HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -



Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations, and 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).

Research finds connection between changes in human DNA and gut bacterial changes

Research finds connection bet...
A July 18 2020 SCITECH Daily article reported a University of Bristol led study of 3,890 individuals, identifying 13 DNA changes related to changes in the presence or quantity of gut bacteria, particularly bifidobacteria.

While the study identified a direct connection between changes in DNA and gut bacteria, researchers seek to identify their connection to human illness or disorders. The study led by Dr. David Hughes, Senior Research Associate in Applied Genetic Epidemiology, said the next step is "dissecting how exactly these DNA changes might impact bacterial composition.”



What's all the fuss about beetroot?

What's all the fuss about beetr...
There have been numerous studies about the health benefits of beetroot in recent years. The benefits of beetroot can be narrowed down in part to its high inorganic nitrate content. Nitrate converts into Nitric oxide in the body and boosts oxygenation and offers benefits to the circulatory and immune systems (1).

Nutri Advanced News reported that beetroot provides additional benefits to individuals from Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed that Alzheimer’s may in part be caused by a build-up of sticky protein fragments called beta-amyloid which causes clumping, promotes inflammation and oxidation, and eventually kills nearby brain cells. Researchers identified that betanin in beetroot may help to protect against this process.

In addition, betanin may also help reduce blood pressure, improving digestion, and lowering the risk of diabetes, according to a November 2019 article in Medical News Today (2). Also, the report also says beetroot's green, leafy vegetables such as beet tops provide high levels of dietary nitrate. Cooked beet tops are a great source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, and folate.

1. https://www.nutriadvanced.co.uk/news/can-beetroot-help-to-protect-against-alzheimers/
2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277432


Gut bacteria connected to p53 gene suppresses, is resistant to tumors

Gut bacteria connected to p53 ...
A July 29 2020 article published by Nature reported the connection of gut bacteria producing gallic acid and tumor resistance. The research was led by a team of scientists including Audrey Lasry Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, Ela Elyada of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA, and Irit Snir-Alkalay, Avanthika Venkatachalam of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel (1).

The p53 gene like the Rb gene, is a tumor suppressor gene, and is known to contribute to stopping the formation of tumors (2). Cancer is known to be facilitated by loss of p53. Researchers found that mutant p53 had the expected oncogenic effect (a gene mutation that can lead to the growth of cancer cells). However, in the proximal gut and in tumour organoids it had a pronounced tumour-suppressive effect (based on mice studies).

In the tumour-suppressive mode, mutant p53 eliminated dysplasia and tumorigenesis. Researchers found that gallic acid reverses mutant-p53-induced WNT suppression and promotes dysplasia and tumorigenesis across the entire gut (2). Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus subtilis—have been identified as producers of gallic acid in humans (1). Primary gallate-decarboxylating microbial phyla in the intestinal microbiota are Firmicutes (74.6%), Proteobacteria (17.6%), and Actinobacteria (7.8%) (3).

1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2541-0

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22268/

3. https://aem.asm.org/content/84/19/e01558-18.short, and http://www.researchgate.net/publication/326662214_A_Diverse_Range_of_Human_Gut_Bacteria_Have_the_Potential_To_Metabolize_the_Dietary_Component_Gallic_Acid


Our gut microbiome interaction with viruses give clues to our health

Our gut microbiome interactio...
Eric Martens, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan's Medical School and his team of researchers were reported July 21st 2020 by Phys.org to have found important connections between the interaction of our gut microbiome with viruses. Specifically, the team examined a common gut bacteria called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, or BT for short, and their interaction with viruses and phages in our gut.

"When a particular phage comes along that can kill certain members of the population, it does so and the resistant bacteria quickly grow out," says Martens as quoted in Phys.Org. Researchers found a hairy-looking sugar coating on the bacteria that defends against attacks from the human immune system and viruses.

Martens team then found that an additional level of resistant can switch on in bacteria called phase variation providing further protection against infection. Other bacteria not detecting the phage's continued presence, "turn off this resistance switch, leaving them susceptible to infection", says the report. Martens believes these insights can lead to treating diseases by altering our gut microbiome.



Gut bacteria linked to living longer

Shou is the sym... Shou is the symbol of longevity. The three main life goals in traditional Chinese culture are happiness (fú 福), professional success or prosperity (lù 祿), and longevity (shòu 壽).
A July 20 2020 article in Medical News Today says research by the Ohio State University Prof. Joseph Krzycki shows evidence of a gut bacteria that could help people live longer. The research found that people who live for longer than 100 years have, on average, 15 times more of the bacterium Eubacterium limosum (E. Limosum) in their gut.

It is believed to reduce the amount of trimethylamine (TMA) in the gut, which has been linked to atherosclerosis. Dr. Krzycki's lab found evidence that E. Limosum may prevent the production of TMA chemicals in our gut. E. limosum produces an enzyme that removes a chemical group called methyl from L-carnitine. This, in turn, prevents other bacteria in the gut from converting the nutrient into TMA, according to the Medical News Today article.

See full article at https://www.jbc.org/content/early/2020/06/22/jbc.RA120.012934.short; and https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/amp/articles/gut-bug-may-help-prevent-heart-disease-and-promote-longevity


Biofilm protects bad gut bacteria from antibiotics

According to a January 15 2020 article by Wellnessforeveryone.Net's Jean Stanford, biofilms play a major role in dozens of health conditions. She suggests that 80% of people dealing with a long-term condition are actually experiencing some form of microbial or yeast overgrowth. Biofilm is a toxic, sticky plaque that bacteria & yeast secrete which can protect them from antibiotics, which explains why we are seeing a massive increase in drug resistant bacteria.




Evidence of lactate producing gut bacteria as a key memory-boosting molecule

Calcium lactate crystals on the... Calcium lactate crystals on the surface of cheese. Source: dreamtime.com
An April 29 2020 article published by the Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and it's counterpart at Berkeley Lab found new evidence of tangible links between the gut and the brain. The team found that lactate, a molecule produced by all species of one gut microbe, as a key memory-boosting molecular messenger.

Said Janice Jansson, a microbial ecologist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, “our study shows that the microbiome might partner with genetics to affect memory.” Researchers discovered that the Lactobacillus and L. reuteri strains were linked to improved memory, as well as two additional strains of Lactobacilli. The team fed lactate (produced by Lactobacillus) to mice that had poor memory and noticed that their memory improved. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a molecular messenger linked to memory formation in their brains. This is another step foreward and a factor in the gut-brain axis, though not yet complete, admits Jansson.


#gutmicrobiome #bacteria #healthinnovation #health #datascience #ai #healthtech #obesity #cardiovasculardisease


94% accurate detection of liver disease by gut bacteria

94% accurate detection of liver ...
Liver disease can be a mild and non- serious excess fat build up in one's liver. But it can also lead to scarring, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer. The current methods for using monitoring our liver can be expensive and invasive MRIs and biopsies.

The New Atlas July 01 2020 reported that the Salk Institute and the University of California San Diego discovered that our gut bacteria can accurately detect liver disease by 90%. Examining the stool samples of 163 healthy and sick patients, these researchers discovered a signature based with 94% accuracy on the presence of 19 bacterial species that was indicative of liver disease, specifically non-fatty liver disease or NFLD. The research was led by Rohit Loomba, co-corresponding author and director of the NAFLD Research Center at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

source: https://newatlas.com/medical/gut-bacteria-advanced-liver-disease-accuracy/


Common food additive harms our gut bacteria

The New Atlas published an article June 28 2020 about a food additive called titanium dioxide or E171, that is found to be toxic based on research by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It turns out that the smaller nanoparticle version of this food additive with less than 100 nm in diameter may be more bioactive and more toxic, according to a study of their effects on mice.

The article acknowledges that the UMASS study of mice may or may not directly apply to humans. However, it suggests that the larger particles of titanium dioxide used as additives in food are safer. This is one of a number of studies that point toward this same result.



A "disease quadrangle"- gut microbiome link to COVID -19

A "disease quadrangle"- gut m...
Recent June 25-26 2020 news articles in Medical News Today suggests there is a connection between our gut microbiome and various viruses including COVID-19.

One study in Cell says "microorganisms are increasingly recognized as ecosystem-relevant components because they affect the population dynamics of hosts," suggesting a four-tier influence or "disease quadrangle" by host, host microbiome, pathogen, and environment (1). This report recommends better understanding the role of microbiomes in disease dynamics. A Medical News Today article implies the traditional "disease triangle" may be obsolete. For example, in the case of malaria, a mosquito is less likely to become vulnerable to the malaria parasite if it has more bacteria belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family in its gut (2). The Enterobacteriaceae species protects against malarial infection. Researchers have found that climate temperature has a strong effect on the growth of pathogens and gut bacteria, and therefore the spread of disease.

Which brings us to our current COVID-19 problem. It is already known that gastrointestinal symptoms are common among people testing positive for COVID-19. A stronger link still as reported by Medical News Today say research found the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the stool of COVID-19 patients (3). Though more research is required to conclusively prove these links, there is strong evidence that these links affect the severity and risk level of patients.

One point that can't be denied is that a significant paradigm shift has arrived with the fourth factor in how we look at disease and disease prevention. Host microbiome, is a critical part of understanding how we treat and prevent diseases.

1 https://www.cell.com/trends/parasitology/fulltext/S1471-4922(20)30107-0

2 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/amp/articles/microbiome-may-mediate-link-between-climate-change-and-new-diseases

3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-could-gut-bacteria-be-involved
#healthtech #health #healthinnovation #gutmicrobiome #bacteria


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