Month: June 2014

Boost Gut Diversity With Exercise. Or More Protein. Or Not.

This NYT article got me thinking about other ways to boost gut diversity, ways that have nothing to do with actual ingestion of different bacterial strains or even prebiotics and polyphenols (read: plants) that feed them. The researchers found significantly higher gut microbe diversity in exercisers (albeit extreme ones) vs. non-exercisers.

Correlation. Zero causation, and lots of confounders, rendering this whole article kind of a non-starter.

The study discussed, comparing rugby players to couch potatoes, suffers from more than a few design problems. First of all, how do you control against the possibility that rugby players are simply rolling around in the dirt more than the non-exercising control group? I mean, just look at the game itself. They’re covered in mud, inhaling and inadvertently swallowing millions of soil-based organisms while crushing and pummeling each other on the pitch.

And that’s leaving out the fact that athletes tend to have special diets with higher amounts of protein (known to change gut bacterial populations), representing a whole ‘nother variable that has broad potential to skew results.

In short, nice idea guys, but all you did was piss me off. More refinement needed, and a laboratory setting wouldn’t hurt either. It’s very simple: Just two groups kept at the clinic, ON THE SAME DIET, for christ’s sake. Exercise one of them, let the other play cards and call their moms all day. Analyze their crap before and after the exercise period. Do you really need me to tell you this?

 

 

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Glyphosates, gut biodiversity, and kinda sorta maybe a Unified Theory of Modern Disease?

I was a long-time sufferer of celiac disease. Since identifying it in my thirties, I spent 8 years avoiding all gluten, being a general pain in the ass at every dinner party and restaurant. Any accidental crumb of bread would almost immediately send me dashing to the john for a painful session that, depending on the contamination level, could be repeated for up to 48 hours.

About 2 years ago, in an unrelated move, I started eating only food that came either from our garden, local farmers who didn’t treat their crops, or the nearest organic supermarket here in Normandy.

So it was last week that I started reading about the link between glyphosates (think RoundUp or other herbicides) and celiac disease. Wait a minute: this wasn’t something I was born with after all? Was the problem not the wheat but what had been sprayed on the wheat?! By going organic, I had effectively avoided herbicides and pesticides for the last 2 years, so I tried a wacky, cutting-edge experiment: I had a beer, after first making sure I was sprinting distance to a bathroom. And the weirdest thing happened:

Nothing.

And you won’t know how great that is unless you’ve got celiac. The experience was so astonishing, I decided to try some bread. Again, no symptoms.

Not long afterwards, my sister-in-law sent me this review on the relationship between celiac incidence and glyphosate-based herbicide use over the last 20 years. You can’t overlook this pretty striking association, as shown on page 2. Ok, that’s correlation. Interesting but not enough to catch glyphosates red-handed. Gotta pathway, tough guy? You betcha.

None of you will be surprised to note that this has something to do with gut bacteria. While we destroy diversity planet-wide, we are also doing it inside ourselves. Wouldn’t it be logical that an herbicide created to destroy diversity on a crop field (also known as “killing weeds”) would do the same thing in your colon? It’s killing off beneficial bacteria and leaving you with mostly baddies. (Yes, I realize those are chickens in the study, but those are all bacteria housed in the human intestine too.)

So once you’ve got serious dysbiosis down under, you’ve got problems. First off, none of the hormone signalling usually taken care of by your resident healthy gut bacteria is taking place. Secondly, you’re developing holes in your gut wall, since the protective bacteria aren’t there, or aren’t there in big enough numbers. You’re opening yourself up to tons of other diseases since your shizz is now getting through to the Other Side. Wanna keep your immune system wired all day, overzealous, trigger-happy, overworked, and generally unprepared to meet the demands of protecting your body? Get some bodywide toxemia from bacteria entering your bloodstream through your gut endothelium. We’re not talking simple IBD or colitis anymore. The downstream effects will be felt everywhere.

So, commence extrapolation to all autoimmune disease. Damn, I’m late to the party, as the science journal Nature already did that. So did the Centre for Research on Globalisation, who went as far as to name glyphosates as a causative factor in all modern disease, period.

I’ll leave you with this interview by Jeffrey Smith, who you may know from his book, Genetic Roulette. If you have an hour to spare, it’s well worth it. Here he lets researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff tell you first hand all about what she learned regarding glyphosates and what they do to us, our resident bacteria, and our health.

The Unified Theory of Modern Disease comes into sight when you throw in a lifestyle involving frequent therapeutic antibiotic use, low-dose antibiotic ingestion in your meat, milk and water, and modern ultra-high levels of hygiene with not enough exposure to natural soil bacterial communities. You’re decimating your gut biome, and your health. Get dirty and get organic, and get on it now to prevent diseases of civilization.

 

 

 

 

Chock fulla Whodathunkit: Bacteria in your BLADDER.

For years we were told that urine is sterile. It was a foregone conclusion that things like overactive bladder, cysts and bladder cancer couldn’t be a result of infection, because hey, no bacteria.

I’m sure by now you can guess what I’m going to say about why we had the blinders on: we couldn’t culture them using standard lab environments, mediums, temperatures, pH levels, gas mixtures and CO2 contents, anaerobic vs. aerobic settings, etc. The labs also have pretty high cutoff limits on bacterial quantities in order for them to be considered statistically significant. Anything lower than these were considered too low to have any clinical effect. Meaning they were treated as if they weren’t there.

We didn’t see them. Hence they didn’t exist.

But URINE LUCK. (Sorry. How was I going to pass that up?)

Have a nice warm, yellow cup of proof that they do. Along with lots of indications their dysbiosis is what may be causing many bladder diseases and even bladder cancer, even when present in vanishingly small amounts as compared to the intestines (remember there aren’t really any fibers or sugars for bacteria to thrive on in the bladder).

All it took were a few scientists who had the cojones to question their own methods instead of following protocol. And of course their findings are not catching on in the scientific community. Who wants to admit they’ve been wrong for generations?

As for practical implications for the patient… You thinking what I’m thinking? Yep, this raises the issue, yet again, of a Disturbed Microbiome as a, if not the, culprit in yet another spectrum of diseases.

And what disturbs it more than antibiotics??