Gut Microbiome - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Gut Microbiome. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Article Reviews

Posted by Art (California) on 09/26/2022 2146 posts


Not everyone is sensitive to lectins and lectins seem to cause specific gut issues that can also be seen from causes other than lectins. Some symptoms that some people experience from lectins are the following :

  • Neurological symptoms
  • Skin Rash
  • Hormonal changes
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Painful and or swollen joints
  • Allergy like symptoms
  • Fatigue

So as you can see, these symptoms can occur in many health conditions, so how do you determine if they are being caused by lectins or something else? I think if I had some of these symptoms and asked my doctor if he thought they were being caused by lectins, he might look at me as though I were crazy and say something like it is likely IBS or some other bowel issue along that line.

To me if you avoid high lectin foods as much as is practical, that makes sense. What is more important to me though, is why do some people have problems with lectins while others do not, even if they are eating foods known to be high in lectins?

Which brings me to this article that discusses the SCFA, Butyrate and lectins:

Here is a relevant quote from the article :

' We can conclude that KB have a clear suppressive effect on feed intake and growth that is greater in the grower than in the starter phase. Due to the addition of SB in starter and grower feeds, feed intake and growth could be restored up to the level of the control group if KB were only used in the starter phase. When KB were used in the grower phase fifty percent of growth reduction could be compensated by the use of SB. '

So this study shows that the SCFA, butyrate, improved the weight loss caused by kidney beans which are high in lectins.

In this next study it is shown that lectins cause intestinal damage : of their binding properties, an individual with dysfunctional enzymes.

Here is a relevant quote :

' Because of their binding properties, lectins can cause nutrient deficiencies, disrupt digestion, and cause severe intestinal damage when consumed in excess by an individual with dysfunctional enzymes. '

The point being that when you look at the damage that lectins can cause to the gut and compare them to the positive gut health effects of SCFAs, a gut microbiome that is well balanced with sufficient SCFAs, SCFA producing gut bacteria, prebiotics and fiber, the SCFAs plus melatonin may nullify, ameliorate or prevent the damage caused by lectins and this could potentially explain why some people seem to handle lectin rich foods with little or no problem while others may not do so well.

These are fine details of research in this area which is not yet fully elucidated, but this would be my general take on lectins. SCFAs in general have the ability to repair the gut mucosal barrier, tight junctions and the gut endothelium and melatonin seems to add synergy in this endeavor to maintain the gut barrier function and gut homeostasis which should compensate for the negative activity of lectins on the gut barrier function when SCFAs and gut melatonin levels are sufficient. That would be my take on lectins given the available studies. This could potentially mitigate the leaky gut that lectins cause. The following article discusses how lectins can cause leaky gut and the associated gastrointestinal distress :“For those who eat a, syndrome, system-wide inflammation and

Here is a relevant quote from the article :

' For those who eat a lot of raw, lectin-rich foods – vegetarians or those following a plant-rich diet, for example – the higher lectin intake and the resulting gastrointestinal distress like nausea, diarrhea and bloating can weaken the delicate gut lining, triggering leaky gut syndrome, system-wide inflammation and autoimmune or allergic reactions, ” Lipman says. '

That would be my current opinion on lectins based on the studies I have seen.


FMT for Diabetes Type I

Posted by Art (California) on 08/03/2021 2146 posts

In the article, I described how manipulating the gut microbiome using Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) had reduced Parkinson's disease symptoms by 50% or more!

I also said I would update as I found new info about gut microbiome manipulation. Many of you may be aware of how serious a disease Diabetes Type 1 is and how difficult it is to treat with treatments oftentimes not being very effective. I came across a human study yesterday that illustrates just how powerful the effects that gut microbiome manipulation can be on human health.

This newer Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) (2021) used FMT as the means to manipulate the gut microbiome of relatively newly diagnosed (less than 6 weeks) Type 1 Diabetic patients.

This is the title of the study :

Faecal microbiota transplantation halts progression of human new-onset type 1 diabetes in a randomised controlled trial

Here is a link to the full study itself:

This study and other recent gut microbiome studies start to give us clues of how broad and how powerful the health effects of microbiota manipulation are in humans!


Fermented Foods for High Blood Pressure

Posted by Jon V. (Austin, Texas) on 07/29/2021

Hey Everyone,

I have a story of extreme High Blood Pressure (over 200) and how I corrected it within 15 days, returning it to a good healthy range of 117/73. If you find yourself in a situation where you suddenly have high blood pressure where you had never before I suggest you look for outside influences that might have caused the situation. Let me tell you my story and let you draw your own conclusions.

I am a 53 year old healthy male. I do not take any medications and am proactive with my health. I believe that nutrition (from whole food sources not vitamins from bottles which a very high number on the market are of a synthetic nature and just don't work) is the key to good health. When a problem occurs with my health the first thing I do is sign onto Earthclinic and look for solutions based on a whole foods approach. By whole foods I mean as close to grown from the earth as possible. This means herbs, roots, food based vitamins/minerals, spices, vegetables, wheatgrass, (and so many more) and products made from these).

So last year I had some dental problems which necessitated numerous rounds of antibiotics - 3 rounds of amoxicillin and one round of penicillin over the course of a year. I had a recurring infection in a front tooth. I did not want a root canal instead I opted for an implant and was using the year to save up for the procedure. I foolishly thought that antibiotics could handle any flare ups until I could get the procedure done.

When I went into the specialist to get the implant he checked my blood pressure as he would have to put me under to do the implant. At that moment he bluntly told me that he would not do the implant and that I needed to see my doctor immediately. If I did not, I could suffer a heart attack or stroke at any moment. He went on to say my blood pressure was over 200, well in the danger zone. He refused to do the implant until I was on medication and my blood pressure was in the normal range.

I left the dentist office in shock. I had never had high blood pressure. As soon as I got home I got on Earthclinic looking for help. I found a post on how one cup of Kefir (fermented yogurt drink) every day could help lower your high blood pressure and that a compromised gut biome from taking too many antibiotics could cause a wide range of health issues one being high blood pressure.

By gut biome I mean the healthy microbes and bacteria in your gut that helps you break down food and assimilate it for the body's health. At this point I was willing to try anything. I did not want to go on any medication. I decided I would do a test to see if kefir and fermented food in general would work in lowering my blood pressure. I purchased an inexpensive blood pressure monitoring cuff from Amazon for around $25 and headed to Walmart to purchase some kefir (in the refrigerated yogurt section) and a health food market to get some fermented Sauerkraut and fermented pickles (because they are fermented - I.e. live foods - fermented sauerkraut and pickles must be refrigerated. You'll find them in the refrigerator section of a health store where they sell pickles).

I figured the more fermented food the better. I would drink one cup of kefir in the morning, eat 1/2 cup sauerkraut at lunch and dinner (twice a day), eat 1-2 pickles for snacks, and drink one ounce of the fermented sauerkraut and/or fermented pickle juice a day (fermented juice is loaded with probiotics). One word about sauerkraut, I am not a fan of many of the brands on the market except one - I'm not sure I can say the name on earthclinic but it is one word, begins with B, and is seven letters. I found this brand to be very tasty. They also make the fermented pickles, just as tasty).

The experiment was simple. I would consume the fermented foods in the proscribed manner mentioned above and check my blood pressure every morning before any food or coffee. I didn't notice any change in my blood pressure until around the 5th day. That day it dropped two points. and from there it rapidly dropped. After 15 days my blood pressure was 117/72 in the healthy good range.

I continued with the routine for another two weeks then weaned myself off the kefir. I still eat one 1/2 cup of sauerkraut or one pickle or drink one ounce of fermented juice a day as a good health routine. It has been a year since doing this and I feel so much better. I find I sleep better, have less stress, less depression, and a higher overall sense of well-being. I just had a full doctor's checkup with full blood work and everything came back excellent.

The doctor gave me a clean bill of health. So get out there and try fermented foods - they do work.