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“WHERE THINGS SO SMALL CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH.”
Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations, and our gut microbiome. Herbsprout seeks to bridge the vast chasm dividing the mainstream medical community, alternative medicine, and Asian medicine, especially of China (TCM), India (Ayurveda), and Japan (eJim & Kampo).

The health benefits of butter

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The health benefits of butter
One common misconception is that butter is not healthy for you because it is fattening. It is true. It is fattening, but in a good way; it contains good fat. Butter is a good source of healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids, particularly unsaturated, organic butter. It is the best, richest dietary source of a short chain fatty acid (SCFA) called butyrate. The microbiome in our gut are known to metabolize acetate, propionate, and butyrate (at 60%, 25%, and 15% respectively), according to Dr. Deanna Minich (1). Butyrate is rich source of energy for the cells in our gut.

Butyrate resides in the lining of our gut and helps prevent diarrhea and other digestive health issues. Beyond that, it plays a key role as an anti-inflammatory, gene regulation, and maintaining a balanced immune system.

Butter is an excellent source of vitamin A, Vitamin E, and another fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is also known to be an anti-inflammatory and provide immune support (2).

1. https://www.deannaminich.com/the-benefits-of-butter-a-rich-source-of-butyrate/

2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-butter-bad-for-you#cla
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease

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Covid 19 virus lingers in the gut after recovering

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Covid 19 virus lingers in the g...
A September 07 2020 article in Bloomberg said the coronavirus may remain in the gut for some time after clearing the respiratory system, according to Chinese University of Hong Kong researchers. They claim the coronavirus may continue to infect and replicate in the digestive tract.

Primarily spread through droplets in the air, a February 2020 study of 73 hospitalized coronavirus patients in Guangdong province, China found more than half tested positive for the virus in their stool. Fecal presence of coronavirus was found present in patients six days after testing negative of the virus.

This leads to the possibility that understanding the the presence of certain strains of bacteria in coronavirus patients could aid in the development of a microbiome- based remedy for treating the Coronavirus. They particularly showed a loss of protective microbes and a proliferation of disease-causing ones.

The Chinese University is offering free screening stool tests to travelers arriving at the airport since late March, and identified six infected children among more than 2,000 samples tested, accordingto the Bloomberg report.

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-09-07/covid-19-patients-may-have-prolonged-gut-infection-study-finds

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New discovery about how bacteria adheres to our gut's cell walls

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New discovery about how bact...
Researchers at the University of Basel and ETH Zurich have found a new mechanism by which bacteria adhere to cellulose fibers on the cell walls of the human gut, according to an August 28 2020 article in Phys.Org.

The significance of understanding this is it helps us understand an important part of how our gut microbiome influences our health. Professor Michael Nash from the University of Basel and ETH Zurich studied combinations of "single-molecule atomic force microscopy, single-molecule fluorescence and molecular dynamics simulations", according to the report.

Researchers believe there is a dual binding mode, one significantly stronger than the other. The bacteria is believed to control the binding mode preference by modifying the proteins and the adherence strength. "This would allow switching from a low to high adhesion state depending on the environment," according to Nash. Learning this process and how it works may help scientists employ bacteria that adhere to certain disease targets, at the higher adhesion rate.

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-bacteria-adhere-fiber-gut.amp
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #longevity #wellness #nutrition #microbiome

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Gut microbiome influences sleep patterns

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Gut microbiome influences slee...
Reseachers at University of Illinois at Chicago, conducted a rat study linking "disturbed sleep patterns, elevated blood pressure, and disruptions to the gut microbiome", according to a September 03 2020 New Atlas article. When studying the sleep patterns of rats, researchers found that abnormal sleep patterns developed increase in blood pressure. While this has been confirmed in previous human studies, new information about the gut microbiome was revealed in this study.

The study led by researcher Katherine Maki discovered an increase in the gut bacteria associated with inflammation. Theoretically,
Reseachers at University of Illinois at Chicago, conducted a rat study linking "disturbed sleep patterns, elevated blood pressure, and disruptions to the gut microbiome", according to a September 03 2020 New Atlas article. When studying the sleep patterns of rats, researchers found that abnormal sleep patterns developed increase in blood pressure. While this has been confirmed in previous human studies, new information about the gut microbiome was revealed in this study.

The study led by researcher Katherine Maki discovered an increase in the gut bacteria associated with inflammation. Theoretically, this suggests that probiotics could be a useful remedy in the future to address high blood pressure and hypertension.

https://newatlas.com/science/poor-sleep-high-blood-pressure-bacteria-gut-microbiome-hypertension/

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Gut Bacteria’s role in cholesterol

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Gut Bacteria’s ...
According to an August 12 2020 article in Cell.com, the ismA genes in certain microbial strains can help reduce cholesterol levels in mice (1).

A study published in the journal of the Society of Applied Microbiology found that Lactobacillus plantarum TAR4 reduced cholesterol levels by as much as 48%. Lactic acid bacteria strains were isolated and examined for "acid tolerance, bile salt resistance and hypocholesterolemic properties," according to the mice study (2).

Sarahs-world.blog, the Asian dish Tapai, which is fermented cassava or rice, contains a special Lactobacilli strain that has probiotic effects in rats and can break down cholesterol as well (3).

The article states bacterium under investigation uses a network of "scaffold proteins and enzymes on the outer cell wall, referred to as a cellulosome network, to attach to and degrade cellulose fibers. These cellulosome networks are held together by families of interacting proteins."

It demonstrates that probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum TAR4 supplements can reduce bile acids and reduce cholesterol levels.

1. https://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/fulltext/S1931-3128(20)30295-X?_returnURL

2. https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jam.14678

3. https://sarahs-world.blog/bacteria-reduce-cholesterol/

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How gut bacteria can enhance cancer treatment

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The journal Science and an August 13 2020 article by The New Atlas describe how certain species of gut bacteria can improve cancer immunotherapy efficacy. The results are based on a study of mice and shows a new bacteria metabolite-immune pathway.

A study led by principle investigator Kathy McCoy, from the University of Calgary, isolated three particular bacterial species associated with positive immunotherapy. These were Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, Lactobacillus johnsonii and Olsenella.

The study of four mice also found that bacterial metabolite inosine plays a role in activating anti-tumor T-cells.

See https://newatlas.com/science/gut-bacteria-microbiome-cancer-immunotherapy/
#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #anticancer #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #datascience #ai #healthtech #alternativemedicine #integrativemedicine

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Probiotics and fermented foods from the soil to the dinner table; quality matters

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Probiotics and fermented foods... Kimchi and sauerkraut are am... Kimchi and sauerkraut are among the popular fermented foods today. Source: dreamtime.com
Naturopathic Doctor Ningma Talib is quoted in an August 05 2020 Coveteur.com article that "probiotics are great for most people." . . . "More than 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut,” she says. “Supporting your gut is supporting your immune function.” (1). Dr. Talib identified high quality lactobacillus and bifidobacteria DDS- 1 strains as among the most well studied and most important for your health.

Fermented foods have been around for a very long time. An August 11 2020 article in Refinery 29 said as early as 7000 BC, ancient Chinese consumed a fermented beverage called Kiu. Around 3500 BC there’s evidence of the ancient Egyptian practice of using yeast to leaven bread. By 2000 BC, across China, the fermentation of vegetables (kimchi) and home-brewed tea (kombucha) was a widespread practice (2). Germany and Russia followed in later years with sauerkraut and pickles, respectively.

In China, Japan, and Korea miso soup, tofu, and kimchi remain popular dishes today. Refinery 29 reported that fermented foods saw an 140% increase in popularity on American restaurant menus in 2018. It was based on a survey by restaurant management software company, Upserve. Kombucha grossed 1.67 billion dollars globally in 2019 (2).

Fermented foods waste is also known to have health benefits. Soil experts and farmers in Japan found that soil fertilized with compost made from fermented food waste yielded hardy, disease-resistant vegetables (3). So even at the pre-food soil level where food production begins, microbes are important. Japanese agronomist Yoshida Toshimichi states that "the repeated use of agrochemicals can upset the microbiota in the soil, which leaves plants susceptible to disease and insect pests."

Yoshida refers to the three dietary pillars of a strong immune system which are the elements of the traditional Japanese diet. These are fermented foods, high-fiber organic vegetables, and marine and soy products rich in minerals and micronutrient, he adds (3).

1. https://coveteur.com/2020/08/05/probiotics-health-benefits/
2. https://www.refinery29.com/amp/en-us/how-fermentation-works-food
3. https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/c08001/

For more information on probiotics, see
a. https://en.bloguru.com/healthtech/369673/can-probiotics-like-kimchi-aid-against ; and
b. Risks and benefits- https://en.bloguru.com/healthtech/362470/benefits-and-risks-of-taking-probiotics
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #longevity #wellness #nutrition #microbiome

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"Zombie" microbes in Ocean depths need minimal energy to survive

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"Zombie" microbes in Ocean d...
Ocean sediment carries a large large number of microbes. Most of these microbes live in a "zombielike" state and they typically subsist on extremely low energy and "suspended animation", according to an August 12 2020 article in Quantum Magazine.

Unfortunately, the hidden biosphere beneath the seafloor is accessible only through expensive drilling, so researchers like Jan Amend, director of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations at the University of Southern California, are left working on modeling using pre-existing data.

How is this research important? Amend says this microbial research gives insight into the minimum energy required to support life. It is believed to hold key insights to the rate at which the cells obtain and use energy, and to life itself, according to the Quantum article.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/zombie-microbes-redefine-lifes-energy-limits-20200812/

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Traditional Japanese diet incorporates organics and "kin", or microorganisms

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Traditional Japanese diet incor...
Yoshida Toshimichi, a devout believer in the power of microbes, has been a leading advocate of schools and daycare centers growing their own organic vegetables. In his Nagasaki Prefecture, he has been a leading advocate of traditional Japanese diet, incorporating "kinchan" or friendly microorganisms into farming and diet. It includes incorporating these vegetables into school lunches along with fermented foods and dried fish.

The three "pillars" of this healthy Japanese diet are "fermented foods, high-fiber organic vegetables, and marine and soy products rich in minerals and micronutrients", according to Yoshida in a May 11, 2020 Nippon.com article (1).

One such school is Mami Nursery School which after implementing Yoshida's plan, saw a major drop in school absences due to illness had dropped from an average of 5.4 days to 0.6 days per year. The key is friendly microorganisms, a lesson Yoshida learned in the context of soil improvement as a soil improvement specialist for the Nagasaki Prefecture government. Microorganisms are supported by pesticide free compost made from fermented food waste yielded hardy, disease-resistant vegetables.

1. https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/c08001/
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity

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Predicting Pre-diabetes by one's gut bacteria

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Predicting Pre-diabetes by one...
A July 15, 2020 article in New Atlas report on a University of Gothenburg study (originally published in the journal Cell Metabolism), found that a person’s unique gut bacteria composition can help predict a person's propensity to develop type 2 diabetes.

1,000 patients were studied showing signs of pre-diabetes, such as abnormal blood sugar readings from impaired glucose tolerance. Using a control group, researchers found distinct gut microbiome differences in the prediabetic subjects. The results shows increasing signs of diabetes as connected to lower levels of butyrate-producing bacteria, though theyou could not determine the direct causal relationship.

University of Gothrnburg study leader Fredrik Bäckhed is quoted in the New Atlas article, “Our study shows clearly that the composition of the gut microbiota may have a great potential for helping us to understand the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, and therefore improve our chances of detecting, preventing and treating the disease.”

https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/prediabetes-glucose-bacteria-gut-microbiome/
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #prediabetes

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