“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison
WE’RE 90% MICROBIAL AND ONLY 10% HUMAN
“Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to the gut’s microbial residents, known as the microbiome. And neuroscientists are taking notice — not just of the clinical implications but also of what the link could mean for experimental design.” ~Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena
Some people wonder how feeding a child fish oil or other healthy foods can create changes so quickly. Recent research suggests it may not only be the nutrition, which has a strong evidence of support, but changes to gut bacteria. In May, 2013 UCLA researcher’s study found that changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function.
And more recently from news.Harvard.edu January 2, 2014 Harvard researcher’s study proved we really are what we eat. ‘Changing diet can quickly shift makeup of important microbes there, research says’ “As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But new evidence suggests that the same may also be true for the microbes in your gut.
A Harvard study shows that, in as little as a day, diet can alter the population of microbes in the gut
“What we are really excited about is we and others have shown in animal models that diet can rapidly have major effects on the microbes that are in the gut,” said Peter Turnbaugh, a Bauer Fellow at the Center for Systems Biology in theFaculty of Arts and Sciences. He is senior author of the paper, which appeared in Dec. 11 edition of the journal Nature.”
As evidence mounts that the gut microbiome not only plays a role in digestion but may also affect overall health, Lawrence David, the paper’s first author and a former junior fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows who was recently appointed an assistant professor at Duke University, said the ability to manipulate those populations may offer new avenues for treating certain conditions.
“That’s part of the excitement of this work: that the gut microbiome in humans responds to changes in diet on a much shorter timescale than people thought,” David said. “That suggests it’s at least feasible to — through host action — alter the gut microbiome, so we see this as establishing the dynamic range for those changes, and the amount of latitude individuals have in potentially altering it.”
Autism – The Fundamental Role of Gut Bacteria
In this video Dr. David Perlmutter interviews Dr.Derrick MacFabe where they discuss the fascinating new research that connects changes in gut bacteria to autism spectrum disorder.
David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and author of numerous best selling books interviews
Dr. Derrick MacFabe M.D. is the Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, and Assistant Professor, Depts. of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities), at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada He is also a Core Member of the iTARGET Autism Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is investigating the role of gut-brain interactions on the identification and possible treatments of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. MacFabe’s research examining potential gastrointestinal and infective links in autism has been listed among the “Top 50 Scientific Discoveries in Canada” by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and was featured on the CBC-ARTE documentary “The Autism Enigma”
This research is exciting due to the gut -brain connection. Below is some of the growing evidence in this area, some of sounding far more outrageous than nutritional evidence!
“Some of my best friends are germs”
The Microbiome Project: Food Allergies
The Forgotten Domain of the Microbiome
February 28, 2017 Over the last few years, the range of known organisms living in the human gut – that complex milieu of microbes known as the microbiome – has expanded dramatically. They influence your health, your appearance, and your behavior in largely unknown ways, and yet, despite the thousands of studies that have been published on the subject, the microbiome census may be woefully incomplete. Source
Study Links Gut Bacteria to Parkinson’s Disease
December 1, 2016 When germ-free mice with normal motor skills were given fecal samples from humans with Parkinson’s, they began to show Parkinson’s symptoms. About 75 percent of people with Parkinson’s have gut symptoms like constipation years before motor symptoms appear. Source
Scientists think a whole new type of life form could be living in our guts
November 16, 2015 “Our digestive system is home to a weird and wonderful collection of bacteria, and we’re only just beginning to understand how these unique populations are not just having an effect how we digest our food, but potentially even how we think and behave.
And now new research has found that the situation in our guts is even stranger than we thought, with biologists suggesting that we may need to define a whole new type of life form to describe these tiny residents.” Source
Viruses flourish in guts of healthy babies
September 14, 2015 “We are just beginning to understand the interplay between all the different types of life within our gut,” said senior author Lori R. Holtz, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics. “They are not stand-alone communities. We also are seeing that the environment of the infant gut is extremely dynamic, which differs from the relative stability that has been shown in adults.”
The earliest stool samples were taken at 1-4 days of life, and even at this early time point, Holtz noted, viruses were present.
“We were surprised that right from the beginning quite a diversity of viruses was found in the gut,” said Holtz, also a pediatric gastroenterologist who treats patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “It prompts the question — where do these viruses come from? We don’t know yet whether diet, method of the baby’s delivery or other environmental influences play a role.” Read more Paper
It’s all connected: Daily changes in mouse gut bacteria moves with internal clock, gender
August 3, 2015 “By now, the old saw, “You are what you eat,” has been well-used in describing the microbiome. However axiomatic that phrase may be, a new study has also found that who and when that consumption is done can affect microbiome make-up….Our findings suggest the need to consider circadian factors and host gender in the design of microbiome studies and highlight the importance of analyzing absolute abundance in understanding the microbiome and its influence on physiology.” Read more
When Gut Bacteria Changes Brain Function
June 24, 2015 Some researchers believe that the microbiome may play a role in regulating how people think and feel. Scientists have found evidence that this assemblage—about a thousand different species of bacteria, trillions of cells that together weigh between one and three pounds—could play a crucial role in autism, anxiety, depression, and other disorders. Read more
Missing link found between brain, immune system — with major disease implications Implications profound for neurological diseases from autism to Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis
June 15, 2015 In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment Read more
Correlation of a gut therapy protocol (āma cikitsā) in changes of āmaand behavioral symptoms of autistic babies
June 2015 Results: Significant changes were observed in most of the gut problems (abdominal pain P < 0.001, bloating, constipation and lack of appetite P < 0.05) and in a few behavioral problems (stereotypy and crankiness P < 0.05). The correlation coefficient obtained between the changes in gut disorders and behavioral disorders was + 0.898.
Conclusion: AGTP (āma cikitsā) may have a significant effect in the behavioral and gut disorders in autistic babies. The change observed in behavioral, and gut disorders after an Ayurveda gut therapy protocol in autistic babies showed a positive correlation. (source)
Gut Feelings–the “Second Brain” in Our Gastrointestinal Systems
May 1, 2015, “A primal connection exists between our brain and our gut. We often talk about a “gut feeling” when we meet someone for the first time. We’re told to “trust our gut instinct” when making a difficult decision or that it’s “gut check time” when faced with a situation that tests our nerve and determination. This mind-gut connection is not just metaphorical. Our brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that constantly provide feedback about how hungry we are, whether or not we’re experiencing stress, or if we’ve ingested a disease-causing microbe. This information superhighway is called the brain-gut axis and it provides constant updates on the state of affairs at your two ends. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach after looking at your postholiday credit card bill is a vivid example of the brain-gut connection at work. You’re stressed and your gut knows it—immediately.”
From The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood and Your Long-Term Health, by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs. Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg, 2015. source
Microbes help produce serotonin in gut, where it is estimated that 90% of the body’s serotonin is made
April 9, 2015 California Institute of Technology “Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin has been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. New research shows that certain bacteria in the gut are important for the production of peripheral serotonin.” more
Gut feelings Radio Lab
High-fat diet alters behavior and produces signs of brain inflammation
March 26, 2015 Can the consumption of fatty foods change your behavior and your brain? High-fat diets have long been known to increase the risk for medical problems, including heart disease and stroke, but there is growing concern that diets high in fat might also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders. A new study raises the possibility that a high-fat diet produces changes in health and behavior, in part, by changing the mix of bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome. Read more
Connecting Gut Bacteria to ASD
March 24, 2015 The connection between gut bacteria and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is becoming better established. Molecular biologist John Rodakis calls for more research into the brain-gut connection after his son’s autism improved while taking antibiotics. The report by Rodakis, who has a Harvard MBA and a background in molecular biology, reviews recent research on the link between gut bacteria and ASD. It was published in Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease. Rodakis doesn’t say antibiotics should be used to treat autism, but he believes gut bacteria play a role in the disorder Read more
Idea that intestinal bacteria affect mental health issues like autism gains ground
November 12, 2014 Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to the gut’s microbial residents, known as the microbiome. And neuroscientists are taking notice — not just of the clinical implications but also of what the link could mean for experimental design. This year, the US National Institute of Mental Health spent more than US$1 million on a new research programme aimed at the microbiome–brain connection. And on 19 November, neuroscientists will present evidence for the link in a symposium at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC called ‘Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience’. Although correlations have been noted between the composition of the gut microbiome and behavioural conditions, especially autism1, neuroscientists are only now starting to understand how gut bacteria may influence the brain. The immune system almost certainly plays a part, Mazmanian says, as does the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the digestive tract. Bacterial waste products can also influence the brain — for example, at least two types of intestinal bacterium produce the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)2. Read more
Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified
August 25, 2014, Common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to allergens in a mouse model for peanut allergy, paving the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies. Researchers at New York University Medical Center have not only figured out why people are allergic to certain foods, they have also come up with a way to potentially treat or even extinguish food allergies.The team found that young children overexposed to antibiotics were at greater risk of developing food allergies. Thankfully, though, they also discovered a way to combat the impact of antibiotics, which, theoretically, could potentially cure people of their food allergies.The research: The study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests a strong link between food allergies and early childhood use of antibiotics. Researchers were able to identify a naturally occurring bacteria in the human gut that keeps people from developing food allergies. But it turns out that the beneficial gut bacteria diminished with frequent antibiotic use at a young age — making children more susceptible to food allergies later in life. Notably, the new research offers a promising way to use probiotic treatment as an allergy therapy. While it might be years for such a treatment to hit the market, this research certainly looks like it’s on the right track to make that happen. Read more
Microbiota and neurodevelopmental windows: implications for brain disorders
June 20th, 2014, Gut microbiota is essential to human health, playing a major role in the bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. The microbiota undergoes a vigorous process of development throughout the lifespan and establishes its symbiotic rapport with the host early in life. Early life perturbations of the developing gut microbiota can impact neurodevelopment and potentially lead to adverse mental health outcomes later in life. This review compares the parallel early development of the intestinal microbiota and the nervous system. The concept of parallel and interacting microbial–neural critical windows opens new avenues for developing novel microbiota-modulating based therapeutic interventions in early life to combat neurodevelopmental deficits and brain disorders
•Microbiota is key to maintaining homeostasis including brain development.
•Microbial colonization in the infant coincides with key neurodevelopment periods.
•Disruptions of early life gut colonization may be linked to central nervous system dysfunction.
•This provides opportunities for developing novel microbiota-modulating therapies Read more
The first thousand days – intestinal microbiology of early life: establishing a symbiosis
June 5, 2014 This open access review of the development of infant microbiota provides an overview of the development of the intestinal microbiota, its bidirectional relationship with the immune system, and its role in impacting health and disease, with emphasis on allergy, in early life.
Clearly, the first 1000 days in life are very important, since this is the period where we encounter external stimuli for the first time and the body is trained to respond to these stimuli. Longitudinal studies of this critical period are limited and include several confounding factors that complicate the identification of specific microbes associated with, e.g., atopic disease. In the light of the recent revolution of next generation sequencing technologies, we can gain important new insight how early-life events like type of feeding, mode of delivery, genetic background or geographic differences may interfere with the colonization pattern and therefore determine a predisposition to disease later in life. The challenge will be to go from taxonomic mapping to functionality of the microbiota. Omics-technologies, like transcriptomics, proteomics or metabolomics, will certainly catalyse our further understanding of the intestinal microbiota. Our genome is more or less fixed, but still the environment can have a major impact on the development. Processes like epigenetics are particularly interesting, and we are just starting to understand how DNA methylation and histone modification mechanisms can regulate gene expression and can confer phenotypical changes. And where our genome is fixed, we can still influence the epigenome and our microbiota. Knowing the importance of the intestinal microbiota for human physiology, the incredible development of infants in the first years of life and the concurrent colonization of the body with microbes makes it reasonable to believe that the intestinal colonization of early life may be very important for health also in later life. Whether immunologic, metabolic or neurologic, all these systems are developing at this period. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of factors like early-life nutrition, but also the increase in caesarean deliveries or the increasing use of antibiotics. Disturbances in early life may lead to altered growth, immune diseases like allergy, metabolic diseases like obesity or cardiovascular diseases and maybe even brain and behavioural problems. Nutrition in early life and acquiring the essential microbes is probably a critical factor in this process. Read more
Can chemicals produced by gut microbiota affect children with autism?
Dae Wook Kang, Arizona State University
Lita Proctor, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Can we save our body’s ecosystem from extinction?
April 23, 2014 “Can we save our body’s ecosystem from extinction? Our bodies are host to some 100 trillion bacteria – this is known as the human microbiome. Humans in the U.S. have lost a third of their microbial diversity, mostly on their skin and in their stomachs and digestive tracts. The problem is due in part to the overuse of antibiotics, C-sections and modern sanitation. Some experts believe microbe extinction may be at the root of modern plagues like asthma, autism, allergies, diabetes, obesity and even some forms of cancer.” Read more
Metabolic tinkering by the gut microbiome: Implications for brain development and function
March 31, 2014 Brain development is an energy demanding process that relies heavily upon diet derived nutrients. Gut microbiota enhance the host’s ability to extract otherwise inaccessible energy from the diet via fermentation of complex oligosaccharides in the colon. This nutrient yield is estimated to contribute up to 10% of the host’s daily caloric requirement in humans and fluctuates in response to environmental variations. Research over the past decade has demonstrated a surprising role for the gut microbiome in normal brain development and function. In this review we postulate that perturbations in the gut microbial-derived nutrient supply, driven by environmental variation, profoundly impacts upon normal brain development and function. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
You Are Mainly Microbe – Meet Your Microbiome
Effects of Fish Oil with High Content of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Mouse Gut Microbiota
March 27, 2014 Fish oil with high content of n-3 PUFAs are capable of producing significant changes in the gut microbiota that may, at least in part, explain the health benefits or injury induced by fish oil use. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
The precise reason for the health benefits of dark chocolate: mystery solved
March 18, 2014 — The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery — until now. Researchers reported here today that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.
Their findings were unveiled at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features more than 10,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones,” explained Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study’s researchers.
“The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” she said. “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.” Read more
Autism Speaks Announces Unprecedented Investment in Gut-Brain Research
March 11, 2014 Autism Speaks invites grant applications for research on gut-brain interactions and treatment of autism-associated GI disorders
How bacteria communicate with us to build a special relationship
February 2014 “Our study provides a breakthrough in understanding how bacteria communicate across different kingdoms to influence our own cells’ behaviour, as well as how we digest our food,” said Dr Regis Stentz from the IFR, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. https://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2014/February/bacteria-ifr-collaboration
Secretory antibodies in breast milk promote long-term intestinal homeostasis by regulating the gut microbiota and host gene expression
January 29, 2014 Eric Rogier from the University of Kentucky has found a breast milk antibody called SIgA also helps to set up the right community of gut microbes. Without it, young mice face long-lasting consequences, including several signs of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). “This antibody sets up a healthier environment in an infant’s intestinal tract, so they’re better prepared to withstand environmental problems later in life,” says Charlotte Kaetzel, who led the study. article http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/03/how-breast-milk-engineers-a-babys-gut-and-gut-microbes Study http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/01/29/1315792111
From the microbes in our stomachs to the ones on our teeth, we are homes to millions of unique and diverse communities which help our bodies function.
Jessica Green and Karen Guillemin emphasize the importance of understanding the many organisms that make up each and every organism.
Microbiota Modulate Behavioral And Physiological Abnormalities Associated With Neurodevelopmental Disorders
January 24, 2014 Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities. We demonstrate GI barrier defects and microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD. Oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability, alters microbial composition, and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors. MIA offspring display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis modulates levels of several metabolites. Treating naive mice with a metabolite that is increased by MIA and restored by B. fragilis causes certain behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that gut bacterial effects on the host metabolome impact behavior. Taken together, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders. http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(13)01473-6
The Gut Brain Connection In Autism
January 9, 2014 The association, reported in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, could point to a common biological pathway that impacts both the brain and the gut. As part of a federal Autism Intervention Research Network grant, the investigators are now evaluating the relationship between the serotonin system and GI symptoms in ASD.
This research was funded in part by the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, the Health Resources and Services Administration Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health, and by the National Institutes of Health(MH094604). http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/01/brain-gut-connection-in-autism
B. fragilis (gut bacteria) Treatment Corrects Autism-Related Behavioral Abnormalities in Mice
January 10, 2014 “Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities. We demonstrate GI barrier defects and microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD. Oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability, alters microbial composition, and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors. MIA offspring display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis modulates levels of several metabolites. Treating naive mice with a metabolite that is increased by MIA and restored by B. fragilis causes certain behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that gut bacterial effects on the host metabolome impact behavior. Taken together, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders.” http://www.cell.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867413014736?cc=y
Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome
January 2014 Here we show that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet increased the abundance of bile-tolerant microorganisms (Alistipes, Bilophila and Bacteroides) and decreased the levels of Firmicutes that metabolize dietary plant polysaccharides (Roseburia, Eubacterium rectale and Ruminococcus bromii). Microbial activity mirrored differences between herbivorous and carnivorous mammals, reflecting trade-offs between carbohydrate and protein fermentation. Foodborne microbes from both diets transiently colonized the gut, including bacteria, fungi and even viruses. Finally, increases in the abundance and activity of Bilophila wadsworthia on the animal-based diet support a link between dietary fat, bile acids and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease. In concert, these results demonstrate that the gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet, potentially facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and http://www.nature.com
Gut Instinct, Do Bacteria In the Guts Of African Hunter-Gatherers Hold The Key
January 1, 2014 In northern Tanzania, anthropologist Jeff Leach is studying the Hadza, one of the last true hunter-gatherer communities in Africa. Working with a team of microbiologists in the United States, Leach wants to determine the composition of the bacteria living in their guts; he suspects the Hadza’s intimate contact with a huge variety of microbial species may protect them from certain “modern” diseases. http://humanfoodproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Science_NewsFocus_Leach.pdf
Rigid–Compulsive Behaviors are Associated with Mixed Bowel Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder
November 13, 2013 Based on clinical experience, we hypothesized that rigid–compulsive behaviors are associated with severe constipation and co-occurring diarrhea or underwear staining in children with autism spectrum disorder. Using data from the Autism Treatment Network, we evaluated the association between these gastrointestinal symptoms and measures of rigid compulsive behavior in children ages 2–17. Following statistical correction, four of five primary measures were significantly associated with constipation and diarrhea or underwear staining, including parental report of repetitive behavior, parental report of compulsive behavior, clinician diagnosis of obsessive–compulsive disorder, and report of rituals observed on the autism diagnostic observation schedule. This association could point to a causal connection between these symptoms or to a common biological pathway that impacts both gut and brain. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-013-2009-2
Intestinal Inflammation In A Murine Model Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
December 10, 2013 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a cluster of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication, social interest and stereotypical behaviour. Dysfunction of the intestinal tract is reported in patients with ASD and implicated in the development and severity of ASD symptoms. However, more research is required to investigate the association of intestinal problems with ASD and the potential underlying mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate comorbid symptoms of intestinal inflammation in a murine model of ASD induced by prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA). Pregnant BALB/c females were treated subcutaneously with 600 mg/kg VPA or phosphate buffered saline on gestational day 11. Offspring were housed with their mother until weaning on postnatal day 21 (P21). All pups were exposed to a social behaviour test on P28. Inflammatory correlates and activity of the serotonergic system were measured in brain and intestinal tissue. Here we demonstrate, in addition to reduced social behaviour and increased expression of neuroinflammatory markers in the brain, that VPA in utero- exposed male offspring showed epithelial cell loss and neutrophil infiltration in the intestinal tract. Furthermore, reduced levels of serotonin were not only observed the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of VPA in utero- exposed males, but also in the small intestine. Overall, we demonstrate that gender-specific inflammatory conditions are present in the small intestines of VPA in utero- exposed mice and are accompanied by a disturbed serotonergic system in the brain as well as in the intestinal tract. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24321212 http://download.cell.com/pdf/PIIS0092867413014736.pdf?intermediate=true https://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2013/friendly-bacteria-treat-autism-like-symptoms-in-mice
Intestinal Inflammation In A Murine Model Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
December 7,, 2013 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a cluster of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication, social interest and stereotypical behaviour. Dysfunction of the intestinal tract is reported in patients with ASD and implicated in the development and severity of ASD symptoms. However, more research is required to investigate the association of intestinal problems with ASD and the potential underlying mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate comorbid symptoms of intestinal inflammation in a murine model of ASD induced by prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA). Pregnant BALB/c females were treated subcutaneously with 600 mg/kg VPA or phosphate buffered saline on gestational day 11. Offspring were housed with their mother until weaning on postnatal day 21 (P21). All pups were exposed to a social behaviour test on P28. Inflammatory correlates and activity of the serotonergic system were measured in brain and intestinal tissue. Here we demonstrate, in addition to reduced social behaviour and increased expression of neuroinflammatory markers in the brain, that VPA in utero- exposed male offspring showed epithelial cell loss and neutrophil infiltration in the intestinal tract. Furthermore, reduced levels of serotonin were not only observed the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of VPA in utero- exposed males, but also in the small intestine. Overall, we demonstrate that gender-specific inflammatory conditions are present in the small intestines of VPA in utero- exposed mice and are accompanied by a disturbed serotonergic system in the brain as well as in the intestinal tract. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24321212
Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds
November 18, 2013 Talks about autism and other special needs. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/18/244526773/gut-bacteria-might-guide-the-workings-of-our-minds
The stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized
October 11, 2013 Likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat. https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25957.aspx
How Bacteria in our body protects our health
October 6, 2013 Researchers who study the friendly bacteria that live inside all of us are starting to sort out who is in charge—microbes or people? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ultimate-social-network-bacteria-protects-health
New View Into Our Guts Reveals Microbiome’s Murky Links To Health
September 21, 2013 “Our health is tied to trillions of organisms that live in and on us. But the extent of their impact has only recently come into focus. And scientists are just starting to figure out “who” is there—and why. …The American Gut Project, a citizen-science, crowd-funded effort to study our microbes on a massive scale, released on September 17 their first major group of results based on more than 800 people and more than 1,000 different samples. From the genetic screening of these samples, researchers can identify organisms down to the species level, showing, for instance, that many of us carry small quantities of would-be harmful organisms such as certain E. coli strains alongside larger populations of more beneficial bacteria.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/gut-microbiome-health-bacteria_n_3957373.html
Bacteria from lean mice prevents obesity in peers
September 6, 2013 Scientists protect mice from developing obesity by giving them fecal transplants from skinny mice. http://www.nature.com/news/bacteria-from-lean-mice-prevents-obesity-in-peers-1.13693
Extracellular Mitochondrial Components Secreted from Activated Live Mast Cells Act as “Innate Pathogens” and Contribute to Autism Pathogenesis
I believe this ties into the endosymbiotic theory when the author writes “Given that mitochondria were bacteria that became symbiotic with eukaryotic cells” http://researchpub.org/journal/iti/number/vol1-no2/vol1-no2-1.pdf
That gut feeling
August 21, 2013 With a sophisticated neural network transmitting messages from trillions of bacteria, the brain in your gut exerts a powerful influence over the one in your head, new research suggests. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx
Gut feelings: the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach
August 21, 2013 The right combination of stomach microbes could be crucial for a healthy mind http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/21/4595712/gut-feelings-the-future-of-psychiatry-may-be-inside-your-stomach
A miracle cure, not for the squeamish Are fecal transplants the next treatment for heart disease, Crohn’s and even autism?
July 20, 2013 “Judging from the hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps and other germ-ﬁghting products that have now become standard nearly everywhere, many people think of all bacteria as pathogens—invisible organisms that cause disease. In fact, even the healthiest among us carry far more bacterial cells than human ones: They outnumber us 10 to one. As Julian Davies, a reknowned microbiologist at the University of British Columbia (now emeritus) puts it, “We are only 10 per cent human and the rest of us is microbes.” That population of microbes is established early in life—starting with a baby’s voyage through the birth canal, when he’s doused in his mother’s bacteria—and remains as unique as a ﬁngerprint. In the gut, microbes extract nutrients from food; they synthesize vitamins, ﬁght off infection and reduce inﬂammation, to name just a few of their roles.”
Novel bacterial ‘language’ discovered
July 15, 2013 More interesting information about bacteria -and this time it involves communication…not “ours” but the bacteria is communicating! Bacteria apparently has evolved specific cell-cell communication systems that allow them to detect the presence of others and even to build up cooperative networks http://phys.org/news/2013-07-bacterial-language.html
Even though this is a new article from today- apparently this is well known. Here is a TED talk from 2009 on this topic. And again we are 10 times MORE bacterial than we are human
Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry — and our understanding of ourselves.
Bonnie Bassler studies how bacteria can communicate with one another, through chemical signals, to act as a unit. Her work could pave the way for new, more potent medicine
Clues About Autism May Come from the Gut
July 4, 2013 — Bacterial flora inhabiting the human gut have become one of the hottest topics in biological research. Implicated in a range of important activities including digestion, fine-tuning body weight, regulating immune response, and producing neurotransmitters that affect brain and behavior, these tiny workers form diverse communities. Hundreds of species inhabit the gut, and although most are beneficial, some can be very dangerous.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130704095121.htm https://asunews.asu.edu/20130708_gutbacteria_autism
Consumption of fermented milk product with probiotic modulates brain activity
June 2013 Abstract
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Changes in gut microbiota have been reported to alter signaling mechanisms, emotional behavior, and visceral nociceptive reflexes in rodents. However, alteration of the intestinal microbiota with antibiotics or probiotics has not been shown to produce these changes in humans. We investigated whether consumption of a fermented milk product with probiotic (FMPP) for 4 weeks by healthy women altered brain intrinsic connectivity or responses to emotional attention tasks.
Healthy women with no gastrointestinal or psychiatric symptoms were randomly assigned to groups given FMPP (n = 12), a nonfermented milk product (n = 11, controls), or no intervention (n = 13) twice daily for 4 weeks. The FMPP contained Bifidobacterium animalis subsp Lactis, Streptococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Lactococcus lactis subsp Lactis. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging before and after the intervention to measure brain response to an emotional faces attention task and resting brain activity. Multivariate and region of interest analyses were performed.
FMPP intake was associated with reduced task-related response of a distributed functional network (49% cross-block covariance; P = .004) containing affective, viscerosensory, and somatosensory cortices. Alterations in intrinsic activity of resting brain indicated that ingestion of FMPP was associated with changes in midbrain connectivity, which could explain the observed differences in activity during the task.
Four-week intake of an FMPP by healthy women affected activity of brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation.
Study Reveals Changes in Gut Microflora Can Affect Brain Function
June 7, 2013 -A new small study of healthy women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics has provided the first evidence that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect brain function in humans. “Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment.” http://www.sci-news.com/medicine/article01138-probiotic-microflora-brain.html
Gut Feelings: Probiotics and Mental Health
‘Hero rats’ sniff out Tanzania tuberculosis from bacterial samples
June 10, 2013 Since 2008, a team of 77 African giant pouched rats have helped doctors find cases of tuberculosis in human patients. What else can they be trained to sniff out? http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/06/201364113957216131.html
Can Humans Live on Mars Without Earth’s Soil?
What about the soils that have become depleted of some of the nutrients, or that have become polluted with heavy metals? Can also be an interesting look at nutrition and gut bacteria.
June 10, 2013 “humans need good dirt. The human body harbors 100 trillion bacteria inside and out, and their proper balance is increasingly regarded as vital to human health. But most Westerners eat factory-farm food that is doused in pesticides, antibiotics, and fertilizers. The additives may be killing off the “bad” bacteria (which we don’t know a whole lot about) that make plants produce the stuff that is good for us (which we don’t know a whole lot about, either). That, plus killing off lots of the “good” bacteria too. Unbalanced soil may lead to an unbalanced human gut—and to allergies, asthma, and worse Just getting to Mars could throw the bacterial balance of arriving colonists out of whack. Space does odd things to bacteria. According to Hernan Lorenzi, a biologist at the J. Craig Venter Institute, nasty bacteria like salmonella and pseudomonas become even more virulent when grown in Petri dishes in weightlessness.” http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/06/mars_colonization_may_require_earth_soil.html
Scientists in Cork link autism with lack of gut bacteria
May 28, 2013 New mice study shows role of gut bacteria in developing social behavior http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Scientists-in-Cork-link-autism-with-lack-of-gut-bacteria–208853471.html?mob-ua=Y open access paper http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp201365a.html
Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function, UCLA study shows
May 28, 2013 UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. The study, conducted by scientists with the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, and the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the current online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/changing-gut-bacteria-through-245617.aspx
Bacteriophage are viruses that infect bacteria
May 27, 2013 New research: new, powerful immune system discovered in mucus -The researchers believe their discovery could influence the prevention and treatment of infections. http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=74269 open access http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/16/1305923110.full.pdf+html
Dogs help to increase the biodiversity of the bacteria in our home which can be a benefit to us
May 24, 2013– file under yet another reason for a dog 😀 http://www.yourwildlife.org/2013/05/dogs-make-me-and-you-wild-ten-effects-of-dogs-on-dog-people/ journal article http://www.plosone.org/article
Microbiota Is Essential For Social Development In The Mouse
May 21, 2013 The microbiota–gut–brain axis is an emerging concept in modern medicine informed by the ability of gut microbiota to alter brain and behaviour. Although some clinical studies have revealed altered gut microbiota composition in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism the specific contributions of microbiota in early life to the development and programming of the various facets of social behaviour has not been investigated. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3903109/
Bacterial Bonanza: Microbes Keep Us Alive
May 17, 2013 There are trillions upon trillions of microbes living on and in the human body. To put this in perspective, Jeffrey Gordon, a professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, who studies the microbes that live on and in us, offers this factoid: “We think that there are 10 times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than there are human cells.
That means that we’re 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human.
There’s also an estimated 100 times more microbial genes than the genes in our human genome. So we’re really a compendium [and] an amalgamation of human and microbial parts.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129862107
Say Hello to the 100 Trillion Bacteria That Make Up Your Microbiome
May 15, 2013‘Some of My Best Friends Are Germs’ Just one quote in regards to metabolic syndrome and gut bacteria:
“Few of the scientists I interviewed had much doubt that the Western diet was altering our gut microbiome in troubling ways. Some, like Blaser, are concerned about the antimicrobials we’re ingesting with our meals; others with the sterility of processed food. Most agreed that the lack of fiber in the Western diet was deleterious to the microbiome, and still others voiced concerns about the additives in processed foods, few of which have ever been studied for their specific effects on the microbiota. According to a recent article in Nature by the Stanford microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg, “Consumption of hyperhygienic, mass-produced, highly processed and calorie-dense foods is testing how rapidly the microbiota of individuals in industrialized countries can adapt.” As our microbiome evolves to cope with the Western diet, Sonnenburg says he worries that various genes are becoming harder to find as the microbiome’s inherent biodiversity declines along with our everyday exposure to bacteria.
Catherine Lozupone in Boulder and Andrew Gewirtz, an immunologist at Georgia State University, directed my attention to the emulsifiers commonly used in many processed foods — ingredients with names like lecithin, Datem, CMC and polysorbate 80. Gewirtz’s lab has done studies in mice indicating that some of these detergentlike compounds may damage the mucosa — the protective lining of the gut wall — potentially leading to leakage and inflammation.
A growing number of medical researchers are coming around to the idea that the common denominator of many, if not most, of the chronic diseases from which we suffer today may be inflammation — a heightened and persistent immune response by the body to a real or perceived threat. Various markers for inflammation are common in people with metabolic syndrome, the complex of abnormalities that predisposes people to illnesses like cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and perhaps cancer. While health organizations differ on the exact definition of metabolic syndrome, a 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 34 percent of American adults are afflicted with the condition. But is inflammation yet another symptom of metabolic syndrome, or is it perhaps the cause of it? And if it is the cause, what is its origin?” 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
Mind-altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior: Elaine Hsiao at TEDxCaltech
Feb 8, 2013 Elaine Hsiao is a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and biology at Caltech. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics from UCLA and her doctoral degree in neurobiology from Caltech with Professor Paul Patterson. She studied neuroimmune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders and uncovered a role for the commensal microbiota in regulating autism-related behaviors, metabolism, and intestinal physiology. Elaine has received several honors, including predoctoral fellowships from the National Institute of Health, Autism Speaks and the Caltech Innovation Program. She is currently studying the mechanisms by which microbes modulate host production of neuroactive molecules and aims to better understand how the human microbiota influences health and disease.
Do Gut Microbes Travel From Person to Person?
May 1, 2012 “Researches carried out in the 1970′ by my colleagues and myself have shown conclusively that bacteria can spread from baby to baby via the air and the persons handling them. While the spread of ‘normal’ E.coli appeared limited, when a pathogenic strain entered the ward its spread was far more extensive. It is a pity that the writers of this article did not look at these earlier studies and for their information I have written below references to the main papers on the topic and more papers are referred to in these references.” http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/05/01/do-gut-microbes-travel-from-person-to-person/#.UtQ6I_Q2yuo
Dr Sydney Finegold – The role of Gut Bacteria in Autism
May 4, 2012 Dr Sydney Finegold discusses the controversial theory examining the possible links between harmful bacteria in a child’s gut and ASD. His research on bacteria in the human intestine could contain the answer for treating and perhaps preventing Autism. This video was filmed at AutismOne conference in Chicago
Unique bacteria found only in autistic children- may be to blame for gastrointestinal symptoms
January 10, 2012 Children with autism are known to suffer from increased rates of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Scientists believe that GI problems may play a role in the severity of a child’s autism as well. In this study researchers took intestinal samples from autistic and non-autistic children using a new detection method for certain bacteria. The results revealed a specific bacterial species was found in the autistic children alone and never in the non-autistic children. Researchers believe that future work should be done in understanding the autism-only presence of these rare bacteria and their role in the GI infections/disturbances noted in autistic children. Read more
Belly bacteria boss the brain Gut microbes can change neurochemistry and influence behavior
August 29, 2011 Mice fed broth fortified with a type of friendly intestinal bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus behaved less anxiously than mice fed broth without bacteria. Those behavior changes were accompanied by differences in levels of a brain-chemical sensor and stress hormones. Read more
Are your gut bacteria the boss of you?
January 29, 2011 Mouse study shows these microbes affect the way the brain develops–and could even influence behavior. The human gut holds microbes containing millions of genes – so many in fact that they could be considered ‘our second genome’ http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/01/31/gut-bacteria-steer-the-development-of-the-young-brain/#.UPjlXG_AeUI
The Neuroscience of the Gut Strange but true: the brain is shaped by bacteria in the digestive tract
April 19, 2011 People may advise you to listen to your gut instincts: now research suggests that your gut may have more impact on your thoughts than you ever realized. Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute of Singapore led by Sven Pettersson recently reported in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that normal gut flora, the bacteria that inhabit our intestines, have a significant impact on brain development and subsequent adult behavior.
We human beings may think of ourselves as a highly evolved species of conscious individuals, but we are all far less human than most of us appreciate. Scientists have long recognized that the bacterial cells inhabiting our skin and gut outnumber human cells by ten-to-one. Indeed, Princeton University scientist Bonnie Bassler compared the approximately 30,000 human genes found in the average human to the more than 3 million bacterial genes inhabiting us, concluding that we are at most one percent human. We are only beginning to understand the sort of impact our bacterial passengers have on our daily lives.
Moreover, these bacteria have been implicated in the development of neurological and behavioral disorders. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-neuroscience-of-gut
GI tract bacteria may protect against autoimmune disease
January 31, 2011 The bowels of every baby are filled with trillions of bacteria that outnumber the cells of our own body by ten to one. This “microbiome” acts like on of our own organs, harvesting energy from our food and blocking the growth of harmful bacteria. It’s also a gift from our mothers. In the womb, we’re largely sterile. It’s only when we pass through the vagina that we’re seeded with our first set of bacteria. This community of passengers changes as we grow up, shifting in membership as we move from milk to solid food.http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/01/31/gut-bacteria-steer-the-development-of-the-young-brain/#.UtQ6x_Q2yup
Gut bacteria and health
Dr Juliet Ansell is a Science Group Leader at Plant & Food Research, Palmerston North. Juliet explains how a delicate balance exists between the many different bacterial populations present in the gut. If this is disrupted, the immune system and enteric nervous system are both activated, bringing to the conscious level a feeling of unease.
Intestinal parasites are ‘old friends,’ researchers argue
Outside of bacteria, sometimes parasites can also play a positive role in our health.
“Our bacterial microbiome is essential to human health, and the parasites that make up the eukaryome are likely important as well,” says CIFAR Associate Laura Wegener Parfrey (University of British Columbia). In support of the hypothesis that parasites are part of our normal gut community, Parfrey led a recent study revealing that many species of eukaryotes, including Blastocystis, live in the guts of healthy humans from remote areas, and in other mammals. This study was published in June in Frontiers in Microbiology. Read more
Could a Tiny Worm Help Treat Autism?
THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) — Adults with autism who were intentionally infected with a parasitic intestinal worm experienced an improvement in their behavior, researchers say.
After swallowing whipworm eggs for 12 weeks, people with autism became more adaptable and less likely to engage in repetitive actions, said study lead author Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “We found these individuals had less discomfort associated with a deviation in their expectations,” Hollander said. “They were less likely to have a temper tantrum or act out.” Read more
Parasites Can Be Good for You (Seriously)
When might more parasites be a good thing? Dr. Johnson, an assistant professor at University of Colorado, Boulder asked that question. The results of his research appeared this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more
Worm therapy: Why parasites may be good for you
Early trials suggest a host of allergies and autoimmune ailments could be treated with worm therapy, or infection with live worm-like parasites. Read more
For the Good of the Gut: Can Parasitic Worms Treat Autoimmune Diseases?
Helminths could suppress immune disorders by promoting healthy mucus production in the intestine Read more
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Radiolab Segment On Parasites Covers How They May Be Good For You
In the following amazing (but sometimes gross) one hour segment by Radiolab you will learn just how.
Could parasites be the shadowy hands that pull the strings of life? We explore nature’s moochers, with tales of lethargic farmers, zombie cockroaches, and even mind-controlled humans (kinda, maybe). And we examine claims that some parasites may actually be good for you. ” Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.Radiolab is heard around the country on more than 450 NPR member stations”