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“WHERE THINGS SO SMALL CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH.”
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.

Urolithin A said to reduce aging

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source: dreamstime.com source: dreamstime.com
According to Popular Science, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and life-science company Amazentis believe they have found a way to reduce muscle decline and low energy with a highly pure Urolithin A supplement. Gut bacteria generate urolithin A from pomegranates, berries, and nuts.

Mitochondria which converts food into energy, generates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) life-sustaining chemical tissue, and mitophagy which is the process of breaking down old worn out mitochondria. The March 22 2022 Popular Science report says researchers found that Urolithin A boosts mitophagy. It is produced as a by-product when gut bacteria digest specific ingredients such as pomegranates (1).

David Marcinek, Ph.D., a professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattlein Medicine News Today, believes that Urolithin A supplements may provide a way to stimulate mitophagy in older people and help them maintain strength and endurance. He and his team are doing preliminary clinical trial to find out the efficacy and safety of such supplements (2).

https://www.popsci.com/sponsored-post/scientists-in-switzerland-discover-that-gut-microbiome-postbiotic-urolithin-a-may-help-combat-muscle-fatigue-with-aging/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gut-microbiome-may-hold-key-to-combat-muscle-decline-in-aging

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Gut microbiome linked to cognitive aging

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According to a February 22, 2022 Medical News Today report, researchers from the United States analyzed data from a large cross-sectional study of CARDIA, Coronary Artery Risk Development, in Young Adults and found a link between gut microbial composition and cognitive status in middle-aged adults.

607 stool samples were studied for DNA sequencing of adults across the country with a mean age of 55. The genera Barnesiella, Lachnospiraceae, and Akkermansia were positively associated with at least one of the cognitive tests, while Sutterella was negatively associated with one test.

Scientists believe that short-chain fatty acids play a part in regulating how the gut and brain interact. Short-chain fatty acids have been associated with protection against vascular dementia and cognitive impairment, according to the Medical News Today article.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/microorganisms-in-the-gut-are-linked-to-cognitive-function

Related news: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/bacteria-infecting-viruses-in-gut-microbiome-linked-to-cognition-69709

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gut bacteria reduces productivity as we age

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According to a January 25, 2022 Medical News Today report, gut bacteria which produce a metabolite called urolithin A improves the overall efficiency of mitochondria, which prevent fatigue and helps maintain strength and endurance.

Part of the issue is that as we age, our cells progressively lose their capacity for “mitophagy”, which is the breakdown and recycling of faulty mitochondria, says David Marcinek, Ph.D., a professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Professor Marcinek and his team are currently exploring clinical trials of Urolithin A supplements to determine efficacy for the aging.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gut-microbiome-may-hold-key-to-combat-muscle-decline-in-aging
Would you use Urolithin A supplements if it were safe and available?

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Gut bacterial chemical promotes obesity

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Delta-valerobetaine, a bacterial metabolite is said to provide a starting point to understand our gut microbiome as a link between diet and body composition, according to Dean Jones, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and co-senior author of the paper in a January 31, 2022 Futurity.org article. Delta-valerobetaine was identified by comparing the livers of conventionally housed mice with those in germ-free mice.

Researchers found that the delta-valerobetaine decreases the liver’s ability to burn fat during fasting periods. The molecule was first identified by Ken Liu, a former molecular and systems pharmacology graduate student who is the first author of the paper.

Certain varieties of bacteria are believed to produce more delta-valerobetaine than others. The Futurity.org article says the Cleveland Clinic confirmed that TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) of which Delta-valerobetaine is a precursor, is associated with cardiovascular disease.

https://www.futurity.org/metabolite-intestinal-bacteria-obesity-2689822/

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guts of carnivorous female versus male minks vary widely

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A January 11 2022 article in Phys.org says dramatic differences in the gut microbiome of female and male American minks.

According to Erin McKenney, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, the guts of carnivores are much more short and simple than the guts of omnivores and herbivores, yet gender differences are still significant. Researchers say this will help understanding and develop future study design of animal gut microbiome.

http://phys.org/news/2022-01-distinct-gut-microbiomes-male-female.html

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Enhaler for COPD patients makes them more susceptible to Pneumonia

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Fluticasone-based inhaled corticosteroid treatment substantially changed airway microbiome diversity in patients with COPD, according to new data published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“Inhaled corticosteroids . . . can change the microbial communities of airways of COPD patients, rendering them more susceptible for pneumonia,” Don D. Sin, MD, director and De Lazzari Family Chair at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, Canada Research Chair in COPD and professor of respiratory medicine, department of medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, is quoted saying in Healio.

The study results according to the Healio report related to “reduced abundances of Pasteurellas, Pasteurellaceae and Haemophilus.” It also suggests that further studies are needed to determine “which bacterial organisms are responsible for keeping the microbiome airway healthy”.

https://www.healio.com/news/pulmonology/20220103/fluticasonebased-ics-laba-therapy-changes-airway-microbiome-in-copd

https://www.healio.com/news/pulmonology/20211129/ics-dose-may-be-risk-factor-for-p-aeruginosa-infection-in-severe-copd

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Scientists at Ferring develop biomarker to measure gut bacteria impacted by antibiotic treatments

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According to a December 07 2022 article, Ferring Company developed a first-of-its-kind prototype biomarker algorithm that measures the positive and negative impact on our gut microbiome of using antibiotics.

The Ferring MHI-A algorithm differentiates post-antibiotic dysbiosis from healthy microbiota in the gut associated with healthy Bacteroidia and Clostridia, versus potentially harmful species such as Gammaproteobacteria and Bacilli.

Researchers at Ferring say MHI-A is a useful for rank-ordering the microbiota-disrupting effects of antibiotics and a measure of microbiota restoration. Ken Blount, Chief Scientific Officer, Rebiotix, Vice President Microbiome Research, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, is quoted by Business Wire as saying, “This biomarker provides a concise metric for assessing the complex changes in the microbiome of trial participants pre- to post-treatment.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.781275

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220107005052/en/Frontiers-in-Microbiology-Publishes-Article-Detailing-Novel-Microbiome-based-Biomarker-of-Post-Antibiotic-Disruptions-in-Gut-Microbiota

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Nature is doing its own repairing with growth of plastic eating enzymes

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Scientists at the Chalmers University in Sweden that one in every four organisms in the microbiomes they studied carries a protein sequence for plastic-degrading enzymes, according to an article published December 16 2021 in The Nerdist.com.

Scientists identified locations where these plastic degrading microbiomes are growing in number alongside plastic pollution in the oceans. As to whether or not this development is keeping up with plastic pollution growth is still to be determined.

https://nerdist.com/article/ocean-plastic-pollution-causing-rise-in-plastic-eating-microbes/?amp

https://medium.com/illumination/microbes-to-clean-the-oceans-c2e55d65ff9c

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Autism tied to mother's microbiome

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According to a December 08 2021 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (Genengnews) article, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be sourced by inflammation in the mother's womb leading to gastrointestinal issues in the child.

Based on mouse models of autism used by scientists at Harvard (Medical School) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), IL-17A not only changes the mother’s gut microbiome but it also alters brain development in the fetus, affecting the offspring’s immune system. This change in immune development primes the offspring for inflammatory attacks of the gut after birth, leading to neurodevelopmental and immunological symptoms (1).

The findings are based on mouse studies of IL-17a during pregnancy by Gloria Choi, PhD, associate professor at the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Jun Huh, PhD, associate professor of immunology, Harvard Medical School.

In related news in 2017, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discovered a new way to identify children on the autism spectrum based on concentrations of specific substances, folate-dependent one-carbon (FOCM) metabolism and transsulfuration (TS) pathways, found in their blood samples (2).

1) https://www.genengnews.com/topics/omics/autism-linked-immune-problems-are-caused-by-maternal-gut-bacteria/

2) https://www.genengnews.com/news/autism-blood-test-incorporates-big-data-techniques/

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phenolic compounds in food aid in reducing free radicals; TCM dismissed by WebMD

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phenolic compounds in food aid...
According to a mice study and other studies reported in Handawi on November 08 2021, phenolic compounds effectively reduced oxidative stress from the buildup of free radicals. Free radicals are known to lead to various diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases (1).

Phenolic compounds have received considerable attention for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Two main compounds mentioned here are protocatechuic acid (PCA) and protocatechuic aldehyde (PAL).

Phenolic compounds are naturally present in many plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, spices, rice, crops, legumes, hemp, and lentils. Herbs such as basil, lemon thyme, and mint also contain high concentrations of these anti-oxidant compounds.

Salvia miltiorrhiza, also known as red sage, Chinese sage, danshen, is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia, commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. While Danshen possesses high concentrations of PCA and PAL, WebMD warns that eating too much of it and for some people, it can cause upset stomach. On the other hand, WebMD fails to sight any scientific evidence or research it’s claims about Danshen while acknowledging that the same therapeutic compounds in other western foods are effective (2).

According to the Handawi article, the effectiveness of distributing these antioxidants to the body and brain depends in part on the gut microbiome ability to biotransform them into lower molecular weight compounds (1).

1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2021/6139308/

2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-931/danshen

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