The Critical Role of Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease

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Posted by Simon (Melbourne) on 01/17/2024

hi your research, your in depth analysis of health issues and possible solutions.i am a 62 y old t2 diabetes and colitis digestion is currently shot-my stools are either watery or non existent, my rectum feels like it is close to non functional.i am histamine sensitive, was hospitalised with h.pylori overgrowth.please suggest ways to ameliorate these issues-what supplements that are not high in histamine could help increase peristalsis, other ways to improve and/or increase bowel motions?all the best, simon, melbourne

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Posted by Jake (Harrisburg, PA) on 09/26/2022

Thanks, Art. Very good and informative article. Curious as to what your thoughts on lectins are? There is a well known doctor who claims they have a very negative impact on gut health and a major cause of leaky gut syndrome. He also says there are lots of lectins in foods such as peanuts, cashews, legumes/beans, green beans, whole grains and wheats among other foods. If you have time to comment, please do. Keep up the great work. I appreciate you.

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Posted by Art (California) on 09/26/2022 2083 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.


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Posted by Art (California) on 11/03/2021 2083 posts

Hi Rachel,

It would help if you can say which vitamins you are referring to, but in my opinion, the exact opposite is closer to accurate. I will give some examples of common vitamins to try and explain what I mean.

Some B vitamins are naturally produced in the gut such as B1, B6 and B12, but in gut dysbiosis, not so much, and this deficiency can contribute to further gut dysbiosis. In the following study it is shown how vitamin B1 plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and reducing gut inflammation :

In this next example, you can see how vitamin B2 and vitamin C increased the bacteria Blautia and Roseburria. These two bacteria while in the study did not help much with mucositis caused by methotrexate, are well known as short-chain fatty acid promoting bacteria and this is very beneficial for maintaining gut homeostasis in the bigger health picture!

In this next study we can look at how vitamin D can affect the gut microbiome in a positive way as well as help maintain the epithelial, but also have a positive effect on autoimmune health issues :

In this study it is shown that vitamin C, D, and B2 have a positive impact on the human microbiome and barrier function as did vitamin E and vitamin A to a lesser extent:

So I disagree that vitamins are not beneficial for the gut microbiome and as far as vitamin supplementation in relation to fiber and seeds like pistachios, they should be synergistic together, and here is why. Vitamins increase the more healthful bacteria, but these bacteria need food in order to grow and flourish. Fiber is the food of choice for these health promoting bacteria and pistachios are another source of these health promoting bacteria as well as the fiber to feed them.

I hope this clearly explains my thinking on this subject.


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Posted by Jeremiah (Spokane) on 09/17/2021


I like you have psoriasis and you're right, psoriasis is a really good way to see how things are working depending on how my psoriasis responds to any vitamin or treatment that I do. I recently have been drinking 1 tsp of borax daily. It has made me feel awesome. It is helping me control my candida and also raise testosterone, and help the parathyroid control calcium production. But, it has made my psoriasis really bad. It has spread all of my scalp and has gotten worse in all the areas that I have psoriasis. Do know of any reason why this is? It is making me feel really good but it made my psoriasis quite a bit worse. Should I discontinue use? Thank you

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Posted by Madelyn (Idaho) on 07/30/2021

Thanks for posting this! I wouldn't have seen the article otherwise. Smiles and thank you!

Article Reviews
Posted by Madelyn (Boise, Idaho) on 07/30/2021

An excellent, must-read article!

Thank you, Art, for writing this up and sharing.

I've just recently been doing some research myself on increasing resistant starches in the diet to promote a healthy microbiome and heal the gut. Green banana flour appears to be very effective at feeding probiotics and increasing their production of SCFAs. I've even found a couple of recipes that utilize green banana flour. Now after reading your article, I'm inspired to take action! Off to go order some green banana flour and finally start taking the melatonin powder that's been sitting on my counter. I do eat pistachios frequently and will continue to do so! Be blessed!

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Posted by Clare (US) on 07/30/2021

Hello Art,

It would be helpful to know how much B-12, how many pistachios, etc, you are taking each day. There are plenty of us out there who want to experiment right along with you! I've been gut sick for decades.



Article Reviews
Posted by Earth Clinic on 07/29/2021

Many thanks to Art from CA for once again sharing his incredible research and experimentation with us in this new article on Earth Clinic.

Article Reviews
Posted by Tessa (Okanagan) on 07/29/2021

Hi Art -

Thank you for such an informative article on the gut microbiome (our second brain, they say).

I'm also very impressed that you are experimenting on yourself and sharing the results!

As you know, I've used your borax remedies with great success and I now take melatonin on a regular basis (still at the low-dose stage, though).

Excellent work, Art.