THE VERY LATEST RESEARCH ON DIET, DRUGS, DYSBIOSIS, AND DISEASE
"The composition of the gut microbiota is in constant flow under the influence of factors such as the diet, ingested drugs, the intestinal mucosa, the immune system, and the microbiota itself. Natural variations in the gut microbiota can deteriorate to a state of dysbiosis when stress conditions rapidly decrease microbial diversity and promote the expansion of specific bacterial taxa. A multitude of diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases but also metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes type II are associated with intestinal dysbiosis." From the March 28, 2017 issue of Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (Mechanisms and Consequences of Intestinal Dysbiosis)
When it comes to your health, your MICROBIOME (the bacteria that live both in and on you) is everything. Screw up your Microbiome, and you can screw up your health in so many potential ways it will make your head spin. Does what you eat or put in your body affect your Microbiome? That is the question we are going to tackle today.
According to the MedicineNet site, infection is defined as, "The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that are not normally present within the body. An infection may remain localized, or it may spread through the blood or lymphatic vessels to become systemic." Once health issues have gone "systemic," everything is harder to deal with. For instance, localized PARASITES or FUNGI are typically easier to deal with than systemic parasites. Furthermore, we know that when it comes to infections, sugar is what fuels the beast (HERE). Enter Dysbiosis.
When you get down to it, Dysbiosis is a type of infection. Defined by the online science journal, Nature, as, "the condition of having imbalances in the microbial communities either in or on the body," this problem is almost never caught early. Why? Because it's frequently, at least to some degree, a product of various medical interventions. The same journal goes on to say in the next sentence that, "Dysbiosis is associated with many diseases." In other words, if your microbial makeup is disturbed in any fashion, your propensity to EPIGENETICALLY TRIGGER any manner of diseases goes through the proverbial roof. Today I want to show you the progression from diet, to drugs, to dysbiosis, to disease. The harsh reality is that I could easily end string with another "D" word ---- death.
DIET AS RELATED TO DYSBIOSIS
Even though most people don't seem too concerned by it AS LONG AS THEIR WEIGHT IS NORMAL, on some level they know that what they eat affects their health. While there is a great deal of dispute about what constitutes a "healthy" diet (HERE), there's not much dispute that eating the wrong foods has the ability to cause all sorts of health issues via affecting the Microbiome. Rather than showing you a bunch of studies on this, we are going to look at just one. Four years ago, three researchers from the University of British Columbia published a study in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism called Clinical Consequences of Diet-Induced Dysbiosis. Although you should really read this in its entirety, I'm going to leave you with some bite-sized morsels. The study begins by saying....
"Various disease states are associated with an imbalance of protective and pathogenic bacteria in the gut, termed dysbiosis. Current evidence reveals that dietary factors affect the microbial ecosystem in the gut. Changes to community structure of the intestinal microbiota are not without consequence considering the wide effects that the microbes have on both local and systemic immunity."
Because INFLAMMATION is considered a chemical action of the Immune System, we could of just as easily substituted it for the last two words of the quote above (the word "inflammation" is used over and over again in this paper). If you want to really talk Immune System function as related to Microbiome / Dysbiosis, let's talk TREGS for a moment. TREGS are T-Regulatory cells (they used to be called T-Suppressors) that down-regulate your Immune System, keeping it in check, and not allowing it to burn like an out-of-control wildfire. When bad things happen to TREGS, you end up with AUTOIMMUNITY -- your body attacking itself. "Gut microbiota can modulate the function and responsiveness of intestinal immune cells, like T regulatory cells, to bacterial products. This is required to regulate mechanisms that keep both mucosal and systemic immunity in balance, allowing for mucosal surfaces to tolerate harmless bacteria, yet adequately respond to invading pathogens." In other words, we should not be surprised that DAN REYNOLDS AS is believed to be linked to issues in his GUT HEALTH, nor that it's all being linked to what we are eating. Now pay attention because this is where things start getting wild.
"Identifying dietary factors that control the intestinal microbial ecology and their role in enteric disease susceptibility could provide insight into the functioning of the microbiota in healthy and diseased individuals. Yet, due to the vast diversity of dietary antigens and gut microbes, we are challenged to define the exact interactions between microbes, dietary antigens and epithelium and their consequences to the host."
Allow me to paraphrase this in layman's terms. Not only are there there vast numbers of bacteria in our digestive tract, there are vast numbers of potential, "dietary antigens". These are things like GLUTEN, GRAINS in general, SOY, FODMAPS, NIGHTSHADES, undigested or partially digested food particles, and an endless number of others. It's why I tell everyone that the starting point for any legitimate "EXIT STRATEGY" has to be an ELIMINATION DIET. The authors go on to explain why this is. These dietary antigens react with the epithelium of their host. While this sounds rather innocuous, the authors are talking here not only about Leaky Gut Syndrome, but the rest of "THE LEAKIES" as well (Leaky Brain Syndrome, Leaky Lung Syndrome, Leaky Cord Syndrome, Leaky Nerve Syndrome, etc, etc). Fail to identify your "dietary antigens" and I promise that nothing else you do, including lots of drugs, is going to help you. Speaking of drugs.......
DRUGS CAUSE DYSBIOSIS
The fact that drugs (both pushed and prescribed) lead to Dysbiosis is not news. If we head over to that venerable pavilion of truth and knowledge, Wikipedia, we see that Dysbiosis is, according to them, caused by three things --- "inappropriate antibiotic exposure, alcohol misuse, or inappropriate diet." Note that this is essentially saying that two things, diet and drug exposure, cause Dysbiosis (I would have to throw STRESS in there as well). As for ANTIBIOTICS, all you have to do is click the link to see all my posts on the topic (or you could look at JUST THIS ONE) to see that they are directly responsible for huge numbers of health issues, including vast amounts of Dysbiosis. Why? They kill bacteria indiscriminately, the good along with the bad. Listen to what the Annals study mentioned earlier had to say concerning this topic.
"The consequences of dysbiosis are not innocent, but detrimental when pathobionts (any disease-causing microorganism) become prominent in the microbial communities. It is well documented that antibiotic treatments cause aberrancies in the host microbiota. Though it is generally believed that such changes are normalized within weeks of cessation of antibiotics, recent evidence challenges this notion. In a clinical setting, this raises important concern regarding the appropriate use or avoidance of antibiotics."
The train is starting to wobble, but follow along as I show you where it goes completely off the rails. The last link above ("This One" --- A Little Dab'll Ruin Ya) shows how it only take a bit of Antibiotics --- in some cases a single exposure --- to cause major damage to one's health. But Antibiotics are not the only drugs that cause Dysbiosis.
The reality is that according to DR. ART AYERS, whom I have considered one of the top experts in this field for quite some time, ALL DRUGS have varying degrees of Antibiotic activity. This is why no matter what may be wrong with you, it's important that you get healthy enough to get off as many drugs as is humanly possible. If you need more reasons, you can read about our "DRUG CULTURE" or the fact that according to several meta-analysis, drug's side effects are only reported to the proper authorities 1% of the time. That, folks, is not a misprint (HERE). Failure to report either drug side effects or the results of studies that don't turn out as researchers hoped (HERE), has skewed the side effect profiles of most medications, making them look far safer than they really are. TYLENOL is a great example of this phenomenon.
DISEASES RELATED TO DYSBIOSIS
My goal with this section is to show you that Dysbiosis is as real as a proverbial heart attack (literally) and every bit as vicious. To show you this in vivid color, allow me to use studies that are not over a few weeks old. Believe me; if you are still doing the antibiotic thing for every little sniffle, COUGH, sneeze, FEVER, SINUS INFECTION, or FLU that comes along, this section will force you think about changing. Also believe me when I tell you that this list could have gone on and on, containing many of those diseases that the general public has been led to believe are "GENETIC". Everything is cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space.
Drugs, the worst offender being antibiotics, are causing this junk, and it's being fueled by our collective HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. Should we be surprised? Of course not --- particularly knowing that in similar fashion, we've known for almost a century that sugar is what fuels cancer as well (HERE). If you are looking to get off the Medical Merry-Go-Round, at least take a look at the PALEO DIET and FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS (no, I do not do them here, and yes, they were mentioned over and over again in the studies being discussed today). To see my post on addressing your health problems without drugs and surgery, HERE it is.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).