THE VERY LATEST RESEARCH ON DIET, DRUGS, DYSBIOSIS, AND DISEASE
“The composition of the gut microbiota is in constant flow under the influence of factors such as the diet, ingested drugs, the intestinal mucosa, the immune system, and the microbiota itself. Natural variations in the gut microbiota can deteriorate to a state of dysbiosis when stress conditions rapidly decrease microbial diversity and promote the expansion of specific bacterial taxa. A multitude of diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases but also metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes type II are associated with intestinal dysbiosis.”From the March 28, 2017 issue of Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (Mechanisms and Consequences of Intestinal Dysbiosis)
When it comes to your health, your MICROBIOME (the bacteria that live both in and on you) is everything. Screw up your Microbiome, and you can screw up your health in so many potential ways it will make your head spin. Does what you eat or put in your body affect your Microbiome? That is the question we are going to tackle today.
According to the MedicineNet site, infection is defined as, “The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that are not normally present within the body. An infection may remain localized, or it may spread through the blood or lymphatic vessels to become systemic.” Once health issues have gone “systemic,” everything is harder to deal with. For instance, localized PARASITES or FUNGI are typically easier to deal with than systemic parasites. Furthermore, we know that when it comes to infections, sugar is what fuels the beast (HERE). Enter Dysbiosis.
When you get down to it, Dysbiosis is a type of infection. Defined by the online science journal, Nature, as, “the condition of having imbalances in the microbial communities either in or on the body,” this problem is almost never caught early. Why? Because it’s frequently, at least to some degree, a product of various medical interventions. The same journal goes on to say in the next sentence that, “Dysbiosis is associated with many diseases.” In other words, if your microbial makeup is disturbed in any fashion, your propensity to EPIGENETICALLY TRIGGER any manner of diseases goes through the proverbial roof. Today I want to show you the progression from diet, to drugs, to dysbiosis, to disease. The harsh reality is that I could easily end string with another “D” word —- death.
DIET AS RELATED TO DYSBIOSIS
Even though most people don’t seem too concerned by it AS LONG AS THEIR WEIGHT IS NORMAL, on some level they know that what they eat affects their health. While there is a great deal of dispute about what constitutes a “healthy” diet (HERE), there’s not much dispute that eating the wrong foods has the ability to cause all sorts of health issues via affecting the Microbiome. Rather than showing you a bunch of studies on this, we are going to look at just one. Four years ago, three researchers from the University of British Columbia published a study in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism called Clinical Consequences of Diet-Induced Dysbiosis. Although you should really read this in its entirety, I’m going to leave you with some bite-sized morsels. The study begins by saying….
“Various disease states are associated with an imbalance of protective and pathogenic bacteria in the gut, termed dysbiosis. Current evidence reveals that dietary factors affect the microbial ecosystem in the gut. Changes to community structure of the intestinal microbiota are not without consequence considering the wide effects that the microbes have on both local and systemic immunity.”
Because INFLAMMATION is considered a chemical action of the Immune System, we could of just as easily substituted it for the last two words of the quote above (the word “inflammation” is used over and over again in this paper). If you want to really talk Immune System function as related to Microbiome / Dysbiosis, let’s talk TREGS for a moment. TREGS are T-Regulatory cells (they used to be called T-Suppressors) that down-regulate your Immune System, keeping it in check, and not allowing it to burn like an out-of-control wildfire. When bad things happen to TREGS, you end up with AUTOIMMUNITY — your body attacking itself. “Gut microbiota can modulate the function and responsiveness of intestinal immune cells, like T regulatory cells, to bacterial products. This is required to regulate mechanisms that keep both mucosal and systemic immunity in balance, allowing for mucosal surfaces to tolerate harmless bacteria, yet adequately respond to invading pathogens.” In other words, we should not be surprised that DAN REYNOLDS AS is believed to be linked to issues in his GUT HEALTH, nor that it’s all being linked to what we are eating. Now pay attention because this is where things start getting wild.
“Identifying dietary factors that control the intestinal microbial ecology and their role in enteric disease susceptibility could provide insight into the functioning of the microbiota in healthy and diseased individuals. Yet, due to the vast diversity of dietary antigens and gut microbes, we are challenged to define the exact interactions between microbes, dietary antigens and epithelium and their consequences to the host.”
Allow me to paraphrase this in layman’s terms. Not only are there there vast numbers of bacteria in our digestive tract, there are vast numbers of potential, “dietary antigens”. These are things like GLUTEN, GRAINS in general, SOY, FODMAPS, NIGHTSHADES, undigested or partially digested food particles, and an endless number of others. It’s why I tell everyone that the starting point for any legitimate “EXIT STRATEGY” has to be an ELIMINATION DIET. The authors go on to explain why this is. These dietary antigens react with the epithelium of their host. While this sounds rather innocuous, the authors are talking here not only about Leaky Gut Syndrome, but the rest of “THE LEAKIES” as well (Leaky Brain Syndrome, Leaky Lung Syndrome, Leaky Cord Syndrome, Leaky Nerve Syndrome, etc, etc). Fail to identify your “dietary antigens” and I promise that nothing else you do, including lots of drugs, is going to help you. Speaking of drugs…….
DRUGS CAUSE DYSBIOSIS
The fact that drugs (both pushed and prescribed) lead to Dysbiosis is not news. If we head over to that venerable pavilion of truth and knowledge, Wikipedia, we see that Dysbiosis is, according to them, caused by three things — “inappropriate antibiotic exposure, alcohol misuse, or inappropriate diet.” Note that this is essentially saying that two things, diet and drug exposure, cause Dysbiosis (I would have to throw STRESS in there as well). As for ANTIBIOTICS, all you have to do is click the link to see all my posts on the topic (or you could look at JUST THIS ONE) to see that they are directly responsible for huge numbers of health issues, including vast amounts of Dysbiosis. Why? They kill bacteria indiscriminately, the good along with the bad. Listen to what the Annals study mentioned earlier had to say concerning this topic.
“The consequences of dysbiosis are not innocent, but detrimental when pathobionts (any disease-causing microorganism) become prominent in the microbial communities. It is well documented that antibiotic treatments cause aberrancies in the host microbiota. Though it is generally believed that such changes are normalized within weeks of cessation of antibiotics, recent evidence challenges this notion. In a clinical setting, this raises important concern regarding the appropriate use or avoidance of antibiotics.”
The train is starting to wobble, but follow along as I show you where it goes completely off the rails. The last link above (“This One” — A Little Dab’ll Ruin Ya) shows how it only take a bit of Antibiotics — in some cases a single exposure — to cause major damage to one’s health. But Antibiotics are not the only drugs that cause Dysbiosis.
The reality is that according to DR. ART AYERS, whom I have considered one of the top experts in this field for quite some time, ALL DRUGS have varying degrees of Antibiotic activity. This is why no matter what may be wrong with you, it’s important that you get healthy enough to get off as many drugs as is humanly possible. If you need more reasons, you can read about our “DRUG CULTURE” or the fact that according to several meta-analysis, drug’s side effects are only reported to the proper authorities 1% of the time. That, folks, is not a misprint (HERE). Failure to report either drug side effects or the results of studies that don’t turn out as researchers hoped (HERE), has skewed the side effect profiles of most medications, making them look far safer than they really are. TYLENOL is a great example of this phenomenon.
DISEASES RELATED TO DYSBIOSIS
My goal with this section is to show you that Dysbiosis is as real as a proverbial heart attack (literally) and every bit as vicious. To show you this in vivid color, allow me to use studies that are not over a few weeks old. Believe me; if you are still doing the antibiotic thing for every little sniffle, COUGH, sneeze, FEVER, SINUS INFECTION, or FLU that comes along, this section will force you think about changing. Also believe me when I tell you that this list could have gone on and on, containing many of those diseases that the general public has been led to believe are “GENETIC“. Everything is cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space.
- GETTING OLDER: Did you know that simply getting older (GULP), is a cause of Dysbiosis? This month’s issue of Cell Host & Microbe takes this a step further with a study called Age-Associated Microbial Dysbiosis Promotes Intestinal Permeability, Systemic Inflammation, and Macrophage Dysfunction. “Levels of inflammatory mediators in circulation are known to increase with age. These data suggest that aging-associated microbiota promote inflammation and that reversing these age-related microbiota changes represents a potential strategy for reducing age-associated inflammation and the accompanying morbidity.” For the record, the “increased permeability” seen in the study’s title is referring to Leaky Gut Syndrome, and macrophage dysfunction means that your immune system (white blood cells) are not working properly.
- CANCER HAS A DISTINCT MICROBIOMAL FOOTPRINT: And not only that, different types of CANCER carry their own distinct footprint compared to other cancers. Case in point, the March 30 issue of Oncotarget (The Ovarian Cancer Oncobiome) concluded that, “Dysbiosis of the microbiome has been associated with pathology including cancer. We have identified a microbiome signature unique to ovarian cancers, one of the most lethal malignancies of the female reproductive system. The results show a distinct group of viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic signatures of high significance in ovarian cases.” Considering cancer is one of the many health issues that results from Inflammation (HERE), we shouldn’t be surprised.
- DYSBIOSIS CAUSES STROKES: Just four short days ago, PLoS One (Gut Dysbiosis is Associated With Metabolism and Systemic Inflammation in Patients with Ischemic Stroke) concluded that, “The aim of this study was to investigate whether the gut microbiota, as well as concentrations of organic acids, the major products of dietary fiber fermentation by the gut microbiota, are altered in patients with ischemic stroke, and to examine the association between these changes and host metabolism and inflammation. Changes in the prevalence of Lactobacillus ruminis were positively correlated with serum interleukin-6 levels. In addition, ischemic stroke was associated with decreased and increased concentrations of acetic acid and valeric acid, respectively. Meanwhile, changes in acetic acid concentrations were negatively correlated with the levels of glycated hemoglobin and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, whereas changes in valeric acid concentrations were positively correlated with the level of high sensitivity C-reactive protein and with white blood cell counts. Together, our findings suggest that gut dysbiosis in patients with ischemic stroke is associated with host metabolism and inflammation.” Although there is a lot of meat here, suffice it to say that every single one of these metabolic changes — many of which can be seen on an OAT (Organic Acid Test) — is associated with bad outcomes, in this case strokes.
- CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND DYSBIOSIS: Just over two weeks ago, the journal Circulation Research (Gut Microbiota in Cardiovascular Health and Disease) took the last study a bit farther concluding that, “accumulating evidence has revealed that intestinal microbiota play an important role in human health and disease, including cardiovascular diseases. Changes in the composition of gut microbiota associated with disease, referred to as dysbiosis, have been linked to pathologies such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Fantastic study that talks not only about Leaky Gut Syndrome as related to these issues, but the fact that each and every one of these listed diseases would fall under the category of “cardiovascular“.
- AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS: Although the majority of people who contract hepatitis do so from lifestyle choices (prostitutes, IV drug users, homosexual men, etc, etc), some people end up with hepatitis for other reasons, some of it because the BODY DECIDED TO ATTACK ITSELF (in this case, it attacked the liver). Furthermore, I’ve shown you that most drug therapies tend to be IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE. Late last week, Expert Reviews in Clinical Immunology (Evolving Paradigm of Treatment for Autoimmune Hepatitis) concluded that, “Current medications for autoimmune hepatitis have broad anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive actions, but their effects are short-lived and inconsistent. Abstracts cited in PubMed from April 1964 to February 2017 were identified. The number of abstracts reviewed exceeded 1,000. Interventions affecting intestinal dysbiosis promise to emerge as supplemental or replacement therapies. The intestinal microbiome constitutes the next investigational frontier that may influence future management strategies.” Oh, this study also spent time discussing “fibrogenesis” — that fact that inflammation always leads to fibrosis (scar tissue), which always leads to some sort of degenerative changes (HERE).
- DIET, GUT HEALTH, AND INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE: Just weeks ago, the March 27 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Diet and Microbiota in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The Gut in Disharmony) revealed that, “Recently, quantitative and qualitative changes in the composition of the gut microbiota have been detected in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, reinforcing the hypothesis of dysbiosis as a relevant mechanism underlying inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. Among such environmental factors, food and alimentary habits, progressively altered in modern societies, appear to be critical modulators of the microbiota, contributing to or co-participating in dysbiosis. In addition, food constituents such as micronutrients are important regulators of mucosal immunity, with direct or indirect effects on the gut microbiota. Moreover, food constituents have recently been shown to modulate epigenetic mechanisms, which can result in increased risk for the development and progression of IBD.” This last sentence is epic. The food you eat modulates your genes (it largely controls whether or not you actually express the genes for disease states), which is one of the many facets of epigenetics. In other words, for most people, having the gene for a certain disease means almost nothing as long as you don’t flip the switch that turns it on.
- DYSBIOSIS AND ASTHMA: Because ASTHMA has been associated with early use of Antibiotics for well over a decade (HERE), this bullet should come as no surprise. Earlier this month researchers published a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology titled Airway Microbial Dysbiosis in Asthmatic Patients... The authors stated that, “There has been long-standing interest in the role of bacterial communities in the complex and heterogeneous disease of asthma. These microbiota can be modulated by various environmental factors, including diet, antibiotics, and early-life microbial exposures. Microbiota in the gut and lungs can influence both the inception and progress of asthma. In babies and infants the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the lungs and gut has been associated with subsequent development of allergic sensitization and asthma.” What’s even more interesting is that treating with PROBIOTICS & PREBIOTICS, “has been overall negative.” If you want to understand why fixing Dysbiosis is, in many cases, not as simple as simply taking some acidophilus or some other probiotic, THIS is the post you need to read.
- THYROID DISEASE AND MICROBIOME: The huge majority of THYROID PROBLEMS (Grave’s and Hashimoto’s) are autoimmune. As you might suspect, this helps explain the STRONG LINK between Gluten and Thyroid Disease (not to mention THE OTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES). About three weeks ago, Frontiers in Endocrinology (Environmental Issues in Thyroid Diseases) concurred. After listing a slew of the “environmental factors” (many being the ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS I often call “xenohormones”), the grand finale was that, “Moreover intestinal dysbiosis causes autoimmune thyroiditis.” The article went on to say that, “As intestinal dysbiosis occurs, the epithelial barrier fails to function [Leaky Gut Syndrome] and there is the appearance of intestinal and systemic disorders. The intestinal tract is determinant in metabolizing nutrients, drugs, and hormones, exogenous and endogenous iodothyronines, and micronutrients implicated in thyroid homeostasis. Different autoimmune disorders have a pathogenetic link with dysbiosis… Hyper- and hypothyroidism, frequently in autoimmune thyroid disease, are associated with bacterial overgrowth in small intestinal or with changes in composition of microbiota.” Interesting last sentence. Can anyone say SIBO?
- ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND DYSBIOSIS: Just after I wrote THIS ARTICLE referring to Alzheimer’s Disease as ‘Diabetes of the Brain,’ late in March, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study called The Gut Microbiota and Alzheimer’s Disease. In it they concluded, “The gut microbiota comprises a complex community of microorganism species that resides in our gastrointestinal ecosystem and whose alterations influence not only various gut disorders but also central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Studies in germ-free animals and in animals exposed to pathogenic microbial infections, antibiotics, probiotics, or fecal microbiota transplantation suggest a role for the gut microbiota in host cognition or Alzheimer’s Disease-related pathogenesis. The increased permeability of the gut and blood-brain barrier induced by microbiota dysbiosis may mediate or affect Alzheimer’s Disease pathogenesis and other neurodegenerative disorders, especially those associated with aging. In addition, bacteria populating the gut microbiota can secrete large amounts of amyloids and lipopolysaccharides, which might contribute to the modulation of signaling pathways and the production of proinflammatory cytokines associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Moreover, imbalances in the gut microbiota can induce inflammation that is associated with the pathogenesis of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and Alzheimer’s Disease.” There’s a lot of meat here, but once you realize that sugar is related to inflammation, which is related to the amyloid brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, it starts to make a bit more sense.
- AUTISM AND DYSBIOSIS: I’ve shown you repeatedly that according to peer-review, autism is heavily linked to Microbiome / Dysbiosis (HERE). Thus, even though we continue to hear the standard line — that there is no relationship between vaccines and autism — why would we think that even though virtually all drugs cause some degree of dysbiosis (see earlier bullet), vaccines don’t (HERE)? Sixteen researchers from the University of Naples (Italy) published a study three weeks ago tomorrow in the journal Science Reports (Sex-Related Alterations of Gut Microbiota Composition in the BTBR Mouse Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder) that came to some conclusions that may interest those following the VACCINE / AUTISM debate. “Alterations of microbiota-gut-brain axis have been invoked in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).” Because we already know from the earlier links that the funky toxins (HERE) commonly found in all vaccines can seriously foul the Microbiome and cause Dysbiosis (HERE), what more do we really need to know? “BTBR mice (Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, Sutterella, Dehalobacterium and Oscillospira) of both sexes presented a marked intestinal dysbiosis, alterations of behavior, gut permeability and immunological state with respect to prosocial strain.” Of course this study didn’t say that vaccines have anything to do with autism. However, it did say that, “The ability of the enteric microbes to directly communicate with the central nervous system (CNS), to modulate brain functions and possibly influence behavior is currently under study, and the importance of a microbiota-gut-brain axis has been established.” The only question is whether things like MERCURY, ALUMINUM, formaldehyde, MSG, (all commonly found in vaccines — see “funky toxins” link) etc, have the ability to adversely affect the brain. Honestly folks, when you start looking at the links, it’s a “no-brainer” (no pun intended).
- RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AS RELATED TO DYSBIOSIS: One month ago, the journal Seminars in Immunopathology (Pre-Symptomatic Autoimmunity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: When Does the Disease Start?) wanted to figure out exactly where Rheumatoid Arthritis begins. Pay attention because it’s likely similar to other autoimmune diseases. “It is well recognized that a state of autoimmunity, in which immunological tolerance is broken, precedes the development of symptoms in the majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There is evidence that the induction of the autoantibody response occurs at peripheral extra-articular mucosal sites, such as the periodontium and lung. In addition to their utility as diagnostic markers, these autoantibodies may have a pathogenic role that helps localise disease to the synovium. Alongside the development of autoantibodies, other factors contributing to pre-symptomatic autoimmunity may include dysbiosis of the gastrointestinal tract, abnormal development of lymphoid tissue, and dysregulated autonomic and lipid-mediated anti-inflammatory signalling. These factors combine to skew the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signalling in a manner that is permissive for the development of clinical arthritis. We present data to support the concept that the transitions from at-risk states to systemic autoimmunity and then to classifiable RA depend on multiple “switches”“. Where do I start. The epigenetic “switches” that are turned on in people with diseases states include things mentioned here (sometimes quite subtly) like INFECTED TEETH, LEAKY LUNGS, and a screwed up or dysbiotic GI Tract (HERE). The only question remaining is a chicken and egg sort of thing (SOME PEOPLE ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER) — did the dysbiosis come first or did the RA cause the dysbiosis? We already know the answer. Look at THIS SHORT POST I gave you back in 2013 on the most effective method currently not (at least not often and not around here) being used to treat RA.
- OTHERS: As I said earlier, you can easily plug almost any disease into this that is not considered 100% genetic (Down’s Syndrome is one example of many). All you have to do is thumb through peer-reivew or search my site. MS? Click the link. DIABETES? Click the link. Want to see all my posts on DYSBIOSIS? Just click the link. When I tell you that when it comes to your health, your Gut is everything, I’m not just whistlin Dixie.
Drugs, the worst offender being antibiotics, are causing this junk, and it’s being fueled by our collective HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. Should we be surprised? Of course not — particularly knowing that in similar fashion, we’ve known for almost a century that sugar is what fuels cancer as well (HERE). If you are looking to get off the Medical Merry-Go-Round, at least take a look at the PALEO DIET and FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS (no, I do not do them here, and yes, they were mentioned over and over again in the studies being discussed today). To see my post on addressing your health problems without drugs and surgery, HERE it is.