The mammalian microbiome is fascinating. Almost any fatty acid mediator that we need to run our minds or our bodies can be built by bacterial processes in the gut biome. Most researchers agree that the gut biome RESPONDS to the environment. Most researchers would also agree that bacteria and pathogens are responsible for almost every disease. Let’s discuss this a bit…
A human, a mammal, or any other living creature wants and needs to stay alive. Over the course of the development of that creature (or by design of that creature) it will develop mechanisms for survival. Certainly one of those mechanisms would be a response to dietary inputs.
What do mammals eat? Well when you really break it down we eat fats, sugars, fiber, and amino acids. Proteins are fats bound with amino acids. Fruits and veggies are fiber and sugar bound with amino acids. Mammals’ preference for fuel is fats. Our bodies are built to run on dietary fats. Our regulatory system is built to run on dietary fats. We store dietary fats in adipose tissue for future use. Glucose is also needed to run our most basic processes, but only in about a 1:3 or 1:2 ratio with dietary fats. Without dietary fats we would not be able to produce energy or build chemical mediators to run our bodies UNLESS we had a “make up” system, and it turns out that is exactly what the gut biome is.
Our gut biome RESPONDS to our diet and does the best it can at building the critical chemical mediators we lack. Mammals have to eat. Mammals will prefer dietary fats. In the wild and with a lack of dietary fat, mammals would be forced to eat more carbohydrates (fiber/sugar/amino) and fruit (fiber/sugar/amino). These fibers and sugars FEED the bacteria in the biome, allowing them to develop and produce the fatty acids missing from the environment.
Regrettably we are not “in the wild” and have numerous food choices. We eat alot of “sugar” in the form of processed sugar and fructose. This “fools” our bodies and gut biomes into thinking we are in a fat deprived and carbohydrate/fruit rich environment. So our gut biome tries to make a bunch of fatty acids it thinks we need. Little FAT/Lots of SUGAR = active biome. Lots of FAT/Little SUGAR = inactive biome. In the extreme we have a wash of sugars and fatty acids and the bacteria in our biome become pathogenic. When this happens they begin to do more harm than good. Good bacteria like to grow in fiber, bad bacteria like to grow in glucose/fructose/sugar. When the bacteria in the biome become pathogenic is when disease starts. Most disease is due to pathogenic bacteria which are allowed to develop due to a lack of fatty acid resources in the diet.
So what to do? Well that is as complicated as the gut biome. We have to start with diet. Diet will cause the gut biome to be built as a response to things we are missing in the diet. Diet will also cause the gut biome to be calmed and brought back into balance. Can we supplement to help this along? Build a better biome? Absolutely! This is a journey. Health and wellness are not “fixed” with a “one pill fixes everything” solution. I am a mathematician and started my career as a computer programmer. We had a saying…garbage in yields garbage out. This is exactly how we work.