|Robust, Meandering Gut
Source: van den Abbeele, 2013
The Ancestral Health Symposium is less than one month away, August 7 to 9th at UC Berkeley campus!
Several gut talks will be available (in addition to mine) which I am highly excited about:
The Gut; Diet, Flora, Health and Disease: Research and Recommendations
The environment of westernized societies is vastly different than that seen in non-westernized societies or during our developmental history. Differing lines of data show that exposure to dirt and bugs cause disease while other data show exposure prevents disease. How do we account for this discordance? More importantly how do we use this data to become healthier? While there is still very much we do not know about this field, this talk will attempt to critically examine trends in the data so as to extract practical applications for the attendees.
Speaker: Michael Ruscio, D.C., B.S.
Lifestyle and Autoimmune Disease: It’s Still About Your Gut, but Not All About What You Eat
A variety of factors contribute to the development of autoimmune disease, among them genetics, leaky gut, and nutritional deficiencies. Although the power of therapeutic diets in the management of autoimmune disease is becoming increasingly recognized, an underemphasis on lifestyle contributors to immune dysfunction and gut health jeopardizes the efficacy of nutritional intervention. Chronic stress, inadequate sleep, inactivity and overtraining each negatively impact the health of the gut by interfering with digestion, damaging the gut barrier, or altering the gut microbiome. Understanding why and how to address lifestyle factors will enable the autoimmune disease patient to fully benefit from diet modifications.
Speaker: Sarah Ballantyne, H.B.Sc., Ph.D.
Bone Broth and Health: A Look at the Science
A South American proverb claims “Good broth will resurrect the dead.” While that’s clearly an exaggeration, chicken soup has enjoyed a reputation as “Jewish penicillin” and bone broths are served to convalescents all over the world. In this presentation, Dr. Daniel will review the science that supports consuming bone broth for healthy bones, joints, skin, digestion, immunity and emotional stability. She will discuss 19th and early 20th century studies on gelatin, as well as recent investigations into the “conditionally essential” amino acids proline, glycine and glutamine and “the essential sugars” N-Acetylglucosamine and N-Acetylgalactosamine. Finally, she will report on Dr. John F. Prudden’s clinical trials healing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, and even cancer with cartilage. In short, much science supports the ancestral wisdom of consuming bone broth.
Speaker: Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D., CCN
Cry Me a River: Robustness and Diversity in the Gut
Van den Abbeele and his colleagues in Belgium recently published on probiotics (eg microbial network units) and fiber/prebiotics. They establish that a meandering-river-like gut has optimal function because it has freedom and power to be flexible and adapt to shifting environmental factors analogous to a meandering river ecosystem. I like the vision that these researchers create. By following the energy flow of water that starts with low energy potential (like plant fiber v. pack of Oreo cookies), higher ecological niches and higher microbial diversity are created. Studies support that the higher the diversity and abundance, the more stable and robust the gut environment to changes. With less legs to stand on, the gut ecosystem collapses far more easily under small pressure or stressors. The factors they list as modern stressors include C sections, formula diet, antibiotics and high digestible, refined, Western diets. Antibiotics can originate may originate from both livestock/dairy/egg sources and healthcare.
|Complex Cross-feeding in the Anti-Fragile,
Le Chatelier et al, 2013
In our gut different currencies exist; this works much like in a thriving village, various services and goods are exchanged depending on the talents and gifts of the inhabitants. Gut microbes exchange carbon (CO2, SCFA, lactate, etc and methane, CH4) and gasses (H2, sulfur) and extensively cross-feed each other. A healthy colon has biochemical pathways similar to a compost heap for degradation. Intimate cross-feeding of by-products of plant fiber breakdown (carbs –> shorter carbs –> oligosaccharides –> glucose, fructose, etc) feeds groups with different specialties in breaking down a broad variety of fiber. A productive community will have higher diversity and skilled enzymes for cutting a variety of plant fiber and resistant starches.
Studies are far back as ~20 yrs have shown that resistant starch is not broken down in the guts of ~25% of healthy controls (Cummings 1996; Hylla et al 1998). The same is true for inulin prebiotics. The keystone or ‘star players’ were extinct. How do you play if the star players are missing? Game over?
Obese rodent models have broken guts. What about RS digestion? Impaired? Quite. No weight loss was seen when obese mice models failed to ferment resistant starch (RS2) in an RS feeding study (Zhou, 2009).
Absent Allies in Obesity and Insulin Resistance
Le Chatelier et al recently reported that “Here we report the human gut microbial composition in a population sample of 123 non-obese and 169 obese Danish individuals. We find two groups of individuals that differ by the number of gut microbial genes and thus gut bacterial richness. They contain known and previously unknown bacterial species at different proportions; individuals with a low bacterial richness (23% of the population [‘low gene count’, LGC]) are characterized by more marked overall adiposity, insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia and a more pronounced inflammatory phenotype when compared with high bacterial richness individuals [‘high gene count’, HGC]. The obese individuals among the lower bacterial richness group also gain more weight over time. Only a few bacterial species are sufficient to distinguish between individuals with high and low bacterial richness, and even between lean and obese participants.”
The bacteria-poor with low diversity and microbial abundance (LGC) had the following observations:
- decreased butyrate producers: Clostridiales (Anaerotruncus colihominis, Butyrivibrio crossotus, anti-inflammatory F prausnitzii), M smithii
- increased mucus degradation potential (more R gnavus, torques; extinct Akkermansia)
- decreased methane and hydrogen production potential combined with higher hydrogen sulfide creation potential
- increase in Shigella, Campylobacter, and Staph overgrowths
- increased indicators of oxidative stress (peroxidase)
- inflammatory phenotypes — high leptin, low adiponectin, insulin resistance, elevated FIAF (ANGPLT4), high insulin, high BG, adiposity, high TG, low HDL, high hsCRP
In lean, bacteria-rich folks, the below following species were potently higher in abundance. These are part of the hallmark of optimal gut health, our ancestral core microbiota.
* F. prausnitzii
* M. smithii
Species of bacteria limit weight gain
Researchers also observed that obese people in the bacteria-deficient group gained more weight over time than individuals in the other group. In bacteria-poor individuals, eight specific species of bacteria were present in low numbers, or were even absent altogether. These species may have a protective role in preventing weight gain and in the long run their detection will open the way to the development of new probiotics that will help to combat weight gain.
With identifying and quantifying only a few species, researchers can fingerprint and differentiate the lean versus the sick/insulin resistant individuals harboring the less robust, non-meandering gut microbiotas.
Again, show me your gut microbiota, and I’ll show you missing allies.
The 7 Steps works for many because it combines healthy environmental organisms (grit/SBO probiotics/plant organisms/mud/manure) with the optimal fuel for the gut microbiota…evolutionary plant fiber from ancestral tubers, whole seeds/grains, and legumes. Synbiotics are probiotics + prebiotics and our most ancestral foods combined these because before 50-70 years ago, most places in the world still did not have running water, household toilets or ubiquitous triclosan, hand sanitizers or soap! Prior to refrigeration, unspoiled food was fresh, fermented or semi-fermented.
“More recently, another plausible mechanism has surfaced in the synbiotic combination of resistant starch, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis . These investigations identified enhanced apoptosis of carcinogen-damaged cells in rat colon by the combination treatment . In contrast, the probiotics provided no protection when a low resistant starch diet was fed and the resistant starch had no protective response in the absence of the probiotic . (Davis, Milner 2009)“