Hello friends! I want to share with you some gleanings from a virtual Microbiome Summit I attended last spring. As much as I would have liked to spend more time with each speaker, other activities and obligations did not allow this, so I took advantage of the abbreviated version, and wanted to share with you what I found. As usual, what I loved about this summit was that each speaker had a personal story and a personal journey, and discovering the microbiome was a very vital and exciting part of it. Primarily, this post includes the name of the speaker, the name of the talk, and three bulleted ideas that summarize the talk. I also include a URL so you can find them yourself, online. In some cases, I added quotes and personal observations. I was doing this at the beginning, and with speakers who I found particularly interesting – though anyone who works in this field is instantly my best friend. With Deepak Chopra, I was not able to listen to the entire interview, which made me very sad, but I think you get the gist. It was amazing, and I hope this inspires you to nurture your microbiome, and look to your entire miraculous and ingeniously designed system as so much more than you ever imagined before.
|Microbiome in your Mouth – Gerry Curatola, DDS RejuvDentist.com Oral and overall health statistic: Over 80% of his patients have gum disease. The ecology of the mouth is so important. For centuries we have been following an unfortunate strategy with regard to hygiene products. For instance, we have pesticides in our toothpaste (because 100 years ago, we learned that germs were bad). In fact, the bacteria in our mouth evolved to help keep us alive. Gerry Curatola has been researching the oral microbiome for 17 years. According to him, our mouth needs to be rebalanced, not nuked. There is actually no such thing as a “bad” bacteria. Context is everything. In the right place, potentially pathogenic bacteria become health-promoting bacteria. Bacteria in the mouth help keep us alive. If we were successful in getting rid of plaque, we’d be in big trouble. We can prevent illness by balancing the oral microbiome. People with gum disease have ten times the risk of heart attack. Gum disease is the body’s #1 source of chronic low-grade inflammation.
Not realizing it’s going on. There is a silent alarm bell going off. Your body is in a continuous stress response that is awakening the immune system.
· Gums bleed
· Aches and pains in the body
· Bad breath
· Inflammatory Markers in the blood
Over 80% of the American adult public have some stage of gum disease. Even if your gums are healthy you can have an unhealthy oral microbiome.
If you think about it, Gerry points out, soap was invented 100 years ago by soap makers. It contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a known irritant to the body. This was justified and understandable because of the recent discovery that washing hands in the hospital saved the lives of many in obstetrics. But we have not updated our ideas about the body and how it works, and there is a predominating germ phobia that has resulted in a compulsive drive to eradicate germs. In killing germs, we are disrupting a healthy microbiome and interfering with a healthy immune system.
Dr. Curatola is opposed to fluorination of toothpaste and drinking water. Go to his website at revitin.com to see where he bases this opinion. Negative effects of fluoride in the body:
· Lower IQ
· Disruption in thyroid function
We should adopt an “Organic Gardening” approach in the mouth, pruning instead of eradicating. Definitely need to discontinue using detergent-based products.
Dr. Curatola says that you can improve your dental health by:
1. Alkalize Diet
2. Exercise/Fitness (running, etc)
3. Control Stress (meditate/pray, etc)
Signs of stress in the mouth:
· Grinding teeth
· More cavities
· Gum inflammation
Flow, movement is so important for healing. This is why exercise (get the blood and lymph flowing) us so important.
Also recommends Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Vitamin C, Cell Salts (Homeopathy). Says that Florine promotes remineralization when you use it in micro-doses. In large doses, it makes teeth and bones brittle.
“Bad bacteria” are just “pissed off” bacteria. They are there to protect us from dangerous foreign bacteria.
Improve mouth ecology:
· Prebiotic approach
o Vitamins (E,A,C)
o Folic Acid
· Restore Homeostasis
· Targeted Nutrition
· Work with a Practitioner
Bloating is a sign that you have a chronic problem.
Teeth whitening systems can be very harmful. They can denature DNA of your cells, and lead to oral cancer. If you want to get them whitened, get them done by someone who knows what they are doing.
Other things you can do to restore homeostasis in your mouth include gargling Himalayan salt (a couple teaspoons of saturated solution every morning. Strawberries can whiten your teeth. Weleda. Auromere.
Clean out your medicine cabinet. Nutrition is the cornerstone. Exercise and fitness. Manage stress (balance mind, body, and spirit).
|Kara Fitzgerald, ND A Key Player in the Microbiome: The Skin http://www.DrKaraFitzgerald.com
With a background in Nutritional Biochemistry, Kara is a Functional Medicine Practitioner. She practices integrative medicine. She says that the bacteria in our system “are probably running the show more than we are.” She spends a lot of her time treating people that the medical system can’t help, with allergic diseases.
Kara finds herself working with clients around the microbiome and immunity.
· Constant communication between these two
· Dissolution of tolerance
· Food allergies/intolerances
· Genetics and epigenetics
She says that things go awry, leading to allergic response, and that there is a great deal of crossover between the gut phyla and skin phyla.
Problems occur when there is a breakdown in the epidermal barrier. Rashes and chronic skin diseases are very often a result of products we use.
“We want to nourish and nurture our microbiome,” she says. “We want to love our microbiome. And we need to treat our skin’s microbiome the same way.” She says we should slather ourselves with probiotics. We can love the skin microbiome by:
· Using dairy-free yogurt
· Topical probiotics (kefir)
What we take internally affects the outside. When you have a skin condition, there is some kind of dysregulation of the microbiome (dysbiosis). Eczema, fatigue, and bacterial imbalances are all symptoms of this. Kara says there is no need for the use of steroids in such situations.
Probiotics she recommends for the skin include:
· Bifido bacteria
Hand eczema, she says, often has a gene influence. She recommends a probiotic wrap with a coconut oil base. You can also sprinkle a probiotic into that.
Chapped lips also signals dysbiosis in the small intestine.
· AmmoniaOxidizing Bacteria AOBiome.com
· Stop using hygiene products (spritz, don’t shower)
· Repopulate native flora
· Reduce ammonia levels (a lower pH supports a healthier biome
Acne and dermatitis can be treated by tending to the microbiome.
Kara says that the average American showers too much, and that we aren’t exposed to dirt enough. We have become hygiene excessive. The skin microbiome protects us, our organs, systems, overall health.
The Skin Microbiome
· The bugs are deep in the dermal tissue, and they help regulate the immune system
· They are in the adipose and the dermis
· Commensal Bacteria – mutualistic (dampens immune response)
· Ceramides – topical application of probiotics can reduce the signs of aging
She cites a study done with baby mice, and the development of their immune systems. What they found was that there is a certain developmental stage, or a window of time, when an organism learns that the organisms around it are safe. When kids aren’t exposed to enough, their ability to tolerate things is sacrificed.
We should avoid exposure to antibiotics if at all possible.
· Whole-person care
· Filaggrin (protein) mutations (genetic)
· Dietary impacts
· Environmental impacts
Stop eating Gluten
Live in a humid environment
Sometimes it’s just limited to the skin. Nothing unhealthy is going on in your gut.
Progressive Lab Tests to Evaluate Microbiome
· A little Lps is protective (signals tolerance)
· Organic Acids
· D-arabinitol – alcohol produced by candida (yeast)
· D-lactate – indicates whether you can tolerate probiotics
You can test for carbohydrate imbalances, celiac and other problems.
|David Perlmutter, MD The Microbiome’s Influence on Your Brain http://www.drperlmutter.com·
Connection between inflammation and disease
· How to reestablish gut lining
· Dietary changes and healing the microbiome
Board Certified Neurologist
The information base is exploding. The microbiome plays a role in neurological function.
· Symptom vs disease management
· Root Cause resolution practices for Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Parkinson’s Obesity, Diabetes, etc.
· Alzheimer’s and Autism
· Nutrition and inflammatory cascades
The brain like any other organ is influenced by the body’s chemistry (our diet)
Diet influences inflammation. Inflammation in the body indicates inflammation in the brain. It originates in the gut. The genesis of inflammation:
· Starts in the gut
· Gut permeability
· Leaky gut factors
· Gut bacteria enters the surrounding tissues
When you go out to dinner, think about what your microbiome wants to eat. In fact, our microbiome dictate what we want to eat. The lens we see the world through is filtered by the microbiome. How are we traumatizing the microbiome?
· Dramatic antibiotic overuse
· Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
· Exposure to toxins
Ways we can reverse or remedy this:
· Fermented foods
· Prebiotic Fiber
o Dandelion greens
· Fecal transplants
Butyrate improves blood brain barrier, like the gut lining.
Neurological Disorders/Problems and Gut Problems are one and the same. The brain and gut are a continuous organ. Most people think of their “selves” from the neck up. We’re as much in the gut and heart as we are in the brain.
|Martha Herbert, MD, PhD Pediatric Neurologist and Brain Development Researcher
· Interaction between your gut and brain ecology
· Improving brain function and eliminating toxins
· Role of lymphatic and immune systems
· Linking ecosystems
Dr. Herbert says that GMOs wreak havoc on the gut because of the use of herbicides and pesticides used in their cultivation. She says they punch holes in the intestinal lining, activating the immune system, causing inflammation. She says to repair the gut lining we have to cut out the GMOs and add:
· High Quality Fish Oil
· Vitamin D3 (take with Vitamin K)
· Vitamin B Complex
|Max Lugavere How to Improve your Neurological Health Maxlugavere.tumblr.com
· Preventing cognitive decline or “Bread Head”
· Supplement and vitamin recommendations to improve brain function
· The cause of growing rates of Alzheimer’s disease
|Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD Medical Sciences in Neurology
· Dietary challenges to influence anxiety, depression, stress and brain fog
· Steps to healing your gut: GAPS Diet
· Recommended supplements to naturally improve mental health
Dr. Natasha says that each person has unique dietary needs. And that any diet needs to be tailored to your unique needs. Also, your metabolism changes all the time, depending on so many things, including ancestry, genetic makeup, stress levels, physical demands, etc.
· sympathetic/parasympathetic balance
· electrolyte balance
· whether you’re tired or rested
How do you know? We can use our senses:
“What would I kill for right now?”
All senses should be involved. Babies smear food on their faces, etc. This has an adaptive function.
Dr. Natasha also says that we’re all addicted to foods, particularly carbohydrates. She recommends the use of:
· Meat Stock
· Non-starchy Vegetables (exclude vegetables from the potato family)
· Fermented foods
Introduce eggs and other foods that are more difficult to digest as the body can tolerate them.
Such a diet will result in marked improvements of anxiety and depression. She says that the toxicity that results from dysbiosis makes its way to the brain. She says that if you have a mental illness, this is an indicator that your brain is under autoimmune attack. She explains that depression and anxiety results from a lack of neurotransmitters, almost 100% of which are manufactured in the digestive system.
1. Serotonin – Happy Neurotransmitter
2. Dopamine – Motivational Neurotransmitter (get up and go conquer the world)
3. Gaba – Keeps us in the correct balance
When digestive system isn’t healthy, it can’t produce enough neurotransmitters.
Dr. Natasha says that we need to have a diet high in animal fat
· Pork fat
· Duck fat
· Sour cream
· All animal fats
|Julie Matthews, CNC How Beneficial Bacteria Can Help Children with Autism
· Differences in pathogenic bacteria levels in children with Autism.
· Recommended foods for an individualized diet
· Fundamental nutrition principles for children with autism
|Leo Galland, MD The Allergy Solution for a Healthy Microbiome www.mdheal.org
· The difference between treating disease and treating people
· The effects of inflammation on your microbiome
· Role of the “healer” and “healee” in the healing process
|Amy Myers, MD Taking Control of your Autoimmune Disorder www.amymyersmd.com
· Major myths about autoimmune disorders
· Connection between mold and your overall health
· Role of stress, even in the world of functional medicine
|Deepak Chapra How Thoughts, Feelings and Environment Influence Gene Expression http://www.deepakchopra.com
· How your body is a process that can be changed through consciousness
· “Speaking the language” of your cells and microbiome
· Impact of emotions on your microbiome
Mind and matter are inseparably one. Matter is an experience in consciousness. Where is that consciousness?
The entire universe is an experience in consciousness. Mind and matter are subtle modulations of consciousness (an unknown variable).
Modern medicine does not rest on these ideas. Doctors in medical school studied medicine by studying dead bodies. Your body is a verb (a process of becoming). A cadaver is not the human body. Doctors end up missing the entire microbiome.
1. Your body is not a thing. It’s a process in consciousness.
2. Therefore, your body is not the same body it was a minute ago (you can’t step in the same river twice).
3. We can change the physical body through our thoughts and behaviors.
4. Statistics are misleading. They don’t tell me where an individual is. We inhabit our home with our bacteria (we share the same microbiome).
Genes, he says, have consciousness/intelligence, and this has practical implications for society, for health and healing.
99% or more of the world is sub-empirical. Mind and matter are inseparably one. There is no such thing as a thing. Only activities.