TedTalk: the surprisingly charming science of our gut


Een interessante TedTalk over onze darmen.

Ever wonder how we poop? Learn about the gut — the system where digestion (and a whole lot more) happens — as doctor and author Giulia Enders takes us inside the complex, fascinating science behind it, including its connection to mental health. It turns out, looking closer at something we might shy away from can leave us feeling more fearless and appreciative of ourselves.

Bron: https://www.ted.com/talks/giulia_enders_the_surprisingly_charming_science_of_our_gut?utm_campaign=tedspread–b&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

Gezonde darmbacteriën beschermen tegen vrijwel elke ziekte -nieuwe studie


Gezonde darmflora beschermen tegen bijna elke leeftijd gerelateerde ziekte. Als de balans tussen gezonde/ongezonde darmbacteriën zoek is, dan is dit een oorzaak voor chronische ontsteking. Dit betekent dan het startsein voor -ernstige- aandoeningen. Verandering in het voedingspatroon, pre- en probiotica, kunnen de ziekten voorkomen, blijkt uit Nederlands onderzoek.

Nederlandse onderzoekers transplanteerden de micro-organismen van oude muizen in jonge muizen, en de jonge muizen kregen hierop leeftijd gerelateerde chronische ontsteking.

Hoe darmbacteriën werken bij muizen lijkt op de manier waarop ze functioneren bij mensen. Alzheimer’s, beroertes en cardiovasculaire aandoeningen: veranderingen in het voedingspatroon kunnen deze ziekten voorkomen. Net als bijna alle andere leeftijd gerelateerde ziekten. Uit onderzoeken van de afgelopen jaren blijkt dat de darmen zo’n beetje het hart van alles zijn. Daarom wordt het ook ons tweede brein genoemd.

Het onderzoek werd uitgevoerd door University Medical Center Groningen.

Highlights uit de studie:

Als de samenstelling van de darmbacteriën uit balans is, kan er chronische ontsteking ontstaan. Dit gebeurde bij jonge muizen die het darm-microbioom van oude muizen getransplanteerd kregen. Leeftijd gerelateerde ontsteking wordt ook wel ‘inflammaging’ genoemd. Dit type ontsteking staat in verband met ernstige condities zoals dementie, beroerte en cardiovasculaire ziekten.

Probiotica en darmvriendelijke voeding beschermen tegen “inflammaging” en leeftijd gerelateerde ziekten.

Het is bekend dat oudere mensen een ander bacterieprofiel hebben dan jongere mensen. Het is het startsein voor ziekten.

Leeftijd gerelateerde ontsteking staat in verband met veranderingen die het immuunsysteem ondergaat naarmate men ouder wordt.

Het is niet duidelijk of het de leeftijd is die ontsteking veroorzaakt, of dat ontsteking veroudering veroorzaakt, maar de twee gaan hand in hand.

Voor het onderzoek werden monsters genomen van oudere muizen, van wie de samenstelling van het darm microbioom net als bij mensen verandert tijdens het ouder worden. Na de procedure ontwikkelde zich chronische ontsteking bij de muizen; dit zou normaal gesproken pas later in hun leven gebeuren. Het kwam alleen voor bij de muizen die een ander darm microbioom gekregen hadden.

Ook de oudere muizen kregen een transplantatie van darmbacteriën: namelijk het darm microbioom van de jonge muizen. Met een resultaat dat positief voor de oudere muizen was.

Het onderzoek suggereert dat veroudering tot een disbalans in de darmflora leidt, zodat er meer ‘slechte’ dan goede bacteriën in de darmen aanwezig zijn.

De overhand van de slechte bacteriën maken de darmwand meer doorlaatbaar (lekkende darm), zodat toxines de bloedbaan kunnen besmetten en aandoeningen kunnen veroorzaken zoals inflammatoire darmziekten, obesitas, angst, autisme, diabetes en zelfs kanker.

Er zou een causaal verband zijn tussen ‘oude’ darmbacteriën en inflammaging bij de muizen. Hetzelfde is (nog) niet bewezen bij mensen, maar de onderzoekers merken op dat een correlatie al geobserveerd is.

BRON: http://goedgezond.info/2017/11/03/gezonde-darmbacterien-beschermen-tegen-vrijwel-elke-ziekte-nieuwe-studie/

EM- Vereniging: EM-Actief (zoals Microferm) wordt gebruikt als (super)probiotica

Your Microbes, Your Health: Products of Your Age, Lifestyle, and More


Our bodies are home to trillions of microorganisms that play a critical role in digestion, the synthesis of vitamins, and our immune function. But, how much are we able to harness our microbiome to take control of our health?

In a previous post, we discussed how nature, nurture, and plain old chance can influence your microbiome. This week, we dive deeper into the science that suggests how these factors can impact your microbiome, and in turn, your overall wellness.

For starters, our station in the circle of life is revealing.

Upon birth, we are immediately exposed to outside elements. For instance, our delivery method (vaginal versus cesarean section) and whether we feed on breast milk or formula help to shape our emerging microbial fingerprint.

Studies suggest that the exposure — or lack thereof — to microorganisms in our early years could contribute to predispositions toward allergies and asthma, among other conditions. Certain babies are more at risk for these conditions when they possess low levels of common bacteria such as BifidobacteriumAkkermansia, and Faecalibacterium and a relatively increased presence of fungi (Candida and Rhodotorula).

At just three years of age, our microbiome stabilizes and roughly resembles the profile of an adult.

Illness and the use of antibiotics can temporarily alter your microbiome, often resulting in decreased diversity of microbial species. Antibiotics are modern miracles in fighting bacterial infections — but since they indiscriminately kill good bacteria along with bad bacteria, they can impact the fragile microbiome. Overuse of antibiotics, especially after repeated administration in a relatively short amount of time, has been associated with intestinal dysbiosis — an umbrella classification that can describe a range of symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, among others.

The aftermath from these experiences can linger for years, but in time, your microbiome usually adjusts back to its baseline state.

As we reach old age, our microbiome decreases in diversity, making our immune system more vulnerable. Low microbial diversity has also been correlated with frailty. Studies show that the elderly experience lower levels of Bifidobacterium, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help curb disease.

But age is only one variable that governs our microbial landscape.

Location, lifestyle, and genetics also impact your microbiome and wellbeing.

Where one lives — whether it be rural or metropolitan, industrialized or developing — shapes our microbial ecosystem. One study evaluated the gut microbiomes of rural Malawians, indigenous people of Venezuela, and U.S. city dwellers, and found that more pronounced differences existed among the group of U.S. urban residents as compared to the Malawians and natives of Venezuela.

Culture also impacts our microbiome and predisposition toward certain illnesses. For example, a Western diet — typically consisting of low fiber, high sugar, animal-based protein, and processed food — tends to give rise to a predominance of Bacteroides over Prevotella. This diet can be a risk factor for some chronic diseases, including irritable bowel disease (IBD).

Conversely, other communities with high plant fiber diets exhibit vastly different microbiome profiles than their Western counterparts. One such group, Tanzanian hunter-gatherers known as the Hazda, possess an abundance of Prevotella and nearly no Bifidobacterium, among other differences. Notably, autoimmune diseases are virtually nonexistent among these tribe members.

While no one particular healthy microbial profile exists, microbial diversity is known to promote wellness by protecting against foreign pathogens, increasing our natural line of defense. Research indicates that demographic variables including body mass index (BMI), race, and sex are significantly associated with microbial diversity.

Scientists are continuing to explore how social and environmental factors influence the microbiome. What’s more, researchers across multiple disciplines are investigating how these elements contribute to the unique health profiles — and needs — of various populations, whether they’re grouped by sex, age, race, geography, etc. uBiome has engaged in various research collaborations to help bridge this knowledge gap.

As our understanding deepens, we’ll all be more empowered to optimize our health, and our microbes.

BRON: http://www.ubiomeblog.com/microbes-health-products-age-lifestyle/

Interview with Dr. Vincent Pedre, author of Happy Gut


We are excited to welcome Dr. Vincent Pedre to the uBiome Doctor’s Corner blog. Dr. Pedre is a top Functional Medicine specialist, and the acclaimed author of Happy Gut.

Enjoy this interview with him to learn how you might be able to incorporate microbiome health and wellness into your own practice!

How did you first get involved in the microbiome field?

At an early age, I was always interested in biology. In fact, I became a member of the Biology Club in my high school to have more time to explore the world of bacteria and parasites through the microscope. During that time, I was subjected to multiple rounds of antibiotics, due to the best intentions of my pediatricians to treat recurrent episodes of sinusitis and bronchitis. My gut microbiome was decimated by antibiotics like Cipro, and as a result I developed leaky gut syndrome and multiple food sensitivities. During the quest to heal my gut from the ravages of years of misguided health interventions and an inflammatory diet, I discovered Functional Medicine. That was the first time I heard about that hidden world inside us, the microbiome, which has since influenced everything I do as a clinical health practitioner.

What are you most excited about with the microbiome?

The microbiome is this uncharted territory that for years has been influencing our health; however, it is only within the last decade that research has elucidated the many critical roles the gut microbiome plays in overall health, including production of neurotransmitters, insulin sensitivity, weight management, mental health, learning, and long-term memory. I’m excited to see where this frontier takes us as we learn more about the role of the microbiome in our health.

What do you think are the best questions to ask patients to get a sense of their health habits/diet?

In order to get a good sense of patients’ health habits and diet, I like to ask them the following question: “Walk me through a typical day in your life (what do you eat).” I have found this gives me more accurate information than asking them broad questions, like “Do you eat meat?” or “Are you vegetarian?” The details are really important. For example, if they drink coffee, do they drink it black or with milk, cream or nut milk? Do they put sugar in their coffee?  If so, what type? All these details are important when considering the potential effects on their gut microbiome.

What dietary advice do you most often give patients?

In general, people don’t eat enough vegetables and fiber. And non-digestible fibers are the key to a healthy gut microbiome. So I am constantly reminding people to include more vegetables in their diet. But also, to not be monochromatic in their choices. We tend to get comfortable eating within a certain range of foods, but in order to get all the nutrients and antioxidants our bodies need, we need to branch out and incorporate all the colors in the rainbow in our diets. The exception to this rule are people with markedly reduced gut function and dysbiosis (an imbalance between good and bad bugs in the gut, favoring an over-predominance of the “bad” guys). Such people lack the digestive power to break down these foods due to a damaged gut lining and paucity of probiotic bacteria to help with digestion. In these patients, I go slow, keeping within the bounds of the foods they tolerate, and vegetables are cooked (not raw) until they heal enough to started tolerating raw vegetables.

Do you have any personal habits that you have cultivated to improve the health of your own microbiome?

I incorporate fermented vegetables into my diet regularly. And I eat a variety of prebiotic-rich foods (like scallions, garlic, asparagus, dark leafy greens like dandelion greens) as well. These foods help feed and build a strong, favorable gut microbiome. I follow a plant-rich, gluten-free modified paleo diet, meaning I eat more plants than animal protein, with plenty of healthy fats. I allow dairy in the form of cheese and cultured kefir seasonally in the summer when I don’t have to worry about allergies or viruses. And I modify it by allowing some grains (like brown rice) and beans, which help improve the diversity of the gut microbiome. This is the individualized plan that works best for me after years of experimentation.

What has recently surprised you in the microbiome and functional nutrition field?

When it comes to the microbiome and functional nutrition, the level of individuality that needs to be applied to each person’s diet is extraordinary. There really is no one size that fits all. Learning how to apply individuality to the diet  can be quite challenging. And knowing how to walk yourself or a patient through this challenging process is the key to overcoming many chronic health issues. That’s why, when I was asked by mindbodygreen to become one of the course instructors in their upcoming Advanced Functional Nutrition Training, I couldn’t turn it down. There is so much to share about how to tailor a diet for optimal individual results. I am excited to be part of a world-class team of doctors and nutritionists that have put together a robust, self-paced online course. For more details click here.

Where do you hope microbiome work will be in 10 years?

Within 10 years, I would love to be able to look towards microbiome testing as part of the standard of care for patients with a variety of gut-related issues (including allergies, asthma, skin rashes, and autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis). I hope our ability to utilize microbiome information in a more detailed and individualized way to treat patients will have evolved even more, allowing us to choose appropriate probiotics based on testing results.

What is your biggest concern with microbiome testing?

My biggest concern with microbiome testing is that there are still a lot of unknown variables. The testing is limited by what you are looking at. So far, we have been focusing on bacteria, and sometimes limited strains of fungi. However, the microbiome is much broader than that, including the possibility of multiple species of fungi which may have made their home in the gut of individuals, along with the viome — a whole uncharted territory of viruses that live in the gut as well.

What do you think are the top three ways to improve the health of one’s microbiome?

The top three ways to improve the health of one’s microbiome are:

  1. Eat prebiotic-rich foods.
  2. Consume fermented foods and beverages.
  3. Take a probiotic supplement.

What is your favorite microbiome-friendly food?

Ahh, as a microbiome-friendly food, we need to turn to the fermented veggies. So many ways to do this at home are popping up. For example, KrautSource® is one company that is changing the game by offering innovative kitchenware to simplify making fermented foods.

What advice do you have for doctors who want to get more involved? What have been your go-to resources to learn more about this area?

For anyone who wants to get involved, you have to start with the basics. Learning to use functional foods as medicine is the key to long-term health. Luckily, mindbodygreen is launching a new course for the busy professional, stay-at-home mom, or health practitioner who wants to deepen their knowledge of functional food nutrition to help themselves and others live a healthier life. The Advanced Functional Nutrition Training starts November 1 but registration ends on October 26. This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity to learn from the best of the best (including Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, Dr. Joel Kahn and myself) on a variety of topics ranging from how to stock your kitchen and follow an elimination diet, to special diets for different conditions, including gut health, inflammation, autoimmune disease, and detoxification. The best resource includes curated information from top health practitioners who  have taken the time to weed through the confusion, making the latest information easy to understand and apply. That’s what this course is all about.

How do you stay up to date on the latest medical research?

I stay abreast of the latest medical research by: 1) using Google keyword notifications, 2) reading the Science Times, 3) following people who post interesting topics/research papers on social media, and 4) going to continuing education conferences, like the Human Microbiome Congress, to stay cognizant of the latest bench-side research from the scientists who are doing it.

Who are your mentors in medicine?

My early mentors before I entered medical school were Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil. Their books (respectively), “Quantum Healing” and “Spontaneous Healing,” shaped the type of doctor I knew I wanted to become. Their words  influenced me to become the out-of-the-box practitioner that I am. My mentors in functional medicine have been Dr. Leo Galland, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, and the great instructors at the Institute for Functional Medicine. What I admire about all of these doctors is they were not afraid to challenge our ingrained knowledge and point to another way we can view health and healing.

What is your favorite microbe?

My favorite microbes by far are the bifidobacteria. B. infantis is critical for the development of the early microbiome in children. But more importantly, bifidobacteria are involved in a feeding chain that results in the production of the SCFA (short-chain fatty acid) butyrate, which is critical for the health of the colon as well as an epigenetic regulator of learning and memory. This is one of the best examples of the gut-brain axis.

Check out Dr. Pedre and his book Happy Gut, or learn more from him at his upcoming MindBodyGreen course: Advanced Functional Nutrition Training.

BRON: www.ubiomeblog.com/interview-dr-vincent-pedre-author-happy-gut/

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.11Compared 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
Eat plenty of fermented foods. Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass fed kefir, natto (fermented soy) and fermented vegetables. Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary, and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.
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 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.
Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts and seeds, including sprouted seeds. Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water. Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.
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.

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

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

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

Bron:  http://wakingtimesmedia.com/gut-can-help-fight-depression-high-blood-pressure/

U bestaat voor de helft uit microben, en dat is goed nieuws


Ze zitten met triljoenen op en in ons, beschermen ons tegen ziektes, sturen ons gedrag, en zetten zelfs onze definitie van menselijk leven op zijn kop. Microben zijn niet langer boosdoeners in de wetenschappelijke wereld. Ze kunnen miljoenen mensenlevens redden. Daarom springt ook Bill Gates op de kar.

Dieren – wij dus ook – zijn zelfstandige wezens die in de darwiniaanse strijd om te overleven af en toe worden aangevallen door vieze kleine beestjes die ons ziek maken en dreigen te doden. Zo keken wetenschappers jarenlang tegen microben aan. Maar ze moeten hun opvatting dringend bijschaven.
Want, zo stelt de Britse wetenschapsjournalist Ed Yong, er raast een revolutie door de biologie, de gezondheidszorg, de farmasector, de ontwikkelingssamenwerking, de architectuur en misschien zelfs de filosofie. Want hoe kunnen wij als mens beweren dat we onafhankelijke wezens zijn als de helft van de cellen in ons lichaam niet van ons zijn, maar van microben, die met miljarden op onze huid, onder onze oksels en in onze darmen leven? Ze sturen ons immuunsysteem aan, ze breken giftige stoffen af, ze helpen ons voedsel in te nemen, en meer zelfs: ze sturen volgens sommige onderzoeken ook ons gedrag.
‘De nieuwe wetenschappelijke inzichten over microben zijn de belangrijkste revolutie sinds Darwin,’ zegt Yong via Skype vanuit zijn kantoor in Washington D.C. Het boek dat hij erover schreef, ‘I contain multitudes’, net in het Nederlands vertaald als ‘De microben in ons’, werd in de Verenigde Staten een bestseller. Yong, een gerenommeerde wetenschapsschrijver die onder meer voor The Atlantic en National Geographic werkt, kaapte er de belangstelling van Bill Gates mee weg. In een onlinegesprek met Yong stak de stichter van Microsoft zijn bewondering niet onder stoelen of banken: ‘Ik ben overweldigd door het feit hoeveel van zulke micro-organismes er bestaan en hoe ze ons leven beïnvloeden.’

Mannelijke pissebedden

U en ik bezitten elk zo’n 40 triljoen microben. De verzameling van die piepkleine eencellige wezens – op de breedte van een mensenhaar passen er een paar tientallen – wordt het microbioom genoemd. Ze leven in alle mogelijke delen van ons lichaam, van de tandplak in onze mond tot zelfs in onze cellen. In onze darmen alleen al leven er meer dan er sterren in de Melkweg zijn. ‘Als wij eten, doen zij dat ook,’ schrijft Yong. ‘Als we op reis gaan, gaan ze mee. Als we dood gaan, eten ze ons op. Ieder van ons is een dierentuin op zich, een kolonie omsloten door één enkel lichaam. Een collectief van een veelvoud aan soorten. Een hele wereld.’

Het zou één jaar duren voor onze samenleving ineenstort, mochten de microben verdwijnen. Ze helpen planten aan stikstof en vormen zo de basis van heel onze voedselketen.

Het was de Nederlandse amateurbioloog Antoni van Leeuwenhoek die 350 jaar geleden de eerste microben ontdekte, door onder meer zijn tandplak onder zijn zelfgebouwde microscopen te leggen. Toch bleven microbes jaren in de obscuriteit, of werden ze enkel beschouwd als overbrengers van ziekten.

Met zijn ademhaling brengt een mens elk uur ongeveer 37 miljoen bacteriën in de lucht.

Onze microben beïnvloeden ook onze woningen. 24 uur na de verhuizing naar een nieuwe plek overschrijven we de daar aanwezige microben met onze eigen micro-organismen.

Bacteriën blijven in sommige gevallen heel verwoestende wezens. Door een alliantie aan te gaan met een dennenkever hebben ze in de VS sinds 1999 16.000 vierkante kilometer naaldwoud vernietigd.

Door muggen met de wolbachia-bacterie te injecteren zouden wetenschappers het dengue- virus over 10 tot 15 jaar een aanzienlijke slag kunnen toebrengen.

Uw rechterhand heeft slechts een zesde van de bacteriesoorten gemeen met uw linkerhand.

Die microben bestaan al miljarden jaren langer dan de planten en de dieren. ‘Dieren mogen de kers op de taart zijn, maar bacteriën zijn de taart zelf’, zei de paleontoloog Andrew Knoll ooit. Ze hebben de meest onmogelijke plekken op aarde gekoloniseerd: barre vulkanische bronnen kilometers diep in de oceaan, waterdampen in hoge wolken, kokende warmwaterbronnen, en radioactief afval.

Volgens de razendsnel evoluerende wetenschappelijke inzichten kunnen ze veel mensenlevens redden. Neem de wolbachia, een van de succesvolste bacteriën die vooral in insecten leeft. Het is een fascinerend wezen: hij manipuleert het seksleven van zijn gastheer voor zijn eigen voortbestaan. Omdat hij zich enkel in eitjes kan voortplanten, verandert hij het geslacht van mannelijke pissebedden en zorgt hij ervoor dat bepaalde wespensoorten enkel nog uit vrouwtjes bestaan die zichzelf voortplanten door te klonen.

Maar dezelfde wolbachia zou wel eens miljoenen levens kunnen redden. Door de bacterie in muggen te injecteren zijn wetenschappers erin geslaagd het virus te onderdrukken waarmee die muggen dengue of knokkelkoorts overbrengen, een ziekte die jaarlijks 400 miljoen mensen treft. In Australië werden zo al meer dan 300.000 muggen uitgezet. Voor het eerst in de geschiedenis hebben wetenschappers er een populatie insecten in het wild zo getransformeerd dat ze geen ziekten voor de mens meer verspreiden. De uitdaging bestaat er nu in dezelfde techniek in andere, meer getroffen delen van de wereld toe te passen. Wolbachia zou ook kunnen helpen om het zikavirus en de parasiet die malaria overbrengt te dwarsbomen.

Daarom is een filantroop als Gates zo geïnteresseerd in het boek van Yong. ‘De Gates Foundation investeert miljoenen in onderzoek naar het effect van bacteriën op tropische ziekten’, zegt de wetenschapsjournalist. ‘Mijn boek trekt niet alleen zo veel belangstelling omdat de nieuwe inzichten over microben de definitie van ons leven op zijn kop zetten, maar ook omdat ze de wereld enorm kunnen helpen.’

Ontregelde thermostaat

Bacteriën sturen als een soort managers onze immuniteit en gezondheid aan, schrijft Yong. Ze hebben er misschien zelfs voor gezorgd dat we als mens geworden zijn wie we zijn.

Hij maakt dat hard aan de hand van de werking van moedermelk. Die zit vol complexe suikers, maar baby’s kunnen die vreemd genoeg niet afbreken. Gelukkig zit hun buik vol met bepaalde bacteriën die dat in hun plaats doen: ze zetten de suikers om in vetzuren die de baby wel opneemt. Moeders die zogen, voeden dus hun baby niet, maar wel de bacteriën die de baby voeden. Wellicht dankzij die bacteriën heeft de mens zulke grote hersenen kunnen ontwikkelen. Want andere zoogdieren hebben ze niet, of toch niet in zo’n grote hoeveelheid.

Yong vergelijkt onze bacteriën met een thermostaat die ons immuunsysteem regelt. Maar de jongste jaren loopt het vaak fout, getuige de opmars van allergieën en auto-immuunziekten. Door het feit dat we in steeds kleinere gezinnen opgroeien, verhuisd zijn van de stad naar het platteland, vooral bewerkt voedsel eten, is die thermostaat ontregeld geraakt.

We worden te weinig blootgesteld aan microben, waardoor ons immuunsysteem grillig en onervaren wordt. De ziekenhuisbacterie, die in de Verenigde Staten jaarlijks verantwoordelijk is voor 1,7 miljoen infecties en 90.000 sterfgevallen, zouden we daarom niet alleen moeten bestrijden door dure bacterieresistente vloeren te leggen. Volgens Yong moeten we net de vensters opengooien en extra bacteriën naar binnen laten stromen, die de schadelijke kunnen verdringen.

Microben zouden zelfs onze architectuur kunnen veranderen. Door planten in ventilatiesystemen van gebouwen te zetten of bolletjes op te hangen die bepaalde bacteriën verspreiden, zou je het microbioomsysteem van hele steden kunnen aanpassen in ons voordeel. Zo is Luke Leung, de toparchitect die de wolkenkrabber Burj Khalifa in Dubai heeft gebouwd, een microbioomfanaat geworden.

Kankercellen elimineren

De meest veelbelovende doorbraken vinden wellicht in de gezondheidszorg plaats. Door de bacteriën van muizen te manipuleren zijn in labo’s over de hele wereld al talloze onderzoeken gevoerd die zouden kunnen leiden tot nieuwe therapieën tegen obesitas, allergieën, darmkanker, diabetes, multiple sclerose en ondervoeding. Maar Yong tempert al te luid hoerageroep. ‘Hebben microbiële veranderingen buiten de gereguleerde omgeving van laboratoria en het atypische lichaam van laboratoriummuizen werkelijk een effect op onze dagelijkse gezondheidstoestand?’

Veel wetenschappers blijven sceptisch over de groeiende hype rond de genezende kracht van microben, maar farmagiganten als Johnson & Johnson zijn alvast op de kar gesprongen en pompen miljoenen in onderzoek naar het microbioom. Probiotica, vaak in yoghurt zoals bij Yakult, zijn al een miljardenbusiness, maar de effecten op onze gezondheid zijn nog altijd niet bewezen. Dat zou in de toekomst kunnen veranderen.
Het is niet ondenkbaar dat de dokter van de toekomst u een gepersonaliseerde pil voorschrijft met daarin bacteriën die een ziekte genezen, uw immuunsysteem herstellen, kankercellen elimineren of zelfs gifstoffen in medicijnen omzetten. ‘Pas sinds kort weten we genoeg over de microbiële wereld om met het manipuleren ervan te beginnen. Onze pogingen staan nog in de kinderschoenen en ons zelfvertrouwen is soms overdreven, maar het potentieel is enorm’, zegt Yong.


Wat ons wereldbeeld helemaal ondersteboven gooit, zijn de studies die suggereren dat microben ons gedrag kunnen aansturen. Yong geeft het voorbeeld van de hersenparasiet Toxoplasmose gondii, die zich alleen kan voortplanten in katten. Als hij in een rat terechtkomt, stuurt hij via het aanmaken van dopamine de hersenen van die rat aan, zodat die in plaats van weg te lopen plots wordt aangetrokken door katten en ernaartoe loopt. Weg rat, kat blij en de Toxoplasmose gondii kan zich weer voortplanten.

‘Waarom zouden bacteriën in onze darmen niet op dezelfde manier ons gedrag kunnen aansturen?’, vraagt Yong zich af. Onderzoek bij muizen toont een verband tussen darmmicroben en symptomen van autisme en schizofrenie aan. De fysieke connectie bestaat in elk geval: de nervus vagus is een lange, vertakkende zenuw die prikkels overdraagt tussen de hersenen en de darmen.

Je kan de redenering nog verder drijven. Voelt u zich ook schuldig dat u honger krijgt telkens als u een frituur passeert? Wel, sommige bacteriën in uw lichaam gedijen op vet. Andere op planten- vezels. Welke maaltijd u kiest, bepaalt dus welke wezens in uw darmen worden gevoed. Dat brengt Yong tot de vraag: ‘Als de microben bij het eten van de ‘juiste’ dingen dopamine vrijmaken, een stof die tot genot leidt, krijgen ze dan zo inspraak in uw menukeuze?’
Met andere woorden: u hebt zelf geen zin in friet, het zijn uw bacteriën. Yong: ‘In welke mate het gebeurt, weten we niet zeker. Maar dat bacteriën onze hersenen kunnen veranderen, is bijna zeker. Dat is een verontrustende gedachte.’

BRON: http://www.tijd.be/dossier/universiteiten/U-bestaat-voor-de-helft-uit-microben-en-dat-is-goed-nieuws/9893840?ckc=1&ts=1495183203

Gut Hack


This short film is, in many ways, a happy accident. It started with a chance meeting, as a former NASA scientist running a lab out of his apartment started talking to us about an experiment: Would it be possible, he wondered, to completely eradicate the ecosystem of bacteria living in and on his body and replace it with someone else’s?

This biohacker was Josiah Zayner, and what he proposed was an extreme version of a fecal transplant. Josiah had long suffered from digestive issues and hoped the transplant might provide relief. Also, he was curious about what would happen. Fecal transplants are becoming more common but are still usually reserved for the life-threatening infection Clostridium difficile, and are performed only in medical facilities. Josiah’s plan was to check himself into a hotel and do the whole thing himself. He would take antibiotics, then use bacterial samples from a donor (including saliva, skin cultures and feces) to recolonize his body with the new ecosystem of microorganisms. When we asked if we could film the experiment, Josiah said yes. And then we had to make this film.

An undertaking like this raises some questions: Taking large amounts of antibiotics can put one at risk of dangerous infections, and ingesting feces that had not been screened for pathogens can lead to serious illnesses. We wanted to make sure the story we told communicated the risks and did not present this individual effort as some sort of miracle cure. But there were compelling reasons to explore it.

Humans tend to think of themselves as individuals, but their lives are profoundly shaped by the huge collections of microorganisms that live on and in them. Research has suggested that the microbiome affects our digestion, skin health, perhaps even our mood. There is so much we do not know about the fascinating ways that bacteria work with us, on us and in us. This is the story of one person wading into his own teeming, messy microbial ecosystem.