Saturday, May 21, 2016

Are Microbes in Charge?

After last week's post on the criminally insane habits of those in need of microbes, several recent developments caught my eye and got me wondering, "who's really in charge?"

An unrelated (yet completely related) post by The Homeschooling Doctor about brain development from adolescence through adulthood, a note from Dr. Kadar, DDS concerning a special bacteria found in garden soil, and another note from Wild Cucumber saying that she has resumed blogging at Garbling the Dandelion (Great pics!), all point towards the fact that we need to get down and dirty and embrace our inner overlords.



Turns out there's a special bacteria found ubiquitously in the soil.



Mycobacterium vaccae

Wikipedia tells us:

Research areas being pursued with regard to killed Mycobacterium vaccae vaccine include immunotherapy for allergic asthma, cancer, depression, leprosy,[3] psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and tuberculosis.[3]
It has recently been hypothesized that exposure to Mycobacterium vaccae may result in an antidepressant effect, because it stimulates the generation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.[4][5][6] More specifically, it induces the neurogenesis of neurons that produce those two compounds.

And the study that GabKad linked:

Coevolution of microbes and their hosts has resulted in the formation of symbiotic relationships that enable animals to adapt to their environments and protect themselves against pathogens. Recent studies show that contact with tolerogenic microbes is important for the proper functioning of immunoregulatory circuits affecting behavior, emotionality and health. Few studies have examined the potential influence of ambient bacteria, such as Mycobacterium vaccae on the gut–brain–microbiota axis...Collectively, our results suggest a beneficial effect of naturally delivered, live M. vaccae on anxiety-related behaviors and maze performance, supporting a positive role for ambient microbes in the immunomodulation of animal behavior.


Aside from a great diet, good sleep, and some exercise, it's also important we get out and get dirty! As Spring is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, take some time to get outside and cultivate a patch of dirt! Grow something.  Garble something. Get healthy. And don't forget to get your kids involved, too. They may need it more than anyone!

The actual act of gardening (or garbling) is undoubtedly just as beneficial as the products of said activity. Stress reduction is important in overall health. What a better way than to dig in the dirt and acquire some bacteria that take control of your immune system, emotions, brain growth and health?

Later,
Tim

55 comments:

  1. This is interesting. One of the activities that long-lived blue zone inhabitants have in common is gardening.

    Also, for those who don't garden or "hunt and gather" much, another thing I've noticed is that to avoid pests getting your food/fruit, it is often common to pick it when you can get it. Which many times means you are picking before it is at the perfect ripeness. This is a good source for resistant starch.

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    1. If people live in the country or suburbs and have a bit of land, even if just a tiny bit, I think it would be good to dig up some dirt and plant something. For city dwellers, there are community allotments and roof top gardens. Just gotta get up the gumption to do it. Even things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and pulling weeds undoubtedly expose us to good microbes.

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    2. Tim, the very unfortunate thing is that, at least in my area, most people's lawns are polluted and poisonous. I live in an almost country like setting, with lots of trees and green space. But we've been dumping all kinds of chemicals on out yards to make the grass grow and the weeds die. I talked to my landscaper about this. He grows his own vegetables for himself. He told me that he would not recommend eating anything from my yard for the next decade. Or ever, really. Even if we stop, we receive water runoff from houses uphill from us that use chemicals.

      It's sad. I wish we'd known better. We can still grow in pots, but it doesn't seem to be as effective.

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    3. Wilbur - that's why we fled to this village. We had to wait til the kids were grown and gone.

      It's never too late.

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    5. Wilbur, what about raised beds? The upfront investment would be a bit high, but then you'd have some clean plots that you could do some intensive gardening in, and (depending on how you build them) with no worry that your neighbor's polluted water would run into it.

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    6. Even houseplants are beneficial in maintaining a stable biome of bacteria and yeast around you. Seems we read a bunch of studies a couple years ago on the microbes present when people keep houseplants.

      Even hydroponic systems develop a bacterial system, like the Aerogarden.

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    7. Raised beds would be fine as long as you can source good clean soil and compost to fill them up. How can you be sure of the soil you are going to fill the beds with, though?

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    8. T- Nat My thoughts exactly.

      Wilbur, there are lots of ways to re-mediate soil, please don't give up. Certain fungi soak up all kinds of nasties, and pumpkins have been used to clean up the soil in New Orleans post Katrina. If you can remediate your gut, you can clean up soil, right? Make it a project, I'll bet it would take a lot less time than the 10 years your landscaper predicts.

      Maybe Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti has something you can use, or there's this for an overview.

      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-08-11/using-plants-to-clean-contaminated-soil

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    9. Thanks! It's probably a bad time to admit that we turned most of our bad soil into a lap pool and an outdoor fireplace! I do grow a few onions, garlic, and chicory in pots though.

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    10. No problem! Fill half your pool with dirt and plant cattails, stock the rest with tilapia and crayfish. Use your fire pit to cook tubers. Your family and neighbors will love you!

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    11. I have always wanted to do that!

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    12. Since Wilbur is in Maryland, I think Blue Catfish would be a better source than tilapia 😉.Send pictures when the project is completed!

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  2. Just harvested a big bunch of green onions this morning. Wet, muddy, and beautiful after washing. Leeks in a few days for a ferment and other uses. Yellow crook neck squash are in full bloom. Okra, of course. Did I mention CUSHAW? 15 hills of green striped and 9 hills of gold striped at the seedling stage. Jalapeño, poblano, and hot banana transplants have already been picked. So much fun...

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    1. Love it! I had to Google Cushaw, lol, https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/green-striped-cushaw

      Looks great! Winter squash were a very important staple to lots of H-G people.

      Do you have a dehydrator? I bought one of the big ones last year and love it. Still eating tomatoes and carrots from last year!

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    2. I got a cushaw from a local farm last fall. I tried to like it, but blah. Watery and zero flavor. Must have been a bad one because most people rave about them. I'm on the lookout for more blue Kabocha type squash this year.

      Barney

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    3. I dunno if the microbes make me do it, but there is at least once every spring I pull something - evening primrose, usually, sometimes dandelion, wipe the root a bit on my jeans and chaw down. Gritty? Hell yeah. And satisfying right to the soles of my feet.

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    4. @Tim. Yep. 8 tray Nesco round dehydrator. Primarily for dried green plantains which are a staple for me. I've also done zucchini and sweet potato chips as well. P.S. Got the PH book and really like it.

      @Barney. The cushaws can be used like pumpkins. My brother's family has a recipe that basically uses the boiled cushaw as a carrier for sugar and other spices for Thanksgiving desert dish. Wow. I also like them because they can grow to nearly twenty pounds each. Lots of ways to fix them.

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    5. And they seem to grow so well in warmer climates. I did my typical lazy man cooking ... roasted, plain. I'll give it another go Rudy, but let's not overlook the fact that you may be a very good farmer growing on a good patch of dirt :-)

      Barney

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  3. I have an interesting scanned portion of a book that ties in very well with this and your last post, Tim. I don't know how to find your email address to send it through.

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    1. akman2014 (at) live.com

      Love to see!
      Thanks

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  4. This gardening business is having a distinct effect. Yesterday was alarmingly typical. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., lights and reading glasses on. I remember putting the Chromebook down but that's all. Oscar Wild was gnawing on my wrist because, in his opinion, I was supposed to be awake already.

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  5. "Collectively, our results suggest a beneficial effect of naturally delivered, live M. vaccae..."

    When they say "naturally delivered," how was it delivered? Do you know, by chance? Just curious what that meant.

    As we learn more about the gut-brain axis, perhaps we will learn more about how kids' poor diets are impacting adolescent brain development--perhaps hindering it and leaving deficits. Our brains (and bodies) rely on metabolites from those microbes and on interactions of those microbes with our bodies. With our kids' diets today, their bacteria are dysregulated. Then, as you mention here, most kids aren't getting soil exposure, so forget these beneficial ambient type bacteria--either from outdoor activities or from fresh garden produce--and the positive effects mentioned above.

    Thanks for the mention of my post. All this stuff fits together in the end, it seems!

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  6. Here is a summary article relaying research about how germ-free mice had worse myelin formation than normal mice. They go on to mention that gut bacteria play a role in myelin formation, and that people like adolescents are undergoing times of dramatic myelin production. I mention this in my somewhat light-hearted blog post. I summarize that the amygdala/limbic (raw emotional) system is not yet "connected" completely to the pre-frontal cortex (the logic, rational, planning center). If kids aren't feeding their gut bacteria with plant matter and limiting processed foods, sugar, processed flour, processed oils, etc--then what is this doing to what should be happening? The gut flora of most kids is likely in shambles.

    Feeding kids whole, real food rich in plant matter to promote good gut health is super important. It is pointed out, interestingly, that the male germ-free mice were affected more than the females. They also, YAY!!!!, pointed out that it was partially reversible with bacterial introduction.

    So if you're a real food advocate, don't stop preaching. Our kids need you.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2016/apr/05/gut-bacteria-brain-myelin

    Terri Fites

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    1. I grew up on Pop-Tarts and McDonald's. Lived on a farm where loads of chemicals were used. Took antibiotics from a young age. But I think if a parent wants to give their kids a gift, teach them to love fermented foods, veggies, and alternatives to fast-food and junk food. My Mom always cooked good dinners with salads and veggies and we always had a big garden.

      This is fascinating concerning bacterial involvement with brain formation.

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  7. I have long used Comfrey tea as a manure on my plants as a natural feed. I'm sure it also feeds the bacteria in the earth to make the plants strong. Nettles soup will also help.

    Jo tB

    http://www.harvesttotable.com/2009/05/how_to_make_comfrey_manure_tea/

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  8. Sorry if this is duplicate comment. Wondering if one has access to raw grass fed dairy, how best to integrate with RS / gut healthy regimen. Please and Thanks! :)

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    1. I think that if you drink milk or eat cheese, it's best to source the best that you can find/afford. No need to overthink it. Just different parts to the puzzle, there probably is no right answer.

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  9. Tim, All very interesting. I think I got a good serving of microbes the other day when I forgot to wear my gloves along while planting flowers and pulling weeds!

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  10. I watched a fascinationg program on the BBC last night. It was an Horizon program called Why are we getting so fat.

    One of the first things it dealt with was the Double Variant
    pf the FTO gene. Apparently if you have 2 copies, then you are 50% more likely to develop obesity.

    Another item handled was Theresa of Providence Rhode Island, who had gained a considerable amount of weight after a fecal transplant to cure her Clostridium dificile (C-dif) infection. The treatment worked, she had instant relief from the C-dif. The healthy donor who gave the poo sample was her daughter. The sting in the tail was her daughter was overweight/obese. Theresa had a 60 poundweight increase over 2 years. The doctors are not allowed by law to give her another fecal transplant from a very skinny healthy donor, to deal with the second proble.

    The last item was Dr Tim Spector (UK Gut guy) Wants to do a fecal transplant with the fat busting hormone GLP-1 as it rises substantially in the gut after the transplant (and if I understood it correctly, bring the weight down again.

    Hope you can get to see it. Hopefully it will be on You Tube soon. Definitely worth watching.

    Jo tB

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  11. I was struck by your boot camp photo. I think that boot camp is an excellent gut flora conditioner. Persistent exposure to muck flora and a regimented diet produces a gut flora that develops the aggressive side of the immune system, but compromises the suppressive side. The result is an immune system that resists infection, historically the major enemy in combat. Unfortunately, that leads to chronic inflammatory and autoimmunity in veterans. One of the hallmark symptoms of chronic inflammation is depression/enhanced suicide risk. All soldiers leaving the service should be treated with The Potato Hack and supplemented with broad spectrum healthy gut flora.

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  12. My personal take on environmental and agricultural toxins is that they are much less important than damaged gut flora in compromising health. There are very few data supporting any health benefits of eating organic foods. There are many studies showing the benefits of exposure to soil.

    I agree with Tim's general perspective of not worrying about the details and start eating potatoes.

    I would also like to see some examination of the impact of eating a minimum amount of potatoes in each potato meal. My own personal experience suggests that my small intestines can convert about one potato's worth of starch (not RS) to blood sugar. Any more than that seems to go to the colon flora. My point is that eating different portion sizes of potatoes will have different results, depending on how much starch and RS actually reaches the colon. Thus, lots of small meals of half potatoes will produce very different results from fewer larger meals of two potatoes. Small meals may starve the gut flora of prebiotic fiber and contribute to constipation. Starch and RS that reach the colon are converted into stool bacteria and avoid constipation.

    I also think that just-potato meals produce a gut flora that neutralizes the weight set point and facilitates weight change, whereas normal varied diet meals produce gut flora that reinforce the current weight and resist weight loss/gain.

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  13. A friend was just diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I believe that is an inflammatory condition?

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    1. Yes, it certainly is. Crohn's is sometimes referred to as "auoto-inflammatory" meaning both an auto-immune disease as well as inflammatory disease.

      A few people have turned it around with high fiber diets, but it takes lots of experimenting and testing. I'd hate to try to give advice. Best bet is to eat high fiber diet to avoid things like Crohn's. Once they settle in, they are hard to get rid of, but not impossible.

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    2. Just to test my results from research on autoimmune diseases, I searched for the human protein that is targeted by the immune system in Crohn's disease. That antigen can't directly produce antibodies, so I looked for similar proteins that could make related antibodies and found the major protein secreted in urine, Uromodulin. It turns out that urinary tract infections and stones are unusually common in Crohn's. So, I think that Crohn's starts with a UTI/kidney stone and spreads to inflammatory bowel disease. It is similar to Hashimoto's thyroiditis starting from celiac.

      The takeaway message for anyone with an autoimmune disease is that they all start with gut dysbiosis that compromises immune tolerance at the foundation of autoimmunity. That dysbiosis can be repaired in most people with help from The Potato Hack.

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  14. Veterans have an increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases, which are all linked to depression, PTSD and suicide. The Potato Hack should be encouraged for all veterans and should be augmented with fecal transplants. This could be a major life and life quality saver.

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    1. You would not believe the antibiotic use in the military. They gave us 6 months of off-label high-dose Cipro as a prevention for anthrax attacks that never happened. Upon discharge, treatment of soldiers is transferred to the VA who loves prescribing anti-psychotic meds. Absolutely no thought given to gut flora, it seems.

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  15. Tim (and Art),

    Have you had any posts dedicated to mild depression / anxiety? Mild depression entered my life when I was in a bad car accident years ago (mild brain injury).

    For 3 years we've been on a Paleo diet with great results! However, I still struggle with mild depressions and mild anxiety, which is new.

    I also have pyroluria (genetic issue which robs my body of zinc and B6, so I supplement) and depressions/anxiety is linked to this.

    We do eat ferments (not enough!): I make 24-hour yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha.

    Any thoughts from you (and Art! Miss seeing you on Cooling Inflammation!)

    Gut-brain connection and vagus nerve info is especially helpful.

    Thanks so much,
    Laura

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    1. Hi Laura - I second your sentiments about the lapse in new Cooling Inflammation blog posts!

      I have not looked too deeply into depression, sorry. Working in a military hospital, though, I clearly see the connection between traumatic brain injuries and depression.

      Any advice I could give you here would just be guessing, and probably involve diet/fiber, but it seems you have a handle on that.

      Sorry I cannot be more helpful. Good luck!
      Tim

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    2. Laura

      Hobbits were very happy. They loved eating mushrooms. Do look at them too. Psilocybin is a nice example.

      This Is What It Feels Like to Treat Depression with Magic Mushrooms
      http://www.vice.com/read/microdosing-psilocybin-depression-184

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    3. Laura,
      Pyroluria is not found in the medical literature and as far as I can tell no genes have been identified related to it. That would seem to be good news, as it would suggest that your condition is more treatable.

      I would agree with Tim and further point out that most of your approaches would alter the relative proportions of existing gut bacteria or supplement with probiotics that don't survive in the gut. That would mean that you could still have problems with dust dysbiosis and need new bacteria not found in fermented foods.

      You might also look into low dose Naltrexone as a reset for your immune system.

      Your overall approach seems very sensible.

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    4. Interesting advice, Gemma. I searched to see if the military has caught on to microdosing magic mushrooms, and could not find anything, although they seem to be a big fan of MDMA (ecstacy) for treating PTSD/anxiety/TBI related problems ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573678/ ).

      But also, I found that the military is using transcendental meditation for the same thing:

      "Overall, the findings suggest that TM practice decreases psychotropic medication dosages and improves psychological testing scores compared with matched controls. It is anticipated that this chart review will provide valuable insight into the benefits of TM as a viable treatment modality in military treatment facilities. The retrospective chart review provided a valuable tool for quickly and inexpensively gathering pilot data and aids in guiding the development of future prospective studies. Based on our findings, a prospective randomized clinical trial of TM and its effects on behavioral wellness and psychotropic usage is warranted to determine if TM may serve as a viable supplement to therapy or as an alternative to psychotropic medication therapy." read full text here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bycsjo8qxlix6el/TM.pdf?dl=0

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    5. @Laura,
      I started low dose naltrexone and am in the process of titration. I am up to 3 mg and start 4.5 mg tomorrow. I am taking it to see if I can help my immune system as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been trying to control it by diet etc. I ran into a wall and needed some help. I do find it has helped my mood (through the creation of endorphins). Too soon to know anything else but I believe there has been some improvement but very smaĺl. But like I said,I have just begun.

      Delete
    6. Art,

      Pyroluria has many different names: aka Pyrroluria, Pyrroles, Pyrrole Disorder, HPL, Mauve Factor, High Mauve, KPU, KP, Kryptopyrrole, and hemepyrrole. The actual molecule is Hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one: referred to as HPL.

      These search terms should yield more results.

      It would be fascinating if the double-deficiency in zinc and B6 (whether genetic or not) could be correlated to the action of bacteria (or lack of bacteria) in the gut. I don't think anyone is researching this in a systematic way. (I am certainly *thinking* it!)

      In hindsight, the pyroluria *manifested* after the serious car accident / mild brain injury. As it is now recognized that, within hours of acquiring a brain injury, one acquires a leaky gut - it would make sense that something may have happened to the gut bacteria or the communication between the gut and brain (bacteria?)

      Here is good two-part article by Dr. Woody McGinnis, et.al. It does mention gut permeability:
      http://www.walshinstitute.org/uploads/1/7/9/9/17997321/discerning-mauve-factor-part-1-galley-feb-2008.pdf

      and

      http://www.walshinstitute.org/uploads/1/7/9/9/17997321/discerning-the-mauve-factor-part-ii-galley.pdf

      Also, by Dr. McGinnis:
      http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/pyroluria-hidden-cause-of-schizophrenia-bipolar-depression-and-anxiety-symptoms-4/

      Dr. McGinnis' bio:
      http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Woody-McGinnis/1209010066

      If you have the time, it would be very interesting to hear your thoughts / reactions to the articles and any correlations to gut info which you may already have.

      Zinc and B6 are critical co-factors in many, many functions in the body. The double deficiency is a real kicker.
      Laura

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  16. Another article, by Michael Pollan:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment

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  17. Dear Tim, Art & Gemma,

    Thank you very much. I so appreciate your thoughts and I will keep checking in, again, Tim. (I was last year, and then life...yadda,yadda. My husband is the beekeeper who uses organic methods to manage his hives. How are your bees doing?!)

    I am a firm believer that healing the gut will help with depression and anxiety, and I have taken many steps to do that (one trial: I made 24-hour yogurt using L. infantis to increase serotonin. Thoughts? Try a different bacteria? Multiple types?)

    The pyroluria info I learned from four very reputable sources. It took 6 months of treating with B6, zinc and other vit/min, and one day I woke up and the sense of smell, that I had virtually lost in the car accident years ago, returned! Zinc works for me! Other profoundly good changes, as well.

    Pyroluria is not recognized by most doctors.

    The urine test is either not done by most labs, or they do it wrong, and the results are incorrect.

    FYI on pyroluria:
    1. Trudy Scott, The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution, see:
    http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/

    Pyroluria search on her site: http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/?s=pyroluria

    Pyroluria questionnaire: http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/pyroluria-questionnaire-from-the-antianxiety-food-solution/

    2. Julia Ross, The Mood Cure and the Diet Cure, see: http://www.moodcure.com/ (Trudy Scott received training from Julia Ross)

    3. Joan Mathews Larson, Depression Free Naturally, see:
    http://www.joanmathewslarson.com/ (If I had an addiction issue, this is the clinic I would go to. She has an astounding success rate, using food/diet/supplements to balance biochemistry. Stats show that 40% of alcoholics have pyroluria, for ex.)

    Her book's section on pyroluria: http://joanmathewslarson.com/HRC_2006/Depression_06/D_Hide_In_Closet.htm\

    4. Dr. William Walsh, Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry, Heal Your brain. See: http://www.walshinstitute.org/the-book.html

    He recognized 5 distinct types of depression, each related to a different biochemical imbalance.

    Dr. Walsh comes from the tradition of orthomolecular doctors (e.g. Dr. Linus Pauling); Dr. Carl Pfeiffer's clinic in Princeton, NJ was famous for helping people with psychiatric and mental disorders to heal, using vitamins, minerals, diet and repeat testing. Dr. Walsh worked with Dr. Pfeiffer for many years, before founding his own clinic.

    I have begun investigating Dr. Datis Kharrazian, as well. He does offer more specific info on gut-brain / vagus and addressed brain injury, as well.

    I have read that within hours of receiving a brain injury (mild or otherwise) you are blessed with gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, whatever you want to call it. There is an intimate connection between the brain and the gut via the vagus nerve; injure your brain and the gut follows suit.

    This guy, Cavin Balaster, got a brain injury in 2011. He blogged. He healed (I think his doctor was Dr. Kharrazian). He says, "Nutrition and supplementation were cornerstone pieces in the process of restoring the communication between my gut and my brain..."
    http://adventuresinbraininjury.com/rehabilitation-through-nutrition/

    This info, about the gut-brain connection and the microbiota was unknown when I was injured.

    Hallelujah it is now!

    Anyway, I am about to try the potato hack for a few days. My husband and I need to get back to more ferments and I think the potato-thing sounds like it will get me back on track.

    I look forward to hanging around, again!
    Laura

    PS Thank you all for being such great resources for us out here... Art, PLEASE start posting on your blog again!!

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    1. Sorry for the trip to the spam folder, I rescued you!

      Bees are doing great, two hives this year. Can't wait to see what they are making for me.

      Thanks for all the info, Art was right...there is literally nothing on pyroluria in PubMed, a couple papers from 1970's psych journals, that's it.

      Good luck, and keep us posted. Others are searching just as you are, maybe they will find this thread and get answers.

      Have fun potato hacking!

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    2. Laura

      you are an interesting case. Zinc is connected to the sense of smell indeed, it helps also to the sniffer dogs:
      www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3549381/Could-canine-SUPER-SNIFFERS-soon-patrol-airports-Zinc-nanoparticles-triple-sense-smell-dogs-works-humans-too.html

      Will you consider adding some mushrooms (after the PH, of course)? Look at reishi, for instance.

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    3. Dear Gemma,

      I would be very interested. I do adore them - like hobbits! - especially sauteed in butter.

      Can you guide me a little more? What is the benefit? What types of 'shrooms? Are they acting as a pre-biotic? How often do you eat them? Raw vs cooked? How would I know they are helping?

      Are the reishi specific to helping the gut-brain connection? Depression/anxiety?

      Any articles to read?

      I'm intrigued.

      I can get a variety of types at our food co-op. One guy brings in 'shrooms he harvests in the Adirondacks, off of a tree (I forget their name.) Tres expensive.
      Laura

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    4. Laura

      here some mushroom reading for a start:

      http://vegetablepharm.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-pharmacy-in-your-backyard.html

      http://vegetablepharm.blogspot.com/2015/04/magic-mushrooms.html

      Another good resource is Paul Stamets.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets

      You can easily look up more information, also concerning the questions you are asking.

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  18. Hallo Tim,

    what about swimming in a lake? Aren't there the soil-microbes too? As an adult it's easier to swim in a lake to get microbes than to play in the mud ;). Or do you think swimming in a lake don't has any benefits regarding getting in contact with healthy microbes?
    Thank you! :)

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    1. "Playing in the mud" is just a euphemism for not being overly sterile in your life. Things like gardening, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, swimming in a lake, pond, or ocean, hiking in the forest, playing with animals, etc... are all great avenues of acquiring new microbes.

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  19. Could butyrate producing bacteria be a problem for some autoimmune diseases?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25261516

    In addition, gut microbiota of lupus-prone mice were different between sexes, and an overrepresentation of Lachnospiraceae in females was associated with an earlier onset of and/or more severe lupus symptoms. Clostridiaceae and Lachnospiraceae, both harboring butyrate-producing genera, were more abundant in the gut of lupus-prone mice at specific time points during lupus progression.

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    1. Most bacteria have genes that they can turn on and off depending on their food supply or other factors. The science is still young in this area. A bacteria seen as "good" could definitely be "bad" in some circumstances. Other bacteria and yeast, normally harmless, sense when their human host is ill or immune-compromised and the begin to multiply rapidly and create life-threatening infections. It's a real balancing act! Microbes that keep us healthy will also happily kill us, should the situation arise.

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