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HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -
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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).

Recommended Salt intake positively influences gut microbiome

source: source:
According to a June 09 2020 study of 145 patients with untreated hypertension, "daily sodium intake close to the 2,300 milligrams recommended by groups like the American Heart Association, resulted in increased levels of short-chain fatty acids, an indicator of a healthy microbiome, circulating in the blood". The study was conducted by the Augusta University Medical College of Georgia led by molecular geneticist Dr. Haidong Zhu.

Short-chain fatty acids, or SCFAs, are known to play a key role in regulating your blood pressure. Dr. Zhu claims it is the first ever human study to look at how "decreasing salt intake in humans affects circulating short-chain fatty acids." However, Zhu found that the study'shows results were more conclusive for women than men. The article quotes Dr. Zhu saying, "We need to study it further. . . It may be that high-salt affects blood pressure through different pathways in males and females."

The study was reported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, .
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #salt #sodium #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease

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"One man's food is another man's poison"

Naveen Jain, CEO, Viome. Naveen Jain, CEO, Viome.
What if? What if our current understanding of microbiomes is not ‘what if’, but ‘what is’? Because today, our understanding of healthcare has gone full circle to the conclusion that “there is no such thing as a universal healthy diet.” There is no universal healthcare solution, since every person is different down to the molecular level. Naveen Jain, CEO of Viome adds, “a diet that’s good for you, is not good for me. A diet that's good for me now won't be good for me three months from now because our microbiomes are constantly changing,” he says. “Our microbiomes to some extent controls our brain through the way they are constantly communicating with it back and forth. In fact, these bugs in our gut are like a puppet master. They tell our brain when we are hungry, they tell us what we crave. So when you crave chocolate, don't blame your brain, blame your microbiomes.”

“The interesting thing is they communicate with the micro RNA in your brain in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. That means they (contribute to) controlling our emotional behavior and they (contribute to) controlling our decision making. They in fact modify the genetic expression of our human genes. That means it's not even what our DNA tells us. Our DNA is simply a potential of what could happen. Our genetic expression tells you actually what is happening and these guys (microbiomes) control what is actually being expressed.”

“It's really to some extent what Hypocrates stated, ‘all diseases start in the gut.’ That was two thousand years ago. ‘One man's food is another man's poison. And that is true today.’ So when your mother says to you ‘listen to your gut; do your gut check.’ That is the best science advice you can get. She knows what she is talking about.”

Referring to Viome’s transcriptome testing technology, “The technology is able to look at every single thing that's happening in the body. What genes are being expressed by your mitochondria; What genes are being expressed by your blood; What genes are being expressed by your microbiome; And it looks at all of that with artificial intelligence and tells you exactly what food to eat and what food to avoid.”

From a small stool sample, Viome is able to do this. It is able to perform a complete sequencing and identify the strain and genetics expression of a person’s entire microbiome content. This includes all the person’s bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, and parasites, and the range of chemicals, or metabolites they create. The metabolites these microbiomes create are important to one’s health because they can produce healthy B vitamins, for example, or they can produce cancer causing agents. No other company can claim this breadth of data.

To find out more information, visit .
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease

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Gut microbiome discovery bring new meaning to "follow your nose"

Gut microbiome discovery brin... Gut microbiome discovery brin...
A May 31 2020 study by University of Antwerp, Belgium reported hy Science Alert brings new meaning to the Fruit Loops Toucan famous saying, "follow your nose, it always knows."

University of Antwerp microbiologist Sarah Lebeer and her team analysed nose bacteria from 100 healthy volunteers and 225 people with chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition of swelling and pain in the nasal passages. They found that lactobacilli, particularly Lacticaseibacillus, were abundant up to 10x more in healthy participants.

See article here, .
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #cardiovasculardisease

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Microbiome is everywhere in wildlife from fish to honey bees

Microbiome is everywhere in w... Source: Adobe stock images Source: Adobe stock images
A May 11 2020 article by suggests that healthier fish from the fish farm industry which makes up almost half of what we eat (45%) begins with healthier gut bacteria in the fish. Research on "fish guts" is led by the aquaculture or fish farming industry to bring benefits to consumers; healthier fish, cheaper but higher quality produce, according to the report (1).

Reseachers are applying and testing the effects of alternative plant and insect based proteins to feed fish. These have different effects on the fish gut microbiome, and ultimately their health.

Gut microbiome populations exist in almost everything we consume, from fish and red meat to honey. Social bees collect microbes like Bifidobacterium from feeding on fermenting honey, according to an April 14 2020 study by University of Washington candidate Lila Westreich (2). She wrote about this in The Conversation. Westreich found that social bees collect microbes like Bifidobacterium from feeding on fermenting honey, according to the article (2). Research published in Plos One found 13 lactic acid bacteria that inoculate and preserve pollen in the hives. These include Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), found in stored pollen and honey (3).

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#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #mentalhealth #diet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #probiotics #datascience #healthtech

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Ketogenic diet affects your health by changing gut microbiome

Ketogenic diet affects your heal...
It is believed that the ketogenic diet lowers inflammation in our bodies, may treat autoimmune disorders, and promotes weight loss and heart health, according to a May 20 2020 article by Medical Express. The goal of ketogenic diet is to reach a state of ketosis where a lower carb intake leads the body to break down stored fat for energy.

Based on studies of both humans and mice, ketogenic diets dramatically reduced the common probiotic Bifidobacteria. However, the studies also found that the ketogenic diet reduces the gut microbial content of phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes, and 19 different bacterial genera. The studies were led by Peter Turnbaugh, Ph.D., a University of California San Francisco associate professor of microbiology and immunology, and a member of the UCSF Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine.

With the lower level of carb intake, based on studies of mice, a ketogenic diet may lead to some of the effects of ketosis quite quickly. Ketosis is not necessarily good for you as acidic byproducts can build up in our bodies called ketoacidosis.

See Medical Express article here, . The article was first reported in the Cell,
#ketogenicdiet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease

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Ginseng & Ginger are two healthy TCMs during stressful times

Source: getty images Source: getty images Ginseng & Ginger are two heal...
A May 17 2020 article by Yahoo News suggests you might consider incorporating some traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ideas into your daily practice. There's much to choose from- qi gong, acupressure/ acupuncture, teas and tonics, and food. Yahoo News recommended these TCM remedies in this order.

Given that food and teas are more prevalent and widely used, let's look at it from the opposite order. Beginning with the universally accepted herb ginger, which contains Gingerol. Regular consumption of it couldn't hurt. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger that is anti-inflammatory and a digestive aid. This is based on studies referenced by the Healthline article below.

Ginseng has also been tested and proven to boost the immune system with its bioactive compounds, ginsenosides and gintonin, according to WebMD. Regarding both ginger and ginseng, there have been broad but varying unproven claims that these food based herbs provide other benefits such as lowering blood sugar and treating cancer. However, consuming them in moderation can help and is recommended.

For more information see: ; and
#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #mentalhealth #diet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #psychobiotics #probiotics #datascience #ai #healthtech

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Connection found between anti-obesity statin drugs & gut Bacteroides 2

According to a May 06 2020 Nature article, statin drugs, a common medication for lowering cholesterol, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are a class of lipid-lowering medications that lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They are the most common cholesterol-lowering drugs, able to reduce illness and mortality, according to Wikipedia.

The study referenced in the Nature article analyses human faecal samples, and classifies them into one of four groups called enterotypes, depending on the abundance of particular microbial species. These groupings are termed Bacteroides 1 (Bact1), Bacteroides 2 (Bact2), Ruminococcaceae (Rum) and Prevotella (Prev). Bacteroides 2 are associated with inflammation, and more Bacteroides bacteria than Faecalibacterium microbes.

The authors unexpectedly discovered that there were significantly fewer of the Bact2 enterotype than expected in obese individuals who were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The authors found a connection between these gut microbes and the statin drugs, but further research is needed to determine the nature of that connection. According to the article, "molecules such as trimethylamine oxide, which are made by gut bacteria, might accelerate atherosclerosis, and their presence is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including death."

And study in the European Union called the MetaCardis project ( including nearly 900 participants whose data they analysed, also found a higher prevalence of the Bact2 enterotype with a higher body-mass index and obesity.

See article, .
#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease

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eJIM and CAM - Japan's role in east-west relations; why not medicine too?

It is not by any means anything unique for Japan to play a role in East- West integration and collaboration. From the opening up of Japan in 1848 when American Commodore Perry reached its shores to promote trade to the introduction of western Christianity at the arrival of the Jesuits led by Francis Xavier in 1549, Japan has always played an integral role in East- West relations.

Fast forward to this century, in his final interview with Asia Pacific Economic Review writer Steve Barth, Edward Demming reached the pinnacle of Japan's role in integrating western management principles into Japan, which in turn reversed by way of the likes of UCLA professor William Ouchi and his bestselling book on Japanese management style, "Theory Z". Japan has always been a synergistic doorway to the west, and arguably the west's most valuable portal to the east.

So why not in health care? Japan is one of the world’s most technologically advanced health care systems while at the same time still holds onto traditional medicine or Kampo. Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare created acronyms for its role in integrative medicine, and published it in cooperation with Shimane University Medical School. It believes the Japanese health care system is uniquely placed in facilitating the integration of evidence- based Japanese integrative medicine or eJim. The more common term used today is "complementary and alternative medicine" or CAM which Japan seeks to bring into the mainstream core of its healthcare offerings. And it claims to be doing it backed by science, the aforementioned "evidence- based Japanese integrative medicine", or e-Jim (see for more information).

When we talk about eJIM however, it inevitably leads back to the origins of healthcare in Japan over a thousand years ago, traditional Japanese medicine or Kampo, and beyond the island's shores to China and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) (see ). So how has Japan integrated traditional Kampo and alternative medicine into its modern western health care system?

The integration has become seamless, including widespread insurance coverage for Kampo. Today, Japan is taking it a step further, and -- a step deeper with proven, "evidence- based Japanese integrative medicine" or eJIM. Japan and other Asian countries like Singapore, India and China, are studying the chemical properties of herbs and foods, and making key connections to their influence on everything from our gut microbiome to our immune system.
#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #spices #diet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #datascience #ai #healthtech #eJIM #CAM #alternativemedicine #integrativemedicine

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Holobiome & Viome - "Microbiomes Intimate Role in Every Human Disease”

In a May 07, 2020 Science Magazine article, Holobiome announced it seeks to produce new treatments for depression and other disorders of the brain and nervous system beginning with isolating and culturing bacteria to benefit humans through our gut microbiome. The focus of the startup will be psychobiotics, those that address brain - related ailments, says company CEO, Phil Strandwitz. It seems the creation of startups like these are a sign of the times.

In an early interview by Herbsprout writer Chris Kenji Beer, Viome's CEO Naveen Jain takes us into a deeper understanding of the role of microbiomes to our health. “Every single chronic disease that we know of -- from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, depression, anxiety, obesity, autoimmune diseases, cancer-- every single one of these diseases have one thing in common, chronic inflammation. Every one of them is caused by microbiome. Think about this. Every one of these diseases is caused by microbiomes. And every time we take antibiotics we are killing those microbiomes.”
“A lot of people are saying ‘I know about microbiomes, what is so unique about it?’ The change is we not only know what is inside our gut, we are able to know exactly what they are doing.”


How do we know? “The latest wave (of Microbiome testing) is transcriptome. The transcriptome testing approach looks at the RNA and analyzes what the RNA of microbiomes are doing. The popular ‘16S sequencing’ of microbiomes testing is a twenty year old technology and is not able to do this.”
“What if you can find out exactly what is going on (inside the RNA of microbiomes)? What if you know what vitamins they are producing? What if you knew which specific compounds they are producing that cause inflammation? And from this data, what if you were able to figure out which specific content and combinations of food can actually address these inflammations more effectively than any prescription drugs we have available today?” asserts Jain.

Given the lag in treatments particularly for mental health treatments, Holobiome proposes to source and find microbe -based solutions to these ailments, or "psychobiotics". What if Holobiome and Viome are at the beginning of a new trend in health care where startups like Holobiome are among hundreds of companies focused on finding and deploying microbe- based solutions, gut bacteria treatments for different human diseases?

See article on Holobiome, ; and Viome .
#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #mentalhealth #diet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #psychobiotics #probiotics #datascience #ai #healthtech

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EJim, Evidence- based medicine and Japan's place in modern medicine

EJim, Evidence- based medicin...
On reflection of the challenges facing innovation and the importance of establishing credibility in a relatively young sector of the medical industry, a key party to this process is evidence based herbs and foods in our health, particularly as it relates to our gut microbiome. In my view this brings Japanese and Japanese medicine to the forefront of bridging the gap between the idea of herbs and food as medicine and the mainstream medical community. In Japan they call it eJim, or "evidence- based Japanese integrative medicine".

Without credible integration, the whole idea of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Indian Ayurvedic medicine face an almost insurmountable uphill climb in order to gain acceptance in the American mainstream medical community. Some of the highest rated institutions in these Asian health care approaches such as Bastyr University, have long been perceived by the mainstream medical community as advocating "quack" medicine.

How does one bridge this gap? The solution has to be a demonstrated effort in the naturopathic medicine communities to back their claims with scientific evidence. The evidence points toward how herbs and food influence our gut microbiome. This is where the integration starts and occurs. This is a rapidly growing sector of research and medicine. It is an opportunity to scientifically verify, give credence to the premises offired by eastern and naturopathic medicine (particularly those of India, China, and Japan). More information about Japan's eJim program is available here, .
#herbs #herbalmedicine #plantnutrition #health #mentalhealth #diet #gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #probiotics #datascience #healthtech

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