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Tag Archives: gut bacteria

Human Hosts Transplants Promote Health (2/2)

 Image result for image microbiota transplant

Last week in “Human Hosts” part 1, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-12/, I described the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation.  But poop is not the only place healthy microbiota bacteria live. Microbiota transplants (MT) from different body regions have  proven equally helpful.

Scientists are studying the relationship between diseases and balancing “good” and “bad” bacteria from different body regions based on 2 simple theories.

  1. “bad” bugs cause inflammation
  2. “good” bugs support the immune system

Consider the emerging evidence:

  • Patrice Cani at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels fed a high-fat, “junk food” diet to mice, the community of microbes in their guts changed much as it does in humans on a fast-food diet. But Cani also found the junk-food diet made the animals’ gut barriers notably more permeable, allowing endotoxins to leak into the bloodstream. This produced a low-grade inflammation that eventually led to metabolic syndrome. Cani concludes that, at least in mice, “gut bacteria can initiate the inflammatory processes associated with obesity and insulin resistance” by increasing gut permeability,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html.

In other words, no matter what your weight is, even for those who are thin, no matter what your age, even a child, male or female,  American or not, no matter who you are and where you are from,  junk food can actually cause inflammation that makes unhealthy changes to your gut.  And in turn, you become ill…heart disease, diabetes, obese…

  • ” When gut microbes from easygoing, adventurous mice are transplanted into the guts of anxious and timid mice, they become more adventurous. The expression “thinking with your gut” may contain a larger kernel of truth than we thought. Our gut bacteria also play a role in the manufacture of substances like neurotransmitters (including serotonin); enzymes and vitamins (notably B vitamins and vitamin K) and other essential nutrients (including important amino acid and short-chain fatty acids); and a suite of other signaling molecules that talk to, and influence, the immune and the metabolic systems. Some of these compounds may play a role in regulating our stress levels and even temperament.”

There is also emerging evidence linking colic, allergies/asthma, eczema, type 1 diabetes, obesity and celiac disease with differences between the microbiota of infants delivered vaginally and those that come into this world through C-section. It seems that Lactobacillius (“good” bugs that help digest milk) in the vagina increases prior to birth. Newborns pass through the vagina and absorb the bacteria. C-section babies are lacking the gut flora and are more prone to colic. So it should not be surprising that in the United States with a 32.7 percent c-section rate in 2013 (well above the “medically necessary” target of 10 percent to 15 percent that WHO says is ideal), that the medical conditions mentioned above are on the rise. 

From birth to near death,  all over the body microbiota transplants that live in healthy humans can help unhealthy humans live healthy lives!

Who would have thought that medical strides would include using human hosts as a treatment options for undesirable temperment and stress, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, allergies/asthma, eczema, celiac disease,  obesity and probably much much more.

 As hosts to trillions of microbes, both good and bad, we may find that the answer to good health and longevity truly rests within ourselves.

 

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Human Hosts Transplants Promote Health (1/2)

Image result for image fecal transplant

Photo credit: Cleveland.com

Heart, kidney and liver transplants can save lives. But…transplanting beneficial bacterial cells from one healthy human to another unhealthy human sounds preposterous; doesn’t it? Yet, so far bacterial transplants seem to produce favorable health outcomes without the adverse effects of many common conventional medical treatments.

You may just be the perfect solution to your family, friends or neighbors medical ills.

Considering  bacterial cells outnumber human cells 10 to 1 and we are hosts to an estimated 8 million non-human genes from bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that are dwelling inside us. This should come as no surprise; but I must admit, I’m surprised.

As we start to understand more about bacteria or “bugs” (otherwise known as our microbiome or microbiota that are living inside us), that inhabit our bodies and their tie in with the immune system, the brain, the gut, unexplained fevers in children, acne etc…medical science is making huge strides in utilizing these bacteria for medical treatments from human hosts.

For example, fecal transplant or fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), http://thefecaltransplantfoundation.org/what-is-fecal-transplant/, also known as “yellow soup” in traditional Chinese medicine is a procedure that has been in practice since the 4th century in China; and for the last few hundred years this same technique has been used in veterinary medicine. During this FMT process, stool is collected from a healthy host “donor” and transferred inside the colon of an unhealthy patient via a colonoscopy.

One purpose of transferring poop from a healthy person into a person who suffers from intestinal issues is to replace healthy bacteria that has been suppressed (typically due to overuse of antibiotics) causing colonization and overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.

Successful transplants have been experienced with those diagnosed with Clostridium difficile (otherwise known as C. diff. an intestinal pathogen normally found in the gut that causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon). “The annual burden of Clostridium difficile infections in the United States is 453,000 cases per year, with 29,300 associated deaths,” http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/02/cdc-puts-c-difficile-burden-453000-cases-29000-deaths.”

But because of its winning track record, uses for FMT has expanded and now used for those suffering from digestive or auto-immune diseases (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis) and more findings suggest links between other physical and mental disorders,  like metabolic diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and autism via the gut brain axis, allergic disorders, and tumors, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284325/.

Have not heard of  FMT? Let’s be honest not exactly a topic you might want to discuss at the dinner table. But, as disgusting as it sounds and despite the repulsive thoughts, IT WORKS!

Fecal transplants are safe. Since the 4th century, there have been no reports of any serious side effects and it has a 90% success rate, http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/fmt-demonstrates-consistently-high-success-rates-for-recurrent-cdi.

I’m not just talking sh*t, microbial transplants (MT) from various body regions, and not just the colon, are gaining in popularity. This discovery has expanded the breadth of people bacterial bug transplants are helping.

Next week you can read more about which specific body parts have been studied and learn how body bugs can influence health far beyond conditions related to the gut. In the meantime you may want to meander into some of these links:

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Another White Powder To Avoid

 

Anyone just happen to read the New York Times on Sept 17.? Yeah, In big bold letters, ” Artificial sweeteners (AS) may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes”, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/artificial-sweeteners-may-disrupt-bodys-blood-sugar-controls/.

Powerful and very important message don’t ya think? The non-caloric sugar substitute created to help cut sugar from the diet and increase food options for diabetics, help lower calories and aid in weight loss has just been found to do the exact opposite. After all these years of throwing our money down the drain (paying more for these products too)and acting as human guinea pigs we now find out this food ingredient causes the very same problems it is trying to correct.

The business of selling and adding artificial sweeteners to the food supply is a $2-4 billion dollar business. Unfortunately, the public has paid for that with our health.

The study The New York Times refers to is published  in “Nature” and  the researchers, Eran Elinav et. al., from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found that AS changed gut bacteria causing fluctuations in sugar metabolism that mimic diabetes. Admittedly the sample size for the experiment is small but I believe that even if it happens in one, it is possible to repeat itself in others. If you are that one, it is very relevant to you.

The researchers did consecutive trials:

  1. Mice were fed plain water, water with Sweet’N Low, Splenda or Equal, water with sugar or glucose. The mice who drank water with artificial sweeteners “developed marked glucose intolerance” as a result of changes in the natural gut flora. The mice with glucose intolerance were then given antibiotics that killed the gut flora and the glucose intolerance went away.
  2. Researchers also took a sample of the gut bacteria in the mice that were glucose intolerant and then injected the bacteria in mice that had never consumed artificial sweetener. The injected mice then developed glucose intolerance. “DNA sequencing showed the artificial sweetener changed the variety of bacteria in the guts of the mice that consumed it.”
  3. Then the researchers compiled data on 381 non diabetic individuals and found a connection  between “the reported use of any kind of artificial sweeteners and signs of glucose intolerance. In addition, the gut bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were different from those who did not.”
  4. For one week, seven human volunteers (who normally did not use artificial sweeteners) “consumed the maximum amount of saccharin recommended by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In four of the seven, blood-sugar levels were disrupted in the same way as in mice.” Then they used bacteria from the four volunteers who developed glucose intolerance and injected it into the gut of mice. The mice, then also developed glucose intolerance.

Seems pretty straight forward right?  Yes but there is so much more to take from this if you read between the lines:

  1. Gut bacteria seems to be another point of interest in understanding blood sugar disorders.

2.This research seems to suggest that there may be a variety of ways blood sugar abnormalities occur and some may at least originally be independent of insulin            abnormalities.

  1. While the information is compelling, is it really shocking that a man-made chemical might have a deleterious effect on health? We know trans fats and corn syrup negatively affect risk factors for heart disease, blood sugar and other health factors.

Looking forward to seeing what is on the horizon as researchers continue to delve deeper into solving some of the questions about the influence of artificial sweeteners on health but until then I suggest you avoid being a guinea pig. Artificial sweeteners seem to be another white powder to avoid.

 
 

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