Review – 12/11/17

  1. The gut-muscle axis – is there such a thing? Science supports its existence based on the premises that poor nutrition and inactivity are common characteristics in those suffering from sacropenia (the natural loss of muscle tissue as we age)– two factors that heavily impact the gut microbiome – and the link between gut bacteria metabolism and skeletal muscle cell functionality. Nutrients


  1. An individualized diet, restricting foods that cause immune cell activation, proves an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). After undergoing testing to identify specific foods that activate the immune system and eliminating these foods for 8 weeks, study subjects reported significant improvements in bloating and abdominal pain when compared to those who did not restrict these foods. BMJ


  1. It may be possible to “remodel” the infant gut microbiome. Referred to as the “first extensive and stable remodeling” of the human gut microbiome, scientists administered dietary Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis( infantis EVC001, ActiBif®) – a bacteria strain that dominates the “healthy” gut microbiome of infants and creates a protective environment – to breastfed infants, resulting in a 79% increase in B. infantis and an 80% decrease in possibly harmful bacteria like Clostridium and E.coli. Results were maintained even 6 months after probiotic supplementation concluded. Eureka


  1. Researchers compiled existing evidence on non-antibiotic medications and their link to dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance – a condition linked to negative health outcomes). All medications – PPIs, NSAIDs, opioids, metformin, and antipsychotics – were linked to a decrease in diversity and/or an increase in pathogenic bacteria. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics


  1. Studies show a causal link between bacterial infection and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These findings have uncovered novel therapies to improve symptoms of AD and possibly prevent the disease, including supplementing with Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria probiotics (resulting in improved cognitive, sensory and emotional function in AD patients) and dietetic polyphenols (acting as a prebiotic to help balance the gut microbiome). Pharmacological Research


  1. Oral consumption of the bacteria strain Bifidobacterium longum 1714 is associated with reduced stress and improved memory in 22 healthy volunteers in one of the first studies of its kind looking at probiotic effects on psychological parameters in human subjects. Translational Psychiatry


  1. Exercise alters microbial composition and function, independent of dietary and other environmental factors. While significant increases were seen in SCFA (short chain fatty acid)-producing gut bacteria in both lean and obese individuals with exercise, the findings were less significant for those who were obese. Why this is, scientists are not yet sure. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise



  1. Becoming healthier is not always associated with positive microbial changes. While metabolic and body measurements were found in type 2 diabetes patients after adopting a Okinawan-based Nordic diet, these improvements in health were not associated with changes in microbial diversity or SCFA concentration (both microbial markers of improved health). International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition


  1. Scientists are investigating ways to protect the gut microbiome from antibiotics. In a randomized controlled trial of 28 participants, when co-administering DAV132 (a product whose main ingredient is activated charcoal, utilized as an absorbent) with a 5-day round of moxifloxacin, fecal concentrations of the antibiotic were reduced by 99%, while blood plasma levels remained unaffected. Analysis also showed that intestinal bacteria diversity and composition was preserved. The Journal of Infectious Diseases


  1. Studies involving the lemur gut microbiome (sharing an almost identical anatomy and microbiota to that of humans) raise questions regarding what we currently know about the human gut microbiome and its link to intestinal disease. Researchers have hypothesized that 5 metabolic pathways (the pathways that produce short chain fatty acids, alcohol fermentation products, amino acids, glucose, and glycerol) are the culprits in causing intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yet these pathways in lemurs proved harmless. This finding is leading scientists to question whether the microbes relevant to these pathways are actually causing harm or if there is only a correlation linking the pathways to disease. Gut Microbes


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH