuel, at least for mice, according to this study. Repeat: Fiber Additives Starve Gut Microbes. They Eat Mucus Lining. That compromises the intestinal barrier role in preventing pathogen infection. Bottom line: EAT WHOLE FOOD BASED FIBER to feed your microbiome AND DON’T COUNT ON THE FIBER ADDED IN PROCESSED FOODS OR THE SUPPLEMENTS YOU TAKE FOR THAT FIBER. No wonder so many are sick.
SUMMARY. This post looks at other ways beyond Celiac and NCGS, that wheat can affect EVERYONE and includes new groundbreaking research being presented in Vienna. The bottom line: Move over gluten, ATI wrecks guts too, and… we have a new picture of what the inflamed gut looks like! ATIs, or amylase-trypsin inhibitors, are non-gluten proteins in wheat. ATIs activate specific types of immune cells [toll-like receptor 4] in the gut and other tissues. ATIs can trigger gut immune reactions that can spread to other tissues in the body. How bad can this get? “ATIs can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. ATIs can worsen the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory based conditions like RA, MS, asthma, lupus, IBD, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease…” The final big hit: “ATIs may contribute to the development of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).” No wonder so many feel better ditching wheat since you knock out both gluten and ATIs AND decrease inflammation not just in the gut, but systemically! For an example, IBD and neurological association to ATI is discussed below! What about the non-gluten containing staples you may be consuming? Those displayed no or little of the toll like receptor 4 stimulating activity whereas ATIs displayed much!
SUMMARY: Plenty of studies find anti-inflammatory effects of dietary antioxidants such as green tea for chronic disease. Even in IBD patients, who have a very messed up microbiome (a finding of the American Gut data), the benefits of antioxidant therapy is well documented (see below studies). Read here about a simple EASY N=1 hack for one IBD patient that shut down a mild psoriasis skin flare that began two years ago. They flared psoriasis, but not the autoimmune IBD, eating strict healing diet Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) probably due to a gluten/sugar airborne exposure. The hack that worked for stopping psoriasis: Green Tea, Black Tea with Lemon Juice antioxidant blend! I share their recipe here! It is simple enough that you may want to add it to your immune calming anti-inflammatory arsenal too! Make sure to see below for why it is important to NOT drink Green Tea for antioxidant benefit along with Iron.
Summary: Say you use to have Type 2 Diabetes. How? READ this study from ITALY. Ma-Pi 2 diet for Type 2 Diabetes WORKED. Type 2 Diabetes, diet, microbiome; the Ma-Pi 2 diet for Type 2 Diabetes is dietary modulation of microbiome. Though this diet BEAT the current recommended diet by Italian professional societies (CTR) consider using it short term and supplementing the diet with healthy fat, wild caught fish, berries, and fermented dairy since the restriction of certain groups could lead to nutritional deficiencies especially vitamin B12 and calcium. This study describes in pain staking detail, microbiome wise, microbiome impact. Talk with your doctor for Ma-Pi 2 integration with therapy. Managing the microbiome through diet is grassroots, and it works. SAVE a friend and SHARE this post. That huge victory for Specific Carbohydrate Diet for the kids in Pittsburgh with IBD was grassroots.
Summary: Antibiotics carpet bomb the microbiome. Here’s important things to do if you must take an antibiotic as noted in this article by Dr. Robynne Chutkan, MD and gastroenterologist, see bio below. I’ve adapted the list to include the How-To-Do details. Realize that the gist of the steps below you should ALWAYS be doing, not just during times you take antibiotics. But be particularly diligent and persistent following these steps if you must take an antibiotic in order to try to counteract the antibiotics, microbiome, nuke! For even more guidance on what to do before and after taking antibiotics, Dr. Mark Hyman’s recommendations from his article, Here’s the Downside of Antibiotics Your Doctor Might Not Tell You, has been added. Last, the studies looking at antibiotics and Culturelle, VSL #3, and Saccharomyces boulardii or Florastor(®), as well as their precautions, are included.
“Fire in the gut is fire in the brain — Dementia, Alzheimer’s. SUMMARY: A recent study found risk of dementia in PPI users aged 75 and over. Previous studies had found that Histamine H2 antagonists (H2RAs) also have adverse cognitive impact in the elderly but the mechanism differed… it was due to anticholinergic effects; I wrote about that here. Can the heartburn drugs, dementia, Alzheimer’s risk associations be extended to younger ages?
What may be possible mechanisms? This post lists the PubMed studies finding that heartburn drugs put fire in the gut; they