Concentrated milk fats, a common ingredient of processed foods and confectionary, trigger blooms of otherwise rare gut bacteria in mice that may contribute to inflammatory gut diseases.
The discovery coincides with release this week of the “microbiome” – the most comprehensive census yet of the species of bacteria that live in and on the human body. By providing an inventory of bugs that live in 18 sites on the body in healthy people, the Human Microbiome Project should enable researchers to explore how disease might result from perturbations to the microbes, similar to those observed in the mice fed milk fat.
Eugene Chang at the University of Chicago and colleagues gave mice milk fat, lard or safflower oil to see how it would alter the spectrum of bugs living in the gut. The mice were genetically engineered to mimic inflammatory bowel disease, unable to make a protein called interleukin 10 which normally damps down inflammation. Continue reading A link between Milk and IBS ?
How to look after your Gut Flora:
1. Eat a varied diet and your gut flora will thrive.
2. Be careful with antibiotics, because they knock out good bacteria as well as bad ones:
The lumen of the gastrointestinal tract is home to at least a kilo of bacteria of more than a thousand different species. There are ten times more bacteria in the gut than there are cells in the entire body. This is known as our normal gut flora.
It seems that a well-balanced gut flora can protect us against invasion by harmful bacteria. Imbalances in the gut flora arise when some species are favoured at the expense of others.
External factors such as diet, lifestyle and antibiotics can affect the composition of the gut flora. A single course of antibiotics can affect the gut flora for a period of several years.
3. Don’t eat too much fibre. Some people’s gut flora turns excess fibre into wind – listen to your gut.
4. Don’t be obsessively hygienic or scared of the germs around us. Don’t disinfect your kitchen.
5. Avoid colonic irrigations. They can endanger the whole balance of your gut flora.
What better way to engineer the perfect immune system than to start from scratch?
While you can’t do that for yourself, you can with your children. In the womb, babies automatically share their mother’s antibodies, which cross the placenta. This antibody donation can continue after birth through breastfeeding.
Breast milk is chock-full of immune-boosting ingredients. There is lactoferrin, for instance – a protein that inhibits the growth of bacteria – and sugars that block bacteria from binding to the body’s cells. Breastfeeding reduces infection rates, particularly in the developing world. Continue reading Start strengthening Immunity while Young