November 12, 2019

New study demonstrates curcuminoids increase HDL and lower lipoprotein (a) in type 2 diabetes patients

There are only a few natural products that have demonstrated the wide range of protective properties as curcumin. Turmeric has three main bioactive components which are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These curcuminoids have many biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

According to a new study published last month in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers demonstrated that curcuminoid supplementation can reduce lipoprotein(a) and increase HDL-C which may reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in diabetic patients with dyslipidemia.

This study included a total of 82 patients with type II diabetes 18 to 65 years of age. Each patient took either 1000 mg of standardized curcumin or a placebo for 12 weeks. Baseline lab testing included serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-C, non-HDL-C, and lipoprotein(a). At the end of the twelve weeks there was a significant reduction of serum lipoprotein(a) and an increase in HDL-C concentrations only seen in the curcuminoid group. There were no significant changes in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglycerides in either group.

This is an interesting study since the ability to influence liprotein(a) is very limited. Niacin is one of the only natural agents that can significantly reduce liprotein(a), however, this is not effective for everyone.

Curcumin is used for some many applications and health benefits. This study demonstrates one other application for dyslipidemia in patients with type II diabetes.

Health care providers have many tools today to assess cardiovascular health and support the body’s physiology. It is essential to perform a thorough assessment for these patients. This may include looking at lipid fractionation profiles, chronic inflammatory markers (ferritin, hs-CRP, fibrinogen), nutrient markers (magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper, folate, B12, B6, zinc, and calcium), fat soluble vitamins (CoQ10, vitamin D, vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitmain E), oxidative stress factors (homocysteine, insulin, and lipid peroxidases), heavy metals, and a fatty acid profiles. A successful treatment approach should include investigation into these factors.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Panahi Y, Khalili N et al. Curcuminoids modif lipid profile in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized control trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2017 August;22:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.05.006.

 

 

 

New study demonstrates fat intake is associated with an overall lower mortality and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease

The association between different macronutrients and their correlation with overall mortality and cardiovascular is controversial.

Fat often gets a bad reputation in traditional medicine although all integrative functional medicine doctors and nutritionists educate their patients and clients on the benefits of consuming healthy fats. In addition, Paleo and Ketogenic diets have never been more popular.

According to a new study published in The Lancet, researchers demonstrated that high carbohydrate intake was associated with an increased risk or mortality and total fat as well as individual types of fat were associated with a lower mortality.

This is a large study that included 135,335 individuals over a span of ten years ages 35 to 70 years of age from 18 countries in 5 continents. Macronutrient intake was recorded using food frequency questionnaires. Researchers assessed the association between the consumption of total fat, each type of fat, and carbohydrate intake with total mortality and cardiovascular disease.

As a result, higher carbohydrate intake was associated with and increased risk of total mortality but not with the risk of cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease mortality. In addition, the total fat intake as well as each type of fat was associated with a lower risk of total mortality. Furthermore, higher saturated fat intake was associated with a reduced risk of stroke. This large study demonstrates that fats are not significantly associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease mortality.

It is important to keep in mind that in large cohort studies, dietary intake is reassessed over time and the participants can eat whatever diet they choose and then researchers obtain recent or past dietary history of the participants.

In a clinical trial the study controls the dietary intake which is more complicated in observational studies where the participants control their own diet.

There was also a review published in Circulation in which researchers demonstrated that lowering saturated fats and increasing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease. This review showed similar outcomes with fat intake and a reduced risk of cardiovascular as well as carbohydrates not reducing cardiovascular disease.

Fats make up the structure of our cell membranes and fatty acid deficiencies contribute not only to cardiovascular disease but many problems such as eczema, poor concentration, immune dysfunction, and chronic inflammatory disorders.

Dietary fat, like any macronutrient, supplies energy. It important to look all of the macronutrients of each person. People who eat a lot of saturated fat eat generally eat less carbohydrates and unsaturated fat and those that eat a less saturated fat generally eat more carbohydrates or unsaturated fats. You cannot eat a lot of all the macronutrients and be healthy. The ideal amount of each macronutrient will be specific to each individual, their current state of health, condition, goals, metabolic demands, and activity level.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Dehghan M et al. Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study. 29 August 2017.

Inositol plus selenium restores thyroid function in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism

Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Autoimmunity can occur a few different ways, but eventually the thyroid gland progressively becomes underactive due to antibody and cell mediated autoimmune processes.

According to a recent study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, researchers demonstrated that myo-inositol and selenium restores normal thyroid function in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Environmental triggers are what integrative doctors mainly work with in functional medicine to healthy address the dysfunction in autoimmune disease. These can be food triggers such as gluten or food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation as well as anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. In addition, the nutrient status of the person. This can be antioxidant status, vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, etc. Also, gut health. This includes “leaky gut” and dysbiosis. There are also toxins that can be affect the status of the immune system. These are heavy metals, xenobiotics, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.

Inositol is commonly used to support sleep, female hormone health as well alleviate depression and anxiety. Inositol is also a second messenger regulating several hormones such as insulin and TSH.

In this study 168 patients ages 22 to 62 years were enrolled in a random controlled trial (RCT). These patients had a TSH level between 3-6 mIU/L, elevated TPO and/or Thyroglobulin antibodies, and normal free T4 and T3 levels. They were randomized into two groups and were given either 83 mcg of selenium or a combination of 600 mg of myo-inositol and 83 mcg of selenium and for six months.

As a result, there was a significant reduction in TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and increases in thyroid hormone concentrations with myo-inositol combined with selenium. In addition, there was a lower TPO antibody concentration in both groups but only a reduction in thyroglobulin antibodies in the myo-inositol with selenium group.

Since myo-inositol combined with selenium decreases TSH levels and raises T3 and T4, they may also provide indirect protection to cardiovascular complications as thyroid hormones regulate heart rate and metabolism. Decreased levels of free T3 and T4 can lead to higher blood pressure, low heart rate, and increased stiffness of the blood vessel walls.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Nordio M, Basciani S. Myo-inositol plus selenium supplementation restores euthyroid state in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2017; 21 (2 Suppl): 51-59.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resveratrol improves arterial stiffness and reduces oxidative damage in patients with diabetes

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It has been widely publicized for its cardiovascular health benefits, however, there are few human studies in patients with atherosclerogenic diseases.

According to a study published last week in the International Heart Journal, researchers demonstrated improved arterial stiffness and reduced oxidative damage in patients with type II diabetes.

Resveratrol activates sirtuins, which are the same proteins activated by caloric restriction and exhibits anti-atherosclerotic effects.

This study consisted of 50 patient with type II diabetes. All participants received either a supplement containing 100 mg of resveratrol or a placebo tablet for 12 weeks.  Researchers assessed body weight, BMI, a comprehensive metabolic panel, HbA1c, lipid profile, oxidative stress markers, blood pressure, and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI). All patients followed the same diet and exercise routine.

After 12 weeks, the CAVI and systolic blood pressure decreased significantly in resveratrol group compared to the placebo. An increased CAVI is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke and vascular dysfunction and predictor of a future cardiovascular event independent of other traditional risk factors. Resveratrol can act through several mechanisms, including binding and activating estrogen receptors to increase nitric oxide bioavailability and facilitate the vasodilatation.

D-ROMS, an oxidative stress marker, also decreased only in the resveratrol group. Resveratrol decreases reactive oxygen species production in vascular endothelial cells. Oxidative stress is elevated in chronic disease such as obesity and diabetes. 

These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for mitigating arterial stiffness and reducing blood pressure and oxidative damage with patients with type II diabetes.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Imamura H et al. Resveratrol Ameliorates Arterial Stiffness Assessed by Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int Heart J. 2017 Jul 13. doi: 10.1536/ihj.16-373.

New study explains the association to sleep disturbance and cognitive decline

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.

According to a new study published on Monday in the journal Brain, researchers demonstrate how sleep disruption increases amyloid beta and tau proteins, which are associated with ADRD.

Previous studies have shown poor sleep having an increased the risk of cognitive problems. For example, individuals with sleep apnea have an increased risk for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) approximately 10 years earlier than healthy individuals.

In this study, seventeen adults ages 35 to 65 with no sleep issues or cognitive impairment wore a sleep monitor for up to two weeks tracking how much they slept each night.

After five or more nights of tracking their sleep, each participant came to the School of Medicine to sleep and have their brain waves monitored. Half the participants randomly had their sleep disrupted. These individuals reported feeling tired and unrefreshed even though they slept just as long as usual and rarely recalled being awakened during the night. Each person had a spinal tap to measure the levels of amyloid beta and tau in the CSF fluid.

After a month or so this process was repeated except that those who had their sleep disrupted the first time slept undisturbed and those who had slept uninterrupted initially were disrupted when they began to enter deep slow-wave sleep. This is the time when neurons rest and the brain clears away the molecular byproducts of mental activity that has accumulate during that day.

The researcher team then compared each individual’s amyloid beta and tau levels after the disrupted night to the levels after the uninterrupted night and found a 10% increase in amyloid beta levels after a single night of interrupted sleep but no increase in tau protein levels. However, individuals whose sleep monitors showed they had slept poorly at home for the week prior to the spinal tap showed a spike in levels of tau levels. Amyloid levels normally change more quickly than tau, so this was not surprising.

It is highly unlikely that there is an overall increased risk of developing ADRD simply from a single bad night or a week of poor sleep.  Amyloid beta and tau protein levels will go back down after the next good of sleep, however, the main issue is those that have chronic sleep issues. This can lead to chronically elevated amyloid levels leading to increased risk of ADRD.

It is important to address the environment to promote restful sleep. It is important limit use of screens at bedtime although it is very hard to today’s society. If necessary, I would recommend using apps like Night Shift (smartphones) and f.lux for laptops. In addition, it is important that people go to sleep around the same time every night. When the timing of your sleep is shifted even if the duration of sleep is the same, it’s not going to be as restorative. Caffeine and other stimulants can keep you up and interfere with sleep. It is best to avoid these four to six hours before bedtime. Finally, try to get your workout in earlier in the day. Exercise increases cortisol and can make hard trying to fall asleep. If not possible, consider phosphatidylserine  post workout.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: David M. Holtzman et al. Slow wave sleep disruption increases cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels. Brain, July 2017 DOI: 10.1093/brain/awx148

A new review demonstrates the role of the gut microbiome in autism spectrum disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has an unclear cause but is associated with various genetic, neurologic, metabolic, and immunologic factors. Although there is no definitive treatment, gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with autism. Patients with ASD who present GI symptoms may show significant behavioral manifestations, such as anxiety, self-injury and aggression. 

According to a recent review in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, researchers review the bidirectional interactions between the central nervous system (CNS) and the gastrointestinal tract vita the brain-gut axis and the role of the gut microbiota in the CNS and ASD.

A review of over 150 papers on ASD and gut bacteria found that since the 1960s, researchers have been reporting the association between the composition of gut microbiome and autistic behavior. This review highlights many studies showing that restoring a healthy balance in gut bacteria can treat ASD symptoms.

Research demonstrates that the gut microbiota is directly or indirectly associated with ASD symptoms altering the immune system and metabolism. Studies show a higher percentage of intestinal permeability in ASD patients resulting in a higher antigenic load from the gastrointestinal tract. These inflammatory cytokines are present in the circulation and cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Alterations in the composition of the gut microbiota and their metabolic products are commonly observed in patients with ASD. For example, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is increased in the serum of ASD patients and is associated with impaired social behavioral scores.

In addition, the gut microbiome of children with ASD is less diverse with lower levels of Bifidobacterium and Firmicutes and higher levels of Lactobacillus, Clostridium, Bacteroidetes, Desulfovibrio, Caloramator and Sarcina. Also, children with autism who present gastrointestinal symptoms have lower abundances of the genera Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae and higher levels of the Clostridium histolyticum. The reduction of Clostridium results in significant improvements with ASD symptoms.

Researchers also found that Candida was twice as abundant in ASD. The dysbiosis seen in ASD results in the expansion of Candida leading to further imbalance and an exacerbation in abnormal behaviors.

Early life events can alter the composition of the gut microbiome in ASD patients. These may include the overuse of antibiotics, maternal obesity and diabetes during pregnancy, how a baby is delivered, and if and how long the infant was breastfed.  Keep in mind in a child under 3 years of age whose brain is at the height of development may have impaired neurodevelopment due to the presence of the metabolic products resulting from the dysbiosis and intestinal permeability.

At present, there are no effective therapies for ASD. Many of these children take nutritional supplements and follow specific diets such as a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet.

It is essential to assess gut health in patients with ASD. Many of these children have a dysbiosis and opportunistic infections.

Children with ASD have significantly different concentrations of certain bacteria in their stool compared to children without ASD. Increasing evidence suggests that children with ASD have altered gut bacteria. It is suspected that gut microbes can alter the levels of neurotransmitter-related metabolites affecting the gut-to-brain communication and alter brain function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Qinrui Li, Ying Han, Angel Belle C. Dy, Randi J. Hagerman. The Gut Microbiota and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2017; 11 DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2017.00120

New study demonstrates sulforaphane improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes

According to a study published two days ago, researchers demonstrated that sulforaphane improves fasting glucose levels and decreases HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are a significant health care problem in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people. Up to 15% of patients cannot take metformin because of kidney damage risks.

As a result, researchers sought out to identify compounds that may inhibit disease-associated gene expression changes seen with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers constructed a signature for type 2 diabetes based on 50 genes, then used publically available expression datasets to screen 3,852 compounds for drugs that potentially reverse disease. They demonstrated that sulforaphane reduced glucose production by liver cells growing in culture and shifted liver gene expression away from a diseased state in diabetic rats.

Researchers then gave 97 patients with type 2 diabetes patients a concentrated broccoli sprout extracts (BSE) for 12-weeks. As result, BSE reduced fasting glucose in patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes but not in patients with well-regulated type 2 diabetes. They also observed an association between BMI and BSE-induced change in HbA1c. There were significantly reduced levels of HbA1c after BSE treatment in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. BSE was also more effective in lowering fasting blood glucose in patients with elevated triglyceride levels and in patients with high HOMA-IR. The BSE-induced reduction of HbA1c correlated with high fatty liver index.

These results demonstrate that sulforaphane reduces glucose production by NRF2 translocation and decreased expression of key gluconeogenetic enzymes and improves fasting glucose and HbA1c in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane reduces glucose production by mechanisms different than metformin and also protects against diabetic neuropathy, renal failure, and atherosclerosis due to its antioxidative effects.

In addition, there are several nutrients that can play a role in improving insulin signaling such as chromium, zinc, carnosine, benfotiamine, alpha lipoic acid, and inositol.

Also, essential fatty acids should be consumed in our diets for overall health, but most individuals with insulin resistance are deficient. Fish oils improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Annika S. Axelsson et al. Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Science Translational Medicine, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477

New study demonstrates improvements in mental health and oxidative stress with carnitine supplementation in PCOS patients

PCOS is associated with irregular menstrual periods, infertility, obesity, diabetes, excess hair growth, acne, and other hormonal difficulties. The condition occurs when a woman’s body produces slightly higher than normal amounts of testosterone and other sex hormones. This imbalance can cause irregular menstrual periods, weight gain, acne, excess body hair, and/or balding.

Pharmaceutical interventions provide some improvements but they do not correct many of the underlying factors and have side effects that may not be tolerated by patients. Many PCOS patients are overweight and have dietary habits that exacerbate the condition.

Recent research has demonstrated that there is an increased risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression in women with PCOS. Many of us are familiar with carnitine’s role in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, however, there is evidence of carnitine improving depressive symptoms in those with major depressive disorder. Other studies have also shown reduced oxidative stress with carnitine supplementation.

According to a study published this month in Gynecological Endocrinology, researchers demonstrated that carnitine supplementation improved both mental health parameters and oxidative stress biomarkers in women with PCOS.

In this study. 60 patient with PCOS ages 18-40 were divided in two groups to take either a carnitine supplement (250 mg) or placebo for 12 weeks. These individuals did not change their physical activity or take any additional nutritional supplements.

After 12 weeks of carnitine supplementation, there was a significant reduction in weight and BMI change as well as an improvement in Beck Disability Inventory (BDI) total score and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores. In addition, there were changes in plasma total antioxidant capacity demonstrating positive effects on oxidative stress. As a result, there were significant improvements in mental health parameters and biomarkers of oxidative stress compared to the placebo.

Other nutrients to consider to support PCOS:

Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in women with PCOS. There appears to be a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods which is a distinctive characteristic feature of PCOS. As a result, the nutritional requirements of PCOS patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and that inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient in these women.

Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are both essential for patients with PCOS. The conversion of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol is of interest because errors here have been strongly involved in PCOS patients. Strong evidence supports that the body makes D-chiro-inositol from myo-inositol and more evidence suggests that some people are less able to make this conversion than others.  Along this spectrum, people who are completely unable to convert myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol are only going to benefit from supplementation with D-chiro-inositol. Other people who make the conversion, but with less than optimal efficiency, may benefit from large doses of myo-inositol. And, other individuals in between, might see the best results from a blend of the two. Since this conversion is impaired in individuals with PCOS, it is important to always include D-chiro-inositol with myo-inositol supplementation. D-chiro-inositol is the more potent form of inositol for supporting insulin resistance, however, myo-inositol is need for oocyte quality and maturation. Therefore, supplementing with D-chiro-inositol alone cannot not fulfill myo-inositol’s roles that are specific and different from D-chiro-inositol, since it does not convert to myo-inositol.

Also, essential fatty acids should be consumed in our diets for overall health, but most individuals with insulin resistance are deficient. Fish oils improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Jamilian H et al. Oral carnitine supplementation influences mental health parameters and biomarkers of oxidative stress in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2017; 33(6):442-447.

New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition

According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers showed through neuroimaging increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals higher omega-3 levels.

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.

This study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups of higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.

Previous research hasdemonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.

SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. As a result, researchers identified a significant relationships between the omega-3 index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas involved with memory, and neurocognitive testing.

This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Quantitative Erythrocyte Omega-3 EPA Plus DHA Levels are Related to Higher Regional Cerebral Blood Flow on Brain SPECT, Amen, Daniel G. et al., Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, doi: 10.3233/JAD-170281, published 18 May 2017

 

 

New study demonstrates differences in the gut microbiota and regions of the brain in IBS

According to a new study published on May 1st , UCLA researchers identified a relationship between the gut microorganisms and brain volume in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This is the first time researchers have been able to show an association between the gut microbiota and regions of the brain involved in sensory information processing in patients with IBS. These results suggest that signals from the brain can influence the composition of gut microbes and the chemicals in the intestine can shape the human brain’s structure.

Previous animal studies have demonstrated effects of gut microbiome on brain function and behavior as well as the influence of the brain on the composition of microbes in the gut. With that being said, only one human study has confirmed these findings.

Other research has showed evidence for alterations of gut microbiome in people with IBS, but there lacked consistency. In relation to a person’s history with childhood trauma there has been an association with structural and functional brain changes and childhood trauma has also been shown to alter gut microbial composition.

In this study, UCLA researchers collected behavioral and clinical measures, stool samples, and brain images from 29 adults diagnosed with IBS and 23 healthy individuals. They used DNA sequencing to quantify composition, abundance, and diversity of the gut microbiota. The researchers then cross-referenced these gut microbial measures with structural features of the brain.

The samples from those with IBS were clustered into two subgroups based on the composition of the microbes in the gut. One group was similar from the healthy control subjects, while the other differed. Those in the group with an altered gut microbiota had more history of early life trauma and longer duration of IBS symptoms. The two groups also displayed differences in brain structure.

The researchers stated that an analysis of individual’s gut microbiome may become a routine screening test for people with IBS in clinical practice, and in the future, therapies such as certain diets and probiotics may become personalized based on an individual’s gut microbial profile. This is what many of us have done the past several decades in functional medicine.

One may need a combination of botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Certain diagnostic tests may also be beneficial, including stool testing as well as food antibody testing. In addition, a number of studies have suggested a potential role for serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) as a potential therapy for IBS.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Jennifer S. Labus, Emily B. Hollister, Jonathan Jacobs, Kyleigh Kirbach, Numan Oezguen, Arpana Gupta, Jonathan Acosta, Ruth Ann Luna, Kjersti Aagaard, James Versalovic, Tor Savidge, Elaine Hsiao, Kirsten Tillisch, Emeran A. Mayer. Differences in gut microbial composition correlate with regional brain volumes in irritable bowel syndrome. Microbiome, 2017; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40168-017-0260-z