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.)
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?
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?