The Liver, Gut Bacteria and the Usefulness of LGG Probiotic.

coverThere are trillions of microorganisms in the human microbiome — they outnumber their host’s cells substantially — and their exact role in health and disease is only now starting to be explored. Studies have found that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have a different composition of bacteria in their gut from healthy individuals.[1],[2] However, it is as yet impossible to say why or what direct effect this has. Whatever the reason, changes in the microbiome are unlikely sufficient to cause disease. Instead, an emerging picture of liver disease and cancer sees their development as a process in which various factors — including a high-fat diet, alcoholism, genetic susceptibility and the microbiome — can each contribute to the progression from minor to severe liver damage, and from severe liver damage to cancer.

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You, Jet Lag, Microbiota and Fat Deposition

If you have ever travelled across time zones you will be familiar with the adverse effects on your physical function an loss of clarity and productivity – well it seems that the organisms present in your gut, share the same trip and to some extent the same consequences. Published in Cell researchers explored the consequences of this effect on adiposity and metabolic functionality. Whilst they are naturally cautious about translation from a mouse model to a human one, they noted some interesting observations, that may explain some peoples adverse physical consequences derived in part as a result of cross time zone travel.[1]

Organisms ranging from bacteria to humans have circadian clocks to help them synchronise their biological activities to the time of day. This paper now reveals that gut microbes in mice and humans have circadian rhythms that are controlled by the biological clock of the host in which they reside. Disruption of the circadian clock in the host alters the rhythms and composition of the microbial community, potentially leading to obesity and metabolic problems.

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Exercise Linked to More Diverse Intestinal Microbiome

Athletes, particularly those at the top of their profession appear to be are big winners when it comes to their gut microflora. A recent paper suggests that exercise has a direct effect on microbial composition and related gastrointestinal health. The article ‘Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity’ was published in the international journal GUT.[1]

The relationship among the gut microbiota, exercise and related dietary changes has received much less attention. Loss of community richness/biodiversity has been demonstrated in obesity studies while increased diversity, which has been advocated to promote stability and improved ecosystem performance, is associated with increased health in certain populations. This has led to the suggestion that microbiota diversity could become a new biomarker for health status. It has been suggested that monitoring the gut microbiota annually to determine changes in the composition and stability could be sufficient to detect health status changes.

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Gut Bacteria Trigger Autism

Our gut microbiota can influence our state of mind, including our mood and behaviour. In the recent issue of Cell, scientists reported that the compositional and structural shifts of microbes and associated metabolites can trigger autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms.[1] (2013, Cell 155,1451).

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioural impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities.

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Bacteria Plus Prebiotic Induce Metabolic Benefits Including Weight Loss.

Our gut as we all know is home to innumerable different bacteria — a complex ecosystem that has an active role in a variety of bodily functions. In a study published on the 13th May 2013 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,[1] a team of researchers finds that in mice, just one of key bacterial species plays a major part in controlling obesity and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes.

The bacterium, unfamiliar to many of us and called Akkermansia muciniphila, digests the epithelial mucus and makes up 3–5% of the microbes in a healthy mammalian gut. But the intestines of obese humans and mice, and those with type 2 diabetes, have much lower levels. The researchers led by Patrice Cani, who studies the interaction between gut bacteria and metabolism at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, decided to investigate the link.

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Tocotrienols, Probiotics and PhosphoGlycolipids: A Perfect Prescription for the Liver?

By Michael Ash, BSc, DO, ND, F.DipIOn

One of my primary areas of research and expertise is the gut microbiota and its diverse impact on our health. Your liver receives nearly 70% of its blood supply from the intestine, and represents a first line of defence against gut-derived antigens. Intestinal bacteria—and the antigens they produce—play a key role in the maintenance of gut-liver axis health. Modulation of the gut microbiota to achieve and maintain symbiosis represents a new way to treat or prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Along with the concomitant use of tocotrienols and glycophospholipids, we may be starting to see the emergence of a truly profound intervention for a complex metabolic disease, using safe,natural compounds.

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RA – Bacteria, Diet and Hormones a Fixable Mix?

Rheumatoid arthritis! – these are not the words anyone wants to hear when they start to experience joint discomfort. It quite naturally engenders fear and worry as the tretaments offered are in themselves a challenge in most cases and avoiding effective treatment can predispose an individual to a shortened and miserable life.

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Interactive Bacteria Chart

The journal Scientific American in their June 2012 issue looked at the social network of the bacteria in our digestive tract and on our skin. As I have previously stated the role of our commensal bacteria as significant players in our health and function is becoming more and more understood. Whilst those of us involved in alternative, complementary or functional medicine have regarded the digestive tract and its commensal inhabitants as a primary partner in the hunt for health – it is still a strange concept to the majority of clinicians who still focus on bacteria as the enemy.

The diagram below is extracted from the June edition of Scientific American, if you visit their interactive site, more can be learnt about the bacteria including links to a variety of related papers.

Copyright held by Scientific American

Breast is Best for Gut Bacteria

Whilst the findings may seem consistent with our current understanding of the relationships between the gastrointestinal tracts bacterial maturation and immune functionality – the relationship between competence and breast milk, from a neonate’s immune perspective has been expanded following the publication of this study in Genome Biology.[1]

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Microbes and Us

Over the past several years, studies have revealed an astonishing diversity in our so-called microbiome. A five year project utilising researchers from around the world has been constructed to identify our mutual cohabitants that define our microbiome.[1] In Europe the MetaHIT project has pulled 8 countries and 13 academic partners together to add further data to this project.[2]

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