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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).

Parkinson's may originate in the gut

Researchers found evidence that Parkinson's disease is formed from α-synuclein (alpha-synuclein) proteins and their dysfunction begins in the intestine. Parkinson's disease happens when these proteins build up and solidify, which damages nerve cells.

Parkinson's symptoms include shakiness in the hands and limbs, difficulty walking, dizziness, rigidity, dementia, difficulty thinking, among others. Parkinson's disease patients often already show progressed nervous system damage at the time of diagnosis.

The good news is the damaged a-synuclein proteins originate in the small intestines and migrate slowly up to the brain. It is now possible to detect pathological a-synuclein in the gut up to twenty years before diagnosis, according to Per Borghammer who led the study, a professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University, Denmark. If detected early in the gut, treatment can begin even before symptoms begin to show in the Parkinson's patient.

The research was originally reported September 13, 2019 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science news release on its Eureka Alert!


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100x+ more Microbial DNA in our bodies than human DNA!

100x+ more Microbial DNA in ...
Yes, it is true. Our bodies have more microbiome DNA than human DNA. There are roughly 20,000 of our own human DNA in our body. There are an estimated two to twenty million microbiome DNA in our body.

DNA of these gut microbiomes are sophisticated and adaptable. They are able to take in pieces of DNA, then incorporate them into their genomes. These tiny microbes are a flexible learning machine that seeks out resources in its environment they ingest for useful purposes. The microbes undergo a trial and error process to solve all the problems, trying new proteins until it finds one that addresses its needs.

A “keystone species” microbe that resides in the human gut is the ruminococcus bromii. It is a dominant member of the suite of human gut microbiome that triggers energy and it digests resistant starches by breaking down and releasing enzymes from these starches. The ruminococcus bromii primarily reside in the colon. The function of it as a keystone species enables the proper functioning of other downline microbial activity, much in the same way that the presence of wolves in Yellowstone Park is a keystone species to maintain a balance in the park’s ecosystem.
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #machinelearning #mindbody

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What about ginseng root and gut health?

What about ginseng root and gu...
We know that ginseng is healthy for the body. But how does ginseng promote health? and is it beneficial for the long term? The short answer is yes, it is generally beneficial to our microbiome health for the long term.

A report in the July 2018 Journal of Ginseng Research (Volume 42, Issue 3; see and a separate June 2018 study by Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R.C.; see article,, investigated the effect of Ginseng extracts on the structure of gut microbiota.

This report found positive affects of the "host-gut metabolism, immune system, the anti-inflammation process and the gut intestinal microbiota structure" when consuming ginseng extract over the long term. The research was based on the application of a 16S rRNA microbial sequencing technology. For example, the increased abundance in tested host groups of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, interleukin 4 (IL4), and IL10 and immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels demonstrated that Ginseng extracts contribute to enhancements of probiotics. Results may vary from person to person.

A 2015 Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that out of the 7 Chinese traditional herbs, red ginseng is the most effective in promoting the growth of probiotics including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

In a 2019 study by the Basic Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University, the antiobesity effect of ginseng varied when the composition of gut microbiota was altered. The abundance of Subdoligranulum, Oscillibacter, and Akkermansia in the gut associated with changes in BW and BMI, whereas Lactobacillus was linked to body fat percentage
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #diet #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #machinelearning #mindbody #plantnutrition #spices

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Is The Current Health Care System Obsolete?

Disruptive innovators believe the current health care system is broken or dysfunctional at best in so many ways. Today’s health care and technology has advanced beyond the system’s ability to control it. As the system becomes large, it becomes an organism set up to survive; it believes that only the stake holders of the system matter – “the hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies. The customers are just a nuisance the system has to deal with in order to get paid,” according to Naveen Jain of Viome. "That is why the system is completely broken at this point. Pharmaceutical companies have become a parasite of humanity. Their sole purpose is to keep you sick." When you have a chronic disease and you have a CEO of a pharmaceutical company who says that 'the best drug we develop is the one that people must take for the rest of their life.'

The best drug is not the one that cures the disease, the best drugs are the ones that suppress the symptom so that you must take it for the rest of your life. That kind of system is essentially using people as guinea pigs to keep making money from us.” Today, “90% of health care costs are going toward chronic diseases”, so the burgeoning class of biotech and health care entrepreneurs is filling the gap to solve the problems of diseases.

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Modern Medicine Aligns with Asian Traditions

Ginger and Turmeric are amo... Ginger and Turmeric are among the key herbs for a healthy Ayurvedic based diet.
It is striking how the holistic health traditions of Asia seem to parallel modern innovative Ai driven health care pursuits. This includes data driven, microbial gut research, food- based solutions, and preventive holistic health care to support a healthy mind and body.

Perhaps modern medicine is circling back coincidentally with traditional Asian health care traditions, such as India’s Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is an over 3,000 years old Indian holistic healing approach that depends on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit, to paraphrase WebMD.
Ayurveda proponents believe that your chances of getting sick -- and the health issues you develop -- are linked to the balance of your three doshas, each of which controls different body functions. The three doshas are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).

Ayurveda not only endorses the belief that the mind and body are intimately interconnected, it goes beyond mind and body to suggest we have interconnections with our environment and spirituality. According to Ayurveda, disease develops when we disconnect from nature and the five elements in nature and within our minds and bodies - earth, water, fire, air, and space.

Japan's Shinrinyoku

Likewise, Japanese health care evolving from the Shinto and Buddhist traditions seek to integrate our connection to nature with our physical and spiritual health, and recommend regular “Shinrinyoku”, or “bathing in the forest”. Ayurveda seeks to integrate the mind, body and spirit to promote health and wellness, as stated by the National Institute of Health. The Ayurvedic approach considers each individual’s unique needs for food and application, even lifestyle.

It parallels modern science- based approaches that include healthy living. It supports the belief that the fundamentals of even meditation are factors influencing our overall health, such as slowing down, being present, mindful, and conscious in our breathing. In these holistic traditions, the fundamentals of Hinduism and Buddhism are a worthy consideration, not necessarily to replace western traditions but to complement them.
#Ayurvedicmedicine #Japanesehealth #ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #dosha #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #machinelearning #mindbody

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Brain Health Benefits of Sage

Brain Health Benefits of Sage
Sage possesses a number of properties that support brain health. Camphor, carnosic acid, carnosol, and phenolic acids are among the known anti-oxidant and healthy components of sage.

▪ Camphor is an oily substance known to stimulate nerve endings. It gives sage its pungent smell.

▪ Carnosic acid and carnosol trigger a molecule known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) that helps regulate blood sugar, lipids, and inflammation.

▪ Phenolic acids are believe to protect cells from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the brain.

See "Health Benefits of Sage",
#Ayurvedicmedicine #Japanesehealth #ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #diet #dosha #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #machinelearning #mindbody #plantnutrition #spices

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Turmeric - The Power Herb

Turmeric - The Power Herb
Curcumin a powerful anti-inflamatory herb/ spice, is a key compound found in turmeric root. Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes diseases of the heart and brain, such as Alzheimer's.

Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number.

One of the main drivers of the process where neurons form new connections and actually multiply in numbers, is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) hormone. Curcumin is able to boost brain levels of BDNF. BDNF is a type of growth hormone that can also delay the progression of Alzheimer's and is believed to improve memory.

Turmeric is a particularly strong "anti-oxidant" that protects your body from free radicals, which are damaging to our body.

Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases, according to Healthline; see

Curcumin may help prevent heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. Endothelium dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease. It also reduces inflammation and oxidation. Now that's a power herb, arguably the most powerful herb.

Curcumin could improve pancreatic cells and decrease glucose levels, as well as other metabolic profile in T2D (type 2 diabetes) or atherosclerosis through inhibition of iNOS and COX-2. Furthermore, a curcumin-supplemented diet increased the richness of lactobacillales and improved the index of colon tumors. Ginsenoside also protected cardiac function and decreased blood glucose levels. (See
Contact Qinglong Guo; and Na Lu;
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #diet #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbs #machinelearning #mindbody #plantnutrition #spices

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“100 Trillion Bacteria!”

“100 Trillion B...
The gut microbiome is a vast ecosystem of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans that live in our digestive pipes, which collectively weigh up to 2kg (heavier than the average brain), according to Amy Fleming, who wrote an article on gut microbiome and happiness in The Guardian (“Is your gut microbiome the key to health and happiness?” by Amy Fleming, November 06, 2017; It is increasingly treated by scientists as an organ.

Each gut contains about 100 trillion bacteria, many of which are vital, breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and training our immune systems. The hope, says Fleming who quotes neuroscientist John Cryan, is that it may one day be possible to diagnose some brain diseases and mental health problems by analysing gut bacteria, and to treat them – or at least augment the effects of drug treatments – with specific bacteria. Cryan and his colleague Ted Dinan at the APC Microbiome Institute call these mood-altering germs “psychobiotics”, and have co-written a book with the American science writer Scott C Anderson called The Psychobiotic Revolution.

For example, though they differ from one to another, a person with diabetes is more likely to have a certain suite of microbes than a person without diabetes. A recent Popular Science article (“Scientists want to turn our gut bacteria into medicine”, August 31, 2017 by Claire Maldarelli) referred to this connection of gut microbiomes and diabetes.

An earlier article in The Guardian, “Gut bacteria regulate nerve fibre insulation” (Mo Costandi, April 05, 2016) claims that “alterations in our gut bacteria composition may be connected to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including autism, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s Disease.” Psychosomatic Medicine reported that “various factors play a role (in PTSD), including a lack of social support and low levels of the neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y (see British Psychological Society blog, November 22, 2017;
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #machinelearning #mindbody

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Anti-microbial herbal treatments

Anti-microbial herbal treatments
While other blog entries are focused on the healthy balance of trillions of microbes that reside inside our bodies, this entry discusses the unhealthy invasive microbes that are external to our bodies. “Health care was originally designed to address infectious diseases” (invasive microbes), and treating diseases were focused on “anti-microbial” treatments and today, anti-biotic treatments. This approach has its merits. However, anti-biotics are known to suppress the healthy growth of gut microbiome.

The preferred alternative for disease prevention might be the use of herbs in a person’s diet; a naturopathic “anti-microbial” approach instead of anti-biotic treatments. This is not to discourage the use of anti-biotics in emergency or critical care situations. However, the ongoing preventive consumption of “natural antibiotics” are less disruptive to the system. Again, these are “external” disease- prone microbes that can disrupt our body’s health.

Anti-microbial Herbs:

There are a number of anti-microbial herbs which serve to protect humans against invasive bacteria or viruses. These include oregano oil, manuka honey, garlic, onions, and echinacea, to name a few.

• Oregano oil is one of the most powerful antibacterial essential oils because it contains carvacrol and thymol, two antibacterial and antifungal compounds. In fact, research shows oregano oil is effective against many clinical strains of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

• Manuka honey can effectively inhibit multiple drug-resistant pathogens, indicating it has a broad spectrum of antibacterial capabilities unlike most antimicrobial agents.

• Garlic, especially raw garlic, contains chemical compounds, including allicin, have been proven to display antimicrobial activity and work to kill pathogens that are responsible for both common and rare infections. Garlic has been used for centuries to combat infectious diseases.

• Onions is a food often used in mixed vegetable dishes, soups, and stir fry meals. Onions contain powerful flavonoids that have antibiotic effects, and, like garlic, they contain therapeutic sulfur compounds called cysteine sulphoxides.

• Echinacea is a powerful immune system stimulator that can fight a number of infections.

#antimicrobiome #bacteria #datascience #diet #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #naturopathicmedicine #plantnutrition #spices

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Our Mind- Body Connection

Our Mind- Body Connection
The history of modern medicine in the U.S. and Europe had a defining moment in the 17thCentury led by Rene Descartes. The “Cartesian duality” of mind and body stated that the mind and body are independently functioning parts. Today, we can no longer assume this traditional western belief that the brain and body are independently functioning. Not only do we know the mind and body are intimately interconnected, but they are immersively interdependent, constantly communicating, and working collaboratively together. Scientific communities all over the world are delving deeper into researching the intricacies and connections between the mind and body.

“The Brain- Gut Connection”

The way we look at the brain and brain research has completely flipped on its head since a few decades ago when scientists first discovered that “messenger molecules” for the brain were circulating throughout the body in the bloodstream. None are more pervasive and penetrating than what scientists have found in the activities of microbiomes of the gut.

“Every cell is eavesdropping on the brain’s activity, sending and receiving messages identical to those that the brain processes,” says Deepak Chopra and contributing author Naveen Jain in their Huffington Post article “Will the Gut-Brain Connection Revolutionize Wellness?” (September 11, 2017). In this article, Chopra goes so far as to say that all the common experiences we have are indicators of the brain’s connection to the gut — “getting butterflies in your stomach when you feel nervous, overeating when you feel anxious, feeling dull and sluggish after taking an antibiotic, contracting stomach cramps before a competitive challenge, experiencing nausea or stomach upset from taking antidepressants.” Every major organ in the body from the heart to the stomach and liver combine to possess hundreds of millions of neurons with corresponding DNA, which again collectively makes up the “enteric nervous system”.

The bacteria inside our guts, microbiomes, include unlimited numbers of species and strains. They differ from person to person with limited or no relationship from person to person.” The known “messenger molecules” associated with the brain that circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream even produce neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals our brain uses to communicate with the rest of the body. Every cell is eavesdropping on the brain’s activity, sending and receiving messages identical to those that the brain processes.

The brain – microbial body connections seem endless, as the engine of microbial research redefines the health care industry.

#bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #mindbody

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