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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 gut bacteria can enhance cancer treatment

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.

#ai #alternativemedicine #anticancer #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #integrativemedicine #plantnutrition

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

Probiotics and fermented foods... Kimchi and sauerkraut are am... Kimchi and sauerkraut are among the popular fermented foods today. Source:
Naturopathic Doctor Ningma Talib is quoted in an August 05 2020 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).


For more information on probiotics, see
a. ; and
b. Risks and benefits-
#ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #longevity #microbiome #nutrition #wellness

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

"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.

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

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 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.

#ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #obesity

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Predicting Pre-diabetes by one's gut bacteria

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.”
#ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #obesity #prediabetes

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Research finds connection between changes in human DNA and gut bacterial changes

Research finds connection bet...
A July 18 2020 SCITECH Daily article reported a University of Bristol led study of 3,890 individuals, identified 13 DNA changes related to changes in the presence or quantity of gut bacteria, particularly bifidobacteria.

While the study identified a direct connection between changes in DNA and gut bacteria, researchers seek to identify their connection to human illness or disorders. The study led by Dr. David Hughes, Senior Research Associate in Applied Genetic Epidemiology, said the next step is "dissecting how exactly these DNA changes might impact bacterial composition.”
#DNA #ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech

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What's all the fuss about beetroot?

What's all the fuss about beetr...
There have been numerous studies about the health benefits of beetroot in recent years. The benefits of beetroot can be narrowed down in part to its high inorganic nitrate content. Nitrate converts into Nitric oxide in the body and boosts oxygenation and offers benefits to the circulatory and immune systems (1).

Nutri Advanced News reported that beetroot provides additional benefits to individuals from Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed that Alzheimer’s may in part be caused by a build-up of sticky protein fragments called beta-amyloid which causes clumping, promotes inflammation and oxidation, and eventually kills nearby brain cells. Researchers identified that betanin in beetroot may help to protect against this process.

In addition, betanin may also help reduce blood pressure, improving digestion, and lowering the risk of diabetes, according to a November 2019 article in Medical News Today (2). Also, the report also says beetroot's green, leafy vegetables such as beet tops provide high levels of dietary nitrate. Cooked beet tops are a great source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, and folate.

#ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #longevity #microbiome #nutrition #wellness

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Gut bacteria connected to p53 gene suppresses, is resistant to tumors

Gut bacteria connected to p53 ...
A July 29 2020 article published by Nature reported the connection of gut bacteria producing gallic acid and tumor resistance. The research was led by a team of scientists including Audrey Lasry Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, Ela Elyada of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA, and Irit Snir-Alkalay, Avanthika Venkatachalam of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel (1).

The p53 gene like the Rb gene, is a tumor suppressor gene, and is known to contribute to stopping the formation of tumors (2). Cancer is known to be facilitated by loss of p53. Researchers found that mutant p53 had the expected oncogenic effect (a gene mutation that can lead to the growth of cancer cells). However, in the proximal gut and in tumour organoids it had a pronounced tumour-suppressive effect (based on mice studies).

In the tumour-suppressive mode, mutant p53 eliminated dysplasia and tumorigenesis. Researchers found that gallic acid reverses mutant-p53-induced WNT suppression and promotes dysplasia and tumorigenesis across the entire gut (2). Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus subtilis—have been identified as producers of gallic acid in humans (1). Primary gallate-decarboxylating microbial phyla in the intestinal microbiota are Firmicutes (74.6%), Proteobacteria (17.6%), and Actinobacteria (7.8%) (3).



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Our gut microbiome interaction with viruses give clues to our health

Our gut microbiome interactio...
Eric Martens, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan's Medical School and his team of researchers were reported July 21st 2020 by to have found important connections between the interaction of our gut microbiome with viruses. Specifically, the team examined a common gut bacteria called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, or BT for short, and their interaction with viruses and phages in our gut.

"When a particular phage comes along that can kill certain members of the population, it does so and the resistant bacteria quickly grow out," says Martens as quoted in Phys.Org. Researchers found a hairy-looking sugar coating on the bacteria that defends against attacks from the human immune system and viruses.

Martens team then found that an additional level of resistant can switch on in bacteria called phase variation providing further protection against infection. Other bacteria not detecting the phage's continued presence, "turn off this resistance switch, leaving them susceptible to infection", says the report. Martens believes these insights can lead to treating diseases by altering our gut microbiome.

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