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Nov 17, 2012

The Creeping Edge Of GMO Plants

Keith Scott-Mumby

It’s rather amusing, to position this story right after the previous one. But gene engineers have come up with a tomato which benefits (lowers) LDL cholesterol levels. In fact 2 studies just published also concerned cholesterol (that’s in addition to the one I just commented on, using IV infusions of “good” cholesterol). Study 1 In the first study, people who took a probiotic supplement containing a beneficial bacteria saw their cholesterol levels improve, and in the second study a freeze-dried concoction made from a genetically engineered tomato had a similar effect on mice. In study number one, 127 people with high cholesterol took a twice-daily supplement of a special strain of the Lactobacillus reuteri bacterium for nine weeks. They experienced an average 11.6 percent drop in LDL “bad” cholesterol and a 9.1 percent drop in total cholesterol, compared to those taking a placebo. That’s better than statins!

Nov 17, 2012

The Creeping Edge Of GMO Plants

Keith Scott-Mumby

It’s rather amusing, to position this story right after the previous one. But gene engineers have come up with a tomato which benefits (lowers) LDL cholesterol levels. In fact 2 studies just published also concerned cholesterol (that’s in addition to the one I just commented on, using IV infusions of “good” cholesterol). Study 1 In the first study, people who took a probiotic supplement containing a beneficial bacteria saw their cholesterol levels improve, and in the second study a freeze-dried concoction made from a genetically engineered tomato had a similar effect on mice. In study number one, 127 people with high cholesterol took a twice-daily supplement of a special strain of the Lactobacillus reuteri bacterium for nine weeks. They experienced an average 11.6 percent drop in LDL “bad” cholesterol and a 9.1 percent drop in total cholesterol, compared to those taking a placebo. That’s better than statins!

May 2, 2012

Why Breast Was ALWAYS best!

Keith Scott-Mumby

Recent research has shed light on the crucial “conversation” between gut microbes and infant genes that appear to help the breast-fed infant make a safe transition from life in the womb to life outside. The study was published April 29, 2012, in the open-access journal Genome Biology reports. This confirms earlier findings that show breast-feeding gooses the developing immune system. It elucidated the chemical chatter between genes in the developing infants and their gut bacteria by comparing the bacterial communities and genes found in the guts of breast-fed vs. formula-fed (cow’s milk) 3-month-olds. The researchers studied the gut microbiome information and gene expression levels in the infant gut; they identified genes involved in immunity and defense with altered expression levels in relation to the gut bacteria in breast-fed infants. Breast-fed babies, it emerged, had more diverse gut biota, but their immune systems were ready primed for it. This was almost paradoxical. The babies’ fecal matter had more of the obnoxious, virulent organisms (including resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds), yet the infant immune system was well primed and ready to shoot! What seems to happen is that killer defence genes are activated in the young immune system by the challenge of meeting hostile pathogens.

May 2, 2012

Why Breast Was ALWAYS best!

Keith Scott-Mumby

Recent research has shed light on the crucial “conversation” between gut microbes and infant genes that appear to help the breast-fed infant make a safe transition from life in the womb to life outside. The study was published April 29, 2012, in the open-access journal Genome Biology reports. This confirms earlier findings that show breast-feeding gooses the developing immune system. It elucidated the chemical chatter between genes in the developing infants and their gut bacteria by comparing the bacterial communities and genes found in the guts of breast-fed vs. formula-fed (cow’s milk) 3-month-olds. The researchers studied the gut microbiome information and gene expression levels in the infant gut; they identified genes involved in immunity and defense with altered expression levels in relation to the gut bacteria in breast-fed infants. Breast-fed babies, it emerged, had more diverse gut biota, but their immune systems were ready primed for it. This was almost paradoxical. The babies’ fecal matter had more of the obnoxious, virulent organisms (including resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds), yet the infant immune system was well primed and ready to shoot! What seems to happen is that killer defence genes are activated in the young immune system by the challenge of meeting hostile pathogens.

Apr 6, 2012

Antibiotics Make You Fat

Keith Scott-Mumby

The hidden cause of weight gain? Have we been missing something all these years? Obviously, the main cause of weight gain is over-eating. But is there something behind that—something driving the overeating—that nobody has noticed? I think so—and now people are beginning to recognize its importance. Other Causes We know that MSG in food is addictive and causes people to over eat. We know that eating carbs is highly addictive, with people being driven by blood sugar spikes, followed by a drop in blood sugar. Refined carbs are the worst. A few of us pioneers back in the 70s and 80s discovered that food addiction is often related to food allergies and that too drives people to binge eating. In fact it’s the chief mechanism behind eating disorders, if only more people knew it. We know that insulin resistance (the early stage of diabetes) blocks glucose uptake by cells, which is then diverted to the liver and stowed away at fat. We know that psychological hang ups can lead to “comfort eating”. But there is something else? You betcha… Antibiotics! I could kick myself for not thinking of this, decades ago. But we know that farmers feed their livestock on antibiotics, to make them grow. Pigs, lambs and sheep can be up 40% bigger and fatter, because of this antibiotic treatment. But we never thought “well, that must apply to humans too”; duh!

Apr 6, 2012

Antibiotics Make You Fat

Keith Scott-Mumby

The hidden cause of weight gain? Have we been missing something all these years? Obviously, the main cause of weight gain is over-eating. But is there something behind that—something driving the overeating—that nobody has noticed? I think so—and now people are beginning to recognize its importance. Other Causes We know that MSG in food is addictive and causes people to over eat. We know that eating carbs is highly addictive, with people being driven by blood sugar spikes, followed by a drop in blood sugar. Refined carbs are the worst. A few of us pioneers back in the 70s and 80s discovered that food addiction is often related to food allergies and that too drives people to binge eating. In fact it’s the chief mechanism behind eating disorders, if only more people knew it. We know that insulin resistance (the early stage of diabetes) blocks glucose uptake by cells, which is then diverted to the liver and stowed away at fat. We know that psychological hang ups can lead to “comfort eating”. But there is something else? You betcha… Antibiotics! I could kick myself for not thinking of this, decades ago. But we know that farmers feed their livestock on antibiotics, to make them grow. Pigs, lambs and sheep can be up 40% bigger and fatter, because of this antibiotic treatment. But we never thought “well, that must apply to humans too”; duh!

Nov 3, 2011

Deeper and Deeper Into Probiotics Poop

Keith Scott-Mumby

I was one of the pioneer clinical ecologists in the late 70s, early 80s, who found, purely empirically (trial and error) that probiotics help quell gut inflammation. It was easy to create a theory that matched: antibiotics had trashed our natural bowel flora, aliens had moved in and, by restoring the balance, using probiotics, we were able to bring about recovery. If you have been living on Planet Zod and not yet heard about probiotics, that means friendly germs, like the yoghurt bacteria, which are supposed to fill our and gut push out the unhealthy microbes. Antibiotics suddenly seemed not nearly such a good idea. I think we were a little smug, with hindsight. We scoffed at our orthodox colleagues, who just didn’t “get it”. Indeed, they reciprocated by being nasty and abusive about this theory. Doctors who espoused it were all humbugs, crooks and/or fools, according to the gatekeepers of “real” science. Well time proved we were right, at least to a degree. Eventually, after a 20-year cultural lag, orthodox doctors got onto it too. You’ve probably heard the old scientific gag, that medical research goes through several clearly defined phases: 1. You must be crazy, that’s ridiculous 2. There might be something in it 3. Where’s the proof? 4. We knew that all along We seemed to have reached stage 4 with probiotics. Orthodox colleagues then actually brought in the concept of prebiotics and began to study them. Prebiotics are substances, typically natural foods, that favor our natural, friendly gut flora and make them feel at home. Fiber is one of the classic prebiotics (Jerusalem artichoke is a prime example). This turned out to be an A-1 good idea! Prebiotics make probiotics work much better than before.

Nov 3, 2011

Deeper and Deeper Into Probiotics Poop

Keith Scott-Mumby

I was one of the pioneer clinical ecologists in the late 70s, early 80s, who found, purely empirically (trial and error) that probiotics help quell gut inflammation. It was easy to create a theory that matched: antibiotics had trashed our natural bowel flora, aliens had moved in and, by restoring the balance, using probiotics, we were able to bring about recovery. If you have been living on Planet Zod and not yet heard about probiotics, that means friendly germs, like the yoghurt bacteria, which are supposed to fill our and gut push out the unhealthy microbes. Antibiotics suddenly seemed not nearly such a good idea. I think we were a little smug, with hindsight. We scoffed at our orthodox colleagues, who just didn’t “get it”. Indeed, they reciprocated by being nasty and abusive about this theory. Doctors who espoused it were all humbugs, crooks and/or fools, according to the gatekeepers of “real” science. Well time proved we were right, at least to a degree. Eventually, after a 20-year cultural lag, orthodox doctors got onto it too. You’ve probably heard the old scientific gag, that medical research goes through several clearly defined phases: 1. You must be crazy, that’s ridiculous 2. There might be something in it 3. Where’s the proof? 4. We knew that all along We seemed to have reached stage 4 with probiotics. Orthodox colleagues then actually brought in the concept of prebiotics and began to study them. Prebiotics are substances, typically natural foods, that favor our natural, friendly gut flora and make them feel at home. Fiber is one of the classic prebiotics (Jerusalem artichoke is a prime example). This turned out to be an A-1 good idea! Prebiotics make probiotics work much better than before.

Oct 13, 2011

Viruses in Shit and Sewage

Keith Scott-Mumby

The 4-letter “S” word (shit), there I said it… More correctly, it’s known as feces (to Americans) or faeces to those who still know and understand our Greek heritage! In fact collective sh*t (oops, said it again), or raw sewage, is home to the most diverse collection of viruses ever documented. Literally thousands have been […]

Oct 13, 2011

Viruses in Shit and Sewage

Keith Scott-Mumby

The 4-letter “S” word (shit), there I said it… More correctly, it’s known as feces (to Americans) or faeces to those who still know and understand our Greek heritage! In fact collective sh*t (oops, said it again), or raw sewage, is home to the most diverse collection of viruses ever documented. Literally thousands have been […] The post Viruses in Shit and Sewage appeared first on Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby.
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