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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).

Unknown microbes discovered on the International Space Station

Unknown microbes discovered...
Researchers from the U.S. and India on the International Space Station discovered previously unknown microbes, according to a a March 16 2021 article in Science Alert.

They found four strains of bacteria living in different places in the ISS, including Methylorubrum rhodesianum and the previously unknown species which were named IF7SW-B2T, IIF1SW-B5, and IIF4SW-B5, according to Science Alert. This family of bacteria found in soil and freshwater are involved in nitrogen fixation, plant growth, and can help stop plant pathogens, says team lead University of Southern California geneticist Swati Bijlani.

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More on illness linked to microbiome gut and mouth


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Data driven approach help researchers study microbes

Natalia Shulzhenko, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the Oregon State University (OSU) and her associates have employed a data-driven, systems-biology approach called Transkingdom network analysis to study host-microbe interactions under a western diet, according to a January 05 2021 report by News 18 television station in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. They use operational taxonomic units, or OTUs to categorize bacteria based on gene sequence similarity, says the report.

The OSU team studied Lactobacillus Johnsonii, Lactobacillus Gasseri, Romboutsia Ilealis and Ruminococcus Gnavus, for example, and their impact on the western diet. The team compared multiple studies of both humans and mice and the abundance of these four bacteria on our body mass index (BMI). With this analysis, R. Ilealis to be present in more than 80 per cent of obese patients, according to the News 18 report.

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Akkermansia, the gut protector

According to a recent February 26 2021 article in Mind Body Green, akkermansia municiphila is the great gut protector, supplying our gut lining with a protective layer of mucus. A common gut ailment called leaky gut is connected to a deficiency of Akkermansia.

The weakening of our gut wall can enable undigested food particles and bacteria to "leak" into the bloodstream which causes inflammation, even worse, gastrointestinal diseases, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine who is quoted in the article.

There are a number of foods that are high in anti-oxidant properties such as pomegranate, green tea, and cranberry. These phytochemicals contain large amounts of tannins, flavonols, anthocyanins which feed the akkermansia bacteria.

In the article, Dr. Hyman also mentions the importance of Akkermansia for certain drug cancer treatments which are only effective with the presence of this bacteria in the gut.

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