Microbiome: The Inside Story

Microbiome: The Inside Story
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The microbiome revolution in medicine is beginning to uncover the underappreciated role our healthy gut bacteria play in nutrition and health.

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Recently, thanks to two revolutions in biology, it has become apparent that our DNA does not tell the whole story of our individuality, and other factors, environmental factors, play an important role in human health and disease.  First, there was epigenetics, where diet and lifestyle changes have been shown to turn genes on and off. And the second, our unfolding understanding of our microbiome, how changes in our gut flora appear to impact greatly on human biology.

Until relatively recently, the colon was viewed as a retention tank for waste, and water absorption was its big biological function. The problem was it was hard to get in there, and we weren’t able to grow most of the bugs in a lab. As many as 99% of all microbes fail to grow under standard laboratory conditions, and so, how do you study something you can’t study? But, now we have fancy genetic techniques.

It took 13 years to sequence the DNA of the first bacteria ever. These days, the same feat might only take two hours. And, what we learned is that we can each be thought of as a superorganism, a kind of human-microbe hybrid. We have trillions of bacteria living inside us. One commentator went as far as to say, we are all bacteria, a provocative way of acknowledging that there are more bacterial cells and genes in our own body than there are human cells and genes, and most of those bacteria live in our gut.

All animals and plants appear to establish symbiotic relationships with microorganisms, and, in us, our gut flora can be considered like a forgotten organ. Health-promoting effects of our good bacteria include boosting our immune system, improving digestion and absorption, making vitamins, inhibiting the growth of potential pathogens, and keeping us from feeling bloated, but should bad bacteria take roost, they can produce carcinogens, putrefy protein in our gut, produce toxins, mess up our bowel function, and cause infections.

Researchers are still in the process of figuring out which bacteria are which. There are more than a thousand different types of bacteria that take up residence in the human colon. Just to give you a sense of the complexity, let me show you a diagram from a typical study of gut flora. This happens to be the largest such study done on the elderly, showing the frailest older folks tend to harbor similar bugs, suggesting further that it may be the lousy diet in nursing homes that’s causing this shift, which may play a role in ill health as we grow older, as you can clearly see in figure 4. I mean, duh. Thankfully, not all microbiome diagrams are that complex.

Based on studying what comes out of twins, those that eat different habitual diets, and stools from around the world, it has become evident that diet has a dominant role in the bacteria in our colon and that diet-driven changes can occur within days to weeks.

The hope of impacting health through diet may be one of the oldest concepts in medicine; however, only in recent years has our understanding of human physiology grown to the point where we can begin to understand how individual dietary components affect specific illnesses through our gut bacteria. Milk fat on that piece of pizza, for example, may compete with bile and feed bacteria that produce the rotten egg gas hydrogen sulfide, and has experimentally been associated with colitis (inflammatory bowel disease). Fiber, on the other hand, feeds our good bacteria and decreases inflammation in the colon. Choline, found in eggs, seafood, and poultry, as well carnitine, in red meat, can be turned into trimethylamine oxide and contribute to heart disease and perhaps fatty liver disease, and excess iron may muck with our good bacteria and contribute to inflammation as well.

The good news is that specific dietary interventions offer exciting potential for nontoxic, physiologic ways to alter gut microbiology and metabolism to benefit the natural course of many intestinal and systemic disorders.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Recently, thanks to two revolutions in biology, it has become apparent that our DNA does not tell the whole story of our individuality, and other factors, environmental factors, play an important role in human health and disease.  First, there was epigenetics, where diet and lifestyle changes have been shown to turn genes on and off. And the second, our unfolding understanding of our microbiome, how changes in our gut flora appear to impact greatly on human biology.

Until relatively recently, the colon was viewed as a retention tank for waste, and water absorption was its big biological function. The problem was it was hard to get in there, and we weren’t able to grow most of the bugs in a lab. As many as 99% of all microbes fail to grow under standard laboratory conditions, and so, how do you study something you can’t study? But, now we have fancy genetic techniques.

It took 13 years to sequence the DNA of the first bacteria ever. These days, the same feat might only take two hours. And, what we learned is that we can each be thought of as a superorganism, a kind of human-microbe hybrid. We have trillions of bacteria living inside us. One commentator went as far as to say, we are all bacteria, a provocative way of acknowledging that there are more bacterial cells and genes in our own body than there are human cells and genes, and most of those bacteria live in our gut.

All animals and plants appear to establish symbiotic relationships with microorganisms, and, in us, our gut flora can be considered like a forgotten organ. Health-promoting effects of our good bacteria include boosting our immune system, improving digestion and absorption, making vitamins, inhibiting the growth of potential pathogens, and keeping us from feeling bloated, but should bad bacteria take roost, they can produce carcinogens, putrefy protein in our gut, produce toxins, mess up our bowel function, and cause infections.

Researchers are still in the process of figuring out which bacteria are which. There are more than a thousand different types of bacteria that take up residence in the human colon. Just to give you a sense of the complexity, let me show you a diagram from a typical study of gut flora. This happens to be the largest such study done on the elderly, showing the frailest older folks tend to harbor similar bugs, suggesting further that it may be the lousy diet in nursing homes that’s causing this shift, which may play a role in ill health as we grow older, as you can clearly see in figure 4. I mean, duh. Thankfully, not all microbiome diagrams are that complex.

Based on studying what comes out of twins, those that eat different habitual diets, and stools from around the world, it has become evident that diet has a dominant role in the bacteria in our colon and that diet-driven changes can occur within days to weeks.

The hope of impacting health through diet may be one of the oldest concepts in medicine; however, only in recent years has our understanding of human physiology grown to the point where we can begin to understand how individual dietary components affect specific illnesses through our gut bacteria. Milk fat on that piece of pizza, for example, may compete with bile and feed bacteria that produce the rotten egg gas hydrogen sulfide, and has experimentally been associated with colitis (inflammatory bowel disease). Fiber, on the other hand, feeds our good bacteria and decreases inflammation in the colon. Choline, found in eggs, seafood, and poultry, as well carnitine, in red meat, can be turned into trimethylamine oxide and contribute to heart disease and perhaps fatty liver disease, and excess iron may muck with our good bacteria and contribute to inflammation as well.

The good news is that specific dietary interventions offer exciting potential for nontoxic, physiologic ways to alter gut microbiology and metabolism to benefit the natural course of many intestinal and systemic disorders.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

This is the first of a long series of in-depth videos on the microbiome, though I have touched on friendly flora before:

How does the body maintain the right balance of bacteria? Check out the following video— Prebiotics: Tending Our Inner Garden—you’ll be amazed (I know I was!)

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

122 responses to “Microbiome: The Inside Story

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  1. Not long ago there was posted this link: http://humanfoodproject.com/from-meat-to-microbes-to-main-street-is-it-time-to-trade-in-your-george-foreman-grill/

    According to the studies mentioned in this post, vegans do produce TMAO in their liver from TMA in their guts, and they do it even better when consume whole grains, because whole grains feed bacteria that convert choline, lecithin and betaine into TMA. Animal products are far from being the only source of TMA precursors and some vegans vegans have TMAO in their blood too. What should we conclude, that TMAO are not harmful, or that vegans should not eat whole grains? Any other ideas?




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    1. I had a quick look at the link. I’m certainly no expert but here are a few observations. (1) This was a blog post, ie not peer-reviewed science, (2) It seemed to imply the TMAO study was flawed because the researchers had cherry-picked only the omnivore with the highest TMAO level to plot. But why would a top-level research group risk their credibility and prestige by doctoring their study? As far as I can see, the research group has been working with (and extending) their hypothesis for many years with no challenge in the published literature. (3) The researchers do acknowledge that Prevotella (associated with whole grains in one study) was high is three omnivores (a small sample set!). They write: ” Of note, we observed a significant increase in baseline plasma TMAO concentrations in what historically was called enterotype 2 (Prevotella) (P < 0.05), a relatively rare enterotype that previously in one study was associated with low animal fat and protein consumption. Notably, in our study, 3 of the 4 individuals classified into enterotype 2 are self-identified omnivores suggesting more complexity in the human gut microbiome than anticipated." Sounds reasonable me to . No need to throw years of research out the window. This is how science works: the researchers point out an unexpected finding that complicates a relatively new emerging field.

      So, we should definitely conclude that (1) TMAO is harmful. It is significantly associated with heart disease. And (2) vegans (and everyone!) definitely SHOULD eat whole grains, as widely accepted by the nutrition community, and (3) there is a widespread false equivalence between peer-reviewed science and speculative blog posting that leads to massive confusion in the general public.




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      1. Exactly, Colin! There were further studies done on choline and carnitine associations with cardiovascular disease as well as cancer, as delineated in this past video., so this information is not coming from a single study. Additionally, the preponderance of data over many decades show that eating animal products increases the risk for chronic diseases via several different mechanisms, including heme iron, saturated fat, etc. Whole grains have been a healthy part of the human diet since recorded history and throughout the world. This video. shows that whole grains can even be more powerful than medications for lowering high blood pressure, and can reduce serum cholesterol and risk for type 2 diabetes!




        1
        1. Just offering my lay person thoughts here, but this kind of reminds me of some of the other oversimplification that happens within the study of nutrition and health, such as for instance (1) high HDL is good, (2) plant-based diets tend to be associated with lower HDL, therefore (3) plant-based diets might not be ideal. (1) and (2) are accurate, but the conclusion does not follow. High HDL seems to be protective only when LDL levels are rather high, too; when LDL levels are low (i.e. healthy, or what should be considered normal), HDL likely isn’t as needed by the body.




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          1. Howdy,
            why do people have high HDL levels? Because they eat a lot of fat.
            Why do vegans have low HDL levels? Because they don’t eat a lot of fat.
            HDL is needed for transporting fat…vegans aren’t supposed to be eating a ton of fat.




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        2. All i can say on the subject is I had the opposite reaction with the whole grains. Removing them and replacing them with more vegetables and healthy sources of saturated and monounsaturated fats what I needed for my health to go from high cholesterol and pre-diabetic to healthy cholesterol and fasting glucose levels.




          0
  2. My B12 levels have gone down since adding more fiber to my diet. It is being suggested to me that

    the excess fiber in some people can create gut issues, and a microbiome environment that hi-jack
    any B12 we ingest. And the high-fiber might also create macrobiome related to FODMAP type carbs,
    sugars.

    Here is a section from a link I have provided. I wonder if this is why so many people claim to fail on
    a vegan diet. Maybe these supplements of B12 are “feeding” an overgrowth of “good” bacteria in the gut,
    in some, and in the absence of the B12 supplement these people might be able to still eat lots of fiber, just
    a bit less?




    1
    1. Interesting citation veggie girl. How much additional fiber have you added to your diet? At what rate did you add the fiber? I believe that the recommended protocol is to add 5 grams per week to allow you body to acclimate. What are the fiber sources/categories are you increasing? I find that if I get on a kick where I start eating a lot of beans, which I love, that my bowels rebel by increasing the frequency of elimination like “stuff” through a goose.




      0
            1. Low stress resistance, slow transit, anxiety, reduced B12 could all be attributed to lower thyroid activity – which seems to be intimately connected with our microbiome. I am sure that having a low thyroid could be an important reason for vegan diets failing. I hear many ex-vegans lament about various problems they developed whilst being vegan – but many times it sounds like classic hypothyroidism, which we know is widely under-diagnosed.




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    2. Fiber is so fabulous and one of the two most health-promoting nutrient groups (alongside phytonutrients) for so many reasons! One of the reasons is that fiber feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut, which staves off the pathogenic bacteria. There is no reason to try and reduce your fiber intake. As long as you are taking in a vitamin B12 supplement, as per Dr. Greger’s
      Optimum Nutrition Recommendations., your serum levels of B12 should stay within normal limits…




      0
      1. My understanding is that, as we grow older, many of us stop or slow down the production of Intrinsic Factor in our stomachs, which makes it possible to absorb B12. If this is the case, perhaps B12 shots are in order. They are easy to give yourself, and much cheaper than having them at the doctor’s office, but of course your doctor will have to help with that decision.

        Does anybody know if the Intrinsic Factor issue is different for those of us on plant based diets?




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        1. Rebecca, you don’t have to go so far as injections to compensate for inadequate IF, though injections are the most efficient way to rapidly replenish long-term stores. Most of the absorption from a supplemental pill (dosage from 500ug on up) is absorbed through passive diffusion in the intestine.




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        2. Good question, Rebecca! As we age, our bodies do slow down production of intrinsic factor, which is why as we age, the Institute of Medicine recommends increased RDAs for vitamin B12. The same should be true for everyone, which is why the recommendations increase at age 65, too, as per Dr. Greger’s recommendations

          here.




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          1. I was remembering that my mother was showing low B12 and her naturopath had her on B12 injections. She was about 89 at the time, and I always wondered if, had I known what I know now, I could have given the injections myself and saved a lot of money, and she would have taken more of them that way. And, of course, it would have been easier than a doctor visit. The low B12 may well have been the cause of her early dementia at that time. She REALLY wanted to live to 100. Unfortunately she had a stroke at 91 and finally died at 95, just five years ago. I think I could have helped her live longer had I known then many of the things I learned subsequently.




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    3. It’s very, very difficult for us to figure out on our own what particular changes we’ve made have been detrimental to us, or why. Not that I’m saying “trust government, media, etc. guidelines / ignore your own experience”, because much of mainstream information is inaccurate and downright dangerous, and of course we need to listen to our own bodies, too. But I am wondering how you can feel so confident in ascribing the decreasing B12 levels to fiber specifically. Were you following the exact same diet for a long period of time, and then making only one change such as adding a fiber supplement to your routine? Or do you simply mean you started adding more whole plant foods to your diet, and less junk food? In which case, how do you know it’s the increased fiber that is causing your B12 to fall? If you’re eating fewer fortified veggie meats, cereals, etc. and not supplementing, it’s definitely possible that could be what’s causing it.

      Another thing that stands out is that you speak in the comments here of anxiety issues, and stress affects (and is affected by) what’s going on in our gut. If you’ve been experiencing more stress, more anxiety, etc. then that could certainly be playing some kind of a role, too.




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  3. I turned in two samples to “American Gut Project,” but one got lost and they’re sending me a new packet to try again. I looked at the analysis of the one with my name on it. I am vegan, so I know they got my sample mixed up with my husband’s. He weighs 250 and is a meat and processed foods eater and the analysis was even worse than one on their site (can’t find it now) for a 400 pound Japanese man. Clearly it couldn’t have been mine, so I’m glad they’re letting me re-do it.




    0
    1. Hey Joy – What does ” and the analysis was even worse than” mean? And if you mean what I think you mean, how do you know what worse is?




      0
      1. There’s a Coursera course on how to analyze your results from https://microbio.me/AmericanGut, and it compares the average with Michael Pollan’s results. Basically, when you have bacteria that’s heavily inflammatory, that’s bad, and the results I got (which I know were switched because I only weigh 120 at 5’6″ and am vegan) were heavily inflammatory and more common among the obese. For example, the sample had five times the average amount of “Enterobacter.” See this article: http://humanfoodproject.com/are-you-carrying-the-obesity-pathogen/




        0
        1. This kind of testing has huge sample to sample variability for the one individual which is not surprising given the very nature of micro-organism populations. Doing comparisons of results to one omnivore result such as M. Pollan is of limited value. Understanding the variability and not just the average is important. Also being a vegan does not mean you have a healthy diet – the nature of fibre consumption can vary hugely from vegan to vegan. Not enough info to comment further. Your gut microbiome will be interesting when you finally get results. If the lab is making such basic screw-ups its credibility is seriously impaired. They have a four month turnaround for international clients (why? I have no idea) but now I am wondering should I have bothered to submit a sample.




          0
          1. I’m a follower of Dr. Furhman’s plan. Breakfast today: 4 ounces spinach, 8 ounces brussel sprouts, 4 ounces broccoli, a little quinoa, 4 ounces carrot juice, and four ounces blueberries. Lunch: a cup of peas with no-salt tomato sauce, two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, 1/4 apple, handful of grapes. Dinner: onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, chia seeds, eggplant, garbanzo beans, and a frozen banana churned with a bit of almond milk in the blender to make a delicious dessert.




            1
          2. Still a lot of room for improvement in the intestinal flora analysis biz. Curious as I am to become a bit more familiar with my trillions of commensal fellow travelers, I decided not to get mine analyzed after reading this article: http://tinyurl.com/pjycwra A few years hence, when the technology has advanced, I may give it a go.




            0
          3. Is carrageenan (even food quality) bad for our gut and then bad for our health? I can’t find any information on it at all and it is in a lot of vegan food. I want to make cheese and many recipes call for it. Any references for information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.




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    1. I totally agree! And a close second question (worth 3/4 of a million? or tied for first?): Does eating foods swimming probiotics (such as nondairy yogurt) do anything helpful?

      I don’t know if we have the answers to these questions, but I’m really excited about this series of videos.




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    2. That IS the million dollar question, Pete! We are just at the very tip of the iceberg regarding how much we understand about probiotics..with the thousands or more different strains of bacteria and all of its infinite combinations with which probiotics are produced. However, the initial results seem really promising with the potential benefits of using them! For example, as shown in previous videos, probiotics have been shown to help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea., reduce the risk for upper respiratory infections., and may even improve our mental state. As delineated in this video above, this is a truly exciting and dynamic focus of research with infinite possibility…




      0
    3. There is no evidence to support the assertion that a specific patented organism used in probiotics has a significant effect on the gut microbiome, which is why the EU forced Dannone to modify their product claims.




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    4. PeteF: Joy’s post caused me to take a look at the website for the ‘American Gut Project’. I just happened to catch the following quote on one of their small studies:

      “Relative to everyone else, each person tends to have a unique and
      relatively stable combination of microbes. The microbial community may
      change from day to day or in response to the intervention [a three day change in diet], but those
      changes are small enough that the community is still recognizable as
      belonging to a certain person distinct from others. This individuality
      of microbiome means that it might be possible to identify you based on
      your gut community, maybe even if you dramatically changed your diet for
      a few days!”
      from: http://americangut.org/?page_id=258

      That’s fascinating stuff and may be a start to a partial answering of your question. But of course, if someone modifies their diet by more than just 3 days, the answer could be very different.

      Just sharing




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    5. Why the emphasis on probiotics though? I never understood that, since prebiotics and probiotics work synergistically. The “good” bacteria i.e. probiotics like to feed on prebiotics. This is why Paleo low carbers who do not eat starchy veggies, legumes, grains, or fruits are not so smart when they take probiotics for gut health. Doing that is like buying a bird feeder but not putting anything inside to feed the birds.




      1
    6. I take a probiotic for the gut….my belief is that the main factor is the food you eat…but it doesn’t hurt to regularly take a bacterial seed mixture?

      I also take an oral probiotic which reduced some persistent low grade sore throat and ear issues…not to mention minor gum issues.

      “This unique probiotic dietary supplement is Swanson Health Products’ first oral probiotic formula ever. It features a special strain of S. salivarius called BLIS K12, which was developed by BLIS Technologies of New Zealand. BLIS K12 is a naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria that only lives within the oral cavity and is proven to promote good oral health, support natural immune system defense functions (key for seasonal wellness support) and protect against the proliferation of bacteria that can cause bad breath. BLIS K12 has been involved with several clinical studies and been included in over 30 published scientific papers. The theory behind BLIS K12 oral probiotic formula is that when taken regularly, it can help support upper respiratory health and the health of the throat and the oral cavity itself.”




      0
    7. Will just share my experience… I tried, on a few occasions years ago, to enjoy some coconut yogourt with added probiotics. Every time I’ve had a significant quantity (like half the container), it resulted in loud gurgling, pain, slight queasiness. I’ve not had anything with added probiotics since. Small amounts didn’t seem to affect me, though, and small amounts of things like miso also don’t bother me. I have zero gut issues to my knowledge, have healthy elimination, transit time, etc. So I don’t interpret this as a sign of anything being wrong, but more that probiotics might not be all they’re cracked up to be. I’ll stick to prebiotics, as well as enjoying the occasional fermented food here and there (but not making a point to include those).




      0
  4. All B vitamins are into nuts and seeds. If we eat every day by this way : 80% fruits, 15%vegetables and 5% nuts and seeds – we eat all amino-acids, fat-acids and essentiale ones of both , all minerals and oligoelements and all vitamins. And raw is the best :-)




    0
  5. I am pleased to inform you that, after having taken a course on the microbiome at the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (on line), I immediately applied the suggested dietary modifications and, through personal experimentation, I have determined a few issues about which I am more than a little excited. I have found, for example, that eating certain foods and avoiding others can have a profound effect on your mood. Dr. Gregor will no doubt be pleased to hear that after eating sugar snap peas, I actually can feel an elevation in mood and a general brightening of the mind. Don’t get me wrong. It is not a ‘high’ but a form of just plain feeling better. My gravitation towards a vegetarian diet has done a great deal for the bacteria in my microbiome.

    We have a number of microbiomes in our bodies from nasal passages, both right and left are separate and apart, to various areas of our mouths such as lingual, sub-lingual and we even have different bacteria on two sides of the same tooth! Our skin is one very large microbiome upon which I have no used soap for three months and no, I smell just fine. Just ask my wife.

    The discovery of the intricacies of the microbiome and its resident population of bacteria, is an event horizon that I am sure will eventuate discoveries that will come trippingly to our aid in the future and point us toward a healthier and more active lifestyle where veggies will continue to play a pivotal role. The upside is that it has been proved that we can cure illnesses, such as diabetes in my case, by diet modification. One woman, of whom I learned about in my studies, was bent and distorted because of MS and was relegated to life in a wheel chair. After having been fed a diet of ten cups of green vegetables per day, she is not only out of the wheelchair but, is out running! Much to be said about keeping our inner family healthy!




    1
    1. Notre: Interesting post. Thanks.

      FYI: I like to get bags of sugar snap peas and snack on them throughout the day. My dog likes them too, so we often share. It’s one of the few raw greens that I really like.




      0
      1. I keep a good sized container of chopped veggies like carrots, sugar snap peas, all colours of peppers and such in the fridge. Like you, I really like sugar snap peas. The funny thing is that, as humans, for some reason we get more out of food if it is crunchy. It is a positive psychological response that we have to such things as sugar snap peas. Keep on snacking on the good stuff!




        1
        1. Are sugar snap pees safe to be eaten raw in large quantities? I would think they need to be cooked, are not they a bean? Full of anti-nutrients unless cooked?




          0
          1. I have been eating sugar snap peas raw for a long time. Some people may incur gastrointestinal discomfort if they eat a lot of them. I personally have no wide affects at all but then, I chew them very well. I mix them with red/green/yellow peppers and carrots and eat all of them raw. Sugar snap peas are also great steamed as well if you want a hot vegetable.




            0
            1. What is a typical daily diet for you? A random day’s sample mention would be interesting to me, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks…..beverages. Any wine or beer, caffeine beverages? Thank you. I think this might help me and others get an idea of what kind of “macrobiome” diet has helped you.




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              1. First of all, to give some perspective, I started out in this quest for better health from the position of being a diabetic who weighed 250 lbs. and was on nine different medications. Today, I am not a diabetic, I weight 198 lbs., I run/walk/sprint five days a week, lift weights and I have had my doctor refer to me as his poster boy. I am healthy again.

                I have spent an enormous amount of time on the internet over the past two and a half years looking for answers and, quite by accident, came across Nutrition Facts and Dr. Gregor. I also use a few other sites as information sources for foods, their nutritive content and general overall value. So, what I have done diet-wise is, in some people’s view, difficult for some and impossible for others.

                The first thing that I did was stop using food as a comfort medium. Everyone does it. Sandwiches, ice cream, french fries, chocolate bars, cookies, donuts, chips, soft drinks, hamburgers and so much more. I eat none of them. I cannot call myself a vegan because I make my own yogurt, eat a little cheese from time to time and, I might eat one hard boiled egg every two weeks or so. In other words, I do not eat any processed foods at all. I don’t trust them. Like Michael Pollan says, “If it is advertised, do not eat it.” And yes, that includes anything that contains wheat.

                The rest of my diet is composed mostly of vegetables, nuts, fruit and a plethora of foods that I make at home from scratch. As Michael also says, “Eat well. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” I have not eaten any beef in the last year. The chemicals in animals is something that I do not trust.

                Now, I know that a lot of people do not have the time to do what I do and make everything from scratch but, the payback is enormous. First of all, we eat too much food. Restaurants serve too much food! And, for some reason, we feel guilty if we leave any on the plate!

                I drink a smoothie every morning composed of my yogurt, ground flax seed, hemp seed (no, not that hemp), turmeric, cinnamon, ground black pepper, blueberries and almond milk. And yes, there is a very healthy reason for every single ingredient in that mixture. I know, because I researched every one of them, some based on information provided by, and thanks to, Dr. Gregor.

                I have a mixture of nuts that I make myself, and keep on hand, composed of raw and unsalted sunflower seeds, pumpkin (pepita) seeds, dried cranberries, Thomson raisins and a very small amount of unsalted crushed cashews. Never peanuts! They have choline and that can be a problem for some men and the relationship that they have with their prostate. In the way of fruit I eat oranges, blueberries, apples, bananas, pears, grapes and whatever else is fresh and available. Veggies? Go crazy. I keep a container of chopped veggies in the fridge all of the time as I previously mentioned. Recipes are all over the net for veggie smoothies. Crunchy foods are important and not just for your teeth. It’s all about the microbiome.

                My day is filled with snacking about every two hours or so. I don’t time it. I just choose from what really is a very wide variety of foods that have not been made by anyone else.

                As to drinks, I do not touch any soft drinks of any description. None. Have not had any for more than two years. Artificial sweeteners, if you are not already aware, are horrible for you. Dig around on the net, it is all there. The same goes for anything with processed sugar. Your mind responds to white, processed sugar the same way as it does to cocaine. White sugar is a monosaccharide. Fruit and vegetables provide naturally occurring polysaccharides. Much better!

                Drink-drink? Absolutely! Red wine contains resveratrol, a very, very good thing for the heart and a few other things as well. Personally, I like whiskey, rum or scotch on the rocks on with a splash of water or soda. I avoid beer, not because I don’t like it but, it does contain wheat and can be quite fattening. Coffee? You bet. And, green tea as well!

                I could go on but, I hope that this gives you a sense as to what diet I apply in my daily life. No, I do not crave for anything. The cravings go away, just like any other addiction we may have acquired during our lives, such as smoking. Human beings are highly adaptable creatures and we should use the ability to adapt in the best way that we can, particularly making ourselves healthy.

                Oh, and one other thing; I am 70 years of age.

                Cheers
                Paul




                1
                1. That helps! Thank you.

                  I am mot sure if I missed it somewhere else but I see no mention of beans or non-gluten grains on your menu. You do any beans?




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                  1. Yes, I make my own. Navy beans, kidney beans, etc. in all of their glory! I call them my musical fruit. Boston baked beans are my favorite but I also make various soups that have beans in them and I also make a mean chili (no meat of course). Also, given that I do not eat any type of bread, cracker, cookie or other flour based food, or anything with wheat, gluten does not come into the equation.




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                2. Fruit is not a good source of polysaccharides. The carbs in fruits are mainly sucrose and fructose. Mainly simple sugar.

                  Dont worry, its not bad eating fruit because it has mainly sugars. You cant compare it to refined table sugar (sucrose) that have zero fiber and micronutrients. Look at Dr. Greger fruit videos discussing this matter.




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                3. Paul congratulations! I have a very similar story, (at 63) and I am ecstatic too, but it frustrates me that so many I know who could benefit dramatically can only manage that annoying platitude…”Good for you”. They are sick with all the diseases I know they can cure or dramatically improve, yet choose to remain oblivious. I get it, I’m human too, but if only they would try it for a while, as I say, to prove me wrong, as a challenge, and to shut me up! lol!
                  As for the alcohol, I am a huge fan of culturing and fermenting because the health benefits for me have been very noticeable and dramatic. (Unlike probiotic supplements, which just lightened my wallet!) There is always a row of fermenting foods on my counter, and a few alcoholic ones as of late which I am enjoying, though not sure what to call them…a natural quick (not aged) ferment made of fruits and juices that includes the preserved fruits and is not clarified, is quite fizzy, tasty, filled with happy microbes, and a single glass will give me a nice buzz! My niece, who has a severe reaction to sulfites in commercial versions, was pleased to be able to try it, and thought it was great. But it made me wonder if some of the conflicting reports on the benefits of wine may be affected by the difference between the industrial manufactured product, and the traditional fermented one? To her and myself, they are completely different, more so than apples and oranges, which makes me think others would be equally affected! Thoughts?




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          2. Sugar snap peas are Peas, not beans, but yes a legume. They, like green beans, are immature. What must be (hydrated and) cooked are dried (mature) legumes. Immature ones are not dried.




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            1. Yeah, but do the the sugar snap peas need to be cooked since they are a legume? I would think eating raw is not a good idea ——- anti – nutrients, lectins, etc.




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    2. Natasha Campbell McBride, a British neurologist and neurosurgeon, after being told her son was autistic and would never get better, found research over 20 years ago about the microbiome, how we get it from our mothers as we travel through the birth canal and from breast feeding. She found research, but nobody was pulling it together or using it in a practical way. She did, and brought her son back to normal functioning, and has since helped many, many children and adults. Her approach was not vegan or vegetarian. In fact, she leans heavily on bone broths to heal the leaky guts. I suppose her work shows that help can lie in many directions. One of her books is The Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

      One thing she emphasizes is that after healing the gut and bringing the microbiome into healthier balance, those individuals have to remain vigilant for the rest of their lives, as their gut bacteria tends to go out of balance easily if they fall off the pro-bacteria wagon, so to speak.

      Since reading her books and hearing her speak, I’ve been waiting for more information and research on the microbiome. So now it looks like our gut bacteria is the new research darling – the new vitamin D! Hooray! We should all benefit eventually.




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      1. It begs the question why it was that McBride made the correlation of health and the microbiome, wrote a book about it and it took ten years to be presented by someone else not even related to her story. I, like you, believe that the approach to treating the gut bacteria very well is the answer. I believe that it goes directly to lifestyle and what we eat. Processed foods (many of them) are the culprits and have done a lot of damage over the years. But, now we know all of this and the are a lot of people out there who are working hard to bring this information to light. Everybody wins! So grateful for the internet! Thanks for your message.




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        1. She mostly worked in Great Britain in the early years. I learned about her about seven or eight years ago when I was studying nutrition, and she spoke at our conference a couple of years after that. She has since started a certification program for practitioners who want to learn and use her methods in working with autistic people and others. I know of several who have taken her course and are working with her info.

          I’ve noticed, when any big discovery or change happens, whether in medicine or most any other endeavor, there are always those who start learning and working with whatever it is early on. Eventually others learn about the subject and begin studying, writing, inventing, whatever. There are always the outlying early adapters of various changes. They often seem to provide the wind beneath the wings of those who follow and who bring the change to greater attention and refinement.

          The internet is so wonderful for this. I think it is Dr Greger who talks about how it takes 17 years for new discoveries in medicine to become mainstream. In my lifetime (I’m 72 and have been reading nutrition books since the 1960s) I had estimated years ago it was taking about 20 years from the time I learned something new until I began seeing information about it in mainstream books and magazines. With the internet we all have access to so much research and information that the time from research to practical application has to become shorter and shorter. Thanks, Mama Google! You know everything!




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          1. The wind beneath the wings is an excellent analogy and very apt. With the internet, we are now able to acquire more and more information from a multitude of sources, discuss them among an equally great number of people and gain knowledge that otherwise might have remained unknown for years or, until a best seller came out and enough people bought it to bring it to prominence.

            The time that it took, once upon a time, for a technology to grow an order of magnitude was 100 years, as was the case in dentistry, so my dentist told me. He said that same technological development now takes less than three years. Amazing isn’t it? We are on the cusp of a new and a new world of medicine and the ability to treat ourselves in new and innovative manner. I concur with your statements above and I will continue to see what is around the next corner. By the way, I am 70. Aren’t we great?!




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    3. I hate to do a MEEE TOOO, but I totally echo your experience. Changing to a WFPB diet relieved me of many health issues including diabetes. I gotta say though that adding fermented foods to my diet took it to the next level, and my mood and mental status got a huge boost! I tried probiotic tablets, but they didn’t have the same effects. I suppose because the fermented foods are a package deal and have their own prebiotics included, might partially explain it, but I am convinced that people’s mental health lies somewhere in their microbiome! True for me anyway, and apparently here too… http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/… watch her “my story” video, moving!

      Sandor Katz, who has written some awesome books of fermentation, has been living with AIDS in good health for many years and attributes it to the help of fermented foods. The more I study it, the more I realize how many cultures had, and still have a slew of fermentations they utilize on a regular basis, and many of the traditional fermented foods even we have here…sauerkraut, pickles, bread, beer, wine, sour cream yogurt, buttermilk, and more exotic stuff like real brewed soy sauce, miso, tempeh, natto, tabasco sauce, kimchi, kombucha etc., are mostly now made simply with vinegar or else pasteurized for shelf life, eliminating the beneficial bacteria. I know Dr Greger has said he is leery of home ferments, but they originated to preserve food, and the huge amounts of salt that they use commercially can be moderated when you create your own. I started off not being a big fan of fermented veggies, but now I crave them! Good stuff!




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    4. In reply to Notre Dame de Trois Pistoles, I too as the woman in your note was hit with the MS too. And was in pretty bad shape until I changed my ways! Dietary intake IS CRITICAL! The less meat the better we feel. Anyway I have reversed my MS too through better eating habits and better, cleaner, alkaline water without being laced with those pesky chemicals, but rather being laced with minerals and extra H2.




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      1. Now your news is a breath of fresh air! Yes,our health is in our hands. The question is, how bad do we want it? I wanted it badly and so did you. We are small players in the field of ‘Getting Better Through Foods’ but, if nothing else, we are indicators that it can be done. Congratulations on your success!




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  6. There’s even more support for this in a 2014 study from researchers at CUNY Hunter: Nutrients. 2014 Oct 31;6(11):4822-38. doi: 10.3390/nu6114822. “The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection.” Glick-Bauer M1, Yeh MC2.

    “Abstract: This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects. However, it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits.”




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    1. Here’s the best one that I can recommend: Ferment your own vegetables. It makes them really tasty. It is the cheapest and healthiest thing you can do. Put in super healthy vegies like amla and bitter melon. Add as big a variety as you can to have a more diverse microbiome. I highly recommend reading Sandor Katz’ “The Art of Fermentation” prior to starting.
      John S




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      1. thank you! but I travel 10+ months out of the year and don’t have access to fresh vegetables much less a kitchen or equipment or supply to ferment my own. visiting down to earth, rainbow grocery, whole foods and other coops I run into, there are so many brands and strains to choose from.




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        1. Any health food store will have (usually) fermented foods in the refrigerated section. Remember, also, that Clausen brand pickles, which are never cooked (pasturized) and must live in the refrigerator section of typical grocery stores, are fermented cucumbers. Pick them up at your local Safeway, King Soopers, Krogers, etc. Do not forget that tofu is fermented soy bean.
          If you travel . . .and I am going to assume here that you get home at least once in a while . . .cut up some cabbage and follow a typical sauerkraut or kim chee recipe (get one off the web). Mix it up and put it in any jar that seals like a mason jar. Then take the jar with you on your travels. They have to ferment at room temperature anyway. . . .
          The most basic ferment is cabbage and salt. That’s it.
          I realize this isn’t an answer to your entire situation . . but it’s just a suggestion on trying to live creatively. There is a fellow – on youtube I believe – who eats a WFPB diet out of his long-haul truck. Talk about creative living !! :-)




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          1. Claussen Kosher Dill Pickle Spears: Ingredients: Fresh Cucumbers, Water, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Contains Less Than 2% of Dried Garlic, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate (to Preserve Flavor), Spice, Mustard Seed, Dried Red Peppers, Natural Flavor, Polysorbate 80, Oleoresin Turmeric.
            Sodium Benzoate and Polysorbate 80 are two things I stay away from so don’t eat pickles anymore since I haven’t found a brand without Polysorbate 80. Am I being too cautious?




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            1. There are much better pickles available in the refrigerated section of some major grocery stores. Publix in Florida. No vinegar, no preservatives.




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  7. Honored to be a guest moderator here on NutritionFacts.org this week! For those of you who don’t know me, I am known as the Plant-Based Dietitian. and I am an author, speaker, and tv host. I work with clients around the world using whole food, plant-based nutrition to help improve their health and performance. Please let me know if you have any questions for me…as I am eager to help and be a part of this extraordinary forum!




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    1. Welcome everyone to Julieanna Week! Joseph is going to be taking a week to do offline work for us, and so Julieanna is stepping in to be NutritionFacts.org’s resident dietician. This is everyone’s opportunity to take advantage of her vast knowledge of how to take all the science and translate it into day-to-day healthier living for your family. In her list of credentials she should have also listed Supermom–this is a great time to ask questions on raising healthy kids! We’re just so honored to have her on board this week!




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    2. Two questions for you, Julieanna:

      Have you seen many vegans prosper on a predominately vegan fruit-diet, some raw greens and nuts and seeds?

      What is your stance on cultured, probiotic veggies?

      Thank you.




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      1. Thanks for your questions, Ru! I have absolutely witnessed people seem to prosper eating that way, but over shorter periods of time and I was not monitoring them directly as their dietitian. It would be fascinating to run a sample day through nutrition software to confirm adequacy of nutrients for a long-term plan. Since fruits, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet, it is possible it may be sustainable when planned carefully.

        Cultured, probiotic veggies are fabulous! They offer a delicious and nutritious way to bring in prebiotics and probiotics to help your friendly flora proliferate!




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      1. Thank you, Harriet. That is an interesting question. Because glutamine is a very abundant free amino acid found throughout the food supply and – as you mentioned – made within our own bodies, I would recommend focusing on the bigger picture of what we know with respect to cancer and diet…that providing your body with a constant supply of ample vegetables, fruits, legumes including soy foods, whole grains, spices, herbs, nuts, and seeds will provide you with cancer-fighting phytochemicals to reduce your risk of recurrence. Dr. Greger has all of these helpful videos
        discussing different parts of this equation and also this article on applying the precautionary principle to cancer may be helpful as well.




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          1. I had been concerned about MSG and its cousins due to the excitotoxic effects it has been associated with in the past and because of the common complaints of people having sensitivities or intolerances to it. However, it is considered safe according to the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list, which you can read more of this Q&A on MSG. Also, this video from Dr. Greger shows that MSG is harmless. If you are concerned about it or consider yourself sensitive to it, you can choose to minimize your exposure to MSG and other autolyzed/hydrolyzed products by avoiding them.




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    3. Julieanna,
      I am totally confused about anticancer diets now having listened to a two hour podcast with Dom D’augustino and reading some of his ketogenic diet research. How does a ketogenic diet compare to a vegan diet with regard to cancer?




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      1. pete: I don’t know too much about ketosis and cancer, but I replied to someone just yesterday about ketosis and it’s short term detrimental affects on human health. One study below mentions cancer. I thought you might be interested.

        The following is copied from long-time NutritionFacts volunteer, Rami (from a post several years ago)
        ———–
        Ketogenic diets (very low carb, high fat) have been shown to be helpful with children with epilepsy for the short term. All other aspects of the diet for the short term show ill health effects. Its not something you want to put your body through. I will share the SHORT TERM evidence below. The long term evidence is also damning, but here is short term data.

        “Cognitive Effects of Ketogenic Weight-Reducing Diets,” researchers randomized people to either a ketogenic or a nonketogenic weight loss diet. Although both groups lost the same amount of weight, those on the ketogenic diet suffered a significant drop in cognitive performance. After one week in ketosis, higher order mental processing and mental flexibility significantly worsened into what the researcher called a “modest neuropsychological impairment.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8589783

        A review over low carb diets revealed that “Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14672862

        Low-Fat Versus Low-Carbohydrate Weight Reduction Diets
        Effects on Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance, and Cardiovascular Risk: A Randomized Control Trial

        This study looked at 24 people who were overweight/obese and divided them into 2 groups. One group was low carb, high fat and the other high carb, low fat.
        High carb group: 20% calories from fat/60% calories from carbs
        Low carb group: 60% calories from fat/20% calories from carbs
        In addition, the study was designed so that participants would lose 1 pound per week, so calories were reduced by 500 per day.

        Volunteers were given pre weighed foods given as daily portions and were assessed by a dietician to make sure that they were adhering to the diet. After 8 weeks, this is what was found to be significant between the two groups. The low carb, high fat group experienced arterial stiffness which basically means impaired arterial function. What this means is that the people on this diet experienced low grade inflammation which can lead to the growth of atherosclerotic lesions and can become heart disease. “It is possible that the high fat content of a low-carbohydrate diet exerts detrimental effects on endothelial function, which raises concern s regarding the long-term safety and efficacy of low-carbohydrate diets…Currently, supported by evidence from long-term trials, we believe that a low-fat diet should remain the preferred diet for diabetes prevention.”
        http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/58/12/2741.long

        Benefit of Low-Fat Over Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Endothelial Health in Obesity
        20 subjects participated in this study. “The [low carb] diet provided 20 g of carbohydrates daily, supplemented with protein and fat content according to the Atkins’ diet recommendation.19 The [low fat] diet provided 30% of the calories as fat, modeled after an American Heart Association diet.” I wouldn’t exactly call the low fat diet “low fat”, but regardless, its far less fat then the low carb diet. Both groups were given 750 calories less with pre made meals so they would stick with the protocol.

        After 6 weeks, there were significant differences between the low carb and the low fat group. The researchers performed a brachial artery test which basically tests to see if arterial function is impaired or not. Typically, the arm is cut off from circulation for about 5 min., then they release the arm, and measure how dilated the blood vessels are. If the blood vessels are constricted, it represents arterial impairment whereas dilation indicates good arterial health.

        On week 2 of the diet, both low carb and low fat groups had poor arterial health and were not significantly different, but by week 6, those on the low carb diet had far worse arterial health then before, and those eating low fat had far better.
        (See figure 1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702133/figure/F1/ )
        This again shows that this type of diet is promoting heart disease risk.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702133/

        Low carbohydrate, high fat diet increases C-reactive protein during weight loss.
        Unfortunately, I was unable to find the full text of this study so it is difficult for me to view the details and all I can do is base my conclusions of the study based on the abstract which is not something I like to do. Regardless, the study revealed a very interesting finding. It showed that when subjects of the study went on a low carb, high protein diet for 4 weeks, they had a 25% increase in C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation which basically means that this group of people were promoting the development of a chronic disease. In contrast, the high carbohydrate subjects decreased their levels of C-reactive protein by 48%.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17536128

        Comparative Effects of Three Popular Diets on Lipids, Endothelial Function, and C-Reactive Protein during Weight Maintenance
        This study is quite interesting. It examined 18 adults aged 20 or over for 6 months. The aim of the study was to examine their health when on 3 diets, the Atkins diet (high fat, low carb), the South beach diet (Mediterranean) and the Ornish diet (low fat, high carb). They found no significant differences between the 3 diets in terms of calories consumed. The results are interesting as seen in table 1 of the study.

        They found higher LDL in the Atkins diet and lower LDL in the low fat Ornish diet. They also found significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein in the atkins diet as opposed to the Ornish diet. What was also found was that the atkins diet had poor results for the Brachial Artery test which again shows impaired arterial function. “High saturated fat intake may adversely impact lipids and endothelial function during weight maintenance. As such, popular diets such as Atkins may be less advantageous for CHD risk reduction when compared to the Ornish and South Beach diets”
        http://engine2diet.com/usrfiles/files/publishedstudies/obesity/comparative-effects-of-3-diets.pdf




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        1. Thanks for this, Thea, I just stumbled across it, and it promises a healthier perspective in the midst of media-based Diet Wars. I get a daily deluge from Dr. Mercola, promoting his “ketogenic” approach to nutrition, a concept of nutrition disjunct, if not opposed to a whole foods, plant-based diet.




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          1. alphaa10: Glad it was helpful. That ketogenic diet seems to be latest wave of fad diets. Dr. Greger has covered “fat” in various angles in plenty of videos, but I’m hopeful Dr. Greger will specifically cover the concept of ketogenic diets in the near future. It would be nice to have Dr. Greger’s professional touch on the topic.




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  8. Just read about a recent study where they gave antibiotics to “elderly” fruit flies…they lived longer than the controls. No link….

    Considering the “food” they feed the elderly in nursing homes…you could see why their gut bacteria would be of a poor nature.




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  9. Our microbiome is not just in our guts, it’s on our skin and armpits as well. I am presenting this because it’s relevant to this topic and I hope some researcher will study it further, so I don’t need to be attacked.I know this will sound nuts, but I am presenting it for science. For close to ten years I have often placed sifted soil from my compost pile with a small patch onto different areas of my skin. At first I did this out of desperation because I had cysts in my face. When I first tried it many of the cysts bled out profusely within a few hours. My face continued to improve dramatically for about a couple of months. For anyone considering this the soil must be very healthy, it should have plenty of earthworms. Soil near a healthy tree in the woods should be healthy too. Soil is a package deal, it does have potentially dangerous microbes, but isolation from the beneficial microbes seems to play a role in modern disease. Here are a few supporting observations. All wild animals and our paleolithic ancestors were in constant contact with soil, we evolved that way. Plants need fungi and bacteria to thrive and to a lesser extent so do animals. Farmers are known to be healthier than city folks. TB was once fairly common in the cites, but less so in rural areas. Many sanatoriums were in rural areas and sometimes people would even be cured, though it was not known why. It could have been more microbes in the rural areas. Our paleolithic ancestors survived many injuries that in modern times would lead to infection without antibiotics. Kennewick Man had a serious wound and recovered. Treppanning was done in ancient times and many people survived. Penicillin was derived from cantaloupe mold. I can attest that soil had profound health benefits to me. I hope that this will be researched further. This is the only link I have been able to find providing some evidence to support the health benefits of soil microbes for human health. http://www.healinglandscapes.org/blog/2011/01/its-in-the-dirt-bacteria-in-soil-makes-us-happier-smarter/




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    1. Armpit microbes are another part of the human microbiome. Yes, I know they stink and all to any idiot who scoffs at my post. Today almost everyone poisons their armpits, in a way this is akin to poisoning intestinal flora. The armpits have long hairs which provide a good home, they stay moist which provide a good environment, and armpits sweat lipids which feed the microbes. This feature evolved for a reason. One speculation is that the hairs reduce friction, but why the constant moisture which would increase friction, why the lipids? There are also other hairless animals that do not grow such hairs, so it’s probably not friction. It might be smell, Humans are less sensitive to smells than animals so maybe a stronger odor is needed. Research has shown that smell does play some role in human mating selection. Thirdly, it might be that the microbes play a role in health. Certainly modern chronic illnesses like cancer have increased as people have become cleaner, poisoning the armpits may play a role in this. It’s clear, people have become accustomed to poisoning their armpits without any thought as to why this feature evolved. This has never been seriously researched. I would hope that someone looking for their PhD might research this. Here is the only link I have been able to find that addresses these observations. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/06/still-pubic-armpit-hair/




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  10. Will someone please explain why I have that hydrogen sulphide “rotten egg gas” even though I don’t consume dairy, eggs, or meat? It seems to appear heavily in the morning. BTW, I don’t have a gallbladder, would that make a difference?




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    1. More info might help: How much fiber are you consuming? We can’t guess how “whole” your foods are or how much flaxseed (or other supplemental fiber) you are getting. Methinks (careful I’m not a doctor) that the speed of intestinal transit plus the presence of extra protein is what makes for a hydrogen sulphide experience. BTW I’ve not had anything near hydrogen sulfide gas, and I’ve had a lot of gas (and sometimes eat a bit of animal product), since changing to WFPB.




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  11. Talking about microbiome and not even mentioning Dr Perlmutter is not a serious 5-minute analysis. And this is a hobby horse of Dr Greger – cherry picking. Obviously it is not comfortable to mention his name because he does not agree with the type of diet that Dr Greger promotes as healthy. So it is better to push him into non-existence. And this is called a serious impartial academic research…




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    1. Why should we have to mention Perlmutter? Is he seriously a contributor to scientific debate, or is he just another person who is concerned with representing science from the outside? Are his views even that popular in the fringe, and does Greger need to seek out every topically relevant opinion from the non-scientific fringe and consider it in each video? Some of the things that Perlmutter does, such as not publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals, promote his own non-existence in a video about science.




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      1. Again, though, if Perlmutter has particular scientific evidence that you believe, it would be great if you could give it a fitting introduction here so that people here could discuss it.




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        1. No, the “we” there is inclusive of you, for one, since you are the one insisting that he has to be inserted into the conversation. Yes, I’m talking in the context of Greger’s site, this particular video and the discussion section attached to it, but I’m also talking about what guidelines should govern what types of discussion in general. There is no obvious reason why a non-scientist’s views should be included in a short video on a scientific topic.




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          1. Still here? Stop finding lame exuses. I am stopping listening to another Richard Dawkins with blinkers on. Have fun stewing in your own juice – a mono-vision of human health food. Go and preach before all the Eskimos on the strictly scientific vegetarian diet. They will listen to you with rapt attention. And don`t forget or find your solace in this site basking in this mutual adoration (which is rife here). It is so rewarding and healthy for your scientific progress. Sorry, I am not responding to any of your mono-talk any more. Cheers.




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    2. If you want to talk about Dr Perlmutter, here a good start : The Problem With David Perlmutter, the Grain Brain Doctor
      And the next step here : Alzheimer’s Disease: Grain Brain or Meathead?

      Now, who is cherry picking study to sell books ? Tell me.. Because Dr Perlmutter is ignoring the science that tell a different story. And just flip flop depending on what is trendy.. What a shame. Why in the world Dr Greger should mention the latest quack in his scientific video ?




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      1. Another diehard scientist. I have no time for such people, sorr. I thought this was not a religious circle as Dr Sheldrake would call it. So follow your god – Dr.Greger. And organize witch-hunting. All those who oppose you should be burnt at the stake – I mean all those quacks and perhaps me included as a defender of your enemy.




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  12. Apparently, balsamic vinegars, red wines, and some cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils and grapeseed oils contain a substance which inhibits TMA production? Highest levels observed in these foods were were 25 mM. (“Choline analog DMB inhibits microbial TMA production and may serve as a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention or treatment of atherosclerosis.”)

    Z. Wang et al. Non-lethal inhibition of gut microbial trimethylamine production for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Cell. Vol. 163, December 17, 2015, p. 1. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.055. http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674%2815%2901574-3

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/treat-heart-start-gut?tgt=nr




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  13. TRYING to wrap my mind around singer/songwriter Glenn Frey dying at age *67* of: arthritis, COLITIS and pneumonia….did he just give up or what???? ALL of these could have been prevented…and reversed…omg…what a world! WHO didn’t tell him that if he changes what he eats, he’ll probably be ok??? ugh…so sad!




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  14. Dear Nutrition Facts,
    I
    have appreciated the information on your website, but was unable to
    anything that dealt with the following. Would you be able to address
    this generally?
    (1) Is vegan possibly healing/helpful for
    candida/small intestinal overgrowth, and leaky gut? The research I have
    done so far always implicates no fruit, low carb, low starch, no
    legumes, no grains, few nuts. They emphasize the proline, glycine,
    glutamine from meats as essential to healing, and the lower carb as
    giving less potential for the bacteria and yeast to feed on (i.e.,,
    Candida Diet, GAPS, Specific Carb Diet, Fast Tract, Josh Axe, Alison
    Siebecker, etc.). Has there been research/studies, or anecdotal evidence
    that veganism or vegetarianism can help heal the gut, reduce candida?
    One researcher (Paul Jaminet in a more informal conversation) indicated
    that it might be more helpful to boost the immune system rather than
    just starve the bacteria. But has there been any research or anecdotal
    evidence at least?

    And
    what might be helpful guidelines, generally speaking, to do
    vegetarian/vegan healthy in that way? For example, they might not be
    able to do gluten, soy because of leaky gut; have extreme difficulty
    digesting grains and legumes due to the sapponins, lectins, and
    phytates; need to go lower on fruit and lower carb. What might be a
    healthy way for someone with gut issues to approach veganism?




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  15. Choline in eggs etc are not good for us, what about choline that gets into our system as a dirivitive of lecithin?
    Could this topic be more fully discused and the
    Implication of the plant source of choline




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  16. I am familiar with the negative aspects of choline and have watched all of your videos on choline which is why this recently published article I find highly suspect, especially since I can’t seem to find the article that they are supposedly referencing. Being that my wife and I are generally more anxiety prone, my wife being on some anxiety medication for a time, the prospect of not passing that on to our children is a tempting one. However, given what I have heard about choline consumption previously and not being able to determine the source of the information I thought I would pose this question to the best experts I know. A synopsis of the cited article is as follows. Supplementation of high doses of choline in utero results in children more resistant to mental illness.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/22/498843225/can-mental-illness-be-prevented-in-the-womb




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  17. A lot of books published in 2015 on the Microbiome: eg. “The Microbiome Solution” (Robynne Chutkan), “Missing Microbes” (Martin Blaser), “The Good Gut” (Justin Sonnenburg), & my favorite “10% Human” (Alanna Collen).




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      1. An important article. Thanks for your link. I look forward to a comprehensive book in a couple of years perhaps that will include the most relevant research on the microbiome that has gone on since early 2015.




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  18. When I view these videos, usually more than once (for the sake of even better retention), I glimpse Dr. Greger’s new and improved presentation method, a welcome aid for comprehension. Greger breaks the narrative into clearly “packaged” ideas with a clear unifying thread, and uses that thread to introduce the audience to the next section. He has made a studied effort at smoother verbal narrative, even to his signature slower verbal pace and lower tone at conclusion.

    Again, Dr. Greger’s medical perspective comes to the fore, with a superb background on evolution of research into the microbiome. For example, only a decade ago, full sequencing of just one species of gut bacteria took 13 years, but today requires only two hours.

    Now, we easily understand why Greger is so excited about not only unraveling pathological mysteries like IBS, but discovering how diet immediately promotes health and happiness of the gut bacterial metropolis within us. He shows us a massively complex chart, sufficient to make the point about how all bacteria interact as a complete system vital to our survival.

    At least once yearly, we donate to make this superb content available, information found nowhere else in lay literature on medical topics. While we are deluged with machine-generated, formulaic drivel from “WebMD”– much of it completely at odds with the latest research– there is only one NutritionFacts.org. This year, let us donate as though we mean it, to the continued development of this wonderful source of health information.




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  19. As we have read abundantly on this website, choline is not the only disincentive from meat and dairy. The TMAO, itself, comes from our liver’s scavenging the blood serum for TMA, produced by choline-loving gut bacteria prominent in the gut biomes of meat eaters. The TMAO byproduct is dumped back into the bloodstream to act as “velcro” for cholesterol to deposit on the endothelium. When there are so many other threats to cardiovascular health, why pay extra for drugs “safely” to ingest choline?




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