Microbial Genetics and the Inner Ecosystem

We are in fact more microbial than human. While there are only 23,000 human genes discovered, there exists millions of microbial or bacterial genes. The microbial bacterial genes in the gut might be the most influential on our inherited genes and thus our health and well being. As such, the gut bacteria or microbiome that play a huge role in our lives need to be addressed and supported. Our inner ecosystem is really what drives our ability to survive and thrive. So it’s not just our human genes, which as we know their expression can be manipulated in positive or negative ways, it’s the microbial genetic expression that might be the most significant and most overlooked.

Microbes produce metabolites ( enzymes ) that are useful to us. They can, in fact, make their own antibiotics which are helpful to our entire system. Microbial diversity is also important as genes from different microbes have different functions. They are difficult to study because once extracted from places like the gut lining, they start to act and behave differently. Interestingly, microbes can swap genes in the gut so has to handle changing environments and conditions.  They nourish our bodies by producing anti inflammatory molecules and substances. These micobial genes interact and communicate with our inherited genes influencing their expression. These genes are responsible for gut health and microbial diversity, detoxification, creating and balancing energy, immune regulation and fighting infections to name a few.

Some Examples:

Lactobillius Planterum – a master microbe that leads and guides other microbes. It produces folate which is vital in the methylation process ( detoxification) and consumes oxalates.

Bifidus bacterium – also produces folate and is resistant to antibiotics.

Spores: ( Mega Spore or Just Thrive)

Bacillus Subtilis Spore – have the ability to survive stomach acid. They work in the intestines for up to 21 days and are great for gut healing. The spore genes are very active and beneficial.  This also has oxalate decarbooxylase gene which helps degrade oxalates.

Oxalates are found in spinach, chocolate and nuts – they can be harmful in large amounts as they may lead to kidney stones, inhibit iron absorption and have been implicated in autism. Interestingly dairy products help bind to oxalates and remove them from the body.

Bad Bacteria – can be toxic and turn off protective genes and suppress immune function leading to cancer and many autoimmune diseases.

Archaea – is a methane producing microorganism. It creates problems associated with SIBO ( small intestine bacterial overgrowth). It can set off a cascade of events that also can lead to adiposity. Glucomanmon – a water soluble polysaccharide considered a dietary fiber helps to control Archaea. It’s found in shirataki noodles.

Lipopolysaccharides ( LPS) – is found in the outer membrane of Gram – negative bacteria. It is considered an endotoxin and can lead to gut irritability and dsyfunction.

Virulence Genes- are inflammatory in nature. Such C- reactive protein and TNF-Alpha – signaling protein ( cytokine) involved in systematic inflammation and implicated in depression, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Eating a plant based diet really  helps to minimize these bacteria from expressing their genes.

Diet – a plant based diet that is about 80% vegetables and 20% protein is ideal for supporting microbial density and variety. Our diet is so important as it directly impacts our microbial genes which in turn acts on our host genes. A diet high in saturated and trans fats  and sugar destroys our healthful microbes and turns on the harmful bacteria as manifested in leaky gut.

Sleep – directly impacts our microbiome. It also affects our biological clock genes responsible for our circadian rthyms (circadian regulation, function, pathways and expression).  Our clock genes are all over our body. Sleep may be just as, if not more important, than food.

Time Restircted Feeding – also known as intermittent feeding. Essentially, you eat for a specific and consistent time frame. Research shows when we eat and don’t eat might be more important than what we eat! Establishing a feeding and fasting schedule helps regulate a healthy microbiome and  the microbe’s gene expression.

You are not only what you eat but when you eat !!

Intermittent Fasting Benefits:

–  Helps in lowering blood insulin levels.

– Helps with insulin resistance lowering risk of type 2 diabetes.

– Elevates human growth hormone.

– Helps with cellular repair and gene expression which are vital to immune function, disease prevention and aging.

Factors that drive healthy microbial gene expression:

–  Sleep ( sleep early and wake early )

– Intermittent fasting

– Plant based diet ( minimal consumption of saturated and trans fats and refined sugars and GMO’s)

–  Clean water and air

– Exposure to natural sunlight ( Vit D)

– Moving and exercising

–  Stress reduction ( meditation and deep breathing which activates the vagus nerve which helps the gut/ brain connection and parasympathetic activation)