My latest blog has just been posted on using probiotics for overall health. I’ve spoken of the gut-brain connection before, and this blog really summarizes the main points of what an optimal balance of gut bacteria will do for overall health.
Here’s an excerpt:
What has been well understood by Naturopathic Physicians for years is now becoming common knowledge, as this ancient wisdom is being explored and verified by modern science. Today, what seemed like a (excuse the expression) detour downstream is becoming not only somewhat accepted by conventional doctors, but borderline trendy by stars and weight loss gurus.
Why so much attention to the gastrointestinal tract?
The GI tract is home to over 70% of your immune system (GALT) and the major site of your neurotransmitter production (ENS)! In other words, your belly is a powerful force in modulating inflammation and mood. With a current focus on calming inflammation for weight loss, it’s no wonder that our society is paying so much attention to the little buggy bacteria that live in our colon. Recently, studies have verified this gut-inflammatory-obesity link to the balance of gut micobiota.
According to nutritionist, Claire Whitman, the balance of microbes in our gut influences fat cell signaling processes and energy metabolism:
…it was also shown that gut microflora influence expression of fasting-induced adipocyte factor (FIAF). This compound is a form of angiopoietin protein that serves as a major inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Alterations in FIAF levels directly affect activity of LPL and therefore, blood lipids and the storage of calories as fat. These findings suggest that GI microflora may not only inhibit energy metabolism at the absorption level but also influence endogenous pathways that modulate storage and utilization of macronutrients. Gut microfloar-FIAF(angiopoietin protein) inhibits LPL lipase-LPL and blood lipid storage
The fact that our gut plays a role in our metabolism has also been confirmed by finding different ratios of bacteria species in obese and diabetic adults in comparision to healthy individuals.
Shifting the focus of weight loss to overall health, Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O. and Natasha Trenev explain some of the many other benefits we acquire by homing beneficial probiotic bacteria in our gut.
Good microflora has the following roles:
- They manufacture B-vitamins, such as biotin, niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid.
- They act as anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) factors, with powerful anti-tumour potentials.
- They act as ‘watchdogs’ by keeping an eye on, and effectively controlling, the spread of undesirable microorganisms (by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit and/or producing specific antibiotic substances, as well as by depriving rival unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients). … lactobacilli is”Candida albicans,” now implicated in many health problems in people who are malnourished or whose immune systems are depleted.
- They effectively help to control high cholesterol levels, thereby affording us protection from the cardiovascular damage which excessive levels of this nevertheless important substance can create.
- They sometimes act to relieve the symptoms of anxiety
Read more here…
And, as promised…extra bonus reads of research abstracts for my Scientific Saratogians:
…But, before you do that..we’re less than a week away to the Integrated Health Forum!
Abstracts for Review:
We examined the role of microorganisms in the degradation of the organophosphorus (OP) insecticide chlorpyrifos (CP) during kimchi fermentation. During the fermentation of kimchi, 30 mg L(-1) of CP was added and its stability assayed during fermentation. CP was degraded rapidly until day 3 (83.3%) and degraded completely by day 9. Four CP-degrading lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from kimchi fermentation in the presence of 200 mg L(-1) CP and were identified as Leuconostoc mesenteroides WCP907, Lactobacillus brevis WCP902, Lactobacillus plantarum WCP931, and Lactobacillus sakei WCP904. CP could be utilized by these four strains as the sole source of carbon and phosphorus. Coumaphos (CM), diazinon (DZ), parathion (PT), and methylparathion (MPT) were also degraded by WCP907, WCP902, WCP931, and WCP904 when provided as sole sources of carbon and phosphorus.
ABSTRACT: Over 70 years have passed since dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury first proposed a gastrointestinal mechanism for the overlap between depression, anxiety and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. Among the remedies advocated by Stokes and Pillsbury were Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. Many aspects of this gut-brain-skin unifying theory have recently been validated. The ability of the gut microbiota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood itself, may have important implications in acne. The intestinal microflora may also provide a twist to the developing diet and acne research. Here we provide a historical perspective to the contemporary investigations and clinical implications of the gut-brain-skin connection in acne.
Background: There is increasing interest in the gut-brain axis and the role intestinal microbiota may play in communication between these two systems. Acquisition of intestinal microbiota in the immediate postnatal period has a defining impact on the development and function of the gastrointestinal, immune, neuroendocrine and metabolic systems. For example, the presence of gut microbiota regulates the set point for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity.
Methods: We investigated basal behavior of adult germ-free (GF), Swiss Webster female mice in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and compared this to conventionally reared specific pathogen free (SPF) mice. Additionally, we measured brain mRNA expression of genes implicated in anxiety and stress-reactivity.
Key Results Germ-free mice, compared to SPF mice, exhibited basal behavior in the EPM that can be interpreted as anxiolytic. Altered GF behavior was accompanied by a decrease in the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit NR2B mRNA expression in the central amygdala, increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and decreased serotonin receptor 1A (5HT1A) expression in the dentate granule layer of the hippocampus.
Conclusions & Inferences: We conclude that the presence or absence of conventional intestinal microbiota influences the development of behavior, and is accompanied by neurochemical changes in the brain.
What are your experiences and thoughts on good bugs?