Gutbliss Weekly Review – June 10, 2016

  1. If you’re healthy, can you benefit from taking a probiotic supplement? Recent studies suggest maybe. While previous studies show probiotic supplementation was insignificant in altering the fecal microbiome of healthy individuals, some studies show that probiotic use in healthy people could significantly impact the “function of colonizing microbes,” and may help promote gut bacteria balance, while having no effect on overall composition. BMC Medicine


  1. Lifestyle factors are responsible for 40 to 70 % of all cancers, a recent study finds, disproving the notion that cellular mutation is the primary cause. Live Dirty, Eat Clean to drastically reduce your cancer risk! The Scientist Magazine


  1. Worm infection leads to a microbial “make-over” in mice with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), resulting in a 1,000-fold decrease in Bacteroides (a species linked to increased risk of IBD) and a 10-fold increase in Clostridia (a species that fights against inflammation). This study provides ongoing support for the hygiene hypothesis and emerging, novel therapies for IBD. Science


  1. The development of the microbiome during the neonatal, fetal, and infant periods impact brain development. Disturbances in the microbiome during these periods may affect motor, cognitive, and social functioning. To establish a rich microbiome in early life, choose vaginal birth when possible (and when not possible, consider vaginal seeding), breastfeed, avoid antibiotics, and when introducing solid foods, focus on foods rich in plant fiber. Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal


  1. A microbiome that leads to obesity is more complex than previously thought. Gut bacteria can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance, by activating genes involved in metabolism and extracting more calories from the diet. While a higher percentage of the Firmicutes phylum, compared to Bacteroidetes, was thought to be indicative of an obese microbiome, this theory is now being challenged. Integrative Care


  1. Scientists define microbial signatures for disease states to develop diagnostic and treatment tools based on gut bacteria. Recent findings include a distinct microbial signature for primary sclerosing cholangitis (a chronic disease that damages the bile ducts); a microbiome biomarker that may trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA); and a causal relationship between alterations in the microbiome that trigger immune responses and contribute to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A recent study also found that eliminating a small number of key microbial species, while keeping a rich overall microbiome, could be the difference between a healthy microbiome and one that leads to IBD. Nature


  1. Educate your immune system, and that of your children, to avoid autoimmune disease (which affects approximately 1 in 13 Americans). How do we do this? It’s all about getting dirty early in life. The more microbes we expose ourselves to at an early age, the better our immune system is equipped to function properly. If you’re an expectant or new mother, or a mother of young children, read The Microbiome Solution and find out how to promote a diverse and healthy microbiome in your children. New York Times


  1. Alzheimer’s disease may be our body’s way of protecting the brain from harmful microbes. Scientists find that the plaque associated with the disease are proteins surrounding bacteria that work their way through the blood-brain burrier. Researchers are hopeful that this groundbreaking finding may be a leap forward towards finding meaningful prevention and treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease. New Scientist


  1. Pre- and probiotics could be important in preventing and treating depression and other psychiatric disorders in teens and young adults. Researchers explore the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and the developing brain during puberty and the causal relationship between gut bacterial imbalance (dysbiosis) and adolescent psychiatric disorders. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry


  1. This family can act as an inspiration to us all, especially those of us aspiring to grow our own food. A healthy gut begins in your back yard! MindBodyGreen


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH