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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).

Gut microbes may be key to treating and protecting against COVID-19

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According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) May 2021 report, biotechnology companies are researching gut microbes for answers to treat and protect against COVID-19.

Trillions of microbes inhabit the body and perform essential functions such as breaking down nutrients and resisting infectious diseases. Research also indicates this microbial population, the microbiome, all 274 stool samples analyzed showed that the make-up of the gut microbiome differed significantly between patients with and without COVID-19.

According to the WSJ report, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale were prevalent among healthy patients while unhealthy had high Ruminococcus gnavus, Ruminococcus torques and Bacteroides dorei in their stools.

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Little known lymphocytes found to help maximize our digestion of nutrients

A single layer of epithelial cells covering our inner intestinal lining supports absorption of nutrients from food while maintaining a barrier against potentially infectious pathogen.

Scientists found that gamma-delta T cells maximize nutrient absorption by adjusting the quantity of epithelial cells, according to Zuri Sullivan, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. She studied mice eating eating a heavy carb load which as expected showed a higher expression of genes involved in carbohydrate processing and absorption.

Unexpectedly, she found similar changes in the epithelial cells caused by gamma-delta T cells, a type of gut lymphocytes, a progressive increase in these cells depending on the diet. This also points to the fact that these immune cells do more than protect us from pathogens.

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Gut microbiome changes with neurodegenerative conditions

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According to a May 07 2021 Neuroscience News article, people with neurodegenerative conditions show bacterial changes in their gut. The research is led by University of Florida microbiology and cell science doctoral candidate Alyssa Walker (UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences). Walker's research was able to render visual evidence that a tiny, translucent worm called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans) residing in our gut accumulates protein known to cause neurodegenerative diseases (1).

They have also shown that certain other bacteria species can produce compounds that counteract the effect. The study identified specific species of bacteria play a role in the development of these conditions," said Dr. Daniel Czyz, assistant professor at the University of Florida working with Walker in Science Focus (2).



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microbes from the deep

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A team of researchers led by Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration assistant professor and geobiologist Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been studying microbial life in the North Pond located on the western flank of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, at a depth of over 14,500 feet. Trembath-Reicher and her team were able to track the types of food sources microbes consume to survive. She also found that microbes use carbon dioxide directly as a building block without having to convert it into a food source, according to the Phys.Org report. A remarkable discovery demonstrated how microbes are able to survive and adapt to to some of the harshest living conditions (1).

In another study, scientists found that microbes have been growing and coming out of the ocean floor through petroleum seeps. The microbes they studied are able subsist and adapt to the harsh conditions of the deep ocean floor.

This study confirms that petroleum seeps are a conduit for transporting life from the deep biosphere to the seafloor,” says co-author Emil Ruff, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole as reported in SciTech Daily. The study, led by Anirban Chakraborty and Casey Hubert of the University of Calgary, is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2).

Bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms regulate the Earth’s vital functions and resources, from the air we breathe to all our food and most of our energy sources. An estimated one-third of the Earth’s microbes reside beneath the ocean floor, according to the Phys.Org May 26 2021 article (1).

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So little known about the "majority of life on Earth, microbial life. Why?

So little known about the "majo...
Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms, according to an April 19 2021 article in the Guardian. They generate oxygen, keep the earth healthy and are healthy probiotics for our bodies such as yoghurt and cheese.

According to Prof Frederick Cohan, a microbial ecologist at Wesleyan University, new microbial species are constantly coming into being, regardless of the declining number of animal species worldwide which are often linked to the spread of unhealthy microbes, says the Guardian.

Perhaps one day soon we will realise and rectify our neglect and lift our respect for the diversity of microbial life,” said Jesse Ausubel, director of the Rockefeller University’s programme for the human environment, and sponsor of the study. Ausubel calls for the forming of a non-profit similar to WWF or Nature Conservancy to help track microbes worldwide.

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