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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).

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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Gut bacteria linked to living longer

Shou is the sym... Shou is the symbol of longevity. The three main life goals in traditional Chinese culture are happiness (fú 福), professional success or prosperity (lù 祿), and longevity (shòu 壽).
A July 20 2020 article in Medical News Today says research by the Ohio State University Prof. Joseph Krzycki shows evidence of a gut bacteria that could help people live longer. The research found that people who live for longer than 100 years have, on average, 15 times more of the bacterium Eubacterium limosum (E. Limosum) in their gut.

It is believed to reduce the amount of trimethylamine (TMA) in the gut, which has been linked to atherosclerosis. Dr. Krzycki's lab found evidence that E. Limosum may prevent the production of TMA chemicals in our gut. E. limosum produces an enzyme that removes a chemical group called methyl from L-carnitine. This, in turn, prevents other bacteria in the gut from converting the nutrient into TMA, according to the Medical News Today article.

See full article at; and
#ai #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #longevity #microbiome #nutrition #wellness

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Biofilm protects bad gut bacteria from antibiotics

According to a January 15 2020 article by Wellnessforeveryone.Net's Jean Stanford, biofilms play a major role in dozens of health conditions. She suggests that 80% of people dealing with a long-term condition are actually experiencing some form of microbial or yeast overgrowth. Biofilm is a toxic, sticky plaque that bacteria & yeast secrete which can protect them from antibiotics, which explains why we are seeing a massive increase in drug resistant bacteria.

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Evidence of lactate producing gut bacteria as a key memory-boosting molecule

Calcium lactate crystals on the... Calcium lactate crystals on the surface of cheese. Source:
An April 29 2020 article published by the Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and it's counterpart at Berkeley Lab found new evidence of tangible links between the gut and the brain. The team found that lactate, a molecule produced by all species of one gut microbe, as a key memory-boosting molecular messenger.

Said Janice Jansson, a microbial ecologist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, “our study shows that the microbiome might partner with genetics to affect memory.” Researchers discovered that the Lactobacillus and L. reuteri strains were linked to improved memory, as well as two additional strains of Lactobacilli. The team fed lactate (produced by Lactobacillus) to mice that had poor memory and noticed that their memory improved. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a molecular messenger linked to memory formation in their brains. This is another step foreward and a factor in the gut-brain axis, though not yet complete, admits Jansson.
#ai #bacteria #cardiovasculardisease #datascience #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #obesity

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94% accurate detection of liver disease by gut bacteria

94% accurate detection of liver ...
Liver disease can be a mild and non- serious excess fat build up in one's liver. But it can also lead to scarring, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer. The current methods for using monitoring our liver can be expensive and invasive MRIs and biopsies.

The New Atlas July 01 2020 reported that the Salk Institute and the University of California San Diego discovered that our gut bacteria can accurately detect liver disease by 90%. Examining the stool samples of 163 healthy and sick patients, these researchers discovered a signature based with 94% accuracy on the presence of 19 bacterial species that was indicative of liver disease, specifically non-fatty liver disease or NFLD. The research was led by Rohit Loomba, co-corresponding author and director of the NAFLD Research Center at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.


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Common food additive harms our gut bacteria

The New Atlas published an article June 28 2020 about a food additive called titanium dioxide or E171, that is found to be toxic based on research by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It turns out that the smaller nanoparticle version of this food additive with less than 100 nm in diameter may be more bioactive and more toxic, according to a study of their effects on mice.

The article acknowledges that the UMASS study of mice may or may not directly apply to humans. However, it suggests that the larger particles of titanium dioxide used as additives in food are safer. This is one of a number of studies that point toward this same result.

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A "disease quadrangle"- gut microbiome link to COVID -19

A "disease quadrangle"- gut m...
Recent June 25-26 2020 news articles in Medical News Today suggests there is a connection between our gut microbiome and various viruses including COVID-19.

One study in Cell says "microorganisms are increasingly recognized as ecosystem-relevant components because they affect the population dynamics of hosts," suggesting a four-tier influence or "disease quadrangle" by host, host microbiome, pathogen, and environment (1). This report recommends better understanding the role of microbiomes in disease dynamics. A Medical News Today article implies the traditional "disease triangle" may be obsolete. For example, in the case of malaria, a mosquito is less likely to become vulnerable to the malaria parasite if it has more bacteria belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family in its gut (2). The Enterobacteriaceae species protects against malarial infection. Researchers have found that climate temperature has a strong effect on the growth of pathogens and gut bacteria, and therefore the spread of disease.

Which brings us to our current COVID-19 problem. It is already known that gastrointestinal symptoms are common among people testing positive for COVID-19. A stronger link still as reported by Medical News Today say research found the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the stool of COVID-19 patients (3). Though more research is required to conclusively prove these links, there is strong evidence that these links affect the severity and risk level of patients.

One point that can't be denied is that a significant paradigm shift has arrived with the fourth factor in how we look at disease and disease prevention. Host microbiome, is a critical part of understanding how we treat and prevent diseases.



#bacteria #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech

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Health benefits of lavender oil

source: source:
Lavender oil is distilled from the plant lavender (lavandula angustifolia). It has become one of the most popular forms of aromatherapy, according to a June 20 2020 article by Yahoo news (1). The herb contains components like linalool and linalyl which tout a long list of benefits such as improving digestion, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, calming and soothing skin, antibacterial and antimicrobial.

One popular lavender oil Silexan was found to contain 36.8% of linalool and 34.2% of linalyl acetate26, according to a December 2019 human clinical study reported in Nature Magazine (2). The Nature report points out that anxiety disorders in United States reaches as much as 28.8% of the mostly working population, compared to 14.5% in Europe, and 20% in Australia.

Lavender oil is so concentrated that you often need to combine it with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba and argan oil, to name a few) before applying directly to your skin. Most reputable producers will have already included the carrier oil, ready to use.

This article was co- written by Cindy Postma, Herbsprout essential oils contributor.


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Connection found between gut microbiome and cholesterol levels

Research on our gut microbiome keeps rolling in, this time a June 24 2020 report by Harvard Gazette on the work of Dr. Emily Balkus of Harvard's chemistry department.

Scientists have known there to be a connection between cholesterol and the gut for centuries. The study was able to determine that the IsmA gene in gut microbiome of people they studied have 55 to 75 percent less cholesterol in their stool. “Those who have this enzyme activity basically have lower cholesterol,” said Dr. Balkus' co-senior author Ramnik Xavier, core member at the Broad Institute, co-director of the Center for Informatics and Therapeutics at MIT, and investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Balskus and her associate Doug Kenny, a Ph.D. candidate in her department, sequenced the entire genome of the cholesterol-consuming hog bacterium, according to the Harvard Gazette in order to isolate the IsmA gene.

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How gut microbiome interact with prescription drugs

source: source:
A June 10 2020 article in SciTech Daily explains "how gut bacteria metabolize drugs, and could aid the development of medications that are more effective, have fewer side effects, and are personalized to an individual’s microbiome". The research was conducted by researchers at Princeton University and led by Mohamed S. Donia, assistant professor of molecular biology.

The researchers identified 57 cases in which gut bacteria can alter existing oral medications, which can alter the medications to be less effective, not effective at all, or even toxic. Unfortunately, the Princeton study will require more detailed study of specific gut microbiome strains to isolate which bacteria are affecting the medications and how.

The SciTech Daily reported that "researchers found that some people’s microbiomes had little effect on a given drug, while other microbiomes had a significant effect," causing a wide variability between individuals tested. In addition, Princeton's Donia said it calls for studying of various drugs on the "entire intestinal microbial community.”

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