Updated: Jun 21
We have talked about our microbiome in previous science posts, and how our health can be influenced by it. Just by following The Livy Method for these last 12 weeks, has had a major influence on our gut health and microbiome. In fact, as some of us head into maintenance, eating what makes us feel good, reinforces eating the foods that feed these good bacteria, continuing to keep us healthy. In this final science post, let’s review all that we have discussed about the microbiome and then take a deeper dive into it.
The microbiome- a review
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) in the United States, the microbiome is defined as the collection of all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live on our bodies and inside us. Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things are referred to as microorganisms, or microbes, for short. Although microbes are so small that they require a microscope to see them, they contribute in big ways to human health and wellness. They protect us against pathogens, help our immune system develop, help to produce vitamins that our body needs, and enable us to digest food to produce energy.
Because the microbiome is a key connection between the body and the environment, these microbes can affect health in many ways and can even affect how we respond to certain environmental substances. Some microbes alter environmental substances in ways that make them more toxic, while others act as a buffer and make environmental substances less harmful.
How can the microbiome affect health?
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the Greek physician who many attribute as the founder of modern medicine, suggested that all disease begins in the gut. It turns out he was onto something (Gunnars, K., 2019, February)!
Studies examining the diversity of the human microbiome started with Antonie van Leewenhoek, who, as early as the 1680s, had compared his oral and fecal microbiota (What is Biotechnology?). He noted the striking differences in microbes between these two habitats and also between samples from individuals in states of health and disease in both of these sites. Thus, studies of the profound differences in microbes at different body sites, and between health and disease, have existed since the science of microbiology itself. What is new today is the ability to use scientific techniques to gain insight into why these differences exist, and to understand how we can affect transformations from one state to another.
The human microbiome has a different community of microbes located in different areas in the body. Trillions of these microbes exist mainly inside your intestines and on your skin. Most of the microbes in your intestines are located in the large intestine in an area called the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome. They are also found in other areas of the body such as the oral and nasal cavities, and the conjunctiva of our eyes.
According to Gunners (2019, February), although many different types of microbes live inside you, bacteria are the most studied. In fact, there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells. It is estimated that there are roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body and only 30 trillion human cells. That means you are more bacterial than human!
Altogether, these microbes may weigh as much as 2–5 pounds (1–2 kg), which is roughly the weight of your brain. Together, they function and are considered as an extra organ in your body, playing a huge role in your health.
The microbiome and digestion
Humans have evolved to live with microbes for millions of years. During this time, microbes have learned to play very important roles in the human body. In fact, without the gut microbiome, it would be very difficult to survive. Interestingly, the food you eat affects the diversity of your gut bacteria.
There are up to 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, and each of them plays a different role in your body. Most of them are extremely important for your health, while others may cause disease. Interestingly, on average a person carries about 160 species in their gut.
As discussed in the science post The Basics of Digestion, the gut flora in our colon help to ferment the indigestible food and produce vitamins such as Vitamin K and B vitamins that are reabsorbed by the colon. But that’s not all, an estimated 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. Having a healthy digestive system, which includes a good balance of our healthy gut flora, ensures a healthier immune system and better nutrient absorption. This is why the Livy Method recommends taking a good quality probiotic, along with a prebiotic (if needed), to help feed those good microbes. Eating the high fibre, nutrient rich foods on plan not only gives our body what it needs, but is also vital in supporting our gut flora!
A person’s core microbiome begins to develop from birth and is formed in the first years of life, but can change over time in response to different factors including diet, medications, and environmental exposures. You are first exposed to microbes when you pass through your mother’s vaginal canal. However, new evidence suggests that babies may come in contact with some microbes while inside the womb.
Breastfeeding introduces beneficial bacteria to a baby’s gut which also contributes to their microbiome. As you grow, your gut microbiome begins to diversify, meaning it starts to contain many different types of microbial species. Higher microbiome diversity is considered good for your health.
Differences in the microbiome may lead to different health effects from environmental exposures and may also help determine individual susceptibility to certain illnesses. Environmental exposures can also disrupt a person’s microbiome in ways that could increase the likelihood of developing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
As your microbiome grows, it affects your body in a number of ways, including:
Digesting breast milk: Some of the bacteria that first begin to grow inside babies’ intestines are called Bifidobacteria. They digest the healthy sugars in breast milk that are important for growth.
Influencing your immune system: The gut microbiome also influences how your immune system works. By communicating with immune cells, the gut microbiome can influence how your body responds to infection.
Influencing your brain health: Some research suggests that the gut microbiome may also affect the central nervous system, which controls brain function. See below for more details.
Digesting fibre: Certain bacteria digest fibre, producing short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which are important for gut health. Fibre may help prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and the risk of cancer.
Short-chain fatty acids are fatty acids with fewer than 6 carbon atoms. They are produced when the friendly gut bacteria ferment fibre in your colon and are the main source of energy for the cells lining it.
Excess short-chain fatty acids are used for other functions in the body. For example, they may provide roughly 10% of your daily energy needs. Short-chain fatty acids are also involved in the metabolism of important nutrients like carbohydrates and fat.
About 95% of the short-chain fatty acids in your body are: acetate (C2), propionate (C3), and butyrate (C4). Propionate is mainly involved in producing glucose in the liver and small intestine, acetate is important for energy production and synthesis of lipids, and butyrate is the preferred energy source for cells that line the colon (Brown, M.J., 2021, October).
Many factors affect the amount of short-chain fatty acids in your colon, including how many microorganisms are present, the food source, and the time it takes food to travel through your digestive system.
Eating a lot of fibre-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, is linked to an increase in short-chain fatty acids. However, the amount and type of fibre you eat affects the composition of bacteria in your gut, which affects what short-chain fatty acids are produced.
For example, studies have shown that eating more fibre increases butyrate production, while decreasing your fibre intake reduces production.
The following types of fibre are best for the production of short-chain fatty acids in the colon:
Inulin. You can get inulin from artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions, wheat, rye, and asparagus.
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). FOS are found in various fruits and vegetables, including bananas, onions, garlic, and asparagus.
Resistant starch. You can get resistant starch from grains, barley, rice, beans, green bananas, legumes, and potatoes that have been cooked and then cooled.
Pectin. Good sources of pectin include apples, apricots, carrots, oranges, and others.
Arabinoxylan. Arabinoxylan is the most common fibre in wheat bran, making up about 70% of the total fibre content.
Guar gum. Guar gum can be extracted from guar beans, which are legumes.
Some types of cheese, butter, and cow’s milk also contain small amounts of butyrate.
The microbiome and weight gain
There are thousands of different types of bacteria in your intestines, most of which benefit your health. However, having too many unhealthy microbes can lead to disease. An imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes is sometimes called gut dysbiosis, and it may contribute to weight gain.
Some studies have shown that the gut microbiome differed completely between identical twins, one of whom was obese and one of whom was healthy. This demonstrated that differences in the microbiome were not genetic.
Interestingly, in one study, when the microbiome from the obese twin was transferred to mice, they gained more weight than those that had received the microbiome of the lean twin, despite both groups eating the same diet. These studies show that microbiome dysbiosis may play a role in weight gain.
Fortunately, probiotics are good for a healthy microbiome and can help with weight loss, by helping to strengthen our gut health which can fall in line with our weight loss goals. Nevertheless, some studies suggest that the effects of probiotics on weight loss on their own are probably quite small, with people losing less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg). However, probiotics are suggested with The Livy Method as they help with weight loss by improving digestion.
The microbiome and IBS and IBD
The microbiome can also affect gut health and may play a role in intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The bloating, cramps and abdominal pain that people with IBS experience may be due to gut dysbiosis. This is because the microbes produce a lot of gas and other chemicals, which contribute to the symptoms of intestinal discomfort.
However, certain healthy bacteria in the microbiome can also improve gut health. Certain Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which are found in probiotics and yoghurt, can help seal gaps between intestinal cells and help heal the intestines. These species can also prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the intestinal wall. In fact, taking certain probiotics that contain Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli can reduce symptoms of IBS. Additionally, lower levels of short-chain fatty acids were linked to worsen ulcerative colitis.
Human studies also suggest that short-chain fatty acids, especially butyrate, can improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, improvements in inflammation were associated with an increase in butyrate production due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The microbiome and the heart
Interestingly, the gut microbiome may even affect heart health. A recent study in 1,500 people found that the gut microbiome played an important role in promoting “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Certain unhealthy species in the gut microbiome may also contribute to heart disease by producing trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). TMAO is a chemical that contributes to blocked arteries, which may lead to heart attacks or stroke.
Certain bacteria within the microbiome convert choline and L-carnitine, both of which are nutrients found in red meat and other animal-based food sources, to TMAO, potentially increasing risk factors for heart disease. However, other bacteria within the gut microbiome, particularly Lactobacilli, may help reduce cholesterol when taken as a probiotic.
This is in-line with The Livy Method that encourages eating lots of vegetables, heavier carbs in the form of whole grains, darker rices, fruits, legumes, fermented foods, encouraging higher fibre content to feed the microbes in the gut, ultimately encouraging the growth of beneficial microbes. Many of the foods are also prebiotics which feed these flora. Eating foods like dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, cocoa, flax seeds, wheat bran, and seaweed are great for feeding our beneficial bacteria. It is also recommended to go meat free occasionally or when you can, to help support the gut.
The microbiome and blood sugar
According to Barra et al. (2021) the gut microbiota can also influence blood glucose. Lower bacterial diversity correlates with insulin resistance and higher adiposity (having more fat).
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with an altered composition of the gut microbiota, where the lower relative abundance of Firmicutes Clostridia, but higher Betaproteobacteria in diabetic humans was associated with higher blood glucose. There are many correlations between taxonomy (taxonomy is the science of naming, describing and classifying organisms and includes all plants, animals and microorganisms of the world) and possible host functions. For example, the Firmicutes phylum consists predominantly of SCFA butyrate-producing bacteria; specifically, certain Clostridia which have anti-inflammatory properties and are less abundant in individuals with T2D.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is another butyrate-producing strain that is associated with improvements in glucose tolerance in patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, suggesting that bacterial metabolites can also affect glucose homeostasis. In addition, branched-chain amino acids produced by Bacteroides vulgatus species positively correlate with insulin resistance. Therefore, short-chain fatty acids seem to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, especially in people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Very interestingly, although there are fewer examples of microbes or microbial communities causing changes in blood glucose, the microbiota from obese mice can transmit higher blood glucose into germ-free mice independently of changes in adiposity.
The microbiome and the brain
The gut microbiome may even benefit brain health in a number of ways! Certain species of bacteria can help produce chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. An example of this is serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which sends signals between your nerve cells. Serotonin is found mostly in the digestive system (stomach and intestines), although it’s also in blood platelets and throughout the central nervous system. Serotonin is most commonly known for helping to regulate our mood, but is also involved in digestion, clotting, sleeping, eating, bone health, and libido.
According to Caltech (2015, April), although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body's serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Therefore, it can be seen that if our gut health can influence even this one neurotransmitter, it potentially can influence so many aspects of our health!
Furthermore, the gut is physically connected to the brain through millions of nerves. Thus, the gut microbiome may also affect brain health by helping to influence the messages that are sent to the brain through these nerves. Some studies have shown that people with various psychological disorders have different species of bacteria in their guts, compared to healthy people. This suggests that the gut microbiome may affect brain health. However, it’s unclear if this is simply due to different dietary and lifestyle habits.
The microbiome and phase III detoxification
As discussed in the science post Detox, if phase I and II occur effectively, toxins can be eliminated by the kidneys and bowels via urine and stool. Although the liver is thought of as our primary detoxification organ, it requires a large variety of nutrients that must first be absorbed via the digestive system, in order to function optimally. Ironically though, the digestive system is also the initial site of exposure to ingested toxins. Due to these factors, it is recognized that there is an additional third phase of detoxification which occurs primarily in the digestive system.
The third phase of detoxification refers to a highly concentrated anti-porter (transport) system of proteins in the body. There are many anti-porters being researched, particularly P-glycoprotein, an anti-porter in the small intestine that moves toxins from cells into the gut. This transport system ensures the movement of harmful compounds out of the cell and into the detoxification organs.
A healthy diet and microbiome are key to the success of phase III, whereas digestive inflammation leads to the impairment of it. If phase III is compromised, an accumulation of toxins within the cell occurs. Errors in P-glycoprotein expression have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and suspected to play a role in stress management and inflammatory bowel disease.
Oral bacteria and the link to health
Rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia are just two diseases that have been linked to gum disease. According to Dominy et al. (2019), bacteria normally present in the mouth can also release toxins that make their way into the brain. Once there, they may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining good dental hygiene is not just important for oral health, but can be very important for our overall health, including our brain!
Over 6 billion bacteria, including 700 different species, reside inside your mouth. Some promote health, others provoke disease. It is thought that there are about 15 to 20 harmful strains, but that will continue to evolve over time, and we learn more about how these species interact with each other.
Your mouth, or what scientists refer to as the oral microbiome, is “a complex community with lots of communication between bacteria of the same species as well as across species,”. When your teeth feel slimy and in need of a brushing, that is an indication of their presence.
Oral bacteria also thrive inside your cheeks and on your tongue, palate, tonsils, and gums. Your mouth is a great habitat for unicellular (one cell) microorganisms. It’s constantly moist, has a fairly neutral pH, and a warm temperature. However, despite this perfect environment to sustain the bacteria, you do end up swallowing bacteria that end up in your gut. As discussed in the science posts on digestion, our acidic stomach acid is a protective mechanism that kills bacteria that may enter the stomach to protect us from getting sick! This is why a healthy digestive system is so important.
Furthermore, there is another portal of entry for bacteria to access our bodies via our mouths. Every time we chew, brush, or floss, these microbes can get pushed into the small vessels in our gums, which gives them access into the bloodstream.
In a healthy mouth, the immune system keeps microbes from entering the body and causing infection. However, when you have chronic gum disease or other oral infections, this system is compromised. When oral bacteria access the bloodstream, they can travel to organs throughout the body, including the brain.
One known organism with the ability to cause harm in other parts of the body is Porphyromonas gingivalis, or Pg. Pg has been linked to a number of serious health issues, including pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, hepatitis, and esophageal cancer.
Researchers now know it can sneak across the blood-brain barrier, a network of dense cells that protects the brain from harmful substances. Once there, Pg can cause pathological changes.
Researchers have observed Pg in the brains of deceased people with Alzheimer’s disease. Surprisingly, Pg major proteins called gingipains, were found in the brains at a level much higher in those that had Alzheimer's disease, than in those with healthy brains of the same age. This supports that Pg may have a large influence on Alzheimer’s disease. Currently there is an area of research looking into drugs and possible vaccines to eradicate and limit its spread.
Migration of bacteria from one part of the body to another is a natural process, which can’t completely be prevented. However, the number of bacteria that can get into the bloodstream may be reduced by improved oral care. Here’s how to do so:
Brush and floss
According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), you should brush your teeth for at least 2-3 minutes, ideally, brushing after every meal, because the bacterial attack on teeth begins minutes after eating. At the very least, brush once a day and always before you go to bed.
Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. It helps dislodge bits of food that would otherwise collect bacteria and contribute to inflammation and infection on the gums. If you don't floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque can be prevented from hardening into tartar.
See this link from the CDA on how to properly brush and floss your teeth.
Flossing and brushing are the two main recommendations for teeth care and health.
There is some discussion regarding whether or not mouthwash should be a part of the daily dental routine in a healthy person, and those without gum inflammation. There is some thought that mouthwash may disrupt the oral microbiome to allow for proper growth of good bacteria. It would be like comparing it to using antibiotics, which can wipe out the harmful bacteria that is making us sick, but also the beneficial bacteria. However, this is very individual and it would be important to speak to your dentist if you have any concerns related to your specific dental health and health risks.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating high-fibre foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, can reduce the progression of gum disease. Fibre creates more saliva in the mouth, which helps get rid of excess food and offsets harmful acids. Also, these foods keep us healthier in general which is important in preventing disease.
Rinse with water after meals and choose water as the beverage of choice
According to the CDA, sugar is one of the main causes of dental problems. Sugary drinks are also a major source of sugars in the diets of pre-teens and teens. As a result, consuming sugary drinks may lead to increased risk of cavities for children, and obesity and type 2 diabetes for the entire population.
Drinking water keeps you hydrated without the added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats, and it helps your body get rid of wastes.
Water also helps to buffer the collection of bacteria in your mouth until you can brush. Rinsing your mouth with water after meals and snacks, then brushing 30 to 45 minutes later, is a great addition to your mouth care.
Be vigilant if you already have a health issue
People with certain diseases are more at risk for oral disease because they’ve already experienced a compromise in their immune system. Being vigilant in your oral health care may help lessen the impact.
Improve your gut health and microbiome
There are many ways to improve your gut microbiome, all of which are a perfect compliment to The Livy Method including:
Eat a diverse range of foods: This can lead to a diverse microbiome, which is an indicator of good gut health. These include a source of healthy carbohydrates, good quality protein, and healthy fats.
In particular, legumes, beans and fruit contain lots of fibre and can promote the growth of healthy Bifidobacteria. Some high fibre foods that are good for your gut bacteria include:
Apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and pistachios have also all been shown to increase Bifidobacteria in humans. Bifidobacteria are considered beneficial bacteria, as they can help prevent intestinal inflammation and enhance gut health.
Eat fermented foods and liquids: Fermented foods/liquids can reduce the amounts of disease-causing species in the gut. Fermented foods have undergone fermentation, a process in which the sugars they contain are broken down by yeast or bacteria.
Some examples of fermented foods/liquids are:
Many of these foods are rich in lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that can benefit your health. Research shows that people who eat a lot of yoghourt appear to have more lactobacilli in their intestines. These people also have less Enterobacteriaceae, which is a type of bacteria associated with inflammation and a number of chronic conditions. Similarly, a number of studies have shown that yoghourt consumption can improve intestinal bacteria and decrease symptoms of lactose intolerance. What’s more, yoghourt may also enhance the function and composition of the microbiome.
However, many yoghourts, especially flavoured yoghurt, contain high amounts of sugar. Therefore, it’s best to opt for plain, unsweetened yoghurt or a flavoured yoghurt with minimal added sugar that is made only of milk and bacteria mixtures, also sometimes called “starter cultures.” Additionally, to reap the gut health benefits, make sure the label reads “contains live active cultures”.
Furthermore, fermented milk (kefir) may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, while decreasing quantities of some other harmful strains of bacteria. Kimchi may also benefit the gut flora.
Limit your intake of artificial sweeteners: Some evidence has shown that artificial sweeteners like aspartame increase blood sugar by stimulating the growth of unhealthy bacteria like Enterobacteriaceae in the gut microbiome. Also, there is growing evidence that indicates certain artificial sweeteners like sucralose reduce insulin sensitivity and affect the gut bacteria. Check out the science post on Sugars and the Brain where this is discussed in more detail!
Eat prebiotic foods: As discussed above, prebiotics are a type of fibre that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria. Taking a prebiotic along with your probiotic if needed as recommended in the Let’s Talk Supplements Post can go a long way in building up the good bacteria in your digestive system, and help with the healing process.
Breastfeed for as long as possible: Breastfeeding is very important for the development of the gut microbiome. A baby’s microbiome begins to properly develop at birth. However, studies suggest that babies may be exposed to some bacteria even before birth.
During the first 2 years of life, an infant’s microbiome is continuously developing and is rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars found in breast milk. What’s more, breastfeeding is also associated with lower rates of allergies, obesity, and other health conditions that may be due to differences in the gut microbiota.
Eat whole grains: Whole grains contain lots of fibre and beneficial non-digestible carbohydrates like beta-glucan, which are digested by gut bacteria to benefit weight, cancer risk, diabetes and other issues. These carbohydrates are not absorbed in the small intestine and instead make their way to the large intestine to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Research suggests that whole grains can promote the growth of Bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, and Bacteroidetes in humans.
Whole grains can also increase feelings of fullness, reduce inflammation, and certain risk factors for heart disease. However, some people may have some issues with gluten and may have to limit or avoid the intake of it.
While this mostly applies to those with celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, more research is needed to determine whether eating grains that contain gluten may also alter the gut microbiome in healthy adults without these conditions.
Eat more plant-based meals: Vegetarian diets may help reduce levels of disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli, as well as inflammation and cholesterol. However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiome are due to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may also play a role.
Eat foods rich in polyphenols: Polyphenols are plant compounds that have many health benefits, including reductions in blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress. Human cells can’t always digest polyphenols. Because they aren’t absorbed efficiently, most polyphenols make their way to the colon, where they are digested by gut bacteria.
Some examples of foods rich in polyphenols are:
cocoa and dark chocolate
Polyphenols from cocoa can increase the amount of Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in humans and reduce the quantity of Clostridia. Furthermore, these changes in the microbiome are associated with lower levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation.
The polyphenols in red wine have similar effects and have even been shown to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in people with metabolic syndrome. However, those that are mindful of supporting their liver may want to only have it on occasion as discussed in the science post Detox.
Take a probiotic supplement: Probiotics are live bacteria that can help restore the gut to a healthy state after dysbiosis. Probiotics may not permanently colonise the intestines; however, they may benefit your health by helping to change the overall composition of the microbiome and supporting your metabolism.
Probiotics may not have a big influence on the gut microbiome composition of healthy people, however, there is some evidence that probiotics may improve the gut microbiome in those with certain diseases.
Interestingly, a Spanish systematic by Álvarez-Arraño, V., & Martín-Peláez, S., (2021) reviewed 27 randomized control trials that met their criteria indicates that both probiotics and synbiotics (a combination of a probiotic and prebiotic), specifically certain strains of Lactobacillus gasseri, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. curvatus associated with other Lactobacillus species and/or with species from the Bifidobacterium genus, have the potential to aid in weight and fat loss in overweight and obese populations. There is still a need, though, for clinical trials, in order to state more accurate recommendations in terms of strains, doses and intervention times.
Take antibiotics only when necessary: Antibiotics kill many bad and good bacteria in the gut microbiome, possibly contributing to weight gain and antibiotic resistance. Thus, only take antibiotics when medically necessary. If taking Antibiotics, speak to your HCP about taking probiotics to help maintain your good bacterial flora.
As it can be seen, by following all the recommendations of The Livy Method, which facilitates strengthening the health of your microbiome, you may experience not only weight loss, but overall improvements in your health and wellness. Our bodies are not compartmentalized, separate systems. Our bodies are a unique symphony of so many different moving parts, living cells, organisms and systems, that all work together to keep us alive and functioning as best as we can. However, we choose how we fuel, maintain, and take care of it. The better we are able to invest in our health and selves, the more harmonious that symphony of our microbiome is.
Check out these great videos and resources to better understand our microbiome, they have been shared in other Science Posts but are worth watching:
link to the Human Microbiome Project
EU Microbiome Support
European Commission food 2030
Dr. Svetlana U. Perović has personally curated a list of microbiome events that are free and mostly virtual.
This concludes the science series for this round of The Livy Method Program. Hopefully you enjoyed this learning journey that we have embarked on together. Congratulations on still being here and showing up for yourself. It’s this kind of self-love and caring, that will truly change your life as well as inspire others. We wish you all the love!
About. (n.d.). Microbiome Support. https://www.microbiomesupport.eu/about/
Álvarez-Arraño V., Martín-Peláez, S. ( 2021) Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Weight Loss in Subjects with Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 17;13(10):3627. doi: 10.3390/nu13103627. PMID: 34684633; PMCID: PMC8540110.
Baldi, S., Mundula, T., Nannini, G., & Amedei, A. (2021). Microbiota shaping - the effects of probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal microbiota transplant on cognitive functions: A systematic review. World journal of Gastroenterology, 27(39), 6715–6732. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v27.i39.6715
Barra, N. G., Anhê, F. F., Cavallari, J. F., Singh, A. M., Chan, D. Y., & Schertzer, J. D. (2021). Micronutrients impact the gut microbiota and blood glucose, Journal of Endocrinology, 250(2), R1-R21.https://doi.org/10.1530/JOE-21-0081
Berg, G., Rybakova, D., Fischer, D., Cernava, T., Vergès, M. C., Charles, T., Chen, X., Cocolin, L., Eversole, K., Corral, G. H., Kazou, M., Kinkel, L., Lange, L., Lima, N., Loy, A., Macklin, J. A., Maguin, E., Mauchline, T., McClure, R., Mitter, B., … Schloter, M. (2020). Microbiome definition re-visited: Old concepts and new challenges. Microbiome, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-020-00875-0
Brown, M.J. (2021, October 11). How short-chain fatty acids affect health and weight. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/short-chain-fatty-acids-101
Claus, S. P., Guillou, H., & Ellero-Simatos, S. (2016). The gut microbiota: A major player in the toxicity of environmental pollutants? NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 2. https://doi.org/10.1038/npjbiofilms.2016.3
Deo, P. N., & Deshmukh, R. (2019). Oral microbiome: Unveiling the fundamentals. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, 23(1), 122–128. https://doi.org/10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_304_18
Dobell, C. (1920). The discovery of the intestinal protozoa of man. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 13(Sect Hist Med), 1–15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2151982/
Dominy, S.S., Lynch, C., Ermini, F., Benedyk, M., Marczyk, A., Konradi, A., Nguyen, M., Haditsch, U., Raha, D., Griffin, C., Holsinger, L. J., Arastu-Kapur, S., Kaba, S., Lee, A., Ryder, M. I., Potempa, B., Mydel, P., Hellvard, A., Adamowicz, K., … Potempa, J. (2019). Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. Science Advances, 5(1). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3333
Flossing & brushing. (n.d.). Canadian Dental Association. https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/dental_care/flossing_brushing.asp
Food 2030. (n.d.). European Commision Research and Innovation. https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/research-area/environment/bioeconomy/food-systems/food-2030_en#:~:text=Food%202030%20is%20the%20EU's,is%20fit%20for%20the%20future.
Gunnars, K. (2019, February 27). Does all disease begin in your gut? The surprising truth. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-all-disease-begin-in-the-gut
Guo, Y., Zhu, X., Zeng, M., Qi, L., Tang, X., Wang, D., Zhang, M., Xie, Y., Li, H., Yang, X., & Chen, D. (2021). A diet high in sugar and fat influences neurotransmitter metabolism and then affects brain function by altering the gut microbiota. Translational Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01443-2
How, K. Y., Song, K. P., & Chan, K. G. (2016). Porphyromonas gingivalis: An overview of periodontopathic pathogen below the gum line. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00053
Human microbiome project. (2020, August 20). National Institutes of Health. http://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/
IMPACTT. (n.d.). Integrated Microbiome Platforms for Advancing Causation Testing and Translation. https://www.impactt-microbiome.ca/
Kristensen, N. B., Bryrup, T., Allin, K. H., Nielsen, T., Hansen, T. H., & Pedersen, O. (2016). Alterations in fecal microbiota composition by probiotic supplementation in healthy adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Genome Medicine, 8(1), 52. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-016-0300-5
Microbiome-conferences-etc. (n.d.). Github. https://github.com/SvetlanaUP/Microbiome-conferences-c
NIH human microbiome project. (n.d.). Human Microbiome Project. https://hmpdacc.org/
Scaccia, A. (2020, August 19). Serotonin: What you need to know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin#functions
Sender, R., Fuchs, S., & Milo, R. (2016). Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body. PLOS Biology, 14(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533
Semeco, A., & Kelly, E. (2021, May 11). The 19 best prebiotic foods you should eat. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-best-prebiotic-foods
Shreiner, A. B., Kao, J. Y., & Young, V. B. (2015). The gut microbiome in health and in disease. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 31(1), 69–75. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOG.0000000000000139
Stoller-Conrad, J. (2015, April 9). Microbes help produce serotonin in gut. Caltech. https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495
TEDx Talks. (2016, June 27). Microbiome: Gut bugs and you | Warren Peters | TEDxLaSierraUniversity [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDqMB6C1uys
TEDx Talks. (2019, December 12). Your gut microbiome: The most important organ you’ve never heard of | Erika Ebbel Angle | TEDxFargo [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9RruLkAUm8
Venegas, D. P., De la Fuente, M. K., Landskron, G., González, M. J., Quera, R., Dijkstra, G., Harmsen, H., Faber, K. N., & Hermoso, M. A. (2019). Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs)-mediated gut epithelial and immune regulation and its relevance for inflammatory bowel diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00277
Vijay, A., & Valdes, A.M. (2022). Role of the gut microbiome in chronic diseases: A narrative review. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76, 489–501. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-021-00991-6
Welcome. (n.d.). Integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP). https://hmpdacc.org/ihmp/
What is taxonomy? (2010, April 6). Convention on Biological Diversity. https://www.cbd.int/gti/taxonomy.shtml#:~:text=Taxonomy%20is%20the%20science%20of,and%20microorganisms%20of%20the%20world.
Yano, J.M., Yu, K., Donaldson, G.P., Shastri, G.G., Ann, P., Ma, L., Nagler, C.R., Ismagilov, R.F., Mazmanian, S.K., & Hsiao, E.Y. (2015). Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis. Cell, 161(2), 264-276. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.047
Zheng, D., Liwinski, T., & Elinav, E. (2020). Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease. Cell Research, 30(6), 492–506. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0332-7
Zoe. (n.d.). https://joinzoe.com/