WHAT DOES THE CURRENT SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE SAY ABOUT DYSBIOSIS?
STAY AWAY FROM ANTIBIOTICS AS THOUGH YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
Despite the fact that we've known for nearly two decades that 80% of your body's Immune System resides in your Digestive Tract, in the form of bacteria we refer to as your MICROBIOME, nothing is being done about it in the average doctor's office. In fact, if you weren't a regular reader of my site, you might not know much more about this phenomenon than the drivel you see on Yahoo or any of the monthly women's magazines. Unfortunately, if you don't get this figured out, your children will be worse off than you --- far worse. Why? Not only are our collective diets absolutely pathetic, we are killing off our Microbiomes in monstrous fashion ---- often times from birth.
Today we are going to discuss something called DYSBIOSIS. According to the definition provided by Leaky Gut do com, "Dysbiosis refers to a bacterial imbalance in the gut, which can compromise the immune system. It has been said that dysbiosis plays a part in many conditions such as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ankylosing Spondylitus, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue. The main causes of Dysbiosis are believed to be antibiotics and pesticides along with other environmental and dietary factors." Farlex's Online Medical Dictionary defines Dysbiosis thusly, "An imbalance in the intestinal bacteria that precipitates changes in the normal activities of the gastrointestinal tract or vagina, possibly resulting in health problems." Just remember that although Dysbiosis (an imbalance in the normal ratio of the bacteria that live both in you and on you) is basically caused by ANTIBIOTICS, non-Antibiotic drugs that have ANTIBIOTIC PROPERTIES, and ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS, it is fed (perpetuated) by a DIET HIGH IN REFINED CARBS. Are you beginning to see why America provides the perfect environment for Dysbiosis to spread through our citizens like a wildfire?
COMMON HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH DYSBIOSIS
I have been warning people for a long time that Antibiotics are one of the single most destructive things you can do for your health (HERE). A study from last month's issue of Cell, Host, & Microbe (Antibiotics, Pediatric Dysbiosis, and Disease) might agree. Listen to these words taken from the study's abstract. "Antibiotics are by far the most common medications prescribed for children. Recent epidemiological data suggests an association between early antibiotic use and disease phenotypes in adulthood. Antibiotic use during infancy induces imbalances in gut microbiota, called dysbiosis. Here, we synthesize current knowledge linking antibiotics, dysbiosis, and disease, and propose a framework for studying antibiotic-related dysbiosis in children. We recommend future studies into the microbiome-mediated effects of antibiotics focused on four types of dysbiosis: loss of keystone taxa, loss of diversity, shifts in metabolic capacity, and blooms of pathogens." Without using these words, I wrote about the loss of keystone taxa and diversity a number of years ago HERE.
Just two months ago, the Journal of Gastroenterology (Gut Microbiota and the Development of Pediatric Diseases) chimed in on this same topic. Follow along to see how critical it is that you take care of your infants properly --- from the very moment they are born. "A huge number of highly diversified microbes live inside and on the human body. They are collectively named microbiota. Many diseases have been linked to an aberrant microbiota in the intestines (dysbiosis) or other parts of the body. Neonates are born sterile, but many parts of their bodies are colonized by various microorganisms thereafter. The composition of the gut microbiota is dynamic, with drastic changes occur during infancy and childhood. It is not surprising that the gut microbiota is related to milk ingested by babies." But all milk is not created equal (HERE).
This study goes on to talk about one of the many ways that Dysbiosis affects children (Maturation of Immune System Responses). When infants / children are not exposed to large quantities of bacteria, the subsequent, "low gut microbiota diversity in early infancy is associated with increased risk of subsequent allergic diseases." I could name all the various diseases they mention, but you will find them scattered throughout this post (or HERE). But it's not just children and infants who are at risk.
The March, 2015 issue of BMC Immunology (Systemic Effects of Gut Microbiota and its Relationship with Disease and Modulation) discusses some of the more common situations associated in one way or another with Dysbiosis such as C-SECTIONS, DECREASED VITAMIN PRODUCTION, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, IBS, IBD, DEPRESSION, CANCER, BRAIN-RELATED PROBLEMS, OBESITY, and INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY. They discuss solutions to said problems using things like PROBIOTICS, PREBIOTICS, and FMT. This study is a great overview for those who are interested.
What about ALLERGIES and ASTHMA? A study from the July, 2015 issue of Current Opinion in Rheumatology (Influence and Effect of the Human Microbiome in Allergy and Asthma) says that, "The emerging view of atopy [allergy] and asthma is one consistently related to inappropriate microbial community composition and function in both the airway and gastrointestinal tract." As you are starting to see, you could substitute almost any disease for the two mentioned above and the statement would still be true. In fact the study's abstract says that, "Perturbation [destruction] of these [bacterial] communities is an emerging characteristic of an increasing number of inflammatory diseases." I have shown you again and again that few in our society truly grasp the implications of the Hygiene Hypothesis (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). In fact, it was just this month that the journal Gut carried a study (Identification of an Anti-Inflammatory Protein from Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii, A Commensal Bacterium Deficient in Crohn's Disease) letting us know that certain diseases are being related to the absence of certain compounds made by certain Gut bacteria.
To take this concept a step farther, just look at next month's issue of Current Opinions in Rheumatology (The Intestinal Microbiome in Spondyloarthritis). Spondyloarthritis (any inflammatory arthritic condition affecting the spinal column), includes things like DJD, RA, AS, and a host of others. Listen to what the authors have to say. "Microbial dysbiosis in the gut is emerging as a common component in various inflammatory disorders including spondyloarthritis (SpA). Decreased numbers of Firmicutes, a major phyla of gut commensals, especially the species Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Clostridium leptum have been found in various inflammatory disorders including SpA and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and could be an important link between SpA and gut inflammation. Multiple studies in ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile SpA, and animal models of SpA are revealing common bacterial associations among these diseases as well as Inflammatory Bowel Disease."
One of the numerous common Inflammatory Diseases associated with Dysbiosis is Diabetes (both Type I, which is autoimmune, and Type II, which is caused by LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE). I feel vindicated for nearly 25 years of warning my patients to keep their families far away from Antibiotics. Here is yet another reason why. Last month's issue of PLoS One (Antibiotics in Early Life Alter the Gut Microbiome and Increase Disease Incidence in a Spontaneous Mouse Model of Autoimmune Insulin-Dependent Diabetes) reveals that, "even a partial ablation of the gut microbiota, as induced by vancomycin [a potent Antibiotic], significantly increases type 1 diabetes incidence in male non-obese, non-diabetic mice thus prompting for caution in the use of antibiotics in pregnant women and newborns." Last month's issue of Diabetologia (A Model for the Role of Gut Bacteria in the Development of Autoimmunity for Type 1 Diabetes) revealed something similar. "These studies suggest a testable model whereby a diet high in fat and gluten and low in resistant starch may be the primary driver of gut dysbiosis. This dysbiosis may cause a lack of butyrate production by gut bacteria, which, in turn, leads to the development of a permeable gut [Leaky Gut Syndrome] followed by autoimmunity." HERE is my article on Resistant Starch.
A study from last month's issue of Gynecologic Oncology (The Vaginal and Gastrointestinal Microbiomes in Gynecologic Cancers: A Review of Applications in Etiology, Symptoms and Treatment) talked about the relationship between mom's Dysbiosis and her propensity for developing certain kinds of Cancers. "The human microbiome is the collection of microorganisms in the body that exist in a mutualistic relationship with the host. Recent studies indicate that perturbations in the microbiome may be implicated in a number of diseases, including cancer. More specifically, changes in the gut and vaginal microbiomes may be associated with a variety of gynecologic cancers, including cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer."
Why should you be interested in learning about IBS and it's relationship to Dysbiosis? By looking at last month's issue of Gut and Liver (Gut Microbiota as Potential Orchestrators of Irritable Bowel Syndrome) we learn that, "Patients with functional bowel disorders (FBDs) have no clear structural or biochemical alterations on routine examinations, making diagnosis and treatment challenging. A number of FBDs affect the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) being the most prevalent, affecting approximately 10% to 20% of the population in the Western world." It's exactly why I have warned you that ADVANCED IMAGING TECHNIQUES will not likely show you what's wrong with you. To take it a step further, "In a healthy individual the small intestine contains a much lower density of bacteria than the large intestine. IBS has been suggested to be associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)....... Growing evidence suggest that at least subgroups of IBS patients have an altered gut microbiota composition or dysbiosis. Presented as an altered balance in beneficial or pathogenic bacterial species, dysbiosis is thought to have a bigger impact on gut wellbeing in IBS patients than previously thought, affecting such processes as intestinal barrier function and immune system regulation." We discussed intestinal barrier function (Leaky Gut Syndrome) just the other day.
Remember just a few short days ago how I showed you that there will soon be a VACCINE FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE? For those who think this sounds great, just remember that it doesn't even come close to dealing with the source of the problem --- a diet-induced Dysbiosis. The current issue of Hypertension (Gut Dysbiosis is Linked to Hypertension) sheds light on this fact via their abstract. "We observed a significant decrease in microbial richness, diversity, and evenness in the spontaneously hypertensive rat, in addition to an increased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. These changes were accompanied by decreases in acetate- and butyrate-producing bacteria. In addition, the microbiota of a small cohort of human hypertensive patients was found to follow a similar dysbiotic pattern, as it was less rich and diverse than that of control subjects. High blood pressure is associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis, both in animal and human hypertension. They suggest that dietary intervention to correct gut microbiota could be an innovative nutritional therapeutic strategy for hypertension." Diet as innovation? Since when is what one eats considered "innovative"? This is why the DRUGS-FIRST mentality of your physician who doesn't HAVE A CLUE ABOUT NUTRITION in the first place is not only killing you, but preventing you from solving your numerous health issues!
A month later, Gut Microbes published an Italian study (Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intestinal Microbiota) telling us more of the same. "Through extensive microbial-mammalian co-metabolism, the intestinal microbiota have evolved to exert a marked influence on health and disease via gut-brain-microbiota interactions. In this addendum, we summarize the findings of our recent study on the fecal microbiota and metabolomes of children with pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) or autism (AD) compared with healthy children (HC). Children with PDD-NOS or AD have altered fecal microbiota and metabolomes (including neurotransmitter molecules). We hypothesize that the degree of microbial alteration correlates with the severity of the disease since fecal microbiota and metabolomes alterations were higher in children with PDD-NOS and, especially, AD compared to HC."
The May issue of The World Journal of Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation as Novel Therapy in Gastroenterology: A Systematic Review) showed that not only does FMT improve METABOLIC SYNDROME (the precursor to Diabetes) it may improve numerous other health issues as well. The same month's issue of Gastroenterology (Update on Fecal Microbiota Transplantation 2015: Indications, Methodologies, Mechanisms, and Outlook) went on to say that, "The community of microorganisms within the human gut (or microbiota) is critical to health and functions with a level of complexity comparable to that of an organ system. Alterations of this ecology (or dysbiosis) have been implicated in a number of disease states, and the prototypical example is Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been demonstrated to durably alter the gut microbiota of the recipient and has shown efficacy in the treatment of patients with recurrent CDI [CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE]. There is hope that FMT may eventually prove beneficial for the treatment of other diseases associated with alterations in gut microbiota, such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and metabolic syndrome, to name a few." By the way, not only has FMT been characterized elsewhere as safe, but this study reveals that it is, "relatively simple to perform". I showed you that HERE.