In the Scientific Publication, “Evaluating Causality of Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Diabetes in Humans,” (2018) in the 39th volume, 2nd issue of Gut Microbiota and Human Metabolic Disease, authors Meijnikman, Gerdes, Nieuwdorp and Herrema review the relationship between the gut microbiome and metabolism changes in Obesity and Type II Diabetes Mellitus. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
TROUBLES OF TODAY
Currently, the CDC estimates that more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults are obese (36.5% of the Adult U.S. population). In an alarming trend, we are now seeing higher rates of obesity in children and adolescents. Obesity has been linked to several metabolic disorders and chronic inflammatory diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. It is now reported that 9.4%, or about 1 in 10, U.S. adults suffer from Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). If numbers like these do not get your attention, you may not be fully aware of the situation we face.
FACADE OF FREEDOM
We are living in a society that only pretends to be free. We say, “I have the freedom to drink a 96 oz. soda if I want” or, “I have the freedom to eat what I want, when I want it.” The delusion of this way of thinking assumes that the “rules” do not apply to you. Do we think that the mechanisms of the human
In the scientific publication, “Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome” (2017) in the 5th volume and 44th issue of Microbiome, authors Nagy-Szakal, Williams, and Lipkin, et. al. describe how a specific set of gut bacterial species correlates with symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome with and without Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
WHAT IS CHRONIC FATIGUE?
According to the CDC, Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome, was estimated to affect between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans, in 2015. It is difficult to give an exact number due to the fact that many people do not know they have it and remain undiagnosed. Chronic fatigue is a long-term illness that commonly includes symptoms of unexplained, severe and persistent fatigue, reduced motivation, unrefreshing sleep, reduced mental alertness, pain, and dizziness. Overlapping symptoms of anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia are common in Chronic Fatigue. Interestingly, between 35 and 90% of chronic fatigue patients also present with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is the reason that the gut microbiome is now being investigated as a possible link in disease progression.
In the scientific publication, “Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis.” (2016) in the 8th volume and 56th issue of Nutrients, authors Jenkins, Nguyen, Polglaze and Bertrand explain how the amino acids Tryptophan and Serotonin affect depression, anxiety, sleep, memory and more through the gut-brain axis. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
The direct link between the intestines (gut) and the brain through the vagus nerve and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) is a hot topic in scientific circles right now. The idea that the food we eat and the microbes that live in our gut may actually impact our mood, behavior and social interactions is like the proverbial caveman’s discovery of fire! We can now say that the link exists between the gut and brain, flowing both ways with one affecting the other and vice-versa.
TRYPTOPHAN & SEROTONIN
It has long been known that the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is involved in the “happy” mood or feeling that we experience. This is why low serotonin levels in the brain result in depression and so much more. Well, we don’t get serotonin from simply eating it. Our bodies have to make it. The amino acid, tryptophan, is actually the starting molecule for making serotonin. It is an amino acid that our body must have in order to make proteins in our cells.
In the scientific publication, “Influence of Oral and Gut Microbiota in the Health of Menopausal Women,” (2017) in the 8th volume of Frontiers in Microbiology, authors Vieira, Castelo, Ribeiro and Ferreira explain how estrogen levels affect which microbes grow in the reproductive and gastrointestinal tract. This has a direct impact on rates of certain diseases commonly found in the post-menopausal female. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
The beautiful life of a female involves two important changes in estrogen levels: menarche and menopause. Menarche occurs during adolescence and marks the onset of menstruation and potential reproduction. The second change is during menopause, when menstruation ends and the ovaries become non-reproductive. Estrogen has a huge impact on her physical wellness, emotions, memory, sensitivity to pain, and even the microbes that grow in her reproductive and gastrointestinal tract.
For years, the medical community has known that there are differences in the rates of autoimmune diseases between men and women and even pre- and post-menopausal women. Although we have known about the impact of estrogen, the role of the natural microbes living in the female body is just starting to reveal itself. We now know that estrogen levels impact which microbes grow in the mouth, the gut and the reproductive tract (possibly other locations, as well). This has an impact on Periodontitis, Autoimmune Disease, Type I Diabetes, Osteoporosis and even Breast Cancer.
In the scientific publication, “Gut Microbiome, Metabolome, and Allergic Disease,” in the 66th volume of Allergology International, authors Hirata and Kunisawa explain how they have found a link between the food you eat and the products made by your gut bacteria that affect your overall health. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
NUT-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE…
How many times a week do you encounter a person with some sort of food allergy, or allergies in general? For me, it’s daily. Maybe they are lactose intolerant, or gluten-free, or peanut-free. Some people cannot eat raw vegetables without gas and bloating. My parents say, “it never used to be this way.” Back when I was starting kindergarten, we didn’t have “nut free” classrooms, or hallways. Schools could have ice cream parties without thinking twice about who cannot have lactose (or, really the protein casein that is in milk). How did we get here? What has changed in our society in one generation?
Now that we find ourselves at the end of 2017, fully in the middle of a tsunami wave of new scientific information on gut microbes and how they directly affect our health, researchers are building a case for the connection between the food we eat and the impact it has on our gut microbes. These gut microbes break down your food and make products from it. Some of the products are healthy and some are bad. This study shows what is happening in the guts of people with allergies, and especially food allergies.
In the scientific publication, "Alzheimer's Disease and Gut Microbiota" published in the 59th volume, 10th issue of the Journal, Science China Life Science, (2016) authors Hu,X, Wang, T, and Jin, F present the possible links between gut microbes and Alzheimer's Disease. This is a summary and interpretation of their findings.
THE ALZHEIMER’S CRISIS
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia affecting memory, thinking and behavior. It is a progressive disease, increasing in risk with age. Current knowledge is that it is irreversible.
This topic is “near and dear” to my heart. When I was a child, my Great Uncle committed suicide because he found out that he had Alzheimer’s Disease. At the time, my viewpoint of this tragedy was that of a child. I didn’t understand why he chose to do that. Now that I’m an adult and I understand more, it breaks my heart to know how he must have been feeling to make such a decision.
I know he is not alone. According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
MAYBE GUT BACTERIA?
In the past, the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease has focused on genetics and environment (lifestyle, hazardous materials, etc…). Scientists are now starting to question if the gut microbes play a role, as well. The rapid increase in Alzheimer’s diagnoses in recent years suggest that something more
Kenda Rigdon, Ph.D. Nutrition Sciences Research Associate, Wife, Mother of 3 and Enthusiast for all things Microbiome and gut related!
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Check out this blog in the April, 2018 edition of the Birmingham Metro magazine: b-metro.com/b-yourself-kenda-rigdon/34337/
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