I don’t know why I think its so exciting to think we have all the gut bacteria friends working together with us like a very huge and very diverse team! Some notes from Discover magazine (Jan/Feb 2013) re: recent research by: NIH’s Human Microbiome Project and MetaHIT
Apparently more than 1,000 species were found, “…each person’s body supports many different microbial ecosystems. The vagina, for example is like a sparsely populated prairie, where as…’The distal gut of a human is one of the densest microbial ecosystems on the planet.’ says Stanford University microbiologist David Relman…” We’re diverse like a rainforest.
“People are very different from one another, but they are consistent with themselves. Two healthy Americans’ microbial communities can differ by as much as 90 percent, but an individual’s distinct ensemble of bugs tends to stay stable over many years…Already doctors are having success treating diseases like colitis with fecal transplants to reestablish gut flora in patients who have received intensive rounds of antibiotics” (Discover magazine, Jan/Feb 2013; p.21).
In case you missed the (MetaHIT organized) conference held in Paris last year:
“…the International Human Microbiome Congress, which we think will remain a landmark event in the field of human microbiome research. Here are a few Take Homme Messages we feel are among the most important elements to remember after the Congress:
- Microbiome diversity matters! In the gut, low is less healthy than high!
- Large scale quantitative metagenomic studies is what it takes to explore relations between the microbiome and chronic diseases!
- Standardized protocols are the key to make the most out of large studies and that’s what the Internationals Human Microbiome Standards project does!”
In this video Stanford and NYU Med. Ctr. researchers discuss their research: ASM Live — Antibiotic Exposure, The Microbiome and Obesity. ASM is the American Society of Microbiology. There is some talk on diet in the said video see minute 14:12; and probiotics ~18:30; interesting points also after ~23:30). I see they’re trying to find where the bacteria are coming from, which is why they are interested in babies and how their biomes get their start.
I’d like to see more research on the notion that eating processed sugar and white flour products creates an aggressively growing population of bacteria that then crave more sugar and make you crave eating more sugar. Is it like a yeast festival that kind of takes over in your gut? Edging out the life of the “good” bacteria that are just kindly waiting for your next salad? lol
Here is an excellent lecture on microbe communication by Dr. Bonnie Bassler at Princeton (starts at 3:30). WOW bacteria have been around for 4 billion years and were the first organisms on earth! Some of our bacteria digest our food, make our vitamins and inform our immune system. Bacteria communicate and chemicals are their words. They do so “bi-lingually” with a kind universally known language among various kinds of bacteria. They can sense when there are plenty of their type around and this helps them know if they have enough to take over an organism. So our intercepting their ability to communicate seems to hold promise. “They eavesdrop, they cheat, they free ride…” lol she’s awesome.