In the area of infertility, any little thing can make a difference. So when researchers found a difference in bacteria in semen, that raises some concerns. Infertile men had higher levels of: “Staphylococcus aureus (16.9%), Staphylococcus saprophyticus (9.2%), Escherichia coli (6.9%), Proteus mirabilis (3.4%),Klebsiella spp (2.3%), Pseudomonas aerouginosa (1.1%), and Proteus vulgaris (2.3%).”
The response was to look at supplementing men with probiotics orally, which doesn’t address the oral/topical split in the microbiome. More importantly, the male population is very likely to reflect the female vaginal population. Doing that follow-up testing would likely increase the effect of the results. If both partners are infected with species that are inflammatory, that’s going to impact fertility. But they then need to use topical probiotics to reverse the situation.
Don’t be scared off, you can become almost as educated as an expert very quickly because the field is so new. Here’s an animated five minute cartoon version of what we know.
We all know that many things can delay a child’s development. Sometimes it seems miraculous that children develop at all. Now we can show that antibiotics delay the gut’s development, affecting the entire child.
We know that antibiotics disrupt gut bacteria, and we know that disrupted gut bacteria lead to adult illnesses. So the researchers were simply connecting the dots between antibiotic use and adult illnesses.
“Researchers demonstrated that an infant’s age could be predicted within 1.3 months based on the maturity of their gut bacteria. This finding could lead to a clinical test and interventions for children whose microbiome is developmentally delayed due to antibiotics”
The greatest difficulty will be in finding a group of children with untouched, completely functional gut bacteria to use as a control group.
A recent study published in Nature shows that as little as two weeks of a Standard American Diet not only changed over the bacteria in the guts of rural Africans, it left behind all the markers of increased colon cancer risk.
In a world where so many of the disease factors are genetic or environmental, here’s a simple idea about how to address colon cancer risks.
The good news? African-Americans placed on a traditional rural African diet improved their risks: “African Americans were fed a high-fibre, low-fat African-style diet and rural Africans a high-fat, low-fibre western-style diet, under close supervision. In comparison with their usual diets, the food changes resulted in remarkable reciprocal changes in mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk and in aspects of the microbiota and metabolome known to affect cancer risk”
If you’re just starting out on your search, and wonder if all the hype about the microbiome is justified, here’s a TED talk that might convince you it’s worth your while.