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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, alternative medicine, and Asian medicine, especially of China (TCM), India (Ayurveda), and Japan (eJim & Kampo).

Tryptophan essential to gut health

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According to an August 4 2021 Sci Tech Daily tryptophan is an essential amino acid for your microbiome gut health. Tryptophan is known to aid in the creation of the neurotransmitter serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan is commonly found in milk, turkey, chicken, and oats. A deficiency of tryptophan led threefold increase in the bacterium Acetatifactor, and significant reductions of Mucispirillum and Blautia, concludes the author’s study.

This is first reported by Dr. Sadanand Fulzele, an aging researcher in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Medicine in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

https://scitechdaily.com/a-diet-lacking-in-tryptophan-alters-gut-microbiota-increases-inflammation/amp/

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Fungi may aid in building extraterrestrial habitats says astromycologist

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An August 03 2021 article in the Scientific American interviews what they call the first Astromycologist Paul Stamets along with other research teams who are studying how fungi can be leveraged to build extraterrestrial habitats and perhaps someday even terraform planets.

Stamets says plants need minerals, and “pairing fungi up with plants and debris from humans [causes them to] decompose into a form that then creates rich soils that could help generate the foods that astronauts need.” Stamets has identified oyster mushrooms as one of the best species of mushrooms that is able to breakdown regolith, or asteroid dust so far.

According to the Scientific American article, Stamets says that oyster mushrooms are particularly adept at breaking down hydrocarbons and dismantling them, then restructure them into fungal carbohydrates, or sugars. It is possible he says to feed the mushrooms certain nutritional supplements which create a catalytic reaction, which in turn creates more biodiversity.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/space-travels-most-surprising-future-ingredient-mushrooms/

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Developing countries show microbial differences

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source: depositphotos.com source: depositphotos.com Developing countries show mic...
This study steps outside the wealthy regions of Europe and North America to lower income countries such as Fiji and Guatemala with their gut microbiome research.

As reported in Medical Express’ July 28 2021 issue by Cornell’s David Nutt, Ilana Brito, Cornell assistant professor and the Mong Family Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering, and her team took microbiome samples from the three global populations and put them in 30 germ-free mice to study immune responses to intestinal infections. Microbial differences among these populations proved to show the varying degrees of response. Researchers also found that “housing the mice together so that they shared microbiota helped mice with low resistance to infection become more resilient”, according to the Medical Express report. The less resilient mice benefited from the sharing of microbiota.

Brito and her team found that Guatemala microbiota proved most resistant, followed by the U.S., then Fiji, according to the Medical Express report where she is quoted, "The interesting thing was they are exhibiting these differences in resilience to infection in a very short time.” This points to a possible health remedy through sharing microbiota across regions of the world.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-geographic-differences-gut-microbiota-boost.html

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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.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-genes-gut-bacteria.html

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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.

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-04-19/are-you-eating-foods-that-harm-your-microbiome

Related Herbsprout blog articles:

https://en.bloguru.com/healthtech/401069/environment-such-as-diet-plays-key-role

https://en.bloguru.com/healthtech/393692/more-links-to-food-and-our-gut-health



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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.

https://www.genengnews.com/news/microbiome-bacteria-in-cows-microbiome-can-break-down-man-made-plastics/

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Lactobacillus can help Japanese elderly gut health

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The relationship between the intake frequencies of fermented milk products containing Lactocaseibacillus paracasei strain Shirota (LcS), according to the June 17 2021 report in Nature magazine, nature.com. The gut microbiome of 218 Japanese subjects aged 66–91 years, some who consumed fermented milk over a year compared to a control group who did not. When ingested, LcS reaches the intestine alive and helps to ensure a good balance of gut microbiota among select elderly populations, says the study.

A 20-year study of Japanese in Gunma Prefecture reported the reduced risks of developing hypertension and infrequent bowel movements among elderly individuals who habitually take fermented milk products containing LcS. However, little remains known about the impact of the regular consumption of the probiotics, including LcS products, on the stability of human gut microbiota.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-91917-6

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C. Diff. bacteria treatment have positive results

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A May 22 2021 article in MedPage Today reported two bacteria-based treatments for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection that proved effective.

The studies tested proprietary mixtures of bacterial agents that colonize the intestinal tract and prevent C. difficile from thriving, and were reported on at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) virtual meeting.

Though applied enema the treatment is different from the popularly known fecal transplant. Since fecal transplants involve a human donor, they are inherently variable.

Instead Rebiotix, unit of Ferring, applies RBX2660, a specific live bacteria that is delivered via enema. The other product, SER-109, is an oral mixture of Firmicutes bacterial spores, says Medpage Today article. Both showed varying degrees of success.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/ddw/92746


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Holobiome announces plans for psychobiotic human trials starting next year

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Holobiome announces plans for...
According to a May 07 2021 report by the Association for the Advancement of Science announced in Science Magazine that the small startup company Holobiome plans to begin trials of human psychobiotic treatment for mental illnesses based on its research using human stool samples.

Holobiome CEO Phil Strandwitz believes microbe-based treatments or “psychobiotics, will offer solutions to mental illnesses and brain diseases. Strandwitz is working with microbiologist Katya Gravish to isolate gut bacteria strains that support mental health or have shown to alleviate mental illnesses from stool samples.

Tha Holobiome has stored one of the largest collections of human gut bacteria, according to the Science Magazine article. “We have in culture about 70%” of the known human gut microbes,” adds Strandwitz.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/meet-psychobiome-gut-bacteria-may-alter-how-you-think-feel-and-act

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Gut microbes may be key to treating and protecting against COVID-19

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According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) May 2021 report, biotechnology companies are researching gut microbes for answers to treat and protect against COVID-19.

Trillions of microbes inhabit the body and perform essential functions such as breaking down nutrients and resisting infectious diseases. Research also indicates this microbial population, the microbiome, all 274 stool samples analyzed showed that the make-up of the gut microbiome differed significantly between patients with and without COVID-19.

According to the WSJ report, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale were prevalent among healthy patients while unhealthy had high Ruminococcus gnavus, Ruminococcus torques and Bacteroides dorei in their stools.

https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/make-up-of-gut-microbiome-may-influence-covid-19-severity-and-immune-response/

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