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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).

Can probiotics like kimchi aid against Coronavirus?

Can probiotics like kimchi aid ...
A March 18, 2020 article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that diarrhea and other digestive symptoms can be early signs of the Coronavirus. After studying 204 Coronavirus patients in Hubei Province, scientists found that nearly half suffered from digestive symptoms before respiratory issues become noticeable. Various types of probiotics have been recommended to address digestive related symptoms, among them are kimchi. (see ).

Kimchi is definitely good for you. It is a healthy food rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, β-carotene, β-sitosterol, chlorophylls, phenols, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), and minerals.

There have been studies suggesting that kimchi can protect against ailments such as colon cancer. Scientists treated cancerous mice with the methanolic extracts from different kimchis, particularly 1.89 g/kg of anticancer kimchi, which significantly increased their colon length, decreased the ratio of colon weight/length, and resulted in the lowest number of tumors (see ).

But does eating kimchi help protect against the coronavirus?

This youtube video news report says it does and the lactic acid bacteria in kimchi is the key:

#bacteria #diet #easternmedicine #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #kimchi #plantnutrition #spices

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Facts behind health remedies of Cannabis- DeepCell Industries CEO Kelly Ogilvie

Facts behind health remedies o...
How Cannabis saved his sister and inspired Ogilvie's deep dive into "non-intoxicating cannabis R&D, product dev. Deepcell success now hinges b2b technology licensing to food products industry. discusses the state of the Cannabis industry with DeepCell Industries CEO Kelly Ogilvie. He invites us to look behind the curtain and learn about the science behind Cannabis as a health remedy, and what's in store for the industry's future. -- blogger and podcaster Chris Kenji Beer

#CBD #THC #ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #cannabis #datascience #diet #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #machinelearning #marijuana #mindbody #plantnutrition #spices

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More gut health links to Autism

More gut health links to Autism
A March 11 2020 report by The Conversation, a collaboration between three Australian universities, conducted two studies, one of mice and the other of human twins with autism, showing a gene mutation called neuroligin-3. It is known among professionals in the field that people with autism are more likely to experience gastrointestinal disorders than the general population. The twins were diagnosed with esophagitis and diarrhea, and the gene- mutated mice also showed gut microbiome deficiencies associated with diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Other reports found that children with autism (ASD) were four times more likely to have gastrointestinal issues than children without autism ( see ). The three collaborating universities of The Conversation are RMIT, La Trobe, and Monash Universities.

Parents of children have long claimed that giving their autistic children a healthy probiotic diet has helped reduce their autistic behaviors. Studies show that children with ASD often have a mix of gut microbes that substantially differ from children without ASD. A January 22, 2020 article in Nature references a University of Arizona study on microbiota transfer therapy, which would be used to recolonize the guts with bacteria of children suffering from autism. The study found other research showing the following deficiencies of gut microbiomes in autistic people: Bifidobacterium, Blautia (needed to produce bile acids to produce serotonin), Veillonellaceae, Coprococcus and Prevotella. Conversely, researchers found an excess of the Clostridia bacterial pathogens (know to disrupt production of serotonin in the gut) (see ).

April is Autism Awareness month. Global Engage a world leading çonference organisers published a variation of this blog on their website at .
#ASD #autism #gutbacteria #gutbrainaxis #guthealth #microbiome #serotonin

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Consensus on Indian Marma/ Chinese, acupressure/ acupuncture as a remedy

source: source:
Acupressure and acupuncture target "vital energy points" in our bodies, according to traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda. The term marma and acupressure points are similar to each other in this way. There are certain critical points in our bodies that must be considered in surgery for example, according to Ayurvedic tradition, that should be avoided.

A book by Franc Ros, called The Lost Secrets of Ayurvedic Acupressure, goes into detail about the similarities and differences between marma and Ayurvedic medicine's acupressure (see book, Lost Secrets of Ayurvedic Acupuncture ).

A common question is, are acupressure and acupuncture effective at helping to relieve physical pain? Human trials consistently suggest they do, but it's hard to factor in the placebo effect. There is little evidence that suggests it addresses other health conditions.

Acupuncturists and acupressure use the same points for their respective practices. Acupuncturists believe it corrects energy imbalances in the body. Western doctors believe it stimulates natural chemicals in your body called endorphins that block pain signals, according to WebMD.

The National Institute of Health says that complications from acupuncture treatment is rare, and is relatively safe. Both accupressure and acupuncture have become more common treatments for pain conditions, such as:

● Low-Back Pain,
● Neck Pain,
● Osteoarthritis/Knee Pain,
● Headache, among others

(see NIH page, ).

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Studies show how serotonin, our gut microbiome impacts our "second brain"

Studies show how serotonin, o...
A February 07, 2020 article by Psychiatry Advisor examines the close connection between our mood, depression and our gut microbiome. Often called our "second brain", the enteric nervous system (ENS) is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum. The primary role of ENS? It regulates our digestive system - the release of enzymes and ingestion of nutrients that we need. The study of our three gut-brain axis - the nervous system, ENS, and our digestive system - are coming closer and closer to offering long term health solutions for not only depression but for other brain diseases. Scientists found that the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, by activating cytokines, trigger the release of cortisol, a potent stress hormone. It is bi-directional. When it becomes unstable our body becomes stressed which can lead to depression (see articles and

Senior author Elaine Hsiao says researchers hope to build on their current studies at UCLA to learn whether microbial interactions with antidepressants have consequences for health and disease, according to the September 2019 report (Credit: by Stuart Wolpert, University of California, Los Angeles; Reed Hutchinson/UCLA).

A study in mice led by UCLA biologists strongly suggests that serotonin and drugs that target serotonin, anti-depressants such as Prozac can have a major effect on the gut's microbiota—the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that live in the human body's intestines. Hsiao's team of researchers found that Turicibacter sanguinis, a common gut microbe, can signal nearby intestinal cells to release serotonin. Serotonin—a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger that sends messages among cells—is known as the "happy chemical as it positively influences our mood. An estimated 90 percent of the body's serotonin is produced in the gut.

"Previous studies from our lab and others showed that specific bacteria promote serotonin levels in the gut," lead author Thomas Fung said. "Our new study tells us that certain gut bacteria can respond to serotonin and drugs that influence serotonin, like anti-depressants. This is a unique form of communication between bacteria and our own cells through molecules traditionally recognized as neurotransmitters." (See articles, American Chemical Society and Phys.Org - and ).

The same month of September (September 17) of 2019, Professor Damien Keating, Head of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Flinders University found that our gut microbiome signals cells to serotonin production in the gut, which Dr. Keating "showed to be increased in obese humans, and this rise in blood serotonin causes significant metabolic problems.” These insights, he suggests, provides valuable first- step data points that can lead to visibility into the role of our gut microbiome, serotonin, and blood sugar levels which can aid in addressing obesity and diabetes (See Neuroscience News article, ).

Another study in Nature recommends fasting as a way to "reboot the system". According to a February 18, 2020 Nature article, "Intermittent fasting (IF) regimens which involves dietary restriction, have shown to increase lifespan, promote energy metabolism, and reduce the risk of developing various age-related pathologie." It is believed that IF influences our gut microbiome to create these results. Theoretically it can play a role in our mood and stress as the previously mentioned articles suggest (see article, ). Special thanks to Yeirim Kim, Herbsprout Facebook member for sharing this post.

A more natural alternative to antidepressants, a previous Herbsprout blog references herbs that support the production of serotonin. For example, Herbs that help boost serotonin levels include oatstraw, and the roots of angelica, burdock, dandelion, ginseng, wild yam and black cohosh.

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Hinoki oil tests positive for easing stress

Hinoki, Japanese Cypress. Hinoki, Japanese Cypress.
Heard about Hinoki oil? It comes from a tree by the same name, the Hinoki Japanese cypress. A lemony, balsamic-scented oil, Hinoki is both soothing and relaxing, two components that favor the oil for baths and for massage or just to help you sleep. Try diffusing it or put a drop on your wrists and inhale.

Hinoki oil contains phytoncides, which are volatile substances that plants emit to protect against pathogens and insects. They possess insecticidal, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. It also contains alpha-pinenes or α-Pinene, which is an organic compound of the terpene class. It is an alkene that is found in the oils of many species of coniferous trees, such as pine and hinoki. It is also found in the essential oil of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Satureja myrtifolia (also known as Zoufa in some regions). This chemical is known to be anti-inflammatory, possibly antimicrobial, and a memory aid as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.

Distilled from wood discards of the timber industry, the Hinoki essential oil is offering a sustainable solution to forest management. In Japan, the wood of the Hinoki is highly prized but the forests are over populating in some areas. Through it’s its sourcing program for the Hinoki essential oil, doTERRA International, the essential oils company, is encouraging the creation of jobs in rural Japan while helping to clear the forests of wood by-products. .

In Japan, Hinoki is a treasured wood used in the building of some of the oldest, existing buildings, and valued for its light scent for incense. It is commonly used to:

● Heals wounds. Hinoki essential oil has antiseptic qualities which helps to heal minor cuts, scrapes and wounds. ..
● Relieves muscle spasms. ...
● Eliminates respiratory conditions. ...
● Relieves anxiety. ...

Hinoki oil is available as a limited offer, and you can get a free 5 mL bottle of Hinoki oil as the Doterra POM (product of the month) for 125PV LRP orders placed. See .

Co-authored by Cindy Postma. You can become a doterra member here and receive discounts on natural essential oils: .

More information about the influence of our gut bacteria and stress,
#bacteria #chinesemedicine #diet #easternmedicine #essentialoilso #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #herbalmedicine #herbs #japanesemedicine #mindbody #naturopathichealth #plantnutrition #spices

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Ulcerative colitis linked to missing gut microbe; 70% of our body's molecules produced by gut bacteria

Ulcerative colitis linked to miss...
The research we are witnessing on the gut microbiome is nothing short of revolutionary and its importance to health care is still just scratching the surface. Two perennial institutions just one day apart came up separately with two keys to the puzzles that could forever alter the way we administer health care to digestive system related diseases. These two are Stanford University and University of California San Diego.

A February 25, 2020 study by Stanford University's School of Medicine has found links between ulcerative colitis and a missing gut microbe. Led by Aida Habtezion, MD, associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, and Sidhartha Sinha, MD, assistant professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, scientists found a large deficiency in levels of a group of substances called secondary bile acids in the intestines of seven FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) patients.

FAP is a rare genetic deficiency condition where a person lacks the ability to produce the secondary bile acids (produced by gut bacteria) which derive from primary bile acids produced in the liver. Bile acids are important for effective digestion.

A February 26, 2020 study by University Of California San Diego (UCSD) found that microbes play an intimate role in the production of bile acids. In a trial of mapping the microbiome of mice, they found that 70% of the molecules in our bodies are actually produced by our gut bacteria. UCSD researchers "have created the first-ever map of all the molecules in every organ of a mouse and the ways in which they are modified by microbes," according to the UCSD press release. The research team was led by Pieter Dorrestein, PhD, professor at the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Robert Quinn, PhD, assistant professor at Michigan State University (see article ). The findings were first published in ( ).

The production of these metabolites have been linked to a family of bacteria called Ruminococcaceae, according to the Stanford study. The deficiency of these metabolites makes individuals particularly susceptible to ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Specifically by testing their stool samples, deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid were much lower in stool specimens taken from the ulcerative colitis patients.

Currently ulcerative colitis patients endure an invasive surgery putting them at risk of other health issues such as infections. Over a million Americans have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

The Stanford findings were first published online in Cell Host & Microbe. More information is available at Stanford University's website, .
#crohnsdisease #gutbacteria #guthealth #microbiome #ulcerativecolitis

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Mediterranean diet & herbs show improved gut microbiome diversity

Source: getty images Source: getty images
Seniors can be a good case study for diet efficacy. A February 17, 2020 Medical Express and British Medical Journal reported an analysis of the gut microbiome of 612 people aged 65 to 79. It is commonly understood that as we age our gut microbiome diversity progressively decreases, particularly if we consume a limited diet in our waning years. People were tested in this age group before and after 12 months of either eating their usual diet (n = 289) or a Mediterranean diet (n = 323), rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil and fish and low in red meat and saturated fats, and specially tailored to older people (NU-AGE diet).

The participants, who were either frail (n=28), on the verge of frailty (n=151), or not frail (n=433) at the beginning of the study, lived in five different countries: France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and the UK. 323 individuals agreed to follow a Mediterranean-type diet for 1 year, while the rest continued with their usual diets and acted as a control group.

Sticking to the Mediterranean diet for 12 months was associated with beneficial changes to the gut microbiome, rich in microbiome diversity.

(See articles, ; and

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Profile: Viome’s Genetic Code Principles

Viome expands on the genetic code principles. Viome is a personalized “life optimization” healthcare solution using complex biological data and the most advanced, cutting edge technology originating from Los Alamos Laboratory. Viome takes highly customized information about how the body functions at a molecular and microscopic level. In addition to the aforementioned data driven analyses, there are three pillars to the Viome solution, according to their website (see, using microbiome gene expression, gut metabolites, metabolome, and genetics. Here is a step-by-step overview of the Viome solution:

1) SCIENCE: Viome conducts a comprehensive metabolome and microbiome analysis (of their customer’s stool sample) resulting in high resolution complex biological data at a molecular level using a cost effective proprietary process.

2) DATA: Viome processes the customer's samples in their state- of- the- art facilities to help generate a picture of your body at a molecular level. The company combines that with their doctor-trained artificial intelligence (AI) engine to generate actionable diet, exercise, and nutrient recommendations.

3) INSIGHT: Viome offers an artificially intelligent, contextually relevant recommendation engine.

Why Viome is a leader in healthcare innovation is partly because it recognizes that the lion's share of a person's genetics resides in their gut, a whopping upwards of 90%! No other company has achieved the breadth of genetic makeup in the gut that Viome has and nor as deep and extensive data analysis of the microbial content of the body.

1. Outside Disruptors - Besides the revolutionary disruptive nature of their research, a few business takeaways here are that marketplace disruptions as in the case of Viome, can come from industry outsiders like Naveen Jain.

1. Research Incubation - Technologies such as the military from Los Alamos labs and other major research-based institutions and universities are evolving to become leading incubators to driving the entrepreneurial innovations. Pre-existing technologies and creations at the academic and laboratory level are common sources of marketplace innovations in healthcare, as in the case of Jain’s Viome, Silicon Valley's CRISPR Caribou Biosciences, and BioHub. This again reinforces the assertion that disruptive innovations can come from anywhere.

1. D2C Applications - Direct-to-consumer (D2C) applications which remove middlemen such as those of Viome and Ubiome offer more efficient and cost effective solution for health care consumers. It is not always about "reinventing the wheel" as it is "'repurposing' or 're- imagining' the wheel", as Jain likes to say. Technology and ideas can be repurposed for another business sector and be a disruptive innovation.

Circling back to the original themes of this chapter, Viome and the study of the enteric nervous system, gut microbiome research, and applying it to personalized healthcare, has effectively created what may be greatest disruptive innovation of this generation.

Viome’s Metatranscriptome Sequencing.
It is easy for a consumer to confuse different approaches to microbiome testing. Hopefully, the following chart will shed some light on the key differences. Viome has invested extensively in a new form of microbiome sequencing called Metatranscriptome Sequencing as opposed to competitor like Ubiome (now in bankruptcy), Illumina and other 16S Sequencing companies:

Head-to-Head Comparison of Microbiome Testing:

16S Sequencing:

● Identifies only a fraction of your gut bacteria; unable to identify nonbacterial microorganisms
● Low resolution (genus level only)
● Does not determine microbe function
● Unreliable; sequencing the same sample twice can yield very different results
● Unable to identify microbial metabolites, which are key for maintaining health
● Low resolution and lack of functional data preclude any actionable recommendations

Viome’s Meta-Transcriptome Sequencing:

● Identifies all bacteria and all other living organisms in your gut: viruses, archaea, yeast, fungi, parasites, and bacteriophages2
● High resolution (species & strain level)
● Quantifies the biochemical activities of all gut microorganisms
● Unbiased analysis, minimized variation in results
● Identifies which metabolites are being produced and which are missing
● Allows correlation of microbes and their functions with common chronic conditions, so actionable recommendations can be made

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Links between gut health and mania/ bi-polar disorder

Links between gut health and ...
A September 04, 2019 article in the New Scientist suggests that eating a proper amount of psychobiotics, a derivation of probiotics, can improve one's mental health. (see ). Probiotics may help improve a variety of mental health conditions, in part due to an anti-inflammatory effect, including those suffering from manic depression and bi-polar (BP) disorders. Psychobiotics are believed to mitigate chemical imbalance in the brain, and offer an alternative to drug treatment, claims the article.

Lithium has become the most accepted remedy used for treating BP. Studies such as the 2020 Neuropsychobiology report have found little connection between lithium intake and Escherichia coli or Lactobacillus rhamnosus, except that it appears to support a stronger richness and diversity of these species. However, they found a noticeable increase in Clostridium, Peptoclostridium, Intestinibacter, and Christenellaceae following lithium treatment (see ). These results suggest a connection between our gut microbiota and BP treatment using lithium.


Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine did a study to determine if probiotics could help recently discharged manic patients, according to a Harvard Health Publishing blog of June 25, 2018. Two groups of 33 patients were given Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species to one group and a placebo to the second group over a 24 week period.

The results for the rates of rehospitalization were 51.1% in the placebo group and 24.2% in the group who took probiotics. On average, the reduction in readmission was 74% lower in the probiotic group, and a 90% reduction of hospitalization in the group with the highest inflammation score. Additionally, patients who took probiotics and were rehospitalized stayed in the hospital on average 2.8 days, compared with 8.3 days for those taking placebo.

A Nature article in February 2019 referenced human trials that found connections between coprococcus and dialister bacteria, with lower levels contributing to mental health issues and specifically depression (see article, ).

While tests on mice are less reliable than human trials, they can effectively make connections between similar human functions. For example, The Scientist article reported that study coauthor Julio Licinio, a psychiatrist at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse made fecal transplants of schizophrenic mice that verified lower glutamate, glutamine, and GABA in their hippocampi. These are key amino acid neurotransmitters that are essential for brain function (see ).

What scientists can say with some accuracy is that there is a link between our gut bacteria and mental health. One step further, they've identified specific species of bacteria, keystone species such as bifidobacteria and lesser known species such as coprococcus and dialister bacteria. The next steps will be to prove efficacy and FDA approval as a form of treatment in mental health patients. When this might be achieved is still to be determined, but scientists are getting closer.
#ai #bacteria #datascience #diet #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #mentalhealth #plantnutrition #probiotics #psychobiotics #spices

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