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mBio150pxwide-11Now there will be those tempted to see this as a pitch for drinking more red wine….but let’s try and keep this in perspective, you see a this research looked at a compound found in red wine, resveratrol.  It found that it reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome, according to a new study by researchers from China. The study is published in mBio, an open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.[1]

The authors are recorded as stating:

“Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms responsible for resveratrol’s anti-atherosclerosis effects and indicate that gut microbiota may become an interesting target for pharmacological or dietary interventions to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases,”

cover_natureA paper in Nature back in 2014 noted that artificial non-caloric sweeteners (NAS) when consumed by mice had a detrimental effect of their metabolic health and microbiota, and the authors suggested that this connection may be an indication of risk in humans who consume these additives. The study used three artificial sweeteners: saccharin, sucralose (which is Splenda®), and aspartame.

homecoverWhat? This is the act of applying vaginal bacteria to new-borns, not delivered vaginally to ensure exposure to the mother’s microbiome. Whilst at present, we don’t yet know whether the many conditions associated with C-section—including reported higher rates of allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and even an association with autism diagnosis—are due to lack of exposure to the maternal vaginal microbiome to which, until recently, every surviving mammal had been exposed at birth.[1] Numerous people are considering this to be a prudent approach, as declining diversity of bacterial cohabitants are linked to increased problems with immune regulation and subsequent development of illness.

08A review article in Gastroenterologica e Dietologica explores the evidence for the use of LGG as a therapeutic probiotic.[1] Probiotics are becoming increasingly important in basic and clinical research, but they are also a subject of considerable economic interest due to their expanding popularity. They are live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host.

From this very well-known definition, it is clear that, unlike drugs, probiotics might be useful in healthy subjects to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases or to optimise some physiological functions. They also may offer some advantages in already ill persons in relieving symptoms and signs, e.g. people with acute diarrhoea.

indexA fascinating open paper was published in microbiome in 2013, and its suggested conclusions are now more prescient than ever, as the relationship between genotype, phenotype, and metabolic repertoire in the microbiome is understood to be non-linear.[1] The requirement for a certain functional diversity to ensure a well-functioning cooperative intestinal microbiota is crucial to break down various complex dietary compounds and divide metabolic tasks among different community members.

6267.cover-sourceRecent studies have suggested that gut bacteria play a fundamental role in diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Data are accumulating in animal models and humans suggesting that obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are associated with a profound dysbiosis.[1]

First human metagenome-wide association studies demonstrated highly significant correlations of specific intestinal bacteria, certain bacterial genes and respective metabolic pathways with T2D. Importantly, especially butyrate-producing bacteria such as Roseburia intestinalis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii concentrations were lower in T2D subjects.

indexThe growing knowledge in research communities concerning the symbiotic relationship we have with our bacterial organism population is increasingly reflecting that which we have been discussing for many years – namely the use of antibiotics (and many of our current lifestyle habits) is not a benign event in terms of microbiome outcomes. It seems that even short pulses of widely used antibiotics (amoxicillin and tylosin in this paper) can lead to long-term development changes in mouse pups, including increased body mass and bone growth and changes to the gut microbiota, according to a study published in Nature Communications.[1]

A free to indexaccess paper published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine in Feb 2015 explores the opportunities for health care management by understanding the role of the commensal organisms in the human gut, whilst there are many hundreds of papers published every month now on the microbiome and implications for care, there is still much to be learned.[1]

Old views are being changed rapidly and that throws up confusion and concern, indeed the clinical principles explored since Metchnikoff mainly by non conventional clinicians have obvious but inconsistent implications, and as we constantly discover subtle variations in composition and gene variances relating to the organisms that reside in and on us, the implications are that we need to develop some additional skills (knowledge) to really make this metabolic organ work with us.

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NEUThe relationships between magnesium deficiency and human health are extensive. Whilst this is an animal model the possibility that some of the benefits seen from magnesium supplementation may be mediated through its effects on the gut microbiota is an interesting twist.

The paper published in Acta Neuropsychiatry in Feb 2015 sheds some light on the possible mechanisms involved.[1]

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Oh Boy… the journal Nature has this week (9.10.14) identified the insidious effect of consuming ‘diet’ or non caloric sweeteners on the burgeoning mass of human adipocytes and they have really taken a good run at it.[1]

Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) were introduced over a century ago as means for providing sweet taste to foods without the associated high energy content of caloric sugars. NAS consumption gained much popularity owing to their reduced costs, low caloric intake and perceived health benefits for weight reduction and normalization of blood sugar levels.[2] For these reasons, NAS are increasingly introduced into commonly consumed foods such as diet sodas, cereals and sugar-free desserts, and are being recommended for weight loss and for individuals suffering from glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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