Unlocking the potential of the microbiome
As a research scientist, trained in microbiology, genetics, and molecular and biology, I have been fortunate enough to spend the last 8 years studying the relationship between humans and bacteria in relation to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at one of the world's premier research institutions.
There are a number of conclusions that my time in this field has led me to:
1. There are a number of genetic mutations that are associated with increased risk of developing IBD.
2. Genetics alone do not account for all of this risk; an environmental trigger is also required.
3. Some of the genetic risk factors associated with IBD are shared between multiple immune-mediated diseases including diabetes, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
But the thing that stands out the most to me is that the microbes in the colon of people with a myriad of these problems are different from that of healthy people – a condition termed dysbiosis.
Every time I attend a conference I see more and more data from research in animal models and from patients that reinforces this point. In fact, dysbiosis is increasingly recognized as a significant contributing factor in a range of modern complex inflammatory diseases including IBS, IBD, diabetes, allergies, obesity and neurological disorders.
That is why I started ThinkBiome. By making simple little changes to our diet and lifestyle, we may be able to set right the havoc modern living wreaks on our microbiome.
Nurturing the Gut Microbiome for Health
Each segment of the human microbiome can be affected by how we treat our bodies. Lotions, creams, and soaps can change the microbiome of our skin; toothpaste and mouthwash can change the microorganisms in our mouths, and what we eat can change the microbiome in our gut. Because commensal bacteria play such important roles in our immune system and in nutrient absorption, maintaining the correct communities of “good” bacteria is necessary for optimal health. Poor diet, medications, and diseases can upset this delicate ecosystem. Factors such as fiber-rich diets, exercise and probiotics can strengthen the communities of “good” bacteria and push the gut ecosystem in the right direction.
THE HUMAN MICROBIOME
ThinkBiome’s supplement range is designed to revitalize the gut microbiome via three distinct approaches:
1. Seed the microbiome with good bacteria using a healthy broad-spectrum probiotic.
2. Feed the good bacteria with specialized fibers, termed prebiotics, which provide the fuel good bacteria need to produce beneficial short chain fatty acids.
3. Nurture by adding the postbiotic metabolites (short chain fatty acids) that are produced by a healthy gut microbiome.
Fiber is arguably the most important factor in maintaining a healthy and balanced gut microbiome. The Institute of Medicine36 currently recommends an average of 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. However, the average American consumes just 15 grams per day.
Dietary fibers are carbohydrates with both soluble and insoluble parts.
• Insoluble fiber is resistant to digestion; Grandma called it roughage. Insoluble fiber has many benefits, including preventing constipation and possibly reducing the risk of diverticular disease.
• Soluble fibers can be broken down by bacteria in the gut to produce active byproducts, particularly short-chain fatty acids, which are associated with a number of the health benefits linked to fiber.
Biome Balance Organic Fiber provides a balanced combination of certified organic Golden Flax Seed Meal, Acacia, and prebiotic Inulin Fructooligosaccharide (fos), designed to help meet your daily fiber needs and promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Golden Flax Seeds have been consumed as food for around 6000 years and are jam-packed with nutrition. Golden flax seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fibers as well as lignans that can act as antioxidants. They’re a fantastic source of Omega-3-fatty acids and have long been associated with digestive health.
Acacia is rich in soluble fiber that can help to control gas and bloating associated with high fiber intake in some individuals. Soluble fiber is an important part of the diet.
Inulin is a prebiotic soluble fiber, meaning it provides nourishment to the friendly bacteria that make up your gut microbiome, particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Inulin slows digestion, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels and enables your body to better absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat.
The properties of the three fiber sources combined in Biome Balance work together to support and maintain a healthy gut microbiome and promote regularity*.
The use of prebiotics and probiotics to improve the interactions between the gut microbiome and host metabolism in obesity and other metabolic diseases has been extensively investigated, a large body of scientific research – including clinical trials – has confirmed the benefits of probiotics in supporting a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system.
Biome Plus is an ultra-potent, hypoallergenic blend of ten certified probiotic strains formulated to provide 50 billion CFUs in a single capsule. Biome Plus provides a balanced spectrum of live organisms, consisting of acid-resistant probiotic bacterial strains that naturally colonize the human gastrointestinal tract. Probiotic bacteria are critical for healthy digestion, help maintains the integrity of the intestinal lining, support proper intestinal motility and participate in the detoxification process*. The bacterial strains present in Biome Plus have been clinically validated for their support of healthy immune system function*.
The effects of prebiotics and probiotics on anti-inflammatory pathways, weight gain, and glucose metabolism in rodents have been largely attributed to Short chain fatty acids production. The production of short-chain fatty acids is determined by several factors, including the numbers and types of bacteria present in the gut and the specific source of fiber. Notably, the researcher has shown that the number and variety of butyrate-producing bacteria are significantly reduced in people with a variety of gut disorders. Short-chain fatty acids are among the most important products of the gut microbiome. They affect a range of physiological processes including energy utilization, communication between human and microbial cells, and control of acid levels in the colon. These effects have consequences on the composition of the gut microbiome and general colon health.
When your gut microbiota is imbalanced your body doesn't get the short chain fatty acids that it needs. Biome Equal is the first short chain fatty acid supplement containing the two most beneficial SCFAs. Specially formulated with a slow-release capsule, Biome Equal delivers a unique blend of the naturally occurring short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) butyrate and propionate, where the body needs them.
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