CAN HEALTH ISSUES BE SOLVED BY DIETARY CHANGES ALTERING THE MICROBIOME?
"The microbiome is an integral part of human physiology; recent studies show that changes in the gut microbiota can modulate gastrointestinal physiology, immune function and even behavior. Links between particular bacteria from the indigenous gut microbiota and phenotypes relevant to ASD (autism spectrum disorder) raise the important question of whether microbial dysbiosis plays a role in the development or presentation of ASD symptoms." From an amazing study found in the March 2015 issue of Biological Psychiatry (Emerging Roles for the Gut Microbiome in Autism Spectrum Disorder)
UCLA is one of many universities interested in research on GUT HEALTH as related to MICROBIOME (the germs that live in and on us). Once you understand the importance of Gut Health in relation to overall health, you'll understand why other than maybe CRISPR, it's arguably been the hottest area of research for at least half a decade. Enter Dr. Elaine Hsiao. Although she looks like she could still be in high school, Hsiao is a professor and researcher with her own lab (her areas of interest are listed on her web page as "Microbiome, Neurobiology of Disease, Neuroimmunology, and Host-Microbe Interactions." Her lab's site goes on to say that....
"Our bodies are comprised of around ten times more microbial cells than human cells, and more and more, we are learning that these microbes play a fundamental role in regulating brain development and function, and behavior. Microbes modulate host levels of neuroactive molecules, including neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, as well as complex behaviors, such as social, communicative, emotional and anxiety-like behaviors. Alterations in the microbial communities that inhabit us are further implicated in a variety of neurological disorders, including autism, depression and Parkinson's disease."
While I personally have an interest in the PARKINSON'S RESEARCH, her latest study in Cell (The Gut Microbiota Mediates the Anti-Seizure Effects of the Ketogenic Diet) will be of huge interest to many of my readers. Even though it's become trendy, the KETOGENIC DIET has been used therapeutically to effectively treat people with SEIZURES / EPILEPSY since the 1920's. And as I'll soon show you, if you can positively affect the microbiome, you can positively affect the body in ways that drugs cannot. In fact, the brutal truth is that most drugs actually cause dysbiosis ---- HERE.
The way that Hsaio's team determined that Gut Bacteria were at the root of the anti-seizure effects of the Ketogenic Diet was rather simple. They induced seizures in three groups of mice --- mice that been raised to genetically not have a microbiome, mice that had had their microbiomes destroyed by ANTIBIOTICS, and a control group. Keto did not stop seizures in the mice that had no microbiome, but did in the normal mice, showing that bacteria a playing a crucial role. In the second part of the study they tested to see which species of bacteria might be responsible, determining that levels of Akkermansia Muciniphila and Parabacteroides were both elevated in seizure-free mice.
Just like Dr. Art Ayers showed us, our microbiomes will give us what we need if we treat if WITH SOME TLC. To more accurately state what these bacteria are actually doing, Dr. Hsaio said that the microbiome-induced, "alterations in colonic lumenal, serum, and hippocampal metabolomic profiles correlate with seizure protection, including reductions in systemic gamma-glutamylated amino acids and elevated hippocampal GABA/glutamate levels." How amazing is it that our food is not necessarily giving us what we need to survive and thrive, but is feeding our Gut bugs, which if said food is healthy, is doing that very thing (HERE)? In similar fashion, poor quality food feeds dysbiosis (HERE).
UCLA has been involved in some other cool studies on Gut Health. For starters, in 2013 Dr Hsaio did a study on autism called Modeling an Autism Risk Factor in Mice Leads to Permanent Immune Dysregulation in which her team discussed the relationship between INFLAMMATION, maternal immune activation via chronic infections or autoimmunity (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE or HERE), and behaviors that can only be characterized as autistic.
Don't act shocked because I've shown you in the past (HERE, HERE, and HERE) that autistic children always have some sort of issue with their Guts (IMMUNE SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION, DYSBIOSIS, LEAKY GUT, IBS, CONSTIPATION, etc, etc, etc). Cool research, but I always come back to the question; 'Do you think that ALUMINUM ADJUVANTS, which are found almost universally in VACCINES, could be doing "interesting" things to microbiomes of susceptible individuals, and if so, who has the juice to actually do the research and then get it in front of the public (HERE)?' With what's going on in EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE these days, researchers are well aware it's a potential career destroyer (HERE).
Here's why studies of this sort are so exciting. You can start leveraging this information and using it to your advantage. A UCLA study published in the May 2013 issue of Gastroenterology showed that eating a special kind of multi-probiotic species yogurt for four weeks actually changed the way various parts of subject's brains worked as seen on functional MRI's. What's doubly exciting is just how rapidly these changes can occur. In 2014, Harvard's Peter Turnbaugh and a team of 12 research scientists from around the world published a study whose title alone is cause for excitement; Diet Rapidly and Reproducibly Alters the Human Gut Microbiome.
The rules for eating an anti-inflammatory diet are simple. According to nutritional expert and functional neurologist, DR. DAVID SEAMAN, "eat vegetation or animals that ate vegetation". Plainly stated, this is the principle behind the PALEO DIET. As for the ketogenic diet, I'm a fan as long as you are eating CLEAN, HEALTHY FATS. This is important to realize not only for you health, but because most of the studies discounting ketosis as a valid tool not only for serious WEIGHT LOSS but against a wide array of diseases (including CANCER) are using cheap, crappy fat sources like CORN or even worse (gulp) SOY.
Furthermore, for those of you truly struggling with chronic conditions, once you gain an understanding of the relationship between your microbiome and your health, FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS start to make a heck of a lot more sense; especially once you realize how difficult it is to get probiotic formulas right (HERE). If you'd like to read more about using these principles to jump-start your health, be sure and take a look at some of the posts filed under UNIVERSAL CAUSE / UNIVERSAL CURE. Oh; and don't forget that the best way to reach those you love and care about most with information that is potentially nothing short of life-changing, is to like, share, for follow us on FACEBOOK.
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).