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"Thin people have more gut microbes than fat people"

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  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 7,929 Member Member Posts: 7,929 Member
    amandaeve wrote: »
    "Thin people have more gut microbes than fat people; having hungry microbes may at least partly account for thinness."
    Says Bill Bryson in the book "The Body".

    What are your thoughts?

    Since one can read we all have 10 to 100 trillion microbes making up one's microbiome I gather it is not so much about more or less but the balance of the trillions that one has.

    https://hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/microbiome/
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    I don't know about that . . . a range of 10 to 100 trillion could potentially lead to relevant, observable differences between people at the low and high ends of the range. I'm not arguing that we now know what they are or that they even exist, but I think the numbers are significant enough that they could exist.
  • FuzzipegFuzzipeg Member Posts: 1,991 Member Member Posts: 1,991 Member
    Possibly one should ask, what has changed the microbiome. I know through time there have been large and small people. I know the lives we live now are vastly different to those we led a few hundred years ago. The discovery of cane sugar and all its related evils has done a fair bit to hijack our sweet tooth making it much easier to fill without stuffing ourselves with buries.

    Another major change is our "much needed" reliance on medications, there are long lists available, including antibiotics which are designed to rid us of the bacteria which causes what ever it is that ails us. Regrettably this reliance on antibiotics has not taken into account the other bacteria which is also lost with their use. Back in the '70s or so copper was introduced to female contraception, (coil). Copper is a antibacterial to rid ourselves of the least helpful bacteria. Were all door handles made of or covered in copper there would be many times fewer bacterial problems.

    Also there are some piles of medical papers which point to the necessary use of C-sections to save mothers lives reducing the number of microbe species the child would confront and benefit from were it on a regular into this world compared without this intervention.

    We are learning all the time, if we choose to read. If you look on the shelves in UK Health food shops you will see packets of products designed to replace microbes lost to antibiotics and medication along with ones for people who travel or know they have a disrupted microbiome. Not all doctors recommend the use of microbes after antibiotics but some do. I cant remember the lactobacillus which is said to aid weight loss, sorry. Having the best diet full of fibres, fruit and veg is not always enough to replace microbes lost to the medical interventions we rely on.

    The microbiome of an indigenous person who eats as their forbears did is vastly preferable to those of us living on the modern diet. This still leaves us in the circular question. "Do thin people have more digestive microbes than a fat person". The answer could be possibly more species. Certainly they will be very different. Its possible the thin persons ancestors have relied on fewer modern interventions than the stocky one.

    One thing I do know, having grown up in the '50's when antibiotics were generally very different, having tonsillitis every 6 weeks for an extended period with antibiotics every time. My health was compromised from an early age.20 years ago I had chemical sensitivity and way, way more to contend with. When I eventually discovered a digestive microbe product which did not increase microbes which also increase Histamine Levels I gave them a go. I felt alive for the first time in years. (An answer to Histamine Intolerance is, vit c and vit b6 but look it up) Its true I'd not tried other microbe products because why make a health issue much worse when you don't need to.

    There is more to this microbiome thing than we yet know. When the medical profession started doing biome transfers more was discovered than people got better health as expected. Some people became thin like their donors conversely others gained weight taking on the shape of their donors.

    My answer is, the thin person has more digestive microbe species than the fat one. Thought there will always be those who abuse their bodies with too many modern overly processed foods.


    I expect a flurry of disagrees what I have written is why to controversial for most of you. Have fun.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »

    The microbiome of an indigenous person who eats as their forbears did is vastly preferable to those of us living on the modern diet.

    Is this based on data or is this an opinion?

    If it's an opinion, I guess I would ask - are the benefits transferrable to non-indigenous people who adopt the diet of any indigenous group? If I, as a non-indigenous person, try to achieve this same "preferable" microbiome, am I sacrificing the benefits if I eat only the foods traditionally available to indigenous people, but combine foods from different areas/diet patterns? What does "modern diet" mean - are we talking about things like chilling food, eating food from different areas, eating out of season, eating foods that were not grown/hunted by my household, or something else entirely?

  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,399 Member Member Posts: 30,399 Member
    I'll take my chances with antibiotics when I have a raging bacterial infection.

  • FuzzipegFuzzipeg Member Posts: 1,991 Member Member Posts: 1,991 Member
    No mine was not an opinion piece. If one looks and reads the evidence is there for the enquiring mind, Most on here have enquiring minds, I consider the two posters between my posts are among them.

    I'd hoped to get across the general impression that antibiotics and other medications are not "totally bad" just that they have the potential for severe down sides. I would not want to live without them but its good to have the ability to make up some of the deficit they create. Discovering what underlays modern health issues is getting somewhere towards reducing their impact. Given the opportunity and funding as well as the availability, I would have all door handles and similar surfaces covered in copper then we would not need as many antibiotics as we currently use. It would matter way less if someone left the bathroom without washing their hands. Pre covid while waiting for someone I did an observational study the result was appalling and they say boys are worse, I don't believe it.

    As for the indigenous microbiome.- Here in the UK we have several science programs, on the bbc and Channel 4 which are held to account for their scientific accountability, unlike in some other countries. These programs have shown in their relevant diet related output have shown "an indigenous population" does not have the autoimmune conditions etc as we in the western world do. I did say, "overly processed foods" so if you eat as your ancestors did your microbiome would stand a better chance of be as healthy as theirs. Returning to my lavatorial tone from above its appalling the lavatorial microbes found on computer keyboards! Which is why I would have all door handles made in copper. If one had to choose then it would be hospital doors and high street doors when microbial infections would be radically reduced.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,446 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,446 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    threewins wrote: »

    However one online comment from years ago has stayed with me. How will the thinness causing bacteria react to junk food? Each bacteria has a preferred type of food to munch on. Will eating copious amounts of junk food kill off the thin bacteria? They thrived on a healthy diet. That's gone.
    .

    I can tell you that my gut bacteria has lived on a relatively all junk food diet and been just fine. I’ve been thin on a healthy diet and I’ve been thin on an unhealthy diet.

    I think I should write a book based on my completely unfounded, unscientific, observationally based theory that weight has more to do with anxiety response than anything else. Here’s my theory. The world is split up into three groups.

    1st group - Can’t eat when stressed/anxious. As it seems the majority of us tend to live under fairly high stress environments, these are your “naturally thin/ hard gainer” people, although they will gain weight during times of happiness/low stress. They tend to drop the weight naturally the next time another stressful incident arises.

    2nd group - Overeat when stressed/anxious. These are your overweight since childhood people who lose weight through willpower and determination.

    3rd group - your emotionally stable, average weight group. These are the people who go through life not ever really thinking about their weight.

    Not just pot stirring when I say this: AFAIK, I don't have either the group 1 or group 2 issues. I overate because food is good, and I enjoy pleasure. I ate a little above maintenance when under stress and when not under stress, until reaching an approximate point of stable weight just into class 1 obese, then stayed roughly around there for years, through stress and non-stress, and through major changes in exercise or daily life activity (not calorie counting).
    TMI section:
    I stayed fat but didn't noticeably gain when my work responsibilities became so intense that I worked 7 days a week (10-18 hours a day) for 3 solid months except one Sunday when I went to my parents-in-laws' 50th anniversary party, and I still stayed fat/didn't gain when that project was over and I gradually resumed normal life. I stayed fat but didn't gain when my huband got cancer and died, and after; nor when my dad fell and blinded himself and I had to help him move from fully independent in his own home to assisted living at age 83. I admit I lost a few pounds during cancer treatment, but jeesh, there were a lot of times I couldn't eat, and since I lost only maybe 10 pounds in around 6 months it was only around a 100 calorie average daily deficit (I'm not counting the surgical loss), and I gradually regained it after. I stayed at about the same weight when I went from completely inactive to competing athletically, I stayed about the same weight when I retired and stress evaporated from my life to a large degree (and non-exercise activity probably dropped).
    End TMI.
    From reading anecdotes here, it seems like there are quite a few people (maybe still a minority, dunno) who gained weight when they switched from being an active teenager/twenty-something to being a sedentary-job 30+ person (and some kept creeping up in weight from there).

    I'm not denying that the groups in your post exist: I think they do. I just don't think it's universal.

    I think those people most likely fall into Category 3. They are emotionally stable and didn't have to think about weight until something changed to throw off the stasis (ie less movement). Now maybe there's a category 4 out there for those with hedonistic tendencies, but I would postulate that they may be Category 2's in disguise (ie food = comfort).

    But as you know, my method of deductions are PURELY scientific. :tongue:

    I think your categorization is interesting and useful. I like it.

    I'm not arguing for a "hedonist" category. I'm arguing for an "other" category that encompasses potentially dozens of reasons people gain weight, that have nothing to do with emotions or stress. :)

    I think it's fairly common to think that others are generally like us internally, in important ways, and to frame our interpretations of others accordingly. In this specific case, I think it truly is fairly common to imbue food with a strong emotional weight, and agree that that can cut both ways wrt stress as you say, but I don't think emotion or stress is universally the driver of bodyweight issues. (I have no idea what the percentages are.) For those for whom food/eating actually is emotionally significant, I think it's natural to believe that a high percentage of people are similar.

    I suspect a lot of people get fat because we tend to sleepwalk through life, mostly doing what other people do; and the culture of ubiquitous calorie-dense food, and increasingly sedentary jobs/leisure activities, plus being surrounded by other people who are lifelong overweight or gaining, is what gets a lot of people fat. I suspect emotional issues sit on top of that background.

    As someone who was adult before 1980, usually seen as somewhere near the genesis of the "obesity crisis", I don't think that the average person's life is MuchMuch more stressful now vs. then, although others may differ on that point. (I suspect especially those whose exposure to the period has more Nick at Night family sitcoms from that era than experience, and whose current-day life stresses were things that weren't as common then, may be more likely to believe that).

    BTW, I'm not saying that I never ever have stress eaten, or stress-skipped eating, or that I never find food comforting. I'm saying that for me, those things are not major drivers of bodyweight. I could parse the details more subtly than "hedonism" ;) , but I don't think stress eating or emotional eating was a huge factor in how I got and stayed obese for decades. I suspect there are an unknown-sized group of others who are similar.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    No mine was not an opinion piece. If one looks and reads the evidence is there for the enquiring mind, Most on here have enquiring minds, I consider the two posters between my posts are among them.

    I'd hoped to get across the general impression that antibiotics and other medications are not "totally bad" just that they have the potential for severe down sides. I would not want to live without them but its good to have the ability to make up some of the deficit they create. Discovering what underlays modern health issues is getting somewhere towards reducing their impact. Given the opportunity and funding as well as the availability, I would have all door handles and similar surfaces covered in copper then we would not need as many antibiotics as we currently use. It would matter way less if someone left the bathroom without washing their hands. Pre covid while waiting for someone I did an observational study the result was appalling and they say boys are worse, I don't believe it.

    As for the indigenous microbiome.- Here in the UK we have several science programs, on the bbc and Channel 4 which are held to account for their scientific accountability, unlike in some other countries. These programs have shown in their relevant diet related output have shown "an indigenous population" does not have the autoimmune conditions etc as we in the western world do. I did say, "overly processed foods" so if you eat as your ancestors did your microbiome would stand a better chance of be as healthy as theirs. Returning to my lavatorial tone from above its appalling the lavatorial microbes found on computer keyboards! Which is why I would have all door handles made in copper. If one had to choose then it would be hospital doors and high street doors when microbial infections would be radically reduced.

    The programs, presumably, didn't conduct the studies demonstrating the assertion that indigenous populations following a traditional dietary pattern have better microbiome outcomes than both indigenous populations who don't, non-indigenous populations who do, and non-indigenous populations who don't. Comparing results between these four populations would be the only way to demonstrate that statement is "fact" rather than "opinion."

    I don't know if we can know for a fact, either, than our ancestors had healthier microbiomes than we do. Some of them may have, but some of them lived in really unhealthy or insecure conditions that impacted their overall health.

    I don't eat a traditional Irish pre-colonial diet (lots of grains and milk, some vegetables and fruit, some meat), I'm not sure that it's something I need to do for good health. Nor do I think my body can tell the difference between a healthfully constructed recreation of an Irish pre-colonial diet and a healthfully constructed recreation a diet of what someone else's ancestors ate. Given that there are very few people who are doing either, I don't think we could draw any conclusions about it resulting in better health outcomes or not.

    What we have seen in studies that there do seem to be positive health outcomes with indigenous people adopting a more traditional dietary style, but it could be that is associated with it being a healthier diet overall. I don't know of anything demonstrating that it has to be that specific diet only (as opposed to one of the dozens of pre-colonial dietary patterns around the world) or that the improvements are microbiome-specific.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,446 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,446 Member
    Without going back and rereading the thread closely (though I've been following it as it happened), my interested-amateur's reading about microbiome suggests there are at least two separate things to think about when it comes to having a "good" microbiome (even though we can't define what that is, yet, scientifically ;) ).

    1. Acquiring desirable bugs in the first place.
    2. Keeping those bugs happy and doing their thing, long term, through various challenges.

    I feel like these aspects are being jumbled unhelpfully in some of the previous posts, when they're both important.

    The rest of this should be qualified with "in my amateur understanding, from interested but limited study".

    WRT acquiring the bugs:

    Some research does seem to showing that babies born by C-section may have reduction in body (maybe not just gut) microbiome composition/diversity, compared to babies that exit through mom's birth canal, and that that difference persists.

    Digestively, many people are relying on probiotic supplements, though there seems to be limited evidence about which bugs are good/important to include, and whether they're willing to stick around in the body long enough to be meaningful.

    Lots of human activities affect the acquisition, and some of those routes may be affected positively or negatively by common elements of modern lifestyle (disinfectants, antibiotics, commonness of international travel and exchange as a bug vector, reduced average hands-on interaction with nature in modern life, who knows what else).

    Not all acquirable bugs are beneficial, obviously. There are good guys, and bad guys, even if we're not completely clear about which are which. Some may even turn out to be good in some situations, harmful in others, who knows?

    WRT keeping bugs happy:

    It seems fairly clear that particular overall way(s) of eating have a significant influence on keeping certain gut bugs happy, thriving, and long-term present in the body (true for beneficial bugs, also not so beneficial ones). It's not clear exactly which diets do which things, but it seems pretty clear that just acquiring good bugs, or eliminating bad ones, depends on our supporting the good ones by the way we eat.

    There are some signs that some bugs are pretty robust/persistent, and others more challenging to keep around. So, I think, simplistically speaking, one would get the whole cross-table: Good bugs that are hard to get, hard to keep; easy to get, hard to keep; etc. Ditto for injurious bugs.

    Overall, I think that "just get a gut bug transplant, then keep eating the same food in the same amounts" idea is mostly a non-starter. I think it'll turn out that we need to tend our good bugs, just like we'd tend our kids, pets, or houseplants . . . but internally. And we'll want to pull out the weeds . . . somehow.

    It's good that our bodies and the bugs have millennia of experience doing this naturally, or we'd be SOL at current confirmed scientific knowledge levels.

    Our bug-tending will need to include (somehow) replenishing them if we wipe some out. (Yeah, eat the yogurt after you take the antibiotics, but that's probably not the whole story.) It may include continuously acquiring some that are beneficial, but don't persist in the body. Again, who knows?

    Introducing another idea that isn't either acquiring nor sustaining bugs:

    Is there a genetic component in which bugs are beneficial, or not? I agree with Jane, I haven't seem persuasive evidence that there is, but I'd be a little bit surprised if there weren't. (It's a different realm, but I'd point out the genetic patterns of lactose tolerance as one of my reasons for saying this.)

    It seems like if there are such cases (where genetic adaptation has happened evolutionarily on both sides of the symbiotic relationship), then those genetic factors would be most likely to be most present among human groups who were relatively isolated for relatively larger blocks of relatively more recent history. For example, some indigenous groups in some modern countries have a long history of genetic/social isolation, as do some island populations, at least until relatively recent generations, whereas (say) some of the peoples of the Mediterranean basin have been exchanging bugs with Europe, Asian, and Africa for millennia, and other zones for a few centuries.

    Does historical isolation, or its inverse, make a difference, either gentically or via what we acquire automatically from our immediate environment, or sustain via our cultural practices? Probably, but who knows?

    This whole subject, IMO, is rife with both known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, but darned few known knowns. I'm grateful, personally, for the stuff that Just Works, without much attention.

    Still, I'm putting my behavioral bets on the idea that eating in ways that are well-understood to be nutritious and sensible, is going to be the best I can do at this point to support the good guys and discourage the injurious ones.

    For sure, I think it's absurd to hope for a gut-bug transplant or pill that lets us eat in any stupid way, but reap the health benefits of a nutritious, calorie-appropriate diet. Pipe dream.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    Is there a genetic component in which bugs are beneficial, or not? I agree with Jane, I haven't seem persuasive evidence that there is, but I'd be a little bit surprised if there weren't. (It's a different realm, but I'd point out the genetic patterns of lactose tolerance as one of my reasons for saying this.)

    This is total speculation here, but I wouldn't be surprised if we someday learned that multiple cultures have "discovered" ways to support good bugs with the foods that are available to them -- that is, there are different ways to do it through diet, but it will look different given the foods available in a specific area. So it's less a case of finding the "right" diet for your ancestry than it is of eating in a way that is based on/reminiscent of ANY successful dietary pattern. I agree that eating in ways that are time-tested is a smart strategy - I just don't necessarily think that it has to be tailored to what our specific ancestors ate (or rather, we don't have the evidence right now to think it does, that evidence may be available in the future).

    (I don't think successful is the right word, but I can't think of a better one. I just mean it seems like any culture that unlocked the "trick" of supporting a population on locally available foods long enough to achieve stability probably has a diet that could be considered as generally supporting good health).

    Either way, it's a very interesting thing to ponder. If it wasn't for veganism, I think I'd be quite happy on the pre-colonial Irish diet -- dairy, grains, cabbage, onions, garlic, apples, wild greens and berries, some fish and seaweed. Take out the dairy and fish, add some beans and it's not that different from what I'm eating now, so maybe I've accidentally backed into something smart.

  • ExistingFishExistingFish Member Posts: 1,109 Member Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    Here I was blaming that 10lb weight gain on Covid, it might have been the C.diff infection (and two months of antibiotics off and on) before covid?

    I recovered from C.Diff like a week before the shutdown. I have gained 10lbs it seems my body is not happy to part with. I'm still at a healthy weight, but I want to be where I was.

    I had an overgrowth of highly toxic gut bacteria, so I had to take super gut-bacteria specific antibiotics to get rid of it. So far, I have recovered pretty well. I wonder what the long term effects.

    My oldest was born by c-section and given antibiotics at birth, he was premature and I was GBS unknown. He's pretty damn healthy, and thin. Almost too thin. I joked that if I ended up needing a fecal transplant, I wanted it from my kids (before I knew how much the donor had to go through) because they live in my house and have healthy digestion. Luckily my C.diff was successfully treated by the first round of antibiotics, it can be much more severe.

    I am interested in gut bacteria research. I think we will learn a lot in the future. I think gut bacteria affect our life more than we know.
  • FuzzipegFuzzipeg Member Posts: 1,991 Member Member Posts: 1,991 Member
    The programs reported scientific studies.

    I believe we are fortunate to have well reported scientific information here in the UK.
    edited July 15
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    The programs reported scientific studies.

    I believe we are fortunate to have well reported scientific information here in the UK.

    My point is that I don't think there are studies that establish the exact claims you've made. I'm not arguing with the quality of science reporting in the UK, I'm more curious about the specific conclusions you've drawn from the program.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,654 Member Member Posts: 5,654 Member
    This is a pretty good general view of the state of the science in 2013 -- we may well know more know, but most of what I've read suggests it's still more questions than answers. (Perhaps some won't be interested in the article because it's from a US paper and US science/food reporter, who knows?)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html

    Relevant to some of the claims made above (and indicating that we don't actually know anything conclusive):

    "It is still early days in this research, as Lozupone (and everyone else I interviewed) underscored; scientists can’t even yet say with confidence exactly what a “healthy” microbiome should look like. But some broad, intriguing patterns are emerging. More diversity is probably better than less, because a diverse ecosystem is generally more resilient — and diversity in the Western gut is significantly lower than in other, less-industrialized populations. The gut microbiota of people in the West looks very different from that of a variety of other geographically dispersed peoples. So, for example, the gut community of rural people in West Africa more closely resembles that of Amerindians in Venezuela than it does an American’s or a European’s.

    These rural populations not only harbor a greater diversity of microbes but also a different cast of lead characters. American and European guts contain relatively high levels of bacteroides and firmicutes and low levels of the prevotella that dominate the guts of rural Africans and Amerindians. (It is not clear whether high or low levels of any of these is good or bad.) Why are the microbes different? It could be the diet, which in both rural populations features a considerable amount of whole grains (which prevotella appear to like), plant fiber and very little meat. (Many firmicutes like amino acids, so they proliferate when the diet contains lots of protein; bacteroides metabolize carbohydrates.) As for the lower biodiversity in the West, this could be a result of our profligate use of antibiotics (in health care as well as the food system), our diet of processed food (which has generally been cleansed of all bacteria, the good and the bad), environmental toxins and generally less “microbial pressure” — i.e., exposure to bacteria — in everyday life. All of this may help explain why, though these rural populations tend to have greater exposures to infectious diseases and lower life expectancies than those in the West, they also have lower rates of chronic disorders like allergies, asthma, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    “Rural people spend a lot more time outside and have much more contact with plants and with soil,” Lozupone says. Another researcher, who has gathered samples in Malawi, told me, “In some of these cultures, children are raised communally, passed from one set of hands to another, so they’re routinely exposed to a greater diversity of microbes.” The nuclear family may not be conducive to the health of the microbiome.

    As it happens, Lozupone and I had something in common, microbially speaking: we share unusually high levels of prevotella for Americans. Our gut communities look more like those of rural Africans or Amerindians than like those of our neighbors. Lozupone suspects that the reasons for this might have to do with a plant-based diet; we each eat lots of whole grains and vegetables and relatively little meat. (Though neither of us is a vegetarian.) Like me, she was proud of her prevotella, regarding it as a sign of a healthy non-Western diet, at least until she began doing research on the microbiota of H.I.V. patients. It seems that they, too, have lots of prevotella. Further confusing the story, a recent study linking certain gut microbes common in meat eaters to high levels of a blood marker for heart disease suggested that prevotella was one such microbe. Early days, indeed...."

    The whole piece is interesting.
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 7,929 Member Member Posts: 7,929 Member
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    The microbiome is a thing and is being researched. For example, there are peer-reviewed articles in print and underway for a number of autoimmune diseases (with human participants, as opposed to mice, monkeys, etc). I'm sure there are other potential health implications under study as well.

    The controversy here, for me, is "thin" vs. "fat."

    Also, no shade, but I'd rather that adult science communicators have graduated from university.

    If you're interested in this topic @amandaeve then there are other people in this genre, with established credentials but who use accessible/lay language. For example, Eric Topol, M.D. was talking about the microbiome (in passing) in "The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care" (2011).

    Since then, he has talked about it more often. Coincidentally, I'm rereading this book as of yesterday which is the only reason I can mention the above lol There are so many other reputable speakers on this topic, however, and perhaps some of their names will surface in this thread.

    This is a current article on the subject that was interesting to me in light of the Type 2 Diabetes and COVID-19 connection.

    https://medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gut-bacteria-could-help-diagnose-diabetes

    @MaltedTea the microbiome is a thing and a relative new thing since it only because a researched field within the last 30 years with most of it in the last 5-10 years as the tools to detect and count the microbiome continue to improve.

    Thanks for sharing about Eric Topol, MD's book. I just ordered a copy from Amazon for $6 with free shipping in new like condition. It has over 200 reviews with a 4.4 out of 5 rating. I like the date on it because it gives me a good way to see the known microbiome research at that point in time as I work to fill in the gap with newer research. I have already learned most autoimmune diseases may have a gut microbiome factor involved. When I started doing Keto in Oct 2014 and my 40 years of serious IBS resolved within the first 6 months I realized it was more than just ketones that were a factor but after I became aware of the research about the microbiome and diseases I then figured out most likely when I cut out all forms of sweeteners and all forms of all grains my microbiome shifted in to a balance that was more positive for my health.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,765 Member Member Posts: 23,765 Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    No mine was not an opinion piece. If one looks and reads the evidence is there for the enquiring mind, Most on here have enquiring minds, I consider the two posters between my posts are among them.

    I'd hoped to get across the general impression that antibiotics and other medications are not "totally bad" just that they have the potential for severe down sides. I would not want to live without them but its good to have the ability to make up some of the deficit they create. Discovering what underlays modern health issues is getting somewhere towards reducing their impact. Given the opportunity and funding as well as the availability, I would have all door handles and similar surfaces covered in copper then we would not need as many antibiotics as we currently use. It would matter way less if someone left the bathroom without washing their hands. Pre covid while waiting for someone I did an observational study the result was appalling and they say boys are worse, I don't believe it.

    As for the indigenous microbiome.- Here in the UK we have several science programs, on the bbc and Channel 4 which are held to account for their scientific accountability, unlike in some other countries. These programs have shown in their relevant diet related output have shown "an indigenous population" does not have the autoimmune conditions etc as we in the western world do. I did say, "overly processed foods" so if you eat as your ancestors did your microbiome would stand a better chance of be as healthy as theirs. Returning to my lavatorial tone from above its appalling the lavatorial microbes found on computer keyboards! Which is why I would have all door handles made in copper. If one had to choose then it would be hospital doors and high street doors when microbial infections would be radically reduced.

    The programs, presumably, didn't conduct the studies demonstrating the assertion that indigenous populations following a traditional dietary pattern have better microbiome outcomes than both indigenous populations who don't, non-indigenous populations who do, and non-indigenous populations who don't. Comparing results between these four populations would be the only way to demonstrate that statement is "fact" rather than "opinion."

    I don't know if we can know for a fact, either, than our ancestors had healthier microbiomes than we do. Some of them may have, but some of them lived in really unhealthy or insecure conditions that impacted their overall health.

    I don't eat a traditional Irish pre-colonial diet (lots of grains and milk, some vegetables and fruit, some meat), I'm not sure that it's something I need to do for good health. Nor do I think my body can tell the difference between a healthfully constructed recreation of an Irish pre-colonial diet and a healthfully constructed recreation a diet of what someone else's ancestors ate. Given that there are very few people who are doing either, I don't think we could draw any conclusions about it resulting in better health outcomes or not.

    What we have seen in studies that there do seem to be positive health outcomes with indigenous people adopting a more traditional dietary style, but it could be that is associated with it being a healthier diet overall. I don't know of anything demonstrating that it has to be that specific diet only (as opposed to one of the dozens of pre-colonial dietary patterns around the world) or that the improvements are microbiome-specific.
    We can't? Don't we for sure know their microbiomes were less healthy as they lived shorter lives? It must have been horrible in the past to have those microbiomes that caused death during child birth. Antibiotics must be slowly taking those to extinction in humans.
    Yeah, that's sarcasm that attempts to counter this weird assumption people have about a golden past when we can demonstrably show so many things that were less healthy about people back then. People can't seem to grasp that maybe not dying at 30 of tuberculosis is one way to see a lot more cancer cases when people live to be 60, 70, or 80.

    You could have an amazing microbiome and still die of an infectious disease, poor nutrition, or an accident. We do know that our health is generally better than a lot of our ancestors, but a microbiome is just part of health. That's why I think we don't have enough information to judge.

    But I agree -- if I had the choice between living in wide swaths of the human past and now, I would choose now. If I get a bacterial infection, there's a good chance it can be treated. If my appendix decides to go, I've got a good chance of surviving it. If I get cancer, there are plausible treatment options.
  • pharmtechdonpharmtechdon Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Not having read the entire thread, but if your digestive system is working, no constipation, no loose stools, and you are getting 30-60 g of fiber per day, then your microbiome is probably OK. Having sufficient fiber is very helpful and important mainly to feed the microbes. If they are happy, your gut will be happy. DR. Martin Blaser's book The Hidden Microbes will be a great read if you are interested in how many ways your microbiome influences your health and entire body.
  • Fit_Chef_NEFit_Chef_NE Member Posts: 108 Member Member Posts: 108 Member
    Whenever someone starts going on and on about "gut health" and they aren't a proctologist, they are a quack selling snake oil.
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