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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).

Baboon study shows heritable gut microbiome

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A July 08 2021report by Medical Express at the University of Notre Dame found that most bacteria in the gut microbiome of baboons are heritable after looking at more than 16,000 gut microbiome profiles collected over 14 years. from a long-studied population of baboons in Kenya's Amboseli National Park.

“This moves us away from the idea that genes play very little role in the microbiome to the idea that genes play a pervasive, if small, role," said Elizabeth Archie, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, she is quoted in Medical Express.

The researchers used fecal samples from 585 wild Amboseli baboons, typically with more than 20 samples per animal, including microbiome variations in the baboons' diets between wet and dry seasons. The result of this study showed that gut microbiome is 97% heritable.

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more on benefits of plant-based and seafood diets

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Mainstream media is picking up on the connection between our gut microbiome and our health. Another new study further validates the diets people who eat plant-based foods and seafoods because it supports the gut bacteria that eases inflammation in our bodies, according to an April 21 2021 article in U.S. News and World Report.

Senior researcher Dr. Rinse Weersma, a gastroenterologist and professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and his team found that people who ate more vegetables, fruit, fatty fish, nuts and fiber-rich grains generally had higher concentrations of bacteria that churn out short-chain fatty acids.

While the article says genes, age, health conditions, medication use (particularly antibiotics) and stress are all factors in the health of one’s gut microbiome, diet is the most important. The study was based on “1,400 Dutch adults who answered questions on their diet habits and gave stool samples for a gut-microbe analysis,” according to the U.S. News and World Report article.

Related Herbsprout blog articles:

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Cow’s gut microbiome can digest plastic

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Plastic is notoriously hard to break down, but a July 02 2021 study by researchers in Austria reported in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News has shown that bacteria from a cow’s rume, one of the four areas of the stomach, can digest certain types of man-made polyester plastics. The scientists are headed by Dr. Doris Ribitsch and her team at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

What this means is the microbial community in cows can potentially help address a serious and growing environment problem by breaking down plastics, according to the report. This includes the following three key man made plastics: PET, polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT, often used in compostable plastic bags), and polyethylene furanoate (PEF, a biobased material). The researchers analyzed the DNA and activities of bacterial enzymes in the cow’s stomachs to make this determination.

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