Microbes

Microbes

Tridosha vs Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome

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Gut Microbes

An enterotype is a classification of living organisms based on its bacteriological ecosystem in the gut microbiome. So far, scientists identified three robust clusters (enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent-specific (In 2011). They confirmed the enterotypes also in two published, larger cohorts suggesting that intestinal microbiota variation is generally stratified, not continuous. Bacteroides (enterotype 1), Prevotella (enterotype 2) and Ruminococcus (enterotype 3).[1]

In Ayurveda, our Prakriti is important for treatment. Each individual has different Prakriti. Kapha Prakriti, Pitta Prakriti, Vata Prakriti and mix.

3 clusters of microbiome. 3 Types of human nature (Physical Prakriti/Constitution/Mental Constitution)

No wonder, soon we will see missing link.

Points to note here:

1) Gut bacteria are related to your nature/Prakriti/Constitution
2) Gut bacteria changes with age and so your prakriti also change(Children – Kapha, Adult – Pitta, Old age – Vata)

Interesting time ahead


Research


 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728647/

Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome

Abstract

Our knowledge on species and function composition of the human gut microbiome is rapidly increasing, but it is still based on very few cohorts and little is known about their variation across the world. Combining 22 newly sequenced fecal metagenomes of individuals from 4 countries with previously published datasets, we identified three robust clusters (enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent-specific. We confirmed the enterotypes also in two published, larger cohorts suggesting that intestinal microbiota variation is generally stratified, not continuous. This further indicates the existence of a limited number of well-balanced host-microbial symbiotic states that might respond differently to diet and drug intake. The enterotypes are mostly driven by species composition, but abundant molecular functions are not necessarily provided by abundant species, highlighting the importance of a functional analysis for a community understanding. While individual host properties such as body mass index, age, or gender cannot explain the observed enterotypes, data-driven marker genes or functional modules can be identified for each of these host properties. For example, twelve genes significantly correlate with age and three functional modules with the body mass index, hinting at a diagnostic potential of microbial markers

Sterile Homes (प्राणविहीन) invite Asthma Risk

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Asthma

Childhood Asthma cases are increasing day by day. It is important to understand why there is sudden rise?

Short summary: Our ill-treatment to bacteria. Antibiotics, Floor cleaners, lack of ventilation at home (AC bedrooms), handwash/hand sanitizers etc. Toxins everywhere so that bacteria can hardly sustain. And lack of exposure to Sun so new healthy bacteria can hardly flourish.

Long analysis:

So far I talked about role of bacteria (or rather lack of it) residing in our body. Here is the interesting take on how your home environment decides whether infant will develop Asthma or not.

Basically, post industrialization (and possibly post world-war-II), one psychological disorder is prevalent everywhere i.e. germ-phobia. Germs are enemy, kill them! 🙂

We must radically alter our attitude. Germs are no enemy. Our life style actions are.

As per this study:

Infants exposed to a diverse range of bacterial species in house dust during the first year of life appear to be less likely to develop asthma in early childhood.

Children who were neither allergic nor prone to wheezing as three-year-olds were the most likely to have been exposed to high levels of bacteria, and paradoxically, to high levels of common allergens.

Kalahit

In fact, some of the protective bacteria are abundant in cockroaches and mice (And we kill them 🙂. What is that Ad? Kala hit! 😀 )


If your kid is suffering from Asthma, do not worry. Put controlled efforts in training their immune system. Exposure to health soil (garden at home without chemicals), Gau shala where healthy bacteria from Gobar and mutra can heal the immune responses at any age, organic farm, jungle, river is good.

Let your kid play in early morning sun and evening sunset sun. Exposure to Sun is essential. He is the source of all, including bacteria we lack.

Have enough fresh air circulation in bedroom (33% of time kids spend here while sleeping!). If you are switching AC, do not keep it on continuously. Open windows in between. Let there be Sun exposure to bedroom at least 2-3 hours during day.

In food, include wholesome प्राणयुक्त food. Fresh fruits (no fruit juice!), fresh salad, freshly cooked food (do not give food cooked 4- hrs back). Avoid processed food (biscuits, chocolates, wafers, noodles etc). Processed food consumes more Prana and so immune responses are compromised.

If you infant is still under breastfeeding, do it regularly, without fail! Mother’s milk is best source of प्राण needed for upper respiratory organs. More प्राण, more body supporting bacteria.


Research


Lower Asthma Risk Is Associated with Microbes in Infants’ Homes

These results indicate that immune responses might be shaped by exposures during the first year of life differently than they are by later exposures. “These findings suggest that concomitant exposure to high levels of certain allergens and bacteria in early life may be beneficial,” the researchers wrote in the journal paper.

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/06/115111/lower-asthma-risk-associated-microbes-infants%E2%80%99-homes

प्राण, microbes and obesity

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bac

This land is land of मरुत/मारुति/हनुमान/गणेश worshiper. If not 100%, 80% of Indians worship one of them (Hanuman and/or Ganesh).

We do this because, we know the value of मूलाधार (GUT in modern medical science terms). We also know impact of focused mind on the well-being of Body.

Microbes are nothing but loosely-coupled manifestation of प्राण (here प्राण@मूलाधार ) in contrast to body-cells who are tightly coupled as organs.

One more study praising importance of microbes (i.e. प्राण => हनुमान, गणेश, मारुति i.e. driving force behind microbes population protection and control )

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“Obesity is linked to changes in our gut microbes — the trillions of tiny organisms that inhabit our intestines.

“Taken together these experiments demonstrate a causal link between alterations in the gut microbiota in response to changes in the diet and increased acetate production,” said Shulman. The increased acetate in turn leads to increased food intake, setting off a positive feedback loop that drives obesity and insulin resistance, he explained.

The study authors suggest that this positive feedback loop may have served an important role in evolution, by prompting animals to fatten up when they stumbled across calorically dense food in times of food scarcity.


Research


Study reveals how altered gut microbes cause obesity

http://news.yale.edu/2016/06/08/study-reveals-how-altered-gut-microbes-cause-obesity

“Alterations in the gut microbiota are associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome in both humans and rodents,” Shulman noted. “In this study we provide a novel mechanism to explain this biological phenomenon in rodents, and we are now examining whether this mechanism translates to humans.”

Environment, Microbes and Ashthma

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“We should be rolling in the dirt, gardening, wrestling with some brambles and skinning animals for supper. These are important immune system builders.”
~ Joel Salatin

“What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment. Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”
~ Mary Ruebush PhD
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It may come as a surprise to many of us living in cities but this is the fact. Lack of healthy dirt (dirt/soil without chemicals) means lack of exposure to environment needed to nurture our immunity.
This results into Asthama.

Solution (As per my experience and observation)?

Visit Desi Cow’s Gau shala with Asthama patient. Spend time with Gobar. See the magic.
Let kids play in homely dirt.
Do not over-kill home bacteria by over-use of hand-wash, floor cleaner and all.
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Children who grow up in environments that afford them a wide range of microbial exposures, such as traditional farms, are protected from childhood asthma and atopy. In previous studies, markers of microbial exposure have been inversely related to these conditions.

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Exposure to Environmental Microorganisms and Childhood Asthma

CONCLUSIONS

Children living on farms were exposed to a wider range of microbes than were children in the reference group, and this exposure explains a substantial fraction of the inverse relation between asthma and growing up on a farm. (Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the European Commission.)

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1007302

Microbes Control Food Habits

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The-psychology-of-functional-foods_strict_xxl

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Case Study 1
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During recent talk with my family, one shocking thing was discussed about fast food habit.

Some of my nephew’s friends are migrants. Well-to-do migrants from other states. Settling down in our city. So these families often eat outside. Almost everyday, something comes from outside. Junk or almost junk.

These kids don’t really like home cooked food now. Addicted to the taste of junk.

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Case Study 2
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One couple working in IT in pune I know.1 Gas cylinder works for almost 1 year for them. You can imagine their usage.

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Why are we so addicted to junk food?

Our gut microbes dictate what we eat. If you have a healthy gut, the microbes will direct you to foods that are required by your body for fitness. However if your gut microbes are disturbed they may start cravings for food that destroys your health. Parents of autistic children noticed food cravings in their children which aggravated their conditions. They then devised diets that controlled this and led to improved behavior. Many of them blamed the vaccines and the consequent use of antibiotics for vaccine after effects for this. They have been traditionally ridiculed for their ‘strange theories’ that don’t fit the industrial model of medicine. However researchers are now confirming what these ‘unscientific’ parents discovered.

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Now my dear doctor friends debate with me that it is safer to give antibiotics to avoid risks. What risks? Why are we so fearful and fear mongering? Why can’t doctor sense right condition and avoid unnecessary antibiotics and by that protect GUT microbes?

Or at least, think and prefer pause on your eating cravings. Even toxins rich food cooked at home is worth compare to junk/restaurant food.

Reason? When cooked at home, it is full of microbes suited to you and family. So relatively safe. Outside food?

All random, chaotic microbes with your food. You never know when they will alter your eating habits and control you like slave. 🙂

Read this if you are interested more.


Research


Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms

MicrobesFoodHabit

Like microscopic puppetmasters, microbes may control the eating behavior of hosts through a number of potential mechanisms including microbial manipulation of reward pathways, production of toxins that alter mood (shown in pink, diffusing from a microbe), changes to receptors including taste receptors, and hijacking of neurotransmission via the vagus nerve (gray), which is the main neural axis between the gut and the brain.

 

Abstract

Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dysphoria until we eat foods that enhance their fitness. We review several potential mechanisms for microbial control over eating behavior including microbial influence on reward and satiety pathways, production of toxins that alter mood, changes to receptors including taste receptors, and hijacking of the vagus nerve, the neural axis between the gut and the brain. We also review the evidence for alternative explanations for cravings and unhealthy eating behavior. Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201400071/full

Bacteria and their hidden location

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The female internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, uterine tubes (Fallopian tubes, oviducts) and ovaries.
The female internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, uterine tubes (Fallopian tubes, oviducts) and ovaries.
lol..whenever modern medicine talks about sterile organ, I feel like laughing.
 
There is nothing like sterile in nature. Mother nature does not like vacuum. Whatever we term as sterile, is our limitation.
 
Bacteria are not the cause of the infection but depleted/vitiated Prana is.
 
” They’re inside our gut, on the skin, and in the mouth. Thousands of different types of micro-organisms live in and on the body, playing helpful roles in digestion or in aiding the body’s natural defense system. Now, scientists have found tiny organisms living in the upper female reproductive tract, an environment they said was once thought to be sterile. In a preliminary finding researchers revealed they have found bacteria in the ovaries and in the fallopian tubes. ” [1]
 
Be fearless. Learn to maintain the प्राणमय कोष by not indulging in sensorial gratification habits and Pranayam/ Sandhya. Good enough to protect against infections.
 
Oh yes, when there is prana depleted in environment (due to toxic gas propogation like Bhopal tragedy, not everything is in your hand as being inefficient in handling own prana ) So? Take care of Environment too!! Keep it healthy!! Do perform Agnihotra/Homa regularly.
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Research
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Bacteria found in female upper reproductive tract, once thought sterile

They’re inside our gut, on the skin, and in the mouth. Thousands of different types of micro-organisms live in and on the body, playing helpful roles in digestion or in aiding the body’s natural defense system. Now, scientists at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have found tiny organisms living in the upper female reproductive tract, an environment they said was once thought to be sterile.

In a preliminary finding (abstract 5568) presented Monday, June 6, at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, researchers revealed they have found bacteria in the ovaries and in the fallopian tubes. And with an additional finding that women with ovarian cancer have a different bacterial makeup, researchers are asking whether these tiny organisms could play a role in cancer development or progression.

“This is a place essential to the beginning of life – you don’t expect that it’s a place that’s teeming with bacteria,” said Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and director of the UNC Center for Women’s Health Research. “But there are bacteria in chemical pits at the bottom of the ocean, so why not in the fallopian tubes? Our proof of principle study has determined that while the upper female reproductive tract certainly isn’t teeming with bacteria, there are bacteria present.”

 
[1] http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/uonc-bfi060316.php

A Link Between Gut Bacteria and Neurogenesis: Mouse Study

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neuron_spike_train_by_neutrix-d3lo9dl-900x450

I shared here many times that प्राण is cellular intelligence and memory. Mar the प्राण, do not retain प्राण and your body cells lose intelligence.

Lost cellular intelligence = Zombie cells = Prone to proliferation, inflammation, retard responses.

Here is the paper in support of this observation.

antibiotics = lack of prana = brain development hampered = memory function impaired.


Research


A Link Between Gut Bacteria and Neurogenesis: Mouse Study

Summary: According to a new mouse study, antibotics that are strong enough to kill gut bacteria can also halt the growth of hippocampal neurons.

Source: Cell Press.

http://neurosciencenews.com/neurogenesis-gut-bacteria-4253/

http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/pdf/S2211-1247(16)30518-6.pdf

Antibiotics strong enough to kill off gut bacteria can also stop the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a section of the brain associated with memory, reports a study in mice published May 19 in Cell Reports. Researchers also uncovered a clue to why– a type of white blood cell seems to act as a communicator between the brain, the immune system, and the gut.

“We found prolonged antibiotic treatment might impact brain function,” says senior author Susanne Asu Wolf of the Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. “But probiotics and exercise can balance brain plasticity and should be considered as a real treatment option.”

Wolf first saw clues that the immune system could influence the health and growth of brain cells through research into T cells nearly 10 years ago. But there were few studies that found a link from the brain to the immune system and back to the gut.

In the new study, the researchers gave a group of mice enough antibiotics for them to become nearly free of intestinal microbes. Compared to untreated mice, the mice who lost their healthy gut bacteria performed worse in memory tests and showed a loss of neurogenesis (new brain cells) in a section of their hippocampus that typically produces new brain cells throughout an individual’s lifetime. At the same time that the mice experienced memory and neurogenesis loss, the research team detected a lower level of white blood cells (specifically monocytes) marked with Ly6Chi in the brain, blood, and bone marrow. So researchers tested whether it was indeed the Ly6Chi monocytes behind the changes in neurogenesis and memory.

In another experiment, the research team compared untreated mice to mice that had healthy gut bacteria levels but low levels of Ly6Chi either due to genetics or due to treatment with antibodies that target Ly6Chi cells. In both cases, mice with low Ly6Chi levels showed the same memory and neurogenesis deficits as mice in the other experiment who had lost gut bacteria. Furthermore, if the researchers replaced the Ly6Chi levels in mice treated with antibiotics, then memory and neurogenesis improved.

“For us it was impressive to find these Ly6Chi cells that travel from the periphery to the brain, and if there’s something wrong in the microbiome, Ly6Chi acts as a communicating cell,” says Wolf.

Researchers connect brain blood vessel lesions to intestinal bacteria

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/News-Events/News-and-Press-Releases/Press-Releases/Researchers-connect-brain-blood-vessel-lesions

A study in mice and humans suggests that bacteria in the gut can influence the structure of the brain’s blood vessels, and may be responsible for producing malformations that can lead to stroke or epilepsy. The research, published in Nature, adds to an emerging picture that connects intestinal microbes and disorders of the nervous system. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are clusters of dilated, thin-walled blood vessels that can lead to seizures or stroke when blood leaks into the surrounding brain tissue. A team of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania investigated the mechanisms that cause CCM lesions to form in genetically engineered mice and discovered an unexpected link to bacteria in the gut. When bacteria were eliminated the number of lesions was greatly diminished.

“This study is exciting because it shows that changes within the body can affect the progression of a disorder caused by a genetic mutation,” said Jim I. Koenig, Ph.D., program director at NINDS.

Gut is not Gutter : Your gut bacteria don’t like junk food – even if you do

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58f7a913-a4a6-47d1-9f38-cf3599f8b2eb

Do you like to visit dirty and untidy homes? Do you give the same treatment to your relatives and friends when they visit your home? Do we scold them for coming at wrong time?

GUT is home for billions of bacteria. They stay their to do numerous biological tasks for our well-being. In fact, their population variety decides, what nutrients we can digest and what not. Their population really drives our emotional responses. Richness in their variety is essential.

We rely on our bacteria to produce much of our essential nutrients and vitamins while they rely on us eating plants and fruits to provide them with energy and to produce healthy chemicals which keep our immune system working normally.

We are unlikely to stop people eating fast food, but the devastating effects on our microbes and our long term health could possibly be mitigated if we also eat foods which our microbes love like probiotics (yogurts), root vegetables, nuts, olives and high-fibre foods. What they seem to crave, above all else, is food diversity and a slice of gherkin in the burger just isn’t enough.

When we keep eating junk food, we kill them. We show them the door.

Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, did an experiment with his own son.

Read to know how junk food destroys GUT population.


Research


Your gut bacteria don’t like junk food – even if you do

https://theconversation.com/your-gut-bacteria-dont-like-junk-food-even-if-you-do-41564

“Tom’s gut had seen massive shifts in his common microbe groups for reasons that are still unclear. Firmicutes were replaced with Bacteroidetes as the dominant type, while friendly bifidobacteria that suppress inflammation halved. However the clearest marker of an unhealthy gut is losing species diversity and after just a few days Tom had lost an estimated 1,400 species – nearly 40% of his total. The changes persisted and even two weeks after the diet his microbes had not recovered. Loss of diversity is a universal signal of ill health in the guts of obese and diabetic people and triggers a range of immunity problems in lab mice.”

Bacteria to Treat Diabetes : प्राणमयकोष से प्रमेह तक

PranaDiabetes

Microbes

Few days back, I shared post about kids eating exclusive items like soil , chalk etc. It was about Pranic intellligence directing innocent kids.

Some infants intuitively eat soil. Some eat lime chalk. They do it due to lack of wholesomeness. They lack something. Some material nutrients and some emotional. Who drives their under-development senses and intellect and take such intelligent decisions?

प्राणमय शरीर.

As we grow, we lose our प्राण. But we hardly get engaged in प्राण refilling. प्राणायाम was not some exclusive fancy exercise that some Baba advertise and we perform in garden or 5 Star resort (call it Ashram 😉). Sometimes, we lose more than our refilling capacity so impact is never observed. Since refilling is not happening, we slowly lose our intuitive intelligence. So our Gut feeling or hunch hardly works 🙂 It gives wrong directions. Wrong decisions. Vicious cycle. Day comes when even we cannot perform simple wound healing. Doctors call it Diabetes.

Got it? It is प्राणमय शरीर that takes care अन्नमय कोश. Pay attention to it!

Refilling should be performed for each शुभ action,daily. For all time and mission critical activities, we seek help from friends and relatives and perform Yajna together so overall local environment’s प्राण refilling happen. For example, वास्तु पूजन or सत्यनारायण कथा etc.”

Today I read this. Here is the novel way to treat diabetes i.e. Use healthy bacteria.
 
Bacteria = Physical manifestation of प्राणमयकोश. Cells who could not unite for specific purpose but still are in service of our existence. They remain as bacteria, 10 times more in number compare to body cells.
 
In short, take care of प्राणमयकोश and things will again get in place for long healthy life. 🙂
 
Unnecessarily focused on sugar,insulin and some costly medicinal stuff :). (Well, white sugar is still a poison. So when you eat lot of it, प्राणमयकोश is at work with intense pressure and so it diminishes faster due to overuse of Apana Vayu (Type of Prana)… and its replacement Sugarfree? ..double poison!! ) But good sugar should not be left for some irrational science. 😉 (Y)
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Research
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Treating diabetes with beneficial bacteria

Treating diabetes with beneficial bacteria

University of Minnesota researchers are on a mission to treat diabetes, and they’ve enlisted a few trillion microscopic helpers.

In place of drugs or surgery, a team of researchers is studying how to improve diabetes patients’ insulin sensitivity by introducing trillions of beneficial bacteria into their intestines. Researchers believe this unusual approach, conducted through a fecal microbiota transplant, could improve how the body regulates blood sugar, the central problem in diabetics. The project is part of MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy), a $36 million biennial investment by the state that aims to solve grand challenges. As a part of MnDRIVE’s Transdisciplinary Research Program, the project will bridge multiple fields of research and bring together experts from across the U to work on the same clinical trial.

Patients with diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, which leads to a host of serious health problems, from heart disease to obesity. Dr. Alexander Khoruts, a gastroenterologist at the U of M and lead principal investigator on the project, said the right balance of bacteria has the potential to improve the body’s energy metabolism, in part by enhancing insulin function. Insulin drives glucose from blood into cells of the body.

“If we can improve insulin sensitivity, we will correct the central metabolic problem responsible for diabetes,” Khoruts said. “Diabetes is one of the main complications of metabolic syndrome, which is also associated with obesity, high blood pressure and liver disease. If we improve insulin sensitivity, we hope some of the other problems may also get better.”

To understand the composition of microbes present before and after the transplant, Khoruts is working with Michael Sadowsky, Ph.D., director of the U’s BioTechnology Institute. As a microbial ecologist, Sadowsky studies the complex science of how microbes interact in their environment. People who are diabetic or obese tend to have a less diverse microbiome – or microbial community – in their gut. In turn, they are less able to produce important short-chain fatty acids, which may regulate many functions in the body, including appetite, glucose production, metabolic rate and the immune system. Khoruts and Sadowsky believe that a more diverse microbial gut community should be able to produce more short-chain fatty acids that will have a number of beneficial effects for the patients.

Wound Healing : Thanks to wonder that is skin microbes!

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Few days back, I shared that I had a deep cut on hand and I applied Gau mutra on it. I followed it for a week. Along with Gau mutra, I also used to massage the wound with my early morning saliva. Wound is not only healed, skin color is also emerged back to normal color.

Who helped me?

Short answer: Skin microbes.

Long understanding: Gau mutra and Saliva controlled my skin friend microbes i.e. my प्राणमय कोष so that विकृत प्राण or प्राण against my prakruti does not assimilate at wound location.

Here is the paper supporting this theory:

Chronic wounds—cuts or lesions that just never seem to heal—are a significant health problem, particularly among elderly people. An estimated 1 in 20 elderly people live with a chronic wound, which often results from diabetes, poor blood circulation or being confined to bed or a wheelchair.
“These wounds can literally persist for years, and we simply have no good treatments to help a chronic wound heal,”

The trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies have attracted a great deal of scientific interest in recent years. Findings from studies of microbes in the gut have made it clear that although some bacteria cause disease, many other bacteria are highly beneficial for our health.

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Gobar, mutra, saliva (GMS) are natural bio-healers. While modern medicine has no solution for chronic wounds in elder people with already depleted प्राणमय कोष, GMS can help greatly.


Research


Bacteria on the Skin: New Insights on Our Invisible Companions

Study examines how skin-dwelling bacteria influence wound healing; findings could help address chronic wounds, a common ailment in the elderly

http://www.newswise.com/articles/bacteria-on-the-skin-new-insights-on-our-invisible-companions

Chronic wounds—cuts or lesions that just never seem to heal—are a significant health problem, particularly among elderly people. An estimated 1 in 20 elderly people live with a chronic wound, which often results from diabetes, poor blood circulation or being confined to bed or a wheelchair.

“These wounds can literally persist for years, and we simply have no good treatments to help a chronic wound heal,” said Hardman, who added that doctors currently have no reliable way to tell whether a wound will heal or persist. “There’s a definite need for better ways to both predict how a wound is going to heal and develop new treatments to promote healing.”

In their recent study, Hardman and his colleagues compared the skin bacteria from people with chronic wounds that did or did not heal. The results showed markedly different bacterial communities, suggesting there may be a bacterial “signature” of a wound that refuses to heal.

“Our data clearly support the idea that one could swab a wound, profile the bacteria that are there and then be able to tell whether the wound is likely to heal quickly or persist, which could impact treatment decisions,” said Hardman.

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