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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 and alternative medicine.

Lactobacillus can help Japanese elderly gut health

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, 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.

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C. Diff. bacteria treatment have positive results

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.

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Holobiome announces plans for psychobiotic human trials starting next year

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.

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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.

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Little known lymphocytes found to help maximize our digestion of nutrients

A single layer of epithelial cells covering our inner intestinal lining supports absorption of nutrients from food while maintaining a barrier against potentially infectious pathogen.

Scientists found that gamma-delta T cells maximize nutrient absorption by adjusting the quantity of epithelial cells, according to Zuri Sullivan, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. She studied mice eating eating a heavy carb load which as expected showed a higher expression of genes involved in carbohydrate processing and absorption.

Unexpectedly, she found similar changes in the epithelial cells caused by gamma-delta T cells, a type of gut lymphocytes, a progressive increase in these cells depending on the diet. This also points to the fact that these immune cells do more than protect us from pathogens.

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Gut microbiome changes with neurodegenerative conditions

source: clipart library source: clipart library
According to a May 07 2021 Neuroscience News article, people with neurodegenerative conditions show bacterial changes in their gut. The research is led by University of Florida microbiology and cell science doctoral candidate Alyssa Walker (UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences). Walker's research was able to render visual evidence that a tiny, translucent worm called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans) residing in our gut accumulates protein known to cause neurodegenerative diseases (1).

They have also shown that certain other bacteria species can produce compounds that counteract the effect. The study identified specific species of bacteria play a role in the development of these conditions," said Dr. Daniel Czyz, assistant professor at the University of Florida working with Walker in Science Focus (2).



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microbes from the deep

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A team of researchers led by Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration assistant professor and geobiologist Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been studying microbial life in the North Pond located on the western flank of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, at a depth of over 14,500 feet. Trembath-Reicher and her team were able to track the types of food sources microbes consume to survive. She also found that microbes use carbon dioxide directly as a building block without having to convert it into a food source, according to the Phys.Org report. A remarkable discovery demonstrated how microbes are able to survive and adapt to to some of the harshest living conditions (1).

In another study, scientists found that microbes have been growing and coming out of the ocean floor through petroleum seeps. The microbes they studied are able subsist and adapt to the harsh conditions of the deep ocean floor.

This study confirms that petroleum seeps are a conduit for transporting life from the deep biosphere to the seafloor,” says co-author Emil Ruff, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole as reported in SciTech Daily. The study, led by Anirban Chakraborty and Casey Hubert of the University of Calgary, is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2).

Bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms regulate the Earth’s vital functions and resources, from the air we breathe to all our food and most of our energy sources. An estimated one-third of the Earth’s microbes reside beneath the ocean floor, according to the Phys.Org May 26 2021 article (1).

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So little known about the "majority of life on Earth, microbial life. Why?

So little known about the "majo...
Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms, according to an April 19 2021 article in the Guardian. They generate oxygen, keep the earth healthy and are healthy probiotics for our bodies such as yoghurt and cheese.

According to Prof Frederick Cohan, a microbial ecologist at Wesleyan University, new microbial species are constantly coming into being, regardless of the declining number of animal species worldwide which are often linked to the spread of unhealthy microbes, says the Guardian.

Perhaps one day soon we will realise and rectify our neglect and lift our respect for the diversity of microbial life,” said Jesse Ausubel, director of the Rockefeller University’s programme for the human environment, and sponsor of the study. Ausubel calls for the forming of a non-profit similar to WWF or Nature Conservancy to help track microbes worldwide.

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animal products, processed foods, alcohol and sugar may lead to inflammation

Another study points to the connections between our gut health and what we eat.

An April 15 2021 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News reported that high dietary intake of animal products, processed foods, alcohol and sugar could lead to inflammation in our gut, according to a study by the University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen. This diet showed to support the abundance of inflammatory Firmicutes and Ruminococcus sp in our gut.

A diet rich in plant-based foods was found to promote the opposite affect. For example, nuts, oily fish, fruit, vegetables was linked to a higher abundance of healthy bacteria such as Faecalibacterium sp.

University of Groningen's Laura A. Bolte, PhD, and colleagues, studied 1425 individuals many of whom suffered from some type of gut related disease and compared their diets to a control group of 871 gut healthy individuals.

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The "rotten egg smell" can be good. . . or bad for you

The "rotten egg smell" can be...
The SciTech Daily reported on April 12 2021 new metabolic capabilities of gut bacteria, according to a study by University of Vienna and Professor David Schleheck from the University of Konstanz. For the first time, the researchers found that our gut microbes digest plant-based, sulfur-containing sugar sulfoquinovose, which exist in many green vegetables such as spinach and algae. They found that low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in the gut can have anti-inflammatory effects, while excessive amounts may be connected to diseases such as cancer.

An earlier study by microbiologist David Schleheck at the University of Konstanz discovered that other microorganisms can use the sulfosugar as a nutrient. Now, they have confirmed that the gut microbiome in humans contribute to how nutrition affects our health.

The new study found that "sulfoquinovose stimulates the growth of very specific key organisms in the gut microbiome,” says David Schleheck quoted in SciTech Daily, including Eubacterium rectale which is associated with healthy people. On the other hand, high concentrations were associated with chronic inflammatory diseases.

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