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New Science Suggests the Loss of Gut Bacteria is an Extinction Event
Microbiome diversity is a measure of how many different species of bugs you have in your gut, and this diversity has long been an indicator of health and longevity.
Researchers suspect that modern living, including consuming processed foods and being exposed to antibiotics and pesticides, has been linked to markedly less bacterial diversity and more chronic illness compared to our the bacterial diversity and illness in rural communities and among our ancestors.
A May 2021 study published in the journal Nature helps to confirm that our ancestors had better gut bacteria. The researchers, from Stanford University, analyzed 1,000-year-old “time-capsuled” poo from archeological digs in Utah and other Southwestern states. The ancient samples, which had been stored in a museum for 100 years, were DNA-tested for bacteria and compared to the gut bacteria of modern humans.
They found that dozens of bacterial species that populated every ancient sample were completely missing in modern humans. In addition, the samples had significantly more microbial diversity than the poo of modern humans, suggesting that our ancestors would have been less vulnerable to modern degenerative healthy concerns. Researchers are calling this modern lack of diverse gut bacteria an extinction event!
These findings are concerning because as gut microbial diversity is decreasing, the prevalence of chronic inflammatory ailments such as inflammatory bowel (IBS), diabetes, obesity, allergies and asthma is on the rise in Westernized societies.
Interestingly, the study also revealed that our ancestors were eating a high-fiber diet of maize and beans (in the Utah samples, our ancestors ate more of a fiber-rich famine diet, including prickly pears, rice-grass, and grasshoppers.
In Daniel Liberman’s book The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease he compared the fiber consumption between modern humans and our hunter-gatherer ancestors. He reported that the average American eats about 15-20 grams of fiber per day, compared to 100 grams of fiber consumed by our ancestors.
Feed Your Microbiome with the Right Food (Ghee)
Processed foods are linked to decreased microbial diversity in modern humans. The process of making foods shelf stable destroys beneficial bacteria. The best way to boost microbial diversity is to eat more fiber. Gut bacteria consume fiber-rich foods and produce short chain fatty acids like butryic acid (butyrate), which is found in ghee.
See also The New Super Ghee: 500% More Potent
The first step in getting the right fat in your diet is to remove the bad fats. Highly processed cooking oils, like canola, safflower, sunflower oils, and others are severely damaged during processing rendering them unpalatable to gut bacteria that consume healthy fatty acids. These indigestible fatty acids end of in the liver, where they can potentially congest the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts.
See also Don't Use These Oils
Butryic acid is a fatty acid that is most abundant in a healthy microbiome and responsible for numerous healthy promoting effects such as:
- Being the primary fuel for cells of the colon
- Driving the part of the immune system that originates in the gut (butyric acid is a major food for the gut microbiome)
- Regulating weight
- Warding off bad bacteria
- Boosting digestive strength
- Supporting healthy bowel movements
- Balancing blood sugar, weight, and hunger
- Boosting stem cells
Butryic acid is so important to optimal healthy that the gut has numerous bacteria, such as Clostridium butryicum, that manufacture the gut’s own never-ending supply of butyric acid. The highest food source of butyric acid is organic, grassfed ghee, or clarified butter, which is made by slowly boiling off the milk solids from raw cow’s milk.
See also Ghee, Stem Cells, and Cholesterol
Grassfed ghee has been shown to deliver 500-times the amount of CLA (conjugated Linoleic Acid) compared to dairy from grain fed cows. CLA has numerous health benefits, including:
- Boosting beneficial gut bacteria
- Supporting immunity
- Supporting healthy liver function
- Supporting healthy bone mass
- Helping to regulate glucose metabolism
- Supporting optimal weight
- Supporting cardiovascular health
- And helping to antioxidant activity
In a study published in PlosOne, CLA supplementation supported the growth of beneficial bacteria, including Bacteroidetes, Prevotella and Akkermansia muciniphila
Whole Herbs as Prebiotics and Probiotics
Our gut bacteria come from the soil that attaches to the foods we eat. As long as those foods are organic, they will inoculate the gut with a seasonal stable of beneficial bacteria.
Herbs provide a unique source of the more rare bacteria. At LifeSpa, our Whole Herb product line is tested for beneficial bacteria when we receive the raw material and after the formula has been capsulated. Unlike herbal extracts, which can often be sterile, organic whole herbs provide a rich source of diverse bacteria that help support a microbial diverse microbiome.