Probiotics and Microbiome

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that can help with a variety of problems from constipation, diarrhea, indigestion to migraines and fatigue, lowering cholesterol and inflammation, preventing cancer and many more conditions.
Alterations in the intestinal tract can directly affect the body’s immune system. Gut bacteria play a role in the production of neurotransmitters, enzymes and vitamins and other essential nutrients.
We have been coexisting with microbes since the beginning of the human history and they have evolved with us. This symbiosis is an element of health and well-being for a strong ecosystem and healthy immune system.
Dysbiosis happens when harmful bacteria dominate the gut’s flora causing intestinal and systemic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), metabolic syndrome, celiac disease, allergy, and many more.
Since the discover of antibiotics many diseases have been eradicated, but the overuse and non-proper use have led to the antibiotic resistance phenomenon and to the colonization of unfriendly bacteria, (biofilms), cause of a number of problems.
The research shows that there is a network of neurons along the intestinal gut so extensive to be named the “second brain”, or “other brain” and which manages every aspect of digestion, and allows the bacteria to communicate each other and with the brain. The microbiome of the microbiota has been mapped and is considered the “second genome”.
Most of the microbes of a baby’s gut community are acquired during a vaginal birth where they are exposed to either vaginal than intestinal bacteria, babies born by Cesarean section (sterile procedure) lack this exposure having high rate of allergy, asthma and autoimmune problems.
The gut microbiota of people living in separate area of the world are very different and because of the diet. For example, individuals with a diet of whole grains show increased levels of Prevotella, diets rich in carbohydrates in Bacteroidetes, while Firmicutes predominate in diets with high levels of protein.
The number of microorganisms in the human body reaches the astronomic number of 100 trillion! They are everywhere! An estimated 1000 different species or types and together they weigh ~3 pounds. The term probiotics comes from Greek origins, pro means promoting and biotic means life.
Probiotics are microbes, both bacteria and yeast, not live vaccines or viruses. They are alive and must be alive when administered. Viability is important to their effectiveness.
They must be identified by genus, species and strain levels, as an example, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, genus: Lactobacillus, species: Rhamnosus, strain: GG.
Some of the probiotics activity and benefits are: prevention of colonization of bad bacteria, cellular adhesion and invasion of pathogenic organism, antimicrobial activity, modulation of immune response.
Prebiotics are non-digestible, fermented food ingredients, often fibers that stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms, fruit, vegetables, legumes, honey and whole grains.
Their health effects are: prevention of diarrhea or constipation, modulation of the metabolism of the intestinal flora, cancer prevention, positive effects on lipid metabolism, mineral absorption, immunomodulatory properties.
Probiotics and prebiotics together are called symbiotic. Fermented dairy products as yogurt and kefir are considered symbiotic because they contain live bacteria and the fuel necessary. Probiotics can be found in supplement, of course, and fermented foods and cultured milk products.
Yogurt may contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus and/or Streptococcus thermophilus.
Kefir usually contains Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and others. Juice and soy beverages often contain Lactobacillus and others. Sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi and miso usually Lactobacillus strains and others.
The bacteria found in most probiotics usually are made from two main groups Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium, each of these contains different species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifido, each with different strains.
Antibiotics kills friendly bacteria too along with the bad ones, we are not simply exposed to any antibiotic therapy we might need during a course of a life, but to all added to foods, especially from meat treated with antibiotics for variety of reasons.
Probiotics are very effective to treat unpleasant side effects of antibiotic therapy, they can also decrease the symptoms associate with lactose intolerance due to the lack of the enzyme that metabolize this sugar.
Unfriendly microorganisms as bacteria, yeasts, fungi or parasites can upset a healthy balance and contribute to many disease and conditions, probiotics support healthy bacteria and reduce the incidence of unfriendly microorganisms.
Probiotics as other supplements should be used carefully and after consulting a health care provider especially in case of immunocompromised individuals, newborns and pregnant women.
Potential sides effects of probiotics are: intestinal gas and bloating, infections in people with underlying conditions, metabolic activities due to stimulation of the immune system for the possibility to be a source of genes that can be transferred to dangerous microorganisms colonizing the environment.
As always there is to look at the benefits and risks of what we introduce in our body.
Many researchers are involved into the study of microbiome and function of bacteria. One of these doctors, Dr. Raphael Kellman, has a classifications of species and strains that can be very helpful to understand which probiotic to choose based on a condition; in addition in his book intitled “The Microbiome Diet”, the doctor includes data on microbiome studies and experiments done with his patients of appropriate diet for microbiome.
Diets for balancing the microbiota and healing a leaky gut, or permeable intestine, are sort of ketogenic diets, and mainly based on these choices.
They mainly eliminate a variety of “inflammatory foods” as, sugars, grains, dairy and eggs and rely on fresh and organic fruit and vegetables, mainly steamed vegetables, yogurt, kefir and fermented foods, wild caught fish, omega3 fatty acids, coconut oil, and more than everything, bone broth, this one very important and heavily discussed lately.
As everyone should know at this time the elements and amino acids in bone broth are very important for the healing process of the intestinal wall, to mention some of these, glutamine, glycine, and proline, so as collagen, so important as well.
General role of microbiome for GI disorders is to improve the ecology, and the gut wall fortification necessary for repairing and maintaining the junctions tight to seal out unwanted molecules.
The best strains to improve and repair gut are: Bifidobacteria, which play a role in the health of large intestine and colon, specifically: B. lactis BI-04, B. bifidum BB-06, B. lactis Bi-07, B. lactis HN019, B. breve BB-03.
They help to reduce bloating and decrease transit time and constipation, lower inflammation and regulate the immune system.
This is what Dr. Kellmann suggests, for:
Constipation: Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173010; it looks like to be in Activia yogurt
Saccharomyces boulardii, L. acidophilus LA5, L. paracasei (L. casei 431), Bifido BB12, all found in a product that combine also the prebiotic inulin and GSO.
Diarrhea: L. acidophilus LA-1, L. paracasei LPC-37, L. rhamnosus LR-32, generally in master supplement like Theralac, or Culturelle.
Leaky Gut: Bacillus longum, Lactobacillus planatarum, L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus GG; they all increase tight junctions between intestinal cells, fortify the wall and support healthy immune function.
IBS: Bacillus coagulans, B. infantis, B. longum BB536, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. haelveticus, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus GG, S. boulardii, S. thermophilus.
Anxiety and Allergies: L. casei, L. rhamnousus, L. paracasei
Anxiety, Depression and Stress: Bifidus and Lactobacillus, L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum RO175, L. rhamnosus JB, L. casei and acidophilus for depression specifically, B. breve and L. plantarum PS128, this last one not only reduce anxiety and depression but also improves neurotransmitters related disorders and neurodegeneration.
Immune system and Adrenal Health: B. infantis, B. breve 1205, B. longum 1714. S. boulardii is the most powerful and useful organism to reduce inflammation and remove unwanted yeast and regulate the immune system and quieting the dysfunction of an autoimmune disorder; in these cases, it is suggested to be part of daily routine.
Cognitive Decline: Unhealthy microbiome creates high levels of ammonia, NH3, cause of brain fog and poor concentration and inability to think, poisoning the brain and causing inflammation, here are the strains: B. infantis, B. breve, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. casei, S. thermophilus, S. boulardii
Inflammation: Best strain to lower inflammation: Bifido infantis 35624, as in Align, decrease the level of cytokines and reduces the levels of LPS (cell wall of GRAM negative), lipopolysaccharide from the bacteria’s wall., L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, B. bifidum, B. longum, all reduces level of LPS, B. infantis lowers levels of TNFa, tumor factor.
Women Health: B. coagulans, L. fermentum, L. rhamnosus GG
Cholesterol Lowering: B. lactis, B. faecum, L. acidophilus, L. curvatus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. reuteri.
The dosage is very important and must be between 10 and 50 billion of CFU of bacteria, even 450 billion for ulcerative colitis.
For Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are suggested high doses of multi-strains for a synergic effect, while S. boulardii is a yeast used to get rid of Helicobacter Pylori, and very common with Hashimoto’s.
In regard of this bacteria responsible of causing stomach ulcer and from here eventually cancer there are some new emerging hypothesis right from Dr. Kellman as well as from Dr. Steven Gundry.
They both believe that H. Pylori is a beneficial intestinal commensal and that its presence is of many benefits: regulates the acid production in body, and helps to regulate the production of ghrelin, the hormone of appetite, and leptin that instead signals the sensation of fullness.
Studies done in regard have showed that people treated for H. Pylori have gained more weight.
One of the key concepts of the Microbiome diet are the prebiotics. Prebiotics and fibers are the foundation of a healthy microbiome. In the process of digesting these fibers the bacteria produce metabolites known as short chain fatty acids, as butyric acid, for example, found in ghee, with a number of protective and nourishing role in human body.
To mention some of these: larch arabinogalactan, inulin, pectin, oligofructose, fructo-oligosaccharides, FOS, galacto-oligosaccharides, GOS.
Acacia fibers exhibits a variety of health benefits, as lowering cholesterol, balancing sugar and normalizing bowel function.
Tests recommended from Dr. Kellman for Microbiome are:
Inflammatory markers like: CRP, ESED, TNF-alfa, il1, IL6, IL8 and IL10
Thyroid function tests: TSH, FT3 and T3, FT4 and T4, antibodies levels: TPO, TG-Ab, TSI, TRH,
Homocysteine and cholesterol. Pathogens and toxins.
Stool test. Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test.

Mariarosaria M.

Food Nutrition and Health, Probiotics. Education to Go, Everett Community College, WA
“Microbiome Medicine, How Bacteria Can Cure Us”, The Microbiome Diet, Dr. Raphael Kellman, M.D.



For many years I was totally immerse and fascinating from the science behind the blood type diet, and Dr. Peter Adamo’s works and products as well.
Searching among his articles on microbiome I found very interesting an article  on Biofilms  and decided to review.
In my internet research instead I found- among the thousands of articles on the subject- this article from PubMed and decided to report the essential.

Biofilms are one more subject discussed lately because of the importance given to the microbiota. In biofilms, microorganisms grow in multicellular aggregates encased in a sort of matrix produced by themselves. This aggregation provides them protection and surviving strategies. The dental plaque is a typical biofilm.

“The Role of Bacterial Biofilm in Chronic Infections”

The author of this article, Dr.Thomas Bjarnsholt, tests that biofilm infections are a new category of chronic infection which affect millions of people in the developed world, in contrast to acute infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and which in the past have caused millions of deaths
Biofilms infections are caused by colonies of bacteria growing in encased protective coat generated from their own production of a matrix of polymeric material for they attach to surfaces producing the biofilm, and thanks to what they survive to drastic environment and attack from antibiotics.
Common bacterial infections were very serious before, people could die for any type of disease that today can be cure with antibiotics. On the other hand, since the development of antibiotics, there has been an increase in slow‐progressing infections.
These infections cannot be easily detected and contrasted from antibiotic therapy resulting in persistent infections.
The author defines environmental biofilms as “general ecosystems of aggregating bacteria that are present in their natural habitat with an essential function”. These can include bacterial aggregates that live as commensalism with the human body without causing disease or those found in the environment.
Dental plaque was the first location in the human body were biofilms were described. The initial stages are dominated by bacteria in different stages of cell division forming monolayers, the progressive cell division in these microcolonies brings to the production of multilayered biofilms.
The first bacteria to colonize this environment are Streptococci.
The human gut is the next environment after the oral cavity, where commensal multispecies biofilms form. A wide range of bacterial species exists in the human intestine, which interact symbiotically with the host.
The host immune system is stimulated by the microbiota while the binding of pathogenic bacteria to the epithelium is competitively inhibited.
If this healthy microbiota is destroyed by antibiotics, chemotherapy or a change in the diet, intestinal colonization by pathogenic bacteria or viruses will happen, and this will cause disease.
In general, bacteria have two life forms during growth and proliferation. In one form, the bacteria exist as single and independent cells, in the other form are organized into sessile aggregates, and this is the biofilm growth phenotype. Acute infections are caused by independent bacteria while chronic infection should be the consequences of the biofilm.

“Biofilms and Herbal Medicine”

For Dr. Peter D’Adamo the biofilm’s attachments are the result of lectin-like adhesions between the microbe and the gut, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tract. Since many of these lectins rely on sugars, and the most common sugars on cells membranes are those of the ABO blood types, microorganisms have a specificity based on blood groups in order to attack.
One of the approaches for controlling bacterial infection involves the interference with the ability of communication among bacteria. Many bacteria modify their genetic expression based on the environmental conditions.
Bacterial organelles, as pilum and flagella and fimbriae are the tools that bacteria utilize to get stick together.
Flagella are projections that protrude from their body allowing them of moving around.
Pilum connect bacteria together, allowing for the formation of colonies and the exchange of genetic information, and which results in resistance to antibiotics. Fimbriae are used by bacteria to adhere to one another. A genetic mechanism allows the switch between pili and fimbriae based on the environment conditions as previously mentioned.
Dr. D’Adamo observes that the actions of cranberry juice on urinary tract infections seems to be the result of the juice’s high concentration of the sugar mannose known to block the attachment of two classes of fimbriae and interrupting this way the communication among the bacteria.

He mention as an example of the level of cooperation during biofilm formation a phenomenon called quorum sensing. The first bacterial colonists send a variety of signaling molecules towards the receptors of other bacteria inducing them to alter their own genes. This allows them to adhere to the biofilm and to produce additional signaling molecules.
Biofilms are object of intense research in biomedicine and may provide explanations of why certain infections are so difficult to eradicate in some patients. Most attention is on the discover of substances that interfere with the signaling that are involved in quorum sensing.
In the rest of the article the doctor investigates the different signaling molecules, enzymes in the process and the effects on bacteria communication, and natural substance which can interfere with this mechanism.
“The two most common auto-inducers seen in bacteria are known as AHL (N-Acyl Homoserine Lactones) and Auto-inducer family (AI-2, AI-3)”.

AHL are signaling molecules found in many gram-negative bacteria. Common gram-negative bacteria include H. pylori (ulcer causing bacteria), Salmonella (food poisoning), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea), Spirochetes (Lyme disease), Proteus and E. Coli (urinary tract infections)”. They are inactivated by an enzyme called lactonase.

It looks like that a major source of lactonase activity is via the PON1 gene, which codes for the enzyme paraoxonase. The main effect of this enzyme is to block the artery clogging effects of LDL cholesterol by enhancing the antioxidant functions of HDL.
“An additional link between chronic infectious states and cardiovascular disease”.
Several natural products, including quercetin, plant bioflavonoid, pomegranate juice, and NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) have been shown to increase paraoxonase activity, but it looks like that most of the studies have been done in tissue culture or on rats.
Dr. D’Adamo observes that “there is quite a bit of variation (polymorphisms) in the PON1 gene and it is doubtful that the animal quercetin studies are extendable to humans, as each species metabolizes quercetin somewhat differently”.

The second series of signaling molecules used in quorum sensing are the “auto-inducer” The auto-inducers work on both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. “Common gram-positive bacteria include Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Clostridium (botulism)”.
“Some evidence indicates that foods containing furocoumarins inhibit their signaling. Common furocoumarins in the diet include grapefruit juice and bergamot. Some species of seaweed are also being investigated for their ability to jam bacterial signaling”.

Biofilm and Stress

In this part the doctor underlines the connection between stress, neurotransmitters related and biofilms.
The stress hormone norepinephrine affects parts of the brain where attention and responding actions are controlled. Norepinephrine is synthesized from dopamine. The gene for dopamine has shown some association linkages with the gene that code for ABO groups.

Both epinephrine and norepinephrine are present throughout the gastrointestinal tract. It looks like that blood group O individuals with high level of stress may have more problems with infections due to overgrowth in the gut, especially true for type O individuals with the “Hunter” epigenotype.
Dr. D’Adamo has his own classification of genotypes based on biometric and metabolic calculations, blood type and secretor status, family history and more. There are 6 genotypes and the book that describes this epigenetic classification is called “Change Your Genetic Destin”.

Herbal medicine and biofilms

In this section of the article the doctor considers the different herbs and relation to biofilms, their action and/or interference. I am only mentioning some of these.

Seaweeds seem to possess a very strong ability to resist biofilm formation, probably-as he defines- “an evolutionary adaptation to the harsh demands of living at the interface of land and sea”.

Andrographis paniculata has been used since the ancient times from Aryuvedic medicine and others, the plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities. Andrographis is also reported to possess hepato-protective, antibiotic, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The main active component of this herb was reported at the time of the article to inhibit the bacterial quorum sensing system. A successive study using variations of this component verified this observation.

Schisandra chinensis is an adaptogenic herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve the ability of the body to respond to stress. The major constituents in schisandra are lignans found in the seeds of the fruit. Modern Chinese research suggests these lignans have a protective effect on the liver and an immunomodulating effect.

Eleutherococcus senticosus is also known as Siberian ginseng. The applicable parts of Siberian ginseng are the root and leaf. The lignin constituents seem to have immunostimulatory effects. As an adaptogen, Siberian Ginseng is considered to possess stress-modulating effects.
Siberian ginseng and Schisandra chinensis both stimulate the expression of chemicals involved in the chemical defense against stress.
The conclusion under the doctor view is that stress seems to really impact biofilm formation, therefore is very important controlling noradrenaline levels in the gut.
This herbal approach works well with whatever anti-lectin therapy (diet, anti-adhesion supplements) he uses with his patients.

Mariarosaria M.

Resources: lectin connection/natural products-research/biofilm and herbal medicine. Reviewed and revised on May 2018

Oxidative Stress and Methylation

The antithesis of methylation is the oxidative stress, for the body needs anti-oxidants to neutralize free radicals from toxins that cause damage and inflammation.

Oxidative metabolism causes damage and ruptures in DNA molecules through the production of free radicals, reactive oxygen species, ROS, as the superoxide radical, O2-, and hydrogen peroxide, H2O2. This last one is the cause of the whitining of hair in the aging process.

Oxidative Stress can cause disruption in cellular signaling mechanism and is involved in many disease and dysfunction, like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and so on.

As we age our body becomes less able to properly methylate DNA, methylations are not enough, or there are deficits due to mutations, as the MTHFR gene mutations, for example. Same thing also happens with Telomerase activity.

Telomerases are enzymes that allow the adding of telomeres, short nucleotides sequences at the end of the DNA allowing the elongation and replication of the molecule- in this way the continuum of important life process a very important research find of last years as a way for rejuvenation.

With the aging process this activity is reduced, so as methylations are. As result more and more DNA undergo errors that can eventually lead to the expression of cancer-promoting genes, cancer cells activate this enzyme as one of their mechanisms to growth and multiply. These are regular mechanism of the aging process, so as mitochondrial dysfunction.

Mitochondria are the main organelles for energy production and their function is implied with many modern disease and dysfunction, like chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, aging process and so on.  In these organelles the oxidative phosphorylation, final step of the metabolism, brings to the production of ATP, the universal molecule of energy.

Mitochondria play an essential role in many cellular processes, many active cells as those in the brain, muscle tissues and liver have hundreds of mitochondria per cell. They have their own DNA inherited from the mother only, mtDNA.

Oxidative damage cause mutations in mtDNA, mitochondrial DNA, alteration in cell communication and inflammation with consequences on energy production, aging process and disease as cardiovascular and cancer.

It results in imbalance between oxidation and reduction, these chemical reactions are called redox for the simultaneous transfer of electrons from one chemical species to another. Oxidations are the chemical processes for oxygen atoms are acquired and electrons are lost generating positive ions, or cations, in case of metabolic oxidative stress the superoxide O2-instead, the free radical form of oxygen with an uneven number of electrons; these molecules are unstable and tend to reach stability binding to other molecules; this is the damaging and toxic process.

Reductions are instead the opposite, molecules tend to lose the oxygen atom and to acquire an electron producing negative ions, or anions, these are the positive reactions which converts free radicals from the oxidative damage back to harmless molecules, these last ones are the anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants are the molecules that protect the cells from the damage from free radicals, mainly toxins, calming down the inflammatory damage; there are number of antioxidants in nature, the most common are: sulfates, cysteine, glutathione, polyphenols, curcumin, vitamins, like A, C, E, minerals like zinc and selenium and more.

Blue Berries Close Up Photography

To maintain a proper mitochondrial function, essential to many body’s function, is therefore necessary to reduce the amount of toxins and factors like stress, for example, and that can damage mitochondria, and to provide the appropriate nutrients as mainly anti-oxidants. Other risks factor for oxidative stress and free radical productions are toxins in general, cigarette smoking, pollution, radiations, and diet high in sugars and fats.

One of the remedies for supporting cellular energy is the well-known supplement CoQ10, but also carnitine is a molecule well recommended from naturopaths.

CoQ10 is essential component in the production of cellular energy and there are plenty of studies in regard of the benefits from supplementation, especially for cardiovascular problems, and for lowering cholesterol.

With methylation mutations these processes are amplified and anticipated, but if there is control and life style modification it is possible to reverse the condition and turn the bad genes off and the good ones on, repeating one of the principles of the epigenetics.

When exposed to heavy toxin burden, the body prioritize protection from damage more than methylation, so homocysteine is shifted towards detoxification pathway rather than recycling back to methionine for methylation.

In this pathway which utilizes vitamin B6 and zinc as cofactors, homocysteine, toxic amino-acid and cause mainly of cardiovascular problems, is converted in cystathionine to become cysteine.

Cysteine plays an important role in many body processes, among these- as source of sulfate- is utilized for detoxification for binding with heavy metals and other toxic, and therefore preventing their absorption and facilitating excretion.

Glutathione amino-acid, as more time mentioned, is the best anti-oxidant in the body and a final product of the detoxification pathway. N-acetyl-cysteine intensively prescribed today for its many important function in detoxification and not simply is a main precursor of glutathione. It is very important therefore in the methylation cycle to get free of all the toxins through the trans-sulfuration pathway.

My integrative doctor, Dr. Angila Jaeggly– specialized with autoimmunity and with methylations as well- public speaker and author of a book on natural principles titled “One Thousand Cures” did introduce me to the MTHFR and variety of consequences and to the specialists in the field.

Dr. Jaeggly has continued growing her expertise with inflammatory diseases thanks to all the new variety of technological innovation, natural therapies and expedients, and years of clinical practice. In addition, she is specialized with heavy metals detoxification and anti-aging therapies.

One of her best therapy with a variety of benefits and mainly for joints issues, neuropathy and cardiovascular problem is the ozone therapy.

A very natural speaker, calm, secure and professional, she recently has begun a serial of videos episodes on the variety of health issues and remedies offered at her clinic.

She was just talking and addressing remedies for energy related problems and mitochondrial dysfunction in one of her last Facebook videos.

As already mentioned she did address me to Dr. Ben Lynch with his original website,, at that time and still now, and to another scientist involved with epigenetics and nutrigenomics, Dr. Amy Yasko, a PhD expert on these subjects and mainly on autism, a very analytical biochemist and biotechnologist.

I read part of her work, from the book she was providing free online at that time, “Autism, Pathway to Recover”.

I was totally immersed and caught from this cascade of information and biochemical data and details; this and Dr. Ben Lynch research were my first approaches with MTHFR and methylation, and autism, and from there,” Could be B12” and “Changing the Course of Autism”, two more books on the themes.

Autism is one of the most important consequences of MTHFR mutations, affecting children mainly.

Today there is a lot of discussion about vaccines and their side effects, the importance of curing the leaky gut and an imbalanced microbiota, and detoxification mainly from heavy metals.

“The truth About Vaccines” has been another revolutionary documentary in regard of children affected from autism and from all the all neurological damages caused from vaccines, or at least from excessive vaccination in too early age. The response was incredible and did reach the whole world.

Many more summits and conferences have been on this theme and all the world is aware now, new ones are on the way.

Mariarosaria M.


Mitochondrial Function and Energy Production. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition, Michael T. Murray, N.D., & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D, 2012

The Methylation Cycle, The Importance of Glutathione. Changing The Course of Autism, Bryan Jepson, M.D. with Jane Johnson, 2007

Oxidative Stress, Wikipedia. Online free Encyclopedia

World Summits Reviews


What an explosion today, more and more scientists are turning from the traditional medicine point of view to the natural and holistic approaches based on personal experience and same natural medicine growth thanks to the internet global communication, world summits, seminars and conferences.

I have been testimony of all of this from years, participating to many of these summits and seminars, courses and programs, and following a variety of scientists worth of trust and respect.

My involvement with Naturopathy and the Emerging Science began years ago when I learned about the Blood Type Diet of Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a famous naturopath and epigenesist. This diet has been heavily discussed and under critics, but also validated from customers over many years. The book that made him famous, “Eat Right 4 Your Type” sold millions of copies around the world; a new edition has been published last year with updates.

I was never capable to strictly follow any diet. I mainly care for my general health, and the blood type diet, as an arrangement of the Mediterranean diet, is a better fit for me. I felt always good eating light and clean and within my blood type immunology, but recently things have been a little more complicate with diets and allowances and new emerging.

The theories and opinions differ among same naturopaths and nutrition specialists, especially in regard of diets and here is where people feel confused and do not know whom to listen to. Many of these diets are nutritious and balanced, but they contradict each other in some category and this sometimes makes things not easy as they could be in the past.

I have learned a lot from these doctors in these last years and am very grateful to all of them.  I have been eager, proud, and enthusiastic to be part of their summits and seminars most of the time and to give testimony about this world confrontation.

The field of medicine today has a huge and antagonistic separation between traditional and functional medicine. We know how important the traditional medicine is and how we rely on it for major and acute diseases and emergency situations. We also understand the importance of functional medicine, but this can be overwhelming and discordant sometimes.

Unfortunately, scientists are the same victims. Research and technology today are growing and changing so fast that there is not time to adjust to a new find and to research because a new hypothesis, or statistical data rejects the previous.

One of these common issues for most people is the “Fat dilemma”, as I call, and relation to cardiovascular health.

Dr. Mark Hymann with his ‘Eat Fat Get Thin” has revolutionized theories and old believes, but things seem to be still under review and updating, and new summits are on the way.

I have a degree in biology, I am not a nutritionist, or a naturopath, and as much as I understand and believe that good fats are essentials to our health, and mainly to our brain, I still believe that too much fat in general is not good for the health, and the blood type also relates.

It looks like that blood type A and AB individuals with an enzyme deficit that breaks down fats, the ALPI, intestinal alkaline phosphatase, cannot digest fat easily, for they flow in circles and deposit on the arterial’s wall. Also, the natural viscosity of blood for these types added to stress due to high levels of cortisol makes things only worse from the cardiovascular point of view. On the other hand, with type O, for example, the cardiovascular problem seems to be more related to carbohydrates since this type is more intolerant to these.

Dr. D’Adamo agrees that cholesterol is not the simple marker for cardiovascular disease and recognizes the benefits of this molecule, and benefits from diet and life style, but as many others feels that too high levels of LDL need to be under control. All the medical professional admits that particle size or not, the oxidized are dangerous, and if I remember correctly from a famous book, “The Cholesterol Myth”, even HDL particles can be dangerous as LDL, based on size.

Dr. Michael Murray, a famous Bastyr University-related naturopath and New York time best seller author, as well, mentions the importance of the CRP, inflammatory factor, as a greater cardiovascular risk than cholesterol, and of Apo-Lipoprotein (a) as a more dangerous marker of risk for CVD, even more of stroke and atherosclerosis, in his book entitled “Cholesterol and Heart Health”.  So as Apo-Lipoprotein (e) is a risk marker for Alzheimer disease, as much as toxins exposure and lifestyle.

In a recent summit organized from Dr. Mark Hyman – “Broken Brain”- and which was gathering most of the scientists mentioned in this article, Alzheimer seems to be still an open wonder with not a precise cure, but with very good prospective of prevention, even more than those we all are aware.

Lifestyle, nutrition and exercise, the most important, avoidance of toxins, unhealthy environment and stress, of course. They all have been enhanced as much better tool than genetic diagnostic. They were mentioning that people with genes cannot get the disease while others with no genes could because of life style.

The discovery of the benefits of vitamin B12 has been of fatal importance besides the many more adjuvants of supplementation for brain health, like, for example, the curcumin antioxidant, and the many brain stimulants, but even more important the omega’s 3 fatty acids and polyphenols found mainly in specific fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Daniel Amen, very famous psychiatrist, and even more for his book, “Change Your Brain Change Your Life”, New York time Best Seller, ADD types classification and analysis, and much more, also has evaluated new treatments for major brain disease and dysfunctions.  The Brain Warrior Course– one of his variety of courses on brain health- analyzes healthy life style prototypes to follow, and mainly in consideration of keeping a healthy brain at any age. But Dr.Amen treats and analyzes a lot more in regard of brain.

More encouraging are the therapies for lowering cholesterol and managing so cardiovascular health and strokes avoiding the use of medical prescriptions like statins, unless an episode has already manifested, in this case also naturopaths agree the use to be necessary.

The cardiovascular theme has been also well discussed in one of the revolutionary summits–The Heart Revolution—by participating scientists from around the world, including many of the doctors I follow.

The main emerging and as already addressed lately intensively, the sugar related cause more than fats, so as emerged in the Broken Brain summit, the sugar and refined grains are the major problem and cause of inflammation and degeneration, as we all now know. Even more revolutionary though are some new theories and hypothesis that were emerging from the Heart Revolution summit in regard of heart and soul, spirituality and love. Heart and circulation system discussed and analyzed under a totally different point of view.

Universe connections, magnetism effects, the earth and the heart; the heart evaluated not simply as a pump, but in the contest of the influence of the vegetative nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic. Very fascinating and interesting theories.

One of these doctors was expressing that a heart attack with death it is not simply caused from typical preconditions we know, or from arterial plaques, but mainly from imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic.

We all are under stress, and with fight response from sympathetic while the parasympathetic regulate and balance this response with calming effects, if this activity is low for genetic reasons or other clinical reasons, or for missing the spirit for positive attitudes, here is when a heart attack may come.

What about grains and wheat and all the ultimate discordance in regard. Grains are so important for everyone but looks like to be the major contribute of inflammation and autoimmunity development, so as of obesity if mainly processed grains. The Mediterranean diet empathizes the whole grain and many other diets allow the healthy and ancient grains mainly as source of fibers for intestinal health and lowering cholesterol. From recent updates it looks like that maybe processed grains might be a better choice since they have been free of the gliadin, the lectin responsible of agglutination and damages.  Some scientists suggest that eating in moderate amount this last one should not be a problem for the other type of damage that processed grains can cause. Should we believe this?

Another controversy in the naturopathic world also heart related is over soy. Soy is good for lowering cholesterol, and a main food for types A and AB, but is considered a goitrogen for thyroid, and cause of food intolerance. Many products specify that they are free from soy, as well as from gluten or dairy products. But, for atrophic thyroid should not to be a problem, same as for cruciferous vegetables, in addition these last one, as they say, cooked should not preserve this effect.

Thyroid disease is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and around the world, mainly because of gluten intolerance, toxins and environment pollution, immune imbalance and nutrient deficiency, but the root cause can be also microbial or viral.

The “Thyroid Team” as I call them since registering to The Hashimoto’s Institute course was including among the main speakers and hosts:  Dr. Izabella Wentz, famous pharmacist and naturopath, Dr. Andrea Yakama, a nutritionist with a deep insight outlook, well-known and appreciated Dr. Alan Christianson, thyroid and adrenal specialist, New York Times bestseller and author of the “Adrenal Reset Diet” among other books, and Dr. Suzy Cohen, natural pharmacist and author of another New York Times bestseller, “Thyroid Healthy”, and many more books, as well the other doctors.

Dr. Alan Christianson has also created a program called “Thyroid Reset” where in different steps treats the whole course of thyroid disease from diagnosis to reverse of symptoms, and of the autoimmune process through monitor of diet, life style, toxins, and elements which are beneficial or not in case of thyroid disease.

Dr. Datis Kharrazian, other thyroid specialist and author of books on thyroid disease establishes that if there are high levels of anti-TPO, anti-tireo-peroxidase antibodies in Hashimoto’s, thyroid autoimmune disease, they attach to the cerebellum damaging the tissues and causing brain inflammation and brain fog, which means lower concentration and mental fatigue.

Ataxia, which causes loss of balance, can be caused either from gluten sensitivity or anti-TPO. Gluten sensitivity is the worse trigger for Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, but there are many other causes also of microbial and viral origins as Dr. Izabella Wentz describes in all her works and books mainly addressing the root causes. She also has organized a world documentary on this subject and seminars–one of this, The Thyroid Secret, and written number of books and protocols for thyroid disease. She is incredible detailed and precise.

Autoimmunity is even more discussed as much as the microbiome. The microbiome of the community of friendly microbes in our intestine, or microbiota, has been genetically mapped as it has been done with the genome project to identify the genes responsible for a certain strain of bacteria and correlation with pathologies, and production of specific metabolites to better identify friendly bacteria to include in probiotics.

Probiotics are the main recommendations of all naturopaths and traditional doctors today. Prebiotics are even more prescribed.  These are meant to feed the good bacteria of the intestinal flora, mainly fibers, insoluble fibers, and good fats.

The importance of the diversity of foods to feed the good bacteria, and not simply this, has been also well discussed in these summits.

Fixing the gut is most important thing to curing most diseases, and this statement is very well known at this time. Friendly bacteria do a lot of the work of supporting our general health; if there is leaky gut there are a cascade of consequences, mainly due to inflammation of the intestinal wall.

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability means that if we are intolerant to some food or overload ourselves of toxins we cause intestinal inflammation and imbalance in our intestinal flora or microbiome, eating non- healthy foods we feed the bad bacteria. Leaky gut or porous intestine manifests with loosing of the intestinal wall junctions and abnormal permeability. Because of the permeability undigested proteins flow in the system causing inflammation and from here a variety of problems like allergies, intolerance, and autoimmune process later with time, or neurological inflammation, and cancer, unfortunately too.

The immune system does not recognize fragments that cannot be digested totally because of missing the enzymes, or because overloaded and reacts against them as invaders producing antibodies. This is one of the typical mechanism of autoimmune disease, and this why the importance of digestive enzymes to cure inflammation besides anti-oxidants. In other case there is cross-reactivity, but more hypotheses have been formulated to justify the autoimmune process.

In the case of molecular mimicry, some molecules from foods, usually those that are potentially allergenic, with the same structure as- or like to body tissues or molecules- are responsible to cause the immunological reaction. The immune system has a memory function. If a food is no tolerant, the system produces antibodies against and will use same antibodies to react against its own tissues because of the similarity to potential allergens in foods.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, Italian researcher at Harvard University has been one of the main contributors of the leaky gut theory. He has identified a protein responsible of increasing intestinal permeability, and which opens the tight junctions. This protein named zonulin result to be product in excess in people with autoimmune disease, and mainly Hashimoto’s disease.

Dr. Tom O’Brian, the author of the “Autoimmune Fix”, the book were all the autoimmunity mechanisms are well explained and clarified, has produced a documentary on this theme entitled Betrayal, to express the betrayal of our immune system toward ourselves because it doesn’t recognize its own tissues and reacts against stimulating the process of autoimmunity. He also discusses gluten sensitivity and intolerance intensively; he travels the world to give lectures and continue to participate to seminars and summits on the themes. He is an expert speaker, clear, and passionate, author of many you tube videos.

But there is a lot more around these concepts and the scientists discuss them very well and in detail in summits and seminars. Another important factor influencing the flow of partially digested proteins through the intestinal wall is the stomach acid level.

Our stomach needs acid to digest proteins, and this is another of the well-treated subjects of the Blood Type Diet Science of Dr. Peter D’Adamo.  This is the reason why blood type A and AB individuals with lower stomach acid content cannot digest animal proteins very well and so they need the support of digestive enzymes like Pepsin, or Betaine, or of Bromelain whose property mechanism is based on the pineapple enzyme, to mention some, or of natural elements like lemon, or vinegar to help to make acid. Lemon is also good for blood fluidity for those with thick blood and at risk of coagulation process as much as fish oil.

The connection leaky gut and leaky brain, or blood brain barrier permeability, another intensively discussed argument. Molecules trough the blood flow can reach out the brain and pass the wall of protection because of its permeability due to different attacks, mainly toxins that we introduce in body even if not responsible, or aware. From most recent Microbiome summit organized from Dr. R. Kellman, the emerging has been that there is a brain microbiota responsible also for our behavior, character, mood and psychology.

An Italian doctor participant, Dr. Mark Ruggiero has been describing this theory and effects on humans, and way to treat for balancing the brain flora as well. The strains are the same that affects the gut, but the amount is different, much less.

He was speaking in regard of Autism in another summit and mentioning already his sort of mix of yogurt formula to replace the original colostrum to fix the gut of kids affected from autism.

The point is that the microbes itself do not do the same job if not in their natural environment, for it is necessary recreate the same original ones, and this is also why the importance of prebiotics. A cardiologist becoming very famous on internet, Dr. Steven Gundry agrees with this concept giving much importance to the nourishment of the good gut flora. He is also the author of “The Plant paradox Diet” which has revolution some recent believes in regard of foods, but also validate under my point of view Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s theories in regard of the “food lectins

Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, co-founder of the Bastyr University and author of several best seller books also has been participating to some of the summits and seminars and introducing his hypothesis of toxins as a major contribute of disease, even more emphasizing the importance of glutathione, the most important body anti-oxidant. One of his latest book on toxins, “The Toxin Solution” has been published recently. Detoxification is always the first step to follow to clean our body of all the toxins and Dr. Pizzorno has also a variety of weekly menu of recipes, as well as most of the books on diet, and protocols of detoxification.

What about methylations and MTHFR? Plenty of explanations from Dr. Ben Lynch, the major representative and author of number of courses in regard, summits, seminars and public speaking.

I follow and trust him from time. He is an excellent speaker and a brilliant personality.

MTHFR is the gene resulting in deficit of methylations, very important chemical process at the molecular level and for several body’s functions.

These mutations are associated with problems mainly related to cardiovascular and neurological inflammation, hypertension, thrombosis, strokes, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, MS, dementia, Alzheimer, autism, and more.

I have learned many things from these doctors, and most of the information I am releasing in this article.

The main concept in naturopathy is to find the root cause, investigating, doing deep data research to find the cause of the disease and not simply to cure the symptoms. The idea is to live in harmony with nature, in spirituality and love, to stay away from toxins as much as possible, to follow a clean and balanced diet, to supplement properly, to sleep well, to exercise and practice healthy activities, do what we enjoy, and live at our best.

Mariarosaria M.

MTHFR and Blood Type

Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics

MTHFR, Cardiovascular and Alzheimer, Autoimmunity and Cancer, Blood Type Relation, Secretor and Non-Secretor.

Epigenetics is an exciting area of genetics research that explore answers on how the genetic code in DNA is affected by aging, life style, the environment influence and much more.

In Epigenetics, organisms with identical alleles, like twins, can exhibit different phenotypes because of the influence of the environment.

Some epigenetics effects are normal and useful, they control how cells look and behave, other act like mutations and can cause diseases like cancer.

MTHFR mutation results in a deficit of methylations, chemical process for a methyl group, -CH3, is added to a molecule, usually DNA, controlling numerous body’s functions.

With lack of methylations there are therefore a variety of problems mainly related to cardiovascular, neurological inflammation, and cancer.

One of the researchers that I follow for this specific topic is Dr. Ben Lynch, Naturopath and Biology Molecular specialist, owner of two different informational and educational websites on the subject, webinars, summits and world conferences organizer and participant.

The other specialist in Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics  and that I follow from many years, is Dr. Peter D’Adamo, the creator of the Blood Type Diet and author of many books, the most famous and that gave him his notoriety, “Eat Right 4 Your Type” has sold millions of copies around the world; recently he has published a new edition.

A meticulous researcher, Dr.D’Adamo also is the creator of software and sophisticated data analyzer. He has found his own school on Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics.

Both these doctors have developed systems of data interpretation of 23 and Me, genetic test, for practitioners to better understand and to address their patient’s therapy. These are the Opus 23 of D. Peter D’Adamo and the Strate Gene of Dr. Ben Lynch.

In general, if we over-methylate, or hypo-methylate our system, we may encounter the risk of activating the oncogenes in our body toward proliferation and cancer. This is why a balance is necessary in these cases at different levels to keep from hyper-methylating or hypo-methylating, either way methylation must be under control to avoid cancer proliferation and not simply that.

The MTHFR mutations are associated with problems mainly related to cardiovascular and neurological inflammation, hypertension, thrombosis, strokes, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, MS, dementia, Alzheimer, autism, and more.

The C677T allele of these mutations is mainly responsible for causing high levels of homocysteine, discussed risk for cardiovascular disease. The A1298C  is instead related to neurological inflammation.

The risk is based on the percentage of the defect and from the homozygous, or heterozygous condition of the mutation, and is mainly controlled by methyl-donors like, methyl folates, which are a reduced form of folic acid, and methyl-12, a methylate form of vitamin B12, or cobalamin. But the methylation cycle involved with this metabolic pathway includes many more metabolites and cofactors essential for managing these deficits. If both defects are present, C677T and A1298C, the combination is defined as heterozygous compound.

The reason why folic acid is not recommended is because the mutation itself causes a deficit of the enzyme catabolizing folic acid. Dr. Lynch is one of the most alarming speaker on this subject. If folic acid is over- introduced from diet and supplementation will block the site for methyl-folates and these will accumulate in the system causing serious side effects, this phenomena is called methyl-trap.

There might be cancer implication if the bad genes are turned on, for it is better to silence these genes than to turn them active, and this is why methylation is important, especially if the genes turned off are the bad ones. But there is to be careful, too much methylation is not good, so as too little.

A recent summit organized from Dr B. Lynch titled “Dirty Genes” has been discussing and reviewing the latest updates, and in his just released new book, “Dirty Genes”, Dr. Lynch describes the concept of dirty genes itself and most common SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms, or genes mutations, and protocols to follow without even testing genetically thanks to questionnaires in the book; main suggestions for most of the SNPs, healthy life style and diet, avoidance of toxins and stress, appropriate sleep and exercise.

Supporting methylations is very important and life style and food are the best way to do it in this case.

Most important the diet and how we nourish our body, and, under my modest opinion, the Blood Type Diet as an arrangement of the Mediterranean Diet looks the most appropriate because mainly based on healthy grains and fruit and vegetables, and high-quality fats and proteins, but with the respect of the immunologic system of each blood group, and consideration of methylation to a proper level and natural detoxification.

Each blood type has specific foods to benefit and which behave as medicine, others to eat sporadically, named as neutrals, and those to avoid and which are the cause of many problems.  Each diet today follows main recommendations and standards, but with own restrictions, for each diet has its own difficulties.

So as many diseases are blood type related, there are foods implicated with each blood type to be the cause of immunological reaction, inflammation and autoimmunity, and from here cancer.

There is a relation between autoimmunity and cancer, and a variety of markers and receptors with similarity with blood type antigens, and which in some cases can be a sort of protection against cancer, so as the difference between secretor and non-secretor.

The 80% of the population carry blood type antigens in their secrets, or body fluids, and these are defined secretors, the 20% does not, these are the non-secretors; this characteristic confers different immune resistance, of course the secretors are more protect under an immunological point of view.

Could cancer be related to blood groups susceptibility and sensibility, and to the difference between secretor and non-secretor? Is Dr. Peter D’Adamo right about his theories on blood type and immunological reactions to food’s lectins?

The blood type diet science of Dr. Peter D’Adamo provides the explanation of how the immune system interacts with food lectins with the same principles of our immune system reacts to foreign agents, antigens and microbes.

Leaky gut and health of microbiome relate to the most of disease, this the basic concept of the emerging science and the same science mentioned from Dr. D’Adamo from years now.

Autoimmunity plays a big role in all of this and mainly connected to gluten sensitivity, from here the leaky gut and all the consequences.

Dr. Tom O’Brian the specialist in regard of gluten sensitivity and autoimmunity thinks that all the diseases come from an autoimmune process caused by intolerance to foods, mainly gluten, the toxic part of wheat.

Cancer of course is one of the consequences, and if we add the MTHFR gene mutations, huge stress in life, poor habits, and all the toxins from the environment, the risks are amplified.

The list of doctors and subjects treated in these last years has grown enormously and I have been engaged to report and summarize part of these new funds to the public who does not know yet.

To learn more about methylations and snps go to:

Mariarosaria M.