Monthly Archives: May 2015

Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, & Gluten Allergy

Last updated 6/2/2015.

(Source: offthegrain.com)
(Source: offthegrain.com)
Gluten is a protein found in many grains and seeds, principally wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale. It is the composite of the storage proteins gliadin and a glutenin conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. (Wikipedia, 5/29/2015)
Although gluten-containing foods are an important part of the modern diet,  many humans have difficulty digesting gluten. The effects of this trouble can be immediately apparent in some people while in others, deleterious reactions to gluten make themselves known only over time.
As many as 20 million Americans may be sensitive to gluten. Another 3 million  have celiac disease and 400,000 – 600,000 are allergic to wheat. (Woodward, 2011)
That’s a lot of people!

 

 

(Source: myglutenfreequest.com)
(Source: myglutenfreequest.com)

 

 

 

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GLUTEN IN THE HUMAN DIET (Guthrie, 2010)

The consumption of grains is relatively new to our diet, dating from  when we stopped being nomadic hunter-gatherers, settled down and started growing crops and domesticating animals,  15,000 years ago at the earliest. Before that time, our ancestors mostly ate the meat of animals they hunted, along with wild fruits, plants, tubers, nuts, and seeds they foraged. The planting of dietary grains as crops originated in Mesopotamia.
Some of us have adapted well to our largely grain-filled diets. Many of us have not. For example, about 30% of northern Europeans carry genes for gluten problems.
Furthermore, the wheat we eat today is also considerably changed. In today’s modern version of wheat, up to 90% of its protein content now consists of gluten – 10 times what it was even 100 years ago.

 

 

Einkorn (ancient wheat) vs Modern Wheat

(Source: www.einkorn.com)
(Source: www.einkorn.com)

 

In people with celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes the body to attack the small intestine. For the 30-40% of people who have a non-celiac gluten intolerance, the immune system mistakes gluten for a foreign body (a pathogenic bacteria or virus) and mobilizes an arsenal of antibodies to attack the ‘invader’. For me, even the small amount of gluten on French fries cooked in oil shared by a flour-containing food (eg, something breaded) is enough to set off a full blown gluten reaction.
On average, an American consumes about 150 pounds of wheat each year. We get it in the processed foods we rely on, breads, baked goods, pasta. There’s also gluten in many commercially produced seasonings and most bacon. Wheat flour is used widely as a breading and thickening agent. I recently learned the hard way that even some nutritional supplements contain gluten.
Think about what you ate today. Did you have toast, a muffin, a bagel,  pancakes, cereal, oatmeal (usually processed in factories that also process wheat) for breakfast? A sandwich, pizza, a Big Mac, soup thickened with flour, soy sauce (it’s brewed with wheat) for lunch? Cookies, pretzels or a doughnut as a snack? A beer (brewed with wheat) after work? Pasta and some cake for dinner?
That’s gluten in every meal you ate!
Here’s a list of foods containing gluten. It’s a good start but by no means complete. Gluten can also be a hidden ingredient in some very unexpected places –  your lipstick, cosmetics, hair products, toothpastes, marinades, sauces, pretty much all processed foods, textured vegetable protein, seitan, imitation crab stick, MSG, ketchup, candies, communion wafers, some pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, Play Doh … and many, many more.
(Source: jenniferskitchen.com)
(Source: jenniferskitchen.com)


 

 

(Source: glutenfreedietwithnutrition.com)
(Source: glutenfreedietwithnutrition.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CELIAC DISEASE (Fasano et al, 2003)

 

(Source: bostoniano.info)
(Source: bostoniano.info)

 

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine triggered in genetically susceptible people by the ingestion of gluten. Specifically, CD is a reaction to the gliadin, a protein which is the soluble part of gluten, found in wheat and several other cereals in the grass genus Triticum.
See this University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center site for a list of the approximately 300 symptoms and conditions potentially due to celiac disease. You’ll see why trying to diagnose celiac disease from symptoms alone can be quite confusing.
The long term health effects of undiagnosed CD can be quite serious.

 

Biopsy of the mucosal lining of a healthy small intestine: long villi providing a large area for digestion and absorption of nutrients

(Source: library.med.utah.edu)
(Source: library.med.utah.edu)

 

 

Biopsy of a small intestine with celiac disease: blunted villi, crypt hyperplasia, and lymphocyte infiltration of crypts

Coeliac_path

 

Although common in Europe, until 2003, celiac disease was thought to be rare in the United States.
Research led by world-renowned expert on celiac disease, Alessio Fasano, MD, corrected that assumption. Dr Fasano is Chief, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology and the W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

 

Alessio Fasano, MD
Alessio Fasano, MD

 

Fasano conducted the largest rigorous study ever performed to establish the prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the US.
13,145 subjects from 32 states participated in this study: 3,236 symptomatic patients (with either GI symptoms or a disorder associated with CD), 4,508 1st degree and 1,275 2nd degree relatives of patients with biopsy-proven CD,  and 4,126 not-at-risk individuals. The age distribution of the study’s subjects, infants to 65 and older, corresponded with the age distribution of the population as reported in the US Census of 2000.
Subjects defined as ‘at-risk’ were relatives of patients with CD or patients who presented with CD-associated symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation) or with CD-associated disorders (type 1 diabetes mellitus, Down syndrome, anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, infertility, and short stature).
The results suggested that celiac disease:

“… occurs frequently not only in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, but also in first- and second-degree relatives and patients with numerous common disorders even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. The prevalence of CD in symptomatic patients and not-at-risk subjects was similar to that reported in Europe. Celiac disease appears to be a more common but neglected disorder than has generally been recognized in the United States….

“The prevalence of CD was as high in first- and second-degree relatives without symptoms as in relatives with symptoms, highlighting the importance of genetic predisposition as a risk factor for CD….

” If CD is as common in the United States as our study suggests, one must question why it is not diagnosed more frequently. Foremost among the possible explanations is that if physicians believe that CD is rare, they are less likely to test for it. A failure by physicians to appreciate that many individuals with the disease initially present without gastrointestinal symptoms is another reason why CD testing may not be performed….

“The prevalence of CD in symptomatic patients and not-at-risk subjects was similar to that reported in Europe. Given the high morbidity and mortality related to untreated CD and the prolonged delay in diagnosis in the United States,  serologic testing of at-risk patients (ie, case finding) is important to alleviate unnecessary suffering, prevent complications, and improve the quality of life of a multitude of individuals with CD.”

 

Prevalence of Celiac Disease Worldwide

(Source:  World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Nov 14; 18:42, 6036–6059)
(Source:
World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Nov 14; 18:42, 6036–6059)

 

The number of people clinically diagnosed with celiac disease has been rising dramatically around the world and is now considered a major public health issue. In 2010, diagnosed celiac was four times more common than it had been 60 years ago, affecting about one in 100 people. (Mayo Clinic, 2010)
The ratio of clinically diagnosed to undiagnosed cases of CD (people who have celiac reactions to gluten, often without the usual GI symptoms) is now believed to be 1:3 to 1:5. (Catassi et al, 2014)
 

 

 

 

 

GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (AKA GLUTEN INTOLERANCE) (Woodward, 2011)

 

(Source: friedeggsandtoast.com)
(Source: friedeggsandtoast.com)

 

In 2011, Alicia Woodward, the editor of Living Without,  interviewed Dr Fasano about his research that showed gluten sensitivity is real and a medical condition distinct from celiac disease. When she asked him about the import of having demonstrated the existence of gluten sensitivity, Dr Fasano replied:

“In my humble opinion, it’s a big deal. First, we’ve moved gluten sensitivity, also called gluten intolerance, from a nebulous condition to a distinct entity—and one that’s very distinct from celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity affects 6 to 7 times more people than celiac disease so the impact is tremendous. Second, we now understand that reactions to gluten are on a spectrum. The immune system responds to gluten in different ways depending on who you are and your genetic disposition. Third, there’s a lot of confusion in terms of gluten reactions. Gluten and autism, gluten and schizophrenia—is there a link or not? These debates are on their way to being settled. And fourth and most important, for the first time we can advise those people who test negative for celiac disease but insist they’re having a bad reaction to gluten that there may be something there, that they’re not making it up, that they’re not hypochondriacs. Once it’s established that a patient has a bad reaction to gluten, it’s important to determine which part of the spectrum he or she is on before engaging in treatment, which is the gluten-free diet.”

 

(Source: www.pharmaceutical-journal.com)
(Source: www.pharmaceutical-journal.com)

 

Given that celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy share many clinical symptoms, Woodward wondered if people can move along the spectrum to a more serious version of difficulty with gluten:

“No, I don’t think so. The three main conditions—celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy—are based on very different mechanisms in the immune system. Given that fact, it’s hard to imagine the possibility that you could jump from one to the other.”

Fasano had this to say about why so many humans are having such negative reactions to gluten after generations of wheat consumption:

“Although we’ve been eating wheat for thousands of years, we are not engineered to digest gluten. We are able to completely digest every protein we put in our mouths with the exception of one—and that’s gluten. Gluten is a weird protein. We don’t have the enzymes to dismantle it completely, leaving undigested peptides that can be harmful. The immune system may perceive them as an enemy and mount an immune response.”

Fasano offered an explanation for why we’re now seeing such an explosion of gluten-related health problems:

“Two components are coming together to create this perfect storm. First, the grains we’re eating have changed dramatically. In our great-grandparents era, wheat contained very low amounts of gluten and it was harvested once a year. Now we’ve engineered our grains to substantially increase yields and contain characteristics, like more elasticity, that we like. We’re susceptible to the consequences of these extremely rich, gluten-containing grains. Second, and this applies to the prevalence of celiac disease that’s increased 4-fold in the last 40 years, is the upward trend we’re seeing in all autoimmune diseases. We’re changing our environment faster than our bodies can adapt to it.”

Woodward mentioned that she’d heard him say gluten sensitivity is where celiac disease was 30 years ago:

“It’s déjà vu. The patients, as usual, were visionary, telling us this stuff existed but healthcare professionals were skeptical. The confusion surrounding gluten sensitivity—testing, biomarkers—is exactly the same confusion we had around celiac disease 30 years ago. So we’re starting all over again now.”

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity:

Most patients with gluten sensitivity reported 2 or more symptoms (Fasano et al, 2011)

(Source: justinhealth.com)
(Source: justinhealth.com)
See Q & A with Alessio Fasano, MD: The latest on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease for the entire interview.

 

See Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to read about Fasano et al’s study comparing celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It’s a long scientific article but you can skip down to the short Conclusions section if you wish.
The researchers concluded that CD and GS are “distinct clinical entities caused by different intestinal mucosal responses to gluten.” “CD results from a complex, and as yet undetermined, interplay of increased intestinal permeability, mucosal damage, environmental factors in addition to gluten, and genetic predisposition”  while “GS is associated with prevalent activation of an innate immune response.” (Sapone et al, 2011)

 

 

 

 

GLUTEN AND WHEAT ALLERGY (Mayo Clinic, 2015) (UCLA, 2015)

(Source: www.hailmerry.com)
(Source: www.hailmerry.com)

A gluten allergy is a specific, reproducible immune response to ingesting foods containing wheat or other sources of gluten – or, in some cases, even from inhaling gluten-containing flour. Wheat (along with peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, fish, and shellfish)  is one of the most common of the eight major recognized food allergens, responsible for 90% of all IgE (immunoglobulin E) – mediated food allergies.
In people with an IgE-mediated allergy to the gliadin found in gluten, exposure causes the release of antibodies to try to neutralize the gliadin. More rarely, the immune response to gluten may result from other specialized immune pathways (non-IgE mediated).
A wheat allergy typically presents as a food allergy but can also be a contact allergy (say from occupational exposure to wheat). Like all allergies, wheat allergy involves IgE and mast cell response.
“Typically the allergy is limited to the seed storage proteins of wheat, some reactions are restricted to wheat proteins, while others can react across many varieties of seeds and other plant tissues. Wheat allergy may be a misnomer since there are many allergenic components in wheat, for example serine protease inhibitors, glutelins and prolamins and different responses are often attributed to different proteins. Twenty-seven potential wheat allergens have been successfully identified.” (Wikipedia, 2/18/2015)

 

How the body reacts to an allergen

(Source: www.moondragon.org)
(Source: www.moondragon.org)

 

 

Symptoms of a gluten allergy  develop within a few hours, often a few minutes after exposure, and include:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Some people allergic to gluten may also experience anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
  • Swelling or tightness of the throat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pale, blue skin color
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat

 

 

Comparison of Gluten-Related Disorders

Source: (UCLA Celiac Disease Program)
Source: (UCLA Celiac Disease Program)

 

 

 

TESTING FOR GLUTEN PROBLEMS

While researching this post, I encountered conflicting information on the best ways to test for celiac disease and gluten allergy – and, in the case of gluten sensitivity, whether there even IS a test (see Update below). If you’re interested in getting tested, you may find this article by Integrative Medicine pioneer J.E. Williams, OMD, helpful: Learn the best tests for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Update:  In 2013 Dr Fasano reported he was confident that a clinical trial being conducted by his Center for Celiac Research, in collaboration with Second University of Naples, would identify a biomarker for non-celiac gluten sensitivity and that the discovery of such a biomarker would lead to the development of diagnostic tests for the condition. Patients were being enrolled for the clinical trial in January 2013. (Anderson, 2014). As far as I can tell, the results haven’t been published yet.

 

 

intestines_quote

 

 

Many thanks to Frank Lipman, MD, for pointing me to Alessio Fasano’s work on celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Anderson, J. (2014). Dr. Fasano: Gluten Sensitivity Biomarker Likely Coming. See: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenintolerance/fl/Dr-Fasano-Gluten-Sensitivity-Biomarker-Likely-Coming-Soon.htm

Catassi, C. et al. (2014). The New Epidemiology of Celiac Disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, 59, S7-9.  See: http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2014/07001/The_New_Epidemiology_of_Celiac_Disease.5.aspx

Fasano, A. et al. (2003). Prevalence of Celiac Disease in At-Risk and Not-At-Risk Groups in the United States: A Large Multicenter Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163:3, 286-292. See: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=215079

Guthrie, C. (2010). GLUTEN: THE WHOLE STORY. See: https://experiencelife.com/article/gluten-the-whole-story/

Mayo Clinic. (2010). CELIAC DISEASE: ON THE RISE. See: http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge/celiac-disease-rise

Mayo Clinic. (2015). Wheat allergy. See: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wheat-allergy/basics/definition/con-20031834

Misty. (2009). List of Foods Containing Gluten. See: http://www.whatcontainsgluten.com/2009/04/list-of-foods-containing-gluten.html

Sapone, A. et al. (2011). Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. BioMed Central Medicine, 9:23. See: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/23

UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases. (2015). Celiac vs Gluten-Sensitivity vs Wheat Allergies. See: http://gastro.ucla.edu/site.cfm?id=281

University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. (undated). Symptoms and conditions potentially due to celiac disease. See: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets10_SymptomList.pdf

Wikipedia. (5/29/2015). Gluten. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten

Wikipedia. (2/18/2015). Wheat Allergy. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_allergy

Williams, J.E. (2015). LEARN THE BEST TESTS FOR CELIAC DISEASE AND NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY. See: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2015/04/24/learn-the-best-tests-for-celiac-disease-and-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity

Woodward, Al. (2011). Q & A with Alessio Fasano, MD: The latest on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. See: http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/issues/4_15/qa_augsep11-2554-1.html

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Good Gut Daily – Good News for Your Gut & Overall Health

Updated 5/24/2015. Last updated 5/25/2015.

 

images

 

Those of us living in developed countries where we have multiple food choices often focus on our calorie intake while neglecting the health of our gut microbiome – the vast numbers and variety of microorganisms inside our intestines. We’re talking about several pounds of tiny critters – 10’s of trillions of them, including about 1,000 different species of bacteria made up of over 3 million genes  all living and working in our intestinal walls to digest our food and keep our bodies healthy.

 

The-microbiome

 

Some of the important functions of those multitudinous microorganisms in our guts (Gut Microbiota WorldWatch, 2015):
  • Helping digest foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest
  • Helping produce some vitamins (B and K)
  • Helping combat aggressions from other microorganisms
  • Maintaining the integrity of the intestinal mucosa
  • Playing an important role in the immune system, performing a barrier effect

 

Gut Microbiome

(Source: www.diapedia.org)
(Source: www.diapedia.org)

 

If you’re not keeping those pounds of critters healthy and in balance, you’re likely to become ill – perhaps not in the short run but as you move along through your life. The kinds of illnesses and conditions we’re talking about include acne, allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, eczema, endocrine imbalances, endometriosis, Graves’ disease, some heart disease, infertility, juvenile arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease (chronic), MS, myesthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, vitiligo … and many more.

 

(Source: livegracefully.com)
(Source: livegracefully.com)

 

 

 

A HEALTHY VERSUS A DAMAGED GUT LINING

Isn’t the image below graceful and beautiful? It shows the villi, mucosal cells in the lining of a healthy small intestine. The mucosal layer is where our probiotic microorganisms live and work. It’s also home to the body’s largest population of immune cells.

 

(Source: library.med.utah.edu)
(Source: library.med.utah.edu)

 

Now compare that lovely image to the one below. This person’s  intestinal villi have been seriously damaged by celiac disease:
(Source: commons.wikimedia)
(Source: commons.wikimedia)
Here’s another image of damaged intestinal villi. There are holes where there should be intact cells that allow only needed nutrients to get through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. These holes allow larger particles of undigested food and toxins through and the body attacks them as invading pathogens, producing an inflammatory response.

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

 

 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AN UNHEALTHY GUT MICROBIOME, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

As someone who’s now having to work hard to repair a very damaged gut lining and reverse several autoimmune conditions – the result of being given infant formula instead of breast milk, childhood exposure to heavy metals (fluoride in my formula and in my city’s water supply, mercury fillings), many courses of antibiotics in adulthood – I assure you it’s wise to nurture your gut microbiome so your gut lining resembles that first, beautiful slide above and is never  allowed to turn into the second or third.
A diagram of how damage to the intestinal lining leads to increased gut permeability – also called Leaky Gut:

 

(Source: nothippyjusthealthy.com)
(Source: nothippyjusthealthy.com)

 

And another graphic depicting how damage to the gut’s mucosal lining allows undigested food particles and toxins to escape into the body, where they cause an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation –> autoimmune responses –> disease.
(Source: www.wakingtimes.com)
(Source: www.wakingtimes.com)

 

See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES  for more information on Leaky Gut and some great images of what the inside walls of our intestines look like.

 

Dr-Jill-Carnahan-Leaky-Gut

 

 

 

 

POLYPHENOL PREBIOTICS HELP HEAL DAMAGED GUT LININGS

Now that we’ve covered the importance of the probiotic microorganisms living in your gut microbiome, I hope you’re ready for some really good news!
It’s about polyphenols and how they can help us repair our overall health by restoring the health of our gut linings. Polyphenols are a type of PREbiotic, the kind of nutrient that feeds your PRObiotics.

PREbiotics and PRObiotics

(Source: sitn.hms.harvard.edu)
(Source: sitn.hms.harvard.edu)
Polyphenols are anti-oxidant micro-nutrients derived from a variety of plants that increase the amount of good bacteria (probiotics) and inhibit  the amount of bad bacteria in our guts. They also act as PREbiotics. (Marksteiner, 2014)
This table shows the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols. (Pérez-Jiménez, 2015)
Strong evidence is accumulating that polyphenols’ play an important role in preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. (Manach et al, 2004)

Now a start up company in California, Greenteaspoon, has formulated a combination of nutrients called Preliva™ from plant extracts rich in polyphenols.

207796-ae1aa69f1f7d6a3500ad4b481d664cc37964639a

 

 

 

GOOD GUT DAILY – GOOD NEWS FOR DAMAGED GUT LININGS

Prepare for a radical improvement in your digestion and your general health! Greenteaspoon’s Good Gut Daily is a tasty, liquid dietary supplement containing antioxidant, PREbiotic polyphenols for protecting or rebuilding a healthy gut.
Preliva™, the proprietary active formula in Good Gut Daily, is made from plant extracts rich in bio-available polyphenols. The results of a large double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical study, published in the  peer-reviewed publication the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Noguera et al, 2014), strongly support the prebiotic potential of the polyphenol blend in Preliva™ to:
  • Strengthen the protective digestive lining
  • Nourish the body’s good microflora (the friendly digestive microbes living in our guts
  • Reduce digestive distress – diarrhea, stomach discomfort and bloating
  • Calm digestion
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Strengthen your immunity
  • Fight immune burnout
  • Combat symptoms of stress
  • Support your overall well being

lactobacillus-feed-me

Greenteaspoon makes three versions of Good Gut Daily in a variety of  flavors and sizes:

 

GOOD GUT DAILY NATURAL IMMUNE HEALTH

 

12-oz-GGDIH-Pom_front_medium_6e8373cf-cd71-493b-832e-d826e0f0e15a_large

Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is formulated to strengthen your immunity and support your overall well-being.
Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is designed for people with ongoing digestive problems, food sensitivities or ‘leaky gut’ symptoms – including acute digestive issues like gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas, bloating, or an upset stomach. Taken daily, it protects your digestive system and can decrease digestive distress.
What it does:
  • Fights immune burnout
  • Clinically proven to calm digestion
  • Reinforces your digestive lining
  • Combats symptoms of stress, diarrhea, stomach discomfort and bloating
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is for people actively trying to improve and manage their ongoing immune health.

Flavors:
  • Pomegranate-Blueberry
  • Mango Passion Fruit
Available in three sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
  • 12-oz bottles (12 servings)
  • 32-oz (32 servings)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

 

 

GOOD GUT DAILY NATURAL DIGESTIVE HEALTH

 

12_Day_Supply_Good_Gut_Mango_large

Good Gut Daily Natural Digestive Health is designed to help you manage your ongoing digestive issues. Taken daily, it protects your digestive system and can decrease digestive distress.
What it does:
  • Calms Your Digestive System
  • Clinically Shown to Alleviate Occasional:
  •            Diarrhea
  •            Upset stomach
  •            Gas and bloating
  •  Nourishes Your Body’s Good Microflora
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Natural Digestive Health is for people with ongoing digestive problems, food sensitivities or ‘leaky gut’ symptoms – including acute digestive issues like Gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas, bloating or an upset stomach.

Flavors:
  • Cranberry-Raspberry
  • Orange-Mango
Sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
  • 12-oz (12 servings)
  • 32-oz (32 servings)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

GOOD GUT RESCUE

 

2-oz-GGR-Mint-12-pack_box_0e26d09c-2bf0-4d3d-a76b-5f987e811b84_large

Double strength Good Gut Rescue rapidly soothes the symptoms of digestive distress, alleviating occasional diarrhea, upset stomach, gas and bloating. Good for rapid-onset upset stomach and handy for travel.
What it does:
  • Clinically Shown to Alleviate:
    • Diarrhea
    • Upset Stomach
    • Gas & Bloating
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Rescue is for children and adults ages 2 and up with acute digestive issues like gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas and bloating or upset stomach.

How it works:
  • Strengthens the protective digestive lining
  • Supports friendly digestive microbes
  • Reduces digestive distress
  • Reduces inflammation
Flavors:
  • Soothing Mint
  • Honey Ginger
Sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

 

 

Ingredients NOT in Good Gut Daily

All the versions of Good Gut Daily contain NO calories, sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, or GMOs – and come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

(Source:www.savorylotus.com)
(Source:www.savorylotus.com)

 

 

 

 

TO BUY GOOD GUT DAILY

Good Gut Daily isn’t available at stores yet. You can order it on the Greenteaspoon website to try it for yourself.
Remember: If your gut microbiome is balanced and healthy, the rest of your body will be a nice happy place to live too.

 

(Source: http://charansurdhar.com/is-your-microbiome-happy/)
(Source: http://charansurdhar.com/is-your-microbiome-happy/)

 

 

A Personal Note:

My experience with Good Gut Daily is that it greatly improved my GI health (which had become bad again a few months ago) in just a few days (4 to be exact) – alone, without taking any of my usual PRObiotics or other nutritional supplements.
I started with a single 1-oz dose of Good Gut Daily’s Natural Digestive Health (the Mango-Passion Fruit flavor) and then increased to 1 oz in the AM (on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before breakfast)  + another 1 oz 30 minutes before dinner. This 1 oz twice a day dosing calmed down my over-active gut and gave me back my energy, which had been disturbingly low during the previous weeks of GI upset.
I’ve been taking Good Gut Daily for about seven weeks now. My gut and the rest of my body never want to be without it. Rob Wotring, Greenteaspoon’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, is currently engaged in clinically testing a pill version for travel. I’m hoping it’ll be available before I leave for a long vacation this fall.

 

(Source: www.probiotein.com)
(Source: www.probiotein.com)

 

Rob Wotring at Greenteaspoon told me: “We’re convinced polyphenol prebiotics will play a huge role in advancing our understanding of the importance of the gut mucus layer in health and wellness.” Many highly respected scientists, doctors, and other health care professionals agree.

 

 

polyphenols_top_sources

 

REFERENCES

Good Gut Daily. (2015). Website. See: http://goodgutdaily.com/

Gut Microbiota WorldWatch. (2015). Everything you always wanted to know about the gut microbiota… See: http://www.gutmicrobiotawatch.org/en/gut-microbiota-info/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Increased Gut Permeability – Causes & Consequences. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Manach, C. et al. (2004). Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79:5, 727-747. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/5/727.full

Marksteiner, K. (2014). Do Polyphenols Improve Your Gut Bacteria? See: http://chriskresser.com/do-polyphenols-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Noguera, T. et al. (2014). Resolution of acute gastroenteritis symptoms in children and adults treated with a novel polyphenol-based prebiotic. World Journal of  Gastroenterology, 29:34, 12301-12307. See: http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v20/i34/12301.htm

Pérez-Jiménez, J. et al. (2015). Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. See http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Antidepressant Bacteria in Soil – Boosts Serotonin

 

 

 

 

(Source: www.ecology.com)
(Source: www.ecology.com)

 

 

Nature provides! There’s a bacterium living naturally and ubiquitously in the soil that we’re likely to ingest or inhale when we spend time outdoors in natural environments: Mycobacterium vaccae – also called  The Golden Bacillus. You can see why it’s called that:

 

Mycobacterium vaccae

Mycobacterium vaccae (Source: www.flickr.com)
(Source: www.flickr.com)

 

 Beautiful, isn’t it?
This bacterium is highly beneficial. It boosts our serotonin levels, reduces anxiety and makes us feel happier.
Golden Bacillus, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been shown to act like a natural Prozac (without the bad side effects). Like Prozac, it apparently stimulates serotonic production, making you feel more relaxed, less stressed, and generally happier.
In studies, when the bacterium was given to cancer patients, they reported feeling less stressed and experiencing a better quality of life. (Grant, 2014) (Hemmingway, 2015)

 

 

henna-tatoos-offer-message-of-hope-for-female-cancer-patients-3

 

 

In  a lab rat study,  Mycobacterium vaccae received by injection and via feeding led to improvement in the animals’ cognitive ability, increased concentration when performing tasks, and lowered stress level compared to a control group that didn’t receive the soil bacteria. And the effects were seen for up to three weeks. (Grant, 2014).

 

 

(Source: organicfitness.com)
(Source: organicfitness.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEROTONIN

(Cann, 2015) (McIntosh, 2015) (Wikipedia, 2015A)

 

The Serotonin Molecule

serotonin

 

Serotinin is an important chemical manufactured by our bodies that acts as a neorotransmitter, enabling brain and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other – though some prefer to regard serotonin as a hormone. The vast majority of the body’s serotonin, 80-90%, is produced in the GI tract’s intestinal mucosa (by enterochromaffin cells). The small amount made in our brains cannot cross the blood-brain barrier so must be produced there.
Serotonin plays many essential roles in the body, affecting:
  • Mood and social behavior
  • Appetite and digestion
  • Bone metabolism
  • Breast milk production
  • Liver regeneration
  • Cell division
  • Intestinal movements
  • Sleep
  • Memory and learning
  • Sexual desire and function

 

 

 

tumblr_lyn6fhgdQb1qkpwy9o1_1280

 

 

 

 

SEROTONIN IMBALANCES

If your body produces too little or too much serotonin, you’re likely to experience all kinds of common gut issues: Too little serotonin and you’re likely to feel depressed and anxious – and be constipated. Too much and you’re likely to feel nervous and nauseated – and have diarrhea.

Too Low Serotonin Level

 

 

shutterstock_79430332

 

 

Symptoms of low serotonin levels include (Boeree, 2009)  (Wilson, 2015):
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Negative thinking
  • Problems with anger control
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
  • Suicidal thought and behaviors
  • Craving carbohydrates (starchy foods)
  • Obesity
  • Fibromyalgia pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 

 

susan-kleiner-quote-its-what-anti-depressants-are-all-about-these-drug

 

Too High Serotonin Level

resize
Having too much serotonin, can lead to excessive nerve cell activity, a state called Serotonin Syndrome, that often begins within hours of taking a new medication that affects serotonin levels or from greatly increasing the dose of one you’ve been taking. Symptoms include (WebMD, 2015A):
  • Confusion
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headache
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Shivering and goose bumps
  • Heavy sweating
In severe cases, taking too much serotonin can be life-threatening. If you have these symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome, get medical attention promptly:
  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unconsciousness

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON PROZAC

(Naish, 2013)

 

Prozac-001

 

Prozac (fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) pharmaceutical widely used for treating major depression and depressive disorder, OCD, premenstrual syndrome, panic disorder, and bulimia. It was first developed and marketed by Eli Lilly in 1988 and was an instant hit … as the “Happy Pill”. 27 years later, more than 20% of Americans (children, adults, the elderly) regularly take mood-altering drugs prescribed by their doctors. Even anxious dogs are put on Prozac.
Scientists at Eli Lilly first found that fluoxetine reduced hypertension in some animals but were disappointed when it didn’t have this same effect when tested on human subjects. Then the company thought the chemical could be marketed as an anti-obesity pill but again their clinical trials failed. When they tried it out on five volunteers who had mild depression, the subjects felt much better. Eureka!, they’d discovered a gold mine of profits. Fluoxetine apparently had the ability to improve mood.
Fluoxetine was rebranded as an anti-depressant by marketing experts and sold as Prozac. The two-syllable name combined something positive sounding (pro) with something zippy sounding (zac). Doctors now had a one-pill fix for all those people in their practices suffering from depression and its accompanying variety of pesky symptoms. These people could now be zapped into positivity. Prozac’s great success then led to a spate of other SSRI anti-depressant drugs – including Aropax, Celexa, Cipralex, Cipramil, Lexamil, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Seroplex, Viibryd, and Zoloft.
What a great boon for humanity.
Well, perhaps not.

 

prozac-202x300

 

The following side effects are associated with Prozac (WebMD, 2015B):

Common side effects of Prozac:

  • Anxious
  • Chronic Trouble Sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizzy
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Feel Like Throwing Up
  • Feeling Weak
  • Head Pain
  • Indigestion
  • Involuntary Quivering
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nervous
  • Rash
  • Sinus Irritation and Congestion
  • Throat Irritation
  • Yawning

Infrequent side effects of Prozac:

  • Chills
  • Hives
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Abnormal Dreams
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Altered Interest in Having Sexual Intercourse
  • Chest Pain
  • Confused
  • Cough
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Feeling Restless
  • Fever
  • Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Frequent Urination
  • Gas
  • Hair Loss
  • Heart Throbbing or Pounding
  • Hyperactive Behavior
  • Inability to have an Erection
  • Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements
  • Itching
  • Joint Pain
  • Problem with Ejaculation
  • Problems with Eyesight
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Sexual Problems
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Taste Problems
  • Weight Loss
  • Widening of Blood Vessels

Rare side effects of Prozac:

  • A Spasm of the Larynx
  • Abnormal Liver Function Tests
  • Allergic Reaction causing Serum Sickness
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma caused by Another Disease
  • Behaving with Excessive Cheerfulness and Activity
  • Bleeding of the Stomach or Intestines
  • Bronchospasm
  • Erythema Multiforme
  • Giant Hives
  • Having Thoughts of Suicide
  • Hepatitis caused by Drugs
  • Increased Risk of Bleeding
  • Inflammation of Skin caused by an Allergy
  • Life Threatening Allergic Reaction
  • Low Amount of Sodium in the Blood
  • Mild Degree of Mania
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  • Prolonged Q-T Interval on EKG
  • Reaction due to an Allergy
  • Seizures
  • Serotonin Syndrome – Adverse Drug Interaction
  • Stomach or Intestinal Ulcer
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Throwing Up
  • Very Rapid Heartbeat – Torsades de Pointes
  • Abnormal Bleeding from the Uterus
  • Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
  • Difficult or Painful Urination
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Grinding of the Teeth
  • Loss of Memory
  • Loss of One’s Own Sense of Reality or Identity
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Mood Changes
  • Sun-Sensitive Skin
  • Uncoordinated

 

Serious birth defects are also associated with a woman’s taking Prozac during pregnancy, especially during the last four and a half months. (DrugWatch, 2014)

 

 

4a602fdb8aa29e366445df5e9c23a3b6

 

 

 

 

YOUR GUT FEELINGS

So maybe you’re anxious or depressed and prefer avoiding the side effects of pharmaceuticals. In my psychotherapy practice over the years, I’ve noticed that people on long term anti-anxiety/anti-depressant drugs are often separated from their feelings. They may not feel very depressed or anxious but they also don’t have easy access to who they are or how they actually feel – ie, they tend to make decisions based on their thoughts rather than with their vital gut feelings.
Maybe this doesn’t appeal to you.

 

 

imgres

 

We already know that the health of the microflora living in our intestines is directly connected to the overall health of our bodies – including mood.  And remember that the vast majority (80-90%) of the serotonin (our natural feel-good chemical)  in our bodies is produced inside our intestines, in the gut’s mucosal layer – which is also, not coincidentally, where the bacteria and other micro-organisms that make up our gut microbiome live. So it’s not the least surprising that a bacterium found in soil would have anti-depressant qualities.

 

Mycobacterium vaccae (The Golden Bacillus)

(Source: exploringtheinvisible.com
(Source: exploringtheinvisible.com

 

 

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH ON MYCOBACTERIUM VACCAE

Scientists are looking into whether exposure to mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil can improve Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis (both are autoimmune conditions stemming from chronic inflammation caused by an unbalanced gut microbiome), as well as cognitive functioning. (Grant, 2014)
Research is also underway to see if a killed Mycobacterium vaccae vaccine can be effective in the treatment of asthma, cancer, leprosy, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and tuberculosis. (Wikipedia, 2015B)

 

 

 

(Source: dagmaramach.com)
(Source: dagmaramach.com)

 

 

 

 

 

A GOOD READ

 

 

(Source: www.nytimes.com) )

 

 

 

I highly recommend taking a look at Michael Polan’s excellent New York Times article “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs“. He discusses the importance of our gut bacteria, how our modern obsession with finding and killing all germs is making us ill (The Hygiene Hypothesis), the fact that children who are exposed to dirt have healthier immune systems, and lots of other fascinating information.
This is a photo from the article:

 

 

(Source: www.nytimes.com Image Credit: Credit Hannah Whitaker for The New York Times)
(Source: www.nytimes.com
Image Credit: Hannah Whitaker for The New York Times)

 

 

 

 

 

THE HEALTH OF THE EARTH’S SOIL

The presence of Mycobacterium vaccae, the Golden Bacillus, in dirt gives us yet another compelling reason to do something to stop the great rate at which we’re depleting the soil’s microbiome with GMO crops, herbicides, and other toxins.  Healthy soil presumably contains more Mycobacterium vaccaeis than depleted soil. If humans continue destroying the earth’s resources, we may succeed in killing off the beautiful Golden Bacillus.
How depressing.

 

(Source: grist.org)
(Source: grist.org)

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Boeree, E.G. (2009). Neurotransmitters. See: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsyneurotransmitters.html

Cann, K. (2015). Low Serotonin and Gastrointestinal Disorders. RobWolf.com. See: http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/10/serotonin-gastrointestinal-disorders/

DrugWatch.com. (2014). Prozac. See: http://www.drugwatch.com/prozac/

Grant, B. L. (2014). Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy. Ecology.com. See: http://www.ecology.com/2014/08/25/antidepressant-microbes-soil/

Hemmingway, W. (2015). Happy Dirt: A Microbe Found In Soil Mimics Prozac. See: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/happy-dirt-a-microbe-found-in-soil-mimics-prozac/

McIntosh, J. (2015). What is serotonin? What does serotonin do? Medical News Today. See: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232248.php

Naish, J. (2013). The Jekyll and Hyde happy pill: It’s brought relief to millions but is linked to suicide, low libido and birth defects, and we still don’t know how Prozac works. DailyMail.com. See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2275333/Prozac-Its-brought-relief-millions-linked-suicide-low-libido-birth-defects.html#axzz2KNt7FK00

Polan, M. (2013). Some of My Best Friends Are Germs. New York Times Magazine, May 15 2013. See:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

WebMD. (2015A). What Is Serotonin Syndrome? See: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/serotonin-syndrome-causes-symptoms-treatments

WebMD. (2015B). Prozac: Side Effects. See: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6997/prozac-oral/details/list-sideeffects

Wikipedia. (2015A). Serotonin. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin

Wikipedia. (2015B). Mycobacterium vaccae. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycobacterium_vaccae

Wilson, J. (2015). Low Serotonin Levels Symptoms. Livestrong.com. See: http://www.livestrong.com/article/245341-low-serotonin-levels-symptoms/



© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES

 

 

leaky-gut-pail-300x235

Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m interested – for personal reasons and also just because it’s fascinating – in how the state of the probiotics in our gut microbiomes affects our health in general.
So this development is of great interest to me:
A different kind of PREbiotic dietary supplement, Good Gut Daily, has recently entered the market. PREbiotics provide the nourishment for our PRObiotics. This kind is polyphenol-based and has  been clinically shown to calm acute digestive symptoms in as little as 30 minutes and enhance immune health. For those of you who, like me, suffer from ongoing digestive health problems and haven’t found a satisfactory solution, the arrival of this new supplement is excellent news.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants – including fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, and wine.
I’ll be writing about Good Gut Daily in more depth in an upcoming post but, in the interest of not overwhelming you with information, I thought it useful to do a preliminary post on some of the causes of increased intestinal leakiness so you can see how your GI problems originated and how poor gut health creates major health problems elsewhere in your body.
This post grew out of a phone and email conversations with molecular biologist Rob Wotring, the Chief Scientific Officer at Greenteaspoon. Many thanks, Rob, for sharing some of your wealth of information on how the gut works.

 

 

 

DIGESTION – FROM MOUTH TO ANUS

 

 

0120

 

The human digestive tract runs from the mouth at the top to the anus at the other end. Foreign matter (food) is taken in and partially broken down by chewing in the mouth. It then travels down through the esophagus to the stomach and from there into the small and large intestines, where it is selectively digested. During this trip, various phases of digestion take place  and nutrients are extracted and absorbed. The liver, gall bladder and pancreas, organs that aid in the digestive process, are located along the length of the GI tract.
The total length of the GI tract varies from person to person. In an adult male the range is 20 to 40 feet. On average, the small intestine in adults is 22 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet.
As you can intuit, a lot could go wrong during that long trip – and much of that depends on the quality of what you deliver to your mouth as ‘food’.

 

(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

 

 

You can see the location of the mucosal layer (called ‘mucous coat’ in the diagram below) and the intestinal villi in this cross section of the human small intestine. The empty space in the center, just below the villi (the spikes you see in the image of a healthy mucosal membrane in the image to the left above),  is called the lumen, the tube in which food travels through the intestines.

 

(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)
(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)

 

 

 

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

Increased gut permeability – also known as hyper-permeable intestines or “leaky gut” – describes the intestinal lining’s having become more porous than it should be so the process of what is allowed out into the body no longer functions properly.  Larger, undigested food molecules and other bad things (such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste  that normally would continue on and get excreted through the anus) flow freely through these too-large holes in the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they don’t belong and are treated as dangerous invaders.
The  gut’s mucosal layer is thin, delicate – and very important. This is where our probiotic bacteria live, so degrading it also degrades the strength of our immune systems. The probiotics residing in the gut mucosal layer make up 70-90% of the human immune system.
Damage to the gut’s mucosal layer leads to a whole range of serious problems as the body tries to cope with the invaders being released into the bloodstream. Once this lining has become disturbed, allowing problematic things to flow through it into the blood stream, a cycle of chronic irritation begins, leading to chronic inflammation in the body and a whole series of autoimmune conditions.
For an easy to understand explanation of increased gut permeability, see Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It. (Reasoner, undated)

 

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Symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome (Age Management & Hormone Balance Center, 2013)
  • Abdominal Pain (chronic)
  • Bloating
  • Anaphylactoid Reactions
  • Anxiety
  • Gluten Intolerance (celiac)
  • Heartburn
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Poor Exercise Tolerance
  • Poor Memory
  • Recurrent Vaginal Infections
  •  Brittle Nails
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Constipation
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Abdominal Spasms
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Constant Hunger Pains
  • Sluggishness
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive Flatulence
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fears of unknown origin
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Malnutrition
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Muscle Pain
  • Mood Swings
  • Poor Immunity
  • Recurrent Bladder Infections
  • Recurrent Skin Rashes
  • Hair Loss
  • Food Allergies
  • Diarrhea
  • Brain Fatigue
  • Anal Irritation
  • Depleted Appetite
  • Depression

 

 

 

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Here’s a partial list of diseases and conditions associated with increased intestinal permeability (Galland, undated) (Age Management & Hormone Balance Center, 2013):
  • Accelerated Aging
  • Acne
  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism
  • Autism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Candidiasis
  • Celiac disease
  • CFIDS
  • Childhood hyperactivity
  • Chronic arthritis/pain treated with NSAIDS
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Colon Cancer
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Environmental illness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergies & intolerances
  • Giardia
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • HIV infection
  • Hives
  • Inflammatory bowel disease & syndrome
  • Infectious enterocolitis
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Malnutrition
  • Multiple food & chemical sensitivies
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neoplasia treated with cytotoxic drugs
  • Pancreatic dysfunction & insufficiency
  • Psoriasis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Spondyloarthropathies
  • Ulcerative Colititis
  • Urticaria

 

There are other chronic diseases and conditions we now know are also autoimmune in nature – including allergies, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclorosis, myesthenia gravis, endometriosis, some heart conditions, juvenile arthritis, chronic Lyme disease, myasthenia gravis, PANDAS, PCOS, pernicious anemia, Raynaud’s, restless leg syndrome, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, some thyroid disease, vitiligo … and many others. Learn more about AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.

chronic-inflammation

 

 

 

Ten years ago the father of integrative medicine, Dr Andrew Weil, offered this definition of leaky gut (Weil, 2005):

Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognized by conventional physicians, but evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity. The cause of this syndrome may be chronic inflammation, food sensitivity, damage from taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, or compromised immunity.

 

Andrew Weil, MD
Andrew Weil, MD

 

 

 

 

FUNCTIONS OF THE INTESTINAL MUCOSAL LAYER (Camp, 2015)

This thin, wet layer lining the intestinal walls serves many important functions:
  1. Determines which nutrients pass through the intestinal walls and into the blood stream
  2. Protects and covers mast cells that contain histamines
  3. Activates enzymes
  4. Secretes antibodies made from the intestinal wall to support immune defenses
  5. Prevents yeast and parasites from adhering to the intestinal wall

 

 

 

All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, low exercise levels is a stressor under the category of physical stress.  (Source: thevreelandclinic.wordpress.com)
All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, low exercise levels is a stressor under the category of physical stress. (Source: thevreelandclinic.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

CAUSES OF INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY

 

 

 

INFECTIONS THAT PENETRATE THE GUT’S MUCOSAL LAYER

Infections (eg, acute viral or bacterial infection, intestinal parasites, HIV, candida, etc)  that damage the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining are  the most common causes of increased gut permeability. (Galland, undated) (Wotring, 2015)

 

ULCERATIVE COLITIS

(Source: www.healthplexus.net625 × 238Search by image Ulcerative means a loss of the surface lining, and colitis means inflammation of that lining or mucosa. The inflammation is caused by an abnormal invasion ...)
(Source: www.healthplexus.net)

 

Ulcerative means a loss of the surface lining. Colitis means inflammation of the mucosa lining inside the colon’s walls. Ulcerative colitis occurs when the immune system reacts aggressively against the normal bacteria inhabiting the colon – ie, it is an autoimmune process.

 

 

(Source: www.natap.org)
(Source: www.natap.org)

 

 

 

 

AGE

 

(Source: www.soulseeds.com)
(Source: www.soulseeds.com)

 

The gut’s mucosal lining in babies under six months is not yet fully formed. (Wotring, 2015)  Mature intestines are made to allow absorption of appropriate nutrients while also preventing pathogens and toxins from entering the body and causing diseases. In young babies, the barrier function is underdeveloped so large amounts of big molecules get through the gut mucosal layer and enter circulation in the body. This makes infants susceptible to infectious diarrhea, necrotizing enterocolitis (the lining of the intestinal wall dies and the tissue falls off), and allergic gastroenteropathy.
Since intestinal barrier dysfunction is known to predispose the development of intestinal diseases  as well as autoimmune diseases in other parts of the body, it is highly important that infants’ intestinal barriers be allowed to receive the health benefits of breast milk so they mature properly. Illnesses associated with intestinal barrier dysfunction occur more often in adults who were formula-fed as infants than in those who were nursed.  (Anderson et al, 2012)
In the elderly, epithelial stem cells mutate more frequently, leading to thinning of the mucosal lining. GI disorders are a major cause of illness and death for the elderly.  (Saffrey, 2013) (Wotring, 2015)

 

 

 

 

 

REDUCED OXYGEN-CARRYING CONDITIONS

 

Person Using an Inhaler --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Ailments that reduce the amount of oxygen carried in the blood – eg, anemia, heart conditions, respiratory problems – are associated with increased gut permeability. (Wotring, 2015)
The observation that gut and lung disorders commonly occur together has led GI and respiratory researchers to think they share a common cause. For example, asthmatic flares and seasonal allergic reactions – both autoimmune conditions – are accompanied by inflammation in the digestive tract.
In a 2010 paper appearing in the National Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, neurogastroenterologist Nicholas Talley and his colleagues observed that people with asthma and allergic rhinitis have abnormally high levels of eosinophils in both their airways and their intestines. In healthy people, these cells aren’t found in their airways at all.
Eosinophils are specialized cells in the immune system created in the bone marrow. In the mucous membrane lining the stomach, small intestine and colon, their purpose is to prevent pathogenic bugs and toxins from escaping through the gut walls and getting into the body.
In allergies, these eosinophilic cells start growing in the lungs and airways and the ones in the GI tract stop serving their protective function and instead damage the gut’s mucosal lining, allowing toxins to leak through. This increased intestinal permeability has often been documented in asthma patients. (Johnson, 2010)

 

 

 

 

ALCOHOL

 

imgres

Alcohol disrupts the integrity of the gut’s mucosal layer. The disruption can be measured within 30 minutes after alcohol has been consumed. (Wotring, 2015)
Alcohol damages the delicate lining of the stomach and intestinal tract as it passes through, creating increased permeability. This increased porosity permits large, incompletely digested food particles to move through the gut walls directly into the bloodstream, where immune cells regard them as foreign invaders and attack them with specially designed antibodies.
Once these antibodies have been created, they remain in the body on the look out for offending food particles to come along, creating a vicious cycle of autoimmunity: Because the alcoholic’s gut lining has become too permeable, improperly digested particles are always invading and a perpetual allergy-addiction cycle has been created – the immune system is in a state of continual hyper-reactivity.

Several studies have shown that alcoholic patients have an unusually high degree of allergic responses: both to “classic” allergens such as pollen and to various foods. Multiple studies have compared the allergic responses of alcoholics, depressive, and schizophrenic patients, and found that the alcoholic group was significantly more allergic to a variety of food allergens. A similar study compared patients admitted to an inpatient alcoholism hospital with a matched control group of patients with no history or evidence of alcohol abuse who have been admitted to a general hospital for elective surgery. Most alcoholics are allergic to a wide range of foods as well as environmental-mental allergens. Among foods, grains (the primary ingredient of many alcoholic beverages) are highly reactive. It is well known that particular foods and/or certain chemicals-can become an addiction.

– (Occhipinti, 2013)

 

 

 

 

DIETARY EMULSIFIERS

 

2012418-scooped-dark-chocolate-ice-cream-post

 

Emulsifiers are chemicals or natural substances that encourage the suspension of one type of liquid in another – as in the oil and water in margarine, shortening, ice cream, salad dressings, and creamy sauces. They are one of the most frequently used type of food additive.
Emulsifiers are added to commercial breads and cakes, icings, frozen desserts, soups, mayonnaise, homogenized milk, whipped toppings, non-dairy creamers, chocolate bars, chew candies, bubble gum, extruded snacks, soft drinks, bottled liquid coffees … and many other processed foods. (FoodAdditivesWorld, 2013)
Emulsifiers are also added to cosmetics, lotions, and some pharmaceuticals for the same reason they’re put into processed foods –  they improve product appearance by preventing ingredients from separating and extend storage life.  (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015)
The FDA and other regulatory agencies in the US claim there is no evidence that chemical emulsifiers increase the risk of cancer or have other toxic effects in mammals so have ruled they are “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) for use  in processed foods.

 

20120105-145528

 

Yet there is evidence that these emulsifiers disturb the colonies of probiotic bacteria living in the colon, increasing the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders. (Reardon, 2015)

 

 

(Source: www.scimex.org)
(Source: www.scimex.org)

 

Yet there is evidence that these emulsifiers disturb the colonies of probiotic bacteria living in the colon, increasing the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders. (Reardon, 2015)  Anything that can break down fats also breaks down the gut’s mucosal layer. (Wotring, 2015)
Could adding emulsifiers to food products to make them look more appealing and ‘last’ longer possibly be worth ruining our gut linings and increasing our risk for developing one or more autoimmune diseases?

 

(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)

 

See Emulsifiers for more than you might want to know about these food additives.

 

 

 

NSAIDS

 

pain_pill_abuse_addiction

 

Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxin are common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) available OTC for use as pain relievers. NSAIDs are also available at prescription strength.
They are the most widely prescribed medications in the US. 100 million Americans use them regularly to manage pain. ALL NSAIDs cause injury in the GI tract: erosions, ulcers, bleeding and perforations in the stomach and intestines.
An estimated 16,500 Americans die each year from and 100,000 are hospitalized with NSAID-induced complications. (PLx, undated)

 

(Source: www.plxpharma.com)
(Source: www.plxpharma.com)
It takes NSAIDs such as asprin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve only 15-30 minutes to create lesions in the mucosal layer of the GI tract! (Wotring, 2015)
NSAIDs damage the hormones in your GI tract that protect the gut from becoming inflamed. Chronic use can lead to dire consequences such as intestinal perforations, H. pilori infection, kidney failure, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease. (Alice, 2015) (Camp, 2015)
Japanese researchers found small bowel injuries occurring in 80% of their study participants after only two weeks on aspirin therapy. Other studies have noted GI damage in people on low-dose aspirin therapy taken for cardiovascular protection. (Alice, 2015).

 

 

(Source: physrev.physiology.org)
(Source: physrev.physiology.org)

 

After many decades of promoting an aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks, the FDA has now reversed its position. (Alice, 2015)
The FDA’s website now says:

“FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

Hopefully this news will change the behavior of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day.
See this WebMD article for more information on both OTC and prescription NSAIDs.

 

 

 

INTENSE EXERCISE

 

exercise-intense1

Many people experience nausea, heartburn, cramping, and diarrhea while exercising – especially during high-intensity exercise.
When the body is at rest, your heart directs 20-25% of its pumped blood  to your digestive tract. While even moderate exercise increases your heart rate and therefore the amount of  blood  being pumped from your heart, the amount of blood flowing to the GI tracts gets decreased by as much as 60-70% and is instead diverted to your muscles, heart, lungs, and brain. Increasing the intensity of your workout reduces the blood flow to the gut even further. This decrease causes those common GI complaints. (Rocky Mountains Health Plans, 2014)
The harder or longer you run or exercise, the less blood gets delivered to your gut, causing digestion to slow. (Powell, 2013)
Runners, cyclists and triathletes tend to get diarrhea after 30-60 minutes of intense exercise. These athletes often put toilet paper inside the seat of their pants to soak up the mess. (Wotring, 2015)

 

 

(Source: www.rmhp.org)
(Source: www.rmhp.org)
Even worse, exercising can damage the gut’s mucosal lining and cause increased gut permeability. The authors of an article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition explain how this works:

Among athletes strenuous exercise, dehydration and gastric emptying … delay are the main causes of gastrointestinal (GI) complaints …. A serious underperfusion of the gut often leads to mucosal damage and enhanced permeability so as to hide blood loss, microbiota invasion (or endotoxemia) and food-born allergen absorption (with anaphylaxis)….

Anyone who participates in physical exercise is at risk for injury and illness arising from such activity….

There is a very high prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) complaints during exercise among long-distance runners, triathletes and athletes involved in other types of strenuous long-lasting exercise. These GI complaints occur because of the redistribution of the blood flow, that is shunted from the viscera to skeletal muscle, heart, lung and brain….

The symptoms are often mild and may not even affect performance. Some of the symptoms, however, can be life-threatening, such as blood loss in feces in the hours following the running presented by some marathoners and long-distance triathletes.

Damage to the gut and impaired gut function is associated with increased of intestinal permeability after a marathon. Moreover, vigorous exercise (jogging, aerobics, dancing, tennis, bicycling, racquetball, swimming, and skiing) facilities allergen absorption from the GI tract, leading to a food-dependent exercise induces anaphylaxis (FDEIA).

(Prado de Oliveira & Burini, 2011

 

 

images

 

 

 

 

HIGH HEAT

 

 

polls_sunbathing_4924_861570_poll_xlarge

When the body is in an overheated state, some of the blood that normally flows to the intestines gets diverted to the skin and the temperature inside the intestines increases. (Wotring, 2015)
This combination damages  the intestinal barrier, creating increased intestinal permeability to microbial endotoxins (toxins  present inside a bacterial cell that get released when the cell disintegrates),  leading to endotoxemia (the presence of endotoxins in the blood). (Lambert, 2008)  Severe endotoxemia can lead to shock, hemorhages, and kidney death.

 

finnische-sauna
Be careful when exposing yourself to high heat for extended periods of time (eg, while tanning all day at the beach, taking a long sauna, engaging in intense exercise).

 

 

 

 

imgres-1

  • In our conversation, Rob Wotring also mentioned these interesting tidbits about the gut:
  • The gut’s mucosal layer is being created all the time. This may explain why your gut – and the rest of you – can feel awful say in the morning and then good some hours later on in the day.
  • Approximately 40% of your energy goes toward producing the mucus barrier.
  • Women are much more susceptible to disruption of the mucosal layer.
  • Progesterone thickens the gut lining.
  • There’s convincing evidence that polyphenol PREbiotics (as in Good Gut Daily) are able to heal damage in the gut lining.

 

 

Now that you’ve read about the importance of your intestines and what can happen if their walls become damaged, here’s another depiction of the four layers of the intestinal lining in all its amazing complexity (University of Leeds, undated):

 

(Source: www.histology.leeds.ac.uk)
(Source: www.histology.leeds.ac.uk)
The innermost layer, the MUCOSA, is made up of three parts:
  1.  A thin EPITHELIAL lining which includes glandular tissue
  2.  An underlying layer of loose connective tissue called the LAMINA          PROPRIA which provides vascular support for the epithelium and often contains mucosal glands. Products of digestion pass into  capillaries here. Lymphoid follicles and plasma cells are also often found here.
  3. And finally, next to the lamina propria, the MUSCULARIS MUCOSA, a thin, double layer of smooth muscle responsible for local movement of the mucosa.
The layer next to the mucosa is the SUBMUCOSA, a loose connective tissue layer containing larger blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. It can also contain mucous secreting glands.
The layer outside the submucosa is the MUSCULARIS PROPRIA (EXTERNA). There are usually two sub-layers of smooth muscles in the muscularis propria: An inner circular layer and an outer longitudinal layer. The two layers work together to produce peristalsis ((rhythmic waves of contraction) to move food through the gut.
The outermost layer is the ADVENTIA (OR SEROSA) consisting of loose connective tissues containing blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. This layer is covered by the visceral peritoneum.

 

 

And here’s another intestinal cross section so you can see the location of these layers in relation to the central intestinal “tube”, the lumen, where the digesting food is working its way through from the stomach to the anus:

 

 

(Source: www.myvmc.com)
(Source: www.myvmc.com)

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Age Management & Hormone Balance Center. (2013). Gastrointestinal Repair (Leaky Gut Syndrome). See: http://www.agemanagementmi.com/services/gastrointestinal-repair-leaky-gut-syndrome/

Alice. (2015). FDA Reverses Its Position on Daily Aspirin Use. See: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/fda-reverses-its-position-on-daily-aspirin-use/

Anderson, R.C. et al. (2012). The Role of Intestinal Barrier Function in Early Life in the Development of Colitis. See: http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/25358.pdf

Camp, M. (2015). Digestive Health. See: http://www.drcamphealth.com/digestivehealth.php

CISA. (undated). Emulsifiers. See: http://www.chemistryindustry.biz/emulsifiers.html

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2015). Emulsifier. See: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/186305/emulsifier

FoodAdditivesWorld.com. (2013). Emulsifiers. See: http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/emulsifiers.html

Galland, L. (undated). LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE. See: http://www.mdheal.org/leakygut.htm

Greenteaspoon. (2015). Good Gut Daily website.  See: http://goodgutdaily.com/

Johnson, K. (2010). The Gut-Lung Connection: How Respiratory Disease is Informing Gastrointestinal Research. See: https://katejohnsonmednews.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/the-gut-lung-connection/

Lambert, G. (2008). Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction, Endotoxemia, and Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The ‘Canary in the Coal Mine’ during Exercise-Heat Stress? In Thermoregulation and Human Performance: Physiological and Biological Aspects. (Editor: Marino, F.E.). See: http://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/151550

Occhipinti, M.J. (2013). Alcoholism’s “Leaky Gut” Syndrome. See: http://www.afpafitness.com/research-articles/alcoholisms-leaky-gut-syndrome

PLx. (undated). GI-SAFER NSAID TECHNOLOGY & PRODUCT PIPELINE — WITH PLXGUARD. See: http://www.plxpharma.com/prodDev.htm

Powell, B. (2013). Nagging Nausea. Trail Runner. See: http://www.trailrunnermag.com/health/race-day-nutrition/489-nagging-nausea

Prado de Oliveira, E. & Burin, R.C. (2011). Food-dependent, exercise-induced gastrointestinal distress. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 8:12. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3190328/

Reardon, S. (2015). Food preservatives linked to obesity and gut disease: Mouse study suggests that emulsifiers alter gut bacteria, leading to the inflammatory bowel condition colitis. Nature.com. See: http://www.nature.com/news/food-preservatives-linked-to-obesity-and-gut-disease-1.16984

Reasoner, J. (undated). Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It. See: http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/

Rocky Mountain Health Plans. (2014). Don’t Let Digestion Interfere with Your Workout. See: http://blog.rmhp.org/2014/01/dont-let-digestion-interfere-with-your-workout/

Saffrey, M.J. (2013). Aging of the mammalian gastrointestinal tract: a complex organ system. AGE. See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11357-013-9603-2

University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences. Four Layers of the Gastrointestinal Tract. See: http://www.histology.leeds.ac.uk/oral/GI_layers.php

WebMD. (2015). NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and Arthritis. See: http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/anti-inflammatory-drugs#1

Weil, A. (2005). What is leaky gut? See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

Wotring, R. (2015). Personal communication.

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Your Microbial Fingerprints

 

 

 

hand_germs

 

 

Pioneering and ever-curious microbe researcher, Rob Knight, suggests that the multitude of micro-organisms living on our hands is so distinct from person to person it could be used for identification purposes.

 

 

Female hands typing ultrabook laptop computer keyboard, top view. Freelancer working at home office desk.

 

 

Knight and his colleague Noah Fierer, a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado – Boulder, examined personal computer keyboards and found microbial populations split between the G and H keys.
Look at your keyboard – you use the fingers of your left hand on the keys running left from the key and the fingers of your right hand on the keys running right from the H key. Knight and Fierer found different microbes colonizing each half of people’s keyboards.
Our left and right hands are each home to distinct microbial populations.

 

 

keyboard

 

Even more remarkably, they found distinct microbe populations living on each of people’s 10 fingertips. All the keys typed by one fingertip  had basically the same microbial communities living on them and those communities were different from the keys typed by that person’s other 9 fingertips.

We could also match up someone’s computer mouse to the palm of his or her hand with more than 90 percent accuracy. The microbes on your hands are very distinct from other people’s – on average, at least 85 percent different in terms of species diversity – which means that you have a microbial fingerprint.  (Knight, 2015, p.15)

 

 

 

url

 

 

Even the cleanest person is host to about 150 microbial species on his or her hands. Washing your hands removes some of this population – but it takes a mere few hours for them to regenerate.  When these tiny organisms get transferred to another surface (eg, the keys and mouse of your computer), they can thrive there relatively unchanged for weeks. (Gajitz.com, 2015)

 

images-1

 

So one of these days look for crime scene investigators to make use of these bacterial fingerprints to figure out exactly who was at a crime scene!

 

 

imgres-1

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Gajitz.com. (2015). More Accurate Than DNA: Hand Germs Could ID Criminals. See: http://gajitz.com/more-accurate-than-dna-hand-germs-could-id-criminals/

Knight, R. (2015). Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes. See: http://www.amazon.com/Follow-Your-Gut-Enormous-Microbes/dp/1476784744/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Rob Knight’s TED Talk: How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are

 

 

 

Robert Knight at TED2014 - The Next Chapter, March 17-21, 2014, Session 5 - Us, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
Robert Knight at TED2014 – The Next Chapter, March 17-21, 2014, Session 5 – Us, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

 

Microbial Ecologist Rob Knight’s is passionate about exploring the microbial world that exists everywhere in and on our bodies. His 2014 TED Talk, How our microbes make us who we are, explains the basics. This talk led to his writing the charming and useful little book Follow Your Gut (Knight, 2015) that I wrote about a few weeks ago.
From the TED Speakers website:

Why you should listen

Using scatological research methods that might repel the squeamish, microbial researcher Rob Knight uncovers the secret ecosystem (or “microbiome”) of microbes that inhabit our bodies — and the bodies of every creature on earth. In the process, he’s discovered a complex internal ecology that affects everything from weight loss to our susceptibility to disease. As he said to Nature in 2012, “What motivates me, from a pragmatic standpoint, is how understanding the microbial world might help us improve human and environmental health.”

Knight’s recent projects include the American Gut, an attempt to map the unique microbiome of the United States using open-access data mining tools and citizen-scientists to discover how lifestyle and diet affect our internal flora and fauna, and our overall health.

What others say

“Faeces, lizards, keyboards, faces — Rob Knight likes to sequence the microbes on anything and everything. Next, he plans to sequence Earth.” — Nature, July 11, 2012

 

You can watch his TED Talk here.

YOUR CHANGING MICROBIOME

(Source: learn.genetics.utah.edu)
(Source: learn.genetics.utah.edu)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Short, Easy Read about Your Gut Microbiome. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/10/short-easy-read-about-your-gut-microbiome/

Knight, R. (2014). TED Talk: How our microbes make us who we are. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-icXZ2tMRM

Knight, R. with Buhler, B. (2015). Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes. A TED Original Book. See: http://www.amazon.com/Follow-Your-Gut-Enormous-Microbes/dp/1476784744

TED Speakers. (undated). Rob Knight’s TED Talk, How our microbes make us who we are. See: https://www.ted.com/speakers/rob_knight

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.