Research Scientist, Bioinformatics - George Washington University - Foggy Bottom, MD        
We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled, and collaborative computational biologist to contribute to multiple NIH -funded microbiome research projects....
From George Washington University - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:12:57 GMT - View all Foggy Bottom, MD jobs
          June 2017 Foodwatch Newsletter - Healthy, satisfying and waistline-friendly winter eating        
June 2017 Foodwatch Newsletter - Healthy, satisfying and waistline-friendly winter eating

Can you stay warm, satisfied and not load on the kilos over winter? It can be hard can't it? Especially as we tend to reach for warming, carb-loaded comfort foods when the weather becomes chilly.  But don't worry because the answer is “YES!” and in this June edition of the Foodwatch Newsletter I’ll show you how.

Author

Catherine Saxelby

          April 2017 Foodwatch Newsletter - Microbiome – your new best friend        
April 2017 Foodwatch Newsletter - Microbiome – your new best friend

These days you hear a lot about microbiomes. But do you know what a microbiome is and what it does? And most importantly, do know you how to keep yours healthy?

Author

Catherine Saxelby

          Chinese investigators characterize the world of resistance gene exchange among bacteria        

Certain antibiotic resistance genes are easily transferred from one bacterial species to another, and can move between farm animals and the human gut. A team led by Chinese researchers has characterized this "mobile resistome," which they say is largely to blame for the spread of antibiotic resistance. They found that many antibiotic resistance genes that are shared between the human and animal gut microbiome are also present in multiple human pathogens. These findings are published September 9 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

read more


          Vermont bats begin white nose recovery and other wildlife health related news stories        
TOP STORIES

Crisis biology: Can bacteria save bats and frogs from deadly diseases?

As populations plummet, biologists race for a solution.

In 2007, Valerie McKenzie volunteered for a large study of human body bacteria. It was the dawn of the golden age of the microbe. Researchers were just beginning to understand how bacteria and other microbes in human intestines influence everything from obesity to allergies and infections. McKenzie, a University of Colorado-Boulder biologist, was mildly curious about her "microbiome." But she was more interested in the bacteria living on the skin of frogs and toads.

Amphibian populations worldwide are plummeting, and entire species are going extinct. The West's struggling species include boreal toads and mountain yellow-legged frogs. Invasive species and habitat degradation play a major role, but amphibians are dying even in places with good habitat. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an aggressive fungus commonly known as chytrid, is often to blame.

McKenzie, who was studying the role of farmland conversion and suburbanization in the decline of leopard frogs in Colorado, suspected chytrid was also a factor. When she read a paper about a strain of bacteria found on red-backed salamanders that inhibited chytrid's growth, she began to wonder: What microbes lived on the skin of her frogs and toads? And could any of them fight chytrid?

High Country News
26 Feb 2014
Emily Guerin

>>> FULL ARTICLE

Other Frog Health News 
>>> Does your pond host killer frog disease? Scientist at uni's Penryn campus wants to know [Cornwall, United Kingdom]


Infected Tasmanian devils reveal how cancer cells evolve in response to humans

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) has ravaged the world's largest carnivorous marsupial since it emerged in 1996, resulting in a population decline of over 90%. Conservation work to defeat the disease has including removing infected individuals from the population and new research explains how this gives us a unique opportunity to understand how human selection alters the evolution of cancerous cells.

DFTD is an asexually reproducing clonal cell line, which during the last 16 years has been exposed to negative effects as infected devils, approximately 33% of the population, have been removed from one site, the Forestier Peninsula, in Tasmania between 2006 and 2010.

Science Daily
18 Feb 2014

>>> FULL ARTICLE

Cited Journal Article
Beata Ujvari, Anne-Maree Pearse, Kate Swift, Pamela Hodson, Bobby Hua, Stephen Pyecroft, Robyn Taylor, Rodrigo Hamede, Menna Jones, Katherine Belov, Thomas Madsen. Anthropogenic selection enhances cancer evolution in Tasmanian devil tumours. Evolutionary Applications, 2014; 7 (2): 260 DOI: 10.1111/eva.12117


Other Wildlife Health Related News
White-Nose Syndrome
One Health News Corner
Huh?! That's Interesting!


          AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy speaks with Katie Gresia McElroy, lead author of “Health and the Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses.”        
AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy speaks with author Katie Gresia McElroy about her article, which provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about the human microbiome—with a focus on the microbiota in the GI tract and the vagina, the two most commonly studied body sites—and discusses implications for nursing practice.
          The Hidden World of Hibernation        
Does midwinter make you want to eat all the food in your fridge, curl up in a duvet and sleep until spring? You're not alone, many plants and animals feel the same way, but you might not be so keen when we tell you just what it would do to your body! Snuggle down as we explore the world of hibernation and how it might be used to help humans. Plus, in the news: detoxing debunked and the miracle of the microbiome.
          Redefining Human: How Microbes Influence Who We Are        
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 7:00pm
The City Library - 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Nature of Things Lecture

June Round
Microbiologist

Click Here for the podcast of Dr. June Round's Lecture

Click Here for YouTube Video of Dr. June Round (introduction, lecture and discussion)

Location: The City Library, 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City 
View Google Map

Free event -- tickets are not required

Humans are home to vast consortium of bacteria that outnumber our own cells by a factor of ten.  Recent research shows that the microorganisms living on and in our bodies are essential to immune system development and protecting us from a vast array of diseases.  Moreover, these bacteria have likely influenced the evolution of the human species in unexplored and unappreciated ways. Given the importance of bacteria to our health and development, we might begin to redefine ourselves to include the microscopic creatures that inhabit our bodies.

Join Dr. June Round for a discussion of who these organisms are and where they live on your body, what developmental and disease processes they influence, and how scientists are trying to utilize these organisms to treat various ailments. Dr. Round is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Microbiology and Immunology, at the University of Utah.  Her lab studies how symbiotic bacteria shape the development and responses of the mammalian immune system. Using germ-free mice raised in a completely sterile environment, she is examining the mechanisms by which a single microorganism prominent in the human microbiome communicates with its host and protects it from disease.  Her work on this communication pathway was published in Science in May 2011.

Complete Nature of Things 2013 Information

Questions about Nature of Things? Email us


Nature of Things Founding Underwriter:  R. Harold Burton Foundation

Presenting Partner:  JPMorgan Chase

Gold Sponsor: Rio Tinto | Kennecott Utah Copper

Silver Sponsor: the Clark Foundation

Bronze Sponsor: Myriad Genetics

Media Partner: KCPW -- All lectures broadcast live at KCPW 88.3FM

In-Kind Sponsors: Liberty Heights Fresh, Pinon Market & Cafe

Additional support from Kingsbury Hall, The City Library and the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Fund 


          Books that "capture the acute pleasures and pains of being human"        
The Wellcome Book Prize announced its 2017 shortlist, recognizing the best books--across all genres of non-fiction and fiction--actively engaged with the life-defining forces of medicine, health, and illness. Commenting on the books honored this year, Chair of Judges Val McDermid says, "What these six challenging, diverse and enriching titles have in common is their insight into what it means to be human. Together they form a mosaic that illuminates our relationship with health and medicine. It spans our origins, our deaths and much that lies between, from activism to acts of human kindness." The winner will be announced 24 April and receive a £30,000 prize. The shortlisted books: How to Survive a Plague by David France "How AIDS was transformed from a killer plague to a viral infection that can be treated with considerable success is one of the most extraordinary narratives in modern medicine, demonstrating a ground-breaking collaboration between activists and researchers. This is a profoundly human story of persistence, determination and innovation – and sometimes intense frustration – that could never have happened without fierce commitment." (Judge Val McDermid)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi "Mortality faces us all, and its contemplation is a key part of our humanity; few books pack in as many diverse insights as this. First comes the gripping dissection of the demands and satisfactions of a career in neurosurgery. Then the disastrous diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. Intensely moving but remarkably unsentimental, this is an intellectually, revelatory and emotionally devastating read." (Judge Val McDermid)
Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (translated by Jessica Moore) "Mend the Living is a brave book, a highly original and ambitious novel which traces the medical drama and emotional turmoil of a heart transplant in daring, lyrical prose. Concentrated across the span of a single day, Maylis de Kerangal succeeds in telling a gripping, cinematic story while revealing the intricate care, the tensions and the heartbreak of life-saving medical science." (Judge Di Speirs)
The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss "In The Tidal Zone, Sarah Moss poses big questions about life, mortality, recovery, parenthood and love as the Goldschmidt family anxiously surround their teenage daughter Miriam in hospital. With intelligent characterisation and quiet observations, harsh notes on reality, Moss creates a moving and poetic investigation of modern family life at a time of personal tragedy. It's a stunning and different novel by an immensely talented writer." (Judge Gemma Cairney)
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee "How can one write about the field of genetics in an intimate way? Mukherjee achieves this by beautifully weaving together his own family history of schizophrenia, in his homeland of India, with the history of the gene: its discovery, its horrific abuse during Nazi eugenics, and the rapid change in technology such that we can now read a person's complete genome for $1,000. Compelling reading." (Judge Simon Baron-Cohen)
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong "Ed Yong's magnificent book shows us that microbes need not be malevolent: they play crucial roles in maintaining us in health as well as in bringing sickness. Microbes are teaching us that every individual organism is an ecosystem in its own right, and Yong explores the profound consequences this has for traditional pictures of evolution, ecology and ultimately for identity." (Judge Tim Lewens)
Additionally, on the Guardian's Science Weekly podcast, Hannah Devlin talks with three of the shortlisted authors (Sarah Moss, David France, and Ed Yong) about what makes a successful science book.
          Gut Health- Sounds Gros but it is SO IMPORTANT!!        

“Gut health” Eeeewww!!!  I have to admit that the first hundred or so times I heard those words, they made me cringe. It just sounds gross, right?! Who’s with me?! I was very ignorant. After months (years?) of ignoring those words, I decided to do some research on what gut health really meant. Now I understand just how important having a healthy “Microbiome” really is. Plexus is all about gut health, because the gut and what is going on in there...

Read More Read More

The post Gut Health- Sounds Gros but it is SO IMPORTANT!! appeared first on Mi Vida Ocupada.


          Can Probiotics Help Your Child with Autism Feel Better?        

As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your child struggle with the abdominal pain, constipation, and other discomfort common for people with autism. Too often, those gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are accompanied by increased anxiety and oversensitivity. However, recent research into microbiomes may help.  Microbiomes are the colonies of bacteria within and around us […]

The post Can Probiotics Help Your Child with Autism Feel Better? appeared first on Autism Parenting Magazine.


          The Read List: The Mind-Gut Connection, by Emeran Mayer        
Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the latest discoveries on the human microbiome, a practical guide in the tradition of The Second Brain, and The Good Gut that conclusively demonstrates the inextricable, biological link between mind and the digestive system. We have all experienced the connection between our mind and our gut—the decision we made because it […]
          Drug developed out of microbiome studies advances in phase I trial        
The 100 trillion bacteria on the human body, known as the microbiome, have long been a mystery, but scientists may be on the brink of understanding how to harness them to improve health. Second Genome of South San Francisco said Monday that its first experimental drug is advancing in a phase I clinical trial for
          Research Scientist, Bioinformatics - George Washington University - Foggy Bottom, MD        
We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled, and collaborative computational biologist to contribute to multiple NIH -funded microbiome research projects....
From George Washington University - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:12:57 GMT - View all Foggy Bottom, MD jobs
          July 2017 Highlights        
Editor-in-Chief Shawn Kennedy and Clinical Editor Betsy Todd present the highlights of the July issue of the American Journal of Nursing. On this month’s cover is an illustration of gastrointestinal microbiota. The authors of our first CE, “Health and the Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses,” provide an overview of the current state of knowledge about the human microbiome—with a focus on the microbiota in the GI tract and the vagina, the two most commonly studied body sites—and discuss implications for nursing practice. Our second CE, “Early Intervention in Patients with Poststroke Depression,” explains how poststroke depression often manifests, describes risk factors, and discusses the screening tools and therapeutic interventions nurses can use to identify and help manage depression in patients following stroke. In our next article, “The Growing Need for Diverse Blood Donors,” the chief nurse of the American Red Cross discusses how changing demographics necessitate an increase in more ethnically diverse blood donors, and shares strategies nurses can use to address this need. In “Ethical Nursing Care When the Terminally Ill Patient Seeks Death,” the authors review clinical perspectives on the assessment of the patient’s wish or request to die, ethical questions, and the current legal landscape to consider how nursing care can be ethically provided to a patient requesting death. Finally, in “Could Emotional Intelligence Make Patients Safer?,” the authors address how emotional intelligence may be a skill that can help nurses to “error proof” communication in the health care setting. In addition, there’s News, Reflections, Drug Watch, Art of Nursing, and more.
          Dr. Robynne Chutkan: Rewilding Your Microbiome, How to Recover from Antibiotics, & High Octane Poop        
Did you know that even occasional use of antibiotics, hand sanitizers, and other germ-killers can wreak havoc on your long-term health? This week, we’re here with Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a leading expert in the world of gut health.
          Hackers Can Now Store Malware on DNA        

Your DNA is packed with a lot of information, but typically it comes pre-loaded. It’s your DNA, after all. But increasingly, scientists and researchers are learning ways to load all kinds of additional data onto DNA made in labs—including computer viruses.

New research that came out Thursday from the University of Washington demonstrates how hackers were able to encode malware into a short strand of DNA. It was then used to infect and take control of a computer connected to a DNA sequencing machine. And as if that alone isn’t alarming enough, the malware-infused DNA was programmed to launch the virus on its own when the DNA is analyzed. So instead of malware being spread through an email attachment, their research showed that “DNA can be a method of compromising the computer,” said Peter Nay, one of the Ph.D. students who worked on the research team at UW.

As you can probably tell, this hack was very complicated to carry out, and, of course, it requires your computer to be connected to a genetic sequencing machine, which you presumably don’t have in your home office.

But the threat here isn’t (currently) to personal computers—it’s to research facilities and DNA sequencing labs. Hypothetically, a malicious actor could send DNA with malware in it to a lab for sequencing. When it’s run through the sequencing system, the malware would be unleashed onto the corresponding computer and take control over that system, where it can read future DNA sequences or even alter genetic data. This isn’t a hack that poses a near danger, since it was so complicated to carry out, the researchers say. Still, gene sequencing’s price is dropping rapidly. In 2001, it cost about $100 million to sequence a genome. Now it costs about $1,000, and it will only get cheaper, particularly as the quest for precision medicine continues. The U.S. has a goal of sequencing the DNA of 1 million Americans to learn how to individually tailor medical treatment. So this hack could be a sign of larger problems down the road.

Malware isn’t the only thing that can be coded into DNA. Earlier this year, scientists at Harvard discovered a way to upload a GIF into a DNA sample. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 100 works of classic literature have been converted into digital data uploaded onto synthetic DNA. And DNA, it turns out, may be a viable alternative to the ways data is stored now, as companies typically keep digital records on servers in massive, power-hungry data centers. Hard drives and flash drives have relatively short shelf lives and can crash over the course of a few years, but DNA, on the other hand, could potentially store information for thousands of years.

Theoretically, it may even be possible to store files on our own DNA, allowing humans to carry malware or secret files. But it wouldn’t necessarily be easy to extract—not yet anyway.

“Once the DNA is inside you, it would be very difficult to pick that DNA out and amplify that specific piece,” says Yaniv Erlich, a professor at Columbia who previously has shown it’s possible to upload a computer virus or an Amazon gift card on DNA, though he didn’t actually carry out a hack, as the researchers at UW did.

“You might be able to store data on your skin or microbiome,” Erlich said. “If we take bacteria from your own skin, it could carry a file. We can also embed DNA with data into food.” Elrich has also worked on research aimed at making miniature DNA sequencers that are much smaller and more affordable.

If a piece of DNA inside you carries digital files, it doesn’t mean that DNA is going to reproduce all over your body. To do that, the file carrying DNA would probably have to be put into an embryo, and right now most of that kind of research is focused on curing genetic disease.

But the more researchers find ways to store information on DNA and or even hack into sequencer systems to alter results, the more this emerging field of research will need to think about security, too. Anything, it seems, can be hacked—even DNA.


          Upset gut bacteria ecosystem-microbiota, sometimes called second genome, second brain, is: Surprising Reason Americans Might Be Obese, Anxious, Depressed.        

Upset gut bacteria ecosystem-microbiota, sometimes called second genome, second brain, is: Surprising Reason Americans Might Be Obese, Anxious, Depressed

http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/surprising-reason-americans-might-be-obese-anxious-and-depressed?akid=11570.270812.gEqTnf&rd=1&src=newsletter966557&t=4 .. @AlterNet ..

microbiomes also affected by outside environment like house dust, aerosol when toilet flushed ..

gut bacteria is HIGHLY ADAPTIVE, one person's gut bacteria will take root, flourish in another's intestines: fecal, toilet aerosol transplants ..

gut bacteria affects our brain, "influences our mood and temperament,": food expert ..

"If you transplant gut microbiota of relaxed, adventurous mice into guts of timid, anxious mice they become less stressed and more adventurous" ..->SECOND BRAIN, MOOD, HEALTH TRANSFER .. ..

increase in obesity also correlates with indiscriminate use of antibiotics on factory farm animals
.. obesity that cannot be fully explained by "excess food, energy intake, changes in diet and eating behavior", increasing sedentary lifestyles. ..

Antibiotics likely increase weight in livestock by strengthening microbes that absorb nutrients, so why not in humans .. ..

both obese mice and humans have lost weight when intestinal microbes of lean mice and humans were inserted into their systems. .. ..

Capitalist really free market toxic threat to health: TRICLOSAN, in products like Colgate's Total, Ajax, Dawn dish detergent: antibiotic that also acts as endocrine-disrupting pesticide. ..

Traces of triclosan found in earthworms from agricultural fields and Atlantic dolphins. ..

Endocrine disrupters like Triclosan also suspected of causing early puberty by impairing hormonal regulation. .. ..

capitalist wars free profit quest terminally endangering humanity in ways more than one.
@daily_chomsky


          RHR: Treating Viral Pneumonia and Other Infections        

revolution health radio

In this episode we cover:
  • Botanical treatments for acute viral infections
  • Protocol for less severe infections
  • Immune-boosting ginger juice recipe
  • Restoring the gut after antibiotics
[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/thehealthyskeptic/RHR_-_Treating_Viral_Pneumonia_and_Other_Infections.mp3" title="Treating Viral Pneumonia and Other Infections" artist="Chris Kresser" social="true" social_twitter="true" social_facebook="true" social_gplus="true" ] Chris Kresser: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. I'm Chris Kresser. Today, we have a question from Brandon from East Troy, Wisconsin. Brandon: Hi, Chris. This is Brandon from East Troy, Wisconsin, with a question about antibiotics. Recently I contracted pneumonia and had to go on two different courses of antibiotics of three different varieties. And being a practitioner, I quickly went on multiple different strains of probiotics focused on fermented foods, more so than I already do, and prebiotic fibers. But I'm curious what your rescue plan would be for someone in a similar situation. As a corollary question, I'm curious if there's any evidence suggesting that someone who receives intravenous antibiotics accrues less damage to their gut microbiome. Thanks, Chris, I enjoy your show. Chris Kresser: Hey, Brandon, sorry to hear about the pneumonia, and this question is actually right at the top of my mind because my father, over Thanksgiving, had a pretty bad accident. He fell while he was carrying some luggage up the stairs and he severed the quadriceps tendon in both knees, which is an extremely rare and a pretty brutal injury. So his legs had to be completely immobilized in straight leg braces and he ended up being in the hospital for about 10 days. While he was in the hospital, after the second or third day, he developed hospital-acquired viral pneumonia, which you're at increased risk for if you have an immobilizing injury. If you're lying down like that, the fluid can pool in your lungs and you're just at higher risk for developing an infection like that. In fact, there is a saying in medicine, “Break your hip, die of pneumonia.” This was a pretty serious thing,
          RHR: Is a Disrupted Gut Microbiome at the Root of Modern Disease?—with Dr. Justin Sonnenburg        

revolution health radio

In this episode, we cover: 03:25 Just how many microbial cells are there? 11:38 What are the primary functions of the microbiota? 15:59 The connection between microbiota and chronic disease 27:14 How do you define a healthy microbiota? 30:36 The connection between low microbial diversity and disease 35:24 Can we manipulate our microbiota? 39:40 What inspired you to write your book?

Links we discuss

  • [easyazon_link identifier="0143108085" locale="US" nw="y" tag="chrikres-20"]The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg[/easyazon_link]
[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/thehealthyskeptic/RHR_-_Is_a_Disrupted_Gut_Microbiome_at_the_Root_of_Modern_Disease_-_with_Dr._Justin_Sonnenburg_.mp3" title="Is a Disrupted Gut Microbiome at the Root of Modern Disease?—with Dr. Justin Sonnenburg" artist="Chris Kresser" social="true" social_twitter="true" social_facebook="true" social_gplus="true" ] Chris Kresser: I’m Chris Kresser and this is Revolution Health Radio. Hey, everybody, it’s Chris Kresser. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. Today I’m really excited to welcome Justin Sonnenburg as my guest. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine. He conducted his PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of California, San Diego, in the laboratory of Ajit Varki. His postdoctoral work was conducted at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, in the laboratory of Jeffrey Gordon. After moving to Stanford University in 2008, Justin received an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In 2011 he received the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award. He and his wife and collaborator, Erica Sonnenburg, PhD, are the authors of the book The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health. The goals of the Sonnenburg Lab are to elucidate the basic mechanisms that underlie dynamics within the gut microbiota and to devise and implement strategies to prevent and treat disease in humans via the gut microbiota. The long-term objective of the research program is to continue to the emerging vision of how our microbiota may be incorporated into precision medicine. I met Justin at the UCSF Paleo event a couple of months ago and was really impressed with the presentation and talk he gave...
          RHR: Fecal Microbiota Transplants — An Update with Glenn Taylor        

revolution health radio

While in the U.K. in late October, I took the opportunity to visit the Taymount Clinic. I was really impressed with what they’re doing and the results that they’re getting. In the U.S., FMT is only FDA-approved for antibiotic-resistant Clostridium difficile. So if someone wants to get an FMT for a different condition, they’re not able to do it in the US, but that is not a limitation in the U.K. I’ve sent some of my own patients there and had a chance to see some really positive clinical responses. I wanted to have Glenn come back onto the show and get an update from him on what he has learned since the last time we talked. In this episode we cover: 6:18 Is FMT a panacea? 8:40 How well IBD responds to FMT 14:00 How C. difficile, colitis and multiple sclerosis respond to FMT 19:00 How Crohn’s disease responds to FMT 26:10 FMT and weight loss 30:40 FMT’s effect on eczema and allergies 39:38 How to increase species diversity in the gut 48:30 The new Taymount Clinic in the Bahamas [smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/thehealthyskeptic/RHR_-_Fecal_Microbiota_Transplants_-_An_Update_with_Glenn_Taylor.mp3" title="RHR: Fecal Microbiota Transpants -- An Update with Glenn Taylor" artist="Chris Kresser" social="true" social_twitter="true" social_facebook="true" social_gplus="true" ] Chris Kresser: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. This week I’m really excited to welcome back Glenn Taylor, Founder and Co-Director of the Taymount Clinic in the U.K. Taymount was founded in 2003, and it’s one of the only dedicated FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) clinics in the world, that I’m aware of. Glenn developed Taymount’s donor selection and quarantine safety process, the Taymount Laboratory Stool Processing System, and the treatment delivery program that Taymount uses for FMT. As Taymount’s Director of Science, he oversees the lab team and the entire processing system and supervises the training of the nursing staff to deliver the treatment program. Glenn’s personal specialty is the human microbiome and microbiology, building on his early training in human biology, biology, and organic chemistry. Glenn was a guest on the show maybe a year or a year and a half ago. We talked about fecal transplant and the way that they’re applying it over there at Taymount Clinic. I was actually in the U.K. for a couple of weeks, doing some public speaking in late October and early November of last year, and I took the opportunity to head up to Hitchin,
          RHR: Are Vegetarian Diets Better for the Microbiome?        

revolution health radio

What we can learn from these studies is only that the average person who eats red meat has a disrupted gut microbiome compared to the average vegetarian. That’s the only thing a study like that can tell us. It doesn’t tell us whether it’s because of the meat or because it’s the buns that they’re eating, like, the hotdog buns and hamburger buns around the meat, or it’s the sugar, or it’s the other crap that they’re eating, or it’s a lack of exercise, or it’s that they smoke more frequently. In this episode, we cover:

2:27  What Chris ate today 6:05  How meat consumption affects the microbiome 11:30  The biggest diet factor that determines gut health 25:28  The importance of the context in which you eat meat

Links we discuss

[powerpress] Steve Wright: Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. You are listening to the Revolution Health Radio Show. I'm your host, Steve Wright, co-author at SCDlifestyle.com. This episode of RHR is brought to you by 14Four.me. This is a 14-day healthy lifestyle reset program. Chris Kresser has put together a program here. If you’re someone who’s still struggling with, maybe, digestive issues, skin problems, low energy, maybe insulin issues, basically all these conditions, all health conditions are foundationally supported by diet, sleep, movement, and stress. Now, incorporating all four of these variables into your life can be very hard, especially if you’re having to make tweaks in all of these areas at the same time. Chris knows this, he’s been studying psychology and habit formation for a long time, and so what he’s done is he’s put together this 14-day healthy lifestyle reset program, where you’re going to actually work on your diet, your sleep, your movement, and your stress all at the same time, and by the end of the program, you’ll have incorporated the foundational pieces you need to get over these issues. Check it out at 14Four.me. All right, let’s get on with the show here. With me is integrative medical practitioner, healthy skeptic,
          MTS43 - Rob Knight - The Microbes That Inhabit Us        

In this episode, I speak to Rob Knight, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Knight studies our inner ecology: the 100 trillion microbes that grow in and on our bodies. Knight explained how hundreds of species can coexist on the palm of your hand, how bacteria manipulate your immune system and maybe even your brain, and how obesity and other health problems may come down to the wrong balance of microbes.

Links to studies mentioned in this episode:

Ruth Ley and Peter Turnbaugh's studies on obesity in Jeff Gordon's lab:
Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.
Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity.
An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest.
A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins.
Julie Segre's studies of the skin:
A diversity profile of the human skin microbiota.
Topographical and temporal diversity of the human skin microbiome.
Chris Lauber and Elizabeth Costello's studies of human-associated body habitats (in Noah Fierer's and Rob Knight's lab):
The influence of sex, handedness, and washing on the diversity of hand surface bacteria.
Bacterial community variation in human body habitats across space and time.
Jeremy Nicholson's studies of the metabolome:
Pharmacometabonomic identification of a significant host-microbiome metabolic interaction affecting human drug metabolism.
Cathy Lozupone's study of global microbial diversity (in Rob Knight's lab), and confirmation of the patterns in archaea by Jean-Christophe Auguet:
Global patterns in bacterial diversity.
Global ecological patterns in uncultured Archaea.
Ruth Ley and Cathy Lozupone's study integrating gut-associated and environmental bacteria:

Worlds within worlds: evolution of the vertebrate gut microbiota.


          MTS4 David Relman - The Human Microbiome        

David Relman is a Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University, and his research program focuses on the human microbiome – the microbial communities of bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that thrive on and in the human body. He’ll be speaking at ASM’s conference on Beneficial Microbes in San Diego this October, where he’ll talk about our personal microbial ecosystems, how far we’ve come in research and how far we have to go.

Since Louis Pasteur first deduced that microbes are to blame for infectious disease, doctors and scientists alike have mostly seen infection as warfare between a pathogen and the human body. Dr. Relman sees things a little differently. To him, the complex communities of microbes that line our skin, mouths, intestines, and other orifices (ahem) are also involved in this battle, interacting with pathogens and with our bodies, and these interactions help determine how a fracas plays out.

In this interview, I asked Dr. Relman about our personal ecosystems of microbes, whether we’ll ever be able to understand and predict what these communities do, and about the sometimes distressing effects of oral antibiotics on our guts. We also talked about whether being MTV’s Rock Doctor back in the 1990’s had an impact on his other professional pursuits.


           Biomarkers Associated With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Severity Identified        
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can't be explained by any underlying medical condition.

          By: iamclarkellis        
Thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear what a torrid time you've had. Have you looked into what the large visible lump in throat is? I haven't tried a fecal transplant myself but have a couple of friends who have. It is on my list as a possibility if I worsen. It certainly seems to be the case that destroying the gut flora can have severe consequences, so I'm very much in favour of more microbiome research. The http://microbediscovery.org/ project is by far the most promising from an ME/CFS point of view, but there is lots of work in this area across medicine so hopefully breakthroughs aren't too far away. Wishing you the best.
          By: Nita Jain        
Hi Ellis, I was diagnosed with CFS when I was 15 after two courses of antibiotics to treat a sinus infection (that was most likely viral in nature) followed by a three-month battle with swine flu. Since then, I was never the same. Weakened immunity, allergies, IBS, GERD, anemia requiring iron transfusions, etc. All my major illnesses were precipitated by antibiotic regimens. At 22, I was given a course of fluoroquinolones, which damaged every organ system in my body. I developed hypothyroidism, fasting and post-prandial hyperglycemia, fibroadenomas, candida infection (UTI), bacterial vaginosis, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. My lab work revealed low gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), low cortisol, low progesterone, elevated liver enzymes AST/ALT, elevated CH50, elevated myeloperoxidase, elevated fasting insulin, positive speckled ANA with a titer of 1:1280, positive rheumatoid factor IgM autoantibodies, positive anticardiolipin IgG autoantibodies, and deficiencies in potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and B3. For the past 16 months, I have been experiencing fainting spells (sometimes 8-10 episodes a day), vertigo, tremors (during which my BP would shoot up to 140/90 and pulse as high as 150), tinnitus, severe pounding headaches, brain fog, memory loss, severe depression, severe neuropathy, dysautonomia, muscle atrophy, debilitating fatigue, bradycardia, low BP (hovered around 82/50 for several months), loss of period, ear infections, dysphagia, large visible lump in throat, profuse sweating, constant low-grade fevers of 100-101 degrees Fahrenheit, insomnia, bone and joint pain, redness and swelling in my palms, feet, knees, elbows, and hips, hair loss, malar rash, angular cheilitis, seborrheic dermatitis, dry eye, blurry vision, photosensitivity (for several months I stayed in a completely darkened room and couldn’t tolerate any light), difficulty breathing, belching, severe reflux and vomiting, abdominal swelling and stomach dissension, rectal pain, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, steatorrhea, watery diarrhea, weight loss of 20 pounds, nutrient malabsorption, dehydration despite high fluid intake, new food allergies to avocados, bananas, cucumbers, dairy, intolerance to sugar, carbohydrates, and wheat. I require fecal transplants on a regular basis to try to control the flares (sometimes initially worsened by the treatment). I don't know if fecal bacteriotherapy would help other CFS patients as well, but I have read about the role of the altered microbiome in the development of CFS: https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-016-0171-4 Best of luck to you, and keep fighting the good fight.
          Farting: 7 Surprising And Spectacular Health Benefits        

First and foremost, passing gas is a totally natural bodily function.

It’s a necessary and normal part of digesting food; as your stomach and intestines break down chow for nutrients, a certain amount of gas is the inevitable by-product, according to WebMD.

Absolutely everybody in the whole world has to do it for their digestive health; it would be much more worrisome if you didn’t fart.



Benefit #1: It Reduces Bloating
If you’re feeling bloated after a big meal, unreleased gas may be one of the culprits at work.

For most people, bloating is a feeling of bodily swelling and temporary weight gain that isn’t dangerous, but might make those new jeans fit a little tighter.

Some of it is caused by water retention, where your cells hang onto extra water for one reason or another, but that feeling of fullness and discomfort in your belly?

That’s gas, waiting to escape. Letting it fly will instantly reduce your bloating and discomfort.

Benefit #2: It’s Good For Your Colon Health
You know how your mom told you when you were little not to “hold it?”

That piece of common wisdom should be taken seriously; holding in anything for extended periods of time isn’t good for your health.

While occasionally clenching to avoid an embarrassing toot isn’t an issue, if you have other digestive issues, holding in your gas can potentially cause medical troubles for your colon, according to Women’s Health Mag.

Benefit #3: It’s An Excellent Early Warning System
Farts are one of those bodily functions that you just can’t escape.

While you may resent it somedays, you might be grateful when you realize that your gas can occasionally predict major health issues early, giving you a sign to get to the doctor and have yourself evaluated.

Extreme smells, increasing gas frequency, and strange gas pains can alert you to conditions as mild as lactose intolerance, and as extreme as colon cancer.

Benefit #4: The Odor Is Good For You
Yes, you read that right, sniffing farts may actually be healthy for you.

It sounds weird, but bear with us; studies have indicated that a compound we produce in small quantities in our gas, hydrogen sulfide, might actually protect us from later illness.

This gas is the “rotten egg” smell often present in digestive gas, and is toxic in large doses, but in small doses may stave off cell damage and prevent strokes and heart attacks down the line.

Benefit #5: It Can Help You Balance Your Diet
We all need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and your farts might help clue you into what foods your gut needs.

Different foods produce different kinds of gas, letting you know what you may be missing from your diet, or overindulging in.

For example, if you rarely pass gas, you probably need more fiber and foods like lentils, beans, and kale in your diet.

Eating too much red meat, meanwhile, can produce a deeply unpleasant smell later, which tells you that you may need to cut back your consumption.

All right, here’s a slightly unpleasant truth: slimmer, healthier people often fart more.

In other words, the price you pay for better overall health might be a slightly stinkier digestive system.

That’s because the foods that feed your microbiome and encourage more efficient digestion are foods like cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, according to NPR.

These leafy greens kick your gut bacteria into high gear, which means both better digestion, and more gases produced.

Benefit #7: It’s A Huge Relief
Let’s face it; there is no better feeling than releasing a long-held fart.

Sure, the actual act of farting might be embarrassing if you’re caught by the wrong person, but the relief of passing gas is worth it.

Holding in gas can make you grumpy, uncomfortable, and snappish; reasonably, releasing boosts your mood considerably!


          Building a better GUT        

Building a better gut…what influences microbiome diversity? Recent research into the microbiome is validating the importance of diversity. It seems the more diversity in the gut microbes we have the more  protection we get. Conversely, when microbiomes are shown to have a limited range of diversity it suggests more susceptibility to illness and a state […]

The post Building a better GUT appeared first on Nourish Holistic Nutrition.


          Exploring the Equine Microbiome        
Researchers are discovering how the vast and varied microbes in the horse's gastrointestinal tract impact equine health.
          Diet Plays a Key Role in Developing a Healthy Gut Microbiome        

Diet Plays a Key Role in Developing a Healthy Gut Microbiome Understanding and practical modification of your gut microbiome is an important part of the future of medicine. Nearly 15 years ago scientists believed that the Human Genome Project would find information necessary to create gene-based therapies to produce cures for most health conditions. Many […]

The post Diet Plays a Key Role in Developing a Healthy Gut Microbiome appeared first on Live Trading News.


          Weekend Link Love – Edition 463        

RESEARCH OF THE WEEK

Reducing sugar intake may be the key to reducing health care costs.

In a mouse model of Alzheimer’s, capsaicin (spicy component of hot peppers) improves cognitive function and reduces synapse loss.

Neanderthal genetic introgression may have shaped the modern human brain.

There’s a big link between substance abuse and sleep loss in adolescents.

Lutein, found in spinach, eggs, kale, and avocado (among others), may counter aging’s effect on the brain.

A new technique promises to remove 99% of BPA from water in half an hour.

Humans have been manipulating forest ecologies for at least 45,000 years.

Even sedentary seniors benefit from HIIT.

NEW PRIMAL BLUEPRINT PODCASTS


Episode 180: Elle Russ and Brad Kearns, Part 1: Hosts Elle Russ and Brad Kearns chat about the long-awaited release of the Primal Endurance Online Mastery Course.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

INTERESTING BLOG POSTS

If we really want to compress morbidity and increase healthy longevity, we need to focus on the fundamentals of the aging process.

How Bret McClellan used the Primal Health Coach cert to launch and maintain a successful health coach business with his wife.

MEDIA, SCHMEDIA

The war on salt is entirely misguided.

Soybean oil is officially heart-healthy!

EVERYTHING ELSE

A message to vegans from a vegan.

The existence of biology may be a fluke of physics, according to a new hypothesis.

What do our microbiomes say about us?

Psilocybin helps people reconnect with the world, not escape it.

THINGS I’M UP TO AND INTERESTED IN

How I know we’re doing good things: Elizabeth Resnick explains how the Primal Health Coach certification has ignited her passion, fueled her knowledge, and enhanced her business.

Sometimes I feel like we’re living in a Philip K. Dick novel: Professional cuddling on the rise.

I actually think this could reduce healthcare costs: DIY pharmaceuticals.

I tend to agree: A fast mile is more impressive (and realistic) than a slow marathon.

I need a new sponge: So do you, probably.

RECIPE CORNER

TIME CAPSULE

One year ago (Aug 6– Aug 12)

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

“I’d like to hop in for a visit just to knock out a few chin ups on marks famous pergola.”

– I smell a contest, tribal.

The post Weekend Link Love – Edition 463 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.


          Birth and the Microbiome        

Midwifery Today magazine

In recent years, the microbiome has been a hot topic in the world of research. Scientists are realizing the importance it plays on the lifelong health of an individual. Since the details pertaining to birth can have a drastic impact on the microbiome, either positively or negatively, we at Midwifery Today knew this issue’s topic, “Birth and the Microbiome,” would be of keen interest to our readers. Enjoy the articles within, written by some of the best in the birth field, including Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Sister MorningStar and internationally known herbalist Susun S. Weed.
Read more...


          Birth Is a Human Rights Issue        

Midwifery Today Editor Image

Editorial by Jan Tritten: “The theme of this issue is the same as our conference in Strasbourg, France. We held our first birth rights conference in 2010 because our normal efforts didn’t seem to be effecting enough change. We thought that by taking it into the new realm of human rights, we might see greater change. We are shocked that things haven’t changed more and we feel the need to hold another conference about human rights in childbirth. We still have hope for the future. Some of this hope is based on the science about the microbiome and epigenetics that is coming forth. ”
Read more...


          (USA-CT-RIDGEFIELD) Senior Associate Director, Competitive Intelligence        
Boehringer Ingelheim is an equal opportunity global employer who takes pride in maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity of perspectives and strive for an inclusive environment which benefits our employees, patients and communities. **Description:** The CI Expert will be responsible for actively driving and implementing the CI strategy in support of a diverse preclinical and clinical pipeline of assets for Cardiometabolic Diseases Research (CMDR) and Research Beyond Borders (RBB), both located within the BI Innovation Unit. Current R&D efforts within these functions are focused on Diabetic Nephropathy, Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and related indications on the Cardiometabolic Diseases Research side, as well as a variety of indications (e.g. Wound healing) scientific fields (e.g. microbiome-related research), Pathways, gene families or protein families (e.g. Epigenetics target class)are of interest to the RBB group. In this role, the CI Expert will leverage a variety of data and his / her network in the cardiometabolic / cardio renal academic and drug discovery space as well as his/her capacity to learn new diseases/areas, to deliver continuous, comprehensive and relevant CI information to the TA and RBB, and summarize strategic implications for review by local and global BI Executives. The CI Expert will further build and leverage a network of key internal stakeholders across functions to complement external CI and determine strategic fit for advanced and early pipeline assets in DN. Further, the Expert will support Early Portfolio entry decisions and will leverage information from existing academic and business collaborations for contributing to a full assessment of unmet needs and market opportunities in the cardio renal and the wider drug discovery space of interest to RBB. As an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, you will actively contribute to the discovery, development and delivery of our products to our patients and customers. Our global presence provides opportunity for all employees to collaborate internationally, offering visibility and opportunity to directly contribute to the companies' success. We realize that our strength and competitive advantage lie with our people. We support our employees in a number of ways to foster a healthy working environment, meaningful work, diversity and inclusion, mobility, networking and work-life balance. Our competitive compensation and benefit programs reflect Boehringer Ingelheim's high regard for our employees **Duties & Responsibilities:** + Monitor, search, analyze and present Competitive Intelligence landscape information to the CMDR TA leadership team (CLT) and to RBB Core Team in support of strategic portfolio and partnering decisions. Develop and maintain a comprehensive and accessible overview of the competitive landscape in the cardiometabolic/RBB relevant space, including but not limited to data on, and interpretations of, news regarding milestones or terminations of preclinical and clinical development programs in the DN / NASH, cardiometabolic space and a variety of indications relevant to RBB. + Contribute expert CI assessments to local and global strategic update presentations throughout the year. Coordinate these assessments with global CI partners supporting CMDR and RBB at other research sites, and tailor them to the needs of key stakeholders to effectively and proactively support program positioning and differentiation. + Work closely with business partners in Medical, Marketing and Business Development & Licensing (BD&L) to develop timely and comprehensive value propositions for internal and external investments in areas of strategic interest in support of CMDR and RBB. Participate in analysis of due diligence evaluations for external partnering opportunities as needed. + Map out and maintain a relevant list of domestic and international key conferences and meetings in the cardiometabolic/ RBB relevant disease space and help coordinate CI collection at these meetings with local and global CMDR / RBB scientists. Leverage internal and external database and CI resources including BI Libraries for maintaining the highest level of information sourcing at all times. Ensure access to up-to-date commercial reports on developments in the cardiometabolic / RBB relevant disease space for key stakeholders **Requirements:** + Doctoral degree, from an accredited institution, with a focus in Life Science or relevant field is required + At least ten (10) years’ experience in drug R&D, translational research or licensing in the global biopharmaceutical industry with a focus on cardiometabolic / metabolic / cardiorenal / cardiovascular research and drug discovery and development. + Understanding of the competitive landscape, challenges and opportunities in the DN / NASH drug development and commercialization space. + Competitive Intelligence (CI) expertise with the curiosity and capacity to learn new diseases/areas. + Strong people / relation-building skills and excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills. + Ability to work productively in a fast-paced, global and culturally diverse environment and ability to adapt working style to evolving strategic priorities as necessary. + Ability to travel both domestically and internationally. **Eligibility Requirements:** + Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without restriction. + Must be willing to take a drug test and post-offer physical (if required) + Must be 18 years of age or older **Our Culture:** Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies and operates globally with approximately 50,000 employees. Since our founding in 1885, the company has remained family-owned and today we are committed to creating value through innovation in three business areas including human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing. Since we are privately held, we have the ability to take an innovative, long-term view. Our focus is on scientific discoveries and the introduction of truly novel medicines that improve lives and provide valuable services and support to patients and their families. Employees are challenged to take initiative and achieve outstanding results. Ultimately, our culture and drive allows us to maintain one of the highest levels of excellence in our industry. We are also deeply committed to our communities and our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen the neighborhoods where we live and work. Boehringer Ingelheim, including Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc., Merial Barceloneta, LLC and Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont, Inc. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; creed; religion; national origin; age; ancestry; nationality; marital, domestic partnership or civil union status; sex, gender identity or expression; affectional or sexual orientation; disability; veteran or military status, including protected veteran status; domestic violence victim status; atypical cellular or blood trait; genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing) or any other characteristic protected by law. Boehringer Ingelheim is firmly committed to ensuring a safe, healthy, productive and efficient work environment for our employees, partners and customers. As part of that commitment, Boehringer Ingelheim conducts pre-employment verifications and drug screenings. **Organization:** _US-BI Pharma/BI USA_ **Title:** _Senior Associate Director, Competitive Intelligence_ **Location:** _Americas-United States-CT-Ridgefield_ **Requisition ID:** _176603_
          Patenting the Microbiome – Part 2: Microbiome IP Panel, 2017 BIO Convention        
This is a guest post from Susan K Finston, President of Finston Consulting. Do you have a response to Susan’s post? Respond in the comments section below.  Given the increasing focus on microbiome technologies for better, safer therapies, and critical importance of Intellectual Property (IP) protection for their full commercialization, it is great to see the 2017 [...]
          The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome        

Research is emerging almost daily on the role of the microbiome in human health. But how do we acquire this mysterious community of microbes and more importantly how do we make sure the good bacteria outnumber the bad? According to a new book by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Your Baby’s Microbiome, it all starts […]

The post The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome appeared first on Chelsea Green Publishing.


          Ep12: Getting Started with Fermented Foods        
In a world where we’ve lost much of our microbiome to antibiotics and Lysol spray...we can use as much help in the probiotic department as we can get.
          NRS Awards New Research Grants        

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) announced it has awarded funding for three new studies, in addition to continuing support for two ongoing studies, as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the potential causes and other key aspects of rosacea that may lead to improvements in its treatment, prevention or potential cure.

“Since the grants program began in 2000, research supported by donations from many thousands of rosacea patients has dramatically increased understanding of rosacea’s pathophysiology and potential causes,” said Dr. Mark Dahl, professor emeritus at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and chairman of the NRS Medical Advisory Board. “In addition, important studies are now beginning to uncover possible links between rosacea and increased risk of other serious disorders.”

Dr. Gideon Smith, assistant physician in the department of dermatology at Mass General Hospital and instructor at Harvard University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to investigate whether individuals with rosacea may be at higher risk for other disorders involving the vascular system. The researchers will use a large clinical database to identify cases of rosacea and to examine the prevalence of markers of cardiovascular inflammation.

Dr. Lori Lee Stohl, research associate in the department of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical School, was awarded $25,000 to examine how norepinephrine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), biochemicals released by sympathetic nerves during stress, may increase the number of mast cells, which have been linked to dysfunction of the innate immune system and the appearance of the signs and symptoms of rosacea. She will also study whether these chemicals induce cathelicidins, a peptide involved in the body’s innate immune system that is also linked to rosacea, to determine whether there is a potentially significant link between the two pathways.

Earlier in 2015, Dr. Daniel Popkin, assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to study the facial microbiomes – the unique community of microorganisms that resides in all individuals – of identical twins in whom only one has rosacea. In previous NRS- funded work, the researchers studied the contribution of genetics versus the environment to rosacea in identical and fraternal twins. They noted that studying rosacea in identical twins makes it easier to discover how specific factors affect its development without being potentially misled by the many genetic elements.The NRS also continues to fund studies by Dr. Anne Chang, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, on identifying rosacea genes using a methodology called a genome-wide association study, and Dr. Anna Di Nardo, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California-San Diego, on mast cells and redness.

Issue:


          Twin Study Awarded New NRS Grant        

The National Rosacea Society announced that it has awarded funding for an additional study as part of its research grants program.

Dr. Daniel Popkin, assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to study the facial microbiomes – the unique community of microorganisms that resides in all individuals – of identical twins in whom only one has rosacea. In earlier work, the researchers studied the contribution of genetics versus the environment in identical and fraternal twins. They noted that studying rosacea in identical twins makes it easier to discover how specific factors affect its development without being potentially misled by the many genetic elements.

 


          My Everything Pal        

Today we travel to a future full of spreadsheet approved lives. A future where everything we do is tracked and quantified: calories, air quality, sleep, heart rate, microbes, brain waves, finances, happiness, sadness, menstrual cycles, poops, hopes and dreams. Everything.

This episode is longer than our usual 20 minute jaunts to the future, because the future of quantified self is so huge. We cover everything from biased algorithms, to microbiomes (again), to the future of the calorie, and more.

The first person we talk to this week is Chris Dancy, who is basically living in this future today. He’s been called the most quantified man in the world. Every day Chris wears and carries around over thirty devices that track everything from his heart rate to his brain waves. You can see a live stream of his data here. Chris started tracking his life in 2008, and has upgraded his system continuously to become more streamlined and include more forms of data.

There are all sorts of video profiles of Chris online. Here’s one from Mashable, for example.

But, as I was watching a few of these videos (including the one above), I felt kind of uncomfortable. Because a lot of them treat Chris kind of like a freak show. Like this weirdo guy that we should all kind of laugh at, or shun, or see as this maniac with too many devices. But in talking to Chris it became very clear to me that he’s very thoughtful about what he’s doing. The point isn’t just to track for tracking sake, Chris is on a mission. And it’s the same mission that you or I might have when we start tracking steps or workouts or calories or menstrual cycles: to be better. To be healthier and happier. And, for Chris at least, it worked. He dropped 100 pounds, stopped drinking and abusing drugs, and feels way healthier now than he did before.

A lot of people have called Chris the most quantified man, or the most surveilled man, or the most tracked man. But he thinks about it another way. He calls himself a mindful cyborg. But being a mindful cyborg takes a lot of work. He spends $30,000 a year on his quantified self, and it’s essentially his full time job. Not everybody can do that.

When you ask Chris what the future of the quantified self looks like, he’s actually not super optimistic about it. Because right now, Chris uses all these devices to gather data, but he sometimes has to fight companies to actually get access to it. In most cases, he has to buy his data back from them, in order to use it for what he wants. He says he sees us going to “the dark future,” where all our data is mined by companies, and not used to make us healthier or happier.

To dig a little deeper into the possible dark side of personal tracking, I called Claire North, the the author of a book called The Sudden Appearance of Hope that’s coming out this summer. The main character, Hope, sort of has the opposite of face blindness, she is totally unmemorable to anybody who meets her. Which makes her an excellent thief, and the book started out as a book about thieving. But as Claire was writing it, she started getting interested in something else, the fact that without any friends or family or other humans that can even remember her, Hope has no real way of measuring her life.

There’s still plenty of thieving in the book (it’s very exciting) but there’s an added layer now. The story kind of centers around this app called Perfection. Users give it access to everything: their bank accounts, their location, what they’re eating and drinking, who they’re hanging out with, how they’re sleeping, everything. And in return, the app gives them suggestions. Don’t eat there, eat here. Don’t do that, do this. And when users link up their accounts, and comply with the app’s instructions, they get perks. Coupons to restaurants or access to special events. Users who get enough points even get plastic surgery.

But to me, the thing that’s perhaps the most sinister about Perfection isn’t that it offers you plastic surgery. But rather the way that the app decides what Perfection actually is. Instead of finding out what you want, and helping you achieve it. Perfection decides what you should want. Men should want to be muscled and have lots of money and cars. Women should want to be thin and conventionally attractive.

And the idea that data mining might be used to push people in the direction of certain, highly biased, desires or outcomes, isn’t the realm of science fiction at all. That’s how they work now, and we talked to computer scientist Suresh Venkatasubramanian, about his work on data mining and what’s called “algorithmic fairness.”  Suresh explains what data mining is, and how it’s already being used to make decisions about everything from where things are in the grocery store, to who gets released from prison and who doesn’t.

(As a side note: When I was reading Claire’s book, I actually thought the name of the app, Perfection, was kind of on the nose. Certainly our future terrifying personal data app would have a softer, slicker name. Maybe “You” or “Well” or something like that. But then I went to a bodyhacking conference in Austin and I walked into the main ballroom where the first talk was being given, and up on the stage, behind the podium there was a huge banner it said “Nobody’s Perfect. Yet.” So, perhaps she was right!)

Of course, not everything about data mining is creepy and evil. Chris feels much better about his life now. And Jessica Richman, the CEO and co-founder of uBiome (who we spoke with last week as well) says that people can and will use their microbiome data to improve their lives. But Richman also knows that what she has at uBiome is a huge database of sensitive personal data. And she has to be careful with it.

One of the big questions I always have about tracking and personal data is this: I have a limited amount of time and money to track things, so, what should I be tracking? What variables are important? And it turns out that often, what we’re tracking in these systems, aren’t the right things. They’re simply the things we know how to track.

The last segment of our show this week centers about a really good example of that: the calorie. But it turns out the calorie might be a bit of a red herring. And to tell us about that, I called up Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, the hosts of a podcast about food called Gastropod. (Which is a great show you should totally go listen to it.)

They recently did an entire episode about the calorie, and asked some questions that, I had never really considered, like what actually is a calorie? How is it measured, and, perhaps more importantly, is it useful? And the answer is, for the most part, not really.

The amount of calories it says on the package doesn’t necessarily represent the amount of calories you actually get when you eat that package, or, I guess the food inside it. Don’t eat the wrapper. But they talked to one scientist who found that if you were to eat a pack of almonds that was, according to the calorie measure on the wrapper, 100 calories, your body actually only gets 70 of those calories. That’s a 30 percent difference! Plus, each person breaks down and absorbs energy from food differently, so 100 calories to me isn’t necessarily 100 calories to you.

Cynthia and Nicola walk us through the possible replacements for the calorie, like your microbiome or your metabolome, and we imagine a future with very personalized readouts for what each individual should eat and in what combinations.

By the end of our conversation though, I felt kind of exhausted. Not because Cynthia and Nicola aren’t delightful to talk to (they are) but because the idea of breaking down every single food I eat into a series of variables, and being told in great detail what I can and cannot consume, just seems totally exhausting.

And we close out the episode with a conversation about when tracking starts to ruin our enjoyment of things, and of each other. Are we happier when we track? Does it make us better humans? Does it help us understand yourself and others better? Does it make us happier? Does it make us better friends? I don’t know, and I think the answer will be different for everyone.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Casey Broughton, Rory Carroll, Suzanne Fischer, Sheila Gagne, Eddie Guimont, Tamara Krinsky, John Oloier, Mat Weller. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, want to give us feedback on the show, or just want to say hi, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing from you! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.

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TRANSCRIPT

Hello! And welcome, to Flash Forward! I’m Rose, and I’m your host.

Flash Forward is a podcast about possible, and not so possible futures. Every week we take on a specific potential tomorrow, and try to really overthink what it might be like. Every episode starts with a trip to the future, before we zip back to now, to talk to experts about what we just saw, and what it would really be like. Got it? Great.

This week, let’s start in the year 2029.
[Alarm clock]

Voice1: Good morning Sam. You slept for a total of 5 hours last night, but with frequent interruptions. Tomorrow night try playing some calming music at 62 bpm, and drinking a glass of water at 10:45, statistically those things correlate with deeper sleep for you. Remember, sleep is the foundation on which your day is built!

Voice2: [ping]
yogurt
strawberries
honey
total calories 213

Next time try cutting the honey — strawberries are sweet enough as they are. Your health is important Sam.

[traffic]
Voice 3: Your heart rate is elevated. Take a deep breath. This is the fastest route to your destination. Would you like me to play some meditative music?

[drive through]
Drive through voice: Welcome to Pepy’s how can I help you
Person: Hi yeah I’ll have a number 4 with a diet coke and
Voice2: Hamburgers are full of saturated fats and salts, are you sure you don’t want to make another choice
Person: And a large fries
Voice2: Your health is important Sam.

[Office sounds]
Voice 4: There is tension in your back. Focus your gaze on the end of your nose. Lift your chest, breathe deeply in through your nose. Feel the vertebrae straighten and lengthen. Bad posture can take years off your life.

[Office sounds]
Voice5: This month you’ve spent $342 on pet supplies. We estimate that your dog supplies about $250 worth of happiness for you. Try cutting back on this expense.

Voice1: Good night Sam. Did you drink a glass of water yet? Drinking water before bed is correlated with better sleep for you. I will wake you at 6:30 to walk the dog. Sleep tight.

Rose: Okay so today we’re taking on the future of our quantified lives. A future in which every food we eat, every hour we sleep, every poop we take, every elevated heart beat, every… yes, every breath we take. Is counted, logged, measured and compared to our own baseline, and the rest of the world. Quantified Self, is what this is called, and if you count calories or steps you already do this. And the future is probably full of even more of it.

Since this is a big topic, today’s episode is going to be a little longer than usual. And we’re going to talk to a bunch of different people working on different aspects of the quantified life. But let’s start with someone who’s living this future life, today.

Siri: What kind of businesses are you looking for?
Chris Dancy: Oh my gosh Siri just came up, did you hear her? That’s so weird I didn’t even say Siri. See! I’m telling you they’re monitoring me!

Rose: This is Chris Dancy. He’s been called the most quantified man in the world. Every day Chris wears and carries around the following sensors.

A clip on camera
Google Glass
Two different fitbits
Two different Jawbones
An Apple Watch
A Pebble watch
A Samsung watch
Two different heart rate monitors
A posture sensor
iphone 6s
Galaxy S5
An EEG monitoring Headband
A calorie tracking armband
A respiration tracker
A thermometer
A band that stimulates the nerves in his head
And… more
He also wears devices that help him control and interface with all the data he’s gathering like a smart ring and an armband that can control his technology using gestures.

In his house, Chris has sensors that measure air quality, temperature, light quality all sorts of stuff that synchs up with his personal data.

Chris: Sleeping data is fine but without environmental data in your bedroom sleeping data is useless because there’s so many thing that can happen outside of your body that impact your sleep.

Rose: All of these are also hooked up to systems that react and control various pieces of his house. If his heart rate gets elevated, for example, the lights in his office dim to sooth him.

But before Chris was the most quantified man in the word, he was a regular guy, working in tech. And he was in bad shape.

Chris: My health was kind of crap, I had a bunch of companies who were propping me up, allowing me to continue behaving in unfortunate ways. Just a lot of drugs and drinking and prescriptions and shit like that. I was, you know, a 300 pound chain smoking mess still, it was not pretty.

Rose: As a way to try and get ahold of his life, Chris started quantifying it, from the quality of the air he was breathing, to his mental states, and exercise. In 2010, he started using a clunky series of fake Google accounts, Twitter profiles, and spreadsheets. Eventually, he put all that information into a Google Calendar.

Chris: Moved everything to 10 categories by 2011, everything from financial to spiritual to environmental to physical, so they would be weighted properly coming in, they’d be then categorized and color coded.

Rose: If you look at this calendar, which you can on his website, it’s, overwhelming. There is a ton of information in all these colorful boxes on every day. But Chris was able to take this information and actually use it.

Chris: So I just basically started saying on days that I do X what do they look like? What does the color coding look like. What are the specifics, when I look in diary view on Google Calendar? And I just started creating more days like the days I liked, and I started looking for reasons why things were seemingly linked. Sometimes they were linked, sometimes they weren’t, but just the belief that I can control was enough.

Rose: In 2013, the outside world got word of Chris Dancy. He was on the cover of magazines, profiled by Wired, invited to speak all over the world about his life. There are a bunch of video profiles of him on the internet, which you can watch and which we’ll post the links to on our site. But, as I was watching a few of them, I felt kind of uncomfortable. Because a lot of them treat Chris kind of like, a freak show. Like this weirdo guy that we should all kind of laugh at, or shun, or see as this maniac with too many devices. But in talking to Chris it became very clear to me that he’s very thoughtful about what he’s doing. The point isn’t just to track for tracking sake, Chris is on a mission. And it’s the same mission that you or I might have when we start tracking steps or workouts or calories or menstrual cycles: to be better. To be healthier and happier. And, for Chris at least, it worked.

Chris: Within 18 Months I dropped 100 pounds, and I quit smoking, I was off my blood pressure medicine, off my antidepressants, off of drinking wasn’t using drugs as much it was just crazy.

Rose: A lot of people have called Chris the most quantified man, or the most surveilled man, or the most tracked man. But he thinks about it another way. He calls himself a mindful cyborg.

Chris: A mindful cyborg versus a freak with too much fitbit.

Rose: Today, being a mindful cyborg is basically Chris’s entire job. It’s what he does. And it’s a lot of work.

Chris: Oh yeah. I mean, it’s a crazy amount. No one ever asks me about the work god bless you. It’s a crazy amount of work. I mean having 100 fake Twitter accounts is ridiculous in managing it, not to mention how many emails you have to opt out of from Twitter. I spend about $30,000 a year on my quantified self which is a ridiculous amount of money

And he recognizes that most of us don’t have the time or money to be mindful cyborgs. But if Chris is living in this future today, what does he see coming? Well, in the future, it’s pretty clear that data collection is probably going to be even more ubiquitous. And Chris doesn’t actually see this as a necessarily good thing. Because right now, Chris uses all these devices to gather data, but he sometimes has to fight companies to actually get access to it. In most cases, he has to buy his data back from them, in order to use it for what he wants.

Chris: Right now we’re definitely headed toward the dark future, where people are having to buy back our data, and companies are figuring out ways to harvest our behavior. We are way deep in the dark side of the woods in my opinion right now becaues we haven’t really thought about all the choice that’s been removed for convenience.

To dig a little deeper into the possible dark side of personal tracking, I called Claire North.

Claire North: Obviously like every other human being on the surface of the Earth really who’s connected in this Internet age, I’ve gone through all the things, must exercise more, must eat better, don’t like exercising, don’t like eating better. Ahhh how shall I motivate myself? And the motivate yourself is a massive part of it. So I’ve dabbled in productivity apps, and calorie counting apps, and I’ve usually rejected them all after about a week with a cry of “I hate everything about this and what it’s doing to me.”

Rose: Claire is the author of a book called The Sudden Appearance of Hope that’s coming out this summer. The main character, Hope, sort of has the opposite of face blindness, she is totally unmemorable to anybody who meets her.

Claire: You can meet her, talk with her, have dinner with her, but the second you turn your back you begin to forget her.

Which makes Hope a really good thief. And the book started out as a book about theiving, Hope running around stealing diamonds and evading the police. But as Claire was writing it, she started getting interested in something else, the fact that without any friends or family or other humans that can even remember her, Hope has no real way of measuring her life.

Claire: I got really interested in apps and social media and all the technology we used day to day to kind of tell us “well done you have eaten 400 calories and this is good,” and the “I am monitoring you going running” stuff. And this world build up of a life that’s sort of told whether it’s any good by a machine.

The book kind of centers around this app called Perfection. Users give it access to everything: their bank accounts, their location, what they’re eating and drinking, who they’re hanging out with, how they’re sleeping, everything. And in return, the app gives them suggestions. Don’t eat there, eat here. Don’t do that, do this. And when users link up their accounts, and comply with the app’s instructions, they get perks. Coupons to restaurants or access to special events. Users who get enough points even get plastic surgery.

Claire: Hey you want to be perfect, we’ve got this great tie in deal with a guy who’ll fix your nose. And it starts to eat every part of your life, buying every aspect of your data, from what you eat to what you spend to how you look, and becomes quite sinister.

Rose: But the thing that’s perhaps the most sinister about Perfection isn’t that it offers you plastic surgery. But rather the way that the app decides what Perfection actually is.

Claire: The deeper you get into it, the more you realize that the lifestyle you desire is actually tailored by Perfection. It’s not necessarily helping you achieve what you want to be, it has a very strong algorithmic basis that says what you want to be is essentially what the internet says you should be. If you’re a woman you want to be skinny, you want to be rich, you want to be charming. If you’re a man, you also want to be right but you want to be muscley and you want to own a car. And so Perfection becomes less about who you are as an individual and more about you achieving this celebrity lifestyle notion of being the perfect person, the perfect human being.

Rose: And that’s a real danger with data-based algorithms today. When you have a quantified life, you’re giving companies access to data. And companies are mining that data for insights about you and about people in general.

Suresh Venkatasubramanian: The story goes something like this. Grocery stores wanted to know which items people bought at the same time, so they could put them in close proximity to each other. So they collected a lot of data on what people would buy in the store, so you have a person coming in, they buy a bunch of items and you have a record of all the things they buy. So you have this gigantic table of people and what they buy, and you want to find things that show up together a lot. And, allegedly, they would find the beer and diapers were bought together a lot. So the thinking is the stressed out new father who has to buying diapers and is getting some beer along with it. So the idea is that maybe you want to put these things closeby so when you buy diapers the beer is right nearby and you can pick it up.

Rose: That’s Suresh Venkatasubramanian,

Suresh: And I’m an associate professor of computer science at the Univeristy of Utah.

Suresh works on something called algorithmic fairness, a question of how to make these systems that mine data less biased. Which might sound weird. How can data mining be unfair? But remember: algorithms are made by humans, and humans are full of latent bias. So even if nobody at a company is saying “hey let’s discriminate against certain people using data!” they might accidentally build their systems to do just that.

Suresh: So with the work on algorithmic fairness we’re attacking this issue head on in the sense that the people thinking about this, they’re thinking precisely about how to prevent these from being weaponized. The weaponization is happening already, people are using machine learning for all sorts of purposes and in fact we’re saying no no no let’s try to make them a bit more reasonable in what they’re doing.

Rose: So an algorithm might take all the personal data that it’s fed, and start making decisions about you based on your race or gender. And if that happens when you’re being sold Amazon books, it sucks but, not the end of the world. But if it happens in other cases, it can be really bad. And one of the places Suresh is most worried about how this kind of quantified self comes into play in the judicial system.

More and more, courts in the United States are using algorithms to help decide whether or not someone should be allowed bail. They basically take a bunch of data, put it into an algorithm, and have the algorithm spit out information about how likely they think a person is to wind up back in jail.

Suresh: So the way this works at least with one of the systems, there’s this extensive questionnaire that is conducted by some trained personnel at the jail. There’s this set of 130 questions, and they ask them all kinds of things, they range from basic where did you live before this, what does your family look like, to more general questions like, do you feel anxious, do you feel depressed. And these answers are put into this model, which is proprietary and is built by a private entity, and out spits out a set of predictions. And the input going in is a combination of your personal data, information about your past, your friends, your network, information about your social network, your feelings, your mental state, all kinds of factors are going in. And coming out is this prediction.

But since the algorithm itself is a black box, nobody really knows if it’s discriminating against prisoners based on their race, or their gender. This is an extreme example, but it encapsulates some of the ways that companies might use your personal data against you in the future. Fitbits have already been used in court. Your insurance company could compare your personal data with what your doctor recommends for you to do, and if they don’t match they could up your rates.

Chris: I call it phone fracking, so what can you get out of your phone if you were to say “how do I empty out every single apps, all the sensors, and rearrange it in a nice way.” And that’s really scary, because if people are already thinking about that you know that companies already have, and you wonder when and how that’s going to happen.

Rose: When I was reading Claire’s book, I actually thought the name of the app, Perfection, was kind of on the nose. Certainly our future terrifying personal data app would have a softer, slicker name. Maybe “You” or “Well” or something like that. But then I went to a bodyhacking conference in Austin and I walked into the main ballroom where the first talk was being given, and up on the stage, behind the podium there was a huge banner it said “Nobody’s Perfect. Yet.”

So, of course, I immediately took a picture of the banner and sent it to Claire.

Claire: It was wonderful, it thrilled me and horrified me all at once. I really apprecited it, yay!

Now, part of what makes this kind of thing creepy, is that you’re giving a big company access to your personal data and you don’t necessarily know what they’re going to do with it. Or how well they’re going to protect it.

Jessica Richman: Breaches of healthcare data have gone up exponentially, there’s more data to breach and more people motivated to do it. So yeah, privacy and security are a huge drawback.

Rose: That’s Jessica Richman, if she sounds familiar it’s because we talked to her last week for our episode about the microbiome. Jessica is the cofounder and CEO of uBiome, a company that will sequence your microbiome for you. And in the future, that kind of data might be really useful to do things like predict what drugs will work for you, or cure infections and diseases, or solve murder cases.

But in the case of the microbiome the data is only useful if it’s connected to other people’s data, and the rest of your health data. Knowing the species of microbes in your gut isn’t super helpful unless you know whether that’s normal, or whether that changes when you’re feeling weird. And Jessia is well aware that she’s handling a lot of sensitive data.

Jessica: I don’t mean to be a technoutopian here. There are huge, privacy is something that’s always on my mind about this, because there are some really terrifying implications of this. It’s great that you know about your health and you can predict all of these things are going to happen, but what about the government and the insurance company you don’t want to know, and you know other individuals, your employer you may not want to know. So privacy is a huge aspect of this.

Rose: Sometimes, to me at least, talking about personal data and what I should or shouldn’t be doing with it can be really… overwhelming. There’s just so much of it. I mean Chris tracks so many different variables that I can’t even begin to list them all here. Coming up we’re going to dive into one particular type of data that people track, and talk through how it might change in the future. But first, a quick word, from our sponsors!

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Rose: So, this week’s future is all about our quantified lives. And that ranges across so many different arenas. We’ve talked about everything from data that determines whether you’re let out of prison, to data that tells you what books to buy, to data that tells you what bacteria live inside your guts.

But there’s this problem with quantified self that comes up all the time, and that’s that the things we are tracking aren’t always the things that are the most useful.

Chris: There’s a mathematician named Richard Tapa who said, “we don’t know how to measure what we care about so we care about what we measure.”

Rose: And I want take a closer look at one particular form of quantified self that might be exactly that, something that we’re measuring not because it’s useful, but because we know how to measure it. It’s one of the most common forms of tracking, and one that people have been doing long before apps or wearables, and that’s calorie counting.

Today, there are approximately a billion apps that can help you track your food intake. And most of them gather all the information, all the food items you put in, and combine them into some kind of report. Today you ate this many calories. Your target was that many calories. Good job, you hit your goal, or, oops, you went over, try cutting back tomorrow.

But I learned recently that the calorie might be kind of a red herring.

Nicola Twilley: Well I mean I ended up just thinking that it’s really not a useful thing at all, it is broken, it’s wrong, in all sorts of interesting ways. It just made me realize that we measure the calorie but it’s not the right thing for us to measure.

Rose: That’s Nicola Twilley and this is Cynthia Graber.

Cynthia Graber: And so I was a little different from Nicky here. I agree with what she said, obviously, and I think there are a lot of problems with the calorie. But I actually think think for a lot of people who are trying to lose weight and that is a lot of people, it’s kind of one of the measurements that they can use, as flawed as it is. It gives a good comparison, so you can say well in theory this salmon dish might have less calories than that huge cheeseburger and french fries.

Nicky and Cynthia make a podcast called Gastropod that’s all about food and it’s awesome, you should absolutely go listen to it. My favorite episode so far is about Mezcal, and it’s the reason I now have 6 bottles of mezcal at home. Listeners, send me mezcal! Anyway.

On a recent episode of Gastropod, they investigated the calorie. That ubiquitous little number on all of the food labels we see all the time. But Cynthia and Nicky asked some questions that, I had never really considered, like what actually is a calorie? How is it measured, and, perhaps more importantly, is it useful?

Nicola: I was really really intrigued once you start looking at the calorie you realize it came out of an era where getting enough food is what mattered, and that was the struggle. And now, so many of us, not everybody, but so many of us live in an environment where there are way too many available calories, and still we’re obsessing about measuring our food in this one way, which is all flawed and broken and which we can’t do accurately at home anyway. So why? Why when there are other ways to think about food? So I came out of it being like, ditch the calorie.

Rose: The calorie, it turns out, is not a particularly useful way of measuring what you’re getting from food. Because the amount of calories it says on the package doesn’t necessarily represent the amount of calories you actually get when you eat that package, or, I guess the food inside it. Don’t eat the wrapper. But they talked to one scientist who found that if you were to eat a pack of almonds that was, according to the calorie measure on the wrapper, 100 calories, your body actually only gets 70 of those calories. That’s a 30 percent difference! Plus, each person breaks down and absorbs energy from food differently, so 100 calories to me isn’t necessarily 100 calories to you.

Nicola: And the idea that it’s 100 like that, it gives you this false sense. Like okay well I can have this whole packet of 100 calorie cookies because it’s only 100 calorie snack pack and I’ll just do an extra five minutes on the stair master and then I’m all set. And it’s like, it really doesn’t actually work like that and it gives you this false sense that you can make these sort of accounting decisions with your intake that are much more precise than they actually are.
Cynthia: Yeah it’s definitely not like taxes you can’t be an accountant for your calories.

Rose: So if counting calories isn’t actually telling us what we think it is, what should be count instead? There’s no way that our future doesn’t involve some kind of food related tracking. But instead of tracking calories, Cynthia and Nicky say that we’ll probably be tracking other things, a whole bunch of variables that then combine to give us a personalized readout of what, EXACTLY, we should be eating.

To get that personal readout, we’ll probably be combining a whole lot of personal data. Like our microbiome.

Nicola: Maybe,, I just sampled my gut microbiome, for the first time. It was an enjoyable experience involving a very large q-tip. Maybe the future is we have to do this every morning, and it says, you know what, you’ve got a lot of those gut bacteria that are really good at extracting energy from what you’re eating, you need to cut down on consumption today, maybe have a probiotic. It might be, if you want that personalized recommendation and your gut microbes fluctuate every day, maybe we are going to all be going into the stall with a giant q-tip every day.
Cynthia: That sounds appealing
Nicola: I just try, it’s not all jetpacks people, it’s not all jetpacks.

Rose: And as weird as that might sound, it’s not actually so far off from where we are now.

Jessica: We do have a lot of people who have subscriptions.

Rose: That’s Jessica Richman from uBiome again.

Jessica: And what they do is they look at, as subscribers they’re often charting the changes in their gut in regarding to their own habit changes or in regard to natural fluctuations. Often people have something where they’re not quite sure what’s going on, or they’re trying to optimize something specifically to either alleviate a symptom or to have for weight loss or weight gain and they want to see how their microbiome changes in response to that.

Rose: And on top of the microbiome, we also might start tracking something called our metabolome.

Cynthia: Yeah so metabolomics is the study of all the chemicals of our body, and there are, as of the latest reading, tens of thousands of those. And then it’s also the study of all the chemicals of all the metabolomes in foods, which is another tens of thousands of chemicals, and then it’s kind of the way they all interact together. So it’s this crazy complicated science that David Wishart, which we spoke to, at the University of Alberta, he thinks teasing this all out could be more complicated than understanding the human genome.
Nicola: Because the thing is when we, we already have all of these tens of thousands of chemicals circulating in our body and then we ingest something that has those tens of thousands of chemicals. And we don’t typically eat one meal that is oranges and one meal that is steak, so then we’re combining all the different metabolomes in our food as well and that combination and the interaction between all those chemicals as they meet in our bodies, is uncharted territory for the most part. But what they are finding is, as they start to chart is, that it does have an effect on then how we process that food.

Rose: So instead of counting calories, we might be combining our microbiome with our metabolome to come up with super specific tailored meal choices and food combinations.

Cynthia: When we were sort of imagining a future scenario, and we did this for our episode as well we were talking about this, we were kind of imagining that you would walk into a store and you would have something had all the information on your metabolome, and then it would take a snapshot on what you wanted to eat and it would do all these werid calculations and tell you how it would match up with your metabolome and wehther or not you would get a certain amount of calories or a certain amount of nutrition. And it would be maybe a different readout than someone shopping right next to you shopping might get. Which just seems completely crazy, but that’s the spiraling out of what this scenario might be. And so Nicky and I when we were talking about this Nicky and I kind of spiraled and we were thinking well would this mean in the future you could have some kind of printout that was like well if you want to eat that Twinkie or that chocolate chip cookie then you should eat these other foods with it because those compounds will help protect against the absorption of the sugar in that way, it could get kind of crazy.

Rose: Now, if I’m honest, this all sounds… exhausting? How are you supposed to order at a restaurant?

Nicola: Or just even family dinner, I mean to me this is the downside of going in this direction. I feel as though, I mean Michael Pollan calls this way of thinking about food nutritionism where you just sort of prioritize all of this effect on your health over the other aspects of food which are connection to our environment and connection to the people around us, which are very very very important too.

Rose: And here’s where we run into one of the big issues that I think a lot of people have with our increasingly quantified selves. It’s a lot of work, and it can sometimes make things that should be enjoyable into something, else.

Cynthia: Right, and because to go along with something Nicky was saying it takes away the pleasure from food, if all you’re doing is quantifying everything and you’re quantifying calories and you’re quantifying your blood sugar spikes, and then you’re quantifying I don’t know what these particular foods would do together so you should eat them together, you miss out on the incredible pleasure that food brings you. And that’s to me one of the biggest points of it, it’s the social aspect of it, but it’s also this very sensual thing that you get to do multiple times a day. And I would never want to give that up just to get all these numbers taht might make me a little bit healthier.

Nicola: I feel as though it’s possible to imagine but to want is a different matter

Rose: Some people might want this kind of detailed personal tailoring, this spreadsheet approved life. It’s okay to want to track, and it’s okay to not want to track. Lots of people have different opinions about how much, and what kind of data they want to gather on their own existence.

Cynthia: I do that thing the one thing that you said every woman does, and every month on my calendar I track my period.

Nicola: I don’t do that. I leave it, I see where I am on my birth control pills so that does it for me. I track nothing. I track people’s birthdays, so I don’t forget them, does that count?

Cynthia: Oh I don’t even do that I forget people’s birthday’s all the time.

Nicola: Oh! And I write down, I’ll tell you the other thing I do, I write down what I gave people because I found I was giving people the same gifts two years running.

Cynthia: Oh that’s so smart I should totally do that!

Nicola: That makes me sound like I’m 72 or something but yes, truly it happened, so I track that now, but that’s really it.

Suresh: When I’m sporadically going to the gym I do track my workouts, and when I was going regularly I would track them regularly and keep track of what I was doing. I have found, so as a podcaster and blogger you know the feeling right, when I have a blog, and there was a time when I used to obsessively track my stats, and I found my perspective getting very warped, I would literally think what should I write next to get more hits? And at some point I started looking back at myself like what am I doing here?

Jessica: People have very different philosophies about what they want to know, and I’m so clearly, there’s sort of continuum, you could view it as a Likert Scale of you know, on one side I don’t want to know anything about my health if I’m sick I’ll go to a doctor take care of me healthcare system. And on the other side you have I want to know everything whether it’s useful or not maybe some day it will be useful for something. And I’m very far to one side where I want to know everything. But there are a lot of people who just aren’t , that just, in my experience that’s just a philosophical orientation, some people want to know and some people don’t.

Claire: My partner and I have very different views on this. He quite likes that things are tracked he likes the fact that he doesn’t have to spend extra time typing in a search term, or that google knows where his home base is and can instantly calculate a trip home for him. He likes the fact that there’s an evil data overlord who can help him. But for my part I massively dislike companies having too much data on me, partly for the fact that I hate advertising and I hate the idea that advertising is being customized to me.

Rose: But just like counting calories, or whatever we replace counting calories with, the big question we’ll all have to tackle in the future is why? Are we happier when we track? Does it make us better humans? Does it help us understand yourself and others better? Does it make us happier? Does it make us better friends? I don’t know, and I think the answer will be different for everyone.

Chris: They’ll follow me on Twitter and then they’ll link into me on Linkedin, and then they’ll try to be my friend on My Fitness Pal, okay, so you know where I work and you know what I like and now you’re friends with me on Facebook so you know what animals I have, now you know what I eat on My Fitness Pal, oh now you’re friends with me on Fitbit so you know how I’m sleeping, oh look at that now you’re following me on 23andMe so you know how many diseases I’m going to have in the future. You know, at what point do you have to tell your friends, how much information do you need on me, to fucking pick up the phone and call me?

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What do you think? Do you track anything about yourself? Do you hate the idea of tracking? Where do you draw the line? What would you like to track that you can’t? Tell us! Leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425 or send a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Casey Broughton, Rory Carroll, Suzanne Fischer, Sheila Gagne, Eddie Guimont, Tamara Krinsky, John Oloier, Mat Weller. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.


          Micro But Mighty        

Today we travel to a future where your microbiome becomes a key part of your identity. From health to your child’s kindergarten, here are all the ways knowing about your microbiome might impact your life.

Let’s start with a definition: what is the microbiome? Simply put, the microbiome is the collection of microbes (mostly bacteria) that live in and on your body. It’s hard to say exactly how many microbes make up the human microbiome, but researchers estimate that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 different species of bacteria live in the human gut. And that’s just the gut, there are microbial communities in our mouths, on our skin, in the vagina, all over the place. To put things in another perspective, the average human body is made up of 30 trillion cells. And on top of those 30 trillion cells, the average human also carries around in and on it, 40 trillion bacteria. 40 Trillion!

To learn how those 40 trillion cells might be leveraged in the future, we talked to Ed Yong, the author of the upcoming book I Contain Multitudes; Rachel Feltman, a science blogger at the Washington Post; and Jessica Richman, the cofounder and CEO of uBiome, a personal microbiome company. The three of them walk us through the pros, cons and surprising ways the microbiome might be used in the future.

The microbiome is a really promising area of research because it seems to interact with so many elements of our health. People are studying links between the microbiome and everything from autism to heart disease to body odor to cancer. But the gap between what we know right now, and what we’d need to know to develop microbiome based treatments for most of these things, is huge.

Right now there are no drugs on the market that are based on the microbiome, and there’s really only one microbiome related medical application that reliably works. And that’s for patients with an infection called Clostridium difficile or c. diff who get a fecal transplant. The c. diff infection is awful, and it totally ravages the guts of those infected with it. A jolt of health bacteria, in the form of donated fecal matter, can be life saving.

While the gut microbiome might get all the glory, there are lots of other microbiomes that impact our wellbeing as well. Doctors are trying to figure out whether children born by C-section might miss out on some crucial microbes that other children get when they pass through the vaginal canal. One recent study actually used wet wipes with the mother’s vaginal microbes on them on newly C-sectioned babies to see if it helped. There are concerns about that method too though.

Of course with any promising scientific breakthrough there will be people trying to apply it to pretty much everything. In the episode we talk about what happens when certain microbes start getting connected to talent or personality, or associated with negative traits. We’ve already seen that with genetic information, so why not microbial?

This week we also bring a new segment to the show! I play a few voicemails that listeners sent about mosquitoes from last week. I really loved the funny and thoughtful messages you sent me so keep telling me what you think! I’ll feature them each week. Call us and leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425. Or, send a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com. For instructions on how to do that, go here. And you don’t just have to tell us what you think about this future. If you want to suggest a future, you can do that too! I love hearing your ideas, so keep sending them!

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

Some of you might have heard us on Planet Money last week, if not go check out that episode it’s really fun it’s about all the various promises and policies that the current presidential candidates are putting forward, and what would happen if they actually got their way. Super special thanks to Tamara Krinsky and Brent Rose who provided voices for those futures. And I hide two references in that episode so if you can find them let me know, and I’ll send you the little prize I’ve made.

And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. If you do donate, you’ll get lots of cool stuff, including a transcript of the show and access to a special newsletter that I pack with really awesome stuff. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Hello and welcome to Flash Forward. I’m Rose and I’m your host. Flash Forward is a podcast about the future. Every week we explore a specific possible or… not so possible future scenario. Everything from space pirates to antibiotic resistance. Every episode starts with a little field trip to the future, before we zip back to today, to talk to experts about how that future might really go down.

Got it? Great. Let’s start this episode in the year 2032.

[Sound of kids playing]

Hi! Welcome to Döderlein!

Can I get you some water? We have sparkling or ultra-filtered.

I’m so glad you came by to see the school! It’s so important to really understand what we do here so you can make the best choice for your little genius. The kids here get the very best educational experience. We combine and inquiry-based learning program with a wholly custom microbiome to activate every student’s inner good-genius. We believe that under the right conditions every child can thrive wholly through inquiry, a healthy environment and intellectual courage.

Our application process is really simple! We just need you to fill out this form and have your doctor send in a microbiome sample for your little boy, Burton. We get so many applications that it can be really hard to pick between all the little geniuses that come through, but we really emphasize a holistic education and we try to make sure every student’s inner ecosystem can fit and flourish here in ours.

I’m blabbering now, here, take this pamphlet with you, it explains everything.

[Commercial Sad Music]

Are you tired of trying every weight loss trick in the book? Sick of dieting and seeing no results? Fed up with endless trips to the gym and no change in the scale? There has got to be a better way.

[Commercial Happy Music]

Well now there is! Introducing bioME, the very first personalized weight loss solution that really works. bioME’s patented personal microbiome technology will get you the results you deserve without having to give up your favorite foods, or spend hours in the gym. Simply send us a few easy samples of your microbial world, and we’ll formulate a treatment just for you.

And now, if you call in the next 20 minutes, you can get two months of bioME for the price of one! Call now, deals like this don’t last!

[Fade Out]

Cheering

Music Up

Today, on the Maude show, we’re catchin’ cheaters. This woman says her man wasn’t loyal.

[yelling]

But he says she’s just being too suspicious. We turn to the tests, do their biomes match? Or are his bugs going to give him away.

[screaming]

[music fades out]

….

Rose: Okay so in this future we’ve got personalized microbiome medicine, schools, courts, everything.

But let’s back up a little bit. Because first we need to talk about what a microbiome actually is.

Ed Yong: Okay so every person contains tens of trillions of bacteria and other microbes in their gut, on their skin, in and around their bodies.
Rose: That’s Ed Yong, a science writer at The Atlantic, and the author of an upcoming book about microbes called I Contain Multitudes.

It’s hard to say exactly how many microbes make up the human microbiome, but researchers estimate that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 different species of bacteria live in the human gut. And that’s just the gut, there are microbial communities in our mouths, on our skin, in the vagina, all over the place. To put things in another perspective, the average human body is made up of 30 trillion cells. And on top of those 30 trillion cells, the average human also carries around in and on it, 40 trillion bacteria. 40 Trillion!

And these 40 trillion microbes do all sorts of really important things.

Yong: We know that they help to sculpt our organs and tune our immune system and digest our food, they probably help to shape our behavior and to protect us from disease. So they’re really important.
Rachel Feltman: Because people’s health seems to be at least correlated to so many different species of microbes, a lot of researchers are interested in hacking that, and saying you know, what are the microbes that live in the gut that support not being obese and what are the ones that make you less likely to develop diabetes or help protect you against the kind of bacterial infections that cause really bad gastrointestinal illness.

Rose: That’s Rachel Feltman, a science blogger for the Washington Post. She suggested this episode! And she’s been tracking the future of the microbiome.

So the premise here is this: There are bacteria living in and on you. Some of those bacteria impact your health. And if we can control the bacteria we can make you healthier. People have talked about using microbiome based medicine to treat everything from

Feltman: Having a pill you could take that kept you, or at least made it really unlikely for you to become overweight
Yong: And on the flip side malnutrition, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, they’re looking in disorders of inflammation.
Feltman: Creating kids who don’t have allergies
Yong: Allergies, asthma, type one diabetes, multiple schlerosis
Feltman: Could we hack armpit microbiome to keep people from having BO?
Yong: They are looking at cancer because there seem to be links between the microbiome nad colon cancer. They’re looking at heart disease
Feltman: Could we make yeast infections less common? That would be great.
Yong: Pick a condition, chances are there’s some group somewhere studying links between that and the microbiome. You know a lot of this excitement is justified, there’s a lot of promise here. All the the future that I talked about is potentially real. Theoretically you could make that happen, you could get to a point where you’re prescribing personalized cocktails of microbes to people in ways that significantly improve their health. I think that is entirely feasible.

Rose: But before we go too far into the future, let’s talk about what we can do right now with the microbiome.

Jessica Richman: There are concurrently no drugs that are approved drugs for doctors to prescribe that are microbiome based.

Rose: That’s Jessica Richman. She’s the cofounder and CEO of a company called uBiome. uBiome started as a crowdfunding campaign back in 2013,

Richman: Which is kind of a crazy way to start a biotech compnay. But started our campaign on Indiegogo, we had no idea whether it was going to work whether anybody would pay any attention at all, and it just exploded fantastically. Within10 weeks we had over 2,500 people involved, it was $350,000 which at the time was an unimaginable amount of money, kept us going for the whole first year.

Rose: So now they’re a full fledged company that will sequence your microbiome for you.

Richman: You can order up to 5 sites, so there’s nose mouth skin gut and genitals, so both male and female there’s a vaginal kit and a penile kit. And what we do is you we send you a box it has a swab and some tubes in it and you swab the affected areas, so for the gut microbiome you swab the toilet paper, and for the vaginal microbiome there’s a protocol for swabbing the vaginal opening, for the mouth you swab inside the mouth. And then you stick the swab in the tube, you shake it up, and send it back to us, so it’s a pretty easy process it takes a minute to swab and a minute to shake it up, you just put it in the mail and send it to us.

Rose: When you get your results back, the uBiome team tries to tell you how your microbiome compares to everybody else’s that they’ve sequenced — what species you have that are more abundant or less, and what you might want to know about those microbes. And they’re hoping to add some clinical information to that soon. They haven’t announced what tests they’re doing yet, but it could be things like what your microbes might say about the drugs you should or shouldn’t take, or how they might relate to the weird stomach issues you’ve been having.

Richman: Our mission is to take this data, get as much of it, as much useful data as possible and turn it into insights that can be used to take this new emerging field of the microbiome and turn it into something really valuable that people can use.

Rose: When it comes to using microbiome related information for treatments and medicine, right now there’s really only one application that reliably works. And that’s for patients with an infection called Clostridium difficile or c. diff

Yong: this bacterium that causes really nasty diarrheal infections. The reason that fecal transplants work so well for this particular condition is that people with c. diff their guts are like a wasteland, they’ve been taking loads and loads of antibiotics kind of nukes the ecosystems in their digestive tract, and that’s been replaced by this one incredibly weedy species c. diff. Now when you shove a load of other microbes like, a more thriving diverse community from a donor stool, into that system, it’s much easier for them to then take over.

Rose: So in patients who are suffering from this infection, whose guts have just been totally decimated, an input of healthy fecal matter can be life saving.

Feltman: It’s miraculous, it works better than antibiotics it works for people who have not been successful with antibiotics. And it seems like it might be a pretty permanent change

Rose: But most people aren’t living with totally destroyed guts. Most people have a group of bacteria living inside of them which can sometimes go a little wonky. In those cases fecal transplants don’t work nearly as well. Because it’s much harder for the new bacteria to overpower the existing ones.

Yong: So you’d need to plan this really carefully using algorithms that can work out how those microbes will compete, nourish each other,have synergistic effects, maybe cancel eachother out. You’d also want to think about what are those microbes going to eat? They’re living things, a lot of probiotics don’t establish in the gut why is that? Maybe you need to feed them with the right food, so maybe you want to put the patient on a specific diet that’s going to nourish whatever microbes you’ve just given them in that pill.

Rose: And there are a few other uses for micriobiome treatments that are starting to gain traction. While most of the research is happening on gut microbes, the vagina is also full of microbes that impact not just the person with the vagina, but also any babies that might come out of that vagina.

Feltman: We know that babies are kind of dosed with microbes during birth ad actually a lot of people have done research on whether C-sections prevent you from getting that first wave of microbes that you’re supposed to get from your mother’s vaginal canal. So there was a study where researchers had basically swabbed babies born by cesarian with these wet-wipes covered in their mom’s microbes to see whether it gave them the same boost as babies who were born vaginally. So I think one of the first things that’s going to happen is that doctors are going to be inoculating babies with whatever we’ve decided the optimal microbiome for a newborn babies is the second they’re born.

Rose: Now, this all might seem pretty simple. Make sure you’ve got the good bacteria in you, and not the bad ones. But in reality it’s extremely complicated. First, there’s no one optimum microbiome. So it’s not like you can just say “here are all the good microbes you might need.” or “These other microbes are bad let’s get rid of them.” Two different people can have two totally different microbiomes and both be completely healthy. Take the vagina for example.

Yong: Yeah so the vagina is a really interesting case study for the contextual nature of the microbiome, because for ages people thought that the healthy vaginal microbiome was dominated by lacto bacillus, which acidifies the vagina and therefor makes it harder for more dangerous species to grow. But it turns out that that isn’t quite true if you look at women who aren’t white. So if you look at African American or Hispanic women a lot of them have differetn communities many of which aren’t dominated by lacto bacilis and yet are completely healthy. And then if you look at everyone you see that those communities change a lot, they flip in and out of lots of different states in ways that seem to have nothing to do with the women’s health outcomes.

So it’s different for each person. And it changes too. Even just changing what you eat can totally change the microbiome.

Richman: We had an employe who did a butter, she went on a ketogenic diet that was mostly fat as a test to see how that would change her gut microbiome. And you could see really dramatically by day two of that diet, and day three even more so you could see her microbiome really changed to fat digesting bacteria versus carbohydrate digesting bacteria.

And it’s not just that we all have a different set of microbes living inside of us that is also possibly changing all the time. It’s also that those microbes are living in this complicated system that is completely interconnected. It’s a biome, an ecosystem. And anybody who’s ever tried to manage an ecosystem can tell you that, it’s really hard.

Yong: A lot of people are looking at this from the point of view of a clinician, you know with the very straightforward and raw maths of clinical medicine, you want to add stuff that’s good, take away stuff that’s bad, and it’s much more like caring for a national park, or like tending to a garden. You know, you want to make the right species grow you want to get rid of weeds, you want to make sure everything’s watered correctly. These are acts of ecosystem engineering, they’re acts of world building.

Rose: You might be familiar with some of the classic tales of ecosystem mismanagement. Like when the cane toad was introduced all over the place, from Australia to Hawaii to the Philippines to help fight pests that were eating the sugar cane there. Well they did eat the pests eating the sugar cane but they also ate EVERYTHING else. Oh and on top of that they secrete toxins that kill pretty much any animal that touches them. Humans have even died from eating cane toad eggs. In 2005 the Queensland Government spent a million dollars trying to get rid of the cane toad.

We don’t really want something like that happening in our stomach, or in our vagina. guuuuhhhh And preventing that kind of things means really shifting the way that doctors think about medicine.

So microbiome based medicine is at a weird place right now. There is a ton of potential, there are all kinds of things that it could be used for. But we’re also not quite there yet. And that’s often a place where weird things start to happen. People start to overpromise, or try things at home that they maybe shouldn’t. Like DIY fecal transplants.

Yong: Every person I’ve talked to who works on fecal transplants have heard from someone who’s tried it on themselves for all sorts of different things.

Doing this kind of thing at home is really dangerous. Especially if you have a really bad infection that’s left you particularly vulnerable.

Feltman: Even if you think your family member is super healthy it’s possible they have something in their gut that is going to make you even sicker. It’s harder to get accepted as a poop donor than to get into Harvard.

Rose: It’s also not clear what might happen to these people in the future.

Yong: Really no one has done long term studies about this stuff, so fecal transplants have had a resurgence of popularity in the last five or six years, but there are still no really good long term studies, and for something like that you want to look at what people are going to be like 10 years down the line, and we just don’t have that data.

Rose: Today, there are people who are trying to use fecal transplants and micriobiomes on everything from autism to body odor and cosmetics. Each of which might actually be legit, but we don’t know nearly enough yet to know which ones are and which aren’t.
Richman: And that’s something we want to be really careful about because there’s a lot of hype, whenever there’s a new breakthrough in science there are people who overshoot the mark a little bit and say: oh the microbiome changes with your mood or the microbiome is effected by your thoughts. And that’s probably true to some degree, your stress response can effect the environment of your gut microbiota which effects specific organizsms. But to paint it as your mood changes and then your microbiome changes is way oversimplifying something really complex.

Feltman: I think in some ways the microbiome lends itself to this pseudoscience, because there’s something really holistic about it. You ahve these living things in you and around you, and you need to like foster the right ones. I don’t know there is something Zen about it.

Rose: There’s currently a lot of money going into microbiome research. And there will certainly be better treatments and clearer uses coming soon. But my favorite part of imagining futures is imagining how they might also go wrong. Could microbes be used on a Maury-style show to determine cheating like we heard at the top? If your microbes match his, did you have a fling?

Apparently, maybe?

Feltman: Oh that’s absolutely true, in fact researchers are already working on using the microbiome for forensic medicine and science. I think there are actually several researchers who are working with police I know of at least one to study the microbiome of bodies in murder cases, and you know, how useful that can be. It can definitely be useful in deremining time and place of death, and it could also be useful in, it’s possible they could look for microbial fingerprints some day. Researchers have done work on whether microbial signature could be as useful in sexual assault cases as DNA evidence.

Rose: Now, a huge piece of this puzzle is about data: who gets your microbiome data? How is it secured? What are people allowed to do with it? Those are important questions, and we’re actually going to talk about them next week in a similar, but different episode. So stay tuned for that.

In theory, there aren’t all that many nefarious things that someone could do if they got ahold of your microbiome data. It’s not all that useful, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s probably not even the same as it was when you last got it tested.

Richman: One negative effect of genetic information that microbiome doesn’t have presently is that if you know that your parents have certain traits that may lead you to inevitable conclusions about yourself that you may or may not want to know.

Rose: But that certainly won’t stop people from trying to use the microbiome to tell us about the innate nature of certain people .

Yong: I don’t want to underestimate the ways in which humans are capable of discriminating against other humans, I think people are entirely capable of surprising me. **

Feltman: Oh you have this microbe in your gut that’s associated with alcoholism because of the way it helps or hurts your metabolism of ethanol so you should lose this child custody case because you’re more prone to becoming an acloholic. It’s far fetched, but people do some really dumb things with personal data so it’s not out of the question.

Richman: One of our goals is to keep the world from being a dystopian microbiome based novel. That’s very important.

Rose: And if people start tying the microbiome to things like talent, well, who knows what might happen.

Yong: You know maybe to make it even crazier you’ll get people deliberately trying to get fecal transplants from celebrities. Everything has already been linked to the microbiome, why not personal success or singing voice. Maybe someone’s going to kidnap Beyonce and try and do a fecal transplant with her stools. If someone actually. I am not encouraging or condoning the kidnapping of Beyonce for a fecal transplant. That would be wrong listeners.

Rose: For the record, no one affiliated with this podcast advocates kidnapping Beyonce, or anyone else, for any reason. Just so we’re clear. Please don’t do that.

What do you think? Would you have your microbiome sequenced? Think all this data is useful? Overload? Both?

Let’s hear what some people thought about last week’s episode, the one where we talked about killing all the mosquitoes in the world.

[[VOICEMAILS]]

If you want to tell us what you think about each week’s future, we’d love to hear from you! Call us and leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425. Or, send a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com. For instructions on how to do that, go to our webiste. And you don’t just have to tell us what you think about this future. If you want to suggest a future, you can do that too! I love hearing your ideas, so keep sending them!

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool. Some of you might have heard us on Planet Money last week, if not go check out that episode it’s really fun it’s about all the various promises and policies that the current presidential candidates are putting forward, and what would happen if they actually got their way. I’ll put a link to the episode on the website in the show notes. And I hide two references in that episode so if you can find them let me know, and I’ll send you the little prize I’ve made.

If you like the show, and you want to support the us, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.


          Your Brain 101: Think With Your Stomach – The Gut Microbiome        
your-brain-101-think-with-your-stomach-the-gut-microbiomeScientists have known for quite some time that bacteria that occur in the gut affect a person’s health, from digestion to allergies. More recently, studies are finding that the microbes that colonize the gut also have an effect on the brain, and can play a role in conditions such as autism, depression and anxiety.

Here to explain more is Dr. Jesse Corry, neurologist at Allina Health’s United Hospital.
          Farting: 7 Surprising And Spectacular Health Benefits        

First and foremost, passing gas is a totally natural bodily function.

It’s a necessary and normal part of digesting food; as your stomach and intestines break down chow for nutrients, a certain amount of gas is the inevitable by-product, according to WebMD.

Absolutely everybody in the whole world has to do it for their digestive health; it would be much more worrisome if you didn’t fart.

Benefit #1: It Reduces Bloating
If you’re feeling bloated after a big meal, unreleased gas may be one of the culprits at work.

For most people, bloating is a feeling of bodily swelling and temporary weight gain that isn’t dangerous, but might make those new jeans fit a little tighter.

Some of it is caused by water retention, where your cells hang onto extra water for one reason or another, but that feeling of fullness and discomfort in your belly?

That’s gas, waiting to escape. Letting it fly will instantly reduce your bloating and discomfort.

Benefit #2: It’s Good For Your Colon Health
You know how your mom told you when you were little not to “hold it?”

That piece of common wisdom should be taken seriously; holding in anything for extended periods of time isn’t good for your health.

While occasionally clenching to avoid an embarrassing toot isn’t an issue, if you have other digestive issues, holding in your gas can potentially cause medical troubles for your colon, according to Women’s Health Mag.

Benefit #3: It’s An Excellent Early Warning System
Farts are one of those bodily functions that you just can’t escape.

While you may resent it somedays, you might be grateful when you realize that your gas can occasionally predict major health issues early, giving you a sign to get to the doctor and have yourself evaluated.

Extreme smells, increasing gas frequency, and strange gas pains can alert you to conditions as mild as lactose intolerance, and as extreme as colon cancer.

Benefit #4: The Odor Is Good For You
Yes, you read that right, sniffing farts may actually be healthy for you.

It sounds weird, but bear with us; studies have indicated that a compound we produce in small quantities in our gas, hydrogen sulfide, might actually protect us from later illness.

This gas is the “rotten egg” smell often present in digestive gas, and is toxic in large doses, but in small doses may stave off cell damage and prevent strokes and heart attacks down the line.

Benefit #5: It Can Help You Balance Your Diet
We all need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and your farts might help clue you into what foods your gut needs.

Different foods produce different kinds of gas, letting you know what you may be missing from your diet, or overindulging in.

For example, if you rarely pass gas, you probably need more fiber and foods like lentils, beans, and kale in your diet.

Eating too much red meat, meanwhile, can produce a deeply unpleasant smell later, which tells you that you may need to cut back your consumption.

All right, here’s a slightly unpleasant truth: slimmer, healthier people often fart more.

In other words, the price you pay for better overall health might be a slightly stinkier digestive system.

That’s because the foods that feed your microbiome and encourage more efficient digestion are foods like cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, according to NPR.

These leafy greens kick your gut bacteria into high gear, which means both better digestion, and more gases produced.

Benefit #7: It’s A Huge Relief
Let’s face it; there is no better feeling than releasing a long-held fart.

Sure, the actual act of farting might be embarrassing if you’re caught by the wrong person, but the relief of passing gas is worth it.

Holding in gas can make you grumpy, uncomfortable, and snappish; reasonably, releasing boosts your mood considerably!


          California quaking, swearing off showers for science, overselling the microbiome, MERS update, tropical diseases, cats vs. dogs        
Uplift and quaking When will the next big earthquake hit California, something approximating the one south of the San Andreas fault in 1857 (7.9) or San Francisco in 1906 (7.8)? The forecasts say sometime in
          Space invaders…the dangers of fungi in space        

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in space or on another world? One day it may be possible to do so, but whenever and wherever we colonize, we take with us our microbiota. Would they affect our ability to live beyond Earth? New research published today indicates that the health of space travelers could be negatively impacted by fungi in our microbiota.

The post Space invaders…the dangers of fungi in space appeared first on BugBitten.


           Differences in the faecal microbiome in Schistosoma haematobium infected children vs. uninfected children         
Kay, Gemma L., Millard, Andrew D., Sergeant, Martin J., Midzi, Nicholas, Gwisai, Reggis, Mduluza, Takafira, Ivens, Alasdair, Nausch, Norman, Mutapi, Francisca and Pallen, Mark J.. (2015) Differences in the faecal microbiome in Schistosoma haematobium infected children vs. uninfected children. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9 (6). e0003861. ISSN 1935-2727
          Vertical HIV transmission may be influenced by complex synergies with other STI – such as Cytomegalovirus        
The apparently greater susceptibility of sub-Saharan African women to HIV infection has led researchers to consider the various potential synergies between HIV and other genital infections (White & Glynn (STIs); Lurie & Matthews (STIs)) or conditions of the vaginal microbiome (The susceptibility of heterosexual sub-Saharan women (STI/blog)).  A recent study, Adachi & Nielson-Saines, brings this […]
          Hunting With The Hadza 2: The Microbiome.        
Dan Saladino asks if hunter gatherers, the Hadza tribe, hold the key to our future health. Presented and produced by Dan Saladino.
          That Gut Feeling: Part Two        
Dan Saladino returns to the world of the gut microbiota, the vast array of microbes within us all. From the Amazon Basin to East Africa to the life underneath our feet; food will never be quite the same again. Featuring Tim Spector, author of The Diet Myth, Jeff Leach, co-founder of the American Gut Project, microbiome scientist Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, food professor and author Ken Albala, and DJs Lisa and Alana Macfarlane - aka The Mac Twins. Presenter: Dan Saladino Producer: Rich Ward.
          That Gut Feeling: Part One        
Dan Saladino discovers the world of the gut microbiota, the vast array of microbes within us all. From East Africa to the White House, it's a story that'll change the way you eat. Dan is joined by Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, and author of The Diet Myth - The Real Science Behind What We Eat. Tim tells the story of how he became fascinated by the gut microbiome and our diet. The programme also features a Dutch draper named Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, co-founder of the American Gut Project Jeff Leach, evolutionary biochemist Dr Nick Lane, and Alexandre Meybeck - a Senior Officer at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Presenter: Dan Saladino Producer: Rich Ward.
          Comment on Down the rabbit hole: More on multispecies organisms by Joachim        
Your "transmission equations" seem to come close to what I mean, though you do not really have any equation, because they'd be too complex. Anyway, the distinction would translate into something like: if the transmission channels are identical or run in parallel, then it's one multi-entity organism. For example, if part of our mirobiome is exclusively transmitted from parents to offspring, then that part of the microbiome would be part of the complex organism. As the transmission channel of mitochondria runs not only in parallel to that of its hosts but is the same (their eggs), they are part of the complex organism for sure. P.S.: While "complex organism" seems apt, it's a historically loaded term, because John Phillips used it to mean a Clementsian superorganism (e.g., vegetation as an organism).
          The Link Between Gut Bacteria and Children Developing Allergies        

The probability that a child will develop an allergy is being proven to be largely related to their microbiome – the bugs that live on us and in us. Research from the University of California, San Francisco shows that if an infant’s beneficial microbes, more commonly understood as ‘gut flora’, are disturbed in the first few weeks of their life, […]

The post The Link Between Gut Bacteria and Children Developing Allergies appeared first on Cipla South Africa.


          Modern Life Means Less Gut Bacteria, More Chronic Disease        

When you have an infection, a doctor prescribes antibiotics to make the bacteria that causes it disappear. Sounds like a good idea, but the disappearance of microorganisms that have inhabited humans for millennia could be driving rising numbers of serious illness and debilitating conditions. Martin J. Blaser is the Director of the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine. A commentary written by Blaser in the journal Nature Reviews Immunology, suggests that loss of microbes that have long accompanied humans is causing an overall rise in conditions against which our bodies can no... more


          Mapping The Brain's Microbiome: Can Studying Germs In The Brain Lead To A Cure For Alzheimer's?         
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  Life Sciences Jobs  
          Using Blended Foods to Create Nutritious, Delicious Meals        
using-blended-foods-to-create-nutritious-delicious-mealsLearn tips and tricks to get more health benefits from your favorite meals by incorporating blended foods.Want to get more health benefits from your favorite meals? Try incorporating blended foods.

A food blend is essentially a puree. It’s thick like hummus, not like a soup. And, it's very different from the products of juicing.

Food blends are a great way to enjoy comfort foods with greater health benefit. Try blending one food color a week and incorporate it into your cooking. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Consider creating a carrot-sweet potato blend. You can add cinnamon and maple syrup for a sweet treat. You can also leave out the flavorings and mix it into pasta sauce, mac-n-cheese, soups or smoothies.

A mini food processor is best for blending foods instead of a traditional blender, because blenders require you to add liquid. If you're using a blender, be sure to add as little water as possible.

Health Reboot
Feeling sluggish or in a rut? Give your body a mini vacation. Your body could use a little help detoxing. Having blended foods for just a day or a full week will help you reset.

The human body needs to be filled with phytonutrients. Sticking to blends will help your gut microbiome. A reboot decreases inflammation and aids good gut bacteria.

Sneaky Ice Cream Blend
Blend frozen bananas, avocado, baby spinach, dark chocolate and honey or maple syrup in a blender or food processor. Freeze in a container and enjoy.

Minute & 52 Second Blend
Rinse canned, whole white beans (cannelini, butter, white kidney) with water. Pour in your blender or food processor. Add enough water for it to blend. Use it as a substitute for butter in cookies, salad dressing in tuna salad, and cream substitute in soup. Add olive oil and rosemary and serve with crackers.

Listen in as blended foods expert, Missy Chase Lapine, joins Dr. Pam Peeke to share the ease of incorporating food blends in your meals.

Sponsor:

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          Your Emotional Gut        
your-emotional-gutYour nervous system and gut are intimately connected.Your emotional state is tied directly to gut health.

The neurotransmitters in our brains and our guts originally came from the microbes through evolution.

The gut microbiome contains 100 trillion microorganisms living inside our digestive system. The microbes take advantage of the close communication system with the nervous system. They communicate with the areas of the brain that are crucial for emotions and a sense of well-being.

Your emotions involve your brain, gut and the microbes. If you’re upset, it affects the other parts of the system.

Disturbances can come from many angles to shift the system out of balance. In fact 98% of the body’s serotonin is packaged and influenced by the gut. Serotonin changes the behavior of the microbes.

Garbage food upsets the gut and messes with your emotions. Comfort foods change the microbes, leading to inflammation and influencing mood.

It’s all connected. Look at what you're eating and how it's affecting your mood.

Listen in as Dr. Emeran Mayer discusses the relationship between your gut and emotions.

          Quitting Sugar        

By:

Danielle Vallaro


This topic interests me so much because I do suffer from Thyroid Disease and unfortunately I do control Hoshimoto with synthetic Hormones. I was uneducated when I was given them 6 years ago by my Endocrinologist which informed me had nothing to do with diet. I was unaware that our hormones can be controlled by our diet and whole foods. I do follow a clean diet, no refined sugar, no soy or dairy diet which has made a complete transformation to my health.


Thyroid disease affects 50 Million Americans along with Metabolic Disease/Insulin Resistance. Overconsumption of Sugar does play a role which Endocrinologists will not recognize. Thyroid diseases causes are Leaky Gut, Adrenal Stress, & Toxic Metals The vicious cycle: Low Thyroid, Hormone Craziness, Cortisol, Low Blood Sugar, Too much Sugar.


Sugar Consumption messes up your gut by creating blood sugar imbalances which then inflame the gut Flora and Microbiome which then lead to inflammation.


Sugar starts to affect us within 30 min and can last up to 5 hours. It causes the pancreas to secrete Insulin. When too much sugar is secreted to our cells we then abuse them and they lose the ability to respond to Insulin. Overtime this leads to Insulin Resistance. We naturally create Cortisol which is the flight or fight hormone. When we consume too much sugar it weakens your adrenals and this creates havoc to our digestion and hormones. These hormones will then create antibodies that begin to destroy our Thyroid gland which controls or endocrine system and metabolism.

Manage your thyroid by coming off sugar. The gut will eventually heal and our adrenals will then cool down.


Quit Sugar Diet:

Meats & Fish, Vegetables (no starchy veg)

Nuts Seeds & Butters

Oils

Fruit (Lemon&Lime)


You Cannot Eat:

No Refined Carbohydrates

Fruits

Dairy

Sauces/Dressings (You can use coconut & Aminos)


          No More Sugarcoating        

The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil

We hear all the time that sugar is evil. Sugar is Satan and it is hiding in your cupcakes, your cookies, and more importantly, the sneaky SOB is masquerading in one too many health foods. It’s lurking in salad dressings and hiding in things like coleslaw, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup. KETCHUP. Is nothing sacred? In a previous blog post we discussed the legitimate dangers of taking your daily dose of poison via artificial sweeteners and some may be thinking pure sugar is the better option. The answer to this is a complex yes and no. If given a choice between the two, always opt for the food that came from a plant, and wasn’t made in one. But unless someone is holding you at gunpoint and forcing you to make a choice between a diet soda and a cupcake, there is no good excuse for either. While it is true that common white table sugar might be the “better” option, make no mistake, sugar is responsible for a myriad of issues, and it is, EVERYWHERE. The worst part about trying to find a healthy sugar alternative is no one wants to admit that there is none. (None that truly taste like the sweet, sweet, satisfaction of the real thing). What’s worse, a trend in “healthy alternative sweeteners” has brought a very specific culprit to the forefront of the debate, when it might in fact be the least favorable option.


*Quick Science* Both of the following forms of sugar are made up of glucose, and fructose. Glucose is found in every cell on the planet, our bodies need it, and if we do not obtain it from our diet, the human body will produce it. Every cell in your body utilizes glucose, including your brain, which means it will “burn up”, relatively quickly. Fructose is not produced by the human body and there is absolutely zero nutritional need for it. It does occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, but in essentially negligible amounts. Fructose metabolizes far more quickly than glucose as fat because the liver cannot process it in large amounts. In short, fructose is the enemy. Moving on.


Common Table Sugar, “Sucrose”.

“Sugar is the new nicotine”- Mark Hyman, MD

Sucrose is the common table sugar we all know and love to hate. It is made up of essentially 50% glucose and 50% fructose. As mentioned above, glucose is the molecule your body prefers for energy, and though it is willing to do the extra work to account for fructose in fruits and vegetables, in large amounts, your liver will object to the overload and create fat in the process. We’ve all heard that sugar is bad for the waistline, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, choose to ignore it. Excuses are made for the white crystals we feel we are “owed” after a particularly long day or traumatic event. But sucrose’s effects are far more wide ranging than just weight loss sabotage. Some short term side effects of sugar are mood swings, acne, skin rash, PMS, fatigue, hyperactivity and the notorious “sugar crash”. Long term effects include anemia, depression, anxiety, early aging, insulin resistance, and adrenal fatigue. As if all of that is not enough, sugar wreaks complete havoc on our immune system, skin, and hair. I vividly remember the first time I saw several gray hairs on my head, at 24 years old. Upon closer inspection I was hit with the realization that crows feet were beginning to form at the corners of my eyes. I was filled with visions of my own mortality. Was this the beginning of the end? My first thought was that I would go, kicking and screaming, and clutching a vial of botulism. I essentially wrote my eulogy to the man who decided it was a good idea to inject rat poison into our faces. Once my vapid downward spiral had commenced, research rendered me the realization that the added sugar in my diet could be to blame. Sugar is extremely inflammatory, and produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, creating premature wrinkles. The inflammation causes the rapid breakdown of cells which accelerate aging in an almost unparalleled way, similar to smoking. We only get 100 years if we are lucky, there is no point in speeding up the process by reaching for “comfort food”, that will be anything but comforting ten minutes after consuming it. The good news is, no one is doomed, and studies have shown drastically reducing, or eliminating sugar altogether can actually somewhat reverse the aging process.


Choose whole foods like fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, such as berries, apples, and kiwi. Stop demonizing fruit. Just stop it. My desire to be blunt is only accentuated and perpetuated by the fact that the issue of sugar, especially in the American diet, has less to do with the molecule itself and more to do with the package it comes in. An apple has approximately the same amount of sugar, (in grams), as 24 oz of soda. The difference however, is all in the vehicle it comes in. Fiber provides the greatest benefit to the human body when the cell wall remains in tact, the sugar wrapped up within it. By the time our body has expended the energy required to break down the wall, sugar is slowly absorbed into the blood stream, preventing the spike in blood sugar associated with all it’s negative effects.


“Nutrition, Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, who has called sugar “toxic” at high doses and fructose the most “actionable” problem in our diet, is still a fan of fruit. “As far as I’m concerned, fiber is the reason to eat fruit,” since it promotes satiety and the slow release of sugar. He adds a third benefit from fiber: it changes our “intestinal flora,” or microbiome, by helping different species of healthy bacteria thrive.” (3)


As with most things, there are conflicting views on on the ratio of carbs, protein, and fat you should be consuming on a daily basis. In spite of the potentially varying views on whether or not you should eat fruit, everyone can agree that processed foods should be eliminated entirely from your diet. This is the harsh reality of life. Suck it up, buttercup.



(1) Dufault, R., LeBlanc, B., Schnoll, R. et al. 2009. Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: Measured concentrations in food product sugar. Environ Health. 26(8):2.(2) Bray, G.A., Nielsen, S.J., and B.M. Popkin. 2004. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 79(4):537-43. Review.(3). Egan, Sophie. 2013. “Making the Case For Eating Fruit”. NY Times.
          An interview with Dr Bushra Ahmed        
Dr Ahmed is a respiratory clinical fellow who is looking into longitudinally phenotyping the microbiome of children with chronic suppurative lung diseases
          A Date with Your Microbiome        

The post A Date with Your Microbiome appeared first on Beatrice the Biologist.


          Michael Pollan: What Ecology Teaches Us About Human Health        
In this interview with Michael Pollan on his new book, Cooked, Michael talks about the transference of terminology developed in the field of ecology into the science of medicine, how these new concepts and terminology are changing how we think about the human body and human health. Niklas Luhmann called this transference of terminology "ecological communication." When we transfer language and codes derived from studies of the environment (though not solely the natural environment) and import that terminology into other fields of knowledge, Luhmann proposes that by this process 'the social system' develops the capacity to respond and adapt to the environment.


Hitt: At one point you referred to “the impoverished westernized microbiome,” and you posed the question of whether the human body needs what some microbiologists call “restoration ecology.” So you’re applying environmental metaphors to the human body. How might this kind of language make us think in a new way about our bodies?
Pollan: I think when you bring the concepts of ecology into your body, that’s a revolutionary new paradigm for medicine and for the philosophy of human identity. It breaks down the “us and them” attitude we bring to nature. It’s a very direct implication of the natural world in the body. We know when we eat, we’re always taking nature into us. But the idea that we’re a host to an ecological community and that that ecological community is obviously shaped by what’s going on in the world—whether we’re talking about toxins, antibiotics—you’re really breaking down that barrier between us and nature out there. Nature is passing through us. I didn’t tease out these implications, but I think it does have important implications for how you think about nature. It definitely brings it home.
Hitt: And also how you think about what you eat?
Pollan: Yes. If it doesn’t necessarily change your diet, it does change your attitude toward the various chemical compounds that poison this environment. We’ve understood that feeding antibiotics to livestock is a public health risk because of the rise of superbugs and antibiotic-resistant microbes, and that’s the reason people have campaigned to remove them. But it turns out there’s another reason to remove them and that is that these antibiotics are poisoning and cutting down on the biodiversity inside you. So there are implications of knowing this that go beyond diet.

Hitt: How was it that scientists recently came to start talking about the human microbiome?
Pollan: There are two tools that have allowed for this wilderness to be explored. One is this new sequencing technology. But the other was theories of ecology. It was when scientists began thinking, “Hey, what if we ask the questions that ecosystems scientists ask?” Which was radical for medicine. Medicine doesn’t usually think that way. And that really opened it up. And they started using terms like community dynamics and invasion resistance. And exotic species. And resilience. So there was an intellectual tool and there was a technical tool. And they were both required to make the breakthroughs we’re starting to make.
Hitt: Wow, that’s cool. So, there really was a kind of theoretical borrowing?
Pollan: Yes. And this may be prove to be a key legacy of ecology—what it teaches us about health. Who would have thought?


          AI, Robotics, And The Future Of Precision Agriculture        

From analyzing millions of satellite images to finding healthy strains of plant microbiome, these startups have raised over $500M to bring AI and robotics to agriculture.


          Using shotgun metagenomics to study the human microbiome        
Our bodies are host to a wide range of microorganisms that play a role in health and disease.  Shotgun metagenomic DNA sequencing is an adventurous and rewarding approach to studying these organisms.  The method is used to sequence the full genomes of all organisms present in a sample, but in short pieces.  In this lecture, we'll discuss how shotgun data can be used to learn about microbial communities.  Modern bioinformatics and analytical techniques will be covered in detail.  We'll also explore the frontiers of research, where we are combining DNA sequence information with results from metabolomics and proteomics platforms.  This lecture will be led by Kyle Bittinger, PhD.
          Fourth Annual PennCHOP Microbiome Symposium        
Details & Schedule TBD.  Please visit our website for updates. 
          TWiP 127: Kava not Cava        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

The TWiPsters solve the case of the Peace Corps Volunteer with a Liver Lesion, and discuss the dependence of Leishmania survival on the gut microbiome of the sandfly.

Become a patron of TWiP.

Links for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Blue Apron. Blue Apron is the #1 fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country. See what’s on the menu this week and get your first 3 meals free with your first purchase - WITH FREE SHIPPING - by going to blueapron.com/twip.

Case Study for TWiP 127

The last of our trio for the Peace Corp, an eosinophilia case. 29 yo pc volunteer in Rwanda, male, 3 weeks of feeling poorly. Starts with rash on lower back and upper legs, maculopapular rash. Fatigue later, cough, then diarrhea, 51% eosinophils (9000). No significant exposure to fresh water. Stool sent for oandp. Said sat down and got something on behind, realized later was feces, this was where rash developed. OandP seeing larva in stool. HIV neg, no med issue, no surgeries, no Kava. 

Send your case diagnosis, questions and comments to twip@microbe.tv


          Artificial Sweeteners - not so sweet?         
Low calorie, no calorie and so sweet. Artificial sweeteners just seem too good to be true. Is there a catch? We dig into two big questions: Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer, and are they making us fat? We talk to Prof. John Glendinning, Prof. Susie Swithers, Dr. Kieron Rooney, and PhD student Jotham Suez about the latest research. Plus we do a fun experiment with PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman from Reply All!  Also, please sign up for our brand spanking new newsletter! We’ll share science that’s been blowing our minds, plus great content like the most amazing calculation from an academic of how much bigger 323 African Elephants are than nuclear waste. Head to: https://gimletmedia.com/newsletter/ 

Our Sponsors:
  • Postmates - New customers get a $100 credit by downloading the app and entering the promo code SCIENCE
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Credits:

This episode has been produced by Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers, Shruti Ravindran and Wendy Zukerman.Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Production assistance by Stevie Lane. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Original music and mixing by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, Peter Bresnan, Euromonitor International and ubiome.   

Selected References:







          Dr. Tamsin Lewis: Risks of Birth Control Pill and IUDs, Tips for The Perimenopause Transition, Recovering from Overtraining Syndrome, and More        
Dr. Tamin Lewis is back and also is working on a new business Fibr Health. Check it out! On this show: Discussing risks of the pill and IUD for female athletes. What can happen when on birth control: Inflammation CRP Disrupt microbiome Decrease B vitamins Increase needs for Mg The pill can also raise SHBG, which […]
          Designed a-sheet peptides suppress amyloid formation in Staphylococcus aureus biofilms        
Demonstration of s. aureus biofilm structures and in the presence of anti-a-sheet peptide
Alissa Bleem, Robyn Francisco, James D. Bryers, Valerie Daggett. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes 2017; 3:16. The researchers have designed small proteins that can inhibit the formation of biofilms, common sources of infection for hundreds of patients worldwide, especially with those who have implanted medical devices. Their designed anti-a-sheet peptides suppressed the formation of biofilm in S. aureus, a bacteria resistant to many drugs, by about half, and prevented aggregation of infectious proteins through their binding mechanism.

          Your Individualized Microbiome        
What I do really well and believe in whole-heartedly is individualized medicine.  This means an approach that is tailored to every individual and in all things.  It’s been easier to ignore the whole microbial issue with so many supplements on the market that have high potency and good quality, but […]
          Startling facts about our Microbiome        

Your own bacteria

Along with our cells, we share our lives with a huge number of organisms that are also part of ourselves and we are in constant interaction. A community of organisms that live with us is called microbiome. Here are some startling facts about the creatures they call "home" to your body.


Your body has more germs cells

The human body is full of microbes. These microorganisms far exceed the number of our cells: estimates are ten to one in his favor. The exact number does not matter as much as the idea that our bodies are more bacteria than human cells. We also found a large amount of virus in the body. The year 2013 marks the end of the Human Microbiome Project, a five-year effort that has involved hundreds of scientists to catalog the human microbiome.

Born Free from bacteria

People are born free of bacteria and we gain in the first years of life. Babies get their first dose of microorganisms as they pass through the birth canal of the mother. Of course, babies born by cesarean not acquire these microorganisms. In fact, studies show that babies by Caesarean section have a very different microbiome of natural childbirth and babies may be at increased risk of certain types of allergies and obesity. A child acquires most of its microbiome at 3 years,

Bacteria can be both good and bad

As is well known, while some germs can cause disease, others are important for maintaining health and defend against infections. Sometimes, the same bacteria can do both cosas.Tomemos example Helicobacter pylori, responsible for causing stomach ulcers. Most of us do not present symptoms, but a number of people develop stomach ulcers. Helicobacter infections can be treated with antibiotics, but, as there is always a "but" has been associated with the absence of Helicobacter esophageal diseases such as reflux esophagitis and certain types of cancer of the esophagus.

Antibiotics can cause asthma and obesity

Penicillin was a breakthrough when it was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Antibiotics have enjoyed good reputation since then, but overuse of them has led to the proliferation of strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus resistant to methicillin (MRSA). There is evidence that antibiotics may increase the risk of developing asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Of course, there are circumstances where antibiotics are essential. However, some childhood illnesses, such as ear infections or throat, can desaparer alone.

Probiotics are overrated

The recognition that the bacteria can be good for our bodies has led to a kind of madness in the development of probiotic foods containing live microorganisms that supposedly offer a benefit to our health. Many people take probiotics after antibiotic treatment. But do they really work? The concept of helping restore our microbiome is correct. Although we believe that restoring all species of microorganisms in our intestines taking a milk derivative seems naive. Current Probiotics are good marketing but low effectiveness.

The ability to modify the interactions between microbiome, diet and our body is a therapeutic option for the future.


Picture by Yutaka Tsutsumi, M.D.Professor Department of PathologyFujita Health University School of Medicine [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons


          MetaShot: an accurate workflow for taxon classification of host-associated microbiome from shotgun metagenomic data        
MetaShot: an accurate workflow for taxon classification of host-associated microbiome from shotgun metagenomic data Fosso, Bruno; Santamaria, Monica; D'Antonio, M.; Lovero, D.; Corrado, G.; Vizza, E.; Passaro, N.; Garbuglia, A.R.; Capobianchi, M.R.; Crescenzi, M.; Valiente Feruglio, Gabriel Alejandro; Pesole, Graziano Shotgun metagenomics by high-throughput sequencing may allow deep and accurate characterization of host-associated total microbiomes, including bacteria, viruses, protists and fungi. However, the analysis of such sequencing data is still extremely challenging in terms of both overall accuracy and computational efficiency, and current methodologies show substantial variability in misclassification rate and resolution at lower taxonomic ranks or are limited to specific life domains (e.g. only bacteria). We present here MetaShot, a workflow for assessing the total microbiome composition from host-associated shotgun sequence data, and show its overall optimal accuracy performance by analyzing both simulated and real datasets.
          Gut and Run        
Fear, for the most part, is controlled by the brain’s amygdalae, but a team of researchers at University College Cork have discovered that the gut microbiome, that collection of bacteria that lives within your digestive system, appears to also have an effect on the response to and processing of fear in mice. Anthony and Jeff discuss what this might mean for humans, and how the biome will be used to alter mental states in the future.
          Biome Sweet Home        
There is evidence to suggest that a microbe that lives inside the human stomache may be the key to ending deadly peanut allergies.  Indeed, the microbiome that each of us carries around all the time may have far more to do with our physical and mental health than previously realized.  This makes Anthony and Jeff think twice about who they'd like to share bacteria with, and how exactly these microbes are getting into our bodies. Hey! If you’re enjoying the show please consider supporting it on Patreon!  http://patreon.com/wehaveconcerns You could also take a moment to rate/review it on whatever service you use to listen. Here’s the iTunes link:  http://bit.ly/wehaveconcerns Jeff on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/jeffcannata Anthony on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/acarboni Article:  http://gizmodo.com/a-gut-microbe-could-be-the-key-to-stopping-peanut-aller-1626666964
          THSTI Technical Officer & Lab Technicians Recruitment 2013        

THSTI Technical Officer & Lab Technicians Recruitment 2013


THSTI (Translational Health Science and Technology Institute), Govt.of India, Gurgaon has Issued Notification for Recruitment of Technical Officer/Assistant/Lab Technician/Executive Secretary Posts, eligible candidates can apply before 02/09/2013 through offline.
Important Dates to Remember :
Application receiving Last Date : 02/9/2013.
Post names and Vacancy Details :
Sr.No.Name of the postNo. of posts
1Technical
Officer-II
01
2Technical
Assistant (Lab)
01
3Lab Technician02
4Microbiome
Innovation
02
5Executive
Secretary
01
Applicants should be qualified M.Tech/M.SC or B.Tech in relevant filed for S.No.1, M.Sc in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Life Science for S.No.2, B.Sc in Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Life Science for S.No.3, Ph.D in Biology for S.No.4 & Graduation in any discipline and Computer typing speed 50 words/min for S.No.5 post.
Applicants age limit must be 30years for S.No.1-3,5 posts &35years for S.No.4 posts.
Applicants selection process will be basis on  Interviewperformance skills.
Applicants of general categories have to pay fee Rs. 100/- and no fee for SC/ST/PH categories, paid by Bank Demand Draft in favor of Translational Health
Science and Technology Institute (payable at Gurgaon).
Applicants can apply through prescribed application format download from official Notification file and filled form, CV, attested required copies, affixed passport size photograph send to The Head-Administration, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, 496, Udyog Vihar Phase-III, Gurgaon, Haryana-122016.

          Comment on Group B Strep resources by Six Things You DON'T Have To Do When You Are Pregnant        
[…] you can start researching and forming your own opinion of the risks. Group Strep B During Pregnancy Group Strep B Resources What You Need To Know About Group Strep B Microbiome […]
          Comment on Group B Strep resources by Six things you DON'T have to do when you are pregnant! - Mother Down Under        
[…] you can start researching and forming your own opinion of the risks. Group Strep B During Pregnancy Group Strep B Resources What You Need To Know About Group Strep B Microbiome […]
          Belly Button Wonderland        
"Out of 53 species [of bacteria found in my belly button], 35 were present in only 10 or fewer other volunteers. And 17 species in my navel didn’t show up in anyone else. In the column for notes in Dunn’s spreadsheet, he’s annotated these species with scientific descriptions like “weird one” and “totally crazy.” Several species I’ve got, such as Marimonas, have only been found in the ocean before. I am particular baffled that I carry a species called Georgenia. Before me, scientists had only found it living in the soil. In Japan." (via Sullivan)
          First of All - Do No Harm        
I'm switching that to "do know harm?".  Do you know the harm of what you're doing?

In ancient Egypt the tombs were prepared for the god-king pharaohs.  Every organ was removed and placed in to beuatifully carved vessels.  During the process of preserving evetything that was important they shoved a stick up through the nose; into the brain; stirred it up and poured into the sewer system.
Imagine, these tomb preparers were so dumb, they didn't know the value of the 2-3 pound organ in the skull.  That sort of reminds me of the medical community not knowing the importance of the 2-3 pounds of gut flora living in our digestive tract.  This flora out numbers the human cells in your body 10 to 1.

All humans are 99.9% similar in genetic make-up but the gut flora is so diverse, no two people have more than a 40% overlap.   The majority of your immune system resides in the gut biomass.  90% of chronic conditions are a result of gut biome mismatch or insufficiency.  Your food cravings, nutritional needs, mood, heart, skin, brain health are all dependent on the health of the old friends you carry in your gut.  The figure below gives a snapshot of some conditions that you'd be afflicted with if you lack sufficient breadth and depth of gut biome diversity.



People are born without bacteria, and acquire a gut biomass in the first few years of life. Babies get their first dose of microbes as they're passing through their mother's birth canal. Babies born by caesarean section don't acquire their microbes this way. In fact, studies show that C-section babies have a markedly different microbiota from vaginal birth babies, and may be at higher risk for certain types of allergies and obesity.  The gut biomass in C-section babies more resembles skin bacteria strains, and can take a lifetime to normalize.  While the gut biome is initially forming a baby's metabolic, immune, cognitive, and reproductive systems are undergoing extensive development.

Since the 1950s, it is well known that feeding livestock antibiotics makes them gain weight like crazy.  It was first this weight gain - THEN farmers noticed with their newfound artificial disease resistance animals could be packed closer together.     

Western medicine is the greatest development for acute or traumatic conditions.  But just by the ignorance surrounding the conditions that stem from the gut is shockingly sad.  The existential fallacy in logic is: an argument has a universal context and a particular solution.  The premise that bacteria is bad so anything that fights bacterial growth is good is wrecking our health.  Destroying the gut biome is doing harm.  Do not take an anti-biotic 'just in case'.  Never deprive antibiotics from someone very sick, but realize that most childhood colds, ear infections, sore throats just go away on their own.  You have no idea the damage you're doing to the majority of your cells.  

Now our health food stores are packed with probiotics sometimes containing 'many' strains of bacteria.  The odds of a store bought probiotic helping your gut flora is liken to winning the lottery.  It's depth, breadth and biodiversity that makes a healthy gut.  The science is not out yet on what externalities may help cultivate a healthy biomass.  Sadly, science is just now getting to the point of quanitfying the many issues that can result from having a weak gut biome.  Exchanging poop is much more likely to help you, or simply eat real food.  I KNOW thats a bridge too far for many.  





          Diabetes causes shift in oral microbiome that fosters periodontitis, Penn study finds        
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania researchers has found that the oral microbiome is affected by diabetes, causing a shift to increase its pathogenicity.
          Porn, Sugar, Cookies, Bananas, Sweet Potato Chips & The Matrix: A Wired To Eat Book Review With Robb Wolf.        
https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/wired The last time I had Robb Wolf on my show, we talked about nicotine gum, alactic training, binaural beats, small-scale farming and a whole lot more. This interview with Robb threatens to be no different, as we delve into his new book Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You. The surprising truth is that we are genetically wired to eat more and move less, the exact opposite of the advice we are often given. Robb claims to have developed a more customized weight loss solution that works with your body, a solution based not on arbitrary restriction of foods but on what works for you. A former research biochemist, health expert, and bestselling author Robb Wolf, has designed an eating program, based on groundbreaking research, that will rewire your appetite for weight loss and help you determine the optimal foods for your diet and metabolism. During our discussion, you'll discover: -Why Robb decided to include a discussion of your "brain on porn" in his new book, and how chili-cheese nachos are like a porn site...[9:10] -The fascinating link between ketosis and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)...[14:50] -How one could theoretically build massive amounts of muscle with the use of (surprise) Viagra...[25:00] -The shocking study done in Israel that showed massive variations in blood sugar responses to everything from hummus to cookies to bananas...[26:30] -How you can test your poop and microbiome to generate an individualized diet based on your predicted blood sugar responses...[35:55] -Why hemoglobin A1C, which is what many doctors will test to see what your blood sugar levels have been at, may not actually be an entirely accurate marker of blood sugar history…[48:25] -What fructosamine is and why Robb recommends you track it...[49:55 & 52:20] -How to test whether or not a food is actually good for your blood glucose levels, and exactly which numbers to look for 2 hours after you eat...[56:00] -The best foods, herbs, spices and supplements you could add into a meal that is high in sugar to lower your blood sugar response...[61:54] -And much more! Resources from this episode: -Wired To Eat book -A Day In The Life Of Robb Wolf -TrainToHunt bowhunting/obstacle course competitions -Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction -Stephen Guyenet "Hungry To Eat" book -StemTalk podcast with Ken Ford -DayTwo.com - use code "greenfield" to get 5% discount -Blood glucose monitor -The bitter melon extract Ben mentions for controlling blood sugar response -Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Robb or me? Leave your comments at BenGreenfieldFitness.com and one of us will reply!
          Ashleigh Theberge and Erwin Berthier receive Kavli Microbiome award        
Assistant Professor Ashleigh Theberge and Affiliate Assistant Professor Erwin Berthier were awarded a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge grant, which supports novel, cross-cutting tools and methods in the field of microbiome research. Continue reading
          Comment on Microbiome: Bolster Your Bifidos by cnico        
Thx for the info. Much appreciated.
          Comment on Microbiome: Bolster Your Bifidos by Ellen        
Hi! I can't say I know too much about die off in response to yogurt, but I have heard from some people that they have strong responses to taking probiotics. If you can find a functional medicine practitioner near you, it might be worth asking them if you continue to have severe negative responses to foods like yogurt. They also might be able to help you pinpoint any candida or potential SIBO issues.
          Comment on Resistant Starch by cnico        
Such excellent info Ellen. I see u have ceased the blog a couple of years back, at least the Microbiome part. .. so thanks very much for leaving it up! ps... I'm also an environmental scientist. Cheers.
          Comment on Microbiome: Bolster Your Bifidos by cnico        
Hi Ellen! Just found you today thru Ms. Google. I developed a candida overgrowth after a series if utis + strep inections for which I stupidly took antibiotics each time. :( Excellent information here. Thank so much for your research and writings. Much appreciated. I see now that I probably knocked out the Bifido bacteria and lactobacillus. Oddly enough, I twice ate active yogurt (first time also with probiotics) and had severe die off with very high fevers in the evenings (102), severe might sweats, complete exhaustion and zero appetite. Have u ever heard of this type of reaction? Now I'm scared to eat yogurt! I think I will start again at maybe a tablespoon a day and see what happens. Oh, also, i developed white tongue (thrush? Some people differentiate between them... I don't know why) after my last go around with antibiotics, which is how I knew I had candida... only minor symptoms otherwise, like dandruff, a small bit of eczema. Thx for any info re if u have heard of severe die off after yogurt/probiotics.
          Comment on Vitamin-Producing Microbes by Ron        
I thought you might like to read this article - http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/germs-help-body-produce-vitamin-c-breakthrough-discovery Apparently new research has discovered that our bodies are capable of synthesizing vitamin C via their microbiome.
          How to Protect against Alzheimer’s Disease        



“Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, more than 5 million Americans live with the memory-robbing ailment and by 2050 that number could rise as high as 16 million, according to new figures from the Alzheimer’s Association.








“Scientists are working to find ways to not only treat Alzheimer’s but prevent it from developing in the first place. In one key step in the process, researchers are gaining a better understanding of the role of amyloid proteins in the development of the disease.

“‘The amyloid plaques build up outside of the nerve cells [in the brain] and now we know that when the nerve cells interact with the plaque, it causes the nerve cell to make a tangle inside,’ explains Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project and a leading researcher in the field at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. ‘And that tangle then chokes the nerve cell from within and kills it. So the killing process begins with the amyloid – that’s kind of the gun – but the tangle’s the bullet, so to speak.’

“Experts now believe these amyloid plaques and the tangles they form start occurring in people’s brains 10 to 15 years before any symptoms like memory loss begin to show.

“The latest drug development efforts are focused on intervening much earlier on, before the disease takes an irreversible toll on memory and cognitive function. Tanzi likened it to taking statins to manage cholesterol to prevent a future heart attack.

“Another increasingly important focus of medical research is neuro-inflammation in the brain — why it happens, and how to stop it. For patients with Alzheimer’s, Tanzi explained, ‘What’s killing most of your nerve cells is neuro-inflammation, where the brain has reacted against all these plaques and tangles and cell death with an inflammatory response. And only over the last 5 years, we’ve discovered the genes that control neuro-inflammation in Alzheimer’s and we’re doing drug discovery based on those as well.’

“Yet, while such drugs can take years to develop, Tanzi says there are things people can do right now to help protect their brain. He spoke with CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook about these strategies:

Q: Aside from choosing the right parents, what can somebody do to prevent Alzheimer’s – or try to help prevent Alzheimer’s?

A: The four big categories are diet, exercise, sleep and stress reduction. I wrote about this in detail in my last book, ‘Super Genes’ – six chapters, more than you wanted to know about how to adapt your diet to minimize inflammation and plaques. Meaning Mediterranean diet, probiotics – take care of your gut bacteria.

Q: Which probiotics?

A: Yogurt, a yogurt drink like kefir, or a probiotic pill with live bacteria.

Q: But there’s so many different ones ... which ones? Do we know yet? We don’t know yet.

A: It’s a hot area right now. There are companies that are looking at what are the best bacteria to put in a probiotic.

Q: Why would what’s going on in your gut affect what’s going on in your brain?

A: So it turns out there’s what’s called a gut-brain axis, where the bacteria in your gut are creating chemicals that interact with your brain that do everything from determine your mood to control how much inflammation there is in your brain.

Q: And even obesity, right? It’s amazing what we’re learning about these trillions of bacteria that people were saying, ‘Oh, wash them out … I’m going to get cleansed. They’re icky! Let’s get them out of us!’ It turns out, of course, millions of years of evolution – they’re there for a reason.

A: And you want to take care of them. They’re there to help you. A Mediterranean diet, more fiber, more fruit, what are called prebiotics, probiotics – meaning, if you don’t know exactly what probiotic pill to take, at least live-culture yogurt. I drink kefir every morning. And then after diet – exercise. You know at least an hour-long brisk walk, or try to get 8,000 to 10,000 steps if you’re using a device. And sleep. Eight hours. After 40 years old, you have to get seven to eight hours of sleep, and try your best to do it because as you cycle in and out of REM sleep, this is when you clean amyloid plaque out of your brain.

Q: That was one of the most amazing discoveries, when I first read about that – you’re actually ‘garbage collecting’ at night when you’re asleep. The toxins get carried out of your brain.

A: The brain – first of all, the cells that can cause inflammation, when they’re behaving are clearing the plaque. So you want to keep these certain cells clearing the plaque away and not causing inflammation. During the deep sleep, those cells eat all the plaque. And then the brain literally, physically constricts itself and releases the plaque debris – the proteins from the plaque – into the spinal fluid and out of the brain to wash away. 

You can actually see the brain physically constricting after the material’s been broken down by the resident cells. And this only happens during delta – slow-wave – the deepest sleep that comes in after REM. So you want to be able to cycle in and out of REM several times per night. Kind of like a dishwasher on multiple cycles, you want to go in and out to clean the brain as much as you can every night with sleep.

Q: So it’s coming down to what our parents told us, right? Eat your fruits and vegetables, get a lot of exercise, get plenty of sleep. And then the last thing you said was stress reduction.

A: Managing stress. It turns out, we just published a study on meditation, a new trial on how does meditation affect your gene activity – your gene expression, as we call it. We did it with folks at Mount Sinai [Hospital] in New York. And what we found was that with a meditation practice, there are changes in your gene expression that work against inflammation and that actually create a healthier state. We also see changes in genes that affect the amount of amyloid in your brain during a full one-week intensive meditation course. 

So we have meditation instructors, we have novice meditators who are learning, and our control group of people at the same resort who were just hanging out and having fun but not learning how to meditate. And there were significant differences in terms of very beneficial gene expression changes in those who were meditating.

Q: One of the biggest fears my patients have is that they might be developing dementia. So how do you distinguish between a ‘senior moment’ and dementia? I mean, people would kind of flippantly say, if you can’t find your car keys that’s one thing, if you find them and don’t know what they do, that’s another thing. But I always found that a very flip answer. What do you really say to a patient in that situation?

A: Well the fact is, as we get older, we don’t recall names as well, we can see the face of an actor we know but can’t recall the name as fast. There are changes that happen in the brain just as there are changes in the muscles. Our joints, our muscles get a bit weaker. So that’s why it’s so important to work out physically and mentally. You know, stay engaged in learning new things.

Q: Crossword puzzles? Learning a new language?

A: I like to say – if crossword puzzles help you, if it’s the New York Times it would help you between Friday and Sunday, because you’d probably have to look something up and learn something new. But it’s really learning new things. When you learn something new, you make new synapses – connections between nerve cells [in the brain]. And all learning is based on what you already knew, you learn by association to what you already knew. So not only do you make new synapses, but you strengthen the ones you already have.”

Top Alzheimer's researcher explains how you can help protect your brain by Ashley Welch, CBS News




          Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and the Microbes Inside You        
Can the bacterial community that lives in your gut actually be related to psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder? Research on the human microbiome and its effects on […]
          Research Scientist, Bioinformatics - George Washington University - Foggy Bottom, MD        
We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled, and collaborative computational biologist to contribute to multiple NIH -funded microbiome research projects....
From George Washington University - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:12:57 GMT - View all Foggy Bottom, MD jobs
          Brain Food: The Human Microbiome         
If you’re one of those people who puts on weight while another person eating the same meal doesn’t, blame your gut! Greg Caporaso says it’s all about the microbiome — or the microbes living in our bodies — that determines how many calories we extract from food and also, how susceptible we are to disease.
          The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – August 4, 2017        

This week’s headlines include: What Does Your Microbiome Say About You?, AstraZeneca gets breakthrough status for blood cancer drug, Could CAR-T treatments work in glioblastoma?, In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos, Mosquito Season Is Spreading Zika and West Nile Across the U.S., Amgen gets fast FDA review for adding […]

The post The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – August 4, 2017 appeared first on Cell Culture Dish.


          Hannah Crum: Kombucha Cocktails, Fermented Foods, and SCOBYs in Space!        
If you’re overweight, fatigued, or sick, it’s time to take a look at your microbiome. On this week’s show, you’ll learn how to upgrade your gut health with living foods.
          Your partner could affect your microbiome, study says        
Cohabitating couples do influence each other's microbiomes, study finds, but not enough to modify a person's individual 'imprint.'
          Microbiome…Epigentics….You can’t imagine how much my Hypnobabies Childbirth Class cover all of this. We want children healthy, not only for birth, but the rest of their lives. I’m OBSESSED and reading to learn more to share ALL.THE.TIME! #hypnobabies #microbiome #epigenetics #childbirth @hmbirth @312doulas        
from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2mJg3Fm Filed under: Uncategorized
          Spore Form Probiotics        
spore-form-probioticsFind out how spore form probiotics work.Spore form probiotics describe bacteria that live in the spore state so they can survive harsh environments.

The gastrointestinal tract is pretty harsh, so spore form probiotics can survive digestive juices. They’re very robust.

When the spore form spends six minutes in the upper part of the small intestine, it changes state and sets to work with its probiotic qualities. Spores recondition the bowels.

There hasn’t been a successful introduction of new, healthy bacteria into the gut. You can’t change your native microbiome. Your best hope is to care for the gut garden you have. Help the resident bacteria multiply and thrive.

Listen as Dr. Tom Payne joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to discuss how you can improve your gut microbiome.
          Functional Medicine for Autoimmune Disorders        
functional-medicine-for-autoimmune-disordersFunctional medicine can help arrest autoimmune issues.Functional medicine blends Western practices with alternative techniques. Lab work and natural treatments are used to complement each other.

Functional medicine differs from traditional medicine in a few ways. First, it looks at a slimmer reference frame on lab test results. Reference numbers for diagnosis can vary from lab to lab. A normal result doesn’t always assist in diagnosing symptoms. Functional medicine doctors look at where your body is thriving and where it isn’t.

Second, labs are more comprehensive. An issue may be caused by your gut microbiome, hormonal imbalances, or food sensitivities. These areas are all explored.

Finally, diagnosis and treatment is evidence-based for each individual. A treatment program that works for one person may not work for the next.

Autoimmune Issues

Autoimmune disorders are on the rise. Some diseases aren’t labeled until there is 70% to 90% destruction of the affected area of the body. This destruction doesn’t happen overnight. Many people are undiagnosed, because their levels aren’t high enough for diagnosis. This is preventing autoimmune conditions from being arrested and inflammation being reduced immediately.

3 Stages of Autoimmune Spectrum

  1. Silent Diagnosis: no noticeable symptoms but lab shows positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) that are attacking your own tissue.
  2. Autoimmune Reactivity: noticeable symptoms and lab shows positive ANA.
  3. Autoimmune Disease: enough body destruction for diagnosis.
Our genome is under a great deal of stress. These genetic predispositions are being triggered into activity.

Triggers You Can Change

  • Look at the foods you eat. Reducing grains that contain gluten may help you. Gluten is problematic for many people. Dairy may also be a trigger.
  • Cleanse your life. Eat foods that help with detoxification like garlic, onions and green leafy vegetables. This isn’t a diet. It needs to become your lifestyle.
  • Work to reduce inflammation. Green tea and turmeric can help. You may need to increase your consumption to notice results.
  • Manage your stress. Stress can counteract all of the good things you’re doing to help your body. Can you change your stressful situation? Is it something you can accept? Can you become more resilient by addressing this stress? Stress can trigger and perpetuate a condition. Be good to yourself.
Listen as Dr. Will Cole joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to share how functional medicine can help conquer autoimmune issues.
          Don't Feed Your Baby That! Unhealthy Diets for Infants        
don-t-feed-your-baby-that-unhealthy-diets-for-infantsThe foods you give your baby in the first two years play a huge role in your child's eating habits and health.According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

As a country, we need to do everything we can to stop these rising childhood obesity rates.

Childhood nutrition starts in the womb. The foods the mother eats impacts the baby's health. Breast milk should be your baby's primary source of nutrition for at least the first six months.

There is a lack of education for how to feed the baby for the first two years. The foods your baby eats during this phase of life impacts future eating habits.

Start Early
You can establish a love for food in your baby between four and six months of age. The risk of allergies and rising rates of obesity are linked to starting infants on other foods before four months. Introducing foods at this age should be more about creating good habits than weaning off breast milk.

Preservatives & GMOs
It's important to find baby food that doesn't have preservatives or that is diluted. Start with one single flavor at a time. It's easier to know what food intolerance your baby has if you test one flavor at a time. Stick with that flavor for three to five days and then try a new flavor. Try vegetables before fruit to develop a savory palate.

You want to feed your baby organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible. If price is a consideration, visit the Environmental Working Group to learn about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. This lets you know which produce items are loaded with pesticides and which ones are not.

Commercial vs. Homemade
Commercial baby food is great when you're on the go, but if you can make your own baby food, that's also a fantastic option. You will know exactly what is in the food and it's beneficial for your baby to smell you preparing home-cooked baby food. It sets your child up to be accustomed to your cooking.

Watch the Sugar
Watch out for the juices in the baby aisle. A couple sips of juice won't completely throw your child off the path, but it's a slippery slope. Why would your baby choose water over something so sweet and tasty? Children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages in their first year are twice as likely to drink them when they are school-aged. Fructose increases triglycerides in the body, promoting the number of fat cells in the first two years of life. Give your baby more water than juice.

Feed your child at least one meal per day that consists of just savory food. Save the fruit for one meal a day. Encourage your little one to stick to proteins and vegetables as much as possible.

Spice it Up
Babies don't need bland baby food. You can feed your baby pureed chicken with some spices. Fresh rosemary, oregano, basil and cumin are great for your baby. Avoid dried herbs because they're harder to puree. Mix carrots with cinnamon or fresh dill. Taste the food before you give it to your baby. And, when seasoning, just make sure you don't go over 1500 mg of sodium per day.

Breast is Best
You can nurse your baby as long as you like. As baby gets more nutrition elsewhere, mom doesn't produce as much volume of milk. It's fine to nurse your toddler.

On Pace?
Monitor your own baby's development. Your child should be eating table foods like with the family by one year, having appropriate-sized portions of the same food you eat. Food should be bite-sized, soft and moist so it's easy to maneuver. You can introduce your child to dissolvable puffs at seven months. Textured foods are perfect at nine months.

Bacteria Benefits
Food allergies also seem to be on the rise. This could be related to the increased number of cesarean sections. The bacteria in the mother's birth canal may contribute to a healthier gut microbiome in baby. Breastfeeding rates are also down. Babies are given good gut bacteria through the mother's skin. Formula and baby food are very sterile and don't pass along the same gut bacteria.

Listen in as Nicole Silber, RD, shares how to develop healthy eating habits in your baby.
          Fix Your Autoimmune Conditions        
fix-your-autoimmune-conditionsHow can you arrest autoimmune conditions before they become diseases?The National Institute of Health estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. The American Autoimmune-Related Disease Association more than doubles that figure and suspects 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Inflammation is at the core of these conditions.

Every degenerative disease is inflammatory at the cellular level. It just depends on what tissue is inflamed. 

You may be eating foods that fuel inflammation. Your immune system creates antibodies to protect you from harm. If your body thinks wheat isn’t good for you and creates antibodies against wheat, molecular mimicry takes place. You’re vulnerable to making wheat antibodies that look like wheat to your own body, sending your immune system into a frenzy.

3 Common Mechanisms

There are three common mechanisms for every autoimmune disease. 

First, you’re genetically vulnerable to certain diseases because that’s what you’ve been dealt in life. That doesn’t mean you’ll develop symptoms, but you are susceptible to that disease. You can’t change your genetic predisposition.

Second, environmental triggers can set those genes off. These triggers can activate the genes that make you vulnerable to a condition. The most common trigger is food or ingredients in certain foods. Toxic chemicals can also act as triggers.

Finally, a lack of good bacteria in your gut will affect your vulnerability. A leaky gut or pathogenic intestinal permeability can increase development of autoimmune disease. What are you using to take care of your gut? You can arrest development of autoimmune issues by improving your gut microbiome.

Autoimmune Disease vs. Condition

It’s important to know the difference between autoimmune disease and an autoimmune condition. An autoimmune condition exists before any disease symptoms are present. The antibodies elevate and kill off tissue for years. When enough tissue is destroyed, the symptoms will present. The symptoms drive you to the doctor. A diagnosis in six months to a year confirms the autoimmune disease.

Pay attention to abnormal levels in your lab tests. These point toward the weak links in your genetic chain.

Medications can help with chronic disease in the short term, but they don’t repair damaged cells in the long term.

Listen in as Dr. Thomas O’Bryan shares how to arrest autoimmune conditions.
          Repairing Your Health Starts in the Gut        
repairing-your-health-starts-in-the-gutWhy are younger people manifesting chronic diseases and getting sick?Why are people getting sicker now?

The aging process is accelerating. Manifesting a disorder comes from the chronic inflammatory process.

The macro membranes that make up our bodies are starting to become vulnerable to injury from our environment. Your gut is your largest macro membrane. The weakening of the gut lining leads to illness.

The microbiome is the soil of your gut. The bacteria in your gut turns food into compost. They help deliver the nutrients important for living.

You can follow some simple strategies to improve your gut.

First, don’t kill your microbiome. Most antibiotics you’re exposed to are from herbicides and pesticides. We’ve been consuming huge quantities of the RoundUp pesticide chemical glyphosate since 1996. It kills harmful and helpful bacteria. It’s inundated our water supply and soil. Eat organic as much as possible.

Next, get as much variety in the diet as possible. The simplest way is to have as much color and variety in your diet every day. This creates biodiversity.

Reduce your processed food intake. The wheat in processed food is contaminated with glyphosate and continues to destroy your gut flora.

Listen in as Dr. Zach Bush shares how you can help slow the aging process and improve your internal garden.
          Stress & Your Gut        
stress-your-gutWhat does stress do to your gut?The environment of your gut microbiome is affected by stress. The microbes get multiple signals from the brain to let them know when you're being pushed past your limit.

If you eat a particular food when you’re stressed or angry, your body will process it differently from when you are calm or happy.

Eat foods that are kind to your gut lining. A one-time “fix” of a probiotic or some yogurt won’t heal your gut. You have to change your habits in a long-term fashion.

A largely plant-based diet helps with microbe diversity in the gut. Reducing sugar consumption will starve the bad bacteria in your body.

Find ways to reduce your stress and control your emotion. Meditation helps.

Listen in as Dr. Emeran Mayer joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to share how you can reduce stress and help your gut.
          Comment on The Best Probiotics: Understanding the Microbiome by Alex Swanson        
Hi Dylan, The probiotic quality is extremely challenging to assess sometimes. You have to know their manufacturer and companies don't often give that information. Based on the pricing for 16 strains, I can't imagine the quality is very high.
          In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden        
Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.
          Episode 367 – Dr. Ruscio – Gut Microbiome, Pro and Prebiotics, and Thyroid Disease        
This week we have my good friend Dr. Michael Ruscio back on the podcast. Listen in as we discuss the gut microbiome, research, treatment, prebiotics and probiotics, gut microbiome variation around the world, and thyroid disease. Download Episode Here (MP3) Download a transcript of this episode here (PDF) Website: https://drruscio.com/       30 Day… Continue Reading
          The Human Microbiome: Understanding "good" & "bad" bacteria        

 

 One of the most coherant and well defined and articulate articles that I've read in a long long time.  Every single point that is made here is vitally important, not only during pregnancy and birth of your child, but through out life in general.  


Understanding good and bad bacteria,  "anti" bacterials, "anti" biotics, and the where when and how that they interact WITH your body- both inside AND out- is a fundamental basis of taking charge of your health.


The Human Microbiome: considerations for pregnancy, birth and early mothering

This post was co-authored by Jessie Johnson-Cash and based on her presentation at the USC Midwifery Education Day.
The human microbiome is rather fashionable in the world of science at the moment. The NIH Human Microbiome Project has been set up to explore correlations between the microbiome and human health and disease. To date the human microbiome as been associated with, amongst other things obesity, cancer, mental health disorders, asthma, and autism. In this post I am not going to provide a comprehensive literature review – this has already been done, and the key reviews underpinning this discussion are: Matamoros et al. (2012) ‘development of intestinal microbiota in infants and its impact on health’and Collado et al. (2012) ‘microbial ecology and host-microbiota interactions during early life stages’. Instead I am going to focus on what this means for pregnancy, birth, mothering and midwifery.
What is the human microbiome?

Based on a chart by Matamoro et al. 2013. Adapted and extended by Jessie Johnson-Cash.
Based on a chart by Matamoro et al. 2013. Adapted and extended by Jessie Johnson-Cash.
Considerations for mothers and midwives
The following are not research based recommendations – the research is yet to be done. They are more considerations/questions arising from the developing knowledge around the human microbiome. There are quite a few health practitioners writing about gut health currently – one of my favourites is Chris Kresser because he includes references if you want to read the source of his information.
Pre-conception and Pregnancy
The commonly accepted belief that the the baby inside the uterus is sterile (whilst membranes are intact) is now being challenged. It seems that maternal gut microbiota may be able to translocate to the baby/placenta via the blood stream (Jiménez et al. 2008; Metamoros et al. 2013; Prince et al. 2014; Rautava et al. 2013Zimmer 2013). Women’s gut microbiota change during pregnancy and this impacts on metabolism (Koren et al. 2012Prince et al. 2014). So ideally women need to head into pregnancy with a healthy microbiome and then maintain it. Unfortunately our modern lifestyle is not very microbiome friendly, and many of us have dysbiosis (an imbalance in gut bacteria). Dysbiosis and too much of the ‘wrong’ bacteria has been linked to premature rupture of membranes and premature birth (Fortner et al. 2014; Mysorekar & Cao 2014; Prince et al. 2014).
Suggestions:

Continue reading and watch the video HERE



          293-Eating Fermented Foods To Help Protect And Boost Your Microbiome        

On today's show I discuss the micro biome referring to your intestinal health. The trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive system are the key to a healthy life. They can prevent and even cure some disease and modern science and the pharma industry is hard at work unlocking what may be the biggest human health development ever discovered. You micro biome or gut has over 100 trillion bacteria that determine many facets of your life. 

I recommend the new book called Brain Maker authored by New York Times best selling author and neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter MD.  It discusses these topics and related ground-breaking research in depth.


          This Week in Virology: TWiV #71 - Please Mr. Postman        
Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich answer listener questions on maternal infection, viral gene therapy, eyeglasses and flu, filtering prions from blood, rinderpest, Tamiflu, the human microbiome, H1N1 vaccine, tumor viruses, RNA interference, and junk DNA.
          Do Antibacterial Soaps Do More Harm Than Good?        

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Tirumalai Kamala, immunologist, Ph.D., mycobacteriology, on Quora:

Over the years, the consensus that the harm caused by antibacterial soaps outweighs the benefits has indeed coalesced. But to understand how antibacterial soaps could harm, we first need to understand how they differ from regular soaps. Also referred to as antimicrobial or antiseptic soaps, they contain chemicals that regular soaps don't.

Many liquid soaps labeled “antibacterial” contain triclosan, a synthetic compound, specifically a phenylether or chlorinated bisphenol. While the Food and Drug Administration classifies it as a Class III drug—a compound with high solubility and low permeability—triclosan is also a pesticide. Triclocarban is another common chemical found in antibacterial soaps. Many of the concerns about triclosan also apply to triclocarban.

Since it appeared on the scene in 1972, triclosan has steadily permeated through the consumer landscape such that it's practically ubiquitous today. Triclosan is so ubiquitous it's even found embedded in medical devices such as catheters and sutures to prevent infections.

As for its beneficial effects, a 2015 study compared the bactericidal effects of plain versus triclosan-containing soaps in conditions that mimic hand-washing and found no difference in their ability to reduce bacterial numbers during a 20-second exposure. In other words, dubious benefit when used for routine hand washing under normal circumstances (i.e., only washing hands for a few seconds). After all, most of us don't scrub as though preparing to do surgery every time we wash our hands.

How Triclosan Inhibits Kills Microbes

In vitro studies show triclosan can stop bacteria growing at low concentrations (bacteriostatic) and kill them at high concentrations (bactericidal). It also has some activity against some fungi and even parasites such as those that cause malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, and toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii.

Triclosan is able to target many different types of bacteria by blocking the active site for an enzyme essential for bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. Blocking the enzyme enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase, triclosan prevents bacteria from synthesizing fatty acids, which they need for their cell membranes and for reproduction.

Problems With Triclosan

First, triclosan selects for antibiotic resistance. As widespread triclosan use increased, labs increasingly started finding cross-resistance to antibiotics. Under selection pressure from triclosan, bacteria mutate to develop resistance mechanisms to it, which end up bestowing antibiotic resistance as well. In other words, studies show triclosan selects for antibiotic resistance.

Second, when discharged widely into the environment, triclosan can affect biomass such as algae and bacterial communities. Since it's widely used in such a diverse array of products, triclosan ends up in soil, ground water, and municipal wastewater treatment plants. Such plants require proper functioning of microbes to break down sewage. Triclosan can inhibit methane production in wastewater plant anaerobic digesters as well as select for multidrug resistance in such bacterial communities. Triclosan's effects persist even beyond because it's discharged from wastewater treatment plants as effluent. Certain algae species in the vicinity of such plants have been found to be very sensitive to triclosan. Triclosan also affects bacterial communities in rivers. Potential environmental risk of triclosan becomes even more relevant in areas of water scarcity where it doesn't get sufficiently diluted.

Third, triclosan can alter gut microbiota in fishes and rodents, potentially alter human microbiota, and even promote tumors in rodents. Triclosan could profoundly and stably alter fish gut microbiota as well as those of baby rats. While so far triclosan doesn't appear to affect human gut microbiome, the data are far from conclusive, being based on just one study with seven volunteers. On the other hand, a study on nasal secretions from 90 healthy adults found a positive correlation between presence of triclosan in nasal secretions and nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests triclosan indeed has the potential to influence and even alter human microbiota. One mouse model even found triclosan capable of promoting liver tumors.

Fourth, triclosan can disrupt hormonal function. Triclosan was found to disrupt thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and altered the rate of frog metamorphosis. It could also disrupt thyroidestrogen, and testosterone function in rats.

Given the increasing litany of concerns about triclosan's deleterious effects on the physiology of a wide variety of species, which may also increasingly include humans, several governments are either considering banning it or have already done so. In March 2010, the European Union banned triclosan from any products that may come into contact with food. In  2014, Minnesota banned the sale of triclosan-containing cleaning products (soaps), giving manufacturers time until early 2017 to phase them out. As of 2015, Health Canada was considering banning triclosan. It's estimated that about 1,730 products, including cosmetics, health, and personal care products containing triclosan were available in Canada in 2011. The FDA is mulling its regulation, with a report due in September.

Do antibacterial soaps do more harm than good? originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. More questions:​


          Los Microbios Intestinales Reflejan la Salud de los Adultos Mayores        

Por el Dr. Mercola

Los probióticos, junto con una serie de otros microorganismos, son tan importantes para su salud que los investigadores los han comparado con un "órgano recién reconocido". De hecho, su microflora – un término utilizado para describir las bacterias, hongos, virus y otros microbios que componen su ecosistema microbiano interno – influyen en mucho más que sólo su tracto digestivo.

Cada vez más investigaciones indican que las colonias bacterianas que residen en su intestino desempeñan un papel muy importante en el desarrollo del cáncer, el asma, las alergias, la obesidad, la diabetes, las enfermedades autoinmunes e incluso en los problemas cerebrales emocionales y conductuales como el TDAH, el autismo y la depresión.

Investigaciones recientes también han demostrado que su alimentación y por consecuencia, los microorganismos en su intestino, pueden afectar su forma de envejecer.

El estudio fue publicado en la revista Nature1 y algunos de sus hallazgos fueron bastante sorprendentes: la microflora de las personas que viven en centros de cuidado a largo plazo es menos diversa y se correlaciona significativamente con las medidas de fragilidad, la comorbilidad, los marcadores de la inflamación y otros factores que contribuyen con el envejecimiento y la muerte.

De acuerdo con los autores, las implicaciones de estos hallazgos son que las personas de edad avanzada podrían necesitar ciertos suplementos alimenticios para mejorar su salud microbiana.

Los Probióticos Se Vuelven Cada Vez Más Importantes A Medida que Envejece

Investigaciones previas han demostrado que alrededor de los 60 años de edad, hay una reducción significativa en el número de bacterias en su intestino.

De acuerdo con la Dra. Sandra McFarlane del grupo de microbiología y biología intestinal en la Universidad de Dundee, las personas de 60 años en adelante por lo general pueden tener hasta 1 000 veces menos bacterias "amigables" en sus intestinos, esto en comparación con adultos más jóvenes y mayores niveles de microbios que causan enfermedades,2 lo que los hace más susceptibles a las infecciones gastrointestinales y problemas intestinales como IBS.

A medida que envejece, su inmunidad celular también se deteriora.3 Estos son los glóbulos blancos que son sumamente importantes para su capacidad de combatir infecciones y enfermedades potencialmente mortales como el cáncer.

Un estudio de nueve semanas de duración realizado en Nueva Zelandia4 en personas de edad avanzada de entre 63 y 84 años de edad encontró que el consumo de la cepa de probióticos conocida como Bifidobacterium lactis provocó un aumento tanto en el número de glóbulos blancos como en su capacidad para combatir las enfermedades.

De hecho, el mayor beneficio se observó entre las personas de edad avanzada que antes del estudio, tenían la peor respuesta inmunológica.

Sus Bacterias Intestinales Ayudan a Protegerlo de las Enfermedades Transmitidas por los Alimentos

Otra investigación reciente ha encontrado que la cepa Lactobaccilus reuteri, una de las más de 180 especies de Lactobaccilus, que se encuentra comúnmente en el intestino humano, puede ayudar a protegerlo contra las infecciones transmitidas por los alimentos.5

Sin embargo, sólo porque no se ha realizado un estudio con una cepa en particular no significa que no sea eficaz. Para hacer estos estudios se necesita dinero, así que la mayoría no se realizan a menos que se intente comercializar cierto tipo de cepa. Sin embargo, de acuerdo con un artículo publicado en el blog de noticias de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona:

"Sus resultados demuestran que este organismo probiótico o beneficioso, que produce una sustancia antimicrobiana conocida como reuterina, podría proteger a las células epiteliales intestinales de la salmonella, un patógeno bacteriano transmitido por los alimentos.

El estudio examina por primera vez el efecto de la reuterina durante el proceso de infección de las células intestinales de los mamíferos y sugiere la eficacia del uso de las bacterias probióticas o sus derivados para futuras terapias que tengan como objetivo acabar con la infección por salmonella.

… Los resultados de este estudio podrían proporcionar conocimientos fundamentales para el desarrollo de probióticos nuevos y otras estrategias funcionales basadas en los alimentos… las infecciones intestinales causadas por cepas de salmonella no-tifoideas provocan diarrea y gastroenteritis y siguen siendo una de las principales fuentes de enfermedades transmitidas por los alimentos a nivel mundial.

Este tipo de infecciones son sumamente desagradables pero auto-limitantes en personas sanas. Sin embargo, en el caso de las personas con un sistema inmunológico comprometido, pueden ser mortales y la alarmante incidencia de las cepas de salmonella resistentes a los medicamentos ha resaltado la necesidad de terapias más eficaces.

El uso de microorganismos benignos ofrece un novedoso y prometedor enfoque para tratar las infecciones de patógenos como la salmonella y de hecho, se ha demostrado que la cepa L.reuteri ayuda a proteger contra las infecciones gastrointestinales y reduce la diarrea en niños".

Recuerde, el 90 % del Material Genético en Su Cuerpo En Realidad No le Pertenece

Por cada célula en su cuerpo hay aproximadamente diez células bacterianas. La microflora en su intestino desempeña un papel activo en una gran variedad de enfermedades y, naturalmente, es lógico que afecte su estado de salud a lo largo de su vida.

Por las razones mencionadas anteriormente, la importancia de los probióticos aumenta a medida que envejece, pero mantener un intestino saludable es algo realmente esencial desde su primer día de vida.

Si desea profundizar en el tema, échele un vistazo al proyecto Human Microbiome (HMP),6 cuyo objetivo es caracterizar las comunidades microbianas encontradas en varios sitios del cuerpo humano, así como buscar correlaciones entre los cambios en el microbioma y la salud humana.

Allí podrá encontrar 15 proyectos de demostración que investigan el papel de la microflora y los problemas de salud como la psoriasis. La enfermedad de Crohn, la obesidad, el acné y más. Un artículo reciente publicado en The Hindu cita a la Dra. Julie Sagre, investigadora principal del Instituto Nacional de Salud de los Estados Unidos:7

"El proyecto Microbiome es un proceso de descubrimiento. Necesitamos empezar a pensar en nosotros mismos como súper-organismos. Este es el segundo genoma, todo eso es parte de un verdadero contenido genético de un ser humano".

… Se espera que esta investigación dé lugar a tratamientos más personalizados que podrían ayudar a que nuestras comunidades bacterianas regresen al camino correcto. El proyecto Microbiome ve los microbios de una persona como una sola comunidad.

Así que en lugar de estudiarlos de forma individual, estudia los microbios y su material genético de forma colectiva".

Los Microbios Afectan Su Salud de Innumerables Maneras

Los investigadores también han descubierto que sus bacterias intestinales desempeñan un papel muy importante en:

1. Comportamiento: Un estudio publicado en Neurogastroenterology & Motility8 encontró que los ratones que carecían de bacterias intestinales se comportan de forma diferente que los ratones normales, ya que se involucraban en lo que se conoce como "comportamiento de alto riesgo". Este comportamiento alterado estuvo acompañado de cambios neuroquímicos en el cerebro del ratón. De acuerdo con los autores:

"Las bacterias colonizan el intestino en los días posteriores al nacimiento, durante un periodo sensible del desarrollo cerebral y aparentemente influyen en el comportamiento al inducir cambios en la expresión de ciertos genes".

2. Expresión Genética: Su microbioma intestinal es una variable epigenética muy poderosa. Como se señaló anteriormente, los investigadores también descubrieron que la ausencia o la presencia de los microorganismos intestinales durante la infancia altera permanentemente la expresión genética.

A través de los perfiles genéticos, perciben que la ausencia de las bacterias intestinales alteró los genes y las vías de señalización involucradas en el aprendizaje, la memoria y el control motor.

Esto sugiere que las bacterias intestinales están estrechamente relacionadas con el desarrollo cerebral temprano y el comportamiento. Estos cambios conductuales podrían revertirse siempre y cuando los ratones se expongan a microorganismos normales a una temprana edad.

Pero una vez que los ratones libres de gérmenes alcanzaron la edad adulta, colonizarlos con bacterias no influyó en su comportamiento.

De manera similar, se ha encontrado que los probióticos influyen en la actividad de cientos de sus genes y los ayuda a expresarse de una manera positiva que combate las enfermedades.

3. Diabetes: Las poblaciones bacterianas en el intestino de las personas con diabetes9 son diferentes a las poblaciones bacterianas de las personas sin diabetes, esto según un estudio realizado en Dinamarca.

En particular, las personas son diabetes tuvieron menos Firmicutes y una mayor cantidad de Bacteroidetes y Proteobacteria, en comparación con las personas sin diabetes. El estudio también encontró una correlación positiva entre las proporciones de Bacteroidetes y Firmicutes, así como una menor tolerancia a la glucosa. De acuerdo con los autores:

"Los resultados de este estudio indican que la diabetes tipo 2 en los seres humanos está relacionada con los cambios de composición en la microbiota intestinal".

EL azúcar nutre a las bacterias patogénicas, levaduras y hongos en su intestino, lo que podría dañar más que sólo su capacidad para promover la resistencia a la insulina.

Uno de los principales resultados de llevar una alimentación saludable (baja en azúcares y granos; rica en alimentos crudos y enteros, así como alimentos fermentados y cultivados) es lo que permite el desarrollo de las bacterias intestinales beneficiosas, y que éstas, a su vez, hagan "magia" para restaurar su salud.

Hay otros estudios que demuestran que un microbioma intestinal optimizado puede ayudar a prevenir la diabetes tipo 1.

4. Autismo: Establecer un microbioma intestinal normal durante los primeros 20 días de vida desempeña un papel muy importante en la maduración apropiada del sistema inmunológico del bebé. Por lo tanto, los bebés que desarrollan un microbioma intestinal anormal se quedan con sistemas inmunológicos comprometidos y están particularmente en riesgo de desarrollar trastornos como TDAH, problemas de aprendizaje y autismo, en particular, si son vacunados antes de restablecer el equilibrio en su microbioma intestinal.

Para entender mejor cómo funciona esta conexión, le recomiendo echarle un vistazo a la información compartida en una entrevista previa por la Dra. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

5. Obesidad: La composición de las bacterias intestinales tiende a ser diferente entre las personas magras y las personas obesas.

Hasta la fecha, esta es una de las áreas de investigación más importantes en el mundo de los probióticos y puede encontrar muchos estudios sobre este tema en mi artículo previo, titulado Los Probióticos Podrían Ayudar a Combatir la Obesidad.

La conclusión es, si tiene problemas de peso, entonces restaurar su microbioma intestinal es una consideración importante. Los estudios también han documentado los efectos beneficiosos de los probióticos en gran variedad de trastornos y enfermedades, incluyendo los siguientes:10

✓ Enfermedad intestinal inflamatoria (IBD)

✓ Síndrome de intestino irritable (IBS)

✓ Estreñimiento y diarrea

✓ Cáncer de colon

✓ Erradicación de la infección H. pylori, que está relacionada con las úlceras

✓ Infecciones vaginales

✓ Respuesta inmunológica fortalecida

✓ Eczema

✓ Artritis reumatoide

✓ Cirrosis del hígado

✓ Encefalopatía

✓ Síndrome de fatiga crónica

Cómo Optimizar Su Flora Intestinal

Una alimentación saludable es la forma ideal para mantener un intestino saludable y consumir regularmente alimentos fermentados o cultivados es la forma más fácil de asegurar un microbioma intestinal óptimo. Las opciones saludables incluyen:

✓ Vegetales fermentados de todo tipo (col, zanahorias, kale, berza, apio condimentado con hierbas como el jengibre y el ajo)

✓ Lassi (una bebida de yogurt india, que se bebe tradicionalmente antes de la cena)

✓ Tempeh

✓ Leche cruda fermentada como el kéfir o el yogurt, pero NO las versiones comerciales, que por lo general no tienen cultivos vivos y contienen azúcares que alimentan a las bacterias patogénicas

✓ Natto

✓ Kim chee

Sólo asegúrese de mantenerse alejado de las versiones pasteurizadas, ya que la pasteurización destruirá muchos de los probióticos naturales. Por ejemplo, la mayoría de los yogurts con "probióticos" que venden en los supermercados NO son recomendables. Dado a que están pasteurizados, se relacionan con todos los problemas de los productos lácteos pasteurizados. Por lo general, también contiene azúcares añadidos, jarabe de maíz de alta fructosa, colorantes y/o endulzantes artificiales, todos los cuales son dañinos para su salud.

Consumir alimentos fermentados de forma tradicional también le proporcionará los siguientes beneficios adicionales:

• Nutrientes importantes: Algunos alimentos fermentados son excelentes fuentes de nutrientes esenciales como la vitamina K2, que es importante para prevenir la acumulación de placa arterial y las enfermedades cardíacas.

Por ejemplo, la cuajada es una excelente fuente tanto de probióticos como de vitamina K2. También puede obtener toda la vitamina K2 que necesita (aproximadamente 200 microgramos) al comer 15 gramos o media onza de natto al día. También es una excelente fuente de muchas vitaminas B.

• Optimizar su sistema inmunológico: Los probióticos han demostrado modular las respuestas inmunológicas a través del sistema inmunológico de la mucosa intestinal y tienen un potencial antiinflamatorio.

El 8 % de su sistema inmunológico se localiza en su sistema digestivo, así que si quiere mantener una salud óptima, reforzar su intestino es sumamente importante, ya que un sistema inmunológico fuerte es su defensa principal contra TODAS las enfermedades.

• Desintoxicación: Los alimentos fermentados son algunos de los mejores quelantes disponibles. Las bacterias beneficiosas contenidas en estos alimentos son desintoxicantes muy potentes, capaces de eliminar una gran variedad de toxinas y metales pesados.

• Accesibles: Los alimentos fermentados pueden contener hasta 100 veces más probióticos que un suplemento, así que sólo necesita añadir una pequeña cantidad de alimentos fermentados en cada comida, lo que le ayudará a ahorrar más dinero.

• Variedad natural de microflora: Siempre y cuando varíe los alimentos fermentados y cultivados que coma, obtendrá una gran variedad de bacterias beneficiosas, algo que jamás podrá obtener de un suplemento.

Cómo Identificar un Suplemento de Probióticos de Alta Calidad

Dicho esto, si no le gusta el sabor de los alimentos fermentados, entonces su segunda mejor opción es tomar un suplemento de probióticos.

Sin embargo, antes de renunciar a los alimentos fermentados, lo mejor es comenzar poco a poco, con pequeñas cantidades como media cucharadita y utilícelos como condimento para sus comidas, como aderezo para ensalada.

Si no siquiera quiere consumirlos de esta forma entonces, aunque no suelo recomendar tomar muchos suplementos, en este caso, un suplemento de probióticos de alta calidad es la excepción. Le recomiendo buscar un suplemento de probióticos que cumpla con los siguientes criterios, esto con el fin de asegurar la calidad y eficacia:

  • Las cepas bacterianas en el producto deben ser capaces de sobrevivir a su ácido estomacal y bilis, para que puedan llegar hasta sus intestinos con vida y en cantidades adecuadas
  • Las cepas bacterianas deben tener características que promuevan la salud
  • La actividad probiótica debe estar garantizada a través de todo el proceso de producción, periodo de almacenamiento y vida útil del producto

A lo largo de mis años de práctica clínica, no he encontrado un solo suplemento de probióticos que le funcione a todos. Sin embargo, cada vez más personas parecen responder favorablemente a la cepa Lactobacillus sporogenes que a cualquier otro probiótico, así que, si tiene dudas, este es un excelente lugar para comenzar.

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          Could your ORAL HYGIENE have something to do with your CANCER?        
The microbiome is a hot topic in modern medicine; research on its fundamental importance to human health is emerging almost daily. Today no one discredits the importance of the gastrointestinal microflora. However the understanding of which is most commonly localized to the small and large bowl. Interestingly our perception of our oral environment and its […]
          Praeclarus Press Webinar on January 19 Describes the Importance of Breastfeeding in Establishing the Gut Microbiome        

Dr. William Parker, of Duke University, presents a webinar on January 19th entitled, The Role of Breast Milk in the Biome of the Human Body. This webinar describes the role of the microbiome in health and disease, and how breast milk supports a healthy microbiome in the human body.

(PRWeb December 29, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13949372.htm


          Assorted Links        
How not to govern a university Smelly fish popular in Korea. “Extremely chewy texture.” Popular pain killer associated with doubled risk of atrial fibrillation Hunter-gatherer microbiome interview of me in Chinese Thanks to Tyler Cowen.
          Funky Hand Jive         
Neil Degrasse Tyson and some new microbiome science help answer the question - when we touch greatness how much of it stays with us? 
          Microbiology Faculty Position        

The University of Chicago’s Department of Microbiology seeks applications for faculty positions, especially from those who develop approaches to cultivate, propagate, and interrogate microbial species or consortia. Candidates must have a doctorate and some postdoctoral training. 

Appointees have the opportunity to interface with the Microbiome Center, comprising faculty from 30 departments at The University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory who stud…


          Study: High Saturated Fat Diet with Coconut Oil Reduces Gut Bacteria in Crohn’s Disease        
A recent 2017 study has determined that pure dietary saturated fats, especially coconut oil, can ease the suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease. This study was conducted at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, a private institution well known for independent research. The study was reported in Science Daily June 22, 2017. Mice were fed only plant based fats such as cocoa butter and coconut oil. The mice fed coconut oil or cocoa butter had fewer kinds of gut bacteria. Their gut microbiome content had been positively altered to a healthier balance by 30 percent.

          Greenland's Ice Sheet ‘Not Pristine’        
Microbiologist Janet Jansson, who coordinates the Microbiomes in Transition initiative at the Lab, snagged the weighty final quote in a recent feature on the tech website Gizmodo. She agreed with the conclusions of a recent paper by researchers in Denmark, Greenland, the UK, and the Czech Republic: that the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet is "not pristine" since it includes bacteria that resist or degrade toxic pollutants.
          Commencement 2017        
Caltech's 123rd annual commencement
News Writer: 
Lori Dajose
photo of Mae Jemison speaking at Caltech&#039;s 2017 Commencement
Mae Jemison speaks at Caltech's 2017 Commencement
Credit: Caltech

On Friday, June 16, David Lee (PhD '74), chair of the Caltech Board of Trustees, opened the Institute's 123rd annual commencement ceremony with a reminder that discovery is a never-ending process. "Accomplishment and discovery never close the door on inquiry. Rather, they open new worlds to explore," he remarked. "So too does the end of your time at Caltech mark the beginning of new challenges and triumphs in your studies, in your careers, and in your lives among the friends and family with us today."

Lee noted some of the past year's achievements, such as the discovery of a link between the microbiome and Parkinson's disease, the third LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) detection of gravitational waves, the creation of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech, and the final flybys of Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Cassini mission. He also thanked Edward M. Stolper, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology and the Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair, for his service to Caltech as provost, as Stolper's tenure comes to a close this year.

The 2017 Caltech commencement speaker was Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut.

"I believe that life is best when we live deeply, and look up," Jemison said to the graduates. "You don't have to go up to space to feel deeply, to feel infinite. If we dig deep we have the ability to do wonderful things."

Looking up, Jemison said, allows us to remember that there is more that connects us than divides us. "Connection to the greater universe is something I hope for you throughout your lives. Never forget to look up and keep the bigger picture in mind. Look up at the sky, the moon, the stars when you need to recharge. Let the gravity of Earth give you a warm hug when you're feeling low. Look up to remember what inspires you. Keep the sparkle in your eyes, keep it long past graduation."

In his closing charge to the graduating class, Caltech president Thomas Rosenbaum, the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics, remarked, "You will move through life shaped by your time here, creating new spaces for yourself. I wish you wholeness and magic on your journey forward."

In addition to 254 Bachelor of Science, 122 Master of Science, one Engineer, and 180 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, four students were honored with prizes at the ceremony.

Nikita Sirohi graduated with a BS in computer science and was the recipient of the 32nd annual Mabel Beckman Prize in recognition of "academic and personal excellence, contributions to the Institute community, and outstanding character and leadership." In the fall, Sirohi will join Pure Storage, a data storage company in Mountain View, California.

Robert (Bobby) Sanchez graduated with a BS in geophysics with a minor in environmental science and engineering and was the recipient of the Hinrichs Memorial Award. The award is presented to the senior or seniors who have made the greatest contribution to the student body during their undergraduate years, "students of outstanding character, leadership, and responsibility." He plans to attend the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, where he will pursue a PhD in physical oceanography.

The George W. Housner Award was presented to Suchita Nety. The prize is given to a senior who has demonstrated "excellence in scholarship and in the preparation of an outstanding piece of original scientific research." Nety received a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in English and will attend the MD/PhD program at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology starting this fall.

Finally, the Milton and Francis Clauser Doctoral Prize was awarded to Sho Takatori for his doctoral thesis, "Forces, Stresses and the (Thermo?) Dynamics of Active Matter: The Swim Pressure." The Clauser Prize is awarded to a student whose PhD thesis, completed within the previous 12 months, reflects "extraordinary standards of quality, innovative research, ingenuity, and especially the potential of opening new avenues of human thought and endeavor." After graduation, Takatori will work as a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley. From there, he will join the chemical engineering faculty at UC Santa Barbara.


          TWiV 411: Chicken runs        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

The TWiVeroos examine a reverse spillover of Newcastle disease virus vaccines into wild birds, and identification of a protein cell receptor for murine noroviruses.

 

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          TWiV 391: Whiter reefs, fresh breath        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

Guests: David Pride and Forest Rohwer

If you have always wanted to know what coral reefs and the human oral cavity have in common, listen as guests David Pride and Forest Rohwer talk about their work on the microbiomes and viromes of these two environments, and you'll also understand why mucus is cool.

 

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          TWiV 361: Zombie viruses on the loose        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

The TWiVsters discuss Frederick Novy's return from retirement to recover a lost rat virus, and evidence for persistence of Ebolavirus in semen.

 

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          Microbiome: We Are What They Eat        
Microbiome: We Are What They EatWhat happens to our gut flora when we switch from a more animal-based diet to a more plant-based diet?
          Ciencia E Comida News.         
E voce esta esperando o que para comecar a fazer o seu pao?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/07/17/536485684/more-than-bread-sourdough-as-a-window-into-the-microbiome
          Your Gut Can Help Fight Depression and High Blood Pressure        

By Dr. Mercola

Trillions of bacteria live in your gut, influencing your body's homeostasis daily. Far from being restricted to the confines of your intestinal tract, your gut microbiota is intricately tied to other body systems via a number of complex pathways, including the gut-brain axis and a recently revealed gut-brain-bone marrow axis, the latter of which may influence your blood pressure, mood and more.

It's becoming increasingly clear that your brain, your immune system and your gut microbes are intricately linked, so it's not a stretch to add bone marrow to the list of connections. Immune cells stem from bone marrow, and bone marrow inflammation, which may result from high blood pressure, is known to be caused by a signal from the brain. In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, researchers further revealed that immune cells in bone marrow play an important role in signaling between the brain and gut.1,2

Gut-Brain-Bone Marrow Connection Revealed

In an animal study, researchers replaced natural bone marrow in mice with bone marrow cells from genetically engineered (GE) mice. The marrow had been modified to be deficient in adrenergic receptor beta, making it less responsive to messages from the brain.

"In this way," researchers wrote in The Conversation, "we could investigate how the host brain-immune communication will modify gut microbiota. Indeed, by studying this new mouse model, we determined that our nervous system — directed by our brain — can modify the composition of gut microbiota by communicating directly with the bone marrow immune cells. The brain, therefore, can change our gut microbiota indirectly by talking to the bone."3

In short, when bone marrow was less able to communicate with the brain, a "muted inflammatory response" was observed in the gut, which in turn led to a more diverse (i.e., healthier) microbiome. The study shed light on one of the complex ways your gut health may be implicated in that of your heart and brain, with researchers noting:4

"In the context of cardiovascular disease, this muted inflammatory response appears to be beneficial, as it leads to beneficial lowering of blood pressure in our experimental mice.

Most interestingly, a link between gut microbiota and our mental health has recently become clearer. In particular, some have suggested that gut microbiota influence the stress and anxiety pathways in the brain in a way that can alter mood and behavior both positively and negatively, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'gut feeling.'"

Imbalanced Gut Microbes Play a Role in High Blood Pressure

Imbalanced gut microbes, known as gut dysbiosis, have been previously linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, but a recent animal study shed further light on the unique connection.5 Researchers gave rats antibiotics for 10 days to wipe out their natural microbiota, then transplanted hypertensive microbiota into rats with normal blood pressure. Rats with high blood pressure, in turn, were transplanted with normal microbiota.6

The results were surprising in that the rats treated with hypertensive microbiota developed high blood pressure, while the transplantation of normal microbiota led to only a slight reduction in blood pressure among the hypertensive rats. "We conclude that gut dysbiosis can directly affect SBP [systolic blood pressure]," the researchers wrote, adding that manipulating gut microbiota, such as via the use of probiotics or eating fermented foods, may be an "innovative treatment for hypertension."7

However, it's not the first time such a link has been revealed. A systematic review and meta-analysis of nine randomized, controlled studies found significant benefits among people with high blood pressure who consumed probiotics in products like yogurt and milk.8 On average, compared to a placebo, the probiotic consumption lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 3.56 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 2.38 mm Hg.

It appeared that at least 100 billion colony-forming units of probiotics a day were necessary to trigger such improvements, and the benefit was only seen in those who consumed probiotics for eight weeks or more. In 2015, meanwhile, certain gut microbes, namely firmicutes and bacteroidetes, were associated with increased blood pressure in rats.

"Products of the fermentation of nutrients by gut microbiota can influence blood pressure by regulating expenditure of energy, intestinal metabolism of catecholamines, and gastrointestinal and renal ion transport, and thus, salt sensitivity," according to research published in the journal Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension.9

Probiotics Found to Benefit Gut Diseases, Mental Health

The addition of beneficial microbes has been found to benefit people struggling with serious gut diseases, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which often occurs in premature infants and can be fatal. An Australian study revealed that probiotic supplementation significantly reduced NEC risk and mortality in preterm neonates, lowering the incidence of NEC in premature babies by at least 30 percent.10

Probiotics have also been found to benefit irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), of which disturbances in the gut microbiota are often seen.11 Compared to placebo, probiotic therapy was found to reduce pain and symptom severity among people with IBS,12 and probiotics are also known to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children.13

On the mental front, a small study involving adults diagnosed with IBS and depression found the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum provided depression relief. At six weeks, 64 percent of the treatment group had reduced depression scores compared to 32 percent of the control group that received a placebo.14

Those receiving the probiotic also reported fewer symptoms of IBS and improved overall quality of life. At the end of 10 weeks, approximately twice as many in the treatment group were still reporting lower levels of depression.

Interestingly, functional MRI scans revealed a link between reductions in depression score and actual changes in brain activity, specifically in areas involved in mood regulation, such as the amygdala. As noted by Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, who was not involved in the study:15

"We know that one part of the brain, the amygdala, tends to be red-hot in people with depression, and it seemed to cool down with this intervention. It provides more scientific believability that something in the brain, at a very biological level, seems to be affected by this probiotic."

Are Personalized Probiotics the Answer?

As for which strains of probiotic are best, the answer may be harder to come by. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a microbiologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, told Scientific American, "Bacterial strains are so genetically different from one another, and everybody has a different gut microbiota … There will probably never be a one-size-fits-all probiotic."16

Studies suggest, for instance, that some people may benefit more from probiotics than others if they're "low" in a certain variety that is then added to their diet. As Scientific American reported:17

"In other words, their gut ecosystems had a vacancy that the probiotic filled. That is exactly the kind of insight that clinicians need to create and recommend more effective probiotics. If a doctor knows that an individual with severe diarrhea has an undersized population of a particular beneficial microbe, for example, then prescribing the missing strain should increase the chance of a successful treatment."

Other research has looked into the benefits of certain strains of bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria, which tend to be abundant in babies' intestines but typically make up less than 10 percent of the gut microbiome bacteria in adults.18 Low levels of Bifidobacteria, in turn, are linked to chronic diseases like celiac disease, diabetes, allergic asthma and even obesity, while supplementing with them has been found to benefit IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, psoriasis, depression and more.19

Another type of bacteria, lactobacillus, has been shown to reduce anxiety in animal studies,20 while taking a probiotic with eight different bacterial strains reduced aggressive and ruminative thoughts in a study of adult volunteers.21,22

The Lectin Connection and How Leaky Gut Can Destroy Your Health

It's important to be aware that gut dysbiosis, also known as leaky gut, is not only a major gut disrupter linked to digestive disorders, but may also contribute to other chronic diseases like Alzheimer's and possibly cancer. If your gut is leaky, your blood-brain barrier is also leaky, which means toxins can go right into your brain, affecting your cognitive and mental health.

Further, leaky gut can be triggered by a number of factors, including imbalanced gut microbiota that result from dietary factors, such as the consumption of sugar as well as lectins. This latter component is very important. Lectins are plant proteins, sometimes called sticky proteins or glycan-binding proteins, because they seek out and bind to certain sugar molecules on the surface of cells. There are many types of lectins, and the main difference between them is the type of sugar each prefers and binds to.

Some — including wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), found in wheat and other grass-family seeds — bind to specific receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells and interfere with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall.

As such, they act as "antinutrients," and can have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome by shifting the balance of your bacterial flora — a common precursor to leaky gut. Dr. Steven Gundry, author of "The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in 'Healthy' Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain," makes a strong case for a lectin-free diet, stating:

"Our microbiome is, I think, our early warning system, because about 99 percent of all the genes that make up [the human body] are actually nonhuman, they're bacterial, viral and fungal … [from which] we've uploaded most of the information about interacting with our environment … because the microbiome is capable of almost instantaneous changing and information processing that we actually don't have the ability to do.

We're beginning to realize … that the microbiome is not only how we interact with plant materials … like lectins, but probably more importantly, our microbiome teaches our immune system whether a particular plant compound is a friend or foe [based on] how long we've known that plant compound. There are lectins in everything.

But the longer we've interacted with lectins and the longer our microbiome has interacted with them, the more our microbiome kind of tells our immune system, 'Hey, guys, it's cool. We've known these guys for 40 million years. Chill out. They're a pain, but we can handle them.'

From an evolutionary perspective, if you look at modern foods — say the grains and the beans, which we started interacting with 10,000 years ago, which is a blink of time — our microbiome [regards them as] foreign substances … [T]here's no lectin speed dating in evolution."

Lectins are strongly associated with autoimmune disorders of all kinds, primarily by triggering leaky gut. They're found in many of our most cherished foods, such as:

✓ Potatoes

✓ Eggplants

✓ Tomatoes

✓ Peppers

✓ Goji berries

✓ Lima beans

✓ Cashews

✓ Peanuts

✓ Sunflower seeds

✓ Chia seeds

✓ Pumpkin seeds

✓ Kidney beans

✓ Squash

✓ Corn

✓ Quinoa

✓ Soybeans

✓ Wheat

✓ Lentils

In addition, according to Gundry, glyphosate, which is not only sprayed on GE crops via Roundup but also is used to desiccate wheat in the U.S., is also highly problematic, decimating your microbiome and increasing leaky gut. It's yet another reason to eat organic as much as possible.

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of "The Plant Paradox," especially if you've already cleaned up your diet and still struggle with excess weight and/or health problems. Certainly, anyone with an autoimmune disorder would also be wise to take a closer look at lectins.

How to Support a Healthy Microbiota

Supporting your microbiome isn't very complicated, but you do need to take proactive steps to encourage its health while avoiding factors known to cause harm. In addition to the lectin information above, consider the following recommendations to optimize your microbiome:

Do Avoid

Do: Eat plenty of fermented foods. Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass fed kefir, natto (fermented soy) and fermented vegetables.

Avoid: Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary, and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.

Do: Take a probiotic supplement. Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis

Avoid: Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics plus GE grains loaded with glyphosate, which is widely known to kill many bacteria.

Do: Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts and seeds, including sprouted seeds.

Avoid: Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water. Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.

Do: Get your hands dirty in the garden. Exposure to bacteria and viruses can help to strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.

Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil.

Avoid: Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise "dead" nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria.

Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.

Unless 100 percent organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate. Artificial sweeteners have also been found to alter gut bacteria in adverse ways.23

Do: Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature.

Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages it has also changed the microbiome of your home.

Research shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.24

Avoid: Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular is a known antibiotic and will actively kill many of your beneficial gut microbes if you eat foods contaminated with it.

Do: Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system.

Avoid: Antibacterial soap, as it too kills off both good and bad bacteria and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance.


          The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ‘Healthy’ Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain        

By Dr. Mercola

Are you eating a healthy, whole food diet yet still struggle with weight gain and health problems? Part of the problem might have to do with lectins. Dr. Steven Gundry,1 author of "The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in 'Healthy' Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain," makes a strong case for a lectin-free diet.

While trained as a cardiothoracic surgeon, Gundry now specializes in treating patients holistically, focusing on food. He's been director of The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine for the past 17 years. Before that, he was a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health, where he invented devices that reverse cell death associated with acute heart attacks.

He's also been a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the Loma Linda School of Medicine and chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma University Medical Center. I read about 150 books per year, most of which relate to health. Many of these books I can read in less than an hour, because they're just saying the same old thing. Gundry's book is not one of those. It's a great resource filled with novel information.

What Are Lectins?

From an evolutionary standpoint, any creature, including plants, has a built-in imperative to grow, thrive and propagate. Plants, being rooted into the ground, cannot outrun a predatory insect. Instead, plants use chemistry for self-defense. One of the plant kingdom's self-defense systems is lectins — not to be confused with lecithin or leptin.

Lectins are plant proteins, sometimes called sticky proteins or glyca-binding proteins, because they seek out and bind to certain sugar molecules on the surface of cells. There are many types of lectins, and the main difference between them is the type of sugar each prefers and binds to.

Some — including wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), found in wheat and other grass-family seeds — bind to specific receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells and interfere with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall. As such, they act as "antinutrients," and can have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome by shifting the balance of your bacterial flora — a common precursor to leaky gut.

"I like to think of it as they hack into our communication system, or any predator's communication system," Gundry says. "For instance, in insects, they attack a sugar called sialic acid which, among other things, sits between the endings of nerves. One nerve talks to the other nerve by acetylcholine jumping through that space.

Sialic acid allows that to happen. Lectins bind to sialic acid and so interrupt nerve transmission. If you think about it, paralyzing an insect is a great defense system because if the insect can't move, bingo, you've solved the problem. One of the things I've learned through the years through my patients is we're just a giant insect to a plant.

What may happen to an insect fairly instantaneously by eating some plant lectins may take years in us, who are giant insects, to manifest. It may manifest as neuropathy, it may manifest as brain fog, arthritis or heart disease. But the longer I do this, the more I'm convinced that almost every disease process … can be traced back to … plant lectins.

That's a long-winded explanation for how plants don't like us. They absolutely don't want to be eaten. They've had 400 million years to work out defense systems — a really long time."

The Role of Your Microbiome

One of the things that struck me about Gundry's approach is that it targets the mitochondria and the microbiome, both of which are vital for optimal health. Few physicians, even those in the integrative medicine field, fully understand the importance of mitochondrial function, but Gundry certainly does. And, while the human genome has received a majority of the scientific attention, the bacterial microbiome genome is actually far more important. As noted by Gundry:

"Our microbiome is, I think, our early warning system, because about 99 percent of all the genes that make up [the human body] are actually nonhuman, they're bacterial, viral and fungal … [from which] we've uploaded most of the information about interacting with our environment … because the microbiome is capable of almost instantaneous changing and information processing that we actually don't have the ability to do.

We're beginning to realize … that the microbiome is not only how we interact with plant materials … like lectins, but probably more importantly, our microbiome teaches our immune system whether a particular plant compound is a friend or foe [based on] how long we've known that plant compound.

There are lectins in everything. But the longer we've interacted with lectins and the longer our microbiome has interacted with them, the more our microbiome kind of tells our immune system, 'Hey, guys, it's cool. We've known these guys for 40 million years. Chill out. They're a pain, but we can handle them.'

From an evolutionary perspective, if you look at modern foods — say the grains and the beans, which we started interacting with 10,000 years ago, which is a blink of time — our microbiome [regards them as] foreign substances … [T]here's no lectin speed dating in evolution."

The Importance of Mitochondrial Function

With regard to mitochondria, "mitochondrial flexibility is one of the unique things that make us human," Gundry says, comparing the human race to a "fat-storing ape." Whether you ascribe to the evolutionary theory or not, humans and apes have many genetic similarities, but the ability to store fat is a unique human feature. No other great apes can do that.

Chimps, gorillas and orangutans carry 3 percent body fat. Few humans could ever achieve that low of a body fat percentage unless we were near death from starvation.

"The reason we're designed to [store fat is to] be able to access fat for fuel," Gundry says. "The reason why [humans] have been able to take over all parts of the world … [is] because we can cycle back and forth, having our mitochondria use fat for fuel or glucose for fuel. We're designed to shift very quickly … even within 24 hours.

[Most people] no longer have that metabolic flexibility [because] we've been constantly bombarding our mitochondria with an overload of glucose as a fuel, and that really underlies, I think, most disease processes."

How Intermittent Fasting Boosts Mitochondrial Flexibility

One of the strategies Gundry recommends and uses to improve his own metabolic flexibility is intermittent fasting. For nearly a decade now, he's been fasting for 22 hours a day, five days a week, from January through June 1, which means he eats all his calories for the day during a two-hour window. On the weekends, he eats lunch and dinner.

"I don't eat breakfast. I don't eat lunch. I eat my calories between 6 and 8 o'clock at night. I do that because my wife and I are at home at that time. If I was really smart, I would [eat] earlier in the day, but, you know, you've got to be practical in one way or another …

In summer, I'll have a smoothie with some MCT oil in it, half an avocado, some romaine lettuce, spinach, half a lemon and a little bit of vanilla or stevia. Then I won't eat lunch. At dinner, same sort of thing, I try to pack all of my calories in between 6 and 8 o'clock at night … 

[June 1], I finished my winter fast, if you will. Now, why do I do that? [Historically], food was a rare thing to find [during the winter]. Again, our metabolic advantage is we're really good at starvation. It's what allowed us to survive.

We know that during food scarcity, not only do our mitochondria rev up, but more importantly, our entire immune system and genetic monitoring basically says, 'Look, times are tough. We don't know when the next good food supply is going to come. We've got to make it through to that next period. We're going to look at every cell in our body. We're going to look at whether they're pulling their own weight.

Are they odd? Are they not very fuel-efficient? We're going to jettison that. We're going to create apoptosis until these cells commit suicide.' It's kind of like if we were in a hot air balloon and we're heading for the mountain and we're going to crash, we've got to start throwing things overboard to get more lift.

I think that's a fundamental principle that you've known for a number of years and that I've certainly preached for a number of years. The more we understand that that's how successful aging occurs and study successful agers, one of the things that's fascinating, particularly in an animal model, is that this intermittent fasting, this challenging [your mitochondria], is the way to do it."

Although I used to do 14- to 16-hour intermittent fasts, because I felt that it was wise to increase glycogen stores prior to strength training, I have come to realize that's not true. In fact, it's counterproductive, as carbs after strength training can increase insulin and diminish IGF-1 response and blunt the anabolic stimulus. So now I am fasting for 18 to 20 hours a day and do all my strength training in a fasted state.

That may sound challenging, but I can confidently assure you, from personal experience, that once you are fat adapted there are no cravings. Additionally, I recently interviewed Dr. Dale Bredesen, who wrote the book "The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cogntive Decline," in which he discusses how ApoE4 is a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's but ONLY if you don't intermittent fast. If you do, it will likely actually decrease your risk for the disease as its biological function is to allow us to go for longer periods of time without food.

The Importance of Ketogenic Cycling

Gundry also understands the importance of cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis. While your body is still burning sugar as its primary fuel, you'll want to be quite strict about not going over your net carb allotment. But once your body has regained the metabolic flexibility to burn fat, it's really important to cycle in and out or on and off.

I suggest doubling, tripling or even quadrupling your net carbs two days a week, because the metabolic "magic" actually happens during the refeeding phase. As noted by Gundry:

"You have to look at it evolutionarily. It really was feast or famine. When we hit large amounts of food, whether it was a fruit tree or whether it was honey or a wildebeest or a mastodon, there was no food storage system. People tend to forget that nobody walked out of their cave and said, 'What's for breakfast?' There was no refrigerator to have organic berries in every day.

When we chanced upon fuel, then our beautiful design [allowed us to] eat large quantities of [food] and store it as fat. Because, very shortly, whether it was a period of drought, whether it was a period of winter, we were going to regress. I'd like people to think of circadian rhythms. Obviously, we have a 24-hour clock. We have a moon clock. We have seasonal clocks.

What I like people to think of is that we have a period of every year where [we're in] a growth cycle … That's the time of growth and it's a time to reproduce. Then there's a time of involution, whether it's a tree dropping its leaves, whether it's an animal hibernating.

That's the time where we kind of take stock of everything. That yin and yang, that flow that would happen every year on seasonal basis has completely been lost. We have to have periods where we consume excess calories, then we have to have periods where the exact opposite happens.

Years ago, after my first book came out, I was invited to Phoenix, Arizona, by a blogger named John Kiefer. Kiefer said you should burn fat for fuel most of the time. But every week, you should have what's called "carb nite loading." He chanced upon this by accident, but he made a career out of it. I picked his brain and he picked my brain. I think he's absolutely right."

Lectins Are Strongly Associated With Autoimmune Diseases of All Kinds

Since we just talked about carb-loading at least once or twice a week (once you've regained the ability to burn fat for fuel), it's worth stressing that these ought to be healthy carbohydrates, and ideally lectin-free. While intermittent fasting and eating a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein) diet will dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease, lectins may still cause trouble. One of the primary issues is autoimmune diseases.

"One of the things I talk about in the book that really made me hyper-focused on lectins was a friend of mine who was a very early adopter of my first program. I call him Tony in the book. Tony had really bad vitiligo. That's … where the [skin] pigmentation is lost. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease.

What happens is we attack the pigment-forming cells in our skin called melanocytes. Melanocytes are actually modified neural cells. They migrate from the neural crest to our skin in embryonic development. When Tony started my program, a few months later, he came up to visit me. He said, 'You're not going to believe this. My vitiligo is gone.' I'm looking at him and I'm going, 'Wow. That's impressive.'

He said, 'How did that happen?' I could have said, 'Well, this is a very anti-inflammatory diet. It's high in antioxidants.' But because I'm a researcher, I said, 'No. That's too simple.' I said, 'Melanocytes. Neural Cells. What's the target of lectins in insects? Neural cells! Could it be that lectins are why [his body is] attacking his neural cells? What I've done is I've removed lectins from his diet.'

I lost track of him for a number of years. I was on a health panel in New York City two years ago. I saw him and he's covered with vitiligo again. I said, 'What happened?' He says, 'You know. I fell off [the diet]. I really need to get back on.' I said, 'This is a great experiment. Come on. Here's the list. Go for it.'

We were just on a panel at Harvard two months ago. He's chairing the panel. He says, 'I've got to show you — everybody — the vitiligo's gone because I took lectins back out of my diet. It sounds silly but here's the proof.'"

Molecular Mimicry

One way by which lectins cause harm is through molecular mimicry. They resemble proteins in the thyroid gland, in your joint spaces and in nerves. They mimic myelin sheath proteins.

The reason why lectins will in one person cause vitiligo or psoriasis, and in another attack the thyroid or cause rheumatoid arthritis, is still unknown. What is known is that one of the underlying factors in all of these disease processes is the penetration of the gut wall by lectins and their co-travelers, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), also known as endotoxins, which tend to elicit very strong immune responses.

"One of the things I found in all my autoimmune patients is they had profoundly low levels of vitamin D … Interestingly, when you finally seal the gut … all of a sudden, their vitamin D levels went sky high and I could back down on the dosage.

Vitamin D is essential to tell the stem cells at the bottom of the crypts in the villi to grow and divide. Without vitamin D stimulating them, they just sit there and don't repair the gut. I think plants are so intelligent, it's shocking. I think one of the plant strategies is that if you have low vitamin D, because you can't absorb it, then you can't repair your gut. You're a horrible predator. You won't reproduce. You won't walk.

Vitamin D is really one of the keys to autoimmune disease. Lectins are the other key. I've been blessed by knowing thousands of autoimmune patients who I call "canaries," because they react almost instantaneously to lectins. It's interesting. Everybody has their own certain lectin or lectins that they really react to.

This morning I had a woman who has rheumatoid arthritis. Her rheumatoid markers or anti-CCP3 markers have gone up. Her IL-17 had gone up. I said, 'All right. What are you doing? What's going on?' She said, 'No, no. I'm perfect. I know your list backwards and forwards.' I said, 'No. There's something.'"

A Sample Case History of Crohn's Disease

As it turns out, she's been eating raw (unpeeled) almonds, and almond peels contain lectins. Another patient's markers went up after going on a cashew binge, forgetting that cashews are an American bean and hence high in lectins. The answer for autoimmune patients, Gundry says, is to remove lectins from the diet and add vitamin D, which together will help "heal and seal" the gut, thereby preventing the autoimmune response.

"I mention a young woman who has Crohn's disease in the book. Her well-meaning doctor at the Mayo Clinic told her that food had nothing to do with Crohn's disease. She had been cured of Crohn's disease with my program. He told her it was the placebo effect. We still laugh at that one. She ate a couple of Christmas cookies after she got off the phone with him.

Of course, it was like throwing a bomb in her stomach. She had horrible cramps and diarrhea. We skyped and she said, 'Why don't doctors see this?' Like I talk about in the book, we can't see unless our eyes are open …

I was lucky enough that when I met the guy who changed my life, Big Ed, who cleaned out his arteries with diet and supplements, [I had] my eyes open. I said, 'This is not chance. How did [he] do this?' Luckily, because of my evolutionary background, I was able to piece it together."

Which Foods Have the Most Problematic Lectins?

Lectins are found in many of our most cherished foods, such as: 2,3

✓ Potatoes

✓ Eggplants

✓ Tomatoes

✓ Peppers

✓ Goji berries

✓ Lima beans

✓ Cashews

✓ Peanuts

✓ Sunflower seeds

✓ Chia seeds

✓ Pumpkin seeds

✓ Kidney beans

✓ Squash

✓ Corn

✓ Quinoa

✓ Soybeans

✓ Wheat

✓ Lentils

Another common lectin is the A1 casein protein, found in most of today's dairy cows. I've talked a lot about the benefits of raw milk on my site. The devil's in the details however, and aside from being high in sugar, even raw dairy may cause problems if it has A1 casein.

"Casein A2 is the normal protein in milk, besides whey. It's present in sheep, goats and water buffalos. But, most of the cows in the world are now casein A1 producers. They make a lectin-like protein called casein A1, which is metabolized in our gut to make beta-casomorphin, which is a very interesting thing. They can attach to the beta cell of the pancreas and incite an autoimmune attack on the pancreas.

I and others are pretty convinced that [many cases] of Type 1 juvenile diabetics is because of the casein A1 in milk. I've been convinced through the years that not only is it the problem, but people who think they're lactose intolerant or that milk gives them mucus, it's the casein A1 … Raw milk is great, as long as it came from the right cow … [Some] Jerseys are A1 and [some are] A2. Holsteins are A1."

More and more people are now starting to recognize this, and there are even grassroots movements pushing for A2 milk in California and Ohio. Jeni's Ice Cream gets all her milk from Snowville Creamery, which is an A2 farm. "I've actually talked to those people. They get it," Gundry says. There have even been attempts to introduce A2 milk on a larger scale, but each attempt has been crushed by the American Dairy Council, for obvious reasons.

Wheat — Going Beyond Gluten

Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is another problematic lectin, found in wheat. Compared to WGA, gluten is a minor problem. According to Gundry, WGA is one of the most efficient ways to induce heart disease in experimental animals. WGA binds to insulin receptor sites. Normally, a normal hormone will dock on a receptor site, give its information and then release. Pseudo hormones like WGA, on the other hand, dock on the receptor permanently. Gundry explains:

"If they hit the insulin receptor on a fat cell, they turn on lipoprotein lipase and pump sugar into the fat cell, turning it into fat constantly. In muscle cells, the exact opposite happens.

They'll attach to the insulin receptor in the muscle cell [and] block insulin from delivering sugar into the cell. I see so many long-distance runners who are carboholics, who look like concentration camp survivors because they're really cachectic and sarcopenic because they block the insulin receptors in their muscles …

The lectins, like WGA and galactans in beans are miraculous ways of making us store fat … [T]he only way we've ever been able to fatten an animal for slaughter is to give them grains, beans and some antibiotics. If that's how we fatten animals, that's how we fatten us. It works really well."

Not All Bread Is the Same

If you've ever traveled to Europe, you may have indulged in some bread and noticed you didn't experience the same type of problems you have when eating bread in the U.S. The reason for this is because the lectins are removed when you use traditional methods of raising bread, which is still popular in Europe.

"Europe [has] always used traditional methods raising bread. They use yeast or sourdough. Yeast and bacteria are actually pretty good at breaking down the gluten molecule and other lectins," Gundry explains.

Europe also does not permit the use of glyphosate to desiccate wheat, which has become common practice in the U.S. Glyphosate is also used on many conventional grains, including beans and flax, so it's in the animal meats we eat, it's in our baked goods, and even in wine produced in the U.S. According to Gundry, glyphosate potentiates gluten to people who are not even gluten-sensitive, and interferes with your liver's ability to manufacture the active form of vitamin D.

Glyphosate also chelates important minerals, disrupts the shikimate pathway, decimates your microbiome and increases leaky gut, which allows more of the LPSs into your bloodstream. Since it works synergistically with the lectins, it really delivers a double-whammy.

"[Glyphosate] hits cytochrome P450. It's one of the reasons the Europeans are so far [ahead] on health," Gundry says. "It's one of the reasons why so many of my patients can go to Europe, eat their traditional diet and think they're cured and now they can start eating bread. They come back and eat a piece of bread and, bam — the whole thing starts all over again."

On Vegetarianism and Other Diets

As mentioned, Gundry was a professor at Loma Linda University, a Seventh Day Adventist facility. Seventh Day Adventists are typically vegetarians, and while not an Adventist, Gundry did eat a vegetarian diet for about 15 years during his time there.

"I've never been sicker in my life. I used to weigh 228 pounds despite running 30 miles a week and running half marathons on the weekend and going to the gym one hour every day, wondering why I had high blood pressure, prediabetes and heart disease … Quite frankly, we have a fabulous orthopedic department at Loma Linda, because grains are pretty doggone mischievous for that.

Through the years, I've been good friends with the head of the Adventist Health Studies, a cardiologist. One of the things I've learned from following the Adventists and following Gary Fraser is that … certain animal proteins do contribute to aging. In the Adventist health study, the vegan Adventists have the longest life span. Behind them are the lacto-ovo vegetarians, then behind them are the pescetarians. Then finally, there are the real cheaters who eat chicken …

It is interesting that the longest living of the Adventists, who are very long-living, are the vegans. I take care of a lot of vegans because of my association with Loma Linda. As a general rule, the vegans are some of the unhealthiest people I have met. The reason is they're grain- and bean-itarians. They are not vegetable eaters.

I have nothing against a high vegetable diet … The other thing we see in the vegans is they somehow think they will convert short-chain omega-3 fats into EPA, the long-chain omega-3 fats. They absolutely and positively do not.

Our brain is about 70 percent fat; 50 percent of that fat is DHA. There are beautiful longitudinal studies showing people with the highest omega-3 index have the largest brains as they age, and the largest areas of memory in the hippocampus. People with the lowest levels of omega-3 index have the most shrunken brains and the smallest areas of memory. Vegans have no excuse anymore. There's algae-based DHA."

Fruit and Berries — Seasonal Treats

Gundry's first rule is that what you stop eating is more important than what you start eating. "It's absolutely true," he says. "If you take away certain foods, you'll be amazed [to find] that it's certain foods that are the troublemakers." His second rule is, take care of your gut microbiome. Rule No. 3 is "fruit might be as good as candy." While he doesn't expound on the importance of burning fat for fuel in his book, that's really part of the equation. Once you're able to burn fat, fruit can be a healthy carbohydrate to add once or twice a week.

"Exactly. I think part of the problem is the vast majority of Americans are insulin-resistant. One of the things that people should realize is that the modern fruit has been bred for sugar content … One of the things I ask people to do initially is give fruit the boot.

Fructose is a major toxin. We take fructose directly to our liver and detoxify it into triglycerides and uric acid. It always amazes me the number of people with gout who consume more concentrated fruit, like wine or beer. Beer is one of the underlying reasons that they have gout.

The other thing people should realize is that fructose is a direct renal toxin. The more fructose I can get out of people, the better. Having said that, once you get to a point where you have metabolic flexibility, I think things like berries are probably one of the best ways to carbohydrate load on the day you decided to do that … Sweet potatoes are great as well, [and] I'm a big fan of taro root.

Years ago [in June] … my wife and I were at a Santa Barbara farmers market. I was taking these gorgeous organic peaches and putting them into my bag. She says, 'Hey, wait a minute. Aren't you the guy who says give fruit the boot?' I said, 'Yeah, yeah. But it's June and it's time to eat fruit.' She says, 'OK, smart guy. Let's do this. This summer, we're going to give up fruit to see what happens' …

So, we gave up fruit for one summer. We didn't change anything else in our diet. My wife lost 6 pounds and I lost 8 pounds. It brought home to me that, again, our ancestors and the reason we have two-thirds of our tongue devoted to sweet taste is we are great fruit predators. Fruit was only available once a year. We utilized that fruit to gain weight for the winter … [Now] we can have it 365 days a year, but that's not normal. So, always keep that in mind."

More Information

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of "The Plant Paradox," especially if you've already cleaned up your diet and still struggle with excess weight and/or health problems. Certainly, anyone with an autoimmune disorder would be wise to take a closer look at lectins. It's really vital information that can help optimize your health, and that of your family. It's a great read, with the perfect balance between science and practical recommendations.

If you've been following the "Fat for Fuel" approach, it's just a minor tweak. But it's a very important tweak that I wish I would have known about earlier. If I had, I would have dedicated a chapter to lectins in my book. I will however incorporate this information in my "Fat for Fuel Cookbook," which will be published this fall.


          Chocolate may prevent from bowel diseases        

A new study revealed that, consuming protein rich foods such as nuts, eggs, seeds, beans, poultry, yogurt, cheese and even chocolates may promote a more tolerant and less inflammatory gut environment, which could release for people living with abdominal pain and diarrhoea of inflammatory bowel disease.

Related image

Diabetes, Smoking Problems during middle age tied to Dementia later

These food items contain considerable measures of tryptophan — an amino corrosive utilized as a part of the development of proteins — which when encouraged on mice prompted the improvement of invulnerable cells that cultivate a tolerant gut, the examination said.

Related image

The discoveries showed that a protein rich eating regimen triggers the presence of resistant cells in Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) — a bacterium that typically lives in the gut, and together these advance a more tolerant, less provocative gut invulnerable framework.

“We built up a connection between one bacterial animal types — Lactobacillus reuteri — that is a typical piece of the gut microbiome, and advancement of a populace of cells that advance resistance,” said Marco Colonna, the Robert Rock Belliveau, Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis.

“The more tryptophan the mice had in their eating regimen, the a greater amount of these invulnerable cells they had,” Belliveau included. For the investigation, distributed in the diary Science, the group inspected mice that had lived under sterile conditions since birth and was without germ.

Image result for Chocolate may prevent from bowel diseases

Whenever L. reuteri was acquainted with these mice, the invulnerable cells emerged. Further, when tryptophan was multiplied in the mice’s bolster, the quantity of such cells ascended by around 50 for every penny. People have a similar resilience advancing cells as mice, and have L. reuteri in the gastrointestinal tracts.

Related image

Calcium in arteries predict heart attack risk

“The improvement of these cells is likely something we need to energize since these cells control irritation on the internal surface of the digestive organs,” clarified Luisa Cervantes-Barragan, Postdoctoral specialist from the varsity. “Abnormal amounts of tryptophan within the sight of L. reuteri may prompt extension of this populace,” Cervantes-Barragan said.

The post Chocolate may prevent from bowel diseases appeared first on NewsCrab.


          Comment on Precision Public Health: Harnessing the Power of the Human Microbiome by Anonymous        
Interesting article. Glad to read this article. This blog is useful for everyone. Thanks for sharing.
          Why Having a Dog Helps Keep Kids Asthma-Free        
If you’re a dog person, your kids might be in luck. Research suggests that children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, and now a recent study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, sheds some light on why. Working with mice, the scientists found that exposure to house dust from homes with a pet appeared to protect the mice against a common virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which infects the lungs and breathing passages and is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. (In adults, it usually causes run-of-the-mill cold symptoms.) Severe infections in infancy are linked with an increased risk of developing respiratory problems like asthma later on. Lead researcher Kei Fujimura and her team looked at three groups of mice. One group was fed house dust from homes with dogs, and then exposed to RSV; a second group was infected with RSV without exposure to dust; and a control group of mice was not exposed to RSV or dust. (MORE: How ‘Bring Your Dog to Work’ Days Could Lower Stress) The study found that the mice that ingested house dust and were exposed to RSV didn’t develop the telltale symptoms of infection, such as lung inflammation and mucus production — these animals looked just like the controls. The researchers then examined the microbes living in the protected animals’ guts, and found that the types of bacteria they harbored were different and more diverse than the bugs in the RSV-infected animals guts. What do gut bugs have to do with asthma? Potentially a lot. Researchers are discovering that the microbiome, as it’s known — the vast community of good bacteria and viruses that live in and on the human body, including in the intestines — not only play a vital role in basic bodily functions like digesting food, producing vitamins and fending off infection, but may also contribute to the development of chronic conditions and diseases like obesity, cancer and asthma. Our bodies begin to acquire these crucial
          TWiP 127: Kava not Cava        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

The TWiPsters solve the case of the Peace Corps Volunteer with a Liver Lesion, and discuss the dependence of Leishmania survival on the gut microbiome of the sandfly.

Become a patron of TWiP.

Links for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Blue Apron. Blue Apron is the #1 fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country. See what’s on the menu this week and get your first 3 meals free with your first purchase - WITH FREE SHIPPING - by going to blueapron.com/twip.

Case Study for TWiP 127

The last of our trio for the Peace Corp, an eosinophilia case. 29 yo pc volunteer in Rwanda, male, 3 weeks of feeling poorly. Starts with rash on lower back and upper legs, maculopapular rash. Fatigue later, cough, then diarrhea, 51% eosinophils (9000). No significant exposure to fresh water. Stool sent for oandp. Said sat down and got something on behind, realized later was feces, this was where rash developed. OandP seeing larva in stool. HIV neg, no med issue, no surgeries, no Kava. 

Send your case diagnosis, questions and comments to twip@microbe.tv


          Some of my best friends are germs        
The human body is teeming with billions -- nay, TRILLIONS -- of microbes with over a thousand different species populating the gut alone. We are covered with bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, inside and out. How did we come to be populated with such a vast array of these little beasties and what's their purpose? What influence do they exert on our physical and mental health and, more importantly, what can we do (and what can we avoid doing) to keep our microbial community happy and in balance? Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we take a look at the role these microbiota play from infancy to adulthood, in sickness and in health. Learn how to create poo you can be proud of and a microbiome that works in your favor. Cause -- let's face it -- germs are here to stay! Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment and learn about probiotics for your pets.
          Novel Perspectives on Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Focus on Microbiomes and Stool Transplants         
Live from the floor of Digestive Disease Week in Washington DC, GI Insights presents two interviews focusing on innovative approaches to inflammatory bowel disease, hosted by Dr. Barry Mennen. Guests on this program include: Dr. Jonathan Braun, Professor and Chair of Pathology and Lab Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His research centers on the biology of mucosal interaction of host immunity with the local microbial community, and its impact on chronic mucosal inflammatory disease and cancer. Michael Hurst, author of Poop Power: How a Man Used a Fecal Transplant at Home to Permanently Cure Himself of Ulcerative Colitis. Mr. Hurst is a known advocate and volunteer for the Fecal Transplant Foundation, whose story of self-designing an unorthodox treatment regimen for ulcerative colitis has since offered new insights on best clinical management practices for IBD.
          Does Your Probiotic Use Strain Codes?        
When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms like digestive issues, low immunity, feeling down in the dumps, or having skin issues like breakouts or eczema. That’s why probiotics have become a booming category! A good quality probiotic supplement can help to treat and reduce such symptoms by helping […]
          Daily probiotics delivered straight to your gut!        
Genuine Health’s NEW advanced gut health probiotic is a different kind of probiotic. Make Over Your Microbiome 2017 has been hailed the ‘Year of the Gut Makeover.’ Now being better understood as a gateway to glowing health, the gut microbiome plays a role in so many important body processes. A healthy gut microbiome is teeming […]
          ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL        
The Microflora The human microbiome or microflora is an evolving collection of trillions of microorganisms that reside on and within our body. Humans are colonized by an estimated 100 billion bacteria which have developed a synergistic relationship with our bodies over millions of years. When it comes to our health and wellbeing, the microbiome has […]
          A Hidden Factor in Stroke Severity: The Microbes in Your Gut        
A new study in mice demonstrates that manipulating the microbiome can influence the extent of brain damage caused by a stroke The bacteria that inhabit our guts have become key players for neuroscientists. A growing body of research links them to a wide array of mental and neurological disorders—from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia and...
          HOW TO END DIETING FOR GOOD!!! Dr. Joel Furhman | As on Dr. Oz | Health | Fitness | Nutrition | Self-Help | Inspire        

If you find yourself confused by diets, yo-yo-up and down with your weight, or even confused by the conflicts amongst the guests we bring on the show…sorry folks! Then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with an anti-diet expert. His name is Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and he’s one of Americans leading nutrition experts, he’s appeared on Dr. Oz and even has his own PBS television shows, and if you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods, he’s the inventor of the ANDI score. He’s also the NY Time best-selling author of Eat to Live, and has a beautiful new book out, The End to Dieting,.

And that’s just what I want to talk with Joel about…Atkins, Low Carb, High Fat, Ketone, Vegan, Paleo, Wheat Belly, and the list goes on and on.

And yet, we’re getting fatter, or at the very least, NOT getting healthier. So I want to talk to him about getting some clarity, and figuring out what in the world is going on and what we do to get things back on track.

And I want to talk with him about making it easy…All-too-often, we here the latest diet craze, but if it takes 10 hours to prepare our food, or we don’t even know where to begin, then we’re sunk before we even start.

So hopefully today we’ll stop a bit of the madness, and put an end to dieting once and for all.

Questions and Topics Include:

  1. How Joel Became an Olympic and World-Championship Level figure skater
  2. Why there’s billions of dollars spent to protect the meat, dairy, egg and sugar industries
  3. Three irrefutable facts about nutrition all scientists can agree upon.
  4. Why studies consistently show if you have an Atkins style diet (more meat, less carb) you have a correspondingly increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.
  5. What’s the most dangerous way to eat, and why we’re almost all doing it.
  6. Why it’s higher biological value foods that are killing us
  7. Why we have it all wrong when it comes to protein
  8. How eating better helps you feel better and function better now
  9. What is a nutritarian diet
  10. 4 Basic Principles of a Nutritarian Diet
    1. What is nutrient density
  11. Why we want to avoid foods that drive proteins to cancer-producing levels
  12. Why is a bagel like a piece of chicken
  13. Why we need to eat foods with high micronutrients and low macronutrients
  14. Why we should avoid having carcinogens, poisons, and toxic foods
    1. Farm-raised salmon
    2. E-coli in commercial raised meats
  15. Why we want the diet to be largely made of plant foods
  16. Why Paleo’s out – and quite dangerous
  17. Why Atkins is out – and quite dangerous
  18. Why Olive Oil is NOT a health food
  19. Why you want the whole food, not the oil.
  20. The miraculous benefits of lignans
  21. The incredible benefits of sesame seeds and walnuts
  22. The benefits of nuts of moving from oils to nuts
  23. How a nutritarian diet lowered blood pressure (without medication) and reduced diabetes (without medication)
  24. What you want to do on the weekend to prepare your food for the week
  25. The power of tomatoes (particularly against prostate and breast cancer)
  26. Why beans are such an amazing food and so protective for the microbiome of your gut
    1. Strengthen bones
    2. Fight cancer
    3. Stabilize blood sugar
  27. What is an incredibly powerful fat-burning food.
  28. What are GBOMBS?
    1. Greens
    2. Beans
    3. Mushrooms
    4. Onions
  29. Why you won’t get gas from beans if you eat them regularly

Dr. Joel Furhman – Discover why today’s latest diets (Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, High Fat…) may be hurting or killing you, what the science has to say & how to eat to live longer, healthier & smarter! As Seen on Dr Oz! Health | Nutrition | Self-Help

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com


          WHAT YOUR GUT IS TRYING TO TELL YOU & WHY YOUR HEALTH DEPENDS ON IT! Dr Emeran Mayer| Ted Talk | Health | Self-Help | Inspire        

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re struggling with your health, your emotions, or your mind, then do we have the Mind-Gut Connection Show for You.

Today I’ll be talking with Emeran Mayer, MD, who has studied brain-body interactions for the almost 40 years and is considered a pioneer and world leader in the area of brain-gut microbiome interactions and chronic pain. He’s the author of an astounding new book and look at our minds and our health, The Mind-Gut Connection.

And that’s just what we’ll talk about today, how the hidden conversation within our bodies impacts our mood, our choices, and our overall health, and what we can do about it.

That plus we’ll talk about exotic Bavarian chocolates, the dangers of eating mad, gut microbes and making Xanax, breast milk and valium, dietary lessons from the Yanomami, a bus-ride that shall forever live in digestive infamy, and what in the world rhesus monkeys have to do with going to college.

Gut Health & Microbiome Self-Improvement and Self-Help Topics Include:

  1. How he started listening to his gut and where it steered him
  2. What’s the power of journaling?
  3. How many microbes are in us and on us?
  4. What do microbes have to do with what we think, feel and say
  5. How to listen to your gut when you’re shopping for food
  6. What’s a new view of the human being or the human superorganism
  7. What are we really made of?
  8. What is the human microbiome?
  9. What is the language of the microbiome
  10. Who is driving the ship, or how are the micro-organisms controlling or talking to us
  11. How changing the microbiome changes whether we gain or lose weight
  12. Why we have to be careful which microbes we feed
  13. How our microbiome has developed for our modern poor diet
  14. What’s the danger of eating angry?
  15. What’s the power of prayer for your food
  16. What does your childhood has to do with your gut?
  17. How we can help our children’s guts
  18. How our guts and microbiome has been changed over multiple generations
  19. How to prevent our kids from getting obese
  20. What we can learn from Michael Pollan
  21. What the stress on the mother (during pregnancy too) does for the microbiome of the baby
  22. What’s the importance of breast-feeding
  23. What happiness and positivity have to do with your child’s microbiome
  24. What’s the French paradox?
  25. What are some of the healthiest diets in the world
  26. What’s the danger of emulsifiers and additives
  27. What does our food have to do with our mood
  28. How does meditation and mindfulness change the microbiome
  29. How does spirituality and spiritual practices change your microbes
  30. emeranmayer.com – find lots of interviews and video clips On The Mind Gut Connection
  31. What’s a Buddhist approach to our microbiome
  32. What has his meditation practice been like
  33. What focusing on our breath in meditation has to do with our microbiome

What Your Gut is Trying to Tell You For Health, Happiness, Immune System, Fitness & Weight Loss! Dr. Emeran Mayer | Inspiration | Motivation | Meditation | Spiritual | Spirituality | Inspirational | Motivational | Self-Improvement | Self-Help | Inspire

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com


          BECOME SUPER-HUMAN BY TRANSFORMING YOUR GUT! Overcome Chronic Disease + Meditation! Dr. Rodney Dietert | Health | Self-Help         

If you’ve ever struggled with disease, illness, an auto-immune disorder or allergy, then do we have the super-organism show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Rodney Dietert, professor of immunotxicology at Cornell University, and author of Strategies for Protecting Your Child’s Immune System and Immunotoxicity, Immune Dysfunction and Chronic Disease, and his latest book, which I couldn’t put down, The Human Superorganism.

And that’s just what we’ll be talking about today, what’s our microbiome and how it’s revolutionizing the pursuit of a healthy life.

That plus we’ll talk about giant-pouched rats, cliff the dog, the power of dark chocolate, why germ free mice are antisocial, the importance of a giraffe’s neck, and what a dog’s obsession with doves has to do with anything!

Microbiome Health, Self-Help, and Self-Improvement Topics Include:

  1. How he went from a dream to this book.
  2. How he ended up in the documentary microbirth
  3. What happened to him at a conference in Germany
  4. How he went from 30 years on antibiotics to years antibiotic free by addressing his gut and microbiome
  5. Why our microbes in our body have much control or influence over our biology than we think.
  6. What is a superorganism?
  7. What a fight on infectious diseases at now isn’t the problem
  8. What’s the problem with the ecology and diversity in our body
  9. What’s a non-communicable disease (NCD)
  10. Why does one non-communicable disease lead to the next disease?
  11. What NSAIDS including aspirin can harm our microbiome
  12. What it means to be deemed ‘safe’
  13. How much of us in made up of microbiomes?
  14. What’s the possible harm of GMO’s
  15. Why is the immune system really a junkyard dog
  16. Are infants born with a complete immune system?
  17. What do mom’s and parents need to know for pregnant women, pregnancy, and unborn children
  18. How do we prevent children from getting non-communicable diseases
  19. What do cravings have to do with your microbiome?
  20. What’s the new field of psychobiotics
  21. What’s the history behind caesarian section and what’s been happening with C-sections?
  22. What’s the obesity tree?
  23. How do we begin to heal our microbiome
  24. What it means to get a profile for your microbiome
  25. What’s the importance of fermented foods
  26. How do we test our microbiome
  27. What are prebiotics?
  28. What’s happening with sugar-free food and artificial sweeteners?
  29. Big foods to watch for:
    1. BPA
    2. Emulsifiers
  30. What’s the importance and danger of hand sanitizers
  31. Rodney Dietert’s rules for food shopping
  32. How important are organics
  33. How can meditation help calm our microbiome
  34. What’s a ‘gut instinct’
  35. What does spirituality, mindfulness and contemplative tools have to do with our microbiome
  36. How can swing dancing help your microbiome?
  37. Why exercise is so powerful for our microbiome?
  38. Why you don’t want to exercise too hard for your microbiome?
  39. Why stress-exercise is so bad for the microbiome
  40. How Mindful Running can help your microbiome
  41. Why dancing puts you in a state of coherence (think Heart Math and Howard Martin)
  42. Why it’s so important to get out of the fight or flight state
  43. Where can people go to find ‘the Human Superorganism’
  44. What people can learn about Cliff the microbiome searching dog
  45. Guided meditation to help with any problem or issue

Rodney Dietert, PhD on Transforming Your Health Thru Your Microbiome & Gut + Guided Meditation | Fitness | Inspiration | Motivation | Spiritual | Spirituality | Mindfulness | Inspirational | Motivational | Self-Improvement | Self-Help | Inspire

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com


          Discover the Microbiome Solution & Get Healthy from the Inside Out! Dr. Robynne Chutkan | As on Dr. Oz | Self-Help | Inspire        

If you’ve ever had stomach problems, digestion issues, constipation, a bloated belly, irritable bowel syndrome, or autoimmune disorders than do we have the gut healing show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Dr. Robynne Chutkan, one of the countries most recognizable gastroneterologists and the best-selling author of Gutbliss, the Bloat Cure, and her latest book The MicroBiome Solution. 

And that’s just what we’ll be talking about today, a radical new way to heal your body from the inside out, by healing your gut.

That plus we’ll talk about hookworm therapy, the power of parasites, why you want your kids dirty, skipping showers, pharmageddon, the transformative power of goats, why you just might want to smell your son or daughter, the power of poop, and what your orthopedist dad will tell you to do, whether you’ve got a sprained ankle or the flu.

Gut Bliss and Microbiome Self-Improvement and Self-Help Topics Include:

  1. What’s going on with our guts and our microbiome
  2. What she learned growing up in Jamaica with a Hindu dad and guts
  3. What cryptosporidiosis is and what is giardia and why are they triggering post-infection irritable bowel syndrome
  4. What antibiotics are doing to our micribiome
  5. Why antibiotics beget antibiotics and sinus infections
  6. Why you want to check out the Dr. Terry Wahls protocol
  7. What we now know about nutrition and the gut
  8. What do we know about dairy
  9. Are antibiotics in the water?
  10. What’s wrong with chlorine in the water?
  11. What’s wrong with hand-sanitizer
  12. What is dysbiosis
  13. What’s the danger of NSAIDS –
  14. What’s the danger of birth-control?
  15. What are wrong with low-calorie sweeteners?
  16. Why artificial sweeteners are a risk for diabetes
  17. What Dr. Michele Segar (author of No Sweat) can teach us for motivation
  18. How sugar decreases your ability to fight infection
  19. Why is the gut causing belly fat or us to get fat
  20. What’s a fecal transplant?
  21. What’s the danger of a diet?
  22. What is rosacea and how do carbs affect it
  23. What all carbs are not created equal
  24. What are green bananas
  25. What’s wrong with sodium lauryl sulfate
  26. What happened with her daughter
  27. For more from Dr. Chutkan visit Twitter @drchutkan and gutbliss.com

Dr. Robynne Chutkan - Frequently on Dr. Oz, Shares How to Heal Your Body by Healing Your Gut! Health | Fitness | Diet | Inspiration | Motivation | Inspirational | Spiritual | Spirituality | Motivational | Self-Improvement | Self-Help | Inspire


          DISCOVER THE END OF DIETING: HOW TO EAT FOR LIFE! Dr. Joel Furhman | As On Dr. Oz | Fitness | Health | Nutrition | Self-Help         

If you find yourself confused by diets, yo-yo-up and down with your weight, or even confused by the conflicts amongst the guests we bring on the show…sorry folks! Then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with an anti-diet expert. His name is Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and he’s one of Americans leading nutrition experts, he’s appeared on Dr. Oz and even has his own PBS television shows, and if you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods, he’s the inventor of the ANDI score. He’s also the NY Time best-selling author of Eat to Live, and has a beautiful new book out, The End to Dieting,.

And that’s just what I want to talk with Joel about…Atkins, Low Carb, High Fat, Ketone, Vegan, Paleo, Wheat Belly, and the list goes on and on.

And yet, we’re getting fatter, or at the very least, NOT getting healthier. So I want to talk to him about getting some clarity, and figuring out what in the world is going on and what we do to get things back on track.

And I want to talk with him about making it easy…All-too-often, we here the latest diet craze, but if it takes 10 hours to prepare our food, or we don’t even know where to begin, then we’re sunk before we even start.

So hopefully today we’ll stop a bit of the madness, and put an end to dieting once and for all.

Questions and Topics Include:

  1. How Joel Became an Olympic and World-Championship Level figure skater
  2. Why there’s billions of dollars spent to protect the meat, dairy, egg and sugar industries
  3. Three irrefutable facts about nutrition all scientists can agree upon.
  4. Why studies consistently show if you have an Atkins style diet (more meat, less carb) you have a correspondingly increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.
  5. What’s the most dangerous way to eat, and why we’re almost all doing it.
  6. Why it’s higher biological value foods that are killing us
  7. Why we have it all wrong when it comes to protein
  8. How eating better helps you feel better and function better now
  9. What is a nutritarian diet
  10. 4 Basic Principles of a Nutritarian Diet
    1. What is nutrient density
  11. Why we want to avoid foods that drive proteins to cancer-producing levels
  12. Why is a bagel like a piece of chicken
  13. Why we need to eat foods with high micronutrients and low macronutrients
  14. Why we should avoid having carcinogens, poisons, and toxic foods
    1. Farm-raised salmon
    2. E-coli in commercial raised meats
  15. Why we want the diet to be largely made of plant foods
  16. Why Paleo’s out – and quite dangerous
  17. Why Atkins is out – and quite dangerous
  18. Why Olive Oil is NOT a health food
  19. Why you want the whole food, not the oil.
  20. The miraculous benefits of lignans
  21. The incredible benefits of sesame seeds and walnuts
  22. The benefits of nuts of moving from oils to nuts
  23. How a nutritarian diet lowered blood pressure (without medication) and reduced diabetes (without medication)
  24. What you want to do on the weekend to prepare your food for the week
  25. The power of tomatoes (particularly against prostate and breast cancer)
  26. Why beans are such an amazing food and so protective for the microbiome of your gut
    1. Strengthen bones
    2. Fight cancer
    3. Stabilize blood sugar
  27. What is an incredibly powerful fat-burning food.
  28. What are GBOMBS?
    1. Greens
    2. Beans
    3. Mushrooms
    4. Onions
  29. Why you won’t get gas from beans if you eat them regularly

Dr. Joel Furhman – Discover why today’s latest diets (Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, High Fat…) may be hurting or killing you, what the science has to say & how to eat to live longer, healthier & smarter! As Seen on Dr Oz! Health | Nutrition | Self-Help

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com

 


          How Not To Die! Scientifically Proven Foods to Prevent & Reverse Disease! Dr Michael Greger | Nutrition | Self-Help | Inspire        

If you’re as confused as I am by all the nutritional claims and hype of different diets, fads, and trends, then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with Dr. Michael Greger, founder of nutrionfacts.org, and an internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, preventive medicine, and our health and author of the acclaimed book, How Not to Die.

Today we’ll work to cut through some of the confusion. We’ll talk about what’s working, what’s not, and the science behind it. We’ll do some myth-busting, and ask him the really tough questions about meats, grains, beans, coffee, sugar, salt, and so much more! And we’ll look at different diseases that often get us, and what we can to do to prevent them, or at least hold them off. We’ll even look at depression and what in the world food has to do with our mood!

Plus we’ll look at what Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Atkins, and the Incredible Hulk, have to do with anything.

Self-Help and Self-Improvement Questions and Topics Include:

  1. How his grandma – Francis Greger-- survived after she was sent home to die.
    1. Nathan Pritikin, early lifestyle pioneer who claimed to reverse heart-disease with diet/lifestyle
  2. What was his biggest shock/surprise about med-school and what they did NOT teach.
  3. Why we can’t listen to the cravings of our bodies because of the artificially created foods that are biochemically designed to make us crave them.
  4. What the global consensus as to the core principals of what we should eat and the science behind the nutrition
  5. What’s the real cause of diabetes, type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance
  6. Why diabetes is taking 18 years off a child’s life and what can be done about our kids health today.
  7. What the ONLY diet is that’s scientifically proven to reverse heart-disease?
  8. What it means to eat a whole food plant-based diet?
  9. Why grains are not what you think
  10. What we can learn from queen bees and worker bees
  11. What is epigenetics and what’s it’s important to our health and nutrition
  12. How genes can suppress cancer growth
  13. Ornish and how we extend our ‘life fuse’ or extend or enlarge our telomeres (cellular aging)
  14. Why reducing meat even for a few years can make a dramatic difference
  15. Why the microbiome is so cool and important
  16. How the microbiome affects our gut, affects, immunity, affects depression and moods
  17. Need prebiotics to feed our probiotics
  18. What are pre-biotics and why do we need them?
  19. What’s the number one thing we want to do to prevent cancer?
  20. What’s the most important thing to do to prevent cancer?
  21. Why processed meat is now considered a class 1 carcinogen
  22. What does a plant based diet really mean?
  23. What should we be eating on a day-to-day basis?
  24. The importance of getting enough vitamin D
  25. The importance of vitamin B-12
  26. Prostate cancer avoidance – why we need to avoid chicken
  27. Why soy is great for you to prevent or survive breast-cancer

Dr. Greger's on a Mission to Cure Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Depression, & More By Updating What We Eat! Hear This Fascinating Interview Filled with Science-Based Nutrition Tips from the Founder of NutrionFacts.org | Fitness | Health | Weight-Loss | Inspirational | Motivational | Self-Help | Self-Improvement | Inspire

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com

 


          NUTRITION SCIENCE THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE & HELP YOU FEEL BETTER TODAY! NYT Best-Seller Dr Joel Fuhrman | Health | Self-Help        

If you find yourself confused by diets, yo-yo-up and down with your weight, or even confused by the conflicts amongst the guests we bring on the show…sorry folks! Then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with an anti-diet expert. His name is Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and he’s one of Americans leading nutrition experts, he’s appeared on Dr. Oz and even has his own PBS television shows, and if you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods, he’s the inventor of the ANDI score. He’s also the NY Time best-selling author of Eat to Live, and has a beautiful new book out, The End to Dieting,.

And that’s just what I want to talk with Joel about…Atkins, Low Carb, High Fat, Ketone, Vegan, Paleo, Wheat Belly, and the list goes on and on.

And yet, we’re getting fatter, or at the very least, NOT getting healthier. So I want to talk to him about getting some clarity, and figuring out what in the world is going on and what we do to get things back on track.

And I want to talk with him about making it easy…All-too-often, we here the latest diet craze, but if it takes 10 hours to prepare our food, or we don’t even know where to begin, then we’re sunk before we even start.

So hopefully today we’ll stop a bit of the madness, and put an end to dieting once and for all.

Questions and Topics Include:

  1. How Joel Became an Olympic and World-Championship Level figure skater
  2. Why there’s billions of dollars spent to protect the meat, dairy, egg and sugar industries
  3. Three irrefutable facts about nutrition all scientists can agree upon.
  4. Why studies consistently show if you have an Atkins style diet (more meat, less carb) you have a correspondingly increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.
  5. What’s the most dangerous way to eat, and why we’re almost all doing it.
  6. Why it’s higher biological value foods that are killing us
  7. Why we have it all wrong when it comes to protein
  8. How eating better helps you feel better and function better now
  9. What is a nutritarian diet
  10. 4 Basic Principles of a Nutritarian Diet
    1. What is nutrient density
  11. Why we want to avoid foods that drive proteins to cancer-producing levels
  12. Why is a bagel like a piece of chicken
  13. Why we need to eat foods with high micronutrients and low macronutrients
  14. Why we should avoid having carcinogens, poisons, and toxic foods
    1. Farm-raised salmon
    2. E-coli in commercial raised meats
  15. Why we want the diet to be largely made of plant foods
  16. Why Paleo’s out – and quite dangerous
  17. Why Atkins is out – and quite dangerous
  18. Why Olive Oil is NOT a health food
  19. Why you want the whole food, not the oil.
  20. The miraculous benefits of lignans
  21. The incredible benefits of sesame seeds and walnuts
  22. The benefits of nuts of moving from oils to nuts
  23. How a nutritarian diet lowered blood pressure (without medication) and reduced diabetes (without medication)
  24. What you want to do on the weekend to prepare your food for the week
  25. The power of tomatoes (particularly against prostate and breast cancer)
  26. Why beans are such an amazing food and so protective for the microbiome of your gut
    1. Strengthen bones
    2. Fight cancer
    3. Stabilize blood sugar
  27. What is an incredibly powerful fat-burning food.
  28. What are GBOMBS?
    1. Greens
    2. Beans
    3. Mushrooms
    4. Onions
  29. Why you won’t get gas from beans if you eat them regularly

Dr. Joel Furhman – Discover why today’s latest diets (Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, High Fat…) may be hurting or killing you, what the science has to say & how to eat to live longer, healthier & smarter! As Seen on Dr Oz! Health | Nutrition | Self-Help

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com

 


          [INSPIRE 108] DR MICHAEL GREGER - DISCOVER THE FOODS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO PREVENT & REVERSE DISEASE | Health | Self-Help        

If you’re as confused as I am by all the nutritional claims and hype of different diets, fads, and trends, then do we have the show for you!

Today we’ll be talking with Dr. Michael Greger, founder of nutrionfacts.org, and an internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, preventive medicine, and our health and author of the acclaimed book, How Not to Die.

Today we’ll work to cut through some of the confusion. We’ll talk about what’s working, what’s not, and the science behind it. We’ll do some myth-busting, and ask him the really tough questions about meats, grains, beans, coffee, sugar, salt, and so much more! And we’ll look at different diseases that often get us, and what we can to do to prevent them, or at least hold them off. We’ll even look at depression and what in the world food has to do with our mood!

Plus we’ll look at what Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Atkins, and the Incredible Hulk, have to do with anything.

Questions and Topics Include:

  1. How his grandma – Francis Greger-- survived after she was sent home to die.
    1. Nathan Pritikin, early lifestyle pioneer who claimed to reverse heart-disease with diet/lifestyle
  2. What was his biggest shock/surprise about med-school and what they did NOT teach.
  3. Why we can’t listen to the cravings of our bodies because of the artificially created foods that are biochemically designed to make us crave them.
  4. What the global consensus as to the core principals of what we should eat and the science behind the nutrition
  5. What’s the real cause of diabetes, type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance
  6. Why diabetes is taking 18 years off a child’s life and what can be done about our kids health today.
  7. What the ONLY diet is that’s scientifically proven to reverse heart-disease?
  8. What it means to eat a whole food plant-based diet?
  9. Why grains are not what you think
  10. What we can learn from queen bees and worker bees
  11. What is epigenetics and what’s it’s important to our health and nutrition
  12. How genes can suppress cancer growth
  13. Ornish and how we extend our ‘life fuse’ or extend or enlarge our telomeres (cellular aging)
  14. Why reducing meat even for a few years can make a dramatic difference
  15. Why the microbiome is so cool and important
  16. How the microbiome affects our gut, affects, immunity, affects depression and moods
  17. Need prebiotics to feed our probiotics
  18. What are pre-biotics and why do we need them?
  19. What’s the number one thing we want to do to prevent cancer?
  20. What’s the most important thing to do to prevent cancer?
  21. Why processed meat is now considered a class 1 carcinogen
  22. What does a plant based diet really mean?
  23. What should we be eating on a day-to-day basis?
  24. The importance of getting enough vitamin D
  25. The importance of vitamin B-12
  26. Prostate cancer avoidance – why we need to avoid chicken
  27. Why soy is great for you to prevent or survive breast-cancer

Dr. Greger's on a Mission to Cure Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Depression, & More By Updating What We Eat! Hear This Fascinating Interview Filled with Science-Based Nutrition Tips from the Founder of NutrionFacts.org. 

For More Info Visit: www.InspireNationShow.com

 


          Tufts engineer honored with NIH New Innovator Award for research on gut microbiome and metabolic disorders        
Nikhil Nair seeks new treatment for potentially fatal, rarely-studied congenital "orphan diseases" caused by improper food metabolism

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts (Oct. 4, 2016) – Nikhil U. Nair, Ph.D., of Tufts University School of Engineering, has been honored with the 2016 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award for his work on engineering naturally-occurring, safe, gut bacteria to treat inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs), a relatively poorly-studied family of debilitating genetic disorders that affect patients from birth.


          Comment on Landmark Harvard Study Finds Gluten-Free Diet Bad for the Heart by Michael O'Brien        
You totally need to read The Plant Paradox. Almost all grains contain lectins which promote inflammation and all the diseases you describe. Healing the gut is essential, and you must focus on the microbiome.
          The human microbiome and endangered bacteria        

Each and every part of us harbours its own microbial ecosystem. This ecosystem carries some 100 billion cells, known as the microbiota. They started inhabiting our bodies 200,000 years ago, and since then we have evolved side by side to configure a balanced system in which microbes can survive in perfect harmony, provided no perturbations occur.

The post The human microbiome and endangered bacteria appeared first on OUPblog.


          In case of resistant (lung) infection, seek help from the microbiome, not from the petri dish         


La génétique, ça peut sauver la vie (de mon oncle)
Genetics can save lives (in this case, my uncle's life)

Dans les cas d’infections graves, un bon microbiome vaut mieux qu’une mauvaise boite de Petri

Actually i started my blog in 2005 to annoy him ;-) Hoping we'll continue arguing but right now he's lying in a coma. So we are waiting, at the European hospital George Pompidou in Paris... 

Me, when i started this blog in 2005

Me, with my uncle Jacques, Dec. 2007



More than one week later, my "favorite" uncle awoke from his coma (yay). But a pulmonary infection seems to be plaguing him... Two days ago, he was trying to discuss his funerals, but yesterday, he asked for his Kindle, books and his glasses. Yup, that's my "favorite" uncle all right ;-)

So here's what i wrote to my cousins in Paris (French and English version):
Il faut savoir qu'une infection pulmonaire résistante peut tuer en quelques jours, surtout une personne âgée fragile (82 ans) qui se réveille d'un coma de dix jours suite à complications post-opératoire (opération de la hanche, au réveil, on découvre un colon nécrosé), et à qui on a enlevé le colon et une partie de l'intestin grêle, plus deux mini AVC dans un passé récent, qui font qu'il est sous anti-coagulants. 
En cas de problème d'infection pulmonaire, il y a un protocole récent basé sur la génomique qui consiste à envoyer à un labo (Pasteur, Lyon, Rennes, Lille) des échantillons pour qu'ils analysent l'ADN des bactéries pour déterminer à quoi elles sont résistantes ou sensibles. Est-ce que vous savez si cela a été fait par l'Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou ? (car eux n'ont probablement pas le laboratoire pour le faire).
L'examen en question s'appelle : le microbiome pulmonaire, qui aurait révélé quelles bactéries étaient présentes dans ses poumons, et quels gènes de résistance, pour un meilleur choix de l'antibiotique.
Le test de microbiome est un test de séquençage ADN (génétique) de l’ensemble des bestioles qui vivent dans notre estomac ou bien dans nos poumons (ou encore tractus génital, surface de la peau, bouche oreilles…etc).Ca sort des séquences ADN en paquet, et là-dedans, on est capable de retrouver celles qui appartiennent aux bactéries, et lesquelles, celles des champignons, et celles des virus.
Quand on identifie comme ça les bactéries, on peut ensuite, dans un 2ieme round "bioinformatique", rechercher les gènes de résistance aux antibiotiques connus chez ces bactéries. Oui ça existe les bactéries résistantes, elles s’adaptent. Et donc, choisir en fonction, le bon antibiotique.A noter que ce test de microbiome identifie des bactéries qui sont difficiles à cultiver, et que la microbiologie traditionnelle ne peut pas identifier.
Donc (ma blague à deux balles) dans les cas d’infections graves, un bon microbiome vaut mieux qu’une mauvaise boite de Petri.
Les labos qui font cet examen de microbiome pulmonaire :il y en a à l'institut Pasteur de Paris et Lille :https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-01349062/document
Liens utiles en recherche :
https://research.pasteur.fr/en/team/synthetic-biologyhttps://research.pasteur.fr/en/team/bacterial-genome-plasticity
https://research.pasteur.fr/en/team/synthetic-biology

A resistant lung infection can kill within a few days, especially a frail elderly person (82 yo) waking up from a coma due to postoperative complications (colon and part of the small intestine were removed, suffered two strokes in the recent past, and as a consequence, taking anticoagulant or blood-thinner treatment). Before his coma, he was in a clinic in Paris (hip surgery). Then the complications happened (necrosis of colon)... For lung infection, there is a recent protocol based on genomics which consists in sending samples to a laboratory (Pasteur, Lyon, Rennes, Lille) to analyze the DNA of Bacteria to determine what they are resistant to or sensitive to. Do you know if this was done by the European Hospital Georges Pompidou? (Because they probably do not have the lab to do it). This examination is called: the pulmonary microbiome, which would have revealed which bacteria were present in the lungs, and which genes of resistance, for a better choice of antibiotic. The microbiome test is a DNA (genetic) sequencing test of all the bugs that live in our stomach or in our lungs (or genital tract, skin surface, mouth, ears ... etc). When we identify bacteria in this way, we can then, in a second "bioinformatic" round, look for the antibiotic resistance genes known in these bacteria. Yes there are resistant bacteria, they adapt. And so, choose the right antibiotic accordingly. With this big-data DNA (lots of DNA sequencing data), what can be done? This microbiome test identifies bacteria that are difficult to grow, and that traditional microbiology cannot identify. In cases of resistant (lung) infection, seek help from the microbiome, not from the petri dish!

Ce matin, réponse de mon cousin :



Puis, sur ma demande, explications de mon ami biologiste bordelais :

"De ce que je comprends, ils ont du faire un test moléculaire (hybridation moléculaire) pour détecter les bactéries non cultivables.
On utilise des fragments d’ADN complémentaire (sondes) à ceux desdites bactéries pour aller à la pêche.
Pour identifier les bactéries, on recherche souvent à identifier leur ARN16S. Dans ce cas de recherche par hybridation moléculaire, on emploie alors des sondes “ARN”.
Meme si c’est moins complet qu’un microbiome, c’est pas mal, quand on n'a pas accès à du NGS (next generation sequencing = les nouvelles méthodes de séquençage du génome)."


Il ajoute : "Je devrai faire traducteur de jargon moléculaire."

Il en faudra bien un, pour que les gens comprennent que l'ADN, ça sauve aussi la vie, ça ne sert pas seulement à faire des scénarios cata pour la télé ...


So this morning, I got a text from my cousin:
"They performed a DNA/RNA probe (immediate and culture) so this should cover pretty much everything." This sounded cryptic. Then he added: "Jacques is doing better" (less cryptic, got that part all right). So i asked a friend of mine, a geneticist, if he could explain what had been done. His answer:

"From what I understand, they had to do a molecular test (molecular hybridization) to detect non-culturable bacteria.
Complementary DNA fragments (probes) are used with those of said bacteria to go fishing.
To identify bacteria, one often seeks to identify their RNA16S. In this case of research by molecular hybridizations, RNA probes are used.
Even if it's less complete than a microbiome, it's good enough, when you do not have access to NGS (next generation sequencing)."

Special thanks to French biologist Patrick Merel, Portable Genomics, San Diego, for his expertise. Indeed, translating molecular jargon for the broad public seems to be a job in demand! Genomics can also make the difference between life and death, not only fill in the gaps in Hollywood dystopian fictions (though i'm a Gattaca fan)... If we cannot find people to do the job (translate cryptic stuff for patients and people around those patients), i guess the population in general will go on thinking genetics is bad for you (police surveillance, eugenism, selling my genetic data without my consent to insurance companies etc)

June 14th, 2017:
Reactive medicine can be pretty creepy. How about preventative medicine?


Thank you Regina Holliday for painting this jacket for me. Health care needs activism



          Increasing Incidence of Diabetes and Obesity could be due to Food Additives, Clinical Research Supports Hypothesis        
Food additives are common constituents of processed foods such as ice creams and soft drinks. What are these food additives that impart texture, flavor, and shelf-life as well to these foods? Stabilizers, acidifiers, acidity regulators are some of the food additives that are used for these purposes as per the requirement. Acidity regulators, as the name suggests are used to either change or maintain the acidity or alkalinity of foods. Other than this, these food additives also impart flavor and help increase the shelf-life of foods due to their antibacterial properties. Due to these advantages, acidity regulators have become important part of the food and beverages industry. In current times, increasing demand for packaged ready to eat foods is primarily driving the acidity regulators market. As these foods are meant for later use, acidity regulators need to be included in these products to prevent bacterial growth and also to maintain the pH and to keep flavor of the food intact. The use of acidity regulators in cosmetics and skincare products will gain prominence in the coming years. This is because, acidity regulators added in these products balance acidity/ alkalinity of the product to match with the skin pH, which prevents adverse reaction on the skin. This is proving to be massively beneficial to negate the alkalinity of cosmetic ingredients, which can otherwise have serious health implications related to the skin. Nevertheless, the ill-effects of food additives such as acidity regulators are being linked to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disorders. For instance, emulsifiers are used in ice cream to impart texture to food and prevent the mixture from separating. As per a study carried out by a researcher at the Georgia State University recently, experiment was performed to show the effect on the health of mice that drank emulsifier contained water. The mice that drank emulsifier contained water showed changes in gut bacteria and also showed inflammation of the gut, which later resulted in diabetes and obesity in these animals. On the contrary, mice that were raised in a sterile environment and didn’t have any gut bacteria did not show signs of illness when fed the same additives, which is suggestive of the emulsifiers’ effect on the microbiome causing the condition.

Original Post Increasing Incidence of Diabetes and Obesity could be due to Food Additives, Clinical Research Supports Hypothesis source Twease
          Diversity in Vaginal Microbiome Linked To Preterm Birth        
The causes of premature birth are unclear though more than 10 percent of babies in the United States are born prematurely. Vaginal infections long

           Board member in the News: Rudy Tanzi on Brain Microbiomes and AD in Forbes         

 

A July 28, 2017 article on Forbes.com spotlights the Brain Microbiome Project led by AFAR board member Rudolph “Rudy” Tanzi, PhD.


The article, Mapping The Brain's Microbiome: Can Studying Germs In The Brain Lead To A Cure For Alzheimer's?, explains:

Harvard researchers, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi and Robert D. Moir, PhD, are heading up a team, funded by the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the Good Ventures Foundation, that has taken on mapping the microbiome, the population of microorganisms, some helpful and some pathological, that exists inside the brain. The monumental task, dubbed The Brain Microbiome Project, will, they hope, tell them if amyloid beta plaques–known to initiate the pathological cascade of Alzheimer’s disease—are being made to protect the brain and if so, from what? In earlier studies, Tanzi and Moir showed that the main component of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients—the amyloid beta protein—is an “antimicrobial peptide” used by the brain’s immune system to protect itself against infection.

Dr. Tanzi shares in the article:

The team is hypothesizing that specific types of microbes will be more abundant and are the culprits behind triggering the plaque formation that initiate the pathological spiral of events in Alzheimer’s. … Once the team has mapped the microbiome—or what specific pathogens live in the brain—they can begin to determine whether specific microbes are more abundant in Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the full article here.
 

Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD is the Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit at MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease & Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

 



For more on Alzheimer’s disease, check out AFAR’s expert-edited InfoAging Center on Alzheimer's Disease.


          Is Your Workout Messing with Your Gut?        

Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut?

[caption id="attachment_60835" align="alignnone" width="620"]Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You know that a heart-pumping workout is good for your body and mind. But if your sweat sesh leaves you with an upset stomach or running from the streets to the bathroom, it might not be so coincidental. According to new research published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, intense exercise may actually make you more prone to gut damage.

RELATED: Is It All In Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

Exercise and Gut Health: The New Science

Researchers from Monash University in Australia set out to review research on exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome, published over the last 20 years. They wanted to determine if — and how — exercise impacts digestive health and function.

What they found: As exercise duration and intensity increased, so did the risk of damage to the GI tract. So not only does the stress of exercise slow digestion and make you feel bloated or nauseous, it can also make your gut more leaky. Though experts are still investigating leaky gut syndrome, it’s said to allow bad bacteria to escape out of the gut and into the bloodstream, which can cause a variety of health problems.

While low-to-moderate physical activity may help with a healthy microbiome (especially for those with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease), there’s a line between the beneficial and the not-so-beneficial. In fact, researchers found a tipping point where things start to go amiss.

RELATED: 7 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Back Pain

When Exercise Starts to Harm Gut Health

“Two hours at 60 percent VO2 max, or the equivalent, is the point whereby all aspects of gut disturbance is consistently significant,” says Ricardo Costa, PhD, lead author of the review. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or training for your first marathon. “Fitness status is irrelevant. Fitter athletes can push themselves harder and create more damage,” he says. Running or exercising in temperatures higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t help either. Both could make the symptoms worse.

So what’s an endurance junkie to do? The study’s recommendations include properly hydrating before and during exercise, as well as avoiding certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can irritate your belly. Since the effects of exercise on digestive health can vary by person, Costa also advises an individual assessment. “A gut challenge assessment during exercise is advised to determine the extent of individual gut perturbations,” says Costa. “This will also advise feeding strategies during exercise,” which may help protect against symptoms.

While the study serves up some compelling links between exercise and digestive health, further research is needed to determine the best strategies for preventing and managing exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. So don’t stop signing up for those fall races. Your body will still benefit.

Read More:
A Runner’s Guide to Hydration (And How to Not Overdo It)
How Healthy Is Your Gut? Here’s How to Tell
6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

The post Is Your Workout Messing with Your Gut? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.


          Cort Johnson: Columbia & Simmaron Gut Study Uncovers Another ME/CFS Subset        
Cort Johnson has done some serious homework on the recent gut microbiome study from Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) researchers. He delves more deeply into the study and spoke with Dr. Ian Lipkin about their work. This article was originally published on the Simmaron Research website and Cort kindly gave us permission to publish the article in full for the Microbe Discovery Project. Columbia &Read more about Cort Johnson: Columbia & Simmaron Gut Study Uncovers Another ME/CFS Subset[...]
          Ian Lipkin’s CII team shows gut bacteria in ME/CFS may influence disease severity        
  Anticipated work from the CII teams’ early investigative research into ME/CFS is starting to be published. The new study in the journal Microbiome from Drs Ian Lipkin and Mady Horning at Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) finds abnormal levels of certain types of bacteria in the gut microbiome of ME/CFS patients.Read more about Ian Lipkin’s CII team shows gut bacteria in ME/CFS may influence disease severity[...]
          The things one can do with light – and messages in the dark        
    One day in the future, we may be treating our ailments with microbiotic combinations designed specifically to correct imbalances in our personal microbiomes. We’ll bring our prescriptions on rewritable paper and pay using shimmery optical chips embedded in our cell phone cases or maybe our jewelry. Or we’ll be waiting in our doctor’s…
          Comment on You Probably Don’t Have a Parasite Despite Goop Misinformation by Emil Karlsson        
Do not search for "microbiome" on the Goop website.
          Comment on You Probably Don’t Have a Parasite Despite Goop Misinformation by Christine Janis        
Let's hope Gwynth doesn't find out about the human microbiome.
          Othman Laraki on achieving the long-tail distribution of genetic insights        

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: Color Genomics, genetic testing access, and the future of precision medicine.

This week, I chat with Othman Laraki, co-founder of Color Genomics. We chat about challenges and opportunities in genetic testing, the future of precision medicine, and the hurdles medicine and health care are currently facing (and how we can overcome them).

Here are some highlights:

Genetics testing for everyone

Genetics, we felt, had come to a point where there was an opportunity to have a very big impact by essentially mixing some of the best of the biology world with software—in many ways, genetics had started to become, in part, a software problem.

It felt like it was starting to be possible to build products that made genetics accessible to a much broader population by both dropping costs as well as increasing access, so making this information more accessible to a much broader population in a scalable way.

... For example, one of the things we did that we're very proud of is we created this program called the Every Woman Program, where whenever someone buys a test from Color, they can also contribute to fund testing for someone who can't afford it. Then we work with a number of cancer centers, for example at UCSF and the University of Washington, Morehouse in Georgia, and a number of others, where each one of those centers works with underprivileged populations, and they can provide tests for free for people who can't afford it but who the doctors think should get tested.

Opportunities in machine learning

One of the big opportunities for machine learning in genetics, for example, is around the interpretation of the effects of specific genetic changes. Right now, there are set of guidelines or processes that are used by the industry around the interpretation of how a specific mutation impacts a gene. It's a structured process that's very labor intensive, but it's one of those areas where over time is going to become something that's very heavily solved by machine learning because there's a lot of data that can be used to train a model instead of purely running it in a manual way. The industry is going to evolve quite a bit over the next few years and machine learning is going to have very substantial impact there.

Using the full data set of the human body

Each one of us is carrying and generating a tremendous amount of data in our daily lives, whether it's our genome, our microbiome, etc., etc. So far, the link between that data and health practice had been through the path of research and translation to a few proxies, essentially, where researchers collect a lot of data, they do a research study, it turns into a set of conclusions, and that over time gets turned into a few rules that get introduced into medical practice. If someone's lipid levels are at this level, etc., then you draw these kinds of conclusions.

Now, we're coming to the point where the amount of data that a doctor will be able to use in a real way to make medical decisions is going to be the full data set of our bodies, which is very exciting and can have a very big impact.

Long-tail distribution of genetic insights

In some ways, I feel right now we've come to this point where there's been enough data and science behind us that we can already create a lot of value, and that allows the bootstrapping of doing things at a massive scale that really takes us to that long-tail distribution of insights around how genetics work and how the body works.


          Microbes: Resistance is Futile        
You are what you eat. Whether you dine on kimchi, carnitas, or corn dogs determines which microbes live in your stomach. And gut microbes make up only part of your total microbiome. Find out how your microbes are the brains-without-brains that affect your health and even your mood. Also, why you and your cohorts are closer than you thought: new research suggests that you swap and adopt bugs from your social set. Plus, the philosophical questions that are arise when we realize that we have more microbial DNA than human DNA. And a woman who skipped soap and shampoo for a month to see what would grow on her. Guests: •   Bill Miller – Physician and author of The Microcosm Within: Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome •   Beth Archie – Biologist at the University of Notre Dame •   Nada Gligorov – Assistant professor of medical education at Mount Sinai Hospital •   Julia Scott – Freelance reporter working in San Francisco. Her article, “A Wash on the Wild Side” appeared in the May 22, 2014 issue of the New York Times Magazine. of the New York Times Magazine.
          Blame it on Bacterio        
Think small! Microbes are tinier than the dot at the end of this sentence, yet they can make humans sicker than dogs, dogs sicker than humans, jump from animal to human and keep scientists guessing when and where the next disease will appear. Discover how doctors diagnosed one man´s mysterious infection, the role that animals play as hosts for disease, and why the rate of emerging diseases is increasing worldwide. Also, why your kitchen is a biosafety hazard, and how the Human Microbiome Project will tally all the microbes on –“ and in –“ you. Plus, the extreme places on Earth where microbes thrive and what it suggests for the existence of alien life. And, how one strain of bacteria helped a farmer grow a pumpkin the weight of a small car! Guests: Peter Hudson –“ Biologist, Director of Life Sciences at Penn State University Peter Krause –“ Senior research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health Durland Fish –“ Epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health. Information on his Lyme disease app David Relman –“ Stanford University microbiologist and infectious disease clinician Erich Fleming –“ Biologist, SETI Institute O. Peter Snyder –“ Hospitality Institute of Technology and […]
          Education Round - Exercising too much, microbiome, suicide and translation        
The BMJ publishes a lot of educational articles, and in an attempt to help you with your CPD, we have put together this round-up. Our authors and editors will reflect on the key learning points in the articles we discuss, and explain how they may change their practice in light of that new understanding. In this month's round up we're...

          Ada 80 juta bakteri dalam 10 detik berciuman        
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Sebanyak 80 juta bakteri pindah tempat selama sepuluh detik Anda mencium pasangan Anda, simpul para peneliti dalam  jurnal Microbiome seperti dikutip Science Daily.

Peneliti juga menyimpulkan, pasangan yang lagi berbalas ciuman paling sedikit sembilan kali sehari, akan saling berbagi komunitas bakteri mulut yang sama.

Ekosistem lebih dari 100 triliun mikroorganisme dalam tubuh kita -mikrobiome-- berperan penting dalam mencerna makanan, mensintesa nutrien, dan mencegah penyakit.

Mikroorganisme ini dibentuk oleh genetika, pola makan dan umur, tetapi juga oleh dengan siapa manusia berinteraksi (berciuman).

Mengingat mulut menjadi pintu masuk bagi lebih dari 700 varietas bakteri, maka mikrobiota mulut menjadi dipengaruhi oleh orang terdekat kita.

Para peneliti dari Micropia dan TNO di Belanda meneliti 21 pasangan dengan meminta mereka mengisi kuisoner mengenai prilaku cium mereka termasuk frekuensi ciuman intim masing-masing.

Para peneliti kemudian menyeka sampel-sampel untuk meneliti komposisi mikrobiota mulut para pasangan tersebut di lidah dan liur mereka.

Hasilnya menunjukkan, manakala para pasangan itu mencium dengan intim dalam frekuensi relatif tinggi, maka mikrobiota liur mereka menjadi serupa.

Rata-rata ditemukan paling tidak sembilan ciuman intim per hari yang membuat para pasangan berbagi secara signifikan mikrobiota liur yang serupa satu sama lain.

"Ciuman intim melibatkan kontak lidah secara penuh dan pertukaran liur menjadi prilaku unik manusia dan ini umum dilakukan oleh 90 persen kebudayaan yang ada," kata kepala penelitian ini, Remco Kort dari jurusan Mikrobiologi dan Biologi Sistem di TNO, Belanda, yang juga penasehat pada museum mikroba Micropia.

"Yang menarik, penjelasan yang saat ini ada mengenai fungsi ciuman intim pada manusia berperan penting bagi mikrobiota yang ada di rongga mulut, kendati menurut pengetahuan kita, pengaruh pasti ciuman intim terhadap mikrobiota mulut tak pernah diteliti."

"Kami ingin menemukan batas di mana para pasangan berbagi mikrobiota mulut mereka, dan ternyata, semakin sering pasangan berciuman, maka semakin serupa mikrobiota mulut mereka," kata Kort.

Pada eksperimen ciuman terkendali untuk mengkuantifikasi perpindahan bakteri, anggota setiap pasangan diberi minuman probiotik yang mengandung varitas-varitas khusus bakteri termasuk Lactobasilus dan Bifidobacteria.

Setelah ciuman intim, para peneliti mendapati fakta bahwa kuantitas bakteri probiotik pada liur penerima meningkat tiga kali lipa atau total 80 juta bakteri berpindah selama 10 detik ciuman.

Penelitian ini juga menggarisbawahi  peran penting mekanisme lain dalam menyaring mikrobiota mulut yang dihasilkan dari gaya hidup, pola makan dan cara merawat tubuh yang sama antar pasangan, dan ini khususnya terjadi pada mikrobiota di lidah.

Para peneliti menyimpulkan kalau mikrobiota lidah lebih mirip antar pasangan ketimbang individu yang tak berkaitan, maka kemiripan itu tak berubah oleh ciuman yang lebih sering. Ini bertolak belakang dengan yang terjadi pada mikrobiota liur.

Mengomentari hasil kuisoner ciuman, para peneliti menunjuk penemuan terpisah namun menarik  bahwa 74 persen pria melakukan ciuman intim dengan frekuensi lebih tinggi dibandingkan dengan wanita pada pasangan yang sama.  Ini kira-kira sepuluh kali ciuman per hari pada pria, atau  dua kali lipat ciuman intim wanita per hari yang hanya lima kali per hari.

Untuk menghitung jumlah bakteri yang berpindah lewat sebuah ciuman, para peneliti mengandalkan nilai perpindahan rata-rata dan sejumlah asumsi yang berkaitan dengan perpindahan bakteri, permukaan kontak ciuman dan nilai  rata-rata volume air liur, demikian Science Daily.

Editor: Jafar M Sidik

COPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2014



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          Precision Public Health: Harnessing the Power of the Human Microbiome        
The discovery of antibiotics by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928 revolutionized medicine. However, antibiotics cannot differentiate between the beneficial bacteria that help keep us healthy and the pathogens that make us sick. Like a wildfire, antibiotics wipe out all bacteria. Consequently, we have been altering our microbiomes for almost a century, putting ourselves at risk for subsequent infections, most notably, infections due to antibiotic resistant pathogens and Clostridium difficile. Antibiotic resistant infections are a global crisis. Improving our knowledge of how we can prevent antibiotic resistant infections is key in the effort to save lives and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths.
          All About Wine, Part 2: The Health Benefits and Risks        

Polyphenols fight disease

Almost every positive health benefit from consuming wine is attributed to polyphenols, a class of more than 8,000 compounds produced by plants. During winemaking, fermentation, oxygen exposure, and oak barrel aging change the phenolic content of grapes, resulting in a more complex product. (1) Polyphenols are divided into flavonoids and non-flavonoids, based mostly on chemical structure. Flavonoids include compounds such as catechins, epicatechins, proanthocyanidins, condensed tannins, anthocyanins, and quercetin. The most talked about non-flavonoid is resveratrol, but this category also includes phenolic alcohols and ellagitannins. Polyphenols are good for our health for several reasons. First, as antioxidants, they reduce the burden of oxidative stress, which is at the root of many diseases. (2) Second, they neutralize free radicals, which are very unstable and damage body tissues through volatile chain reactions. (3) Furthermore, polyphenols help our guts by increasing beneficial bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Is wine healthy, or a health hazard?

Health benefits of wine consumption

Red wine contains more polyphenols than white wine (200 mg per glass vs. 30 mg per glass), as red winemaking also includes the skin of grapes. Although many health benefits have been shown for both types of wine, red wine has consistently been proven more beneficial than other types of alcohol. Antioxidant/anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of wine consumption, not just of individual polyphenols, are probably at the root of red wine’s health benefits. Red wine consumption significantly increased total plasma antioxidant status in both younger and older people in a two-week crossover study. (4) Two glasses of red wine every day for a week improved participants’ antioxidant enzyme expression and activity in blood. (5) In healthy women, red wine decreased the levels of several inflammatory markers and cellular adhesion molecules in another crossover study. (6) Cardiovascular disease. Red wine was hypothesized as one reason for the “French Paradox,” (7) the supposed “contradiction” of lower cardiovascular disease in France despite higher saturated fat intake. (Read more about the diet–heart myth here). But it seems that drinking red wine does have heart benefits. Red wine has been shown to both raise HDL “good” cholesterol (8, 9) and reduce oxidized LDL “bad” cholesterol. (10, 11, 12) In addition, moderate red wine drinkers had lower blood pressure, although other studies have reported the opposite. (13) After consuming Sicilian red wine for four weeks, inflammatory biomarkers of atherosclerosis were lowered. (14) In a large prospective study, red wine drinkers had significantly lower mortality from coronary heart disease than non-wine drinkers. (15) Cognitive/brain. The brain consumes 15 to 20 percent of the body’s oxygen, despite its relatively small size, which makes it highly susceptible to oxidative stress. (16) Several studies have shown that moderate wine consumption, with its antioxidant properties, can have positive effects on brain health. In a seven-year follow-up study, moderate wine drinkers performed better than people who consumed other types of alcohol on cognitive tests. (17) In women, alcohol abstainers actually scored lower on the tests than wine consumers! Brain function declined more quickly in nondrinkers than in moderate drinkers, from a review of studies spanning 19 countries. (18) Prospective studies demonstrate lower risks of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease in those who drink red wine regularly. (19, 20, 21, 22, 23) Gut/microbiome. I have written before about the prebiotic effects of polyphenols, which extend to wine. Two glasses of red wine per day increased levels of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus, compared to gin consumption, which showed no benefits. (24) Bacteroides, another beneficial gut bacteria, were positively associated with red wine consumption. (25) Natural wines that aren’t aggressively filtered or fermented with commercial yeast strains contain their own probiotics similar to what you find in fermented vegetables and dairy products. Cancer. Individually, polyphenols found in wine like resveratrol and anthocyanin demonstrate anticancer activity by inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and inducing cancer cell death. (26, 27, 28) Polyphenol-rich wine may offer similar anticancer benefits. Compared to non-wine drinkers, those who regularly consumed moderate amounts of wine had lower overall cancer mortality. (29) In contrast to beer and liquor drinkers, wine consumers had a 40 percent lower risk for both esophageal and gastric cancers, hinting again that there is something special about wine among alcoholic beverages. (30) Mortality rate. Wine consumption is linked to overall lower mortality. A large study of nearly 25,000 people from 20 to 98 years old found that those who consumed moderate amounts of wine had lower all-cause mortality compared to non-drinkers. (31) The Copenhagen City Heart Study from Denmark followed more than 13,000 adults for 11 years and found that those who drank three to five glasses of wine per day had a lower risk of dying than both spirit drinkers and alcohol abstainers. (32) Massive numbers of prospective studies and even some clinical trials demonstrate that moderate wine consumption, especially red wine, has many health benefits, which extend even beyond this list. Wine consumption has also been linked to lower stroke risk, (33) lower risk of type 2 diabetes, (34) and lower incidence of bone fracture in the elderly. (35)

Health risks of wine consumption

Now for the bad news. Red wine isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Ethanol is a poison and poses some serious health risks. Glutathione depletion. If you have been following my work for some time, you will know that glutathione is crucial for the detoxification of many harmful substances. Because it is required for detoxing ethanol, alcohol consumption can deplete glutathione, making our bodies more susceptible to toxic substances and disease. (36, 37) Liver damage. When the liver detoxes ethanol, it is first broken down into acetaldehyde, an even more harmful poison that can stick around if your detox capacity is impaired. If you drink too much, your liver (and other body organs) will suffer. Fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and, after long-term heavy drinking, cirrhosis are all downstream effects of chronic alcohol use. (38) Addiction. Not everyone who drinks will develop a bad habit, but alcohol can be very addictive. Although less addicting that nicotine and crystal meth, alcohol is more addicting than heroin, amphetamine, cocaine, and caffeine. Depression. Moderate drinking is linked to lower incidence of depression, but heavy drinking increases the risk. (39, 40) Substance abuse in general is correlated with mental health problems. (41) Gut disruption. Ethanol can further the symptoms of leaky gut. Alcohol damages the gut and causes changes in the gut microbiome, increasing the absorption of pro-inflammatory endotoxins. (42) The polyphenols in red wine may help to offset some of the pro-inflammatory effects imparted by alcohol. Residual sugar (which fortunately is found only in very, very low doses in biodynamic, natural wines) is detrimental to gut health. Sugar can feed unhealthy microbes and other pathogens, leading to gut dysbiosis. (43) Breast cancer. Earlier I laid out the evidence for lower cancer incidence in those who drank red wine regularly. However, even at low levels of consumption, alcohol consumption may increase the risk of breast cancer in a dose-dependent manner. (44) Myriad other health risks are attributed to or related to alcohol consumption. For example, although drinking alcohol can increase HDL, the so-called “good cholesterol,” it simultaneously increases triglyceride levels, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. (45)

Who should avoid alcohol

Now let’s return to the question from the beginning of the article. Is wine healthy, or a health hazard? The answer, I believe, is highly individual and depends on a variety of factors. Alcohol in general, including red wine, may not be a good choice for some people. Genetics can play a huge role. Alcoholism is a serious illness with a strong genetic component. (46) If there is a history of alcohol abuse in your family, avoiding alcohol altogether is probably the most prudent choice. Those with certain genetic polymorphisms in alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases, common in people with East Asian ancestry, may also want to avoid alcohol. These variants put them at higher risks of cancer, liver damage, and more because of their inability to detox aldehyde proficiently. (47) Sulfur-sensitive people, who are estimated to include 1 percent of the population, (48) shouldn’t drink wine due to the sulfites contained either naturally or added. One thing to keep in mind is that dried fruits often have much higher levels of sulfites than wine. So, if you tolerate dried fruit well but have trouble after drinking wine, it might not be due to the sulfites. Those who take any medications, prescription or not, should be cautious about any potential interactions with alcohol. Some medications can enhance the effects of alcohol, some can cause extreme drowsiness when combined with alcohol, and others can interfere with or change a medication’s effectiveness. This might be a no-brainer, but alcohol should be avoided when trying to conceive or while pregnant. Some evidence shows that alcohol can negatively impact fertility, especially for males. (49) The CDC states that no safe level of alcohol exists for pregnant women. Although traditionally, French women still drink lightly during pregnancy, and some research has suggested that light drinking may not be problematic for the fetus, (50) I would play it safe here. A baby’s body metabolizes alcohol much more slowly than does an adult’s. If you suffer from asthma, have a blood disorder, or have liver or detoxification issues, avoiding all alcohol is probably the best choice.

How to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks

If you aren’t a wine drinker, I see no real reason to start. Instead, eat a variety of rich-colored fruits and vegetables to get a wide mixture of polyphenols. Try to include other fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kefir, into your diet. Cooking with red wine is also an option. The alcohol will evaporate, but beneficial polyphenols will remain to an extent. If you are a wine drinker, try taking it out of your diet for 30 days. Then, add back in natural, organic wine, at moderate levels to see how you feel. If your sleep and mood are unaffected, then moderate wine consumption is probably doing you more good than harm, in terms of health benefits and enjoyment. Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you think red wine has legitimate health benefits? Will you change the way you enjoy wine after this article? Let us know in the comments!
          Environmental Toxins: Steps for Decreasing Exposure and Increasing Detoxification        

environmental toxins

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about the hundreds of environmental toxins found in our bodies—in our blood and urine and in the umbilical cords of newborns. I covered how low doses of toxins can be harmful over time, how sometimes low doses can act differently in the body than high doses, and how we all have varying responses to toxins depending on genetics, gut health, detox capacity, and more. In the near future, hopefully we will be able to run a battery of tests that quickly determine individual susceptibility to mercury and other toxins. Based on those results, we could make customized diet and lifestyle recommendations. But in the meantime, we can all take four key steps to protect ourselves. This article will provide resources to guide you through decreasing your exposure to toxins and increasing your detoxification capacity.
4 steps to help protect yourself from environmental toxins

Step 1: Reduce exposure to toxins

You have a lot of control over what you are exposed to in the home, from cleaning products and personal care products to food storage. If you are using popular conventional products, the idea of changing them all according to recommendations below can be very overwhelming at first. I recommend starting with either what you believe will make the biggest difference or with what is the easiest change to make and then taking small steps from there. Cosmetic and personal care products What is applied to the skin may be more important than what we ingest. The gut is pretty good at blocking toxin absorption when it’s working properly. Through the skin, however, toxins can readily reach the bloodstream. Many common products we use daily are linked to allergies, endocrine disruption, and cancer, yet they continue to be sold and used by millions. Being cautious and particular about what products we buy and use is especially important for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. The Environmental Working Group provides a fantastic resource called Skin Deep, which critically evaluates specific products and brands and rates them on a safety concern scale from 1–10. Below are some examples of harmful ingredients that should be avoided:
  • Triclocarban and triclosan in soaps and toothpaste
  • Aluminum in deodorants/antiperspirants—I recommend Native Deodorant. It’s aluminium-free and contains only natural ingredients. This is what my wife and I both use now, and we love it.
  • Phthalates, parabens, and retinoids in moisturizers
  • Boric acid and BHA in diaper cream
  • PEGs, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and siloxanes in makeup/cosmetics
  • Formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in nail polish
  • Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate in chemical-based sunscreens
If you are adventurous, Wellness Mama provides some great recipes for homemade foaming hand soap, body wash, deodorant, lotion, and even makeup. Essential oils are often suggested for homemade products, but they can be powerful and should be used with high discretion. Home cleaning products We think cleaning our homes contributes to good health, but many conventional home cleaning products contain carcinogens, irritate the respiratory system, and contribute to allergies. This large category includes air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, laundry products, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, floor care, furniture cleaner, and all-purpose cleaning products. According to an EWG assessment of more than 2,000 products, half didn’t adequately disclose ingredients, 75 percent contained ingredients that have worrisome respiratory health effects, and 25 percent scored moderate to high concern because ingredients or impurities in the products were linked to cancer. The EWG published a free guide to healthy cleaning products, using a rating system of A through F. Another option to consider is making your own home products. Most are easy to make and can often end up being cheaper than store-bought options. Mark Sisson provides a great guide to homemade natural cleaners, and Wellness Mama has several helpful posts on how to make your own or purchase safe products. Toxins in food Toxins are in our food, too—whether purposely added or contaminated through processing and packaging. The biggest offenders are discussed below. Pesticides. For avoiding pesticides and herbicides, organic, locally grown produce is the safest bet. The EWG publishes lists for the vegetables and fruits that have the highest pesticide levels, called the “Dirty Dozen,” and for those with the lowest levels, called the “Clean Fifteen.” Antibiotics. Organic meat and grass-fed red meat trump conventional meats nutrition-wise, and they are free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Heavy metals. While I believe concerns about mercury in fish are mostly misguided, I do recommend avoiding varieties such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel because they can contain far more mercury than selenium. Arsenic in rice (and products made with rice flour) is also a concern. I advise that adults limit rice intake to a few servings a week and that pregnant women and children under the age of two avoid rice altogether. Food additives. The EWG published a guide on the Dirty Dozen food additives and how to avoid them. The number one best way to stay clear of food additives is to avoid processed food completely. BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals You would almost have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the dangers of bisphenol A, or BPA. I have written about the toxic effects of BPA here, here, and here. But BPA isn’t the only endocrine disruptor lurking in everyday plastics. The EWG provides a list of the twelve worst endocrine disruptors. Even BPA-free plastics can contain other bisphenols that may be just as hazardous (1). Below are ten tips for avoiding BPA and other endocrine disruptors:
  • Use stainless steel, glass, or aluminum for water bottles and food storage
  • Use parchment paper, beeswax, or recycled aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap
  • Avoid canned food products, as they are often lined with BPA or its relatives
  • Brew coffee in a glass French press instead of a percolator
  • Eat at home with fresh food ingredients, as studies show that people who do have lower levels of BPA (2)
  • Keep plastic out of the dishwasher, freezer, and microwaves, because hot and cold temperatures can release more phthalates
  • Do not drink canned soda or seltzer, because aluminum cans are often lined with BPA
  • Skip the receipt, which often contains BPA
  • Choose wood or cloth toys over plastic toys for kids
  • Talk to your dentist about sealants and composites, which often contain BPA
Drinking water The United States does have one of the safest drinking water systems in the world, but contamination still does occur. The EWG has identified 316 contaminants in the public water supply, 202 of which are unregulated. Infants, young people, pregnant women, the elderly, and people whose immune systems are compromised are disproportionately affected by contaminated water. Some of the toxins of concern include:
  • Pathogens (bacteria, parasites, viruses)
  • Heavy metals (copper and lead)
  • Nitrate (from chemical fertilizers and smoke)
  • Radon (radioactive gas)
Ensuring access to clean water is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your toxin exposure. Both the EWG and NSF have guides for choosing a water filter. Water filter types vary, from containers that sit on the counter to tanks under the sink to whole-house filtration systems. Indoor air A major source of indoor air pollution stems from water damage. The Federal Facilities Council estimated that 43 percent of current homes have water damage, while up to 85 percent have had past water damage (3). Once water damage occurs, mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours. Bacteria, actinomycetes, endotoxins, and microbial volatile organic compounds are also of concern. Air filters and air purifiers/sanitizers are two ways to improve the quality of indoor air. I shared some of my recommendations on choosing these systems in a previous post. A HEPA or charcoal filter will remove ultrafine particles like  , dust, and viruses from the air, while an air sanitizer will remove allergens, odors, and germs, as well as mold.

Step 2: Eat a nutrient-dense diet

The rise of processed, refined food paired with unprecedented toxin exposure is taking a toll on our bodies. In the first article of my series “9 Steps to Perfect Health,” I discussed the dangers of four toxins humans are now ingesting as food, sometimes as the bulk of their diets. These four “foods” can disrupt the gut, disturb endocrine function, increase inflammation, and ultimately lead to a laundry list of chronic diseases:
  • Cereal grains (especially refined flours)
  • Omega-6 industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.)
  • Refined sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Processed soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)
In contrast, a Paleo diet will naturally support detoxification and health. Instead of focusing on macronutrients, put the focus on real, nutrient-dense whole foods. A Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, reduces stress on the body, and provides important micronutrients that are required for detoxification, including but not limited to:
  • B vitamins – B6, B12, folate, niacin, riboflavin, biotin (dark leafy greens, fish)
  • Zinc (seafood, beef)
  • Magnesium (dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds)
  • Choline (liver, eggs)
  • Glycine (bone broth, cartilage)
  • Plant polyphenols (fruits and vegetables)

Step 3: Improve your gut health

As I mentioned earlier, the gut is terrific at removing ingested toxins (4, 5, 6), but only if it is working properly. Antibiotics, birth control, diets high in refined carbohydrates and industrial seed oils, chronic stress, and chronic infections all directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora. I have written extensively about the gut’s connection to the skin, heart, thyroid, brain, and more. Healing and maintaining your gut microbiome is vital to overall health. Including the following in your diet will help promote gut health:
  • Probiotics or fermented foods. Sauerkraut, beet kvass, and kimchi are a few examples. Probiotic supplements are also available, but they will not have the same diversity as eating a variety of naturally fermented foods will.
  • Prebiotics are even better than probiotics at promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria (7). Fruits and vegetables high in soluble fiber like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and avocados are prebiotic. Prebiogen is my preferred prebiotic supplement.
  • Resistant starch. Cooked and cooled potatoes, if you tolerate them, provide resistant starch. More concentrated doses can be obtained from potato starch.
Avoiding antibiotics unless absolutely necessary will keep your gut microbiome robust, but if you must treat with antibiotics, read my guide on how to mitigate the damage.

Step 4: Improve your detox capacity

Detoxification happens mostly in the liver, through three phases (8, 9). Phase 1 begins to process the toxin, often creating free radicals and other more harmful substances. In Phase 2, products are further broken down into water-soluble compounds. Phase 3 moves remaining products out of the cells to be excreted. The three detox phases involve a complicated network of biochemical reactions, which are assisted by dozens of cofactors, enzymes, and more. Although an intricate process, there are several ways to improve and support your detoxification capacity. Support methylation Methylation is one of the conjugation reactions in Phase 2. Methylation requires B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, choline, glycine, betaine, and methionine to function properly, along with methylation adaptogens found in certain fruits and vegetables. As I mentioned in a previous section, those on a Paleo diet who eat a wide variety of foods are probably getting adequate levels of these nutrients, but not always. If you have heavy metal toxicity or chronic infections, impaired methylation might be an underlying cause. To test for methylation status, the Methylation Pathways Panel from Health Diagnostics and Research Institute or the Methylation Panel from Doctor’s Data are both viable options to get an idea of where methylation might need support. You might have heard of methylation in the context of MTHFR gene mutations. The MTHFR gene codes for an enzyme that adds a methyl group to folic acid, converting it to the more usable form, folate. A current trend is for people to identify their MTHFR gene mutations through a DNA kit from 23andme and then supplement based on the results. Although a surprisingly high percentage of people do have a MTHFR gene mutation, supplementation based on this alone isn’t the way to go. Some with mutations will have very good methylation status, while others might not. Furthermore, MTHFR isn’t the only enzyme involved in methylation. Therefore, I highly recommend working with a functional medicine practitioner to get the whole picture through methylation panels and more before supplementing. Many health problems are associated with overmethylation, including cancer, autoimmune disease, and allergies (10, 11, 12). Methylation is also required to produce glutathione, which is a major molecule in the detoxification cycle and an important antioxidant (13). Many nutrient-dense foods provide glutathione precursors, but in particular, whey from raw dairy or whey protein is a good source. Those with autoimmune diseases likely have glutathione deficiency. One way to test for this would be a urine organic acids panel from Genova or Metametrix, which identifies the levels of byproducts of reactions involved in glutathione regulation. Supplement To support overall liver function, the supplement I most often suggest is Pure Encapsulations DIM Detox. This supplement contains:
  • DIM, or diindolylmethane, which promotes healthy estrogen metabolism and cell cycle activity
  • Calcium D-glucarate, which promotes healthy hormone detox
  • Milk thistle extract, which supports phase 2 detox and helps metabolize estrogen (14)
  • Alpha-lipoic acid and N-acetylcysteine, which support phase 2 detox
  • Taurine, glycine, and methionine, which are amino acids that support phase 2 detox and healthy cell metabolism
Sweat Toxins that the liver and kidneys cannot properly detox can sometimes be expelled through sweating. This is a bit of a controversial topic, but there is evidence of heavy metals, BPA, and flame retardants found in sweat (15, 16, 17). Work up a sweat during regular exercise, or frequent a sauna. Mark Sisson has laid out the many benefits of saunas beyond boosting detox. Proper hydration is especially important for exercise or sauna use, but it is vital for everyone, since we release toxins through urine. I don’t like to provide a specific number of ounces of water per day. Don’t force water, but listen to your body and look for markers of dehydration, like dark-colored or infrequent urination. Manage stress Stress management is a core aspect of a Paleo lifestyle and is something I have written about many times. Chronic stress raises cortisol levels with dire health consequences, including a weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders, and decreased detox capacity. In our ever-increasingly busy world, it’s still important to find time to wind down and relax, even if it means cutting back and saying “no” sometimes. Incorporating regular stress management practices like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or progressive relaxation can provide many benefits. Get enough sleep Almost one-third of Americans are getting six or fewer hours of sleep per night (18). Sleep deprivation increases inflammation (19) and impairs the immune system, which negatively impacts the body’s ability to detox. Research indicates that during sleep, neurotoxic waste products are eliminated from the brain, pointing to a direct role for sleep in detoxification (20). Our circadian rhythms also can help regulate liver detoxification (21). Here are some of my best tips for getting enough sleep:
  • Avoid artificial light from screens at least an hour before bed
  • Minimize all artificial light exposure in the late evening hours
  • Sleep in a dark, relatively cool room (68–70F)
  • Take a hot bath before bed
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom
I hope these four steps will help jump start your journey toward minimizing your exposure to toxins and maximizing your detox capacity. Now I want to hear from you. Which step will be most challenging for you? What changes have you already made? Let us know in the comments!  
          TWiM #153: Covert pathogenesis        

The TWiM team ventures into preprint space with an analysis of type VI secretion across human gut microbiomes, and provide insight into urinary tract infection: how bladder exposure to a member of the vaginal microbiota triggers E. coli egress from latent reservoirs.

Hosts: 

Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Michele Swanson and Elio Schaechter.

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          TWiM #143: E-scaffolds and receptor transfer        

Vincent, Michael, and Michele explain the use of an electrochemical gradient to eliminate bacterial biofilms, and how phage susceptibility can be transferred by exchange of receptor proteins.

Hosts: 

Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, and Michele Swanson.

Right click to download TWiM#143 (32 MB .mp3, 66 minutes).

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          TWiM #138: Learning to love uranium and the A-baum        

The TWiM team brings you a bacterium from a Colorado field site that grows on uranium, and copper resistance in the emerging pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.

Hosts: 

Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter, and Michele Swanson.

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This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/m​icrobe ​and use the promo code MICROBE​.

This episode is also brought to you by Drobo, a family of safe, expandable, yet simple to use storage arrays. Drobos are designed to protect your important data forever. Visit www.drobo.com to learn more. Listeners can save $100 on a Drobo system at drobostore.com by using the discount code Microbe100.

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          TWiM #135: Unruly individuals and their unruly friends        

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          TWiM #128: A moonlighting phage protein        

A eukaryote without a mitochondrion, and using a phage enzyme to eliminate intracellular bacteria are two topics discussed by the TWiMers on this episode.

Image (right): An entry in the ASM Agar Art Contest which bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the TWiM hosts.TWiV agar art

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio Schaechter, Michele Swanson, and Michael Schmidt.

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This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completel free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/m​icrobe ​and use the promo code MICROBE​.

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          TWiM #126: I’m not scared of zebrafish and mice and bears (oh my!)        

The microbiome of hibernating bears, and zebrafish as a model for bacterial sepsis feature in this animal-centric episode of TWiM hosted by Vincent, Michael, and Michele.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michele Swanson, and Michael Schmidt.

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This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest and ASM Microbe 2016

Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twim@twiv.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twim.

 


          TWiM #123: A microbial MAGE        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, and Elio Schaechter.

Guest: Harris Wang

Harris joins Vincent, Elio, and Michael to describe multiplex automated genome engineering, a method for targeting many modifications in a population of bacterial cells.

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This episode is sponsored by Microbe Magazine Podcast and ASM Microbe 2016

Music used on TWiM is composed and performed by Ronald Jenkees and used with permission.

Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twim@twiv.tv.

 


          TWiM #122: Mayonii, microRNAs and the microbiome        

Vincent, Michele, and Michael reveal the discovery of a new species of the spirochaete that causes Lyme disease, and fecal microRNAs that shape the gut microbiome.

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Links for this episode

Identification of a novel Borrelia species causing Lyme disease (Lancet Inf Dis)

Parasite wonders with Bobbi Pritt (TWiP 75)

Reported cases of Lyme disease (CDC)

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease (CDC)

Multilocus sequence typing

Borrelia MLST database

American Academy of Microbiology FAQ Human microbiome

Host fecal microRNA shapes gut microbiota (Cell)

Image credit

C.U.R.E. the game

Live Tiny, Die Never - Tardigrade T-shirt

This episode is sponsored by Microbe Magazine Podcast and ASM Microbe 2016

Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twim@twiv.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twim.

 


          TWiM #114: Milestones in Blue        

Vincent, Elio, and Michele meet with Harry Mobley, Mary O’Riordan, and Vince Young at the University of Michigan, during the designation of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as a Milestones in Microbiology site. They discuss how the laboratory has advanced the science and teaching of microbiology, and discuss faculty work on uropathogenic E. coli, induction of stress by bacterial infection, and the gut microbiome.

Visit microbeworld.org/twim for more including the special video version of this episode.


          TWiM #110: Exploring unseen life with unpronounceable words        

The TWiM team focuses on the gut microbiome, from a single member, Akkermansia muciniphila, to the effect of antibiotics on its composition and colonization resistance against C. difficile.

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Links for this episode 

Agar art contest

Akkermansia muciniphilia and obesity (Gut)

A. muciniphilia genome (Biol Direct)

Alterations of gut microbiota and C. difficile colonization (mBio)

Science Delivered

Girls Who Code

F.E.M.M.E.S.

Association for Women in Science

UMich Host-Microbiome Initiative

UMich anaerobic chamber room (png)


          TWiM #109: Precision killing        

The TWiM cohort discusses the use of antimicrobial peptides to target specific bacteria in the microbiome, and how the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia selectively kills male hosts.

 

Links for this episode:

 

Image: Transmission electron micrograph of Wolbachia within an insect cell.

By: Scott O'Neill - Genome Sequence of the Intracellular Bacterium Wolbachia. PLoS Biol 2/3/2004: e76.


          TWiM #107: The battle in your bladder        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Michael Schmidt.

Vincent and Michael discuss the highly diverse microbiome of uncontacted Amerindians, and how the composition of human urine plays a role in the battle for iron.

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Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twim@twiv.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twim.


          TWiM #96: A lean, mean sequencing machine        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello.

Special guest: Rob Knight

Vincent meets up with Rob Knight to talk about the technology that has fueled his drive to sequence the Earth and its inhabitants.

Check out the Microbeworld app.

Links for this episode

Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twim@twiv.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twim.


          TWiM #71: Colon cancer’s little shop of horrors        

Vincent, Michael, and Michele explain how the gut microbiome modulates colon tumorigenesis, and regulation of intestinal macrophage function by the microbial metabolite butyrate.


          TWiM #63: Superantigens, S. aureus, and the armpit microbiome        

Vincent, Michael, and Michelle discuss how a Staphylococcus aureus superantigen is critical for pathogenesis in a rabbit model, and the relationship of body odor to the axilla microbiome.


          TWiM #58: The brain microbiome?        

Vincent, Elio and Michael review how underground mycelial networks carry signals that warn neighboring plants of aphid attack, and the presence of bacteria in the human brain.



          TWiM #57: Updating the human gut microbiome to degrade seaweed        

Vincent, Elio and Michael discuss fungi that use pheromones to trap nematodes, and how genes obtained from marine bacteria help gut bacteria degrade algal carbohydrates. 


          TWiM #54: Dueling injectors and the microgenderome        

Vincent, Elio, and Michael review how sex-dependent differences in the mouse microbiome regulate type I diabetes, and counterattack among bacteria.


          TWiM #49: Grape-like Clusters        

Vincent, Michael, and Elio discuss the HIV co-receptor CCR5 as a receptor for S. aureus leukotoxin ED, and the vineyard yeast microbiome.



          TWiM 31: Screen door on a submarine        

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Jo Handelsman, and Michael Schmidt

Vincent, Jo, and Michael discuss an archetypal protein transport system in bacterial outer membranes, and evidence that gut microbial enterotypes might not fall into defined groups.

Links for this episode:


          TWiM #30: Unraveling melioidosis and insulin resistance        

On episode #30 of the podcast, Vincent, Elio, and Michael review how a toxin from Burkholderia pseudomallei inhibits protein synthesis, and the role of the gut microbiome in modulating insulin resistance in mice lacking an innate immune sensor.


          TWiM #19: Your microbiome is what you eat        

Vincent, Michael, Elio, and Jo discuss the genome sequence of Y. pestis from victims of the Black Death, and the effect of diet on gut microbial enterotypes.


          TWiM #2: The plague, microbial virulence and the gut microbiome        

Vincent, Cliff, and Michael review a fatal laboratory acquired Yersinia pestis infection, and how gut bacteria control body weight and metabolic activity.


          Your Own Personal Microbes        
The new issue of THE ECONOMIST includes an article that just blew me away.  It's about the latest research on all the microbes that live in your gut.  
Your body harbors 100 trillion bacteria, ten times the number of cells you grew from your DNA, containing 3 million genes.  And they are yours: Humans differ vastly, it turns out, in the composition of this microbiome.  Some people have more of one kinds of microbes, other people have more of other kinds.  This has vast implications for health, most of which are just beginning to be explored.  Some findings so far:

Overweight people have more Firmicutes and fewer Bacteroidetes than thin people.  The later suppress the making of a hormone that facilitates fat storage, which is part of why Sally can eat a pint of Haagen-Dasz and not gain an ounce and Molly puts on three pounds looking at a picture of one M&M.  

Twin studies carried out by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis show that even on the exact same diet, one twin can develop malnutrition and the other not, depending on their individual gut bacteria.

Formic acid produced by gut bacteria can contribute to heart disease, because formic acid signals to the kidneys how much salt to absorb back into the body or to excrete with urine.  Too much salt can damage arteries.

Scientists are also investigating possible links between gut bacteria and diabetes type 2, MS, and even autism.

Most amazing to me is the case of C. difficile, a bug that causes severe diarrhea, killing about 14,000 Americans each year.  Many strains have evolved resistance to even last-ditch antibiotics like vancomycin and metronidazole.    Worse, when these are tried, they kill off most of the patient's gut microbiome.  But at the Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, doctors have come up with a successful--if gross--way to combat resistant C. difficile.  They give patients enemas with feces from healthy adults.  The new bacteria take over the gut and kill off the infection.

I have written stories about the evolution of disease microbes (including "Evolution," in my mini-collection THE BODY HUMAN, from Phoenix Pick).  The bacteria have an advantage in the medical arms race: They can evolve a new generation every twenty minutes, swapping plasmids to beef up each other's resistance to our drugs.  But we have brains on our side.  Despite the recent terrible onslaught of hospital-bred infections at NIH, there is lots of room for hope.  This excellent article illustrates why.
          PhD Student in Systems Biology: Complementary feeding to nourish the microbiome that supports immune health- Palmerston North, New Zealand.        
The Organisation AgResearch is the Crown Research Institute tasked with delivering cutting-edge agricultural science and innovation to benefit the wider New Zealand economy. Our internationally-recognised
          Transforming irritable bowel management        

A national, large-scale research project looking at gastrointestinal disease has been awarded $12.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Stephen Vanner, clinician-scientist at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and a professor at Queen’s University, will co-lead studies on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


The IMAGINE (Inflammation, Microbiome, and Alimentation: Gastro-Intestinal and Neuropsychiatric Effects) Network , a new addition to  the CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research program,  will  study the relationships between diet, gut bacteria and IBS and IBD. It will also study the links between irritable bowel conditions and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, which often occur with these gastrointestinal diseases.


More than six million Canadians suffer from IBS and can occur at any age. IBD typically first presents in teenagers and young adults but then lasts life long as there is no known cure. Individual drug treatments for IBD can cost $25,000 a year.


“We want to transform the management of these diseases,” says Dr. Vanner, Director of the Gastrointestinal Research Unit at KGH. “The premise is that food and gut bacteria interact to cause symptoms of IBS and IBD. Our goal is to understand these interactions and find treatments by altering one or both of these factors, and improve patients’ lives.”


Composed of 88 researchers at 17 centres, the network will assemble 6,000 patients and 2,000 healthy subjects across Canada, making it the largest-ever study group for gastrointestinal disease in Canada. The aim is to develop new treatments, from dietary changes and probiotics to fecal transplants,   antibiotics and other therapies that improve both physical and mental health of IBD and IBS sufferers.


“One of the challenges in this research area is that studies tend to be limited to fewer than 50 patients, making it very difficult to establish links or find causes,” says Dr. Vanner, who is the co-lead with Dr. Premek Bercik at McMaster University. “This project will give us the large population we need to reach reliable conclusions.”


Dr. Vanner and Dr. Bercik will also study the effects a diet low in some types of carbohydrates could have on IBS.


The lead researchers in the IMAGINE Network are Dr. Paul Moayyedi of McMaster University and Dr. Bertus Eksteen of University of Calgary.


Visit the CIHR website for more information.


Thursday March 31, 2016


          Comment on Dr. Robynne Chutkan: Rewilding Your Microbiome, How to Recover from Antibiotics, & High Octane Poop by Jamie Gentry        
I am so fascinated by this. Thank you for sharing this information. I started out my life on antibiotics, when my moms water broke in her sleep, and embarrassed she didn't tell anyone thinking she had wet the bed. A week went by and she was very sick and had an emergency C section only to find out there was no amniotic fluid and I was close to death, and so was she. We were both put on antibiotics. My entire adult life has been spent battling rashes and gut issues. I'm happy to have some insight. So thank you very much. I will be researching this more:)
          Childhood Antibiotics Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease        
Childhood Antibiotics Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease


September 24, 2012 — Children who received antianaerobic antibiotics in the first year of life had a 5.5-fold increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared with those who were never exposed, according to a retrospective cohort study of more than 1 million children.
Matthew P. Kronman, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues presented their findings in an article published online September 24 in Pediatrics.
"We sought to examine the association between childhood antianaerobic antibiotic exposure and subsequent IBD development using a large population-based cohort, hypothesizing that exposure to antibiotics with anaerobic activity would be associated with the development of IBD," the authors write.
They analyzed data from 464 ambulatory practices in the United Kingdom that were participants in the Health Improvement Network. All children with at least 2 years of data from 1994 to 2009 were followed up between practice enrollment and IBD development, practice deregistration, 19 years of age, or death. The investigators excluded children with previous IBD.
A total of 1,072,426 patients provided 6.6 million person-years of follow-up. Of those patients, 748 (0.07%) developed IBD, for an overall incidence rate of 1.2/10,000 person-years. Of the 225,100 patients followed from birth, only 30 developed IBD, so meaningful analyses were not possible in this subgroup.
Among the 748 children who developed IBD, the median latency period between the first healthcare visit with a gastrointestinal diagnosis suspicious for IBD and the first IBD diagnosis was 3.9 months (interquartile range [IQR], 0.5 - 17.9 months), and 68.2% had latencies of 1 year or less. Fewer than 25% of the other children had diagnoses consistent with possible IBD within 5 years before censorship.
Exposure to Antibiotics
More than half (57.7%) of the patients received at least 1 antianaerobic antibiotic, defined as penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, penicillin/b-lactamase inhibitor combinations, tetracyclines, clindamycin, metronidazole, cefoxitin, carbapenems, and oral vancomycin.
The patients took antianaerobic antibiotics for a median of 1 week (IQR, 0 - 2 weeks), with 42.3% receiving none, 31.9% receiving them for 1 to 2 weeks, and 25.8% receiving them for more than 2 weeks.
In both the unexposed and exposed groups, 0.07% of children developed IBD; however, the IBD incidence rates were 0.83/10,000 person-years in the unexposed group and 1.52/10,000 person-years in the exposed group, for an absolute risk increase of 0.69 cases/10,000 person-years and an 84% relative risk increase.
In univariate analysis, any antianaerobic antibiotic exposure was associated with developing IBD (P < .001, log-rank test), there was a dose-response effect (P < .001, log-rank test), and this association remained significant throughout childhood.
In their multivariate analysis, the investigators adjusted for family history of IBD, gender, chronic granulomatous disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and socioeconomic deprivation. They found that exposure by 1 year of age was associated with a 5.5-fold increased IBD risk (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 5.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.66 - 18.28) compared with those never exposed, with IBD risks decreasing every 5 (aHR, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.61 - 4.25) and 15 (aHR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.35 - 1.84) years.
Each course of antianaerobic antibiotics was associated with a 6% increased IBD hazard (aHR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04 - 1.08), and each week of exposure was associated with a 1% increase in hazard (aHR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00 - 1.02).
Exposure to more than 2 courses of antianaerobic antibiotics in the first year of life had a higher association with IBD development than exposure to 1 to 2 courses, with an aHR of 4.77 (95% CI, 2.13 - 10.68) vs 3.33 (95% CI, 1.69 - 6.58).
Exposure to any antibiotic, penicillins, broad-spectrum penicillins, and cephalosporins was associated with development of IBD, but exposure to macrolide, sulfonamide, and tetracycline were not.
Exposure to metronidazole or fluoroquinolones (2 potential IBD treatments) was associated with IBD development.
"[T]hese class-specific findings remained significant after re-setting the IBD outcome at the first metronidazole or fluoroquinolone prescription in the year before IBD diagnosis, suggesting that outcome misclassification was not significantly present," the authors write. Exposure to any fluoroquinolone (aHR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.10 - 3.98]) and any metronidazole (aHR, 186.25; 95% CI, 10.86 - 3193.65) by 1 year of age.
Results were similar for the 2 IBD subgroups, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis, but they did not vary with age. The primary outcome was not changed when sensitivity analysis was conducted by assigning all missing Townsend scores first in the highest and then in the lower deprivation category.
When sensitivity analysis was conducted using a 1-year latency period, the primary outcome's precision and magnitude were altered, but not its direction: any antianaerobic antibiotic exposure in the first year of life (aHR, 3.73; 95% CI, 1.17 - 11.84), each course of antibiotics (aHR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.99 - 1.06), exposure to 1 to 2 courses of antibiotics (aHR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.07 - 4.50), and exposure to more than 2 courses of antibiotics (aHR, 4.14; 95% CI, 1.74 - 9.87).
"Our study suggests that reduction in childhood antianaerobic antibiotic use may have the potential to help curb the rising incidence of childhood IBD. Many unanswered questions remain, however, such as whether specific difficult-to-culture organisms could play roles in either IBD pathogenesis or protection against IBD, and whether alteration of flora through antibiotic exposure alters the immune system directly," the authors write.
Sonia Michail, MD, an investigator at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, California, and an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, commented on the study in an email interview with Medscape Medical News.
Dr. Michail was not surprised by the association between antibiotics and the development of IBD, but she was surprised by the strength of the association.
"This work further confirms the strong contribution of the gut microbiome towards the development of disease and suggests that perturbations of the gut microbiome at an early stage in life when the immune system is still developing may have an impact on disease incidence several years later. These findings fit well with what we now know about the effect of antimicrobial therapy on the gut microbiome," Dr. Michail said.
"This study highlights the importance of judicial use of antibiotics, especially in young infants and children at higher risk for developing [IBD] such as those with a strong family history of IBD. It adds yet another depth to the potential risk of using antimicrobial therapy in infants and children," Dr. Michail said.
Dr. Kronman received support for this study from a National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training grant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, as well as a University of Pennsylvania Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This work was also supported by a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award and was funded by the National Institutes of Health. One author has received research support from Merck and Company Inc for other projects and has served as a consultant for Pfizer Inc, HemoCue Inc, Merck and Company Inc, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and Astellas Pharma US Inc. He has also received a lecture honorarium from Merck and Company Inc. Another author previously received research support from Sage Pharmaceuticals Inc for other projects. The remaining authors and Dr. Michail have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Pediatrics. Published online September 24, 2012. Abstract
 

           Polyphasic characterisation of the human oral microbiome         
Haghegh, AY 2015, Polyphasic characterisation of the human oral microbiome , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.
          Common emulsifiers can cause cancer in mice        
It's interesting--I get headaches from stuff like gellan gum and carrageenan, and apparently emulsifiers in common processed foods cause cancer in mice, via altering the microbiome. It's also associated with ulcerative colitis and other inflammation--

The microbiota is also a key factor in driving Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is known to promote colon tumorigenesis and gave rise to the term "colitis-associated cancer." Low-grade inflammation, a condition more prevalent than IBD, was shown to be associated with altered gut microbiota composition and metabolic disease and is observed in many cases of colorectal cancer. These recent findings suggest dietary emulsifiers might be partially responsible for this association.



read more here
          Comment on The Best Probiotics: Understanding the Microbiome by Alex Swanson        
Hi Anne, Yes, I think that for most people, they can use VSL#3 in the beginning for the first month or two and then switch to a less potent probiotic for maintenance depending on their health issues. For Garden of Life's Raw Probiotics, I would prefer that they just make it a probiotic and enzyme blend. I'm not sure where the vitamins and minerals are coming from, but if it is like their other product, it is from yeast fed USP-vitamins in a broth. Repair starts with the basics of good foundational diet and throwing anything away that makes you deviate, healthy sleep, exercise and completely turning off of work for some enjoyment. If your husband has reached that point with his health, it is not worth the consequences if he continues down that road.
          Comment on The Best Probiotics: Understanding the Microbiome by Anne        
My husband and I are both taking probiotics: I am taking Garden of Life's Raw Probiotics for women (refrigerated), and he is taking Garden of Life's Raw Probiotics for men (refrigerated). How do you feel about the quality of these? I am considering switching us to VSL#3. However, that could be quite pricey in the long run. I have also considered, using VSL#3 for a month or two and then switching to Bio-Kult's probiotic and/or Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Fitbiotic (as we are trying to lose some unhealthy weight too). My husband has a high stress job, frequent headaches, fatigue, low T, has put on weight, discouraged, and has other mental stressors. He believes sugar to be headache trigger, but still eats it from time to time. I think to start with, we have some repair work to do. What is your recommendation? Is there a benefit to switching probiotics in this manner?
          Mother Dirt Product Review        
  As a huge advocate of restoring the microbiome, I was thrilled to try Mother Dirt skin products! Mother Dirt products restore and maintain good bacteria on the skin. In our culture, we are very big on sanitizing and cleanliness. However, there are beneficial bacteria in dirt that help to maintain the health of our skin! I […]
          5 Interesting Facts About the Human Microbiome        
The human microbiome is fascinating! There has been a HUGE paradigm switch over the past couple of years, as we are beginning to realize just how important our diverse colonies of microbes are for our body. We went from fearing ALL bacteria, to realizing how much we need it to thrive and survive.   Here are […]
          Longevity, Epigenetics, Microbiome Health & The Difference Between Eating for Long-Term Wellness Versus Performance        
“We’re actually on the verge of serious antibiotic resistance cropping up, and that is scary. It’s absolutely terrifying.” Rhonda Patrick...


          Live Dirty, Eat Clean: Robynne Chutkan, MD on Everything Microbiome        
“There is no question that the number one food to eat to grow a good gut garden is plant fiber,...


          Microbiome: The Next Big Biotech Bubble?        

The Microbiome/Microbiota R&D Business Collaboration Forum kicked off in San Diego in October bringing together over 100 scientists and business executives from all over the globe.  This was a first-in-class research-business hybrid conference, stimulated in ...

The post Microbiome: The Next Big Biotech Bubble? appeared first on San Diego Biotechnology Network.


          The Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses        

Image courtesy of Bard Medical Division. ​The human microbiome is a collection of organisms living on the skin and in our GI and reproductive tracts. Nurses know these “germs” are there, and traditionally we have regarded them as potentially dangerous. We try to eliminate as many as possible when we disinfect skin before [...]

The post The Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses appeared first on Off the Charts.


          uBiome Grant Will Enable UCSF Scientist to Explore ‘Spit Test’ to Predict Blood Infections in Young Bone Marrow Transplant Patients        

UCSF scientist, Dr. Jeremy Horst, has received a grant from microbial genomics leader, uBiome, that will support an ambitious research project investigating the use of the oral microbiome as a predictive diagnostic for blood infections in pediatric bone marrow transplant patients.

(PRWeb August 08, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/08/prweb14568771.htm


          uBiome and Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine to Study Pathogen Transmission in Geriatric Communities        

uBiome, the world’s leading microbial genomics company, has awarded its latest Microbiome Impact Grant to Dr. Julia Oh, a visionary researcher at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, who will study the skin’s role in transmitting pathogens in geriatric communities.

(PRWeb July 12, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/07/prweb14485289.htm


          uBiome Publishes Peer-Reviewed Scientific Paper in PLOS ONE on First Version of Technology for Gut Health Screening Test        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has published a paper describing a novel sequencing-based clinical microbiome assay, which accurately identifies the presence and abundance of 28 health-critical microorganisms in the human gut. The paper appears in the latest issue of leading open-access journal PLOS ONE.

(PRWeb May 04, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/05/prweb14305467.htm


          Study on How Marital Stress May Affect the Gut Microbiome with uBiome Microbiome Impact Grant        

uBiome, the world leader in microbial genomics, has awarded another in its series of Microbiome Impact Awards to Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Director of The Ohio State Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, for a novel study that will explore the connection between the gut microbiome and stress and depression in marital relationships.

(PRWeb February 14, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/02/prweb14051970.htm


          Boston Children’s Hospital and uBiome to Investigate Premature Births        

uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, has awarded its latest Microbiome Impact Grant to leading geneticist Dr. Olaf Bodamer of Boston Children’s Hospital to support his investigation of preterm birth.

(PRWeb February 08, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/02/prweb14051959.htm


          Stanford Medicine and uBiome Investigate Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Diabetes        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, is partnering with Professor Michael Snyder of Stanford’s School of Medicine to conduct a comprehensive research study that will investigate host-microbiome relationships during the onset of type 2 diabetes. Findings could lead to a personalized medicine approach to diabetes management.

(PRWeb January 26, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb13981249.htm


          Dutch Journal of Medical Microbiology Publishes uBiome Science Editor’s Most Recent Microbiome Paper        

Dr. Elisabeth Bik, Science Editor for leading microbial genomics company, uBiome, has an article entitled “Friends for Life: Human Microbiota” in the Dutch Journal of Medical Microbiology. Dr. Bik’s paper provides a wide-ranging review of the state of research into the human microbiome.

(PRWeb January 18, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb13987331.htm


          Self-Experimenting Scientist Receives uBiome Grant to Investigate Consequences of Long-Term Antibiotic Use for Skin Conditions        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded a scientific grant to Dr. Eon Rios of Stanford University School of Medicine, supporting an investigation into how long-term use of oral antibiotics for skin conditions affects the gut microbiome.

(PRWeb January 11, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb13970260.htm


          UCSF Researcher to Investigate Diabetes and the Microbiome in Filipino Populations with uBiome Microbiome Impact Grant        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded a Microbiome Impact Grant to a University of California, San Francisco study that explores how the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is affected by country of residence in the Filipino population.

(PRWeb December 22, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13906763.htm


          uBiome Awards Microbiome Impact Grant to Explore Effects of Heavy Drinking and Smoking on Oral Microbiome        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, awards scientific grant to Dr. Renato Polimanti of the Yale University School of Medicine, who will investigate the impact of heavy smoking and drinking behavior on the oral microbiome.

(PRWeb December 03, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13895740.htm


          Huffington’s Thrive Global Pop-Up Store Showcases uBiome Gut Explorer Kits for the Microbiome        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has been selected by Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s new venture, to have its Gut Explorer microbiome analysis tool featured in the Thrive Global pop-up store in New York City.

(PRWeb November 30, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13888053.htm


          uBiome CEO Dr. Jessica Richman to Deliver Opening Keynote at American Medical Informatics Association Symposium        

Dr. Jessica Richman, Co-founder and CEO of leading microbial genomics company uBiome, will be the opening keynote speaker at the American Medical Informatics Association’s 40th Annual Symposium on November 13th. uBiome has pioneered new ways of interpreting big data in its mission to explore the human microbiome.

(PRWeb November 11, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/11/prweb13844073.htm


          Stanford Microbiome Pioneer Elisabeth Bik Becomes New Science Editor at uBiome        

Microbial genomics leader uBiome has appointed its first full-time Science Editor Dr. Elisabeth Bik who joins the fast-growing company from Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Bik will continue her editorship of the respected daily Microbiome Digest.

(PRWeb November 08, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/11/prweb13833310.htm


          uBiome Announces World’s First Sequencing-Based Clinical Microbiome Test        

Leading microbial genomics company uBiome launches the first sequencing-based clinical microbiome screening test, SmartGut™. The launch comes alongside a major investment round led by prestigious San Francisco venture firm, 8VC.

(PRWeb November 01, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/11/prweb13813224.htm


          uBiome and University of Oxford Investigate the Relationship Between the Human Microbiome and Personality        

uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, is collaborating with the University of Oxford’s Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry on cutting-edge research that explores the possibility that personality is influenced by gut bacteria

(PRWeb July 12, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13546277.htm


          uBiome Completely Re-Imagines Microbiome Experimentation with New Launch        

uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, has launched the uBiome Explorer, a user website that includes scores based on characteristics of the microbiome (such as diversity or probiotic bacteria) and recommendations for food and wellness experiments that citizen scientists can perform.

(PRWeb June 29, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13521232.htm


          uBiome Doubles Research Grant to Award Two Microbiome Researchers up to $100,000 Each        

Leading microbial genomics company uBiome today announces the surprise joint winners of its recent public-voted uBiome Microbiome Research Grant Competition, by awarding up to $100,000 of uBiome testing kits and full laboratory analysis to the two researchers who tied for first place.

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13491153.htm


          uBiome Announces Over $1 Million in Microbiome Grant Funding to Support National Microbiome Initiative        

uBiome announces over $1 million in grant funding for microbiome research projects with great potential to advance human health and well-being.

(PRWeb May 13, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/05/prweb13413797.htm


          uBiome Opens Voting to all Citizen Scientists to Select $100k Microbiome Research Grant Winner        

uBiome will advance academic exploration of the microbiome by awarding up to $100k in microbiome sampling kits and comprehensive 16S lab analysis to one groundbreaking microbiome researcher chosen by public vote. uBiome seeks citizen scientists from around the world to participate in voting

(PRWeb April 12, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/04/prweb13333775.htm


          Thought-Leading Physician, Dr. David Agus, Signs on to Advise uBiome        

Microbial genomics leader uBiome has appointed visionary physician David Agus, MD – co-founder of Navigenics and Applied Proteomics – to its Scientific Advisory Board. Specializing in treating patients with advanced cancer, Dr. Agus has a particular interest in furthering knowledge about the emerging relationship between cancers and the human microbiome.

(PRWeb March 10, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/03/prweb13257990.htm


          uBiome Investigates Health Implications of Seniors’ Changing Microbiomes, Seeks Participants        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has launched an extensive study into the effects of aging on the human microbiome. The company invites seniors to participate in its broader research project while also receiving uBiome’s usual detailed report on the status of their own microbiome across five body sites.

(PRWeb March 03, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/03/prweb13246179.htm


          uBiome and Health Expert Dr. Robynne Chutkan Want to Refresh Your New Year Microbiome        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has teamed up with celebrated gastroenterologist and bestselling author Dr. Robynne Chutkan for the Microbiome 7-Day Challenge. It promises to kickstart participants’ New Year microbiomes with a week of delicious, bacteria-friendly recipes and a special offer on a “before and after” gut bacteria test, designed to reveal the effects of their new microbiome-boosting diet.

(PRWeb February 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/02/prweb13222149.htm


          What’s That Bug? uBiome Studies Winter Illnesses        

uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, is launching a study to investigate the impact of winter illnesses such as the common cold on the human microbiome. Participants who are currently suffering from flu, cold, and other upper respiratory illnesses will be asked to self-swab their nose and throat, and receive a detailed report on the microbes found in their samples.

(PRWeb February 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/02/prweb13216972.htm


          Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry        

"Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled 14 different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected.

Genetic analysis revealed the used sponges contained billions of bacteria, from 362 species-like groups called "operational taxonomic units" (OTUs).

However, it's not clear that any would be harmful in the context of someone's typical exposure to a kitchen sponge, despite 5 of the 10 most common OTUs found being bacteria from "risk group 2" (RG2) – a classification including bacteria that may cause disease in certain circumstances.

For example, researchers found high levels of the Acinetobacter strain of bacteria. This can cause potentially serious infections – but only if it penetrates deep inside the body, or infects traumatic wounds or burns.

People associate bacteria with germs. But we are all covered in bacteria, inside and out, and so are our homes. Most are either harmless or actually play a useful role in biological processes, such as digestion. Only a few cause diseases, so the fact kitchen sponges harbour bacteria is not as alarming as it sounds.

The researchers found that methods to clean sponges, such as heating them in microwaves to kill bacteria, don't work particularly well. They suggest replacing sponges weekly rather than cleaning and re-using them.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Furtwangen University and the German Research Centre for Environmental Health, all in Germany. It was funded by the Institute of Applied Research (IAF) of Furtwangen University and published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports on an open-access basis, so it can be read online free of charge.

The Mail Online carried a reasonably accurate report of the research. However, it made much of the fact that some of the bacteria identified came from RG2, a class that includes "bacteria that cause typhoid fever, the plague, cholera and food poisoning". While this is correct, the researchers did not find any of the actual bacteria that cause these conditions in the sponges tested.

What kind of research was this?

This was a genetic analysis of a small sample of kitchen sponges to assess the number, variety and density of bacteria living on and within them.

This type of study can investigate the amount and type of bacteria present in the sponges. However, it can't tell us where the bacteria came from or how they may have affected the health of the people using the sponges.

What did the research involve?

Researchers collected 14 used kitchen sponges from houses in a German town, along with information about how regularly sponges were changed and whether they were specially cleaned to remove bacteria. The type, number and density of bacteria within the sponges were assessed using the latest genome sequencing techniques and a microscopy visualisation technique.

Most previous studies of bacteria in kitchens and kitchen accessories – such as dishcloths and sponges – used bacterial culturing, which can only detect species that can be grown on culture plates in the laboratory. This study used a genetic sequencing technique, called 454-pyrosequencing, of 16S RNA genes to find a much larger range of bacteria, including those that are difficult or impossible to culture in the laboratory.

Laser scanning microscopy was used on fixed samples of sponge to visualise the numbers and density of bacteria.

The researchers grouped the bacteria into OTUs, which was a way of classifying closely related bacteria so they could then divide them into types that might cause infection.

They also checked to see if cleaning the sponges using special processes, such as microwaving them, affected the number or types of bacteria found.

What were the basic results?

The researchers found billions of bacteria on the sponges' surfaces and the walls of their interior spaces. Among these, gene sequencing identified 362 OTUs, the majority of which were related to the gammaproteobacteria phylum (a group of classes that share distinctive characteristics).

The 10 most frequently found OTUs were responsible for almost 70% of all the gene sequences found on the sponges, and 5 of these 10 fell into the "German Technical Rule for Biological Agents Risk Group 2", suggesting they may have the potential to cause disease in humans.

The researchers didn't find any signs of salmonella, proteus or campylobacter, which are known to cause food poisoning and would be concerning to see in a kitchen or similar environment.

Imaging showed that most of the bacteria were still growing at the time of analysis. The highest density of bacteria recorded was 54 billion bacterial cells in a 1cm cube of sponge.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that "kitchen sponges harbour a higher bacterial diversity than previously thought" but "human pathogens [disease-causing bacteria] might represent just a minority" of the bacteria found.

They added: "Sponge sanitation methods appear not sufficient to effectively reduce the bacterial load and might even increase the shares of RG2-related bacteria."

Instead of attempting to clean sponges, they suggest "a regular (and easily affordable) replacement of kitchen sponges, for example on a weekly basis".

Conclusion

There's no need to panic about the results of this study. Bacteria are everywhere, so it's no surprise to find them growing in kitchens. The researchers say sponges, being porous and usually damp, represent ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.

The study found that one of the most dominant types of bacteria came from the Moraxella family. These bacteria are often found on human skin, so it's likely they got onto the sponges from people's hands. Moraxella are also linked to the unpleasant smell sometimes found after laundry has taken longer to dry, so they seem to be common in the household environment. 

The study has a few limitations. As only 14 sponges from one area of Germany were tested, we don't know if the results would apply to households in other parts of the world.

The researchers say the relation of the ONU gene sequences to RG2 species provides "only a weak indicator for the pathogenic potential of the identified bacteria" and that they are "not aware of any case in which an infection from these bacteria was explicitly reported from a domestic environment". The technology is not yet precise enough to show that any specific bacteria found growing in sponges causes disease.

However, we do know poor kitchen hygiene can lead to infections, especially when preparing uncooked food, such as salad or raw chicken. Bacteria-laden sponges, if used to wipe down surfaces, could spread pathogenic bacteria around and make infection more likely. You might want to consider simply replacing your sponge regularly, instead of rinsing it in hot water or zapping it in the microwave.

Read more advice about Food safety and home hygiene.

Links To The Headlines

You'll never do the dishes in the same way again: Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells. Mail Online, August 2 2017

Links To Science

Cardinale M, Kaiser D, Lueders T, et al. Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species. Scientific Reports. Published online July 19 2017


          A Health PSA: My sedation-free colonoscopy        
I am now part of the 1%. No, not the ridiculously rich 1%, I am now part of the 1% of Americans who voluntarily choose to have a sedation-free colonoscopy procedure. Why would I? My main reason was to avoid unnecessary medications but there are numerous other benefits as well.

If I had to describe my experience in a single word it would be: Hilarious

Why am I describing it? Because early detection can prevent you from developing colorectal (aka colon) cancer and increases your odds of survival if found early if you already have it. So, I wrote this post in the hope of making the procedure ok to talk about so that some of you who may be fearful or embarrassed about scheduling an appointment will realize the exam itself is really not a big deal and you'll feel comfortable enough to make the call.


I'll start at the beginning. One of the first things I did just before I turned 50 last year was to call my doctor and ask about scheduling a colonoscopy. It's always stuck in my mind as something you're supposed do when you hit the big 5-0. LOL the few friends I mentioned it to thought I was crazy to call and request one rather than wait for a doctor to tell me it was time.

Over the years I've eaten more than my fair share of gastrointestinal-healthy foods. All of those breakfasts of brown rice, barley, or farro porridge, dark leafy greens, pickled Japanese plums, and pickled radish were both because I think they're equally delicious and healthy meals.

The cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, brown rice, beans, and random vegetables many people have made fun of me for eating for years...  It was time to find out if all of my efforts to eat conscientiously were about to pay off!


The Bowel Prep:

I guess I was so excited to have my first colonoscopy I got confused and started my bowel prep a day early by accident. LOL. What the what? Who does that? Me! Fred pointed it out when he realized it (he knew the dates because he was my designated driver) but it was too late. I made the executive decision to stop the prep (I'd only taken some laxatives) and continue with the prep solution the next day on schedule, which meant not eating for 2 days instead of the required 24 hours. This paid off in the end when my Gastroenterologist complimented my prep as one of he best he'd ever seen. It gave my surgical team a great laugh when I told them what had happened.

Because I want you to have a positive experience here are some prep-tips nobody else may tell you about but I will:
  1. You can avoid a lot of soreness by the end of the prep if you follow just this one piece of advice: Do yourself a favor and get a package of baby wipes. Natural ones with no unnecessary chemicals or perfumes because this isn't the time to discover you have an allergic reaction to them. Trust me, you do not want to use toilet paper. Also, blotting is recommended over back and forth wiping motions.
  2. If you live alone and don't mind smelling up the bathroom (hallway, eek gads maybe your whole house or apartment) go for it! If you don't live alone and are worried about embarrassing odors that may be unleashed during your prep try this: Before using your toilet add 2-3 drops of essential oil into the toilet bowl EVERY SINGLE TIME before you use it (any scent will do or buy some Poo-Pourri). It will create a film over the top of the water that holds all odors beneath it. I learned this trick on the Crunchy Betty website.
  3. I brought my camping air mattress out of The Glampette and put it in the bathroom along with a pillow and blanket. It was easier than making a mad dash to the bathroom for the first two hours of the first 1/2 of the prep. When you have to go it's not like a normal bowel movement. You don't think to yourself "Oh, I need to go to the bathroom, after I finish whatever it is I'm doing." No! During a prep it's more like your colon suddenly yells at you: "YOU ARE GOING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM IN LESS THAN 5 SECONDS (and it will take less than 8 seconds to empty the entire contents of your bowel)!
  4. Mix your prep solution (adding in the lemon flavor packet) at least one hour before you have to begin drinking it then put in your refrigerator because it tastes better cold.
  5. If possible place a short stool beside the toilet and put your feet up while your relieve yourself. To sit upright is (surprisingly) an unnatural angle for our bodies to efficiently poop! The Squatty Potty website explains why in depth.
I made this illustration to show you what a colon looks like!


My No-sedation Request:

Spoiler Alert: The next images you'll see in this post are two small photographs of my actual colon taken by the doctor during my procedure. IMO i
t's not gross unless you think the inside of a squeaky clean pink vacuum hose is gross. Plus they were approved by my Mom and Auntie as "ok" to show the world when I ran this post by them first. LOL They're my official content censors. I included the pictures because I think it's important to demystify the process. I did't know what my colon looked like or was shaped like until after my procedure. The illustration above shows the outside, but the photos show the interior view. 

I'd called the doctor's nurse a few days prior to discuss the sedative given during the procedure because I've always had adverse reactions to narcotics (and lots of other medications in general). During the discussion she mentioned I didn't have to have pain meds or sedation if I didn't want them. . . What?????? No sedation? I liked the sound of that simply because I don't like putting chemicals in my body unless absolutely necessary. I know some of you are thinking there is no moment when medications are necessary than moments like this! LOL

After spending time on Google and talking to my procedure team I learned:

  • Most of Europe and some countries in Asia don't offer any sedation for colonoscopies.
  • There are two categories of people in the U.S. who typically decline sedation being those who have struggled with addiction and anesthesiologists.
  • Also, that only 1% of Americans choose non-sedated colonoscopies, possibly because most don't realize non-sedated is even an option.
  • From what I can tell (after reading pages and pages of articles online, here are just a few: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) is that most hospitals use conscious sedation but some are moving towards deep sedation using propofol which carries increased risks. I didn't like the sound of that. Hmmmm. I'd seen Katie Couric have her procedure on tv years ago. It couldn't be that bad could it?

I broke the news of my no pain meds/sedation decision upon my arrival. Everyone seemed quite shocked (like eyes got big and jaws dropped). They said it was very unusual for anyone to ask for no sedation or pain meds. I assured them I have a very high tolerance to pain by reciting a partial resume of injuries I've suffered through over the years. Though I did agree to an IV in the back of my hand so if I changed my mind they could immediately administer sedation and I'd be out in two minutes.

If you choose a non-sedated procedure be prepared to pass gas as needed. Your doctor is going to pump you up with air or water. If air is used (as in my case) to try to hold it all in will cause unnecessary pain. I had almost no discomfort because my doctor used less air than normal, enough to inflate my bowel for viewing but not as much as he would normally have done had I been sedated. On the plus side I will point out that if your bowel is empty the gas has no odor to it whatsoever so nothing to be embarrassed about in that department. What little I did pass made no sound at all.

My Dr. was also snapping photos as he moved though each section of my colon. After it was over he gave me a a printed sheet of 8 photos. It was like I went to a colon photobooth and had the pictures to prove it :D When I asked Fred to scan them for me for my blog he looked at me like I had a third eyeball growing out of my forehead. As I recall he said "Aw come on. . . You've got to be kidding!" I tried to explain to him the post would be like a healthcare PSA to encourage people to not be afraid of the procedure but he just shook his head and walked away. LOL It took months to get him to do it for me!

So here you go, these are two pictures of my colon. I don't know, to me they aren't really anything other than interesting. I had no idea that I had a body part that looked like the inside of my mom's old Hoover vacuum hose. So, as the procedure was taking place I happily chatted away with the team and watched my innards on the tv monitor. My doctor asked if I worked in the medical field. I'm not sure if that was because I was so relaxed or because I knew more than the average bear about what was going on. I replied "No, I just read Google a lot."


Was it Painful?

Do be prepared for some discomfort. The small amount I felt was mostly around a level 3 (on a scale of 1 least and 10 most). I felt a little discomfort around each turn and on the final fourth turn my discomfort level shot up to a 5-6 for all of about 3-5 seconds. If you've ever had food poisoning, the flu, or menstrual cramps they are usually a 10 and last for hours or days. So this? It was incredibly easy to endure.

• As I laid on my side it literally took less than a second for the scope to be placed. There was no uncomfortable stretching or pain of any kind. Zero. Zilch.
• The first turn going in wasn't so bad.
• Neither was the second turn.
• The third? I felt what can only be described as something foreign to my body pushing against me. I gasped out loud and proclaimed "I've never been pregnant but this must be what it feels like when a baby kicks inside you!" Which made everyone on my team LOL.
• The fourth turn was definitely the most uncomfortable. It lasted several seconds and then the Dr. said "That's it!" Everyone seemed quite pleased and a bit excited that I'd made it though with no sedation. At that point my reply was that it felt like the scope was near my left arm pit. I then realized I'd tensed up during that last turn. As soon as I relaxed the arm pit discomfort went away. LOL
• There was no pain at all on as the doctor began to retract the scope and the show started on the monitor. There was quite a bit of yellow liquid (excess stomach acid) but he said that was just fine. It suctioned out quickly and easily revealing a perfect viewing environment. That was when My Dr. complimented me on having done such a good bowel prep.
• There were a few seconds of discomfort at each turn when the colonoscope was withdrawn. Most were barely significant. The notable exception was the last turn out but then it was all done and the surgical team made me feel like a colonoscopy rock star!

The Results:

Right there in the procedure room I was told I have the colon of a 20 year old and there wasn't anything I need to be concerned about. Later I found out I can wait a decade before my next check-up.

Post Procedure:

After, I was whisked back to the same waiting room I started in. I got to skip the recovery room since I wasn't sedated. One of the nurses who checked me in came by and gave me an inquisitive look from the doorway. I nodded yes (to let her know I made it through with no meds), and she gave me a big smile and thumbs up.

The nurse attending me told me I could leave as soon as I passed gas. LOL


Aside from getting to watch the entire procedure while it's happening (which was pretty cool), saving some money by not using anesthesia, and being able to leave sooner, another great benefit of going sedation-free was I could eat immediately after the procedure was done. Having not eaten in almost 48 hours I was starving and had brought a bag of cheese puffs with me to eat on the way home :)


Also, while the prep is necessary for viewing during your procedure it is hard on your body clearing out probably most of your healthy gut biota (aka microbiome). To help it recover quickly it's good to eat fermented foods (like yogurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, or kimchi), bananas, and fresh cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli, blueberries, and beans.

All in all it wasn't bad. Turned out I didn't even need to have Fred go with me. Since I wasn't sedated I could have driven myself home.

I know no-sedation isn't for everyone. We all have different pain thresholds and if you have other gastrointestinal conditions that are already painful I'm pretty sure non-sedated wouldn't be advisable. But for some of us it is not only possible but really not a big deal at all to go without pain meds or sedation. I'm sure you'll know what's right for you. Just please, if you're over 50 and haven't had one yet, I hope you'll consider scheduling your first colonoscopy. It could literally save your life and maybe even give you a few good laughs along the way.



Disclaimer:

This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your physician or other qualified health professionals with any questions you may have regarding colonoscopy or any medical condition(s). This is simply my personal experience that I wanted to share with you to encourage others to be pro-active about their health.

          Are Artificial Sweeteners Hijacking Your Biblical Pursuit of Health?        

If you drink or eat anything with artificial sweeteners, you might want to reconsider. New research shows they can hurt our brains and heart and, believe it or not, don't even help us lose weight.

Sadly, our country's weight problem is only getting worse. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a staggering 71 percent of adults qualify as overweight or obese. That translates into increased rates of various health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

It's not just America. In June, The New England Journal of Medicine reported much of the entire world is getting fatter and paying a price: four million deaths, 60 percent caused by obesity, and the other 40 percent from "just" being overweight.

No. 1 Enemy: Sugar 

Experts say the root cause of the weight problem can be summed up in one word: sugar. Most Americans consume more than 150 pounds a year, often hidden in foods you'd never expect and obvious in others. For example, just one can of soda contains more than nine teaspoons of sugar.

With that in mind, it's no wonder so many people turn to diet sodas containing zero-calorie artificial sweeteners in an effort to reduce their sugar intake. But that's a bad choice for a number of reasons.
 
Diet Sodas Increase Dementia and Stroke Risk 

A new study out of Boston University revealed people who drink diet soda have three times the risk of developing dementia and having a stroke, and that's people who drink just one a day.
 
Cleveland Clinic's Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Michael Roizen, author of the book, Age Proof, advises people to avoid diet sodas as well as the hundreds of other products containing fake sugar. "Artificial sweeteners, we think, are much worse than we ever thought," he said.

Artificial Sweeteners Increase Bad Bacteria 

Dr. Roizen believes the main problem with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine and sucralose is that they can disrupt our internal microbiome, also known as our gut flora.

"Your microbiome is the bacteria inside your gut," Dr. Roizen explained. "Those artificial sweeteners cause a separate breed of bacteria to grow inside you." 

Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of Brain Maker, says artificial sweeteners throw off the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. He says when that happens, our minds suffer the consequences.

"The bacteria that live within our gut nurture the brain when they're treated right," Perlmutter explained, "They reduce inflammation for example. Inflammation is the key player that causes Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's and even Alzheimer's, and Coronary Artery Disease and Diabetes for that matter."  

Perlmutter recommends boosting good gut bacteria for optimal brain health. That involves avoiding artificial sweeteners. It also means consuming probiotics, which can be found in supplements as well as in foods such as yogurt and fermented vegetables such as kimchi.

Perlmutter also suggests consuming pre-biotics to nurture the good gut bacteria. They can be found in supplements as well as foods like dandelion greens and jicama.
 
Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain

People consume artificial sweeteners to control their weight. But, believe it or not, a number of scientific studies reveal they actually cause us to gain weight. One reason goes back to the gut.

"The body thinks it's starving and holds on to every calorie that a person consumes because of changes in the gut bacteria," Dr. Perlmutter explained, "The risk of developing diabetes is dramatically increased two-fold in people who drink a lot of sugarless beverages. Who knew."

Some Fake Sugars Are Better Than Others

Nutritionist J.J. Virgin, author of The Sugar Impact Diet, says the artificial sweeteners Stevia, Xylitol, Erithrotol and Monk Fruit (also called Lo Han) appear to be much healthier choices than the others, especially when it comes to gut health.

However, she cautions even the healthiest artificial sweeteners can lead to weight gain. "There's also a phenomenon that happens called calorie dysregulation that they saw with artificial sweeteners," Virgin explained, "When you eat something that's got a sweet taste with no calories, your body can't calibrate the degree of sweetness with how many calories, so it causes you to tend to overeat."

Not only that, but our DNA plays a role in artificial sweeteners leading to weight gain. Genetics predispose an estimated three-fourths of people to have an addiction to sweets. Put simply, that means among three out of four people, the more artificial sweeteners they consume, the more they crave all sweets, fake and real.

With that in mind, health experts say the best plan is to turn off the sweet tooth. Do that by removing sweet from your taste buds altogether. Dr. Roizen said it's not as difficult as it sounds.

"Sweet is a learned taste. If you go off sweet, if you go off sugar, your brain doesn't get used to it. Your taste buds aren't used to it. You can avoid it, and that's a much healthier state," he said.

J.J. Virgin proved this theory by testing 700 self-proclaimed sugar addicts.

"First, we taper down for a week, we don't go cold turkey, but then we lower their sugar impact down," she recalled. "We start using more spices, more savory and getting enough protein in and getting enough healthy fats in. And then at the end of two weeks we go back and test, and these sugar addicts told me that sweet food just tasted gross."

So while eating too much sugar is definitely hazardous to our health, artificial sweeteners can be just as bad for us, maybe even worse. That's why the healthiest solution is to remove all sweets from the diet, both real and fake. {eoa}

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.


          What Is the Microbiome?        

 


          JSJ 268 Building Microsoft Office Extensions with JavaScript with Tristan Davis and Sean Laberee        

JSJ 268 Building Microsoft Office Extensions with Javascript with Tristan Davis and Sean Laberee

This episode is live at the Microsoft Build 2017 with Charles Max Wood and AJ O’Neal. We have Tristan Davis and Sean Laberee from the Office Team at Microsoft. Tune in and learn more about what’s new with Microsoft Office Extensions!

[00:01:25] – Introduction to Tristan Davis and Sean Laberee

Tristan Davis and Sean Laberee are Program Managers on the Microsoft Office team, focused on Extensibility.

Questions for Tristan and Sean

[00:01:45] – Extending Office functionality with Javascript

Office isn’t just an application on Windows that runs on your PC. It is running on iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, and apps on the browser with Office Online. The team needs a new platform, add-ins, which allow you to build apps that run across all places. It’s HTML and Javascript. HTML for all the UI and a series of Javascript module calls for the document properties. Sometimes we call it OfficeJS.

[00:03:20] – This works on any version of Office?

It works on Office on Windows, Mac, Online and iPad.

[00:03:55] – HTML and CSS suck on mobile?

There are things that you’re going to want to do when you know you’re running on a mobile device. If you look at an add-in running on Outlook for iPhone, the developer does a lot of things to make that feel like part of the iPhone UI. Tristan believes that you could build a great add-in for Office using HTML and JavaScript.

[00:05:20] – Are these apps written with JavaScript or you have a Native with WebView?

Office itself is Native. All of it is Native code but the platform is very much web. The main piece of it is pointing at the URL. Just go load that URL. And then, you can also call functions in your JavaScript.

[00:06:35] – Why would you do this? How does it work?

The add-in platform is a way to help developers turn Word, Excel and PowerPoint into the apps that actually solve user’s business problems. The team will give you the tools with HTML and JavaScript to go and pop into the Word UI and the API’s that let you go manipulate the paragraph and texts inside of Word. Or in Excel, you might want to create custom formulas or visualizations. The team also let people use D3 to generate their own Excel charts.

And developers want to extend Office because it’s where a lot of business workers spend their days 0 in Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel.

[00:10:00] – How did this get delivered to them?

There are 2 ways to get this delivered. One, there’s an Office Store. Second, if you go into Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, there’s a store button and you can see tons of integrations with partners.

For enterprises, IT can deploy add-ins to the users’ desktops without having stress about deploying MSI’s and other software deployments that the web completely rids off. The add-ins make a whole lot of pain the past completely go away.

[00:11:00] – Everybody in the company can use a particular plug-in by distributing it with Office?

That’s right. You can go to Office 365 add-in experience. Here’s the add-in and you can to specific people or everyone who’s part of a group.

For the developer’s perspective, if you have the add-in deployed to your client, you could actually push updates to the web service and your users get the updates instantly. It’s a lot faster turn-around model.

[00:14:20] – What about conversations or bot integrations?

There’s the idea of connectors at Teams. You can subscribe to this web book and it’ll publish JSON. When the JSON is received, a new conversation inside of Teams or Outlook will be created. For example, every time someone posts on Stack Overflow with one of the tags that team cares about, it posts on Outlook.

It’s a great way to bring all the stuff. Rather than have 20 different apps that are shooting 20 different sets of notifications, it’s just all conversations in email, making do all the standard email things.

And in the connector case, it’s a push model. The user could choose what notifications they want.

You’d also learn things like bots. You can have bots in Teams and Skype. The users can interact with them with their natural language.

[00:18:40] – How about authentication?

As long as you’re signed into Office, you can call JavaScript API to give you an identity token for the sign in user and it will hand you a JWT back. That’s coming from Azure Active Directory or from whatever customer directory service. That’s standard.

If you want to do more, you can take that identity token and you can exchange that for a token that can call Microsoft graph. This app wants to get access to phone, are you okay with that? Assuming the user says yes, the user gets a token that can go and grab whatever data he wants from the back-end.

[00:20:00] – Where does it store the token?

That’s up to the developer to decide how they want to handle that but there are facilities that make sure you can pop up a dialog box and you can go to the LO-flow. You could theoretically cache it in the browser or a cookie. Or whatever people think is more appropriate for the scenario.

[00:20:55] – What does the API actually look like from JavaScript?

If you’re familiar with Excel UI, you can look at Excel API. It’s workbook.worksheets.getItem() and you can pass the name of the worksheet. It can also pass the index of the worksheet.

[00:22:30] – What’s the process of getting setup?

There’s a variety of options. You can download Office, write XML manifest, and take a sample, and then, side loads it into Office. You can also do that through web apps. There’s no install required because you can go work against Office Online. In the Insert menu, there’s a way to configure your add-ins. There’s upload a manifest there and you can just upload the XML. That’s going to work against whatever web server you have set up.

So it’s either on your local machine or up in the cloud. It’s as much as like regular web development. Just bring your own tools.

[00:24:15] – How do you protect me as a plug-in developer?

There’s an access add-in that will ask your permission to access, say, a document. Assume, they say yes, pipes are opened and they can just go talk to those things. But the team also tries to sandbox it by iframes. It’s not one page that has everybody’s plug-ins intermingle that people can pole at other people’s stuff.

[00:27:20] – How do you support backward compatibility?

There are cases where we change the behavior of the API. Every API is gated by requirement set. So if a developer needs access to a requirement set, he gets an aggregate instead of API’s that he can work with but it isn’t fixed forever.

But it’s not at that point yet where we end up to remove things completely. In Office JS, we’ve talked about API’s as one JavaScript library but really, it’s a bootstrap that brings in a bunch of other pieces that you need.

[00:30:00] – How does that work on mobile? Do they have to approve download for all components?

You can download components by using the browser that the operating system gives. It’s another one of the virtues of being based on the web. Every platform that has a web browser can have JavaScript execution run-time. It allows for the way that their app guidelines are written.

[00:33:15] – How about testing?

It’s a place where there’s still have work to do. There’s a bunch of open-source projects that partners have started to do that. What they’ve done is they’ve built a testing library. Whatever the mock is, it's just a thing on Github. It is open-source friendly. So the team could be able to contribute to it. “Here’s an interesting test case for this API. I want to make sure that it behaves like this.

[00:35:50] – Could you write it with any version for JavaScript e.g. TypeScript?

A Huge chunk of the team is big TypeScript fans. They’ve done a lot of work to make sure that TypeScript experience is excellence.

Type is basically a collection of typing files for TypeScript. There’s a runtime process that parses your TypeScript, gives you feedback on your code, and checks for errors. You can also run it in the background.

There’s an add-in called Script Lab. Script Lab is literally, you hit the code button and you get a web IDE right there. You can go start typing JavaScript code, play with API’s, and uses TypeScript by default. It’ll just actually load your code in the browser, executes, and you can start watching.

[00:39:25] – Are there any limitations on which JavaScript libraries you can pull in?

There a no limitations in place right now. There are partners that use Angular. There are partners that are big React fans. If you’re a web dev, you can bring whatever preferences around frameworks, around tools, around TypeScript versus JavaScript.

[00:45:20] – What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen done with this API?

Battleship was pretty cool. There’s also Star Wars entering credits theme for PowerPoint.

[00:46:40] – If a developer is building a plug-in and get paid for it, does Microsoft take credit for that?

There are 2 ways that folks can do it. You can do paid add-ins to the store. Either you do the standard perpetual 99 cents or you can do subscriptions, where it’s $2.99/month. Tristan encourages that model because integrations are just a piece of some larger piece of software.

But Microsoft is not in the business of trying to get you to pay me a little bit of 10 cents a dollar. It’s really in the business of making sure that you can integrate with Office as quickly as possibly can.

When the users go to the store, they can use the same Microsoft account that you use to buy Xbox games or movies in the Xbox, Windows apps in the Windows store.

[00:52:00] – The App Model

If folks are interested in the app model, they should go to dev.office.com to learn more about it because that’s where all the documentation is. Check out our Github. Right there in the open, there’s the spec. Literally, the engineers who are coding the product are reading the same marked-down files in the same repo that you, as a developer, can come and look at. And you can comment. You can add issues like you could have a dialogue with that PM. Under the OfficeDev, you’ll find a tunnel repository that contains samples. Our docs are there.

Picks

AJ O'Neal

  • Lithium

Charles Max Wood

Tristan Davis

Sean Laberee


          MAHMI database: a comprehensive MetaHit-based resource for the study of the mechanism of action of the human microbiota        
Abstract
The Mechanism of Action of the Human Microbiome (MAHMI) database is a unique resource that provides comprehensive information about the sequence of potential immunomodulatory and antiproliferative peptides encrypted in the proteins produced by the human gut microbiota. Currently, MAHMI database contains over 300 hundred million peptide entries, with detailed information about peptide sequence, sources and potential bioactivity. The reference peptide data section is curated manually by domain experts. The in silico peptide data section is populated automatically through the systematic processing of publicly available exoproteomes of the human microbiome. Bioactivity prediction is based on the global alignment of the automatically processed peptides with experimentally validated immunomodulatory and antiproliferative peptides, in the reference section. MAHMI provides researchers with a comparative tool for inspecting the potential immunomodulatory or antiproliferative bioactivity of new amino acidic sequences and identifying promising peptides to be further investigated. Moreover, researchers are welcome to submit new experimental evidence on peptide bioactivity, namely, empiric and structural data, as a proactive, expert means to keep the database updated and improve the implemented bioactivity prediction method. Bioactive peptides identified by MAHMI have a huge biotechnological potential, including the manipulation of aberrant immune responses and the design of new functional ingredients/foods based on the genetic sequences of the human microbiome. Hopefully, the resources provided by MAHMI will be useful to those researching gastrointestinal disorders of autoimmune and inflammatory nature, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. MAHMI database is routinely updated and is available free of charge.Database URL:http://mahmi.org/

          How the food you eat affects your gut – TED Ed        
The bacteria in our guts can break down food the body can’t digest, produce important nutrients, regulate the immune system, and protect against harmful germs. And while we can’t control all the factors that go into maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, we can manipulate the balance of our microbes by paying attention to what we […]
          Microbes and Cancer Prevention        
The emerging science of the microbiome, featured at AICR’s Research Conference, revealed the potential importance or cancer prevention of the trillions of microbes living in our gut.
          Beyond the Gut: The Body’s Microbial Landscape        
The microbiome isn't just located in the gut — our bodies actually host dozens of microbial communities.
          9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Microbiome        
Here are some tips to protect and revitalize your microbial communities.
          Build Your Microbiome        
Modern life is tough for the trillions of microbes living in your body. Learn what you can do to protect and strengthen them.
          The Skeptic Zone #455 -9.July.2017        

0:00:00
Introduction
Richard Saunders

0:05:12
An interview with James Randi
From travels in Australia to making TV shows in the UK and Russia, James Randi recounts some of his amazing adventures.

Secrets of the Psychics Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MFAvH8m8aI

James Randi: Psychic Investigator
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix_DEto6nH4

0:18:04
Brew Ha Ha: Science in less time than it takes to order a coffee
With Casey Harrigan
Your microbiome might not be made up just of bacteria - if there's less than 12 or more than 59 candles on your birthday cake, you're probably hosting some pretty healthy Archaea as well!

https://www.australiascience.tv/vod/brew-ha-ha-welcome-to-the-microbiome-archaea/

0:20:50
Maynard's Spooky Action....
Maynard at Skeptics in the Pub
Another night with Sydney Skeptics. Maynard's big question, do pubbers think skeptics make a differance in the world? Also an interview with Beth Luscombe.
With...
Jessica Singer
Dr Brad
Lara Benham
Alethea Dean
Jessica Hazzard-White
and more.

https://veryparanormal.com/

Also...

CSI Con - Las Vagas http://csiconference.org
European Skeptics Congress - Wroclaw http://euroscepticscon.org
QED - Manchester qedcon.org
Skepticon Sydney http://www.skeptics.com.au


          Comment on GUT MICROBIOME IN AUTISM by Megan        
Thank you, there's so much good information here. My son is 4 with ASD. Is there FMT or MTT therapies available now or are they still being researched?
          Friday Fungus: The problem with mouldy spaceships        


ARTHUR DENT:
Good grief! Is this really the interior of a flying saucer?

FORD PREFECT:
It certainly is. What do you think?

ARTHUR DENT:
Well, it’s a bit squalid isn’t it?

FORD PREFECT:
What did you expect?

ARTHUR DENT:
Well, I don’t know… gleaming control panels… flashing lights, computer screens… Not old mattresses.
It was a good joke that the Dentrassi sleeping quarters on the Vogon constructor fleet were dirty not the gleaming, shiny TV image of a spaceship. But the reality is (albeit perhaps not for Vogons) that keeping spaceship living quarters clean really is important.

The problem, however, is that cleaning spaceships isn't just a simple matter of wiping the surfaces with Flash and leaving the tricky bits behind the cupboards and under the bed till later when you've the time and inclination. Cleaning the places spacefolk live is a matter of life and death and mould:
In our day-to-day lives on Earth, the fungi we live with aren't usually an issue. But in the confined habitat of a spaceship and potentially a Martian settlement, some researchers worry that the microbes that thrive in confined spaces could sicken people or even damage equipment. Venkateswaran, who is a member of NASA's Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group, is also concerned about human settlers contaminating Mars with our own microbes.
As always with these things, cleaning space habitats has a name - 'proper maintenance protocols' - and really matters. Moreover, every time a new human arrives in the microbiome they bring in a whole new ecosystem of moulds (and you thought you were clean). And these moulds and bacteria change (evolve, adapt) pretty rapidly. We're not really sure about the risks but NASA and other space organisations take it pretty seriously:
In respect to human health, the importance of microbiological monitoring is extremely important for long-duration missions. In this investigation, the major focus is on indoor environmental quality control, specifically studies on environmental microbiology in space (astromicrobiological studies), in order to reduce potential hazards for the crew and the spacecraft infrastructure. Progress is made in these astrobiological studies based on past, and current, collaborative studies with JAXA. The continuing expansion of the on-going microbiological monitoring in the KIBO module, the project named “Microbe-I/II/III”, data is being collected on microbial dynamics in the habitable spacecraft environment. Collected data on these microbial communities aboard the ISS is shared with NASA, ESA, and JAXA.
Koichi Makimura who runs these experiments reckons there's a bit of an issue with those cleaning regimes:
"Fungal monitoring may (be) part of 'proper maintenance protocols' but no one knows what is 'proper maintenance,'" says Koichi Makimura, a medical researcher at Japan's Teikyo University who was also not involved in this study.

Makimura, who has studied microbes on the International Space Station, says that fungi research in general has been neglected here on Earth, so it's hard to conclude what this study's results might mean for the health of the humans isolated with these fungi. But one thing is clear—there's no getting rid of them entirely, even in space.
What's clear in all this is that any living space in space needs to be meticulously clean and cleaned. As the researchers point out there's no escaping from this because humans are 'natural fermentors' making us incredibly popular with moulds, yeasts and other micro-fungi. Maybe it's time for Kim and Aggie Clean A Spaceship?

....
          In frogs, preventing early-life gut microbiome disruptions leads to better health        
Biologists have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult. The scientists showed that an early-life disruption of the gut and skin bacterial communities of tadpoles later affects the adult frogs' ability to fight off parasitic gut worms.
          COPD: Changes in the lungs, changes in the microbiome        
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in structural changes within the lungs over time. Scientists have now been able to show that these changes not only affect the organ itself, but also the bacteria that live in the lung.
          Secret Science Club North presents Microbiologist Martin Blaser & "Marvels of the Microbiome," Tuesday, May 16, 8PM @ Symphony Space        
Secret Science Club is heading to Symphony Space for another special event!
 
Tuesday, May 16, 8PM, Secret Science Club North presents Biologist Martin Blaser on "Marvels of the Microbiome!” @ Symphony Space (Shh... use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Say hello to your little friends—all 100 trillion of them. Each of us harbors about 1,000 microbial species in our noses, mouths, and guts & on our skin. Together, they weigh an astonishing 2 to 6 pounds. If you’re worried about the aliens within, don’t be. A torrent of new medical and genetic research shows that your microbiome is essential to your survival. These itty-bitty bugs help you metabolize food and build your immune system. They make vitamins and protect you from getting sick.

Join us at the next Secret Science Club North as microbiologist Martin Blaser explores:      
          -- the human microbiome (and the fact that all the microbes in your body can fill a container the size of a soup can!)
          -- the health benefits conferred by your inner ecosystem
          -- the dangers of overusing antibiotics and what we can do to protect ourselves
          -- how obesity, asthma, diabetes, and even mood swings may be linked to changes in our microbiota.
          -- new microbial medicines that may be in our future

Martin Blaser is the Muriel and George Singer Professor of Translational Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, and Director of the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine. At the forefront of new research on the jungle of microorganisms inside us, he researches the relationship of the human microbiome with health and is the author of more than 500 scientific papers. In 2015, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, and his work has been featured on the Daily Show, CNN, and NPR, and in the New Yorker, Washington Post, and New York Times. Dr. Blaser is the author of the award-winning book Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. He serves as chair of the Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

Before & After
--Try our cocktail of the night, the Scientific Method (created by the mixologists in our pop-up lab)
--Sway to multicellular tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A
 

Get t$15 tickets for Martin Blaser here with code SECRET15 and enter the code at checkout. You can also use the code at the Symphony Space box office (call 212.864.5400 or visit in person).

This special edition of Secret Science Club North meets Tuesday, May 16, 8PMSymphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. Doors open at 7:30pm. This is an all-ages event.

          Secret Science Club presents Evolutionary Biologist & Tropical Explorer Corrie Moreau Thursday, March 2, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!        
Think human society is filled with unusual behavior? Try the empire of the ants. With over 13,000 species, these highly social beasties engage in everything from weaving and warfare to farming and vampirism.

At the next Secret Science Club, evolutionary biologist and myrmecologist Corrie Moreauburrows into the intriguing lives of ants: their evolution, their intense symbiotic relationships with other species, their teeny tiny microbiomes, and their strange social structures and abilities. Dr. Moreau asks: Why do ants have a female-dominated society? Why are the tropics an evolutionary hotbed for ants? How are members of an ant colony like specialized cells in the human body? What are Dracula ants?

Corrie Moreau is an associate curator and professor at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She studies the evolution and diversity of ant species, ant co-evolution with flowering plants and symbiosis, as well as the microbial species that live on and inside ants. Dr. Moreau has conducted field research in Peru, Ecuador, Borneo, Australia, and Madagascar. She combines her work in the field with molecular methods and next-generation sequencing to probe the ant genome. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic News, Smithsonian, and Mental Floss, and on NPR and Brain Scoop.

Before & After
--Try our exploratory cocktail of the night, the Island of Dr. Moreau
--Groove to antennae-tapping tunes
--Stick around for the hive-minded Q&A

This biodiverse edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, March 2, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th Street.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

          Ð£Ñ‡ÐµÐ½Ð¸Ñ‚е разкриват важната роля на бактериите при регулирането на коремната болка        

Учени от финансирания от Ирландската Научна Фондация APC Microbiome Institute към Университетския колеж в Корк, Ирландия, доказаха, че при мишки бактериите в червата играят ключова роля в регулирането на коремната болка и свързаните с нея промени в главния и гръбначния мозък. Висцерална болка е описателен термин за силна болка, идваща от вътрешните органи на тялото [...]

Материалът Учените разкриват важната роля на бактериите при регулирането на коремната болка е публикуван за пръв път на Българска наука и медицина.


          A map of our microbial menagerie        

You’re barely human. For every one of your own cells in your body, there are many microbial ones. They not only outnumber you, but they affect your health and your mind. Bits and pieces of this microbial menagerie have been revealed over time, but a massive study – the Human Microbiome Project – has just […]

The post A map of our microbial menagerie appeared first on Not Exactly Rocket Science.


          29 March, 2017 – Episode 612 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)        
Body Signals, Citrus Clean, Exporting Ground Water, Weather Whiplash Woes, Spider Personalities, Chimps Don't Care, Survival Of Sex, Raven Cliques, Guppy Love, Plant Microbiome, Cannabis Wine, Arctic Plankton Bloom?, Bullies And Bulimia, Tazzie Tigers Alive???, And Much More...
          (USA-CA-Livermore) Postdoctoral Appointee        
: The Post\-Doctoral Appointee Program is designed to recruit outstanding Ph\.D\. applicants to assist a line organization in meeting its mission objectives and to provide a professional technical work environment for the employee\. The Ph\.D\. must have been conferred within one to five years prior to employment\. These assignments are for a one\-year period, with the option at management’s discretion to serve no more than five additional one\-year assignments\. The Systems Biology Department of Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA has a post\-doctoral opening for an outstanding bioinformatics researcher in a project involving analysis of genome editing\. This project uses bioinformatics to annotate bacterial CRISPR/Cas systems and to analyze next\-generation sequencing data to detect and characterize editing events\. The postdoctoral appointee will be working in a rich collaborative environment and have opportunities to interact with staff and postdocs working on a variety of projects involving gene edting technology and its applications, both within Sandia and with outside university collaborators\. The successful postdoctoral candidate will also be responsible for the effective communication of research results through publications and conference presentations\. Required: This position requires a recent PhD in bioinformatics or a related scientific discipline\. Required technical skills and qualifications include experience in the bioinformatics algorithms and software tools used to manipulate sequencing data sets and genomic data, proficiency in developing software through scripting \(e\.g\., perl, python\) and other programming\. The candidate should be familiar with modern genome editing technologies \(e\.g\., CRISPR\-Cas9\)\. The candidate must be a strong individual contributor within a multidisciplinary team comprising experimental biologists and programmers, within the framework of a milestone\-driven research project\. Strong written and oral communication skills are required\. A demonstrated record of high technical achievement \(e\.g\. as evidenced by a strong publication record\) and the demonstrated ability to conduct creative, independent research is required\. Desired: Other desired qualifications include familiarity with one or more of the following: laboratory molecular genetics, genome sequencing and annotation, and phage biology\. Familiarity with experimental design and analysis of high throughput screens \(e\.g\., CRISPR library or other genomic screens using Next Generation Sequencing\)\. Department Description: The Systems Biology Department performs biological and bioengineering research with applications in national security, healthcare, and alternative energy\. The department is composed of a multidisciplinary team of staff, postdocs, technologists, and students with expertise in microbiology, virology, molecular biology, computational biology, and analytical chemistry\. The basic research activities in the department are focused on the identification and characterization of clinical and environmental pathogens, developing a systems\-level understanding of host\-pathogen interactions, and microbiomes relevant to human health and the environment\. Applied research activities are focused on enzyme and microbial engineering for biofuels development, biological detection, and medical diagnostics\.\. About Sandia: Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting\-edge work in a broad array of areas\. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs: + Challenging work withamazingimpact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide + Extraordinary co\-workers + Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world + Career advancement and enrichment opportunities + Flexible schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance\* _World\-changing technologies\. Life\-changing careers\._ Learn more about Sandia at: http://www\.sandia\.gov \*These benefits vary by job classification\. Security Clearance: Position requires a Department of Energy \(DOE\) granted Q\-level security clearance\. Sandia is required by DOE directive to conduct a pre\-employment drug testing, and a pre\-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications\. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q\-level security clearance, which requires U\.S\. citizenship\. Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance\. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by the DOE, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in termination of employment\. EEO Statement: Equal opportunity employer/Disability/Vet/GLBT
          (USA-CA-Livermore) Postdoctoral Appointee        
: The Post\-Doctoral Appointee Program is designed to recruit outstanding Ph\.D\. applicants to assist a line organization in meeting its mission objectives and to provide a professional technical work environment for the employee\. The Ph\.D\. must have been conferred within one to five years prior to employment\. These assignments are for a one\-year period, with the option at management’s discretion to serve no more than five additional one\-year assignments\. The Systems Biology Department of Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA has a post\-doctoral opening for an outstanding microbiology/infectious disease/bioinformatics researcher in a project involving bacterial and bacteriophage genomics\. This project uses molecular biology, sequencing, and microbiological technologies to develop therapeutic phage cocktails, including phage engineering through reassembly in yeast\. It further involves bioinformatic analysis of a large database of prophages\. The postdoctoral appointee will be working in a rich collaborative environment and have opportunities to interact with staff and postdocs working on a variety of projects involving bioinformatics, next generation sequencing, gene editing, and other cutting\-edge technologies, and their applications to infectious diseases research, both within Sandia and with outside university collaborators\. The successful postdoctoral candidate will be responsible for the effective communication of research results through publications and conference presentations\. Required: This position requires a PhD in bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular biology or a related scientific discipline\. A demonstrated record of high technical achievement \(e\.g\. as evidenced by a strong publication record\) and demonstrated ability to conduct creative, independent research are also required\. Other required qualifications include \(1\) proficiency with molecular biology and microbiology methods; \(2\) experience in the bioinformatics algorithms and software tools used to manipulate sequencing data sets and genomic data, \(3\) ability to develop software through scripting \(e\.g\., Perl or Python\) and other programming; \(4\) ability to work with a diverse multidisciplinary team to solve complex problems\. Strong written and oral communication skills are required\. Desired: Desired qualifications include one or more of the following: deep familiarity of techniques of molecular genetics and phage biology, and/or experience with applications of phage biology to infectious disease research\. Familiarity with experimental design and analysis of high throughput screens \(e\.g\., using Next Generation Sequencing\)\. Experience with synthetic biology techniques \(e\.g\., gene or genome synthesis\) and with modern genome editing technologies \(e\.g\., CRISPR\-Cas9\)\. Department Description: The Systems Biology Department performs biological and bioengineering research with applications in national security, healthcare, and alternative energy\. The department is composed of a multidisciplinary team of staff, postdocs, technologists, and students with expertise in microbiology, virology, molecular biology, computational biology, and analytical chemistry\. The basic research activities in the department are focused on the identification and characterization of clinical and environmental pathogens, developing a systems\-level understanding of host\-pathogen interactions, and microbiomes relevant to human health and the environment\. Applied research activities are focused on enzyme and microbial engineering for biofuels development, biological detection, and medical diagnostics\.\. About Sandia: Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting\-edge work in a broad array of areas\. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs: + Challenging work withamazingimpact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide + Extraordinary co\-workers + Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world + Career advancement and enrichment opportunities + Flexible schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance\* _World\-changing technologies\. Life\-changing careers\._ Learn more about Sandia at: http://www\.sandia\.gov \*These benefits vary by job classification\. Security Clearance: This position does not currently require a Department of Energy \(DOE\)\-granted security clearance\. Sandia will conduct a pre\-employment drug testing, and a pre\-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record checks, and employment and education verifications\. Further, employees in New Mexico must pass a U\.S\. Air Force background screen for access to the work site\. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in termination of employment\. If hired without a clearance, and one subsequently becomes required or you bid on positions that require a DOE\-granted security clearance, a pre\-processing background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation\. Applicants for DOE\-granted security clearances must be U\.S\. citizens and be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate DOE security clearance as required for the position\. EEO Statement: Equal opportunity employer/Disability/Vet/GLBT
          Comment on Reduced diversity and altered composition of the gut microbiome in individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome by Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity: Intestinal Cell Damage & Systemic Immune Activation – The Microbe Discovery Project        
[…] by Dr Maureen Hanson et all from Cornell University. We posted about this recent paper titled  ‘Reduced diversity and altered composition of the gut microbiome in individuals with myalgic e…  and there seems to be some similar findings the results section […]
          UC Davis Launches Cross-Campus Microbiome Initiative        

By Ana Lucia Cordova-Kreylos The UC Davis Office of Research this week (July 10) announced the launch of the Microbiome Special Research Program (SRP), designed to leverage and build upon the broad and deep expertise in microbiome science across the …

Continue reading about UC Davis Launches Cross-Campus Microbiome Initiative

The post UC Davis Launches Cross-Campus Microbiome Initiative appeared first on Egghead.


          CE: Health and the Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses        
image The profound impact of the human microbiome on health makes it imperative that nurses understand the basic structures and functions of the various microbial communities. In studying the human microbiome, advances in DNA and RNA sequencing technology offer benefits over traditional culture-based methods. Such technology has permitted more thorough investigations of microbial communities, particularly those of the gastrointestinal (GI) and female reproductive tracts. Although individual variations exist, each site exhibits distinct compositions. The diverse GI microbiota aid in digestion, mood regulation, and vitamin synthesis. While many factors affect the composition and functions of the GI microbiota, diet likely exerts the strongest influence. Vaginal microbiota tend to be less diverse, and mainly serve to protect women from infection. The composition of the vaginal microbiota is influenced by sexual activity, hygienic practices, medications, smoking, and other factors. Our increasing knowledge about the structures and functions of the GI and vaginal microbiota allows nurses to provide targeted, evidence-based education and care for various populations.
          4th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: Europe        
The 4th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Congress: Europe is due to be held between 3rd – 4th April, 2017, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands Attracting over 300 attendees, the 11th meeting in the global series will build upon the success of last year’s highly acclaimed European meeting as well as our popular American and Asia forums to […]
          The 3rd Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Congress: Asia        
The 3rd Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Congress: Asia is due to be held between 1st – 2nd March, 2017, in Hong Kong Attracting experts working in all areas of microbiome research, product development and business, the congress will explore the interface between the microbiome and our evolving cultures and technologies. During the two-day conference, there […]
          The human microbiome and endangered bacteria        

Each and every part of us harbours its own microbial ecosystem. This ecosystem carries some 100 billion cells, known as the microbiota. They started inhabiting our bodies 200,000 years ago, and since then we have evolved side by side to configure a balanced system in which microbes can survive in perfect harmony, provided no perturbations occur.

The post The human microbiome and endangered bacteria appeared first on OUPblog.


          New Roswell Park Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Study Poses Question: Can Microbiome Influence Treatment Response?        

Study with pembrolizumab in untried combination is first ovarian cancer clinical trial to incorporate gut flora analysis

(PRWeb November 28, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/11/prweb13881870.htm


          What Are You Made Of? The Microbiome Study Reveal        
Dr. Paul Planet of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, and Museum Curator Rob DeSalle discuss what they have learned so far from an active research project where visitors to the Museum donated their microbes to science. The event was moderated by Mary Harris, host of WNYC's podcast "Only Human." This lecture took place at the Museum on July 14, 2016. Generous support for The Secret World Inside You and its educational resources have been provided by the Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation and the Milstein Family. The Secret World Inside You is proudly supported by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The Secret World Inside You is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The media partner for What Are You Made Of? is WNYC’s “Only Human.”
          SciCafe: How "Paleo" is Your Diet?        
Join molecular anthropologist Christina Warinner as she explores how scientists are reconstructing the ancestral human microbiome to better understand the lives and health of our ancestors. This lecture took place at the Museum on April 6, 2016. Watch a video version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSGenh_KmhU The SciCafe Series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston. This SciCafe event is presented in collaboration with The Leakey Foundation. SciCafe: How “Paleo” is Your Diet?, The Secret World Inside You, and related activities are generously supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
          SciCafe: Mapping the Urban Microbiome, Genome, and Metagenome        
In this SciCafe, geneticist Chris Mason talks about his desire to get the gene sequence of every thing and place he sees, and the ways in which we can use the information we get from our bodies as well as our environments. This SciCafe took place at the Museum on February 4, 2015. The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston. This project is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
          SciCafe: Antibiotics and Obesity        
In this podcast, physician and microbiologist Martin Blaser discusses how changes in the human microbiome - for example, through antibiotics and hand sanitizers - may be contributing to an increase in chronic conditions including obesity, allergic disorders, and diabetes. For more information on upcoming SciCafe events, visit amnh.org/scicafe.
          Breast-Feeding the Microbiome        
Why do human mothers spend so much energy manufacturing complex sugars (the third most plentiful ingredient in human milk) that babies can't even digest? Why do these complicated chemicals pass through the stomach and small intestine unharmed? What if a large amount of breast milk isn't food for babies at all? What if it is food for microbes?
          What role do patents play in the protection of microbiome technologies?        

The debate around the patentability of nature-based claims, in the UK and worldwide, is currently under the spotlight following huge advances in understanding our microbial ecology and the consequential rise in companies looking to commercialise inventions in this area. Where does this leave life sciences companies looking to protect emerging microbiome technologies? We explore these issues in this recent post on our Life Sciences blog, 'Legal Cerebrum', here.


          The Importance Of Human Microbiomes        

Microbiome is a term used to name a collective of microbes. Microbes are everywhere: in the soil, in the water, and in our bodies. Microbes cover every surface of our bodies, both inside and out. These microscopic life forms represent thousands of species, and they outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1. These different Microbes have adapted to the local environment, for example the microbes in your large intestines are helping to balance a wet and nutrient dense environment, whereas the microbes under your arms pits or on your skin there are not so nutrient rich. All of these microbes constantly change and adapt depending upon the environment you create by what you put on and consume.

The microbiomes are environments and it is important to retain balance within an environmental system to promote good health, as with nature, when an un balance occurs then environments can change, and they can change rapidly.

The University of UTAH, Health Sciences explains that "the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that nearly a billion people around the world either don't have enough to eat or are missing important vitamins and minerals. In children, malnutrition can lead to life-long health problems.

Malnutrition isn't simply a matter of lacking calories and nutrients. Some people eat enough nutrients but can't absorb them. One clue about the role of microbes came from looking at identical twins, one twin undernourished and the other one not. The twins had the same genes, and they ate the same food—but they had different gut microbiota.

Our microbial communities are established during our first few years, and they influence our health for life. If we learn more about the relationship between microbes and nutrition, we may be able to help babies grow healthy microbes right from the start." (Sciences, University of Utah Health, 2016)

The Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGi) have studied the prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes that has steadily increased in the last decades. In addition to the genetic and environmental factors, they find that gut microbiota may play an important role in the modulation of intermediary phenotypes leading to metabolic disease. (Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGi))

Show your microbiome some love by feeding it with probiotic foods, fermented foods (preferably organic). These like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir encourage the growth of good bacteria. Add to that some pre-biotic foods, those non-digestible short-chain fatty acids that help your good bacteria flourish. To get your dose, try eating more artichokes, garlic, beans, oats, onions and asparagus.

Reference list:

University of Utah Health Sciences, Genetic Science learning Centre "The Microbiome and disease" (2016) retrieved from
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/disease/#malnutrition

Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGi), Hospital Dr Josep Trueta of Girona, Spain. (2011) "Gut microbiota interactions with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: did gut microbiote co-evolve with insulin resistance?" retrieved from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21681087


          Episode 367 - Dr. Ruscio - Gut Microbiome, Pro and Prebiotics, and Thyroid Disease        

This week we have my good friend Dr. Michael Ruscio back on the podcast. Listen in as we discuss the gut microbiome, research, treatment, prebiotics and probiotics, gut microbiome variation around the world, and thyroid disease.

 

Website: https://drruscio.com/

 


          The Paleo Solution - Episode 344 - Elijah Markstrom - Nutrition and Obstacle Racing        

This week we have guest Elijah Markstrom. Elijah is a personal trainer, health and fitness nut, and Spartan and obstacle racer. Listen in as we chat about diet, nutrition, ketosis, gut microbiome, Spartan and obstacle racing, and more.

 

Guest: Elijah Markstrom

Website: http://elijahmarkstrom.com/

Podcast: http://www.obstacleorderpodcast.com/


          The Paleo Solution - Episode 316 - Grace Liu - All About Gut Health        

On this episode we have guest Grace Liu (of Animal Pharm and The Gut Institute fame). Grace is a Jedi of gut health, and one of the most knowledgeable people on the topic that we know. Listen as we geek out a bit, talk about all things gut related, and even delve a little into some of what she does with her functional medicine patients. Whether you're a beginner or expert on gut health, I promise there will be a lot of interesting material here for you.

Guest: Grace Liu (PharmD, AFMCP)

http://thegutinstitute.com/
http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/

Follow @Gut_Goddess Twitter
Follow The Gut Institute Facebook

Bio:

Grace is a trained functional medicine practitioner and clinical pharmacist with a doctorate in practice for 19+ years and specializes in complex disease management. What she does is consult and help clients to gain optimal performance through rebuilding the biome after damage from modern living. She uses nutrigenomic tools and other advanced functional lab testing. Currently she's training some functional medicine leaders to approach gut protocols with her expertise. Some of her clients include paleo movement leaders and a UFC MMA fighter in the top 10. She's been invited to speak at Ancestral Health and PaleoFx for two years in a row, interviewed for a documentary (‘Microbirth’ producers) and Womens Health UK magazine on the skin-gut microbiome.

 


          The Paleo Solution - Episode 312 - Dr. Tim Gerstmar - Obesogens        

On this episode we have Dr. Tim Gerstmar. We dig into the topic of obesogens, how we're exposed to them, where they come from, their effects on health, their effects on our microbiome, epigenetics and more geekery!

Obesogens are foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to obesity. (Wikipedia)

 

Guest: Dr. Tim Gerstmar

Website: http://aspirenaturalhealth.com/


          Mesoscope Hawaiian Islands: Eavesdropping on the Ocean’s Mighty Microorganisms        

By Gwenn M. M. Hennon

Gwenn Hennon demonstrates experiment aboard the RV Kilo Moana

Gwenn Hennon demonstrates experiment aboard the RV Kilo Moana

The microscopic organisms that make up ocean ecosystems are invisible to the naked–eye, yet they are responsible for producing half the oxygen we breathe, and for sustaining all the world’s fisheries. Now, nearing the end of our three-week cruise of the North Pacific off Hawaii, we are working to understand how these tiny bacteria connect and communicate with one another.

We know bacteria have the ability to sense and respond to an unknown number of chemical signals, but we think it may be tens to hundreds. A few signals we know from lab experiments include quorum sensing molecules. Quorum sensing molecules are released by other bacteria to change the way cells behave when they have reached a sufficient density, or quorum. We know from previous work in the Dyhrman lab and the Van Mooy lab that quorum signaling is important in the bacteria communities that surround a particularly large and important
cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium. Tricho, as it is affectionately referred to, fixes large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer directly from nitrogen gas ( see my post: http://bit.ly/2udAf6F ). The bacteria surrounding Tricho, or its microbiome can greatly affect the rates of nitrogen fixation in ways we do not yet fully understand. Nitrogen fixation is one of the most important biochemical processes on earth and in the oceans. In ocean ecosystems, it enables microorganisms to grow even when other nutrients, such as nitrate and ammonium, are scarce.

We would like to understand which bacteria are actively recruited to colonize Tricho and other large cells, and how chemical signaling impacts this process. To do this, we created a trap for bacteria using new techniques pioneered by our collaborator Otto Cordero. From scratch, we made microscopic beads embedded with phytoplankton cell extract and magnetic particles that allow us to pull the beads out of solution, separating them from the seawater and free-living cells. Inside the bottle I’m holding (see photo) are thousands of these tiny beads mixed with ocean bacteria. Over the past few weeks, we have mixed natural bacteria found in the surface ocean with different mixtures of chemical signals and phytoplankton-flavored beads. After we take our samples back to the lab, we can use DNA sequencing as a kind of universal barcode to identify the bacteria caught in our trap.

I can’t wait to see what we will discover from these experiments, which give us new tools to eavesdrop on the conversation among marine bacteria. Understanding how bacteria communicate through signals is an important challenge for predicting the future of the ocean’s complex microbial ecosystem.


          Microbiomes and Aging with Rob Knight - Research on Aging        
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          So, to continue the resistant starch exp ...        
So, to continue the resistant starch experiments, I tried unmodified raw potato starch in an ad hoc glucose tolerance test. This time, I wanted to test the effects of the starch on another food. I chose Fage Greek Yogurt. I use Fage a lot and know the glucose load it provides, so it is easy for me to judge the additional load caused by adding an ingredient. I also wanted to test the effects of the raw potato starch on my digestive system, since many folks report unpleasant side effects (gas) from eating it. I added 24g (2TBS) of the potato starch to 220g of plain Fage Greek Yogurt. The yogurt provided 7g of carbohydrate for which I bolused insulin. The potato starch is labeled as 20g of carbs for the 24g. I did not bolus for the potato starch. After recording my blood glucose reading, I consumed the combination and checked my BG's over a period of 3 hours. 1730 - 78 Start 1800 - 74 1830 - 89 1hr 1900 - 114 1930 - 107 2hr 2000 - 101 2030 - 96 3hr So, the results show a maximum spike of +36mg/dl after 90 minutes. However, the BG readings started dropping, and by the 3 hr mark, were very close to normal. From this experiment I can't say that the potato starch had much if any effect on my blood sugar. This is good news if it holds up. I'll test in a more controled test with potato starch by itself next time to be sure. As to the "gas" situation, I am happy to report that I had no unusual increase. I have been taking a high quality raw probiotic for about 6 weeks, and this probably has a lot to do with my non reaction to the added resistant starch. As far as resistant starches go, raw potato starch appears to be a viable choice for me. As those who have read my past posts on RS know, I haven't always had good results with other sources. I will continue my quest, as recent research is showing there is a close interrelationship between our health and our human microbiome; especially those in the gut. There is very compelling evidence piling up that resistant starch is vitally important to the health of those micro organisms.
          Metabolic Approach to Cancer        
metabolic-approach-to-cancerImprove your health to ward off and recover from cancer and other chronic illnesses.It’s important to empower cancer patients with ways to improve their own health. In fact, nutritional techniques can be applied to any chronic illness. Diet and lifestyle can impact resilience and recovery.

Your Terrain

Your body must have some damage that made it susceptible to cancer or chronic illness. Looking at the terrain of your life can help find areas to heal.

  • Epigenetics determine your genetic qualities before you are born. It is the blueprint for the “tree” you become in life. You can manipulate parts of your blueprint.
  • The microbiome is like the soil for your tree. It helps your tree grow so you need to feed it well. The mental and emotional aspects compose your trunk. 
  • The trunk connects you to the soil. Traumas and adverse childhood events can impact your health in adulthood.
  • Branches are comprised of blood sugar, metabolism, hormones, circulation, toxic exposure, circadian rhythm, stress response and overall immune function.
Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Our bodies switch from burning glucose for fuel to producing and burning ketones. Cancer cells don’t have the same metabolic flexibility to run off ketones. Healthy fats like nuts, fish and avocados are staples of the ketogenic diet.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy seem to be more successful when one follows the ketogenic diet.

Listen as Dr. Nasha Winters and Jess Kelly, MNT, join Dr. Holly Lucille to discuss how you can improve your health to ward off and recover from cancer and other chronic illnesses.
          Integrative, Nutritionally-Oriented Psychiatry        
integrative-nutritionally-oriented-psychiatryThere may be some nutritionally-based solutions to improve the effects of mental illness and depression.The current model for treating depression and mental illness is limited. Medications are not as effective as desired.

Everyone who presents with depression might have a different source and/or contributing factors. The biochemical underlying cause can vary from person to person.

Individualized, integrative treatment is important. The gut microbiome may be an underlying cause. Stress could also be a factor. There might even be a toxicity present. Locating biological causes and deficiencies can improve treatment of brain function.

Listen as Dr. James Greenblatt joins Dr. Holly Lucille to discuss integrative psychiatry.
          Probiotics: How Does Your Gut Garden Grow        
probiotics-how-does-your-gut-garden-growLearn the basics of probiotics and how the gut microbiome works.Probiotics products are designed to give you health benefit. The term probiotic actually comes from Greek biota, meaning “life.”

Your body hosts a microbiome— a collection of microorganisms. The human body contains more bacteria than anything else. Every aspect of your health is influenced by your microbiome.

It may be more important for your health to take a quality probiotic than a multivitamin.

Most probiotics contain lactobacillus and bifido bacteria strains. These are the primary strains in the gut. The approach for the past hundred years has been to replenish these bacteria with probiotics.

There now seems to be a better way. It’s tough for live bacteria to survive the digestive system to their destination in the gut. An endospore on some probiotics can help it reach the intestine before it comes to life.

Bacillus strains naturally occur in the gut to the tune of two to three million. Adding billions more via a probiotic will create a stimulatory effect. They should survive about a month and help your gut bacteria garden grow.

The number of colony forming units (CFUs) needed depends on your unique microbiome. For example, your body’s bifido bacteria decreases with age so you may need more as you grow older. Your medication and antibiotic history will affect the supplementation you need. Stress depletes gut bacteria. Diet, alcohol consumption and drinking chemically treated tap water can alter your probiotic needs. Pre-existing digestive issues can influence your supplementation.

Probiotics research is done at the strain level. It’s better to replenish specific strains instead of a fifteen-strain cocktail to try to achieve diversity. Diversity is achieved by taking a product that feeds the good bacteria and eliminating the bad bacteria. Specific strains can be treated for specific conditions.

What about probiotics benefit from yogurt and kefir? Most yogurts have very little probiotic benefit because most probiotics die before reaching the gut. Many yogurts have sugar which is counterproductive to a healthy gut.

Listen in as Tina Anderson and Dr. Holly Lucille discuss the basics of probiotics and improving your microbiome.
          Resources for You: Skin Care, Gut Health & Toxic Air        
resources-for-you-skin-care-gut-health-toxic-airLearn some of Dr. Holly's favorite resources for skin care, gut health and contaminants.With all the health concerns we’re facing today, it's helpful to have some trusted resources for solid information. Dr. Holly Lucille has a potpourri of information with great places to go to get your questions answered.

SkinDeep is the Environmental Working Group's comprehensive list of safe and not-so-safe personal care items. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. What you use on your skin directly affects your health.

Power of Poop details the importance of a healthy gut. There is information on getting a fecal transplant to give your gut microbiome a boost.

TED Talk addresses the microbiome in the gut.

The American Gut Project has a service where you make a donation and send in a poop sample to find out exactly what critters are living in your gut.

World Health Organization created this report on indoor and outdoor air contaminants. Type in your zip code and see what you're breathing.

WaterKeeper Alliance informs people about pollutants in our natural waterways and why we need to take action to protect them.

BYRDIE provides a short and simple list of ingredients to avoid in cosmetics. Remember that your skin absorbs toxins from the products you use.

Listen in as Dr. Holly shares her go-to sites for information on skin health, gut health and air quality.
          The Power Behind Your Microbiome’s Third Brain        
the-power-behind-your-microbiome-s-third-brainLearn about the suferfood helping to nourish your third brain.According to a recent paper that was published in the journal, Anticancer Research, researches from Japan were treating patients with chronic fatigue through the microbiome.

Microbes help you break down food for energy, produce vitamins, and protect your body against germs.

However, your microbiome has much more influence over your health than in just your gut. It helps the development of all your organs and systems within your body.

Which superfood can help your microbiome's third brain boost your overall health?

Listen in as Holly Lucille, ND, RN, discusses your microbiome's third brain.
          Gut bacteria and connection with eating disorders, anxiety, depression. (masterpost)        
I began writing this post back in 2016, but never got around to actually finishing it.... (a year later im back writing on it!)

Recently i have read a few articles regarding the research/study on gut bacteria (If you didnt know we have both good and bad bacteria in our intestines and all together those can weigh up to 1,5kg... An interesting fact, for me anyway. For most others they find this information disturbing and something they would prefer to not know. But now you know and also to point out, that we need these bacteria to survive and be healthy. They have found correlations of "bad" bacteria and illnesses or lack of bacteria and illnesses, but then have a good gut bacteria improves health hence why it is recommended to take probiotics!).

My mum sent me a link to an article, but i couldnt find the actual article link she sent me so i did some of my own googling and found THIS article which was pretty much the same thing and talks about a study done to see the gut bacteria of those who suffered with anorexia and those who were healthy. And what they found is that those who had anorexia had much less bacteria in their intestines - most likely due to the fact that they were eating so little and non varied and so many of the bacteria died out, but then when the patients had gained weight and been eating enough and varied the bacteria flora improved but not as much as it was as the healthy people.

For a long time my mum has talked about how important gut bacteria is and ive always been given probiotics, however i have also taken ALOT of antibiotics in my life. During most of my childhood i was almost constantly on some form of antibiotics either orally or through an IV. And at times ive had to take antibiotics almost every month or second month.... and that does alot of damage on the gut bacteria and can take up to 6 months after just a 2 week antibiotic dose to get back to a healthy gut bacteria again. However antibiotics do help so its not something you should avoid if you need it, but taking it unnecessarily isnt a good idea, and also making sure to take plenty of probiotics before, during and after the dose.

And then there is also the question about how much antibiotics are people consuming unknowingly from the animal products they consume. There are regulations about how much antibiotics can be given to live stock and the amount has to be below a certain a amount to be allowed to sell as "food"... however, the farmers just want "healthy" animals to kill and sell as meat. There isnt so much studies about how the antibiotics used in agriculture is affecting humans, however there is more news that there is a rise in antibiotic resistance which is a rather terrifying thing if people start to become resistant to antibiotics. You can read more HERE

In school recently we talked about the gut-brain axis and how bacteria in the intestines can impact and affect the brain and cause issues such as depressive thinking, more prone to anxiety and might even be a cause of an eating disorder.

Ive been skeptical... but it also makes alot of sense. I.e if we eat the right food and plenty of fiber which is healthy (in the right amount) it will also feed the gut bacteria. I.e good nutrition plays a HUGE role in how you feel. It impacts thoughts, mood, skin, hair, energy and pretty much everything else in the body.

However if you eat alot of junk food and processed food it can kill out the gut bacteria which might cause more tiredness, negative thinking and an imbalance in the body which can cause you to eat less or keep eating junk food which in turn makes it worse. Or for example if you have an eating disorder and dont eat alot, then the gut bacteria dont get any food and will die out as well which in turn can cause more negative thinking, more anxiety and depression. So it all sort of hangs together.... however the question is whether its depression/an eating disorder/anxiety that makes the gut bacteria die out/lessen or whether its that a person already has fewer gut bacteria which in turn causes the illness....

You can read more about studies and the link of gut bacteria and anorexia
HERE (read this one if you are interested)
Abstract of a study HERE
Another article talking more about this topic

It is very very interesting to read about and one of the conclusions is that good nutrition is key but also that probiotics should be a part of everyones diet.

There is also studies about how gut bacteria can affect/be the cause of depression, but more studies on humans need to be done.
You can read more:

HERE
HERE
HERE
Article in more "simple wording"

There is also the theory that in the western world everything is too "clean" i.e people arent as exposed to different bacteria and such which in turn can cause autoimmune illnesses. Ive always grown up being told that "a little dirt never harmed anyone" and also that as a child, growing up around animals can actually make the immune system stronger as you are more exposed to bacteria which makes the immune system have something to fight against and get stronger. But on the other side ive also been told that i need to stay away from as much dirt and bacteria as possible because of my CF and wasnt even allowed to hoover or sleep on a mattress on the floor because of the bacteria i might be exposed to.

Basically, not all bacteria is bad.

Gut bacteria has also been linked to weight control and that people who are obese have a different variety and type of gut bacteria compared to people who are slim and can maintain their weight effortlessly..... you can read more about a study done on this HERE

There are also plenty of articles and studies showing that the way you are born and whether you are breast fed or not impacts your gut bacteria which later can impact your health status, i.e whether you are more prone to different illnesses not to mention how you maintain your weight. I.e for some people, because they were born from a C section and never breast fed can be one of the causes for weight gain in the future according to some studies.

A variety and abundance of different gut bacteria is often found in the healthiest of people which is why HEALTHY AND VARIED FOOD is key. That is basically the summary of it all.... are you eating restrictvly, eating alot of junk food, not eating alot of fiber? This can all affect your gut bacteria which can then affect your brain and thoughts and lead to other negative impacts. So dont just live on broccoli, dont just live on rice and chicken, dont just live on oreos and burgers... its all about the balance and variety. But also eating enough is key, eating enough to maintain your weight... the less you eat the less fuel for the gut bacteria.

I feel like i could write so much more about this as it is a very interesting topic and hope for more studies about this in the future (which i know there will be.) But just keep in mind - eat varied, eat healthy, supplement with a probiotic and dont be scared of a little dirt (ohh... and maybe cut down on animal products would also be a recommendation!!).


Photo from: HERE


Your brain and your digestive system are intricately linked. They interact so closely that some say they should be taken as one system. The link is the vagus nerve, a direct neuronal connection between the gut and the brain. It turns out the gut can bidirectionally communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve, known as the gut–brain axis. Not only does an individual’s microbiome affect overall health and disease, but also can impact mental health. Anger, anxiety, stress, sadness and excite...:



           Stability of multispecies bacterial communities: Signaling networks may stabilize microbiomes         
Kerényi, Ádám and Bihary, Dóra and Venturi, Vittorio and Pongor, Sándor (2013) Stability of multispecies bacterial communities: Signaling networks may stabilize microbiomes. PLOS ONE, 8 (3). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1932-6203
          DMB impide transformación de colina a TMA        

3,3-dimetil-1-butanol (DMB)

A nuestra comunidad de personas que padecen de olor corporal y/o halitosis, lo que más nos interesa y nos beneficia es que han descubierto un tratamiento para controlar la formación de TMA en el intestino
Un grupo de investigadores descubieron que el bloqueo de una via metabólica especifica del microbioma puede inhibir la formación de trimetilamina (TMA) en el intestino. Publicaron un informe, Apuntando a los microbios del intestino para tratar la arteriosclerosis (Dec 2015) explicando como las enfermedades cardiovasculares se forman con esta formación de TMA que después se metaboliza en el hígado a TMAO. A nuestra comunidad de personas que padecen de olor corporal y/o halitosis, lo que más nos interesa y nos beneficia es que han descubierto un tratamiento para controlar la formación de TMA en el intestino. Al reducir el nivel de TMA en el intestino, se reduce también en el torrente sanguino.

El estudio de los investigadores nos han dado una oportunidad muy valiosa a no tener que escoger entre la salud o vivir con olor corporal con su descubrimiento de poder impedir la transformación de colina en TMA.
Hasta ahora, el protocolo para reducir el olor de TMAU se ha basado en una dieta baja en colina. Además de bajar el consumo de colina en la dieta, la poca colina que se ingiere con esta dieta es consumida por la bacteria intestinal para producir TMA. La colina es un nutriente esencial, y una dieta baja en colina puede se muy peligrosa.

La colina es parte del neurotransmisor acetilcolina, que juega un papel mayor en el cerebro...
La colina funciona como una parte del proceso bioquímico en el cuerpo llamado metilación: La colina actúa como un donante de metil. Hasta hace poco, se pensaba que el cuerpo podía usar otras sustancias para sustituir a la colina, tal como folato, vitaminas B6 y B12 y el aminoácido metionina. Pero evidencia reciente finalmente ha mostrado que, para algunas personas, los suministros adecuados de colina no se pueden mantener por otros nutrientes y tienen que obtenerse independientemente a través de la dieta o los suplementos...
EBSCO CAM Medical Review Board, Hierbas y Suplementos, 01 de abril de 2009


De acuerdo a las pautas estadounidenses y canadienses, la ingestión diaria recomendada de colina son las siguientes:

  • Infantes 0 - 6 meses, 125 mg
  • 7 - 12 meses, 150 mg
  • Niños 1 - 3 años, 200 mg
  • 4 - 8 años, 250 mg
  • 9 - 13 años, 375 mg
  • Hombres de 14 años y más, 550 mg
  • Mujeres 14 - 18 años, 400 mg
  • de 19 años y más, 425 mg
  • Mujeres embarazadas, 450 mg
  • Mujeres lactando, 550 mg

http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=e0498803-7f62-4563-8d47-5fe33da65dd4&chunkiid=21658

El DMB se encuentra en ciertos productos naturales, tal como en el vinagre balsámico, vino tinto, y algunos aceites de oliva extra vírgenes con extracción en frío, y aceite de pepitas de uva.
El estudio de los investigadores  nos han dado una oportunidad muy valiosa a no tener que escoger entre la salud o vivir con olor corporal con su descubrimiento de poder impedir la transformación de colina en TMA.

Los microbios en nuestros intestinos tienen una enzima, la TMA liasa, que cataliza la transformación de colina y carnitina en trimetilamina (TMA)...El equipo de investigadores, dirigida por Stanley Hazen, decidió impedir la formación de TMAO bloqueando un paso metabólico anterior. En vez de obstruir la síntesis de TMAO, decidieron impedir la transformación de la colina en TMA. Esto suponía apuntar a los microbios intestinales, responsables de la formación de la TMA liasa. Realizaron un cribado de inhibidores de TMA liasa y encontraron una molécula llamada 3,3-dimetil-1-butanol (DMB).
http://es.labcritics.com/2015/12/22/apuntando-a-los-microbios-del-intestino-para-tratar-la-arteriosclerosis/

El 3,3-Dimetil-1-butanoL (DMB) inhibe la formación microbiana de la química olorosa, trimetilamina (TMA) en ratones y en las heces fecales humana.1 El DMB se encuentra en ciertos productos naturales, tal como en el vinagre balsámico, vino tinto, y algunos aceites de oliva extra vírgenes con extracción en frío, y aceite de pepitas de uva.

  1. Wang, Zeneng; Roberts, Adam B.; Buffa, Jennifer A.; Levison, Bruce S.; Zhu, Weifei; Org, Elin; Gu, Xiaodong; Huang, Ying; Zamanian-Daryoush, Maryam; Culley, Miranda K.; DiDonato, Anthony J.; Fu, Xiaoming; Hazen, Jennie E.; Krajcik, Daniel; DiDonato, Joseph A.; Lusis, Aldons J.; Hazen, Stanley L. (December 2015). "Apuntando a los microbios del intestino para tratar la arteriosclerosis". Cell 163 (7): 1585–1595.doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.055.

No se está matando a la bacteria. Se le está diciendo a la bacteria, ‘No puedes ingerir esto.’
El Dr. Hazen, quien dirigió esta investigación sobre DMB, contrató a Proctor & Gamble (P&G) para que fabriquen un suplemento diseñado por él que le prevenga a la bacteria consumir la colina o carnitina. No sabemos específicamente lo que va a contener este producto, pero será un producto más fuerte que la DMB del aceite de oliva. Mientras tanto, vamos lidiando con la dieta rica en DMB.


En cuanto a los investigadores académicos, el Dr. Hazen dice que la molécula del aceite de oliva de su estudio es muy débil para ponerlo en una píldora. Él está dedicado a la creación de inhibidores más fuerte. En el futuro potencialmente se podrá tomar una píldora con una cena de bistec, previniendo los efectos de endurecimiento de las arterias. "No se está matando a la bacteria. Se le está diciendo a la bacteria, ‘No puedes ingerir esto.’”
https://www.statnews.com/2016/04/15/drugs-gut-microbiome/ (traducido del inglés al español por Maria de la Torre)



María

María de la Torre
Fundadora y Directora Ejecutiva

Organización Benéfica

Una Asociación de EURORDIS y NORD

          Takeda and Marvel Custom Solutions Debut the Full IBD Unmasked Graphic Novel Featuring a Team of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Super Heroes        

Two new chapters complete The Unbeatables graphic novel designed to raise awareness of the unrecognized Super Heroes of the global IBD community

OSAKA, Japan, Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited [TSE: 4502], with the support of Marvel Custom Solutions, today announced the debut of the final two chapters of the full graphic novel featuring The Unbeatables, a team of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Super Heroes. Launched in July 2016, IBD Unmasked is a first-of-its-kind global initiative designed to raise awareness of the unrecognized Super Heroes of the global IBD community and provide educational resources and support for people living with IBD, as well as the sidekicks who support them. Takeda is the first pharmaceutical company to partner with Marvel Custom Solutions on a disease awareness campaign raising awareness of health conditions.

The Unbeatables and the graphic novel were created by Marvel Custom Solutions in collaboration with a panel of people living with IBD from around the globe. The first chapter premiered at the popular London Comic Con in 2016, while the second chapter was revealed earlier this year on World IBD Day (19 May). The graphic novel features all five of The Unbeatables, Samarium, Switchback, Luminaria, Datawave and Rubblerouser, as they take on their enemy, Technonaut. Some of The Unbeatables have Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC), the two most common types of IBD, while others take care of family members or patients with the condition.

"Only a person with IBD can understand what it is truly like. It can be very difficult, and it's really important that your environment and those who surround you provide support and understanding," said Chantel Wicks, IBD Unmasked patient panel member. "IBD Unmasked has shed light on the patient experience and given me the opportunity to have a positive impact on the IBD community."

There are more than five million people worldwide who live with IBD. Everyday activities like getting together with friends and family or going to the cinema may be challenging for them. IBD affects people of all ages, and diagnosis is most common in early adulthood.

"It was a unique and rewarding challenge to work on IBD Unmasked and collaborate directly with patients with IBD to create an inspiring new graphic novel," said Fabian Nicieza, writer of The Unbeatables graphic novel and co-creator of Deadpool. "We are proud to have created a group of heroic characters living with IBD and a dramatic adventure story that will raise awareness and empower people living with IBD."

The full IBD Unmasked graphic novel is available online at www.IBDunmasked.com, where visitors can also create and share their own Super Hero avatar, take part in quizzes and download tips to help them talk to their doctor, family or friends about IBD.

"When we launched IBD Unmasked, we wanted to provide inspiration for people living with IBD, and to recognize the truly heroic journey they go through in an authentic way," explained Elissa Johnsen, Senior Director, Global Product & Pipeline Communications, Takeda. "During the past year, IBD Unmasked and our partnerships with patients, physicians and Marvel have enabled us to support those living with IBD in a meaningful and creative way."

Follow the Super Heroes story and conversation on the Twitter handle, @IBDunmasked, and via #IBDunmasked. Note: the site will direct visitors to appropriate site and language, based on their location.

About Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease 
Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) are two of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both UC and CD are chronic, relapsing, remitting, inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that are often progressive in nature. UC only involves the large intestine as opposed to CD which can affect any part of the GI tract from mouth to anus. CD can also affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall, while UC only involves the innermost lining of the large intestine. UC often presents with symptoms of abdominal discomfort, loose bowel movements, including blood or pus. CD commonly presents with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss. The cause of UC or CD is not fully understood, however recent research suggests hereditary, genetics, environmental factors and/or an abnormal immune response to microbial antigens in genetically predisposed individuals can lead to UC or CD.

Takeda's Commitment to Gastroenterology 
More than 70 million people worldwide are impacted by gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, which can be complex, debilitating and life-changing. Takeda is driven to improving the lives of patients with GI diseases through innovative medicines, dedicated patient disease management support and the evolution of the healthcare environment. Takeda is leading in gastroenterology through the delivery of innovative medicines in areas associated with high unmet needs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, acid-related diseases and motility disorders. Our GI research & development team is also exploring solutions in celiac disease and liver diseases, as well as scientific advancements through microbiome therapies. With more than 25 years of experience in this area, our broad approach to treating many diseases that impact the GI system and our global network of collaborators, Takeda aims to advance how patients manage their disease.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited 
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda (TSE: 4502) is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com


          I am my poop        
So, you might have heard about fecal transplants- did you know they can have strange side effects? Listen to this six minute Melbourne radio segment (ABC Melbourne) that perhaps isn't meal appropriate. Fecal transplants have been around for a while, as attempted treatment for dysentery in the middle ages* and in modern medicine since the 1950s*, however we are still learning more about the human microbiome and what happens when we change it. Research suggests that although the treatment works quickly, the gut flora undergo changes for at least three months afterwards. Additionally, some faecal transplant patients have reported a change in mood- 'catching' depression from their depressed donor. Others report a change in weight (either under or over) again, to match the donor. With more research to be done, perhaps it isn't time to DIY the procedure at home. (Horrifyingly real website.) * facts from Interview with Associate Professor Patrick Charles linked above.
          Creating A Healthy Gut For Beautiful Skin        
The key to having beautiful skin is creating a healthy gut. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it’s all the one that receives the most abuse. From the sun’s damaging rays, to the pollution in the air and the destructive toxins we put on our skin. Dr. Trevor Holly Cates joins Dave on this episode of Bulletproof Radio to explain how a healthy gut leads to beautiful skin, why the “beauty products” that are supposed to be good for your skin can actually do more harm than good, and how to maintain and nourish the over one-thousand species of bacteria that make up a healthy skin microbiome.
          Fasting & Feasting with Brad Pilon        
Today from the Bulletproof Radio archives comes an episode with Eat Stop Eat author Brad Pilon. Brad has a Master's Degree in Applied Human Nutrition, and years of experience in the supplement industry as a Research Analyst and Development Manager. His personal blog, Eat Blog Eat, explores intermittent fasting and is a valuable resource for anyone getting into fasting. His workout programs and books are designed to educate people on the truth about how to utilize fasting to achieve the results they want. On this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave and Brad discuss the bodybuilder diet myth, the truth about women and intermittent fasting, the role of fasting on your gut microbiome, and why it's important to understand total biological stress. Enjoy the show!
          Dr. David Perlmutter: Autism, Alzheimer's & The Gut Microbiome - #250        
Dr. David Perlmutter comes on Bulletproof Radio today discuss the gut microbiome, it's relation to autism and Alzheimer's, prebiotics you should be taking, and the importance of a balanced gut. Enjoy the show!
          Bulletproof Radio Q&A - The Gut Microbiome, Jet Lag Hacks & Seasonal Affective Disorder - #245        
On this episode of Bulletproof Radio, we have carefully selected the best questions from Facebook, Twitter, and the Bulletproof® Forums for another awesome Q&A. Hear Dave answer questions with Dr. Mark Atkinson about the Bulletproof Coaching program, orthorexia and the Bulletproof Diet, ways to overcome jet lag, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This episode has a ton of great information all condensed into one, enjoy!
          Tom Malterre: Gluten, the Gut Microbiome, & the Elimination Diet - #202        
Tom Malterre is an advanced Functional Medicine-trained Nutritionist with over 10 years of clinical experience working with nutrient deficiencies, chemical exposures, and the gut microbiome. He has degrees from Bastyr University and the Institute of Functional Medicine, is a faculty member of the Autism Research Institute, a medical affairs member of Thorne Research, and even done an entire TEDx Talk on the benefits of broccoli. Tom has co-authored two gluten-free cookbooks, including his newest book, The Elimination Diet, and has been teaching and practicing gluten-free principles since long before gluten-free was even trendy. Why you should listen –   Tom comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss why gluten and dairy are addictive like opium, the minimum length of time for elimination diets to be effective, the gut microbiome, and the benefits of raw vs cooked vegetables. Enjoy the show!
          Dr. Joel Kahn: Heart Health, Mitochondria, & the Gut - #193        
Dr. Joel Kahn is an Interpreventional Cardiologist and author of the best-selling book, The Whole Heart Solution. He has been one of the top doctors in the fields of invasive, interventional, and preventative cardiology for over 15 years, and was given the title of “America’s Holistic Heart Doc” by the Reader’s Digest. His holistic practice focuses on educating clients that there are many options for preventing and reversing heart disease, including plant-based diets, exercise, and mind-body practices that are non-invasive, safer, and more affordable than many of the common surgical procedures available today. Dr. Kahn also serves as a Clinical Professor of Medicine in Cardiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine. Why you should listen – Dr. Joel comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss things that make your mitochondria weak, supplements that increase resilience, the link between the gut microbiome and the heart, and tests you can take to track your cardiovascular health. Enjoy the show!
          Dr. Grace Liu: Fixing the Gut Microbiome with Resistant Starch and Probiotics - #177        
Dr. Grace Liu is renowned for the information she publishes on the blog, Animal Pharm, under the name “Dr. BG”. She is a Food and Nutritional Scientist and Functional Medicine Practitioner with a doctorate in Pharmacology, and one of the most knowledgeable people on the hot button topics of resistant starch (RS) and its effects on the health of the gut microbiome. She uses her expertise in the pharmaceutical world to explore the various scientific, nutritional, and pharmacological ins and outs of optimal health.   Why you should listen –     Hal comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss the difference between resistant starch and regular starch, how resistant starch works in the body, how to prioritize the different testing methods for determining gut health, and the things you can do to start fixing your gut immediately. There is tons of in-depth information in this episode. Check out all of the resource links below. Enjoy the show!
          Brad Pilon: Eat Stop Eat & the Fundamentals of Intermittent Fasting - #174        
Brad Pilon is the author of Eat Stop Eat, and one of the top experts on the science of fasting, including the widely misunderstood protocol of intermittent fasting. Brad has a Master’s Degree in Applied Human Nutrition, and years of experience in the supplement industry as a Research Analyst and Development Manager. His personal blog, Eat Blog Eat, is a valuable resource for the research on fasting and information for how to optimize and troubleshoot fasting diet protocols, and his workout programs and books are designed to educate people on the truth about how to utilize fasting to achieve the results they want.   Why you should listen –     Brad comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss the bodybuilder diet myth, the truth about women and intermittent fasting, the role of fasting on your gut microbiome, and why it’s important to understand total biological stress. Enjoy the show!
          JJ Virgin: The Sugar Impact Diet, Artificial Sweeteners, & Your Gut Microbiome - #169        
JJ Virgin is a world-renowned nutrition and fitness expert, and author of the best-selling books, The Virgin Diet, and her newest release, The Sugar Impact Diet. JJ has more than 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, and has worked with some of the top high-performance athletes and a-list celebrities to overcome weight loss resistance. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune, and made appearances on the Today Show, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, and was the nutrition expert for two years on the Dr. Phil Show.   Why you should listen –     This is a special in-person interview shot live from the 2014 Bulletproof Conference! JJ comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss the hidden sources of sugar in our food, the misleading labeling on foods, why artificial sweeteners are even worse than food sugars, and the difference between hunger and food cravings. Enjoy the show!
          Doug McGuff: Myokines, & the Endocrine Nature of Muscles - #164        
Dr. Doug McGuff is an Emergency Medicine Physician, exercise science researcher, and weight lifter. In addition to his work at Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians, P.A., Doug also owns and operates his own gym, Ultimate Exercise, and co-authored the best-selling book Body by Science, along with John Little.   Why you should listen –     Doug comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss myokines and their role in muscular training, the role of the gut microbiome in fighting inflammation, how to control your nerves with stress inoculation, and the science behind oxygen saturation, breathing, & exercise. Enjoy the show!
          Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues        
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
author: Martin J. Blaser
name: Tim
average rating: 4.14
book published: 2014
rating: 0
read at: 2015/09/15
date added: 2016/01/31
shelves:
review:
Fascinating book on the edge of learning of modern medicine. Not only did it cover the problems of overuse of antibiotics but it also explored new science of the microbiome. Blaser writes in a clear style explaining complex science well, and exploring all avenues of opinions. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

          Podcast #36:Hacking your Biome with uBiome's Jessica Richman        
Jessica Richman started and sold her first company after high school. Returning to formal education, she attended Stanford University, where she earned degrees in Economics and Science, Technology & Society (emphasis in computer science). Along the way, she worked for Google, McKinsey, Lehman Brothers, the Grameen Bank, and top-tier Silicon Valley venture firms. Currently a doctoral student at Oxford University, her academic interests include social networks, innovation, collective intelligence, and entrepreneurship. uBiome is the world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science. While the sequencing of the human genome has provided invaluable knowledge, it is very difficult to change our own genetic makeup. The microbiome, in contrast, is much more easily changed through simple means such as healthful probiotic cultures and other lifestyle interventions. The microbiome thus may provide some of the most important medical breakthroughs of our era. uBiome will ultimately empower participants to manage their microbiomes to improve their health as well as make important scientific discoveries for humanity.
          Your Gut Can Help Fight Depression and High Blood Pressure        

By Dr. Mercola

Trillions of bacteria live in your gut, influencing your body's homeostasis daily. Far from being restricted to the confines of your intestinal tract, your gut microbiota is intricately tied to other body systems via a number of complex pathways, including the gut-brain axis and a recently revealed gut-brain-bone marrow axis, the latter of which may influence your blood pressure, mood and more.

It's becoming increasingly clear that your brain, your immune system and your gut microbes are intricately linked, so it's not a stretch to add bone marrow to the list of connections. Immune cells stem from bone marrow, and bone marrow inflammation, which may result from high blood pressure, is known to be caused by a signal from the brain. In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, researchers further revealed that immune cells in bone marrow play an important role in signaling between the brain and gut.1,2

Gut-Brain-Bone Marrow Connection Revealed

In an animal study, researchers replaced natural bone marrow in mice with bone marrow cells from genetically engineered (GE) mice. The marrow had been modified to be deficient in adrenergic receptor beta, making it less responsive to messages from the brain.

"In this way," researchers wrote in The Conversation, "we could investigate how the host brain-immune communication will modify gut microbiota. Indeed, by studying this new mouse model, we determined that our nervous system — directed by our brain — can modify the composition of gut microbiota by communicating directly with the bone marrow immune cells. The brain, therefore, can change our gut microbiota indirectly by talking to the bone."3

In short, when bone marrow was less able to communicate with the brain, a "muted inflammatory response" was observed in the gut, which in turn led to a more diverse (i.e., healthier) microbiome. The study shed light on one of the complex ways your gut health may be implicated in that of your heart and brain, with researchers noting:4

"In the context of cardiovascular disease, this muted inflammatory response appears to be beneficial, as it leads to beneficial lowering of blood pressure in our experimental mice.

Most interestingly, a link between gut microbiota and our mental health has recently become clearer. In particular, some have suggested that gut microbiota influence the stress and anxiety pathways in the brain in a way that can alter mood and behavior both positively and negatively, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'gut feeling.'"

Imbalanced Gut Microbes Play a Role in High Blood Pressure

Imbalanced gut microbes, known as gut dysbiosis, have been previously linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, but a recent animal study shed further light on the unique connection.5 Researchers gave rats antibiotics for 10 days to wipe out their natural microbiota, then transplanted hypertensive microbiota into rats with normal blood pressure. Rats with high blood pressure, in turn, were transplanted with normal microbiota.6

The results were surprising in that the rats treated with hypertensive microbiota developed high blood pressure, while the transplantation of normal microbiota led to only a slight reduction in blood pressure among the hypertensive rats. "We conclude that gut dysbiosis can directly affect SBP [systolic blood pressure]," the researchers wrote, adding that manipulating gut microbiota, such as via the use of probiotics or eating fermented foods, may be an "innovative treatment for hypertension."7

However, it's not the first time such a link has been revealed. A systematic review and meta-analysis of nine randomized, controlled studies found significant benefits among people with high blood pressure who consumed probiotics in products like yogurt and milk.8 On average, compared to a placebo, the probiotic consumption lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 3.56 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 2.38 mm Hg.

It appeared that at least 100 billion colony-forming units of probiotics a day were necessary to trigger such improvements, and the benefit was only seen in those who consumed probiotics for eight weeks or more. In 2015, meanwhile, certain gut microbes, namely firmicutes and bacteroidetes, were associated with increased blood pressure in rats.

"Products of the fermentation of nutrients by gut microbiota can influence blood pressure by regulating expenditure of energy, intestinal metabolism of catecholamines, and gastrointestinal and renal ion transport, and thus, salt sensitivity," according to research published in the journal Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension.9

Probiotics Found to Benefit Gut Diseases, Mental Health

The addition of beneficial microbes has been found to benefit people struggling with serious gut diseases, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which often occurs in premature infants and can be fatal. An Australian study revealed that probiotic supplementation significantly reduced NEC risk and mortality in preterm neonates, lowering the incidence of NEC in premature babies by at least 30 percent.10

Probiotics have also been found to benefit irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), of which disturbances in the gut microbiota are often seen.11 Compared to placebo, probiotic therapy was found to reduce pain and symptom severity among people with IBS,12 and probiotics are also known to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children.13

On the mental front, a small study involving adults diagnosed with IBS and depression found the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum provided depression relief. At six weeks, 64 percent of the treatment group had reduced depression scores compared to 32 percent of the control group that received a placebo.14

Those receiving the probiotic also reported fewer symptoms of IBS and improved overall quality of life. At the end of 10 weeks, approximately twice as many in the treatment group were still reporting lower levels of depression.

Interestingly, functional MRI scans revealed a link between reductions in depression score and actual changes in brain activity, specifically in areas involved in mood regulation, such as the amygdala. As noted by Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, who was not involved in the study:15

"We know that one part of the brain, the amygdala, tends to be red-hot in people with depression, and it seemed to cool down with this intervention. It provides more scientific believability that something in the brain, at a very biological level, seems to be affected by this probiotic."

Are Personalized Probiotics the Answer?

As for which strains of probiotic are best, the answer may be harder to come by. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a microbiologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, told Scientific American, "Bacterial strains are so genetically different from one another, and everybody has a different gut microbiota … There will probably never be a one-size-fits-all probiotic."16

Studies suggest, for instance, that some people may benefit more from probiotics than others if they're "low" in a certain variety that is then added to their diet. As Scientific American reported:17

"In other words, their gut ecosystems had a vacancy that the probiotic filled. That is exactly the kind of insight that clinicians need to create and recommend more effective probiotics. If a doctor knows that an individual with severe diarrhea has an undersized population of a particular beneficial microbe, for example, then prescribing the missing strain should increase the chance of a successful treatment."

Other research has looked into the benefits of certain strains of bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria, which tend to be abundant in babies' intestines but typically make up less than 10 percent of the gut microbiome bacteria in adults.18 Low levels of Bifidobacteria, in turn, are linked to chronic diseases like celiac disease, diabetes, allergic asthma and even obesity, while supplementing with them has been found to benefit IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, psoriasis, depression and more.19

Another type of bacteria, lactobacillus, has been shown to reduce anxiety in animal studies,20 while taking a probiotic with eight different bacterial strains reduced aggressive and ruminative thoughts in a study of adult volunteers.21,22

The Lectin Connection and How Leaky Gut Can Destroy Your Health

It's important to be aware that gut dysbiosis, also known as leaky gut, is not only a major gut disrupter linked to digestive disorders, but may also contribute to other chronic diseases like Alzheimer's and possibly cancer. If your gut is leaky, your blood-brain barrier is also leaky, which means toxins can go right into your brain, affecting your cognitive and mental health.

Further, leaky gut can be triggered by a number of factors, including imbalanced gut microbiota that result from dietary factors, such as the consumption of sugar as well as lectins. This latter component is very important. Lectins are plant proteins, sometimes called sticky proteins or glycan-binding proteins, because they seek out and bind to certain sugar molecules on the surface of cells. There are many types of lectins, and the main difference between them is the type of sugar each prefers and binds to.

Some — including wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), found in wheat and other grass-family seeds — bind to specific receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells and interfere with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall.

As such, they act as "antinutrients," and can have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome by shifting the balance of your bacterial flora — a common precursor to leaky gut. Dr. Steven Gundry, author of "The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in 'Healthy' Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain," makes a strong case for a lectin-free diet, stating:

"Our microbiome is, I think, our early warning system, because about 99 percent of all the genes that make up [the human body] are actually nonhuman, they're bacterial, viral and fungal … [from which] we've uploaded most of the information about interacting with our environment … because the microbiome is capable of almost instantaneous changing and information processing that we actually don't have the ability to do.

We're beginning to realize … that the microbiome is not only how we interact with plant materials … like lectins, but probably more importantly, our microbiome teaches our immune system whether a particular plant compound is a friend or foe [based on] how long we've known that plant compound. There are lectins in everything.

But the longer we've interacted with lectins and the longer our microbiome has interacted with them, the more our microbiome kind of tells our immune system, 'Hey, guys, it's cool. We've known these guys for 40 million years. Chill out. They're a pain, but we can handle them.'

From an evolutionary perspective, if you look at modern foods — say the grains and the beans, which we started interacting with 10,000 years ago, which is a blink of time — our microbiome [regards them as] foreign substances … [T]here's no lectin speed dating in evolution."

Lectins are strongly associated with autoimmune disorders of all kinds, primarily by triggering leaky gut. They're found in many of our most cherished foods, such as:

✓ Potatoes

✓ Eggplants

✓ Tomatoes

✓ Peppers

✓ Goji berries

✓ Lima beans

✓ Cashews

✓ Peanuts

✓ Sunflower seeds

✓ Chia seeds

✓ Pumpkin seeds

✓ Kidney beans

✓ Squash

✓ Corn

✓ Quinoa

✓ Soybeans

✓ Wheat

✓ Lentils

In addition, according to Gundry, glyphosate, which is not only sprayed on GE crops via Roundup but also is used to desiccate wheat in the U.S., is also highly problematic, decimating your microbiome and increasing leaky gut. It's yet another reason to eat organic as much as possible.

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of "The Plant Paradox," especially if you've already cleaned up your diet and still struggle with excess weight and/or health problems. Certainly, anyone with an autoimmune disorder would also be wise to take a closer look at lectins.

How to Support a Healthy Microbiota

Supporting your microbiome isn't very complicated, but you do need to take proactive steps to encourage its health while avoiding factors known to cause harm. In addition to the lectin information above, consider the following recommendations to optimize your microbiome:

Do Avoid

Do: Eat plenty of fermented foods. Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass fed kefir, natto (fermented soy) and fermented vegetables.

Avoid: Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary, and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.

Do: Take a probiotic supplement. Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis

Avoid: Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics plus GE grains loaded with glyphosate, which is widely known to kill many bacteria.

Do: Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts and seeds, including sprouted seeds.

Avoid: Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water. Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.

Do: Get your hands dirty in the garden. Exposure to bacteria and viruses can help to strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.

Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil.

Avoid: Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise "dead" nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria.

Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.

Unless 100 percent organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate. Artificial sweeteners have also been found to alter gut bacteria in adverse ways.23

Do: Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature.

Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages it has also changed the microbiome of your home.

Research shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.24

Avoid: Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular is a known antibiotic and will actively kill many of your beneficial gut microbes if you eat foods contaminated with it.

Do: Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system.

Avoid: Antibacterial soap, as it too kills off both good and bad bacteria and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance.


          Implanted Stem Cells Treat Diabetes         

Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease that likely has several causative factors, including genetic predisposition, viral infection, gut microbiome changes and vitamin D deficiency, to name a few. Type 1 diabetes poses serious health challenges and a novel treatment that relies on embryonic stem cells was used for the first time last week.

New Scientist reports that the implanted stem cells are supposed to release insulin when blood sugar levels rise. The stem cells are stored in a subcutaneous implant that is approximately the size of a dime. Viacyte, the San Diego-based manufacturer, has named the product PEC-Direct and it works by releasing the islet cells normally destroyed by Type 1 diabetes.

 Type 1 diabetes is a complex condition without a single causative factor. Scientists have theorized some people may have a greater genetic potential to develop Type 1 diabetes in combination with an immune response. Others theorize a virus triggers the failure of insulin secretion from the pancreas, and others link Type 1 diabetes to nutritional deficiencies.

The likelihood is that each of these factors, and more, may play a role in the development of this complex disease, for which there is no known cure. With the information known today, there are several nutritional steps you can take, whether you currently have Type 1 diabetes or if it tends to run in your family, to improve your outcome.

One of the best ways to protect you from Type 1 diabetes is to optimize your vitamin D levels. Studies have demonstrated that low levels of vitamin D may increase your risk of developing Type 1 diabetes as an adult by 50 percent. Recent research demonstrates also has shown that aerobic exercise helps improve metabolic control of Type 1 diabetes, and may reduce your potential risk for related health problems.

 

 


          Drugging bacteria - Commonly used diabetes drug impacts gut bacteria more than disease itself        
Metformin, the drug most often used to treat type 2 diabetes, has a greater effect on gut microbes than the disease itself. The finding, by scientists at EMBL and colleagues, has implications for studies searching for links between our microbiomes and disease. Published today in Nature, the study points to new approaches for understanding how metformin works, and minimising the side effects of a drug that patients take in high doses for many years.
          Sep 15, 2017: “Genes Involved in Maize Secondary Metabolism Revealed by An Integrated Metabolomics, Transcriptomics, and Quantitative Genetics Approach” - Simon (Shaoqun) Zhou at Plant Science Building        

Simon (Shaoqun) Zhou
Graduate Student Exit Seminar
Plant Biology, Cornell University

Thesis: Interactions between plants and their biotic environments in the soil microbial community

I am an evolutionary biology PhD student interested in the interactions between plants and their biotic environments, especially soil microbial community. Using a combination of natural variation surveying and controlled artificial selection approach, I hope to understand how plants and their rhizospheric microbiome maintain a dynamic homeostasis, and respond to environmental stress (e.g. herbivory) and internal changes (e.g. host plant polyploidy) as a community.

My undergraduate research experiences focused on plant population genetics, phylogenetics and palynology, which I continue to study and apply in my current project.

View on site | Email this event


          Orion Integrated Biosciences To Present At CHI’s Targeting the Microbiome/ Discovery on Target Conference        
On September 21-23 2015 Orion Integrated Biosciences will be presenting several research projects in the CHI’s conference Targeting the Microbiome. During this event Orion Integrated Biosciences will show the performance assessment of RIGEL-MTP (Molecular Taxonomic Profiling) using metegenomic samples of Ebola-infected patients and the assessment of the microbiome to determine survival to infection.
          The Microbe Revolution        
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard about the human microbiome. Research into the composition, function, and importance of the galaxy of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that, when we’re healthy, live in symbiotic balance in and on us has become one of the fastest moving and …More
          Many More Microbes in Humans: Enlarging the Microbiome Repertoire        
Clinical Infectious Diseases  15 August 2017  V.65 N.suppl 1 S20–S29 Jean-Christophe Lagier; Michel Drancourt; Rémi Charrel; Fadi Bittar; Bernard La Scola … The proportion of cultured microorganisms is dramatically lower than those predicted to be involved in colonization, acute, or chronic infections. We report our laboratory’s contribution to promoting culture methods. As a result of […]
          Comment on The sexual frustration of the isolated tree by A decade of restoration is making the microbiome great again. | Biodiversity Revolution        
[…] or land use legacy issues (e.g. disturbance, nutrient loads from past fertilizer use and habitat fragmentation). However, many projects remain insufficiently monitored and cannot provide […]
          Comment on The maladapted future is here – it’s just not evenly distributed* by A decade of restoration is making the microbiome great again. | Biodiversity Revolution        
[…] outcomes are not being reached. This may in part be due to unsuccessful interventions (e.g. reduced fitness or low establishment rates) or land use legacy issues (e.g. disturbance, nutrient loads from past […]
          Comment on Shifting restoration’s mindset away from the ‘Garden of Eden’ by A decade of restoration is making the microbiome great again. | Biodiversity Revolution        
[…] restoration aims to increase biodiversity towards a reference state, but there are concerns that intended outcomes are not being reached. This may in part be due to […]
          Uses For Bacteria Abound        
Bacteria are everywhere, especially on our bodies. It's an oft-repeated fact that there are more bacterial cells in our intestines than there are human cells in the rest of our body, but it doesn't end there by any means. The mouth, sinuses, and skin are also covered with bacteria, and there are even a few brave souls that live in the human stomach.

This is pretty much a discovery of the past two decades, and it's radically different than the prior belief that bacteria are something we only occasionally encounter, and when we do encounter them, we get sick. Rather, bacteria are something we live with every moment, and their role in the normal functioning of the body is probably enormous, though this is something we are only now coming to understand. In fact, the study of the human microbiome is just over 10 years old - the term was coined in 2001 by biologist Joshua Lederberg to describe the sum total of the bacteria that coexist with human hosts. The Human Microbiome Project, meant to mirror the Human Genome Project, was founded in 2008, making this a serious investigation for only about six years. In that time, however, thousands of symbiotic bacteria have been identified.

Of course, as this research is being done by Americans, it hasn't simply stopped at observing and cataloguing the range of bacteria present. Instead, we've begun to look at practical applications for bacteria. Some have suggested deliberately infecting children with Helicobacter pylori to prevent development of allergies in childhood, and then selectively killing off the bacteria later in life to prevent ulcers in adulthood. Others have proposed using Oxalobacter formigenes to prevent stone formation in patients who have recurrent kidney stones. Others have begun developing mouthwashes that selectively kill Streptococcus mutans to prevent dental cavities. As soon as we discover something, we immediately start fiddling with it. We're Americans, and we can't help it.

As an ND, I take the perspective that selectively killing some bacteria isn't as likely to be helpful as promoting other bacteria, with the intention that they arrive at a balance between multiple bacteria. This has long been my approach to digestive health, and it's been a pet theory of mine that something similar would prove true about oral health as well. Rather than kill the 'bad' bacteria, why not promote the 'good' bacteria? I haven't developed an oral probiotic mouthwash, but perhaps I should have, because I recently read that probiotic mouthwashes are indeed being explored as an approach to halitosis (bad breath). It turns out that some are taking my approach and looking to promote the use of 'good' bacteria to promote oral health, rather than just killing the 'bad' bacteria. 

Perhaps I missed the boat on probiotic mouthwashes, but the future is teeming with possible applications for probiotic bacteria. Will nasal bacteria be used to fight chronic sinus infections? Will they be used to break down harmful substances in the digestive system? Will they perhaps even be used in wound-healing to prevent infection by pathogenic bacteria? This field is still brand new and we're learning about it very rapidly, so I wouldn't cross any of these off the list. Stay tuned.

          A growing understanding of the connection between our gut and our brain.        
Although the interaction between our brain and gut has been studied for years, its complexities run deeper than initially thought. It seems that our minds are, in some part, controlled by the bacteria in our bowels.
The gut has defenses against pathogens, but, at the same time, it encourages the survival and growth of "healthy" gut bacteria.

Of course, these bacteria do benefit from the warmth and nutrition in our bowels, but it is not a one-way relationship - they also give back.


Some species benefit us by breaking dietary fiber down into short-chain fatty acids that we can then absorb and use. They metabolize a number of compounds on our behalf and play a role in the synthesis of  vitamins B and K.
On the other hand, recent research infers that imbalance of gut bacteria might be an important factor in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
The microbiome's role in health and disease is only slowly giving up its secrets. The latest and perhaps most remarkable finding is the ability that gut bacteria have to moderate our brain and behavior.

The links between our gut and brain are hormonal, immunological, and neural, via the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system, which governs the function of the gut. Collectively, they are termed the gut-brain axis.

These gut-brain conversations have been studied for some time. However, a new level to this partnership has recently been glimpsed; researchers are now considering the influence of our microbiome on the gut-brain axis. In other words, researchers are asking: do the bacteria in our gut affect our psychology and behavior?

The question is whether adding beneficial gut bacteria to an animal can make a difference. Research seems to say yes.

A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, collated the results of studies looking at the effects of probiotics on central nervous system function in both humans and animals.
They examined 25 animal and 15 human studies, most of which used Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillusover a 2-4-week period. Although, as the authors mention, translating animal studies like this into human terms is a dodgy game. They concluded: "These probiotics showed efficacy in improving psychiatric disorder-related behaviors including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and memory abilities, including spatial and non-spatial memory."



          Comment on Make The Right Choice | Choosing The Best Probiotic Supplement Review by Shirley        
It's so important to know which probiotic cultures your gut needs. They say all illness begins and ends in the gut, so it's important to have pre and probiotics to help your microbiome or gut bacteria to be health. Simply be taking 1 course of antibiotics you can alter your gut bacteria which can then lead to disease. NutriChem Biomedical Labs in Ottawa and other companies offer testing for gut bacteria which can be helpful to know which strains you need. Great article Nick
          Vibrant Wellness Triple Pack (Wheat Zoomer, Gut Zoomer & Celiac Genetics)        

Vibrant Wellness Wheat Zoomer & Gut Zoomer & Vibrant Celiac Genetics.

This option combines all three of the most comprehensive test that Vibrant Wellness offers.

Get the whole picture while saving money too.

Details for each test below:

 

WHEAT ZOOMER IS REALLY FIVE (5) TESTS IN ONE
This test is designed to distinguish between celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, non-gluten wheat sensitivity, and other autoimmune diseases triggered by gluten. It also includes the market’s most comprehensive biomarker panel to identify intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome). The Wheat Zoomer has been validated at 99% specificity and sensitivity.

Vibrant Wellness Gut Zoomer?
Is a microchip-based microbiome exploration service that allows you to look at the populations of bacteria that reside in your gut. This test is based on extensive research from the NIH Human Microbiome project. Vibrant Wellness GUT-PAC looks at specific DNA fragments that identify the unique bacteria in your sample. 16S Ribosomal Gene enables us to classify and distinguish bacteria from phylum up to sub-species level.

Vibrant Wellness Celiac HLA Genetics
Includes the genes associated with celiac disease.
HLA (DQ2.2, DQ2.5, DQ7 and DQ8) genotyping with relative risk assessment.
Specimen: buccal swabs

Your test includes a ONE HOUR Interpretation of your results with Michelle Ross, Director of Clinical Services.

Orders accepted from United States only.
Vibrant Wellness tests are not available in New York State.
Vibrant Wellness Laboratories is not contracted with any insurance provider.


          Vibrant Wellness Gut Zoomer        

WHAT IS The Vibrant Wellness GUT-PAC?
It is a microchip-based microbiome exploration service that allows you to look at the populations of bacteria that reside in your gut. This test is based on extensive research from the NIH Human Microbiome project. Vibrant Wellness GUT-PAC looks at specific DNA fragments that identify the unique bacteria in your sample. 16S Ribosomal Gene enables us to classify and distinguish bacteria from phylum up to sub-species level.

Use these test results to monitor the effects of:

  • Going gluten-free.
  • Taking probiotics, medications or supplements.
  • Improving your diet.
  • Changing your lifestyle.
  • Before and after travel.
  • Plus much more!Your test includes a 15 minute Interpretation of your results with Michelle Ross, Director of Clinical Services

Click Here of Additional Product Information

*You can Combine the Vibrant Wellness Wheat Zoomer with the GUT-PAC for $599.00
See product list for Combined product options

Orders accepted from United States only.
Vibrant Wellness tests are not available in New York State.
Vibrant Wellness Laboratories is not contracted with any insurance provider.


          Year in Review: Your body is mostly microbes        
Feature

Microbiome results argue for new view of animals as superorganisms

By
2:00pm, December 20, 2013

MICROBE MECCA  About a thousand species of bacteria reside in the human gut, some of which are displayed in this hand-colored scanning electron micrograph.

1

We are not alone. Humans’ vast inner and outer spaces teem with a menagerie of microbes that stand poised to alter conceptions of what and who we are.

Traditionally, microbes have been viewed as insidious invaders that make people sick or as freeloaders in the human gut. That view is beginning to change. In 2013, scientists amassed substantial evidence that people and other animals form a unit with their resident bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses — the collection of microbes known as the microbiome. In fact, only about 10 percent of a person’s cells are human; microbes make up the other 90 percent.

Many researchers point out that ultimately, every species is out for itself. Nevertheless several new studies argue in favor of considering animals as superorganisms composed of host and microbes. Some scientists even advocate lumping a host organism’s genes with those of its microbes into one “hologenome.”

Treating a host, such as the human body, and its resident bacteria as a unit — or at least as an ecosystem with intimately interconnected parts — offers various benefits, scientists say. The superorganism approach may help researchers better understand how diet, chemicals and other environmental factors affect health, for instance.

Everyone, including identical twins, carries a slightly different microbial mix. Strong evidence indicates that some differences stem from diet or habitat. But even mice raised under uniform lab conditions still have individualized microbiomes. In October, two groups presented research suggesting that host genes play a role in selecting which microbes are allowed to settle in and on the body (SN: 11/30/13, p. 11). Immune system genes may be especially important in screening suitable microbial companions.

People with immune system problems have more types of bacteria and fungi on their skin. New research shows that some of those microbes may contribute to eczema-like rashes. That finding supports the idea that the immune system grants visas to friendly microbes while keeping out dangerous interlopers.

Newborns rein in their own immune systems to allow bacteria to take hold, one study found (SN: 12/14/13, p. 10). Previously, researchers thought that babies’ immune systems were just too immature to control microbes. But the new work shows that in mice and human umbilical cords, blood cells carry an immune-suppressing protein that prevents defenders from fighting off beneficial bacteria.

In mice, pups of stressed moms picked up a different mix of bacteria during birth than those born tonon-stressed moms, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November. Those bacteria may affect early brain development and possibly contribute to disorders such as autism and schizophrenia (SN: 12/14/13, p. 13).

A study reported in December may strengthen the link between autism and gut microbes (SN Online: 12/5/13). Caltech researchers found that mice with autism-like symptoms have a different mix of gut microbes than normal mice do. Those microbes make chemicals that leak from the intestines into the bloodstream (and perhaps the brain), producing behavioral changes. Treating the mice with the beneficial bacterium Bacteroides fragilis improved some symptoms, suggesting that altering the microbial mix might help some children with autism.

Once established, friendly bacteria shield their hosts from harmful invaders and may keep the immune system from overreacting. Harvard researchers discovered that some intestinal microbes make immune-calming molecules that can help reduce the kind of inflammation that afflicts the bowels in diseases like colitis (SN: 8/10/13, p. 14).

Even friendly bacteria put their own needs first, though. Another Harvard group found that some strains of a common gut microbe called Eggerthella lenta can rob heart patients of a drug called digoxin if the bacteria don’t get enough protein from their hosts (SN Online: 7/19/13). Some microbes change chemicals in meat into artery-cloggers (SN: 5/18/13, p. 14) or cause pain all on their own (SN: 10/5/13, p. 16).

Microbiomes not only alter the biochemical milieu in individuals, but can also influence relationships between entire species. Or even the course of evolution. A study of jewel wasps, for instance, suggests that their microbiomes can prevent two species from successfully breeding with one another (SN: 8/10/13, p. 13).

Hybrid male offspring of the two species die as larvae, an effect long explained as incompatibility between the species’ genes. But when Seth Bordenstein of Vanderbilt University and his colleague Robert Brucker removed microbes from the hybrid larvae, the wasps survived. That finding indicates that microbes in the wasps’ guts and not just the wasp genes contribute to keeping the two species from interbreeding.

The microbial momentum continues to build. Ongoing research is sure to find other ways in which microbes and their hosts interact, for good and ill. “It’s not just a one-way street,” says dermatologist Heidi Kong of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. “The microbes are doing something to us and we are doing things to our microbes.”

See all of the top science stories of 2013


          Year in Review: Bioengineers make headway on human body parts        
Feature

New techniques produce mimics of brain, liver, heart, kidney, retina

By
3:00pm, December 20, 2013

ALMOST BRAIN  A cross section of an immature lab-grown approximation of a human brain reveals neurons (green) and neuron-producing stem cells (red).

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Baron Victor von Frankenstein would have admired the bounty of body parts scientists crafted in the lab this year.

Lab-grown lumps of liver, bits of brain and clumps of heart, kidney and retinal cells can now mimic the functions of organs grown the old-fashioned way.

Scientists have no plans to assemble a monster, of course. Artificial organs may instead one day help repair or even replace a person’s damaged tissues. But that day is still many years away, says retinal cell researcher Robin Ali of University College London. “Making a neuron in a dish is exciting, but it’s not a therapy,” he says. 

In the last few years, researchers have learned how to turn embryonic stem cells into all sorts of different cell types, such as skin cells, heart cells and neurons (nerve cells). These cells are good research tools: Scientists can watch how lab-grown neurons behave in a culture dish and test their responses to drugs.

But to be clinically useful, the cells need to team up and form tissues and organs that researchers can transplant into patients. Getting cells to organize into these three-dimensional structures is tricky. In the lab, cells often stretch out in flat sheets stuck to the surface of a dish. 

This year, several research groups tackled the problem using a clever trick: They grew cells in structural scaffolds made of gel or the hollowed-out shells of real organs. The scaffolds can cue cells to grow and give them a physical framework to hook up in three dimensions. 

“When cells are bound to just each other, they’re very fragile — they will fall apart,” says tissue engineer Shay Soker of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. 

The scaffold technique helped drive this year’s bioengineering boom. As part of a recipe to grow human brain tissue, researchers at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and colleagues injected stem cells into droplets of gelatinous protein goo. The goo balls grew into primitive brain buds about the size of BB pellets. Neurons inside the buds could mimic some abilities of human brain tissue, such as transmitting electrical signals (SN: 9/21/13, p. 5).

Gel scaffolds also helped researchers craft mini-livers from stem cells. After transplantation into mice, the tiny organs could hook up to the blood supply and break down drugs (SN: 8/24/13, p. 16). Ali and colleagues used similar scaffolds to transform stem cells into rudimentary retinas. Primitive retinal cells injected into mice’s eyes linked up with the optic nerve and developed into mature light-sensing tissue (SN: 8/24/13, p. 16). 

Gel-based frameworks are good for supporting small clusters of cells, Soker says. But to make bigger clumps of tissue, scientists need to figure out how to re-create the large-scale architecture of organs. This year two research groups took a crack at the challenge by borrowing structures from existing organs.

By stripping the innards from rat kidneys and mouse hearts, and then loading the husks with new cells, researchers bio­engineered organs similar to the originals (kidney shown below). The renovated organs could filter waste or spontaneously contract (SN: 5/18/13, p. 14; SN Online: 8/15/13).

Still, refilling the shells of organs with fresh cells is like taking an apartment building and swapping out the tenants, Soker says. Eventually, tissue engineers want to erect an entire organ without relying only on existing frameworks. One day scientists may be able to 3-D print these frameworks, or weave them together using technologies from the textile industry, Soker says.

But before people with damaged livers or kidneys receive transplants crafted from scratch, patients might see simpler artificial tissue replacements with lab-grown bone, skin and cartilage, Ali predicts. 

He thinks these replacements could happen within the next 10 years. Now, he says, “The cutting edge is to work on the biology of transplantation.” Safely transferring artificial organs into people’s bodies might inspire more than just mad scientists to shout, “It’s alive!”

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: Planck refines cosmic history        
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Satellite hints at slower expansion rate for universe

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4:00pm, December 20, 2013

CHANGING TEMPS  A color-coded map shows fluctuations in microwave radiation temperature across the sky recorded by the Planck satellite. Noteworthy features include differences between hemispheres and a cold spot (circle at right).

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In October, astronomers said good-bye to the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, breaking off contact with the source of the most precise measurements yet of the universe’s oldest light.

Planck had finished its mission to measure the Big Bang’s remnant radiation, which today constitutes an invisible bath of microwaves permeating the cosmos. This ancient radiation has cooled over time to less than 3 kelvins (degrees above absolute zero). Its precise temperature varies ever so slightly from point to point across the sky.

With 25 times the sensitivity of its predecessor, NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, Planck was able to identify temperature variations as small as a millionth of a degree. Those temperature fluctuations reflect tiny density differences in the infant universe. As the young universe expanded, matter in the higher-density regions clumped together to form intricate clusters of galaxies.

In March, Planck scientists released data that largely confirmed the standard view of the cosmos and its evolution. An improved estimate for the age of the universe, 13.82 billion years, is slightly older than the previous one but within its range of uncertainty (SN: 4/20/13, p. 5).

Planck data also suggested that the universe contains a higher proportion of matter than earlier estimates had indicated — both the ordinary kind of matter found on Earth and the perplexing invisible “dark” variety that affects the motion of galaxies. The probe’s wide-angle view of dark matter distribution throughout the cosmos complements underground experiments, such as the CDMS project in Minnesota and the LUX detector in South Dakota, which are designed to identify individual particles of dark matter (SN: 5/18/13, p. 10).

Planck also measured a slower expansion rate for the universe than other methods have found. “This is one of the most exciting parts of the data,” says Martin White of the University of California, Berkeley.

Scientists who measure the brightness of stellar explosions at large distances calculate an expansion rate considerably higher than Planck’s. As physicists work to determine how quickly the universe is expanding now, they are also trying to measure whether the strength of dark energy, which causes the expansion rate to accelerate, has changed over time (SN: 12/28/13, p. 31). Such changes would have major implications for understanding what the universe looked like in the past as well as for predicting its ultimate fate.

Planck also confirmed a strange finding by the Wilkinson probe that one side of the sky contains more extreme temperature fluctuations on average than the other. That’s a confounding observation, since most experts agree that the universe began as a smooth ball of energy that then expanded uniformly in all directions. Dozens of papers have proposed explanations for the asymmetry, including the possibility that other universes have collided with ours and left behind discernible distortions.

Although communication with Planck has now ended, not all of the satellite’s data have been released. Over the next two years, mission scientists plan to produce enhanced maps of the Big Bang afterglow that could provide a window into inflation, a brief burst of extremely rapid expansion of the universe that most experts believe took place in the instant immediately after the Big Bang.

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: A double dose of virus scares        
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MERS, H7N9 join list of potential pandemics

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4:51pm, December 21, 2013

ACTIVE VIRUS  A transmission electron micrograph shows the coronavirus responsible for Middle East respiratory syndrome in action.

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Outbreaks of two deadly viruses captured the world’s attention in 2013, but neither turned into the global pandemic expected to strike one of these years.

One of the viruses, known as MERS, causes Middle East respiratory syndrome. The other, H7N9, is a new bird flu virus from China. Each virus has infected fewer than 200 people, but both kill a sizable number of the people who contract them. Although the viruses have not spread far from where they started, the scientific effort to decipher and combat them has had global reach.

The MERS virus was first isolated from a patient in Saudi Arabia by an Egyptian physician who sent the sample to the Netherlands to be tested. There researchers in the lab of Ron Fouchier (who made headlines in 2012 for work on the bird flu virus H5N1) deciphered the MERS virus’s genetic makeup. It turned out that MERS is a coronavirus related to SARS, a virus identified in 2003 as the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SN: 3/23/13, p. 5).

Since it first appeared in people in 2012, MERS has sickened 163 people, killing 71. Most of the victims live in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, or had recently traveled to the Arabian peninsula. H7N9, a new strain of avian influenza, began circulating in China in February. The outbreak peaked by early April, nearly halting after Chinese officials closed live poultry markets. Still, sporadic cases appeared in the summer and fall, raising concerns that the virus could make a resurgence in the coming flu season (SN Online: 10/15/13). By early December, of the 139 people with confirmed H7N9 infections, 45 had died.

It came as a surprise that this type of bird virus was seriously sickening and killing people. Experts have been worried for a long time that the H5N1 bird flu would sweep the globe as the 1918 Spanish flu did. If H5N1 gained the ability to spread from person to person through the air while retaining its potency, it could potentially kill millions. But until this year, no serious human infections with H7N9 had ever been recorded.

As more and more cases of MERS and H7N9 infection appeared, scientists and health workers scrambled to investigate basic questions about the viruses: Where did they come from? How did they get into humans? How do they infect cells? And perhaps most important, do they spread easily from person to person, becoming a candidate for a pandemic? Only partial answers have emerged, and some are not comforting.

Researchers found molecular handles on human cells that the MERS virus grasps during infection (SN Online: 3/13/13). One study revealed that H7N9 can grow well in human lung cells (SN Online: 7/3/13).

Studies of ferrets revealed that H7N9 can spread through the air from one of the animals to another, raising the possibility that it might also pass from person to person that way (SN Online: 5/23/13). But so far, the virus hasn’t been easily transmitted between people. A few people may have spread the virus to their relatives, but most people probably caught it from chickens, ducks, pigeons or other birds at live poultry markets (SN Online: 4/12/13, 4/15/13).

But the MERS virus does spread from person to person, particularly among people who are elderly or have other health problems. Hospital dialysis wards proved important for at least one big outbreak (SN Online: 6/19/13).

Researchers have been using DNA data and old-fashioned health sleuthing to track down the source of the MERS virus. It probably originated in bats and may have spread to camels and other animals before infecting humans (SN: 9/21/13, p. 18; SN Online: 8/8/13, 10/9/13). Whatever its origin, MERS probably made the leap from animals to people multiple times (SN: 10/19/13, p. 16). New cases of the virus continue to emerge, and there is ongoing concern that it could become a worldwide problem.

See all top science stories of 2013


          Year in Review: Sleep clears the cluttered brain        
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Gunk between cells is cleansed during slumber

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2:30pm, December 22, 2013

SLEEP CLEANER Tracer dyes (green, red) show where cerebrospinal fluid floods into the brain when a mouse is asleep. The fluid helps cleanse the brain of waste products that can build up and damage brain cells. Fluid flow nearly stops when the mice are awake.

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Sleep showers away cellular grime that builds up while the brain is awake — just the sort of process that could have made sleep a biological imperative, scientists reported in October (SN: 11/16/13, p. 7).

People have long puzzled over the evolutionary pressures that led animals to need sleep even though it leaves them vulnerable to predators and other dangers. Rinsing off the brain and disposing of waste proteins and other gunk might help explain why sleep evolved.

Many other things that sleep does, such as strengthening memories, are important. But they are probably bonuses to the real reason that slumber is necessary, says Suzana Herculano-Houzel of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Researchers led by Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York stumbled upon sleep’s cleansing function while studying how the brain disposes of waste products.

The brain pushes fluid in between its cells to flush out buildup products, such as protein pieces that form plaques in people with Alzheimer’s disease, the team had found. After training mice to sit quietly on a microscope stage, the researchers could measure the fluid flow while the rodents were awake and asleep. Space between cells increased by at least 60 percent when the animals fell asleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to gush in and hose away buildup. When the animals woke up, some brain cells — probably ones called astrocytes — swelled up, narrowing the crevices separating the cells.

With the drainage system clogged, waste from hardworking nerve cells begins to pile up. Sleep deprivation or damage to the irrigation system may make it impossible for sleep to fully wash away the by-products, eventually contributing to neurodegenerative dis-orders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the researchers speculate.

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: High court rules against gene patents        
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Justices open way for choices in DNA testing

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7:00am, December 23, 2013

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A Supreme Court decision in June to strike down a company’s patent on genes linked to breast cancer could have far-reaching consequences for biotechnology and medical research.

In a rare unanimous decision, the justices ruled that naturally occurring genes may not be patented. That ruling came in a case in which many scientists, activist groups and others sued Myriad Genetics. That company had previously patented the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. When mutated, those genes can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer.

Myriad’s patent gave that company the exclusive right to conduct tests based on those two genes. The court’s decision means that Myriad’s patent is invalid and other companies may now offer BRCA tests. Several companies, including medical testing giant Quest Diagnostics, have already started offering such tests.

Patient advocacy groups, doctors and academic scientists embraced the decision, predicting that it would pave the way for cheaper, more readily accessible tests for inherited cancer risk.

Some people, though, warned that biotechnology companies would stop doing genetic research if gene patents aren’t allowed. But the Supreme Court included a carrot along with the stick. Part of the decision included a provision that allows for patents of versions of genes known as cDNAs. Scientists cried foul at the justices’ incorrect assertion that cDNAs don’t occur naturally, but that provision could allow companies to patent certain aspects of their research (SN Online: 6/14/13).

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: Language learning starts before birth        
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Babies seem familiar with vowels, words heard while in womb

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10:00am, December 23, 2013

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Parents are usually careful to watch their language around young children. Maybe parents-to-be ought to watch what they say, too. Not only do babies slurp up language skills in the first few years of life, but new research also suggests that this precocious language learning starts in the womb.

In the later months of pregnancy, fetuses can detect and remember songs, native vowel sounds and entire words. These surprisingly sophisticated linguistic feats offer a new perspective on early learning. The results also raise the possibility of taking steps during pregnancy to help babies at risk for language problems.

Toward the end of pregnancy, sounds from the outside world can seep into a developing fetus’s brain. Young babies show a clear preference for the sounds of their mothers’ voices, familiar nursery rhymes and soothing lullabies, for instance. Four months after birth, babies who had heard “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” while in the womb remembered and recognized the lullaby, cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen of the University of Helsinki and colleagues reported October 30 in PLOS ONE. The music doesn’t need to be baby-friendly, either. An earlier study found that babies born to mothers who had been hooked on a soap opera during pregnancy stopped fussing when the theme song started.

The findings extend the boundaries of what and when fetuses can learn. “We just don’t know the limits,” says psychologist Christine Moon of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., who coauthored one of the new studies.

Moon and her colleagues found that fetuses learn to discern native vowel sounds from foreign ones. To catch babies before they had time to familiarize themselves with the outside world, the scientists studied Swedish and U.S. babies seven to 75 hours after birth. These newborns were hooked up to special pacifiers that detected sucking rates. The more sucking, the more unusual a sound was, the researchers reasoned.

Babies sucked more for foreign vowel sounds, Moon and her team reported in Acta Pædiatrica (SN: 2/9/13, p. 9), showing that the babies had grown familiar with native vowels while in the womb.

Fetal learning doesn’t stop at vowels. Fetuses grew familiar with an entire made-up word, Partanen and colleagues reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (SN: 10/5/13, p. 15). In the last trimester, pregnant women blasted a recording of a researcher saying a fake word. Testing the babies’ brain responses with electrodes soon after birth, a neural signature of familiarity called the mismatch response showed up in those who had heard the word during gestation. These babies’ brains showed a big neural response when a syllable in the fake word was pronounced differently, suggesting that the normal version was familiar.

Such knowledge about fetal learning could one day lead to specially designed audio tracks that could boost language skills in fetuses at risk for language impairments such as dyslexia. Carefully crafted auditory cues played during pregnancy might stimulate the growing brain in a way that aids language skills.

The new work also draws attention to the importance of the acoustical environment for a fetus. Because the fetal brain is sensitive to sounds, constant exposure to a noisy environment might be problematic. Loud, unstructured noise could mask this early language acquisition and interfere with normal brain development.

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: Caffeine triggers cloning advance        
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Human embryonic stem cells copied successfully

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1:10pm, December 23, 2013

CELL MAKER  Using a tiny needle and guided by a laser, researchers extract the DNA from a human egg. It’s the first step in a cloning procedure developed to create human embryonic stem cells.

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With a tweak to the technique that cloned a sheep in 1996, scientists have generated stem cells in the lab that genetically match those found in human embryos.

The feat pumps life into a sputtering field. Until now, researchers had to harvest the cells from embryos left over from in vitro fertilization, or tinker with ways to turn adult cells into embryonic ones, a task riddled with technical challenges.

Embryonic stem cells are so prized because they can transform into any type of cell in the body. This boundless potential carries the promise of personalized medicine: Doctors could one day dose patients with new, healthy cells made from patients’ own bodies. Though scientists had previously cloned cells from frogs, sheep and even monkeys, no one had figured out how to perfect the procedure in human cells.

The cloning procedure, called somatic cell nuclear transfer, requires scientists to remove the DNA-containing nucleus from an egg and replace it with one taken from an adult cell. Under the right conditions, the egg reprograms its new nucleus and develops into an embryonic stem cell. Because each animal’s cells have their own quirks, scientists have to tailor the procedure for different creatures.

To successfully clone human cells, eggs must be dunked in caffeine, study leader Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton and colleagues found (SN: 6/15/13, p. 5). This and other technical changes give researchers a new recipe for creating embryonic stem cells in the lab. And because the recipe doesn’t rely on leftover embryos, it may sidestep some of the ethical issues surrounding stem cell research.

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: Carbon dioxide levels pass milestone        
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Panel affirms humans’ role in warming

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3:45pm, December 23, 2013

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Even as skeptics continued to doubt human-caused climate change, scientists grew more confident than ever this year that people are driving global warming.

In September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that it is 95 to 100 percent certain that human activity — largely fossil fuel burning — is the main cause of rising temperatures since the 1950s (SN Online: 9/27/13).

The IPCC also dismissed a common argument that the apparent slowdown in global warming over the last 15 years is evidence that humans aren’t altering climate.

The IPCC noted that small slices of time aren’t good indicators of longer trends. And researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., determined that the recent global warming “hiatus” may be linked to natural fluctuations in sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific (SN: 10/5/13, p. 14).

Although scientists are confident about humankind’s role in climate change, they still have a lot to learn about the magnitude and timing of future climate shifts. Some researchers are looking to the past for guidance.

Many say the Pliocene epoch, 5.3 million to 2.6 million years ago, may be the best analog for Earth’s future.

Back then, average global temperatures were a few degrees warmer, sea levels were higher and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were about 400 parts per million — an amount the world will soon surpass. Last year, the Arctic hit the 400 ppm mark, and this year the atmosphere above the long-running Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii reached that milestone as well (SN: 6/1/13, p. 20). Scientists predict that the global average will rise to 400 ppm within a few years.

See all top science stories of 2013 


          Year in Review: Voyager 1 reaches interstellar space        
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Planetary probe is first to pass beyond heliosphere