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Thread: Microbiome and diet

  1. #1 Microbiome and diet 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Reference : New Scientist, 17 May 2014, page 42

    In recent years, scientists have come to realise how vitally important the mix of bacterial species in and on our bodies (the microbiome) is to our health and well being. Things like taking antibiotics may harm us, by changing the species mix in our gut. Babies that are born 'naturally' rather than by caesarian section are healthier because they get a dose of their mother's bacteria while passing down the birth canal.

    But it is interesting to see that the kind of food we eat also has a major effect on the species mix of bacteria in and on our bodies. This is very, very important. For example : having too few Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is likely linked to developing Crohn's disease. Bacterioides fragilis has an effect in stimulating the immune system, and fending off infection. A mix of Clostridium species is needed for good health.

    It is clear that a good mix of fruit and vegetables in the diet also maintains valuable species in the microbiome. Bacterioides, Clostridium & Prevotella are all needed for good health, and they all drop in number if insufficient fruit and vege is eaten.

    This idea, of course, is what lies behind the fashionable habit of consuming probiotic yoghurt. Interestingly, test work shows that probiotics make no difference whatever to people who are in good health, while fruit and vegetables do. Probiotics are probably best kept for times when things are out of kilter, such as just after completing a course of antibiotics.

    There are some therapists who believe that, before taking antibiotics, you should collect a small piece of your fecal matter, and store it in the freezer. Then eat it after the course is complete to restore the normal healthy bacteria. How far are you willing to go in the quest for good health?

    The other relationship that is well known is the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth when you eat too much sugar.

    Some researchers also think that showering too much is harmful, since it washes useful bacteria off your skin. They say you should not shower more than once every four days. Do you think that personal stink is too big a price to pay for a healthier skin?

    People living with pets, or people living next to a park, or open 'wilder' land tend to have better microbiomes. But whatever else, eat your greens!


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Ah, but should I scrub all field crap off the veggies before I eat them or not, that is the question.


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord
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    the kind of food we eat also has a major effect on the species mix of bacteria in and on our bodies
    Yup. Once you feed a baby meat, changing diapers will never be the same. :P
    (Probiotic yoghurts) are probably best kept for times when things are out of kilter
    Many women have used yogurt at those times.
    There are some therapists who believe that, before taking antibiotics, you should collect a small piece of your fecal matter, and store it in the freezer. Then eat it after the course is complete to restore the normal healthy bacteria.
    Why reinvent the appendix?



    Another idea bouncing out there is to give a baby some ordinary garden dirt to eat. This could be seen as inoculation. I feel gradual and persistent exposure to common microbes a better approach, because it's worked for us and all animals in the past. If you let a child grub about in nature, by the time she is six she may graduate to skipping the sanitation station mandatory at petting zoos.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    Infant mortality rates were much higher in the past.
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