August 18, 2014

281 Disappearing Microbiota [18 August 2014]

I have written several columns on the many problems associated with dysbiosis (an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract) and the benefits of probiotics.
• The obvious problems include digestive disorders like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea [03].
• Upper respiratory infections like thrush, “strep throat”, sinus and ear infections can be prevented by introducing a particular strain of S. salivarius to the mouth [72].
• Infection by a bacterium H. pylori causes stomach ulcers [221].
• Dysbiosis can cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS) like colitis and Crohn’s which can lead to leaky gut syndrome and food allergies.
• Our immune system [78, 173] is affected by dysbiosis, causing autoimmune conditions like eczema, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
• The work of Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride [147, 172] links unhealthy gut bacteria to neurological and psychiatric disorders ranging from ADHD and autism to schizophrenia.
• Dysbiosis can even prevent weight loss.

Now microbiologist Martin Blaser takes this even further in his 2014 book Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. Modern scientific study of the human microbiome – the thousands of species of bacteria that coexist in or on our bodies – is revealing how critical it is for our health. Blaser writes
“The microbes that constitute your microbiome … play a critical role in your immunity as well as your ability to combat disease. In short, it is your microbiome that keeps you healthy.”
He then makes a convincing case that loss of many of these species is responsible for the recent worldwide proliferation of the “modern plagues” of obesity, childhood diabetes, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, esophageal reflux, certain cancers, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, autism, eczema, and others.

Blaser believes that the loss of diversity within the human microbiome is an even more serious problem than the antibiotic-resistant super bugs. He calls the problem the “disappearing microbiota” and warns of a coming “antibiotic winter” if the problem isn’t addressed.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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