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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 and alternative medicine.

more on foods that help the gut

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As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Natural probiotics are a pretty safe bet, but balance is important.

Dieting can be damaging to our gut microbiome. The problem with common diets is they often restrict eating carbohydrates which are healthy in prebiotics fibers such as grains, bread products, and fruits. These are nourishing to the gut’s microbiome, which can contribute to a decrease­ in bacterial diversity, according to a March 02, 2023 article in Dance Magazine (1).

Dr. Carolyn Williams, PH.D., RD, says “Sauerkraut, cottage cheese and yogurt (Greek) with live cultures, kimchi and kombucha are all whole-food sources of probiotics,” as reported in a February 14, 2023 issue of Eating Well. Kefir (a dairy-based drink) and Tempeh (a traditional Indonesian food) were also mentioned in this article (2).

Healthy prebiotics include artichokes, dragon fruit, garlic, mushrooms, oats, and soybeans. Williams emphasized the importance of eating fresh refrigerated foods with minimal processed ingredients (Eating Well). The role of prebiotics are types of fiber that are not digested but in the colon, where they are fermented to provide “food” for gut-healthy probiotics.

In addition to fresh produce, health experts recommend consumers look for labeling marked “contains live cultures” or “contains active cultures”, according to a March 4, 2023 CNET article (3).




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Why is butyrate so critical to a healthy gut; it’s more than healthy eating

Why is butyrate...
How often do we feel bloated or inflammation in our belly after a meal?

You thought you ate a healthy salad dish of fresh vegetables, but you’re stomach hurts. You thought you didn’t stuff your face, but you feel bloated. The answer often lies in a deficiency of butyric acid (butyrate). Without healthy butyrate production, you become vulnerable to leaky gut and inflammation.

A study reported February 08, 2023 by Cell, conducted a study that revealed differences in gut microbiome diversity and abundance among 106 cases of patients of Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) versus 91 healthy controls. The study used microbiome-based machine learning classifier models.

Two key butyrate-producing bacteria in our gut are Faecalibacterium prausnitziiand Eubacterium rectale. These are both abundant in people with health immune systems, and deficient in people suffering from ME/CFS.

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MS prevention at the microbiome source

MS prevention at the microbio...
Major breakthroughs seem to accelerate as more energy is dedicated to research in a field. This is true of gut microbiome research. Multiple Sclerosis is debilitating disease where our own immune system causes nerve damage by eating away at the protective covering of nerves.

Scientists at the University of Virginia (UVA) sought to find out what attacks the sheaths around nerves in the brain causing Multiple Sclerosis (MS). They found that the inflammation-causing mechanism could be turned off at its source, in the gut microbiome, according to a February 16 2023 report in New Atlas. This is a new approach to potentially treating multiple sclerosis, says Andrea Merchak, neuroscience doctoral candidate at UVA and lead author of the study.

Researchers in 2021 found that inhibiting a protein called Piezo1 produced by T-cells could allow the cells to decrease inflammation in mouse models.

Building on the 2021 work, the University of Virginia researchers targeted the regulator of inflammation-causing aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). AHR is produced by T-cells, a type of white blood cell that battles invaders to the body. When the researchers blocked it in the guts of mice, they found that the microbiome was able to produce compounds such as bile salts and short-chain fatty acids that made it difficult for the T-cells to thrive, and decrease the inflammation in mice leading to MS.

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energy-producing Geobacter shows practical application

energy-producing Geobacter s...

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Level of specific strain of gut microbes tied to fatigue syndrome

Level of specific strain of gut ...

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