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    The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers

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    mudra

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    The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers

    Post  mudra on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:52 am

    The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers

    In Western Tanzania tribes of wandering foragers called Hadza eat a diet of roots, berries, and game. According to a new study, their guts are home to a microbial community unlike anything that’s been seen before in a modern human population — providing, perhaps, a snapshot of what the human gut microbiome looked like before our ancestors figured out how to farm about 12,000 years ago.

    “There have been relatively few studies of gut microbiota among humans eating pre-industrial diets, relative to humans eating post-industrial ones,” said Lawrence David, a microbiologist from Duke University, who was not a part of the study. The new study, published today in Nature Communications, is timely and important, David says, because it provides a snapshot of pre-industrial human’s gut microbiota. It also indicates that the ecosystem in our guts adapts not only to our diets but to the environments we live in.

    Researchers have known for decades that the biota in our gut vary depending on what we eat. But the Hadza microbiome still turned out to be surprisingly different.


    To study the difference between the ancient and modern gut, researchers analyzed stool samples from 16 Italian urbanites and 27 Hadza foragers, of both genders.

    The Italians’ gut flora was generally what they expected in Western diets, with some Mediterranean influences. The Hadza’s poop, however, was like stepping into a lost continent of microbe biodiversity. ”The Hadza gut mibrobiome has an entirely unique combination of bacteria from any western population, or rural African population, that’s been sampled,” said co-author Alyssa Crittenden, a nutritional anthropologist from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    Many of the bacteria are species that the researchers had never seen before. And even familiar microbes were present in unusual levels in the Hadza belly. “The Hadza not only lack the ‘healthy bacteria,’ and they don’t suffer from the diseases we suffer from, but they also have high levels of bacteria that are associated with disease,” Crittenden said.



    read on : http://www.wired.com/2014/04/hadza-hunter-gatherer-gut-microbiome/

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    mudra

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    Re: The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers

    Post  mudra on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:56 am

    Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favors


    There are lots of theories about why food allergies, asthma, celiac disease and intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease have been on the rise. Dr. Martin Blaser speculates that it may be connected to the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.

    Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, up to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren't human at all — they're micro-organisms.

    Blaser is the director of NYU's Human Microbiome Program and a former chairman of medicine there. His new book is called Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues.


    Missing Microbes
    How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
    by Martin Blaser

    Hardcover, 273 pages purchase
    nonfiction
    science & health
    More on this book:
    NPR reviews, interviews and more
    Read an excerpt
    He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that with the overuse of antibiotics, as well as some other now-common practices like cesarean sections, we've entered a danger zone — a no man's land between the world of our ancient microbiome and an uncharted modern world.

    Interview Highlights


    On why he thinks the number of diseases has risen

    Since World War II, we've seen big rises in a number of diseases: asthma, allergies, food allergies, wheat allergy, juvenile diabetes, obesity. ... These are all diseases that have gone up dramatically in the last 50 or 70 years. One of the questions is: Why are they going up? Are they going up for 10 different reasons, or perhaps there is one reason that is fueling all of them.

    My theory is that the one reason is the changing microbiome; that we evolved a certain stable situation with our microbiome and with the modern advances of modern life, including modern medical practices, we have been disrupting the microbiome. And there's evidence for that, especially early in life, and it's changing how our children develop.

    read on: http://www.npr.org/2014/04/14/302899093/modern-medicine-may-not-be-doing-your-microbiome-any-favors

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