The MicroBiome

Mini-Medical School #1 2016
Presented by
Stephanie Taylor MD PhD

All disease begins in the gut-Hippocrates, 3rd c, B.C.E.

Who are the Microbiome?
Currently, all the bacteria that live on and within you. Very soon, this definition will also include viruses and parasites. As of 2016, 10,000 bacteria types have been identified comprising eight million genes. This outnumbers your genes more than 30/1.

What are they doing?
Assist digestion, defend against harmful organisms, neutralize toxins in food, educate and nourish the gut associated immune system, produce enzymes, vitamins and neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation.

So what’s the problem?
Imbalances in the microbiome cause: weight gain, neurological disease, inflammation (think cancer and heart disease). Imbalances are caused by stress, antibiotics, cesarean sections and perverse cleanliness. Specifically: weight gain is associated with an excess of Firmicutes and a deficiency of Bacteroidetes. Babies delivered by Cesarean section have: 5X increased allergies, 50% increased risk of obesity, and 70% increased risk of Type II diabetes. Antibiotics disrupt the microbiome and are grossly overused, especially in industrial meat and poultry production. Do not eat dinner late at night-your microbiome needs a rest.

The Solution:
Remove from the diet processed foods, preservatives, and chemical sweeteners etc. that harm bacteria: identify pathogens, and remove with natural compounds.
Replace as needed:  stomach acid (naturally), and digestive enzymes. Chew your food.
Reinoculate with probiotics. Should contain:lactobacillus acidophilous, l. rameseses, l. plantaris, and different types of Bifidobacter.
Repair with supplements or pre-biotics. Useful supplements are: glutamine, NAC, and DGL. Repair with friendly foods: asparagus, oats, carrots, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, leeks, onions, radishes, tomatoes, cinnamon, turmeric…..and fermented foods.

Recommended Resources:

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter MD-focus on neurology
The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerald Mullin MD-focus on weight loss
The Microbiome Diet– Raphael Kellerman MD-focus on weight loss
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz- learn what your grandmother knew about keeping a family healthy.

Local Resources:

http://ubiome.com/   “The world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science”.  They offer direct to consumer microbiome sequencing and a free eBook on weight loss. They co-ordinate with the National Institute of Health Microbiome project at: https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/index

Happy Girl Kitchen, 173 Central Ave, PG gives workshops on fermentation and canning. A great local community resource. Web site: http://happygirlkitchen.com/pages/events

Grocery Shopping: The best vegetable ferments are found at Farmhouse Culture– many sauerkrauts and kimchee as well as the infamous Gut Shot. Available widely and at Costco! Kathryn Lukas, the owner, gave our very first Mini-Medical School.

Check out the fermented dairy products: yogurt, kefir and kefir cheese. The dairy must be organic and/or grass and pasture raised. Avoid homogenized milks. Dairy free yogurt can be purchased or made at home.  You an even ferment water, really! Every world culture has several ferments. We are familiar with miso from Japan, unpasteurized wine and beer from all times and places, and many more.

General shopping advice: Shop at the perimeter of the supermarket and not the central isles where all the processed foods abide. Try for organic if possible since this eliminates the following: herbicides and pesticides, antibiotic residues and the DNA of antibiotic resistant organisms.