I feel that this science and research is the key to unlocking so many issues in our health and wellness it blows my mind. the more we all learn, the more tips you find, I find, everyone collaborates on will serve all. Anyone who has experiences, reviews whatever just follow up in the comments and lets make this a great collaborative effort.
Please remember that the following are notes, typically I do not put this on the website in all of this randomness, however I believe that holding back serves no one, it will get better.
As you will see this post is very long, as it is intended to be my personal ‘crib notes’ from two books, ‘The Good Gut’ (the first of my learning about this incredible potential) and the ‘Prime’. You can find my interview with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, (which is so awesome you won’t believe it) by just clicking on this link.
The following books I am partially through these three, and as time allows I plan on adding to the crib notes. At some point the plan will be to organize this a little better, but for now if you see Pg. and short hand note call that a footnote and book title.
- ReWild, Jeff Leach
- 10% Human How your Bodies Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness, Alana Collen
- Gut, The Inside Story of our Bodies Most Underrated Organ, Guiulia Enders
All of these books are great, some get a lil science heavy, read the reviews on Amazon. The ‘Prime’ would be the first purchase if I were advising others, (which I have been doing alot!)
Also you will find links to many articles here as again this is a working document, use as you see fit.
Our New Supplements suggested by Dr. Chaudhary-
Follow the links for descriptions and effects of these herbs/supplements. At this point Sandy and I have been on the three of these for a couple weeks, of course you should always do your own personal due diligence with any of supplements and or vitamin regime.
BDNF and movement//21 and Me-DNA testing//Customizable medicine (Story of Mike my PA and too much information)
APOE4 alleles are the greatest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s. However, this doesn’t mean that you will absolutely get Alzheimer’s disease if you have one or two copies of APOE4. Many people develop Alzheimer’s who don’t have an APOE4 allele. It does, however, increase your risk for developing the disease as well as lower the age of potential disease onset.
American Gut Project-$99.00 and your microbiome is analyzed (sort of)
Dr. Jeff Gordon, Gastroenterologist, Microbiota visionary , transplanted microbiota from obese mice into lean mice with no microbiota, and suddenly the lean mice gained weight, with no change in exercise or diet
The Good Gut- Dr.’s Justin and Erica Sonenburg
The collection of bacteria living within our gut is intimately linked to our health in ways we are just now starting to understand. Pg 32 ‘The Good Gut’ (TGG)
Sanitizing our environment, and eradicating microbes with antibiotics, has been extremely successful in reducing the incidence of infectious diseases in our society. Unfortunately, the untargeted attack on disease causing microbes has inflicted much collateral damage to the beneficial microbes caught in the crossfire. The rise of autoimmune diseases appears to me more tightly tied to our increase in cleanliness, not to decreased infection. Pg 67 (TGG)
Excitement within the scientific community over the realization that the microbiota can modulate the immune system is steadily growing. Pg. 81 (TGG)
Probiotics may be most beneficial in helping healthy people prevent disease rather than treating a medical condition. Pg. 107 (TGG) Use the pool and ph/alkalinity/chlorine example as anlogy (balance)
The Brain-Gut Axis- The primal condition exists between our brain and our gut. We often talk about ‘gut feeling’ when we meet someone for the first time. We’re told to “trust our gut instinct” when making a difficult decision or that it’s “gut check time” when faced with a situation that test nerves and determination. You’re stressed, your gut knows it. Pg. 137 (TGG)
The researchers found that the microbiota transplants affected the levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus (The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe and forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions.) BDNF is a protein whose function has been linked to diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, and OCD. Low levels of BDNF in the hippocampus are associated with anxiety and depressive types of behavior. From a scientific standpoint, it is unclear how the behavior change happens. Somehow the microbiota affects the levels of BDNF (and potentially other chemical messengers) in the brain. Pg. 143 (TGG)
The Microbiome: Your Partner in Prime
The Microbiome is a community of bacteria that live inside you digestive tract, primarily in your large intestine, or colon. Each one of us has two to three pounds of bacteria there-bacteria that do not come from us and are not technically part of us. The institute of Functional Medicine likes to say that in one gram of stool, we have more bacteria than stars in the universe. The Microbiome (sometimes called gut flora or gut bacteria) has been all over the scientific (and mainstream) news lately because researchers have become enamored with studying it and how pervasive its influence is on almost every part of our health. We now know that the Microbiome is quite active in both helpful and intrusive ways. You may have heard about “good” and “good” gut bacteria. In reality, there are three types of bacteria: “good”, “bad” and “neutral”, or in more technical and descriptive terms, “symbiotic,” “parasitic,” and “commensal.”
The “good’ bacteria have evolved to be in a symbiotic relationship with the human body. What is good for them is good for us, and what is good for us is good for them. They help us by producing vitamins, digestive enzymes, hormones and other compounds that enhance digestion and nutrient absorption, provide support for organ function, and even support brain function.
Other bacteria are neutral-they exist but aren’t particularly helpful or hurtful (as we know currently). They are hanging out and getting a free ride, but it doesn’t cost us anything. Finally, the are also bacteria that have not evolved with us. We call these “bad bacteria”, and while they are not parasites in the way most medical doctors think of parasites (such as tapeworms or leeches), they fit the definition because they live in us and benefit at our expense. They are opportunistic and what’s good for them is bad for us; these bacteria happen to feed on things that are detrimental to our health, such as excessive sugars or fats. They produce toxic by-products from what they eat that harm us and even persuade us (biochemically) to crave and eat more sugar and fat, especially processed kind that they can easily access.
There has been a lot of research recently into the notion that our cravings, weight, and even personality are controlled in part by our gut bacteria. The bad guys who are busy crowding out the good guys have, in the interests of their own survival, figured out how to manipulate the host (that’s you) by sending their own signals to the brain: signals like, “eat sugar now!” or “we need French-fries”. They can even make you feel rotten until you obey their commands. They do this via neurotransmitters that they produce and send to your brain. They make you feel depressed, or anxious, or send yu serious cravings you cannot possibly ignore. You have become neuroadapted and when your gut bacteria want it, you feel like you need it. Pg. 105-107 (TP)
Personality traits that we think are uncontrollable, negative traits we think are just part of who we are, are often linked to imbalances in the digestive system. Pg. 108 (TP)
Some microbiota chemical products resemble drugs and actually replicate the design of our body’s own chemical messengers. These bioactive (having a biological effect on the body) produced by gut bacteria, bathe our own cells, pass signals to our neurons, and potentially affect our minds. Our microbiota is a drug factory dispensing pharmaceuticals from our gut-with direct access to our brain. Pg. 144 (TGG)
That gut feeling you have may in fact be a chemical message sent to your brain by one of your internal microbial inhabitants. And depending on which types of bacteria reside in the gut, these messages may combine with a person’s genetic predisposition to increase or decrease the chance that a behavior disorder manifests. Pg. 155 (TGG)
Deciphering the complexity of the brain presents a monumental scientific challenge. Throw trillions of bacteria into the mix and it’s clear that unraveling this brain-microbiota connection will take some time. But while more research in this area is needed, we now have an understanding that our brain and microbes are engaging in an ongoing dialogue, one that has huge implications for our mental well-being. Pg. 158 (TGG)
Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, sees the incredible potential of the microbiota to affect how we approach the treatment of mental disease: “how these differences in our microbial world influence the development of brain and behavior will be one of the great frontiers of clinical neuroscience in the next decade.” The connection between our microbiota and our brain beautifully illustrates the far-reaching implications our microbes have for all aspects of our health. It would have been hard to imagine, even a few years ago, that disorders of the brain could have roots in the gut. The fact is that our body is a complex ecosystem and all its parts are interconnected. The disruption of one aspect of the microbiota will cascade throughout the entire body. Another more positive way to think about it is that by strengthening a single part of our ecosystem, we can support our overall health. Pg. 160-1 (TGG)
MAC’S- Microbial Accessible Carbohydrates ‘The Big Mac’ diet/ 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories
- Consume foods with rich concentration of MAC’s
- Consume meat in limited quantities
- Limiting saturated animal fat
- Consume beneficial microbes and or probiotics
There are always ways to keep your microbiota youthful. New studies reveal that there is another critical component to maintaining youthful vigor: nourishing your aging microbiota. Like all other physical and mental aspects of the human body, the microbiota also shows age-related wear and tear over time. Scientists believe that many of these core bacterial species could be our companions for a lifetime, much in the same way that we are stuck with our nose. Pgs. 187-8 (TGG)
People on a low-fiber diet had a lower-diversity microbiota, whereas a high –fiber diet made for higher microbiota, whereas a high-fiber diet made for higher microbiota diversity. The higher-fiber – eating community elders also had more health-promoting SCFA’s lower markers of inflammation, and in general were in better health. Pg. 191 (TGG)
ELDERMET Study- the chain of events /
Diet deterioration Microbiota Change ànd Health Decline
More diverse Microbiota = Lower InflammationàGreater Muscle Mass à Less Cognitive Decline
Immunosenescence/Thymus- Immunsenescence is a highly complex and involves all branches of the immune system, but one of its manifestations is a low-grade chronic inflammation referred to as inflammaging. In inflammaging the balance between pro- and anti- inflammatory responses within the immune system is tilted toward the pro- inflammatory side. This inflammatory state has been linked to many age-related diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis and can negatively influence the microbiota. Pg. 194 (TGG)
The immune system is highly sensitive to shortening of telomeres as its competence depends strictly on cell renewal and clonal expansion of T- and B-cell populations. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19261979
The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
The uniqueness of each person’s microbiota and how it interacts with certain drugs can be a source of variability in drug effectiveness and side effects. Pg. 200 (TGG)
Gut Science is proving a difficult question for doctors to answer.
The energy content of what a person absorbs (see gut microbiota) pg 45 10% human/ the particular set of microbiota that we have determines our ability to extract energy from our food. And the diet that we consume directly affects the strains of microbiota we harbor.
Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes- Types of bacteria in your gut, obese people have much more Firmicutes (obese microbiota) heavier people are-
Inulin and fibrous food-
Limbic/brain (fear, pleasure, anger) (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).à Immune System (Defense)à Lymphatic system (toxic filter) àHPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal glands) stress managers and cortisol control center (allostatis/out of balance)
Lymphatic system-Jumping helps drainage-
Conventional medicine views the lymphatic system as part of the immune system, but 2/3 of your immune system is located in you digestive tract, both in the form of actual lymph tissue located in the gut, called GALT (gut-associated lymphoid tissue), and in the form of gut bacteria that interact with that tissue. It is more accurate to classify the lymphatic system as a waste removal system, because waste removal is one of the key roles of the digestive system. Pg. 86 (TP)
Sluggish lymph also builds up as fluid accumulation throughout your body, making you puffy and chubby looking, although not from fat. That’s why you may think it’s from fat, which is why I call lymphatic backup ‘Fake-Fat’.
The only way to get the lymph moving is by moving it manually. You can do this by exercising or just moving around vigorously-muscle action peripherally puts pressure on the lymphatic system’s fine network of vessels. The most effective kind of exercise for getting lymph moving are jumping rope and on a trampoline (recently branded ‘rebounding’)-or just jumping on the ground (although a trampoline makes jumping a little lower-impact).
You can change your natural tendency to bloat and swell by changing how efficiently your lymphatic system is working. Pg. 87 (TP)
Cellular sewage – good term for toxic waste
Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion
- Rings get tight on fingers.
- Soreness and/or stiffness in the morning.
- Feeling tired.
- Itchy skin.
- Holding on to water.
- Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle.
- Dry skin.
The Fat Flush Plan author Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, estimates that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved feelings of well-being. There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more efficiently, including more energy, less pain, and improved detoxification.
The ‘Prime’ (TP)- Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary
I began with protocols to detoxify the body and reduce inflammation in the whole system. I witnessed how my patients ‘biochemistry’ was dictating the way they ate, and even the way they thought. I knew I could free them from that biochemical prison. As my patients got ‘Cleaner’ and ‘Clearer’ they naturally started making better choices. Pg. 19-20 (TP)
Right now patients are living in a sort of medical dual reality, and so are doctors. Who is right depends on the question being asked- “what if”
- What if the question is “which medications can treat my current symptoms?” then your conventional doctor’s answer is likely right.
- What if the question is “How do I get off medications and reverse this disease process?” then your integrative doctor’s answer is likely right. 50-1 (TP)
- What if first “helping people change health-destroying habits is irrelevant to the practice of medicine, and secondly, “healing people is not good for business”. Pg. 17 (TP)
Ayurvedic and Ayurveda
Ama- Ama is the real target of the prime. Ama is a word sort of like toxin, but with a broader meaning. It is an Ayurvedic term for substances inside the mind and body that are insufficiently digested and/or are located in their current places they should not be—such as undigested proteins seeping through the lining of the gastrointestinal track or waste backing up and getting stuck in the lymphatic system or colon.
The concept of ama is unique to ayurveda. In the classic texts of ayurveda, ama is described as the underlying cause of many health issues. In the Western medical approach, the focus is on the manifest state of illness or the sequence of events that leads to the creation of an illness. Ayurveda focuses on handling imbalances while they are in their infancy, and eliminating them with mild but effective non-obtrusive methods. http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/detoxification/remove-deep-ama.html#gsc.tab=0
The idea that a “toxin’ could be a physical substance or an emotion/thought is a difficult one for modern Western medicine to grasp. We have medical doctors and we have psychologists, and these two don’t necessarily confer or see problems in the same way. However in Ayurveda, these two fields are much more unified. Pg. 41 (TP)
Neuroadaptation-The brain adapts to too its environment, your brains ability to adapt to whatever you do to your body, too much sugar, coffee, alcohol, drugs, chronic stress. A French fry binge is no different to your brain than a cocaine binge, (PET imaging has confirmed this). Neuroadaptation encourages survival of the speciies. Pg. 61 & 65 (TP)
Food is the biggest addiction in our nation. It is not rare, it happens easily, and it is nothing to be ashamed of, we can fix it. The attitude is that the overweight person should “just stop eating.” Yet if you don’t take into account the ‘Biochemistry’ that is in place it is simply an impossible request. Pg. 67 (TP) (This is a great reference and talking point in regard to the ‘law of thermodynamics’)
It’s not what you eat, it’s what you Digest- One of the most important factors in overall health- including weight issues, chronic disease, and brain dysfunction- is the health of your digestion system. An old Ayurvedic saying goes something like this- ‘It’s not just about what you eat. It’s about what you digest.’ Weak digestion is the precursor to every chronic disease. Health begins with digestion, the disease starts with impaired digestion. Pg. 74 (TP)
Many psychological and neurological problems in Ayurveda are linked to colon health, and the science is only now uncovering the biochemical basis for this. Recent research into how gut microbes of the large intestine influence or even control our moods and mental state via the vagus nerve are changing this. We are finally discovering that the condition of the gut bacteria in the large intestine affects the neurochemical balance in the brain. Pg. 80 (TP)
- Eliminating toxins through the digestive system, including through the liver and colon and through the kidneys and bladder.
- Through sweat glands and lungs, (this occurs constantly)
- By ‘storing’ toxins in fat cells, where they are sealed away (until the fat is burned). This is a major reason why toxicity often contributes directly to excess body fat. If your body can’t remove the toxin before it hurts you the safest solution is to store it safely away in your fat cells. Your body will keep pumping it into your fat cells, until the fat cells can no longer accommodate the toxic load.
- By storing in organs. This causes ‘Inflammation’ due to the irritation and can cause an autoimmune response (The body attacks itself) this eventually can result in autoimmune disease-
Most common types
- Rheumatoid arthritis- A chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.
- Lupus-An inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.
- Celiac disease- An immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
- Sjögren’s syndrome- An immune system disorder characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth.
- Polymyalgia rheumatic- An inflammatory disorder causing muscle pain and stiffness around the shoulders and hips.
- Multiple sclerosis- A disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.
- Ankylosing spondylitis- An inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints.
- Type 1 diabetes- A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
- Alopecia areata- Sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap.
- Vasculitis- An inflammation of the blood vessels that causes changes in the blood vessel walls.
- Temporal arteritis- An inflammation of blood vessels, called arteries, in and around the scalp.
The Brain inside your Gut- The ENS
The gut has a mind of its own, it’s called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and support cells called ganglia, like those found in the brain. The ENS is located just underneath the mucosal lining of the gut, called the submucosa, and also within the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive track. It’s all stretched out along this tube, so it’s like a long skinny brain instead of a dense roundish brain, like the one in your skull. Neurons in the gut send signals to the brain for interpretation via the ‘vagus’ nerve, a long nerve that runs between the brain stem and down through the length of the digestive tract. The brain translates those signals into sensations, thoughts or emotions. The ENS and the brain communicate all the time. Yet is not a one-way conversation. We used to believe that the ENS was a kind of servant to the brain, doing what the brain asks, but now we know that the brain is doing much of the listening and the ENS is doing 90% of the talking. The gut advises the brain about what to do based on its own condition.
We also used to believe that the ENS relied on the brain operationally, but now we know this isn’t true, either. The ENS is autonomous ( not controlled by others). Pg. 97 (TP)
What fascinates me (Dr. Chaudhary) the most as a neurologist is the way dysfunction in the gut influences dysfunction in the brain, and vice versa.
- Nervous system tissue in the gut along with gut bacteria produces 95% of the serotonin in your body, and just as much dopamine as the brain produces. These chemicals have a profound effect on your mood and even your personality.
- Bacteria in the gut has a direct effect on the brain, and research suggests that bacteria could control behavior, personality, cravings, food preferences, and disease processes. Current research is exploring this link and the many ways the gut bacteria may influence us.
- Many diseases are often foreshadowed by gut health issues. For example, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and other chronic digestive issues are often known to occur in patients who later manifest diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and a range of psychiatric conditions. Research is continuing to unravel this link. The plaques and tangles found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease say they experienced digestive problems for decades befor the onset of their disease, and in general most patients Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis report problems with constipation.
- What we put in the gut can have a profound effect on the mood. Pg. 96-99 (TP)
Lifestyle medicine- is a branch of medicine dealing with research, prevention and treatment of disorders caused by lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity, and chronic stress. In the clinic, major barriers to lifestyle counseling are that physicians feel ill prepared and are skeptical about their patients’ receptivity. It is all about optimizing our well-being while leading a health-promoting, sustainable lifestyle.
There is now overwhelming evidence that lifestyle factors such as poor dietary patterns, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and psychosocial factors, e.g. chronic stress and lack of social support and community, are key proximal factors in the pathogenesis and incidence of NCDs. Lifestyle factors may also be more distal stressors, including economic, political or a high density population.
Lifestyle choices, including tobacco use, poor diet, and inactivity, is at the root of the most prevalent causes of death: heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Lifestyle modification is a cost-effective means to reduce the estimated costs of ~$120 billion for tobacco-related illness and ~$90 billion from sedentary behavior and overweight/obesity annually in the United States alone. http://www.harvardlifestylemedicine.org/
Hippocrates can be seen as the father of lifestyle medicine. He often used lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise to treat diseases such as diabetes, what is today called lifestyle medicine. He is often quoted with “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food” and “Walking is man’s best medicine”.
Functional medicine- addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. –
Integrative medicine- Both doctors and patients alike are bonding with the philosophy of integrative medicine and its whole-person approach — designed to treat the person, not just the disease. It combines conventional Western medicine with alternative or complementary treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, yoga, and stress reduction techniques — all in the effort to treat the whole person. Proponents prefer the term “complementary” to emphasize that such treatments are used with mainstream medicine, not as replacements or alternatives.
Endobiogeny- A systems-theory approach to the body’s internal workings, which I believe will be the next wave in medicine in the next decade. Pg. 42-3 (TP)
Weight gain that causes chronic disease is not so much about excess calories; it is more about ‘Toxic Calories’. A recent study attempted to show obesity caused diabetes, and although they found the two states associated, they could not prove causation. They could not prove that obesity caused diabetes. However, they could measure GGT, which strongly correlates with a diabetic state.
Toxicity combined with weight gain is linked to the formation of diabetes.
Although there is not a clear Western equivalent to ama, I believe it is coming. I am most excited about the recent developments in the field of molecular toxicology, which is the study of the effects of chemicals on living organisms