Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Friday, February 27, 2015

Disease Genes in the Gut Microbiota

--- the other 200 posts ---
Species of Gut Microbiota
Summary:  Doctors take medical histories and enquire about family diseases.  It seems like they think there are human genes behind human diseases, but when we say, “It runs in the family,” what we actually mean is our gut bacteria, microbiota, are shared with relatives along with our eating habits.  Diseases result from problems with gut bacteria and not from problems with our genes.

Genetic Diseases are Rare
Not too many years ago, the technology for massive projects to thoroughly identify the genes behind the most prevalent human diseases became available.  The results were clear and shocking.  Genes were not a major contributor (less than 10%) to disease.  And yet, the families studied clearly had a major predisposition to each of the diseases studied.  Something was causing the disease in those families, but it just wasn’t any of the 23,000 genes identified in the human genome project.  People all have essentially the same physiology determined by very similar genes.  Health differences are predominantly due to gut bacteria.

Genes are not Destiny
Commercial analysis of personal gene sequences was recently prohibited as a method of determining risk of disease, because the link between gene sequences and risk could not be substantiated.  The reality is that, aside from a few obvious molecular diseases, most genetic variations in gene sequences do not matter in an otherwise healthy person.  There aren’t  Alzheimer’s or obesity or heart disease genes.  Diet, gut microbiota, sleep and exercise are far more (>90%) important.  Most genetic risk factors can be overcome by an Anti-Inflammatory Diet with fermented vegetables, and a robust gut microbiota protected from medicine/antibiotics.

Gut Bacteria are Family
So if it is not human genes that run in families to make relatives share similar diseases, what is making them sick?  Relatives share their eating habits and gut bacteria.  This makes sense.  Diet and gut microbiota are the major determinants of disease and relatives pass their bacteria around the table with their food.  There are eating habits and particular patterns of gut microbiota that lead to common diseases.  Unbeknownst to us, most of the diseases of modern life, e.g. heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, mental illness, are transmissible by gut bacteria.

The Hygiene Hypothesis is Right and Wrong
For decades it has been obvious that early exposure to a farm environment, meaning an abundance of microbes, a diverse microbiota, eliminates allergies and many autoimmunities.  The Hygiene Hypothesis explained how early exposure to abundant microorganisms could eliminate allergies, as an early exposure to antigens that trained the immune system.  Early training of the immune system was later discounted, but the Hygiene Hypothesis then morphed into the current explanation, that early development of a diverse gut microbiota is needed to produce a healthy immune system.

Fix Your Diet, Fix Your Gut Microbiota and Fix Your Diseases
The good news is that all of the chronic diseases that threaten your future can be cured by just fixing your diet and repairing the complex bacterial communities in your gut.  Your immune system is critical to your health and damage to your immune system is the typical beginning to most diseases.  Damage to the immune system starts in the gut, where the aggressive and suppressive halves of the immune system develop in response to particular species of bacteria.  Those essential bacteria grow on the food in your diet that is not digested in the stomach and absorbed as nutrients in the small intestines, i.e. prebiotic fiber.  Thus, you eat to feed yourself and your gut bacteria.  Without the gut bacteria, you would be deficient in vitamins, your immune system would cease to function and you would be constipated.  Fixing your diet and gut microbiota will cure your diseases.


Gretchen said...

"all of the chronic diseases that threaten your future can be cured"

All of them?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Sure. It is early days and fixing gut microbiota via diet and muddy veggies is in its infancy. But I think it's more reasonable to say that these diseases can be reversed by fixing the immune system. Calling diseases incurable and suggesting unending treatment is medical hype.

Thanks for the question.

Gretchen said...

I don't think it's medical hype for diseases like type 1 diabetes, which existed in ancient times before antibiotics and frequent showers.

I'm not saying type 1 is incurable, but I think we need more than eating sauerkraut.

Anonymous said...

Maybe type 1 diabetes is caused from lack of good gut microbiota! For instance, I've read when a baby is born caesarean or when they aren't breast fed they lack a lot of the good gut microbiota that they would have otherwise or maybe they inherited lack of good gut microbiota from their mothers. Just a thought. Can't wait to see Dr Ayers has to say about this.

Anna said...

Gretchen, Dr Art (although it probably comes to no surprise to you, Dr Art) and Old Road Primitives:

"In one of the largest longitudinal studies of the microbiome to date, researchers have identified a connection between changes in gut microbiota and the onset of type 1 diabetes. The study, which followed infants who were genetically predisposed to the condition, found that onset for those who developed the disease was preceded by a drop in microbial diversity -- including a disproportional decrease in the number of species known to promote health in the gut."

Dr Art, I do, however agree with Gretchen regarding (Type 1) diabetes supposedly being around the time of Hippocrates, how can this be the case?
This was clearly a time before unhealthy modern practices i.e pharmaceutical antibiotics, fast food, decrease in fibre in the diet, excessive hygiene etc.
I can only assume perhaps those individuals were consuming too much botanicals, which as you've said would have had an antibiotic effect on their guts and reduced key species?
I would love to hear your thoughts..

Anonymous said...

Dr Ayers,

What about changes to immune system function due to mycobacterial and/or viral infection?

Do you have an opinion on the theory of molecular mimicry?

While it is convenient to believe that auto immune disease stems from the gut and that it may be cured by addressing the gut issue, would it not also be wise to consider the fact that an individual may be infected with a number of viruses and/or mycobacterium as a possible factor in immune dysfunction?

In todays modern age of travel and multiculturalism it is also common for an individual to be infected with a virus which he would not traditionally have come in contact with in a close knit village environment. Perhaps one which he has not 'evolved' to function with?

Could this be an explanation why auto-immune diseases are more common in developed countries where multiculturalism is also more common?


Alex Johnson

Raj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What is the effect of alcohol and tobacco on gut microbiome?

Studies say that cosuming alcohol in moderation can help on autoimmune diseases lile rheumatoid arthritis.

How mental stress/tension effect gut microbes?

Your comments on above statements please.

Thanks you.

Anonymous said...

I loved this comment; it's so hopeful. After being deluged by every form of media with unhelpful information on every disease on the rise today, what a pleasure to read that it's not inevitable we'll succumb, even if our parents did.

I've been following your recommended diet for over a year, and - I've mentioned this before - fermented juice recently changed my energy levels enormously in the favorable direction - constipation is still an issue. it's not terrible, but it's there. And I wonder why, since I'm eating all these vegetables, resistant starch, fermented vegetables, etc. As I said, that, great post! Keeps me going.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Fermented vegetable, prebiotics and constipation

Normal stools are half gut bacteria, so constipation results from no food, prebiotic fiber, to feed gut bacteria that can digest it, or lack of fiber.

Fermented vegetables contain probiotic Lactobacilli that ferment the free sugars and leave the polysaccharides/prebiotic fiber of the vegetables. Note that the probiotics that fermented the sugars are like the probiotics that ferment lactose in dairy products. These probiotics do not grow in the gut, but they can provide immune system function as they pass through. The probiotics in fermented juice may provide the energy you experience.

The prebiotic fiber, included fermented veggies, will just pass through your colon and produced compacted stools of constipation, unless they are digested to produce short chain fatty acids by colon bacteria. You lack these fiber digesting bacteria and that is the source of your constipation. These bacteria are not among the probiotics of commercial fermented foods.

I would suspect that your food preparation, life style, medical treatments or some aspect of your diet prevents your gut from recruiting new bacteria that you need to digest fiber. You simply aren't eating the contaminating bacteria that you need for a healthy gut microbiota and it shows up as constipation regardless of what you eat.

Diet is not enough. You need to eat bacteria, other than fermenting Lactobacilli, in order to have a functional gut microbiota and immune system.

Have you tried Probiotics-3, which contains C. butyricum that can grow on resistant starch?

Thanks for your questions. Let me know how you do.

Don said...

Dr, in your opinion is coconut oil harmful to the gut microbiota?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,
First, thank you for the work you do. Here is a short account of my experience:
About three and half years ago I underwent my first (and to date only) routine colonoscopy. Within forty- eight hours I went from very normal, healthy bowel function to chronic constipation. I am of slender to normal weight and in general good health. My diet has always been a traditional home-cooked American diet. I immediately added in more salads and vegetables. No better. I added yogurt. No better. I began to have rosacea flares during weather extremes. Eighteen months after the colonoscopy I began to search the web for advice on calming rosacea and inflamation.

I found your blog. And more to the point, I found your comments about diminished gut flora and eating lightly washed vegetables. Which, I thought, made some sense (and, I should add was a courageous statement to make, as it so flies against standard rules of hygiene!).
I pulled a couple of scallions from my garden, rinsed most, but not all, of the dirt off and ate them raw.
Forty-eight hours later, my chronic constipation was gone; my bowel function has stayed largely normal for more than a year since.
My rosacea is still an issue; unfortunately, more aggressive treatment for it (mild antibiotics) does upset my gut, so I avoid them as much as possible.
So, thank you again for your work and your courage to report what you discover.
C. Field

Anonymous said...

I should add, that by traditional American diet, I mean home-cooked meals, minimal amounts of processed foods; milk, butter, eggs, meat, chicken, cheese; nothing crazy or complicated.
C. Field

Raj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Art, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your research with us!

Would you consider doing a post dedicated to Fatty Liver Disease? I have been trying to piece together a self-treatment approach based on many years of your posts. It would be very helpful to many sufferers of this syndrome if you could apply your theories and suggest some specific ideas on diet and nutrition.

Melanie said...

Dr Art, Can you confirm whether L-Ascorbic Acid (the white powdered Vitamin C granules you can get from most health food stores) also has an antibiotic effect on the gut microbiome?
I've some apprehension but I don't want to miss out on the anti oxidative benefits of Vitamin C, even if its from L-Ascorbic Acid!

"Ascorbic acid, the synthesized version of vitamin C, has been proven to kill bacteria effectively, which makes it effective in killing parasites and infections. Unfortunately, it does not differentiate between the good and bad bacteria in the gut, and wipes out good bacteria in the gut which is mandatory for vibrant health."


Anonymous said...

What is the effect of alcohol and tobacco on gut microbiome?

Studies say that cosuming alcohol in moderation can help on autoimmune diseases lile rheumatoid arthritis.

How mental stress/tension effect gut microbes?

Your comments on above statements please.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Ayers
Many thanks for all you do.
What is your opinion of autotherapy and urophagia? (Sorry if you're having a coffee right now) I've read of some supposedly remarkable results with both.
There are reports of autotherapy being a highly effective treatement for MRSA and some STIs, even where antibiotics had failed. I've also heard of urophagia being used in Japan to treat a whole range of conditions. Is it all quackery? I ask this, because, if there are genuine benefits to autotherapy and urophagia, could it mean that having a fixed gut microbiota and a fully functioning and robust immune system, is sometimes not enough? If I have understood the reports correctly it seems that urine, or discharge or puss from wounds /site of infection sometimes needs to pass the throat in order for the immune system to kick into gear. Thank you.

Nick said...

I have no doubt about the link between the microbiome and disease. However how to deal with SIBO in this context? The current protocol is antibiotics to eliminate bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. This obviously affects the large intestine bacteria. With SIBO, is it possible to escape the catch-22 of promoting colonic bacteria while eliminating small intestinal bacteria?

I was treated for SIBO last year with Rifaxamin & Neomycin for methane producers. The treatment resulted in significant improvement in my symptoms. Prior to being diagnosed I experimented with resistant starch with disastrous results - there was a rapid worsening of my symptoms.

What's the best way to support a healthy microbiome where it belongs and discourage overgrowth where it doesn't?

Anonymous said...


How do bacteria from our environment, talking specifically the type we want to incorporate from dirt and other sources, survive our stomachs and digestive system long enough to populate where needed?

When you have collagenous colitis and massive rashes like I do, I'd love constipation and the opposite in skin. Of course, getting healthy again is something I'd pay lots of $$$$ for at this point.


Anonymous said...


I have had horrific experiences with oral Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) supplementation. Specifically rashes and diarrhea. Ascorbic Acid does indeed have an antibiotic effect on the gut.

As with any vitamin/mineral one should try to get from diet first. Lemon, lime, tomatoes, berries, peppers, etc.

A quick note about constipation. I lived the nightmare for 6 years. In 2008 my doctor put me on almost 90 days of broad spectrum anti-biotics (Levaquin & Cipro). It turned my rain forest into a complete desert. Classic dysbiosis. I went to a perfectly healthy young man with unlimited energy to constipated, chronically fatigued, dozens of severe allergies, skin conditions, etc.

I was never able to get my constipation under control until I got my yeast issues under control. Why did supplementing Nystatin and Fluconazole give me beautiful and robust bowel movements? Yeast can prevent re-inoculation of the gut microbiome. My experience mirrors what Dr. William Crook, John Trowbridge, etc. wrote about decades ago.

I have spent 3+ years in the dysbiotic community and speaking with sufferers. I spent many years mastering lacto-ferments, vegetable ferments, and fermenting meats. None of that did any good for all of my health complaints unfortunately.

Only after hundreds of hours of reading books, medical literature, pub-med, google scholar, and trial and error did I find the root cause of my yeast issues.


Sorry for such a long post.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for what you're doing and the time you put into these blog posts. Thanks for all that you do.


Anonymous said...


I have everything you mentioned, minus the constipation. In fact, it's quite the opposite. After many rounds of antibiotics, multiple colonoscopies later, my situation is getting worse, not better. I was wondering about Fluconazole, because I felt great after taking only one once. I've been seen by many doctors, and none think taking antifungals long term is a good idea. How long did you take Nystatin and Fluconazole?

I've been eating lactoferments for years as well, even before my issues started, and nothing seems to work. I'm convinced something, possibly yeast, is preventing my gut from setting the conditions needed for good bacteria population.

I appreciate your insights.


Anonymous said...


I took Nystatin for 1.5 months and Fluconazole for 3 weeks. These drugs significantly improved my condition but only temporarily and never fully controlled my yeast related symptoms in the end. They seemed to eventually loose steam after a few weeks. I attributed this to acquired resistance of the yeast but there are too many variables to be sure.

I mentioned this specifically to prove that yeast (e.g. Candida Albicans, Glabrata, Tropicalis, etc.) can have a substantial suppressive effect on our beneficial gut bacteria. There are thousands of articles on Pub-med regarding this.

In Dr. Trowbriges book "The Yeast Syndrome" he mentions how over 90% of his patients with yeast/dysbiosis have underlying metal toxicities. Mercury and Aluminum specifically. Which have there own immune suppressive effects.

Healthy gut bacteria mitigate toxic metal effects and absorption, this is well known. Individuals with crippled gut flora (usually via antibiotics) DO NOT excrete toxic metals, they retain majority.

Root cause of my yeast....


After confirming this with tests from Doctors Data in Chicago I couldn't believe it. 6 months of Aluminum Abstinence therapy and my yeast issues have faded and my bowel movements are looking IMPRESSIVE! My chronic fatigue is completely gone and now running/body building and enjoying a normal life. Skin is great.

For me, abstaining from aluminum has worked more wonders then the 20+ ferments I've mastered. I know individuals who have had FMTs with no luck because of underlying toxicity and yeast syndrome.

I owe a lot to Art and his expertise on the gut microbiome, fiber, Treg deficiencies, etc. because it filled in a lot of blanks for me. Art does a masterful job of explaining a complex subject to us laymans. I however had to fill the blanks myself with my yeast and underlying toxicity.

I've compiled hundreds of articles from pubmed and various literature and am currently developing a website on many subjects related to the gut microbiome.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response, Art. I have tried Probiotics-3 in the past; I'm going to try it again. I really appreciate the detailed explanation. And I will let you know how I do.

Anonymous said...


I would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you more about your story. I never thought anything about metal toxicities; my thinking about yeast eradication was always focused on killing the yeast itself. That brings me to the issue of not fully understanding the underlying cause. We take a very topical approach to treatment when a systematic look is needed.

I'm going to do some research on what you mentioned and probably get some of my own testing. I've been tested for some metals before, but only a few and not aluminum for sure. I just need to figure out where to begin and what to do for treatment when/if something is uncovered.

I would give anything to have the skin and bowel movements I had as a kid. Feel like those days are a distant memory, which is mostly true since my memory, among other things, is fading slowly.

Thanks again. You've been a great help!

Anonymous said...


Feel free to shoot me an email ( if needed. I can certainly elaborate more on the above information.

I have no problems sharing information and trying to help out people who are suffering. Few can truly understand the horrors of severely damaged flora.

Having a dust mite allergy so bad I had to sleep in my car outdoors with windows down for many weeks during winter. Constipation so bad I relied on PEG and enemas for many years. Not having energy to do things you love. Brain fog so bad you cannot remember simple items, etc.

Like Art said - "all of the chronic diseases that threaten your future can be cured". This is true. You can certainly do this. Don't give up.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers, do you have an opinion on low stomach acid being a contributing factor in gut disfunction? Some believe in supplementing for that. Can a healed micro biome affect actual stomach acid and/digestive enzymes, also frequently prescribed in supplemental form out in the alternative medicine world.


Mike said...

Greetings Dr. Ayers,

Do you know if that Probiotic 3 supplement permanently establishes itself in the gut? I was reading on the wikipedia page for Clostridium_butyricum and it suggested it did not...this was C. butyricum MIYAIRI 588- it is in tablet form- i don't know if it's something different entirely.

What other modifications would you suggest in addition to taking something like probiotic 3? I'm following your low inflammation diet.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers,

What is the actual definition of constipation? Yes, we know it when we have it - but how about if we've at least partially recovered? I don't have a bowel movement daily - it's more like every other day, occasionally even waiting an additional day. There is often some straining. Could that be "good enough?" Just wondering what we all mean by constipation. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Also - aside from Probiotics-3, what about Prescript Assist, another soil based probiotic that seems to be prescribed a lot these days. Do you feel using both would be a good idea, a bad idea, or do you have a preference for one over the other?

Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, one more question: this thing called "motility" as being a cause of constipation - is that something possibly involving nerves or some aspect of colin that could just be permanently damaged, say as a result of binge eating in the past?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon:

Lack of "motility" can be a brain/nerve issue. Dr. Kharrazian recommends gargling, loud singing, eliciting gag reflex to stimulate vagus nerve (which passes by the throat on the way to the gut):

Anonymous said...

Several weeks ago I was hit with a slight eczema outbreak, after a long time free of this. In the past I was able to identify the food that was causing it, but I'm a little stumped now. Unless it could be overdoing the fermented vegetable juice? Is that possible? Could there be yeasts in there that I just can't handle? I was drinking a bottle - 8 ounces - per day approximately.

Since consuming AOR-3 my constipation is slightly better, but not really. A little depressed here.

Has anyone experienced problems with fermented vegetables/juice?

Rick said...

Hi Dr Ayers,

I have been reading your blog for years now. I have rosacea, and eczema and can't seem to get rid of it.

What protocols do you recommend I follow?

Also, I was reading about the Marshall Protocol, here is a link:

What are your thoughts? Looks interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your blog is great! I just came across it a couple hours ago, and I'll be reading all night.

I'm a 21 year old female, and truthfully, my life has been quite the struggle thanks to the method of 'treatment 'by today's doctors.
I was diagnosed with severe IBD at 12, put on all the prednisone and immunosuppressants available, and finally had to have my colon removed after 5 years of flares.
Great, I was 'cured,' they said.
No. They still had not fixed the underlying problem.
A few years later, my body was under full blown attack. Arthritis, fevers, myalgia, scleritis (severe eye inflammation), inflammatory nodules in my skin- honestly, they list doesn't end. Recently, I was finally diagnosed with Takayasu's arteritis. Severe arterial inflammation and damage.
So, back on pred and immunosuppressants.
I feel like I've lost the game. I have tried so many diets, supplements, naturopaths- I even went to a doctor in Mexico for treatment. Nothing.

Please, if you can suggest/recommend anything, you have no idea how much I would appreciate it.

I'm happy to share any other details if you have questions.

So nice to read of an educated medical professional that is interested in actually HELPING patients. Wish there were more like you. I hope to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Hi -

This is Anon, who drinks fermented juice and is still somewhat constipated. I have been taking AOR-3 as you suggested, two pills per day. I just recently upped it to four. There isn't really a change that I can see. I'm going to continue the four pills - two with each meal. I don't eat breakfast. I am maintaining - for 28 years - an 80 pound weight loss. Definitely have damaged by gut over the years, and took several rounds of antibiotics over the years. I tend to now have a BM every other day or so - perhaps this is okay, although can get uncomfortable. I wonder if I should continue taking the AOR-3 indefinitely? You said I should let you know how I'm doing, so here it is. Hope all is well with you, and looking forward to your next post!


aj1441 said...

hi Dr
i came to your blog looking for info on psoriatic arthritis which i have
besides the diet you recommend is there anything specific to bring down the inflammation quick?

whats your opinion on flaxseeds or flaxseed oil temporarily to bring down inflammation?
what about MSM supplement?
thanks for your time

Donnie C. said...

Dr. Ayers,
I've been following your blog for some time and consider myself a devoted disciple. Having said that, I have to admit that I'm struggling to achieve the results I was hoping for. For starters I should mention that I would make a phenomenal case study for examining the gut microbiome and energy metabolism. I have been skinny, strong, and constipated for as long I can remember. I have long believed that whatever is going on inside me is both a blessing and a curse. I can eat whatever I want, never exercise, and still do a one-handed pull up without fail. Unfortunately, I also suffer from many inflammatory issues including constipation, back pain, headaches, bruxism, joint pain, tendonitis, and depression. These ailments are especially frustrating because I am always active. Recently I had to give up long distance running because of an inflamed IT band (I'm only 31). In any case, I was hoping for some insight. I follow your dietary suggestions fairly strictly. I almost never eat processed food, consume high quality meat, cooked and raw veggies, some fruit, coffee with organic cream in the morning, and sparingly eat sweets. Consuming potato starch has done a lot to relieve my constipation but the other inflammatory issues still persist. I am frustrated and doing my best not to let the depression seep back in. What am I missing? I will admit that I have very poor sleep quality. I go to sleep and stay asleep but what I do during sleep leaves me exhausted in the morning with a sore jaw, aching back and neck, and generally sour disposition. I had always assumed that whatever was responsible for my other symptoms was also the cause of my poor sleep. Anyway I would love to hear what you think and please know that I am spreading the information from this blog far and wide. Thanks for you efforts to help mankind!

Anonymous said...

As an alternative therapist who use the methods which are behind your ideas, I would like to Grateful you for your blog. In the other hand, I would like to mention, the nice readers here that every treatment first stat with the Diagnosis and only after you can do the right Food Repair.
(Sorry for my poor English, Hebrew in my language )

Anonymous said...

Dr. Art Ayers I salute you for telling the truth about genes and disease. Since the 1980s every human disease process has been studied as if it were caused by heredity. That is as crazy as it is harmful to public health. In the vast majority of cases disease is caused by environmental damage. It is highly likely that a low calorie, healthy diet offers strong protection against this damage.

Dingo said...

@ Donnie C.

I strongly urge you to look in the direction of calorie restriction. Eating healthy food is vitally important for health but eating less food is also important. Look up the BBC Program "Eat, Fast & Live Longer". I know it's on VIMEO. It is science based and it will change your life.

wildcucumber said...


This may sound overly simple, but here's something you may want to try for your uncomfortable constipation. Before going to bed, pour some hot water over a very small handful of raisins in a cup. Just enough to cover them. Then, grate an apple and eat it. In the morning, eat the raisins. Yes, there's some fructose in there that may scare some folks off the idea, but there's also pectin, a prebiotic. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it rarely fails.

Nathan said...

Will nutritional supplements like Soleaus ( that have triterpenoids also help with inflammation? It is derived from the olive tree, and I've heard a lot of good things about it. What do you think?

Dr. Brad Dennis said...

Nathan, I think you've heard alot of good things about that snake oil because that's your product.

Nathan said...

After reading such a good article on inflammation and natural remedies, I was surprised for such a strange remark.

Have you not read the literature on triterpenoids and their profound effects on inflammation? Here are a few of the hundreds of articles on the subject:

And these are only a few of the publications from the past year alone! There is clear evidence that these molecules have significant biological activity and are potent and safe anti-inflammatory agents.

Soleaus is a proprietary mixture of such triterpenoids and I was hoping for a reasonably objective evaluation of the literature related to the anti-inflammatory effects of triterpenoids.

Thank you for your time, and I wish you well in your endeavors to educate people about healthy living.

Kind regards!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thank you Admin, for pointing out that Nathan sells triterpenoids.

Triterpenoids are produced by plants and provide the plants with an adaptive advantage. Clearly, that advantage is not to help herbivores, like humans, by decreasing damaging inflammation.

There are exceptions, but a useful generalization is that all plant secondary compounds, e.g. alkaloids and terpenoids, are plant defensive molecules, which I will casually group as phytoalexins.

To be clear, plants use nutrients to make antimicrobial and anti-herbivore toxins to stop bugs and people from eating them. Eating phytochemicals is always harmful, even though there may be some therapeutic activities, e.g. botulism toxin or morphine.

Do a Google search of "triterpenoid antibiotic activity."

Triterpenoids are natural plant antibiotics, phytoalexins, that kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your gut. They are biologically active and inhibit/activate many parts of the immune system, including those parts associated with inflammation.

Phytoalexins, which include most pharmaceuticals, protect plants, and that included damaging gut microbiota and immune systems. Read the extensive damage in the side effects of common drugs. Disease symptoms are frequently treated by compromising the immune system, instead of curing the underlying disease. Antibiotics can be used to eliminate inconvenient symptoms, because immune function requires a healthy gut microbiota. Killing the gut microbiota can eliminate most symptoms of an active immune system. Triterpenoids are just another type of antibiotic.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

You provided your explanation in labeling pectin a prebiotic. Constipation is caused by inadequate bulk of bacteria in stools. Half of healthy stools are bacteria. Constipated stools are just fiber, unfermentable cellulose/lignin and fermentable, prebiotic fiber. Undigested fiber, e.g. grain chaff, is irrelevant to healthy stools.

Curing constipation requires focus on gut bacteria. Cure requires feeding gut bacteria with prebiotic fiber or seeding the gut with new bacteria.

If one is constipated because of starvation for prebiotic fiber, but bacteria capable of digesting the fiber are still in the gut, then eating fiber will eliminate constipation. The fiber eating bacteria population will expand and convert the fiber into bacteria that will become hydrated stools. If the species of bacteria needed to ferment prebiotics are absent, then eating prebiotics will not remedy constipation.

Healthy stools require dietary prebiotic fiber rich food PLUS gut bacteria that can digest the fiber.

Health = diet with prebiotic fiber + GUT MICROBIOTA ADAPTED TO DIET + exercise + sleep

Thanks for your comments.

jon dickson said...

Hi Art

Thanks for providing such an detailed and informative blog. I stumbled across it while researching heparan sulphate, although there's so many interesting entries, I have been completely distracted!

I was hoping you might be able to help me with understanding the role of HS in new bone formation.

I have a genetic disorder called hereditary multiple exestoses (HME) which causes bony lumps to grow out from bones when growing through childhood. There's no cure or treatment currently, other than the surgical removal of the lumps if they become too painful or inhibiting. Sadly I've passed it on to my 2 small boys - it's very hard for me watching the lumps start to appear on their perfect little bodies, so I have been trying to find out if there's anything I can do about it, or at least get the best understanding I can.

The mutation is on one of the EXT1, EXT2, or EXT3 genes, which as I understand it, are involved in the synthesis of HS. It sounds like HS helps provides a neat 'scaffold' for new bone cells to grow on, and without it the scaffold becomes irregular and the bone grows out in the wrong direction.

Since HS has so many important jobs all around the body, I don't understand why with HME, only the bones are affected. Are the other parts of the body making their HS successfully somehow?

I suppose my main question is, if the problem is down to the body not making HS itself, isn't there some other way of providing it? Would a dietary supplement, similar to glucosamine tablets, work; or perhaps focusing on (or avoiding) particular foods, like meat and bone broth? Would dietary HS ever make it to the growing bit of the bones?

I suspect it's not as simple as that, but any advice and info you could give would be very gratefully received.

Thanks very much

Gretchen said...

Art, Your comments on phytoalexins are very interesting. But if plants are producing various compounds to keep from being eaten, then why do grazing animals eat them anyway?

I can see that in the wild, various toxins might keep the grazers from eating too much of any particular species, and then the grazers would move on to some other place and different plants.

But in today's world, the pastures are often essentially monocultures of the grasses the farmers want to grow there, so the grazers don't have much choice. In the winter even less so, as their only option is whatever hay they're offered.

So how can they keep healthy if they're eating all these phytoalexins?

Don't say they're not and that's why many farmers feed them antibiotics, because other farmers don't.

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Daily Drinking is good or Bad?

Kay Dee said...

Dr Ayers, a few questions abouts some of the points you touched in recent posts ...

Do you know if other gluten grains (different from wheat), I mean rye, barley, spelt, have the same high content?
And what about other no-gluten pseudo grains, I mean oat, rice, millet, buckwheat?

They have crucial role in modulating immunity;
but how and when exactly they act:
Limiting antigen presentation?
Erasing auto-antibodies after antigen recognition?
Neutralizing T Cells action after triggering?

What is your opinion on AA/EPA ratio in blood (in plasma or red blood cells) as inflammation measure?
Do you think this ratio is crucial in tissues?
Do you think that ratio in blood reflect ratio in other tissues?
Do an high AA/EPA ratio enhances antigen presentation?
Or is Antigen presentation that “calls” Arachidonic Acid release?
Heparan Sulfate and Essentially Fatty Acids on cell surfaces: do they interact in inflammation?

You state phytochemicals have complex-controversial effects on human body, and surely an antibiotic effect on gut flora.
In this scenario, the curcumin - black pepper combo could be considered, in the end, a good tool in lowering inflammation (switching off NfKB)?
Good in the short term? To be avoided in the long term?

Self Antigen and Allergen
You keep on same level (I think for simplicity) Autoimmunity and Allergy.
I think in Autoimmunity the mistake is worse.
Attacking self tissue is aberrant, attacking an allergen makes sense, even if it’s inappropriate.
Clonal Deletion is active even on allergen (I think not)?
How can Immune System appreciate that an allergen is innocuous?

Thanks Dr Ayers


wildcucumber said...

Ah well Dr Ayers, I should have left out the bit about the pectin and just offered the advice for what it is; an old fashioned home remedy that rarely fails.

navillus said...

Dr Ayers,
Do you think it's possible to overwhelm a body with too many possibilities of trying to rid the body of an autoimmune disease? I am going through a difficult flare and after being diligent on what goes in my body and on my body and not to forget exercise and sleep, nothing right now seems to work!

So I wonder if too much is not so great?!


Dr. Art Ayers said...

The point of the discussion is that autoimmune diseases have different requirements to initiate and perpetuate.

After you show symptoms of autoimmune disease, then you can minimize continuing inflammation with the autoimmune diet that I outline on my blog and make sure that you test and fix you vitamin D deficiency.

Diet changes will also include prebiotic fiber to feed the gut bacteria needed for Treg development.

All of your diet changes that you are making are useless if you don't also eat the species of bacteria that are missing from your gut microbiota. Probiotics and fermented veggies are OK for quick remedies, but you need to repair your gut bacteria as I indicate in the links of the post.

Get back to me on your work of gut repair.

Raj said...
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Raj said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Ayers, Have you read 'An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way Of Understanding Allergies And Autoimmune Diseases'. It is amazing. It lays out a strong case that it is an absence of parasites, not just commensalism bacteria, that has lowered TReg production. I would love to hear your review of this book. Cheers Adrian

navillus said...

Dr Ayers,
Thanks for your response. I went back through your posts (again!) to see if there was something I was not incorporating in my diet etc. I had gotten my Vit D up to 80 but have not had it checked lately. I would assume my next step would be to have a Ubiome gut test done to see what I am missing and try to repopulate what I need to help my gut? Would that be prudent or a waste of money? Thanks once again and I appreciate your help!
My best!

Marimardepp said...

Life is in the gut. I am trying to incorporate better foods to help my body. Thanks for this article.

Debbie said...

Hi Art,

My constipation is greatly improved at this point, but my sense is if I didn't eat/drink fermented cabbage daily and have a morning coffee, I would stop seeing mostly daily bowel movements. Is it that the gut bacteria necessary must be consumed regularly, that they otherwise do not last in the gut? I'm currently trying a new probiotic called Elixa; it's extremely strong in a patented form that the developer claims allows it to get to the large intestine intact. So far I'm on Day 2 of a six day course; no real change, but I am not suffering from terrible IBS-C at this point. Just mild.

Of course many people do not eat fermented foods and still have normal bowel movements. But is it that once one's gut is compromised you must continually consume appropriate bacteria, that the the gut can't really be "re-seeded?" My diet is excellent, by the way, so it's not that.

Thanks so much!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My impression is that most commercial probiotics are just repackaged strains that are used in industrial production and are cheaply available. Those probiotics are typically used to make dairy products, so I call them "dairy probiotics." They won't stick around in the gut, but if you eat them in sufficient amounts, they can act like the dairy probiotics in breastfed babies and provide most of the functions needed for a functional immune system, i.e. they are a firstaid gut microbiome.

Constipation means that there is insufficient gut bacterial growth to provide the bacterial bulk of hydrated stools. IBS-C is just like D, but with dehydration. I think that they are both types of gut dysbiosis/constipation. If you can flood in enough dairy probiotics, and fermented vegetables also provides lactobacilli/dairy probiotics, you can produce enough gut bacterial volume to mimic normal stools.

At any given time, it is possible to develop healthy gut microbiota with a healthy diet and adding gut bacteria adapted to that diet. Unfortunately, the only form of adapted gut bacteria is in fecal microbiota transfer. The medical industry deliberately refuses to research simple ways to eat bacterial sources that can systematically develop healthy gut microbiota. It happens naturally in toddlers, but is difficult after antibiotic, drug or processed food damage.

So, if you have an excellent diet, then you are having difficulty developing a healthy gut flora. It will not develop from probiotics and fermented vegetables, because the missing bacterial species are not present in those dairy probiotics. The missing species are not lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. The missing bacteria can convert prebiotic fiber into short chain fatty acids, which in turn are converted into numerous products that crossfeed a hundred different species. With IBS, you are missing about a hundred species of bacteria, but for some reason are not picking them back up by casual contact with other people.

BTW, in breastfeeding newborns, breastmilk suppresses the growth of the bacteria that you are missing and permits only the growth of dairy probiotics. Thus, many of the components of milk block growth of normal adult gut bacteria. Whey proteins are effective inhibitors.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

One more note on curing IBS.

As you probably noted when reading about my Anti-Inflammatory Diet, on of the first things that I mention is vitamin D.

I assume that you have had your serum vitamin D level checked, supplement if needed with vitamin D3 and then have had it rechecked.

Most people with IBS continue to be vitamin D deficient, even if they are supplementing.

Debbie said...

Thanks very much. I have been supplementing with D, but I think not enough. I'm going to up the dose.

James said...

This is great resource as I try to undue my recently developed histamine intolerance. A question for the community: I'm interested in restoring my gut microbiota and I'm happily working with diet and muddy veggies. I see also lots of suggestions for kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc. I have a histamine intolerance, however, so (1) I try to avoid fermented foods, and (2) I don't want bacteria that make amines to take up residence in my gut. Aside from dirt and feces and kissing dogs, where else can I get good bacteria?

Unknown said...

Dr. Art Ayers
1. are you saying that the Genus Lactobacillus and it's many Species do not adhere to the intestinal wall?
2. Are there other commonly known Genus's/probiotics that do not adhere to the intestinal wall that you know of?

You mentioned a product Probiotics-3 by AOR that I will assume all 3 adhere to the intestinal wall,
3. Do you doctor; know of any other genus's/ probiotics & there species that are available to buy, or do you have a list of probiotics that will "grow in the gut" & adhere to the intestinal wall & a list that will "pass right through" the body.

Unknown said...

Dr. Art Ayers
1. are you saying that the Genus Lactobacillus and it's many Species do not adhere to the intestinal wall?
2. Are there other commonly known Genus's/probiotics that do not adhere to the intestinal wall that you know of?

You mentioned a product Probiotics-3 by AOR that I will assume all 3 adhere to the intestinal wall,
3. Do you doctor; know of any other genus's/ probiotics & there species that are available to buy, or do you have a list of probiotics that will "grow in the gut" & adhere to the intestinal wall & a list that will "pass right through" the body.

From this source:

"Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG

A well-researched probiotic strain, it has tremendously good >adhesion on the intestinal wall< and considered a safe probiotic. It’s also great for immune system stimulation."
Can you help clear my confusion Art?

Ally Houston said...


What do you think about this?

If the article's conclusions are true, could a change in gut flora remedy an individual's sensitivity to grain and dairy proteins?



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