Here’s a prediction: As our understanding of the microbiome advances and allows us to identify the microbial species present or absent causing, for instance, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, fibromyalgia, and numerous other health conditions, many solution will be found through efforts to manage the microbiome . . . but not in prescription drugs.
We are just getting a taste of the astounding potential power of the microbiome in recent reports. Consider:
- A ketogenic diet, i.e., a diet in which carbohydrates are virtually absent, reduces total intestinal bacterial counts but also provokes proliferation of Akkermansia and Parabacteroides, the two species that appear to be responsible for the reduction in grand mal seizures. Because remaining ketotic for extended periods is a really bad idea, as it leads to stunted growth in kids, marked increase in kidney stones, osteoporosis, and occasional sudden cardiac death, the benefits in reducing seizures will likely be obtainable simply by cultivating these two bacterial species.
- Lactobacillus reuteri strains ATCC PTA 6475 and DSM 17938, that we cultivate via our L. reuteri yogurt, is an effective means of provoking release of oxytocin from the hypothalamus. Oxytocin increases bone density, increases muscle mass, turns off appetite, and dramatically increases skin healing and dermal collagen, effects that continue to astound me as more and more people are making and consuming the yogurt.
- Dr. Mark Pimentel, one of the leading authorities on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), published a study from Cedars-Sinai in LA demonstrating that, of 42 people with fibromyalgia, all—100%—proved positive for H2-breath testing and showed a severe degree of abnormality (more than people with irritable bowel syndrome). In other words, by this study, fibromyalgia = SIBO. This study did not address what or how to treat SIBO, but we have been seeing people managing their own SIBO (without prescription drugs) and obtaining dramatic relief from their fibromyalgia symptoms.
In other words, an understanding of the microbiome is unleashing a whole universe of effective ways to manage or reverse health conditions. There are, without a doubt, a huge number of lessons yet to learn. The level of understanding of the microbiome today is where the level of understanding was in information technology in 1950—but look where we are today. And the new tools of the Information Age—massive data processing, ribosomal RNA and DNA analyses, virtually immediate data sharing, etc.–are being applied to the microbiome and will accelerate the pace of new lessons.
Big Pharma will, of course, try to use their alchemy to convert a natural strategy into a patent-protected pharmaceutical product and charge thousands of dollars per month for it, as that has been their predatory and exploitative agenda. But think of what we will be able to achieve without them.