Good bacteria that live in symbiosis with us are nourished on fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, while bad bacteria that are in dysbiosis with us and potentially contribute to the disease are nourished on meat, junk food and fast food, seafood . Dairy products and eggs as you can see at 0:12 in my video Microbiome: we are what you eat. Typical western diets can “decimate” our good intestinal flora.
We live with billions of symbionts, good bacteria that live in symbiosis with us. We help them and they help us. A plant-based month leads to an increase in the population of the good and a decrease in the bad, the so-called pathobionts, the disease-causing beetles. “Given the disappearance of pathobionts from the intestine, one would expect a reduction in bowel inflammation to be observed in subjects.” Therefore, the researchers measured the stool levels of lipocalin-2, “which is a sensitive biomarker for intestinal inflammation”. As you can see in my 1:13 PM video, within a month of eating healthy it was “down significantly … suggesting that the promotion of microbial homeostasis” – or balance – is being done by an SVD [strict vegetarian diet] led to decreased bowel inflammation. “In addition, this reorientation may have played a role in“ improved metabolic and immunological parameters ”, ie parameters of the immune system.
In contrast, an “animal diet” leads to a growth of disease-associated species such as Bilophila wadsworthia, which is associated with inflammatory bowel disease, and Alistipes putredinis, which occurs in abscesses and appendicitis, and a decrease in fiber-eating bacteria. When we eat fiber, the fiber-eating bacteria multiply and we get more anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting short-chain fatty acids. When we eat less fiber, our fiber-eating bacteria starve to death.
You are what we eat.
Eat lots of phytates and our intestinal flora can break down phytates very well. We assumed this was only because we naturally selected the bacterial populations that were capable of doing this, but it turned out that our diet can teach old insects new tricks. There is a type of fiber in nori seaweed that our gut bacteria normally cannot break down, but the bacteria in the ocean that eat algae have the enzyme to do so. When this enzyme was discovered to be present in the Japanese intestines, it was a mystery. Sure, sushi is eaten raw, so maybe some algae bacteria made it into their colons, but how could some marine bacteria thrive in the human gut? It didn’t have to. It transferred the nori-eating enzyme to our own intestinal bacteria.
“As a result, the consumption of foods with associated environmental bacteria is the most likely mechanism that promotes this CAZyme [enzyme] Update in the human intestinal microbe ”- almost like a software update. We have the same hardware, the same gut bacteria, but the bacteria just updated their software so they can chew on something new.
Hardware can also change. A study titled “A man’s heart is through his gut microbiota” was so named because the researchers talked about TMAO, trimethylamine N-oxide. As you can see in my video at 3:33 a.m., certain intestinal flora can take carnitine from the red meat we eat or the choline concentrated in dairy, seafood, and eggs and convert it into a toxic compound, which can lead to an increase in our risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
This explains why those who eat more plant-based diets have lower TMAO blood levels. However, they also produce less poison even if you give them a steak. They don’t see the same “conversion of dietary L-carnitine to TMAO … which suggests an adoptive response of the gut microbiota in omnivores.” They are what we give them.
As you can see in my 4:17 am video, when you give people cyclamate, a synthetic artificial sweetener, most bacteria don’t know what to do with it. However, if you feed it to humans for ten days and select the few bacteria that were hip for the new synthetic chemical, eventually three-quarters of the cyclamate consumed will be metabolized by the bacteria into another new compound called cyclohexylamine. However, stop eating it and these bacteria will die off. Unfortunately, cyclohexylamine can be toxic, so it was banned by the FDA in 1969. In a vintage 1969 Kool-Aid ad, presweeted Kool-Aid was taken “off your grocer’s shelves,” but regular Kool-Aid “does not contain cyclamates” and is completely safe for your entire family to use. “
However, if you have only eaten cyclamate now and then, it will not become cyclohexylamine because you would not have fed and nurtured the specialized intestinal flora. The same thing happens with TMAO. Those who only occasionally eat red meat, eggs, or seafood are likely to make very little of the toxin because they haven’t grown the bacteria that produce it.
Here is the link to my video on TMAO: Carnitine, Choline, Cancer, and Cholesterol: The TMAO Connection. For an update on TMAO, see How our gut bacteria can use eggs to accelerate cancer, Egg Industry Response to Choline and TMAO, and How to reduce your TMAO levels.
Interested in more about how we can keep our bowel bugs happy? See:
Michael Greger, MD
PS: If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations: