Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ed Yong Interview and New Book

Interview with Ed Yong, microbiologist.

Eating Yogurt Is Not Enough: Rebalancing The Ecosystem Of 'The Microbes Within Us'

Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes, says someday we might be able to improve our health by taking probiotics, but "we are still in the very early stages of working out how to do this."


Ed Yong is a researcher who studies the microbiome.  Hear his current thinking on probiotics and fecal transplants. Great interview.  Ed Yong just released his new book this month: "I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life."


A couple teasers from the interview:

...probiotics are products that contain beneficial microbes, and they have all sorts of health claims attached to them, but actually if you look at the evidence behind these products, they tend to be a bit medically underwhelming.

A lot of these species are being chosen for historical reasons because they're easy to manufacture and package, not because they're excellent at establishing themselves in the gut. And often they're very industrialized, very proprietary strains. You know, they enter and then they disappear or they pass through. They don't have a huge amount of impact.

If anyone reads the book, let us know what you think!

Later!
Tim

12 comments:

  1. Ed Yong is a science writer, not a microbiologist.

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    1. I was not sure what to call him:

      "Yong was awarded Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Natural Sciences (Zoology) from the University of Cambridge in 2002.[10] He completed postgraduate study at University College London (UCL) where he was awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in 2005 on the biochemistry of resolvases, a group of enzymes that repress transposases.[15]" (Wikipedia)

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  2. The book is fascinating and highly recommended. It covers the role of microorganisms in plant and animal life in a very broad way, showcasing some of the amazingly diverse forms of interdependence that emerge in nature. There is certainly coverage of probiotic and prebiotic supplementation (and related topics like fecal transplantation), but they are not the main focus of the book. Its emphasis is on the bigger picture of how our understanding of almost everything about plant and animal life may need to be re-examined, taking the potential role of bacteria (and viruses) in health, illness, reproduction, etc. into consideration. Yong is a strong writer who makes this material really come to life.

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  3. the premise is logically sound (proprietary strains of probiotics etc) - however my three years of using both natural probiotics (raw milk, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut etc) and probiotic OTC supplements (innovixlab my fav - 26 strains!) in combination with digestive enzymes (tried all the top 5) cured gout in 2.5 years...all b/c my research @ 30 years old w/ a gout attack caused me to learn "health" from the ground up!

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  4. I've never thought of OTC, et. al., probiotics as proprietary industrialized products but I have definitely noticed they don't have much impact. After three years of trying a variety of probiotics, several months at a time, I did not notice any real difference. (The brand advertised on Nickoley's site did help for awhile.) The only noticeable help for me is the constant intake of my scratch-made naturally fermented items--kefir, garlic cloves, blueberry kombucha, cabbage, beets, etc.-- with cold potatoes, raw milk, oatmeal, and so on; whole foods, as they say. (I still eat all my favorite animal products but in greatly reduced amounts.)

    Texas Old Guy

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    1. The FDA only allows probiotics that are a normal part of food (ie. Lacto and Bifido) or that have been in common use since before 1994. And new probiotics need to go through a formal approval process that takes years and lots of money. So, the industry is stuck using only bacteria or yeast that has been developed and is grown commercially and sold by the manufacturer for re-packaging into the supplements we see at Wal-Mart and everywhere. All that probiotic sellers can do is come up with novel blends and different dosages.

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  5. I meant to say/include the #1 probiotic personally I have found is apple cider vinegar (ACV) in the highest quality one can possibly secure - to cure gout I was taking it 3X daily for almost a year then backed off to one tablespoon daily in the AM w/ a lime to wake up the body!

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    1. Finance Dude,

      I'm happy you cured your gout. I've been fighting that accursed affliction for almost 30 years. I did notice though that after I started my current menu the last attack back in April ceased quicker than usual. Tomorrow I will up my ACV dosage to three times per day instead of just in the morning.

      T'anx, man,

      Texas Old Guy

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    2. You guys just gave me a good idea for a blog post!

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  6. TOG (and sort of Tim since he's going to respond/blog on this topic) - the other BIG changes I made, aside from swallowing BITTER medicine every morning, afternoon and evening - I cut out yeasted breads of all types (recently got back to ancient sprouted type grain bread if i do eat it), i cut out french fries (how many can u eat in your life i asked my self) and finally I took beer out for a one whole solid year period - and i am a STL craft beer lover so that was honestly that hardest part.

    I Once read it takes one month of recovery/good habits for every year of bad so when I was thirty (it happened on the night of my bday no less!) I knew i had a 30 month journey ahead of me - on fathers day last year I retraced the first attack, the crystals traveled up my leg and I evacuated them using the porclein throne - i took pictures b/c i was in awe of the crystals dancing in the water - the body healed itself and I had a hole in my toe I had to fill...

    ps tim - i have a website i am almost ready to debut that is going to marry the health of the body to the health of the nation as I'm intimately familiar with both topics and see the connections, currently missing...

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  7. Finance Dude,

    Yes indeed. As I noted in my Aug 24 post, my menu has changed drastically. Except for a once-per-month glass of Bordeaux wine I no longer drink alcohol. (Stouts and porters are my poisons of choice.) [Whimper]

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