Can Owning A Dog Can Help Your Microbiome?

Our bodies contain around eight million genes. Yet only about 0.3 percent are human. The rest come from your microbiome — the sum total of genes from the numerous microbes (mostly bacteria, but also viruses, yeasts and fungi) that coat your skin, mouths, gut lining – just about everything.

And any number of lifestyle factors can influence your microbiome, things like diet, antibiotic use and even the people we live with.

While a person might only have 10 percent of their microbiomes in common with a random stranger, people who live together share more microbial populations in common.

Research has even shown that you and your dog share similar microbial populations and UCSF scientists who conducted a study in 2013 suggested that living with a dog in infancy may lower a child’s risk of developing asthma and allergies, largely as a result of exposure to what they call “dog-associated house-dust”.

“The idea of combining animal, human and environmental health, and seeing the whole picture through the lens of the microbes that we share, is an increasing direction for research,” Knight said in a recent interview with U-T San Diego.

Reference

Fikes, B. Dog germs may be good for you. The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2015.

Havstad, S., Ganesa Wegienka, Edward M Zoratti, et al.  Effect of Prenatal Indoor Pet Exposure on the Trajectory of Total IgE Levels in Early Childhood. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011:  128(4). Elsevier Ltd: 880–885.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.06.039.

Tse, I. 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership. LiveScience. 2012

 

Vitality & Longevity: Secrets to A Thriving Life – PART 4 Your Microbiome and Your health

Until recently, scientists focused almost solely on how microbes negatively affect humans. There has since been a realization that some microorganisms are actually beneficial to human health.

Let’s first of all define some terms:

  • The microbiota is the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body. The microbiota microorganisms contain about 30-50 trillion cells, bacteria make up the bulk  The human body itself contains about 37 trillion human cells.
  • The microbiome refers to the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment

Top Ten Facts About the Microbiome

  1. Microbial genes significantly influence how the body operates.
  2. They impact aging, digestion, the immune system, mood and more
  3. There are approximately 3.3 million microbial genes in the human body (and 2,000 functional human genes)
  4. Microbial genes outnumber human genes by a ratio of 100:1
  5. 99% of human metabolic functions in the human body are coded for bacterial DNA )
  6. Everyone’s individual microbiome is as unique as their fingerprint and comprised of hundreds of different types of bacteria.
  7. The specific number of bacteria cells varies throughout the day and is always turning over.
  8. The microbes that live in your body are determined by what you’re exposed to and these colonies are constantly in flux. Geography, health status, stress, diet, age, gender, and everything you touch all affect the composition of your microbiota
  9. We depend on a vast army of microbes to stay alive: a microbiome that protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins
  10. Gut bacteria have the ability to produce the enzymes required to break down complicated nutrients.

Vitality & Longevity: Secrets to A Thriving Life – PART 3 Foods Your Brain Will Love

BEWARE – Food is medicine, or it’s poison.

LONGEVITY SECRET # 3 – conditions including Alzheimer’s — and other forms of dementia — and also depression, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, even bipolar disorders, are all deeply influenced by the food we eat.

“The real weapons of mass destruction are highly processed, pesticide-sprayed, high-glycemic, low-fiber, food-like substances stored in plastic containers that are destroying the health of America.

Daniel G. Amen, MD

Foods Your Brain will Love

  1. Blueberries are “brain berries.” You want to get them organic or don’t eat them because blueberries hold pesticides more than most fruits.
  2. 80 percent plants — colorful plants.
  3. High-quality fats…  olive oil mixed in with some form of protein because fat and protein together help balance blood sugar. It could be organic tofu; it could be high protein plants like spinach and broccoli.
  4. Wide spectrum of fruits and veggies in order to cover all the bases. We have an overwhelming body of evidence that a healthy diet filled with unprocessed, low-glycemic foods like green, leafy vegetables dramatically improves blood flow, and also lowers our risk of heart disease — for inflammation, for obesity, and diabetes