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HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -


Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations related to 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).

How does exercise affect your gut microbiome?

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A June 21 2020 report by Inverse found that even modest amounts of exercise can positively influence our gut microbiome. The study found that as little as a three hour brisk walk or swim per week had increased levels of the gut microbe strains Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia hominis, and Akkermansia muciniphila, compared with sedentary individuals. Two of these species of gut bacteria, F. prausitzii and R. hominis, reduce inflammation. A. muciniphila, considered a keystone species in our gut, is associated with a lean body mass index (BMI) and improved metabolic health, according to the Inverse article.

It is well known that the microbes living in our guts are altered through diet such as dietary fiber and dairy products, which support the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut. But mounting evidence suggests that exercise can also modify the types of bacteria that reside within our gut.

Inverse reported one study found exercise promotes the growth of bacteria that produce a fatty acid, butyrate. Butyrate can promote repair of the gut lining and reduce inflammation, therefore potentially preventing diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes.

Inverse found a study of mice that were given a high-fat diet – increased Firmicutes and Proteobacteria in their gut, which are linked to type two diabetes and obesity.

See article at

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Recommended Salt intake positively influences gut microbiome

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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's 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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What is butyrate, and why are they so very important?

Here is one of the "symbiotic" relationships we have with the bacteria in our gut. There are three main short chain fatty acids (SCFA) - acetate, propionate, and butyrate - that are produced by our gut microbiome. Butyrate is a byproduct of your gut microflora breaking down prebiotic fibers and serve as food for the cells that line the walls of our gut. When we consume prebiotic foods, our gut bacteria ingests these foods and produce the short chain fatty acids (SCFA). It has been linked to health benefits such as reduced cancer risk, weight loss, reduction in hypercholesterolemia, improved electrolyte/mineral absorption and a healthier immune system.

Some good butyrate sources to include in your diet would be beans, muesli, cooked plantains, unripe bananas, cooked potatoes and cooked rice, as they upregulate the production of butyrate in your body. On the other hand, butter and ghee are directly ingested sources of butyrate and thus highly recommended for use in cooking!

More reading about the benefits of butyrate:

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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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Keystone Species "key" to healthy gut

Keystone Species "key" to heal... Keystone Species "key" to heal...
Just as keystone species in wildlife are important for a healthy ecosystem, the same is true of the microbiota in our gut. Probiotics are the foundation for gut health and overall immunity, according to Jenny Pandol, Executive Director of the Microbiome Learning Center.

"We need certain strains of bacteria to modulate the gut. While it’s true we need to be taking high quality probiotics and perhaps many OTC may be ineffective, the opposite is true with quality probiotics added to the diet along with other lifestyle and diet modifications."

"There are certainly trusted brands and yes, the gut Microbiome can change day to day and even meal to meal," says Pandol..

"The key is to have balance with certain keystone species that modulate the ecosystem. They are like body guards keeping things in check and keeping pathogenic organisms from over growth. Different microbes thrive on different fibers so depending on what you eat certain microbes will thrive."

The following gut bacteria are among the keystone species we need for a healthy gut: Bifidobacteria, Akkermansia, christendsenella, clostridia, bacillus subtilis species. We need Lacto but they aren’t considered keystone, adds Pandol.

There a few quality probiotic supplement brands that stand out in quality, among others. These are Terra flora , Megaspore, Designs for Health, Metagenics to name a few.

More information about the Microbiome Learning Center is available here:

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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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