An interesting review of the “gut microbiome”

PaleoPathologist has as a “hobby” a PhD in Microbiology. He knows his bugs, especially Parasites and Fungi. He views some of the discussions about “gut microbiota” on the various Paleo websites with suspicion, but more and more articles are coming out in mainstream journals. This one came across on the Medscape email newslist that comes to my email. It’s a review article of the various interactions between the bacteria we carry around and how we behave!  Fascinating. The little monsters may be manipulating me into eating ‘taters!

If you are a fellow doc and haven’t found this corner of the literature, take a look; it’s a pretty easy read.  PaleoPathologist is now eating KimChi, Sauerkraut, full fat Kefir, and Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch. (Start slow with the starch!  I had some volcanic episodes early on when the bacteria smelled the starch, yelled “whoopee” in their tiny little voices, and produced abundant methane.)

One little pill a day can cut cancer risk 9%? Really?

And the answer, according to a new publication, is…aspirin. Good old acetyl salicylic acid. PaleoPathologist has been taking an aspirin a day for many years; I use generic enteric coated “baby aspirin” (75 mg) because it seems to work as well as anything and costs basically nothing. As the article states, higher doses don’t seem to add much except side effects. The most common side effect is stomach upset or even gastritis and bleeding. As always talk with your doc about this since some people have higher risks of bad side effects.

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Diabetics, can you really get off insulin with diet alone?

Apparently. Here is a link to a brand new review article on exactly that subject. If I were a diabetic I’d be on the low carb ketogenic diet in a heartbeat…oh, wait, I already am.  I have a friend who is doing paleo-autoimmune for various conditions, a type II insulin dependent diabetic, and she is now completely off insulin. I’ve also heard type I diabetic physicians interviewed who say their blood sugar control is much less brittle if they restrict carbohydrates. (They still need some insulin, but not nearly as much and their Hemoglobin A1c levels are better.)

Please note there is a big difference between type I and type II diabetes!  Type I usually means the pancreas cannot make insulin, while type II usually means your body has become insulin resistant no matter how much insulin your poor pancreas tries to pump out.

And please don’t just “go low carb” without getting with your own physician. I hear reports of people’s insulin requirements dropping in a few days and you could get hypoglycemic without guidance. Dangerous and unpleasant. Test, test, and talk with the doc. Give them the link. My blog is definitely only for education, not for individual health advice.

What experiences have you had with diabetes?  Ever try a decent low carbohydrate diet?

Could cancer be a metabolic rather than a genetic disease?

This is a fascinating hypothesis. I’ve just scanned the article and am far from a molecular biologist; I’m just a simple country pathologist, but I work in a cancer hospital and wonder why we see so much of it around here? Today I made the diagnosis of colon cancer in a 39 year old! And I see squamous cell carcinoma, like the picture below, every week.

evan tumor picture

Lupus study shows possible links to gut bacteria

PaleoPathologist  has been around the block with snake oil salesmen, cons, and the worst of all, well meaning people who are just out and out wrong. The gut thing has been the source of all three of the above for centuries. People used to invent machines that would pump water through you at high speed to give you a good colon cleanse. Of course some people died from water intoxication causing electrolyte problems, but hey, “they were probably too far gone to survive the treatment they needed”, right?

kimchi picture

The Paleo community has some thoughtful people but there are fringes that I at times am afraid of and many are in the “gut flora” camp. Imagine my chagrin when this article came up on Medscape, announcing that serious immunologists think that Lupus (SLE; systemic lupus erythematosus) may have disordered gut bacteria as at least part of the cause. Humility, PaleoPathologist, humility.

PaleoPathologist spent four years doing microbiology research back at Mr. Duke’s in North Carolina. Go Blue Devils. I cannot even imagine doing research on the gut flora; hundreds of species, predominantly anaerobes which are a pain to grow, trillions of mathematical combinations, and besides, it smells bad. I am so glad that there are people who feel the calling to investigate this area.

In the meantime PaleoPathologist will be snarfing kefir, kraut, and kimchi. Incredible Wife grew up in the southern USA and she says, “Every child should eat some dirt!”

So what do you do about YOUR gut flora?

Where can you find Liver and Onions in Denver?

We’ve said it before. Most pathologists just won’t eat liver, and most Americans have unfortunately lost the taste. Not PaleoPathologist!  I’ve always liked Liver. Below is the Blackeyed Pea Senior portion (watch it out there) with broccoli, spinach, and butter which is going on the broccoli in a moment. The vinegar is for the spinach.

liver onions blackeyed pea

Tip: How to run efficiently and with fewer injuries

Here is a site that goes through an entire running course, teaching stride, form, pace, etc. PaleoPathologist has never really been much of a runner but still secretly harbors a “bucket list” idea of doing…a marathon.  Yes, you who know me can stop laughing now. I did a 100 mile bike ride a few years back from Glenwood Springs to Aspen and back along a railroad trail that hugs the Roaring Fork, beautiful ride.

So what do you think of this site? Does it do a good job of presenting good running form?

 

Tip: shut off the screens and play this weekend.

Go out and have some fun. Make time for consecutive deep thoughts. Play!  Get outside! Walk with a loved one, without a heart rate monitor or GPS to track your steps. Write in a journal. Pray or meditate. Turn off your alarm. Jared Diamond says in one of his books that he found Hunter Gatherer tribal men spend about 20 hrs/week supplying all the food their family needs. The rest of the time is spent in play with children, religious pursuits, dancing around the fire…sounds great to me! (He also noted that his physician, lawyer, and accountant friends were not happy to hear this particular finding.) Thanks to Michael Hyatt for this hint.

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11 foods that don’t need to be put in the refrigerator!

PaleoPathologist has sometimes looked at LifeHacker’s website and there are some good ideas there. IW probably already knows all this stuff but here is a brief and somewhat entertaining look at foods that don’t need refrigeration. Sausage is NOT ON THE LIST, but it looks so good that I had to use the picture again. Happy July 4th!sausage frying