Tag Archives: Psoriasis

Follow Up on AO+ Living Bacterial Skin Tonic

Updated 2/25/2016.

 

images-1
I first wrote about AOBiome’s brilliant new approach to skin health and cleanliness in Living Bacterial Skin Tonic – Instead of Soap?! (June 7, 2014).
AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist is a liquid developed by a biotech start up company in Cambridge MA to spray on our bodies in lieu of – or as an adjunct to – taking showers. Showering with most soaps and shampoos kills all the healthy elements of our skin’s microbiome. AOBiome’s new living bacterial skin tonic, made of safe live-cultured Nitrosomonas bacteria, replenishes the biome of microscopic organisms that should live on our skin.
(Source: AOBiome)
(Source: AOBiome)

 

From the AO Biome website:

THE SCIENCE

Skin has a Broad Systemic Impact

A healthy microbiome is necessary for skin to do its work optimally. The human skin microbiome requires Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) to function well.

AOBs Are Everywhere in Nature

In the wild, humans had this on their skin – a mutually beneficial working relationship! AOB in the natural environment regulate our nitrogen metabolism. Unfortunately, AOB on our bodies have been impaired by culture and behavior.

Why Does This Matter?

Modern hygiene has selectively depleted the natural balance of the skin microbiome particularly affecting AOB. By restoring the appropriate AOB levels, we believe a range of human health conditions could be impacted. AOBiome is interested in exploring potential physiologic effects including:

Improving skin architecture
Improving skin architecture
Preventing infection
Preventing infection
Improving vascularization
Improving vascularization

 

 

 

 

 

AOBs: What I'm spraying on my skin daily to improve my skin microbiome
AOBs: What I’m spraying on my skin daily to improve my skin microbiome

 

 

MY EXPERIENCE WITH AO+ SPRAY

After waiting a few months for the company to catch up to demand for their new bacterial spray, my first month’s supply arrived in early September 2014: Four spray bottles nestled inside an elegant box  – one bottle for each week – with clear use instructions. Each bottle contains over 100 sprays to least a week at about 15 sprays/day. The bacteria in the spray will survive about a month at room temperature so the bottle I’m using sits on the bathroom counter. The other bottles are stored in the fridge, where they’ll last for at least six months.

 

 

 

AO+ Refresjomg Cosmetic Mist - live cultured ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). (Source: www.microbesandme.com)
AO+ Refresjomg Cosmetic Mist – live cultured ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). (Source: www.microbesandme.com)
I began using the spray on September 7th immediately after toweling off from a shower – only on my arms, neck and chest at first – instead of my usual Jurlique Lavender Body Care Lotion. I showered using Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap (bar version) on my feet, crotch, arm pits and lightly on my face. As I was doing before, I’ve continued using Jurlique’s Skin Balancing Face Oil on my face and Erbe’s Orange C Serum around my eyes where the skin is delicate and usually dry.
I’ve also continued washing my hair with Jurlique’s Lavender Conditioner about once weekly. (I’ve got fine, curly hair so shampoo isn’t good for it – too drying. Conditioner does a fine job of cleaning out the dirt and excess oils.)
BTW, all the products mentioned above contain only high quality ingredients and no parabens, estrogen disrupters, carcinogens or other harsh, dangerous chemicals.
I stopped using antiperspirants many years ago once I understood that the body needs to perspire but, not quite ready to retire my deodorant, I’ve continued using my favorite: Tom’s Long Lasting Deodorant (Unscented).
What I noticed right away after that first application was that the skin where I’d applied the AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist smelled like a baby’s skin – a ‘this makes me smile and feel good all over’ scent, not the shitty diaper smell. And after just one application, my skin felt and looked soft, smooth and well-nourished.

 

 

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After a few days, I started using the bacterial spray on my legs and the tops of my feet too. This skin is usually pretty dry but has become nicely hydrated with the spray.
I tried the spray on my face but didn’t like the tight feeling it produced so returned to using face oil. Interestingly, I’ve never felt it at all on the rest of my body. This seemed to be unique to my face. Perhaps I’ll give it another try on my face.
That first bottle, with the daily use described above, lasted for 20 days – so clearly I wasn’t using 15 sprays/day.
Yesterday, with the second bottle, I started using the spray on my entire body – with the exception of my face, armpits, the parts of my back I can’t reach, and soles of my feet. That probably amounted to 12-15 sprays.
I’m thinking I’ll start using it on my hair too starting tomorrow.
One of the more interesting things that started happening after two weeks of using the spray on my arms is that some patches of seborrheic keratosis began to dry up. I expect they’ll eventually fall off! This is most welcome.

 

An example of a seborrheic keratosis. (Source: www.medicinenet.com)
An example of a seborrheic keratosis. (Source: www.medicinenet.com)

 

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign skin disorder characterized by rough, raised areas resulting from excessive growth of the top layer of skin cells. Mine are a light brown but they can range from light tan to black. They’re odd looking – like they’re just sitting on top of my skin. They’re sometimes referred to as “barnacles of old age.” How delightful. I’ll be glad to see them go.

 

BACTERIA ARE YOUR FRIENDS

(Source: www.microbesandme.com)
(Source: www.microbesandme.com)
The bottom line is that I’m quite happy to be an early user of AO Biome’s AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist and greatly look forward to its being widely available. My hope is that the existence of this product will help educate people to differentiate between USEFUL bacteria and HARMFUL ones instead of viewing all bacteria as dangerous and in need of being destroyed.
I quote Michael Pollan from his wonderful article Some of My Best Friends Are Germs (Pollan, 2013):

As a civilization, we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota.

 

 

There's a difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Nurture your good bacteria instead of trying to kill them off. (Source: naturallyimmune.org)
There’s a difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Nurture your good bacteria instead of trying to kill them off. (Source: naturallyimmune.org)

 

I highly recommend perusing AOBiome’s website, facebook and FAQ for more fascinating information on the needs of the skin microbiome and the science behind their product.

 

 

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GUT/BRAIN/SKIN AXIS (Bowe & Logan, 2011) (Kresser, 2014)

 

I’ve been writing mostly on the gut microbiome on this site. Here’s information on how the skin flora microbiome fits in:

 

 

The trillions of microbes in and on our bodies are key to understanding our health. (Source: organicfitness.com)
The trillions of microbes in and on our bodies are key to understanding our health. (Source: organicfitness.com)

 

70 years ago, dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury proposed a gastrointestinal mechanism for the observed overlap between depression, anxiety and skin conditions, such as acne.
They  hypothesized that emotional states might alter intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. Among the acne remedies they suggested were Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. Imbalances in the gut microbiota and oral probiotics produce systemic inflammation and oxidative stress, upset glycemic control and tissue lipid content, influence mood  and cause skin conditions such as acne.

 

EVIDENCE OF A  CONNECTION BETWEEN GUT PROBLEMS AND SKIN DISORDERS

 

  • People with acne are also at higher risk for suffering from GI distress, such as constipation, halitosis and gastric reflux.
  • A recent study found that teens with acne and other seborrheic conditions were 37% more likely to have abdominal bloating.
  • People with acne rosacea have been found to be 10 times more likely than healthy controls to have small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine. Correcting their SIBO markedly improved their acne rosacea.
  • 14% of patients with ulcerative colitis and 24% of patients with Crohn’s disease also have skin disorders.
  • Celiac disease sufferers are also apt to have cutaneous manifestations, such as dermatitis herpetiformis (occurs in 1/4 of people with celiac). Celiacs also have increased frequency of oral mucosal lesions, alopecia and vitiligo.
  • A recent study showed that a drug used to treat psoriasis is also effective for Crohn’s.
  • In another study, 56 patients with acne who consumed a Lactobacillus fermented dairy beverage for 12 weeks saw clinical improvement.
  • Pasteurized, unfermented dairy is associated with acne but fermented dairy is not.

 

Scientists are now validating the existence of a gut-brain-skin axis – and recommending oral probiotics to cure and prevent acne and other skin conditions.
Noted practitioner of functional and integrative medicine,  licensed acupuncturist, and health blogger Chris Kresser puts it simply:
                              If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.
And, as I’ve noted throughout this site, improving your gut flora will reduce chronic inflammation everywhere in the body and keep you from developing allergies, one or more of the many autoimmune conditions and possibly even cancers – or let your body heal if you already have one of these conditions – and also improve your mood.

 

 

 

(Source: www.drchadmorton.com)
Your skin is a direct reflection of your digestive tract. (Source: www.drchadmorton.com)

 

2/25/2016:
In another brilliant move, AO Biome has renamed its skin-microbiome friendly spray mist, shampoo, and cleanser MOTHER DIRT.

 

 

Source: www.persiankittykat.com)
Source: www.persiankittykat.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

AOBiome. (2013-2014). facebook.  See:  https://www.facebook.com/AOBiome

AOBiome. (2014). FAQ. See: https://www.aobiome.com/faq

AOBiome. (2014). Pioneering bacterial therapy for the skin. See: https://www.aobiome.com/company

Bowe, W.P. & Logan, A.C.  (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future? Gut Pathogens, 3: 1. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038963/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Living Bacterial Skin Tonic – Instead of Soap?! Allergies And Your Gut. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/06/07/living-bacterial-skin-tonic-instead-bathing/

Kresser, C. (2014). The gut-skin connection: how altered gut function affects the skin. See:  http://chriskresser.com/the-gut-skin-connection-how-altered-gut-function-affects-the-skin

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


© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

Omega-3 versus Omega-6 Fatty Acids

 

 

omega3-vs-omega6

 

 

The story of Omega-3 versus Omega-6 fatty acids for our health stated in its simplest form (Gunnars, 2014):

  • A diet low in Omega-3s but high in Omega-6 but low in Omega-3 produces excessive inflammation.
  • A diet that includes a balanced amount of each reduces inflammation.
  • People eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) are consuming a much higher level of Omega-6s relative to Omega-3s and the excessive inflammation resulting from this imbalance causes a whole range of serious health problems – including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimers, many types of cancers, and others.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: Conditions occurring together (high blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels) that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

 


Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids are poly-unsaturated types of oils the human body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce for itself so we must get them from our diets or supplements.
These types of fatty acids differ from most other fats in that they are not simply used for energy. They are biologically active, playing essential roles in processes such as blood clotting and inflammation.
Without both Omega-3s and Omega-6s in proper ratio, we are highly likely to become sick.

 

 

 

(Source:  cornerstonewellnessmd.com)
EFFECTS OF OMEGA-3 DEFICIENCY  (Source: cornerstonewellnessmd.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (Watson, 2014)

 

Omega-3 essential fatty acids support heart, brain and mental health; reduce cancer risk and help cancer patients recover; help prevent and ease arthritis; reduce the risk of eye problems; and keep the skin and scalp healthy.

 

 

(Source:  www.drsinatra.com)
Omega-3s and Heart Health. (Source: www.drsinatra.com)
OMEGA-3s FOR HEART HEALTH
  1. Help lower cholesterol levels
  2. Reduce triglycerides (unhealthy fats in the blood) by as much as 30%. High triglyceride levels are linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  3. Decrease the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) which can lead to sudden death
  4. Can help prevent blood clots from forming, breaking off and blocking an artery to the heart (causing a heart attack) or an artery to the brain (causing a stroke
  5. Can slightly lower blood pressure – high blood pressure is another risk factor for heart disease.
  6. Reduce inflammation all over the body, helping prevent blocked arteries.
  7. Prevent the re-narrowing (re-stenosis) of coronary arteries after angioplasty surgery.

 

 

 

 

(Source:  omega3foods.arccfn.org.au)
(Source: omega3foods.arccfn.org.au)

 

 

OMEGA-3 AND CANCER
  1. Fish oils, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, have been found to suppress the grown of certain types of cancers in animals.
  2. May reduce the risk of hormone-fueled cancers such as breast cancer
  3. May inhibit the growth of lung, prostate and colorectal cancers.
  4. May help cancer patients survive their disease
  5. Since there is a known link between excessive inflammation in the body and the development of certain cancers, Omega-3s likely reduce the risk of developing all cancers.

 

 

 

 

 

Omega-3 is a crucial nutrient for the brain and for good mental health. Countries where people eat more fish have fewer cases of depression. (Source:  www.wileysfinest.com)
Omega-3 fatty acid is a crucial nutrient for the brain and for good mental health. Countries where people eat more fish report fewer cases of depression. (Source: www.wileysfinest.com)

 

 

OMEGA-3 AND MENTAL HEALTH
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids promote blood flow in the brain and are essential for brain health.
  2. People getting insufficient Omega-3s in their diet are at increased risk of developing dementia, depression, ADD, dyslexia and schizophrenia.
  3. Omega-3s keep the synapses (tiny gaps across which nerve impulses must pass) in the brain working properly. Nerve impulses need to get through the membrane surrounding the neurons in the brain – and the cell membranes are made mostly of fats, including Omega-3s.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids improve learning and memory.
  5. They improve mood in people who are depressed.
  6. They fight age-related cognitive decline due to dementia.
  7. Infants require DHA so their brains develop properly, especially during the first two years of life.
  8. A study found that babies born to mother with higher DHA blood levels scored higher on tests of attention and learning than those whose mothers had lower DHA levels.
  9. Another study found that children of mothers who had taken fish oil supplements during pregnancy had higher IQs than the children of mothers who took a placebo.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower for Arthritis: A cup of cauliflower contains 0.2 grams of Omega-3s - 8% of the recommended daily value.  (Source: www.arthritis-health.com)
Roasted Cauliflower for Arthritis: A cup of cauliflower contains 0.2 grams of Omega-3s – 8% of the recommended daily value. (Source:  www.arthritis-health.com)

 

OMEGA-3 AND ARTHRITIS
  1. Arthritis is the result of the immune system’s autoimmune (abnormal) response to the body’s own joints – as if they were infectious agents, foreign invaders needing to be destroyed. The resulting inflammation produces swollen, stiff, painful joints.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  3. The body also converts Omega-3s to even more potent anti-inflammatory compounds such as resolvins (a family of bioactive products).
  4. Arthritic patients taking Omega-3s have been able to reduce – or even stop – using corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

 

 

 

Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (including salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts)  have been known to give skin an almost instant glow.
Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (including salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts) have been known to give skin an almost instant glow.
OMEGA-3 AND THE SKIN
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially eisosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential for healthy skin and hair. EPA helps regulate oil production, keeping the skin hydrated.
  2. Omega-3s protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation  from the sun. UV exposure produces harmful substances called free radicals, which damage cells and can lead to premature aging and cancer. Omega-3s act as an antioxidant protecting the body from these free radicals.
  3. Omega-3s also help repair skin damage by preventing the release of enzymes that destroy collagen.
  4. Research suggests that Omega-3’s help prevent certain types of skin cancer.
  5. The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3s help relieve  autoimmune responses expressed through the skin – such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
  6. Insufficient Omega-3 levels can cause the scalp to get dry and flaky (dandruff) and the hair to lose its luster.
  7. Omega-3s can also be given to pets to improve their skin and coat health.

 

 

 

“Omega-3 fatty acids are most important, as they bring balance to our hormones, reduce inflammation, regulate our blood sugar, prevent blood clotting, keep our cholesterol and triglycerides in balance, relax our blood vessels, and and make our cells healthy and resilient.”
– The Natural Hormone Makeover by Phuli Cohan

 

 

(Source: www.allaboutvision.com)
(Source: www.allaboutvision.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 TYPES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS FOUND IN NATURE
The principal Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA), primarily found in certain fish. α-Linolenic acid (ALA), another Omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plants such as nuts and seeds.
Wikipedia’s entry for Omega-3 fatty acid lists these as the most common Omega-3 fatty acids found in nature (Wikipedia, 8/28/2014):

Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA)
α-Linolenic acid (ALA)
Stearidonic acid (SDA)
Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE)
Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA)
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), Clupanodonic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Tetracosapentaenoic acid
Tetracosahexaenoic acid (Nisinic acid)

 

 

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FOODS NATURALLY HIGH IN OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

 

 

Food Sources of Omega-3's
Food Sources of Omega-3’s

 

 

Foods high in Omega-3s are naturally delicious to the palate.
Foods Rich in Omega-3s:
SEAFOOD:
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Oysters
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Tuna(fresh)

 

FRESH PRODUCE CONTAINING ALA OMEGA-3s:

Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, are rich in ALA, a form of Omega-3 fatty acids. Although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, these vegetables also have fiber and other nutrients, as well as Omega-3s.

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

 

OILS CONTAINING ALA OMEGA-3s:
  • Canola oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnut oil
Here are some charts to help you make good choices.

 

(Source: www.cancercoachchris.com)
(Source: www.cancercoachchris.com)

 

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SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:  ALA , EPA and DHA are most common Omega-3 fatty acids, generally found in sea food.   (Source:  chemistry.tutorvista.com)
SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
ALA , EPA and DHA are most common Omega-3 fatty acids, generally found in sea food. (Source: chemistry.tutorvista.com)

 

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9 FOODS RICH IN OMEGA-3s  Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats, fiber and antioxidants top the list of foods to include in your diet.  (Source:  mollymorgan-nutritionexpert.blogspot)
9 FOODS RICH IN OMEGA-3s
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats, fiber and antioxidants top the list of foods to include in your diet. (Source: mollymorgan-nutritionexpert.blogspot)

 

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A list of seafood containing Omega-3's: Seafood sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (Source:  www.1vigor.com)
Seafood sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (Source: www.1vigor.com)

 

 

You can check out the Omega-3 foods you commonly eat on SELFNutritionData’s comprehensive list of the FOODS HIGHEST IN TOTAL OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.  (Millen, 2014-a)

 

 

SOURCES OF OMEGA-3s FOR VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS
Vegetarians and vegans can obtain adequate levels of Omega-3s without eating fish or fish oil-based supplements.
The table below summarizes some of the basic relationships between Omega-3s and types of diet:
Diet Type ALA Food Sources EPA and DHA Food Sources
Vegan many plants sea plants; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Generally vegetarian but including fish many plants and most fish eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt, especially when obtained from grass-fed animals but in varying amounts depending on additional factors; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Generally vegetarian but including eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt (without fish, sea plants, or meat) many plants; eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt most fish; sea plants; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Plant-eating and meat-eating (but without fish or sea plants) many plants; many meats many meats, especially when obtained from grass-fed animals, but in varying amounts, depending on additional factors; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Source:  The George Mateljan Foundation

 

 

 

Vegetarian-Sources-of-Omega-3s

 

 

 

 

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of Omega−6 fatty acid.
The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of Omega−6 fatty acid.

 

 

OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS

 

Elevated Omega-6 intakes are associated with an increase in ALL inflammatory diseases – which is to say virtually all diseases. The list includes – but isn’t limited to (Kresser, 2014?):

 

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • All Autoimmune Diseases
For more information on the role of inflammation in the development of disease, see INFLAMMATION.  For a list of  80 autoimmune and autoimmune related diseases, see AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.

 

Four major food oils (palm, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower) provide more than 100 million metric tons annually, yielding over 32 million metric tons of Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) and 4 million metric tons of Omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).
Dietary sources of Omega-6 fatty acids include:
 (Wikipedia, 7/19/2014)

 

 

 

 

33 66

 

OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO

A distorted ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is a hallmark of the Western diet – and one of its most damaging characteristics.  The Standard American Diet (bearing the apt acronym ‘SAD’) has us consuming huge amounts of Omega-6s and way too few Omega-3s.

 

 

Americans eat too little Omega 3 and way too much Omega 6 (Source: www.meandmydiabetes.com)

The Standard American Diet (SAD)  –  too little Omega-3 and way too much Omega-6
(Source: www.meandmydiabetes.com)

 

 

Our Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio tends to be 25 times higher than it should be. Small wonder we are ill with ailments from allergies to heart disease to cancers. (Kresser, 2014?)
Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. Omega-3s are neutral. Diets containing a lot of Omega-6 and little Omega-3 increase inflammation. Diets containing a lot of Omega-3 and little Omega-6 reduce inflammation.
The human body requires both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to perform many essential functions.
Omega-6 is found mostly in plant oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils as well as in nuts and seeds. The American Heart Association recommends we consume about 5-10% of our food calories from Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3s come primarily from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel as well as from walnuts and flax seeds. The American Heart Association recommends that people without coronary heart disease have at least two servings of fatty fish per week. They recommend that people with known coronary heart disease eat more, about 1 gram of EPA and DHA daily, preferably from fatty fish. (Jaret, 2014)

 

This chart shows how Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body and how Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 contains linoleic acid (LA) while Omega-3s contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) yielding EPA and DHA.
HOW OMEGA-3 BECOMES ANTI-INFLAMMATORY IN THE BODY & OMEGA-6 BECOMES INFLAMMATORY (Source: www.psycheducation.org)
FATTY ACID PATHWAYS IN THE BODY: How OMEGA-6 fatty acids become inflammatory in the body & OMEGA-3s become anti-inflammatory
(Source: www.psycheducation.org)
Linoleic acid (LA), the shortest-chained Omega-6, is an essential fatty acid. Arachidonic acid is a physiologically significant Omega 6, the precursor for prostaglandins (mediator cells with a variety of regulatory functions in the body), endocannabinoids (a group of neuro-modulatory lipids),
and other  physiologically active molecules.
Excess Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils interfere with the health benefits of Omega-3 fats, in part because they compete for the same rate-limiting enzymes. A high proportion of Omega-6 to Omega-3 shifts the physiological state in the tissues to become pro-thrombotic,  pro-inflammatory and pro-constrictive – and hence push bodily tissues toward the development of many diseases. (Wikipedia, 7/19/14)
A chart showing the Omega-6 versus Omega-3 contents of various food oils – you can see that fish oils are the healthiest (anti-inflammatory) for us while safflower and sunflower oils are the unhealthiest (inflammatory):
To correct this ratio you can supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids or eat lots wild fish, while avoiding the polyunsaturated fatty acids that have high levels of Omega-6s. (Source: anabolicmen.com)
To correct a poor intake ratio, you can supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids or eat lots wild fish, while avoiding the polyunsaturated fatty acids that have high levels of Omega-6s.
(Source: anabolicmen.com)

 

 

The graphic below provides an inkling of how our diet is making us sick: Industrially produced eggs deliver 20 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 while the ratio for range-fed eggs is much more balanced. Industrially produced beef delivers 21 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 while the ratio for grass-fed beef is considerably better.

 

 

omega63ratios

 

Add to that the vast amounts of potato chips, French fries, micro-wave popcorn, margarine, most salad dressings, frying oils, and processed foods we consume and it’s not at all surprising that chronic, degenerative diseases pervade our culture.
You can check out the Omega-6 foods you commonly eat on SELFNutritionData’s comprehensive list of the FOODS HIGHEST IN TOTAL OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS.  (Millen, 2014-b)

 

 

 

(Source: www.juvenon.com)
(Source: www.juvenon.com)

 

 

 

Joseph Hibbeln, MD, a researcher studying Omega-3 and Omega-6 intake at the National Institute of Health (NIH) observed about the rising intake of Omega-6:

The increases in world linolaic acid (LA) consumption over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality.

(Kresser, 2014?)

 

 

 

 

OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS

 

 

images-3

 

Omega-3 supplements must be taken in a form that delivers the fatty acids in a bio-available form or your body won’t be able to get the benefits.
These are some high quality Omega-3 supplements recommended by my health care providers to augment my Omega-3 intake from foods:

 

  • Carlson’s Super Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate 1,000mg soft gels
            The dose for me is 1 soft gel 2x/day.

 

CSN147_Xl_1

 

  • NutraSea 2X Concentrated 1250 mg EPA + DHA
           The dose for me is 1 soft gel 3x/day.

 

ASC-00548-1

 

            This company also makes a vegan version. It’s a liquid, not a soft gel.  I don’t know the dosage.

 

 

$T2eC16FHJG!FFm3f6!SiBR,8gd)8R!~~_32-260x260-0-0

 

 

  • Integrative Therapeutics’  Eskimo-3 Fish Oil gel caps
The dose for me is 2 gel caps 2x/day.

integrative-therapeutics-tyler-eskimo-3-105-softgels

 

 

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In addition to omega-6 fatty acids, most polyunsaturated oils are highly prone to oxidation and rancidity, which turns these so-called ‘heart healthy’ oils to toxic liquids. (Source: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au)
In addition to Omega-6 fatty acids, most polyunsaturated oils are highly prone to oxidation and rancidity, which turns these so-called ‘heart healthy’ oils to toxic liquids. (Source: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au)

 

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REFERENCES

Cohan, P.  (2008). The Natural hormone Makeover: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate Your Health and Rediscover Your Inner Glow.  See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Natural-Hormone-Makeover-Rejuvenate/dp/0471744840

Gunnars, K. (2014). How to Optimize Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio. Authority Nutrition: An Evidence-Based Approach. See:  http://authoritynutrition.com/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio/

Jaret, P. (2014). Understanding the Omega Fatty Acids. WebMD.  See: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/omega-fatty-acids

Kresser, C. (2014?). How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick. See:  http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick

Millen, K. (2014-a). Foods Highest in Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids. SELFNutritionData.  See:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000140000000000000000.html

Millen, K. (2014-b). Foods Highest in Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids. SELFNutritionData. See:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000141000000000000000-1w.html

Watson, S. (2014). Benefits of Omega-3. How Stuff Works. See: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/benefits-of-omega-31.htm

Wikipedia. (8/28/2014). Omega-3 fatty acid. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#List_of_omega-3_fatty_acids

Wikipedia. (7/19/2014). Omega-6 fatty acid. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-6_fatty_acid

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

 

Living Bacterial Skin Tonic – Instead of Soap?!

Last update 8/22/2015.

AOBiome linked to this post on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AOBiome

 

images-3

 

Information on a new product called AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist caught my eye recently. (Scott, 2014)
It’s a liquid developed by a biotech start up company in Cambridge MA to spray on our bodies in lieu of – or as an adjunct to – taking showers. Showering with most soaps and shampoos kills all the healthy elements of our skin microbiome. The company, AOBiome, says its new living bacterial skin tonic, made of safe live-cultured Nitrosomonas bacteria, replenishes the biome of microscopic organisms that live on our skin.
This does indeed sound novel, interesting – and important!

 

images

 

I started this site to write about how the micro-organisms living in our guts – the gut microbiome – affect the entire body and how to restore your gut – and the rest of you – to good health. See The Gut Microbiome – Our Second Genome.  Reading about AOBiome’s brilliant work on restoring our skin’s microbiome, produced a moment of clarity in me – one of those true light bulb moment: It’s not just our gut’s we’re destroying but our other microbiomes as well.

 

 

FDA__antibacterial_soaps_are_ineffective_1946250000_4753974_ver1.0_640_480

 

Our usual approach to the bacteria and other micro-organisms living on our skins – and everywhere else we can get to them – is to KILL THEM DEAD. We regard bacteria and their relatives as dangerous and just plain nasty. So this is an entirely new approach – a U turn in how to think about bacteria: The new spray contains billions of cultivated Nitrosomonas eutropha, an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) most commonly found in dirt and untreated water in rivers, lakes, and the sea.  (Martinko, 2014)

 

 

 

 

VARIOUS PARTS OF THE HUMAN MICROBIOME

 

 

Skin Microbiome
Artist’s Rendition of the Skin Microbiome – Our Second Genome. (Credit: genome.duke.edu)

 

 

The aggregates of micro-organisms living inside and on our bodies, collectively referred to as the human microbiome or microbiota, make their homes in many places:
  • In our GI tracts
  • On the surface of and in deep layers of our skin
  • On our hair
  • In the saliva and mucosa in our mouths
  • In our noses and sinuses
  • In our urogenital tracts
  • In the conjunctiva (the lining inside the eyelids and covering the white part of the eye)

 

 

Some of the Microbiomes of the Human Body. (Credit: National Human Genome Research Institute
Some of the Microbiomes of the Human Body. (Credit: National Human Genome Research Institute

 

 

 

 

OUR SECOND GENOME – THE HUMAN MICROBIOME

Sources: (AOBiome, 2014), (Wikipedia, 2014), and (Baylor College of Medicine, 2013-2014)
  • There are 100’s of trillions of micro-organisms in the various microbiomes in and on our bodies, our Second Genome.
  • The number of non-human micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and single-celled leukaryotes) inhabiting a healthy human adult is estimated to outnumber human cells by a ratio of 10 to 1.
  • The human microbiome contains about 3,000,000 non-human bacterial cells to our 23,000 human cells. (See correction below)
  • The total number of genes in our microbiome exceeds the number of genes in our human genome by a factor of at least 200.
  • So, even though the microbial cells making their home in and on us are only 1/10th to 1/100th the size of our human cells, they account for up to 5 pounds of an adult’s body weight.
  • To date, only a small percentage of the bacteria comprising our human microbiome have been identified.
Correction (8/22/2015): A reader named Stephen sent the following comment:

I just need to point out that you have one fact slightly, but importantly, inaccurate. You cite that:

The human microbiome contains about 3,000,000 non-human bacterial cells to our 23,000 human cells.

When in fact, you should replace the two occurrences of the word “cells” with the word “genes”. This fact is often misunderstood. What it means is that the human genome has about 23k unique genes, whereas the bacteria that inhabit us have about 3x10E6 unique genes, not that there are 3 million genes among them. The point is that the bacteria on our bodies possess incredible functional diversity and can do many things for our bodies that we cannot do ourselves.

 

 

(Source: welladjustedbabies.com)
(Source: welladjustedbabies.com)

 

And these miniscule critters aren’t invaders trying to harm us. The vast majority of them are necessary and beneficial to us – as we are to them.
Yet for a century, we’ve been unintentionally, but systematically, distorting and destroying the healthy workings of our various microbiomes with processed foods, pharmaceuticals – especially antibiotics, cleaning products, cosmetics, pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified foods and more, resulting in the degradation of our immune systems and huge increases in diseases and chronic medical conditions.
At the same time, and with many of the same products, we’ve also been degrading  healthy microbiomes in the soil and our water supplies – making not only humans ill but also wreaking havoc on the other fauna and flora on our planet.

 

 

 

Human Microbiome Map
Human Microbiome Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HUMAN SKIN MICROBIOME

 

The Zoo on Our Skin (Source: discovermagazine.com)
The Zoo on Our Skin
(Source: discovermagazine.com)

 

From the  AOBiome website (AOBiome, 2014):

Human skin, a large and heterogenous organ, harbors a fascinating array of species of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. The specific makeup of the skin flora depends on many factors, such as whether the particular skin area is dry, moist, or sebaceous, the age of the host, external conditions, etc. Dry forearms and hairy, moist underarms are very distinct habitats, despite their relative proximity. People living together also seem to share a larger portion of their microbimes than those are not cohabitating, and pet owners share some with their animal companions.

Here are some of the most common microorganisms that reside on our skin:

Propionibacteria are the most prevalent on sebaceous, or oily skin, such as nostrils, scalp, upper chest and back. They are lipophilic anaerobes, decomposing oily sebum secreted by our glands, producing propionic acid. Although they are present in infants and babies, they become more dominant around the onset of puberty, as the sebaceous glands increase their output. One of the bacterial strains, Propionibacterium acnes, is thought to be responsible for inflammation of the glands that can lead to acne.

Staphylococci have their name derived from Greek word for grape, as their colonies resemble grape clusters. They reside predominantly in the moist areas of the body, such as the armpit, the elbow crease, etc. As aerobic bacteria, they produce lactic acid that lowers the pH of the skin and controls growth of other microorganisms. They are particularly prevalent on the skin of babies and infants, their relative abundance decreasing with age. While normally harmless, certain species of staphylococci, such as S. aureus, can act as human pathogens. Methicilin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections are a difficult public health problem in hospitals and beyond.

Corynebacteria are rod-shaped, and mostly innocuous. They also prefer moist environments, such as the navel, or back of the knee. They grow slowly, even when the food is abundant.

Betaproteobacteria are a diverse group, which includes Nitrosomonas, currently excluded from human skin. They are the most prevalent group in the dry areas, such as the forearms. Also, these are the bacteria that the dog owners have the most in common with their dogs

Malassezia – as fungi, Malassezia get a honorable mention. They are found on our skin in large quantities, and are typically harmless, but certain species can cause dandruff or skin discoloration.

 

 

Skin Microbiome (Source: skinmicrobiome.wordpress.com
Skin Microbiome
(Source: skinmicrobiome.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

 

NITROSOMONAS BACTERIA IN DIRT

Horse Rolling in Dirt
Horse Rolling in Dirt
Ever wonder why horses love to roll around in dirt? We know horses, like humans, sweat a lot. We also know how unpleasant our skin can feel – and smell – after we’ve worked up a sweat. David Whitlock, the M.I.T.- trained chemical engineer who invented AO+, theorized that horses dirt bathe to manage their sweat. He reasoned, “The only way that horses could evolve this behavior was if they had substantial evolutionary benefits from it.”
The goal of using AO+ spray is to encourage the growth of a healthy colony of probiotic bacteria on the skin. This probiotic bacterial colony will then act as a built-in cleanser, deodorant, anti-inflammatory and immune booster by feeding on the ammonia in our sweat, converting it into nitrite and nitric oxide.
Scientists at AOBiome hypothesize that humans also had healthy, mutually beneficial, colonies of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), such as Nitrosomonas eutropha, living on our skins. These AOBs regulated our nitrogen metabolism. Then in the 20th century, we began regarding all bacteria as dangerous and started trying to scrub them all away. (AOBiome, 2014)

 

 

 

images-1

 

 

 

THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

The Hygiene Hypothesis – also called the Biome Depletion Theory or the Lost Friends Theory – states that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms (eg, probiotic gut flora – referred to as Our Old Friends), and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. In particular, the lack of exposure is thought to lead to defects in the establishment of immune tolerance. (Wikipedia, 2014).
The Hygiene Hypothesis is consistent with the destruction of the ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) on our skins. Many ingredients in most of our personal care products have been found in laboratory tests to inhibit or have been found  toxic to AOB: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium coco-sulfate, castile-type soaps, and amine oxides (such as lauryl dimethyl amine oxide). AOBiome’s laboratory is still in the process of testing the AOB toxicity of other ingredients commonly found in soaps, shampoos, skin creams, and deodorants.
The encouraging news is that AOBiome has found ingredients that ARE compatible with ammonia oxidizing bacteria. Their goal is to test, certify and develop a variety of hygiene products with these ingredients – including soaps and shampoos. (AOBiome on facebook, 2013-2014)

 

 

 

WHY IT’S GOOD TO HAVE COLONIES OF THESE BACTERIA ON OUR SKINS

Here’s an explanation of why restoring healthy colonies of this bacteria on our skins is important – from the AOBiome website (AOBiome, 2014):

Modern hygiene has selectively depleted the natural balance of the skin microbiome particularly affecting AOB. By restoring the appropriate AOB levels, we believe a range of human health conditions could be impacted. AOBiome is interested in exploring potential physiologic effects including:

Improving skin architecture
Improving skin architecture

 

Preventing infection
Preventing infection

 

Improving vascularization
Improving vascularization

 

 

Before the advent of anionic surfactants, Nitrosomonas would have colonized our skin, our sweat glands in particular, constantly secreting low amounts of NO. Due to their particular sensitivity to detergents, however, they have been eradicated from our skin microbiome. As a consequence, we are dermatologically and systemically NO-deprived – in a mildly pro-inflammatory state, with a number of our systemic NO-mediated regulatory mechanisms out of balance. This deprivation may contribute to a number of skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, potentially also neuropathies, and more. AOBiome aims to re-introduce Nitrosomonas to our skin’s bacterial flora, restoring natural NO levels, stabilizing the NO-dependent signaling pathways and alleviating symptoms resulting from NO imbalance.

Nitrosomonas are naturally occurring in most aquatic and soil environments and seem to totally lack pathogenic potential, as indicated by the absence of pathogenicity factors and also evidenced by the complete lack of human infections reported to date. Since Nitrosomonas depend on ammonia and urea for their growth, their numbers on the skin are necessarily limited, and are naturally regulated by the amount of sweat the body produces. This ensures that the amount of NO produced would be relatively low, without any adverse effects. Because of its reactivity, the Nitrosomonas-produced NO will exert most of its effects locally, in the skin of the host. If desirable, however, one could eliminate the bacteria using a simple soap treatment.

AOBiome’s scientists have also found that using concentrated AO+ led to a hundredfold decrease of Propionibacterium acnes, bacteria associated with acne breakouts. And they have found that a two week treatment with a formulation of AOB heals skin ulcers on diabetic mice.  (Scott, 2014)

 

 

 

 

ARE WE GOING TO GIVE UP SHOWERING?

AOBiome says NO. The probiotic bacteria in AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist thrive in water so you can use it and also continue showering – just not lathering yourself up with soap or shampoo that will kill those useful bacteria. The ammonia oxidizing bacteria in AO+ can survive limited exposure to the chlorine and chloramine added to municipal water supplies to purify them. From the company’s facebook page (AOBiome, 2013-2014):
Our research shows that daily application along with normal showering in regular tap water produces a sustained level of AOB on skin. In our initial cosmetic study we showed that AOB are detectable and present in 95% of cases with daily showering and application and that AOB continue to survive in 60% of subjects for up to 7 days without additional applications as long as shampoo is not used. This is the basis for our recommendation that you apply AO+™ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist daily as part of your usual personal hygiene routine.
A note for those of you who’ve read the New York Times Magazine article, “My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment” (Scott, 2014), and came away from it thinking the choice will be between using the ammonia oxidizing bacterial spray or showering:
The article’s author was using the spray and not showering for 28 days as part of a clinical trial for AOBiome. When she started showering again but not also using the spray, the colony of ammonia oxidizing bacteria on her skin was quickly destroyed by showering with soap.
When the  Company has succeeded in bringing to market an AOB-friendly shampoo and AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist is also readily available, we should be able to both shower and wash our hair with these products while maintaining a healthy colony of AOB. And when an AOB-friendly skin cream has been developed and approved for marketing to the public, we’ll also be able to nurture our AOB colonies by using it.

 

 showering

 

 

 

 

 

SAVING OUR SKINS – FIGURATIVELY AND LITERALLY

 

Credit: New York Times.com
Credit: New York Times.com

 

As Michael Pollan wrote in an excellent article last year titled Some of My Best Friends Are Germs (Pollan, 2013):

As a civilization, we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota.

Now this brilliant biotech company, AOBiome, is working on a big piece of the solution to our ills. If you want to be wowed by the work they’re doing, take a look at their website.

 

 

(Credit: New York Times.com)
Credit: New York Times.com

 

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Us - just 10% human
ALL OF US ARE ONLY 10% HUMAN

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

REFERENCES

AOBiome. (2014). Pioneering bacterial therapy for the skin. See: https://www.aobiome.com/company

AOBiome. (2013-2014). facebook.  See:  https://www.facebook.com/AOBiome

Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology. (2013-2014). The Human Microbiome Project.  See:  https://www.bcm.edu/departments/molecular-virology-and-microbiology/microbiome

Hardin, J.R. The Gut Microbiome – Our Second Genome. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/the-gut-microbiome-our-second-genome/

Martinko, K. (2014). Could bacteria be the new beauty trend that actually makes us healthier?  See:  http://www.treehugger.com/health/could-bacteria-be-new-beauty-trend-actually-makes-us-healthier.html

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

Scott, J. (May 22 2014). My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment.  The New York Times Magazine. See:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/magazine/my-no-soap-no-shampoo-bacteria-rich-hygiene-experiment.html?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults&mabReward=relbias:r,%5B%22RI:6%22,%22RI:12%22%5D&url=http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/?action=click&region=Masthead&pgtype=Homepage&module=SearchSubmit&contentCollection=Homepage&t=qry545&_r=1

Wikipedia. (June 2 2014). Hygiene Hypothesis. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygiene_hypothesis

Wikipedia. (June 3 2014). Human Microbiome.  See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_microbiome

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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