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The Gut Microbiome and Artery Hardening
Food Sensitivities, Depression, IBS
Severe Flu, Gut Microbes, and Flavanoids
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth/SIBO
Schizophrenia and Low GABA Levels
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The Gut Microbiome and Artery Hardening

Gut health is paramount to good health.  Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been correlated with immune dysfunction, brain dysfunction, diabetes, and increased risk of autoimmunity.  It appears that we can add to that list cardiovascular disease.  Newresearchat the University of Nottingham suggests that lower diversity of gut bacteria correlates with hardening of the arteries.  How do we create more diversity in our microbiome?  According to most of the research on the microbiome, one key is having a very diverse diet.

Food Sensitivities, Depression, IBS

In case you didn't see my facebook post, a recent study published in April, 2018, in the journalNutrients, showed a correlation between garlic, celery, and gluten intake and major depressive disorder (MDD).  
Here is a link to the abstract:

Related to that, what I believe is a significant change in food sensitivity testing is the company Alcat doing two Yale University studies reflecting the usefulness of this test. Here are the links to the studies:

Severe Flu, Gut Microbes, and Flavanoids

Since we're about to enter influenza season, anything that might reduce the risk or severity of the flu is pertinent.  According to a recent study done at Washington University School of Medicine, there are reasons why some people have more severe flu symptoms than others.  One reason they discovered was that certain gut microbes need to be present in order to process immune-supporting substances from our diet.  One such substance is a flavonoid, as discussed in this particular study.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth/SIBO

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a newer diagnosis that means bacteria from the colon have migrated into the small intestine.  The most common symptoms are bloating and irregular stools, and it is usually diagnosed with a hydrogen breath test.  It can be caused by excessive starch intake and apparently food poisoning (such as campylobacter). 

Most fascinating to me is the possible correlation being made between SIBO and other diseases, such as:
Multiple Sclerosis:

Schizophrenia and Low GABA Levels

Previous studies have suggested that people with schizophrenia may have lower levels of GABA in the brain.  Remember that GABA is the primary calming neurotransmitter in the brain, while glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain.  Newer research supports the idea of low GABA in those with schizophrenia.  GABA is available as an over the counter supplement, and taking vitamin B6 supports the conversion of glutamate to GABA in the brain.  If you have schizophrenia, you might consider talking to your Doctor about GABA and B6 supplements.

Understanding Myelin Regeneration In Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis involves degeneration of the myelin sheath, a protective layer on nerve cells.  Most treatments for MS involve trying to stop the progression of the disease, but few have attempted to promote regeneration of the myelin.  Scientists have recently discovered that cells within the immune system, called Regulatory T Cells (T-reg cells for short), promote the growth of new myelin within the nervous system.  Therefore, it would seem beneficial (there does not appear to be any data on this yet though) to support the production of T-reg cells.

Environmental Allergies and Gut Bacteria

A double blind, placebo controlled, randomized trial published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition(Am J Clin Nutr March 2017 vol. 105 no. 3 758-767) showed that specific probiotic strains were beneficial for the symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Specifically, two forms of bifidobacterium and one form of lactobacillus were supplemented.

Parkinson's and the Gut Microbiome

A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked at the balance of bacteria in those with Parkinson's disease and essentially found higher levels of certain bacteria and lower levels of other specific bacteria compared to people who don't have Parkinson's.  This was reported by Science Daily, March 2, 2017.  My interpretation of the main points made in the article:
-Humans have more than 1000 species of bacteria in the gut.
-The first sign of Parkinson's disease is often gut symptoms.

Intestinal Bacteria, Intestinal Health, and The Brain

A new study done at McMaster University and published inScience Transational Medicineshowed that gut bacteria not only have an influence on intestinal function, but also brain function.  Researchers transplanted fecal material from humans with and without IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea) into mice. 
From Science Daily (March 1, 2017):
"The researchers found that aspects of the illness that were impacted through fecal transplants included gastrointestinal transit (the time it takes for food to leave the stomach and travel through the intestine); intestinal barrier dysfunction; low grade inflammation; and anxiety-like behavior.

Diet and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A potential game changer of a study was done at Seattle Children's Hospital and published in theJournal of Clinical Gastroenterologyin December of 2016.  The study tested the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD Diet) in pediatric patients with crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis.  With nothing other than dietary changes, at the end of the 12 week study, 8 of the 10 participants were apparently in clinical remission. The diet also had a significantly positive impact on microbial balance in the stool (it reduced harmful bacteria).
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