LEARNING ABOUT YOUR MICROBIOME

Eating Too Much Protein?  When you think high-protein diet… you might think about Paleo, Keto and high-performance diets.Protein helps build muscle and provide energy, but if you eat too much, it can cause inflammation and decrease longevity.  When one eats too much protein, it can feed protein-fermenting bacteria like Alistipes putredinis and Tanneralla forsythia, which can produce harmful substances such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, p-cresol, or putrescine. These substances can damage your gut lining and lead to conditions like leaky gut.

“Healthy Foods” Can Cause Heart Disease  Choline in certain foods can get converted by bacteria into trimethylamine (TMA), which is associated with heart disease when it gets absorbed into your body and converted to TMAO. However, TMA conversion doesn’t happen in individuals unless they have the appropriate bacteria in their microbiome.  What foods contain choline? Liver, salmon, chickpeas, split peas, eggs, navy beans, peanuts are a small sample.  Before you decide to go full-on pescatarian or paleo, you may want to check if your microbiome is producing TMA with that salmon or steak.

Too Much Iron Can Cause Inflammation  Minerals like iron in your food can, in certain inflammatory microbial environments, promote growth of pathogens like Esherichia, Shigella, and Salmonella. Maybe it wasn’t just that raw chicken that gave you food poisoning, but your toxic microbiome that made you sick.  On the other hand, when you don’t have enough iron, you could become anemic, leading to weakness and shortness of breath.

Stress and Anxiety Appear In Your Microbiome  Our gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve. A large majority of neurotransmitters are either produced or consumed by our microbiome. Surprisingly, 90% of all serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter) is produced by your gut microbiome, not by your brain.  When you have a toxic microbiome that’s producing a large amount of toxins like hydrogen sulfide, the lining of your gut starts to deteriorate into what’s known as leaky gut.  When this happens, all kinds of diseases can emerge, including low-grade chronic inflammation — which has been identified as a potential source of depression and higher levels of anxiety, in addition to many other chronic diseases.

Your Microbiome Affects Your Energy  Your microbiome is responsible for calorie extraction, or creating energy, through pathways such as the Tricarboxylic acid cycle. Our bodies depend on the energy that our microbiome produces. How much energy we get from our food is dependent on how efficient our microbiome is at converting the food into energy. High-performing microbiomes are excellent at converting food into energy — great for athletes who need extra energy, but suboptimal for those with sedentary lifestyles. And if the microbes can’t or won’t metabolize the glucose (sugar) that you eat, it will be stored as fat.

Your Microbiome Can Identify Joint Pain  Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a key pro-inflammatory molecule made by some of your microbes. If your microbes are making too much LPS, it can wreak havoc on your immune system and put it into overdrive. When your immune system goes on the warpath, your joints and other body parts often suffer collateral damage.  Consider your microbiome as the top general of your immune army. It puts your immune system through basic training and determines when it goes to war.  Ideally, your immune system wins the quick battle and gets some rest, but if your microbiome keeps it on constant high alert, the long, drawn-out war can result in chronic inflammation and chronic diseases.

Low Stomach Acid and Chronic Disease Are Entwined  The acid in your stomach protects you from the bacteria in your mouth and the parasites and fungi in your food.When you have low stomach acid, bacteria from your mouth bacteria makes it down to your GI tract. This invasion is associated with, and a risk factor for, autoimmune disease and inflammation in the gut. Low stomach acid is perhaps one of the major causes of chronic disease.  What kinds of things cause low stomach acid? Stress and antacids like Nexium, Zantac and Prilosec.

Carbs Can Be Protein Precursors  As long as your microbiome is up to the task, carbs aren’t as bad as you might think. The key is whether your microbiome can transform the starches you eat into amino acids.  Our microbiome comprises 20% of our Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), and it will adapt to make these vital BCAAs for us in almost any way it can.  Essentially, your microbiome is hooking up carbons and hydrogens into different formulations of BCAA’s, depending on what you feed it. The microbiome is excellent at adapting and pivoting based on your diet and environment.

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