Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet

Conclusions Patients complaining of flatulence have a poor tolerance of intestinal gas, which is associated with instability of the microbial ecosystem.[1]

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

Dysbiosis in Autism, More Evidence Confirms Association

A paper out in PLOS this week has highlighted abnormalities in the bacterial compositions of the gut found in individuals diagnosed with autism. Whilst this is not a ground breaking a discovery as the authors suggest, it does add further qualification to the evolving recognition of the consistency of dysbiosis in individuals with autism.[1]

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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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Faecal Transplantation Re-Establishes the Balance of Nature

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine, January 2013 explores the validity of faecal transplant therapy for the resolution of C. difficile therapy and reminds us that back in 1958 clinicians in Denver trialled this therapy to “re-establish the balance of nature” within the intestinal flora to correct the disruption caused by antibiotic treatment.[1]

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Faecal Transplant (FT) and IBD

I have explored the role of appropriate transplantation in the resolution of MRSA infection that fails to resolve with antibiotic therapy, and have intimated that other conditions of the bowel and linked tissues may also benefit. The model is: that loss of mucosal tolerance underlies the pathology of inflammatory bowel disease and is also linked to irritable bowel syndrome. These altered states of function reflect a combination of environmental, genetic and emotional events that coalesce into a wide range of conditions.

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Lipid Replacement Therapy®, Fatigue and Dysbiosis – the Mitochondrial and Immune Connection

By Michael E. Ash BSc DO ND and Garth L. Nicolson, PhD

On the front line of primary care the two most common complaints are fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. Fatigue is the most common; up to 45% of consultations mention fatigue as the major complaint.[1],[2] If unresolved, it can progress to the point that it causes disability comparable to that found in chronic medical patients.[3],[4]

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Vegas, Pregnancy, Immunity and Allergy Prevention!

The saying is ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’, or if you are English ‘what happens in Blackpool….’ but the same cannot be said about what happens in utero, as increasing evidence supports the understanding that the maternal nutritional environment and early feeding affects the health of the foetus beyond infancy and into adulthood.[1],[2] An article in Nature’s Mucosal Immunology this month explores some of the key events in foetal and neonatal immune management.[3] It stimulated a revisit to the area of what to consider for parents to be and mums of young children when they ask ‘is there anything I can do to prevent or reduce the risk of allergy or atopy in my child’.

The first moments, weeks and months of life can determine the health outcomes of an individual over the duration of their lifetime and this knowledge represents a significant choice for prospective parents. Fortunately the remarkable adaptability of the immune and central nervous system means that there are numerous opportunities in the early years of life to positively influence health outcomes even if the early stages were less than optimal.

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Is There A Rural/Urban Gradient In The Prevalence Of Eczema? A Systematic Review And What Can Be Done About It?

One in 10 schoolchildren in the western world suffers from eczema and even developing nations have also seen an increasing trend in the last few decades. There are many proposals to explain the increased incidence, one area of relevance is the environmental impact. Falling under the often misused ‘hygeine hypothesis’ title it has been proposed that there is a reflective difference in the gradient between rural and urban children. Implying the environmental impact on the developing immune system of children is different and therefore less protective in the urban setting.

This concept has now been studied in a recent article in the British Journal of Dermatology.[1] By conducting a Medline and Embase data base review studies that compared the incidence between the two environments were reviewed. Some 26 papers were assessed with 19 demonstrating a higher risk for eczema in an urbanised area, of these 11 were regarded as being statistically significant. A further 6 studies showed a lower risk of eczema in an urbanised area, of which just 1 was statistically significant.

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Fat – I’m Not To Blame Its My Bugs!

A trial to see if the ingestion of a probiotic bacterium enriched drink might have a beneficial impact on central obesity was funded by Snow Brand Milk Products company in Japan and the results were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition this June 2010. [i]

Whilst it may seem a stretch that bacteria can influence our body mass, (I have written a previous review) it is an area of growing interest and investigation as bacteria have previously been implicated in the metabolic storage of fat. Studies in mice have shown up to 30% greater fat storage in mice with gastrointestinal colonies of commensals rather than their skinnier counterparts operating with sterile guts.

One proposal for this is that certain bacteria (Bacteroides Thetaiotaomicron is one likely contender) are able to manipulate energy to be stored in adipocytes through a pathway that involves microbial regulation of the intestinal epithelial expression of fasting-induced adipocyte protein (Fiaf), a circulating inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase (LPL).[ii]

The microbiota can then, based on this and other studies be viewed as a metabolic “organ” exquisitely tuned to our physiology and performing functions that we have not had to evolve on our own.

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A Bacteria Triggers Arthritis.

The gut microbiomes of humans and mice are broadly similar which is helpful as this paper has used the mouse model to explain how a resident bacteria in the gut can induce arthritis. In both hosts human and mouse upwards of ∼1000 different microbial species from ∼10 different divisions colonise the gastrointestinal tract, but just two bacterial divisions—the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes—and one member of the Archaea appear to dominate, together accounting for ∼98% of the 16S rRNA sequences obtained from this site.[1] 16SrRNA is a laboratory method for analysing bacterial and provides species-specific signature sequences useful for bacterial identification but is not routinely used in diagnostic settings yet.

Their analysis revealed that despite the enormous species variation in the gut a single species of bacteria that lives here is able to trigger a cascade of immune responses that can ultimately result in the development of arthritis.[2] Gut-residing bacteria can also play a role in disorders of the immune system, especially autoimmune disorders in which the body attacks its own cells. The gut microbiota is now known to shape intestinal immune responses during health and disease with systemic effects.

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