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Daniel: Welcome, everybody. This is our Tuesday webinar series “Chiropractic Economics,” webinar for doctors of chiropractic. I’m Daniel Sosnoski, the editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics. Today’s webinar, “Psychobiotics: Probiotics Transforming Psychological Health,” is sponsored by Systemic Formulas. And as always our program is being recorded and will be archived at Chiropractic Economics website, chiroeco.com/webinars, for one year.
Our expert is on board here today to speak with you, and when his presentation is complete we’ll follow the brief question and answer period. You can submit your questions throughout the presentation by clicking on the appropriate icon at the bottom of the right side of your screen. We’ll do our very best to get to all your questions, but if we run out of time we will forward the remaining questions to our expert and notify you via e-mail when the answers are posted on our website at chiroeco.com/webinars.
Our presenter today is Dr. Shayne Morris. He holds a PhD in molecular biology and he’s the chief operating officer of Systemic Formulas. He’s here to help you understand the startling and complex interactions between the microbiome and human consciousness. Dr. Morris, thank you for taking the time to participate in our webinar and for sharing your expertise with the science of psychobiotics and helping our audience understand how they can use what is known about the microbiota-gut-brain axis to help their patients. Before we get started, Dr. Morris, could you give us a brief background on yourself and your work with Systemic Formulas?
Dr. Morris: Yeah, that will be great. Thanks a lot for having me. This is…it’s such a fantastic topic and I think that we have an opportunity here as scientists and as clinicians and practitioners to really make a difference with this emerging science. And my background is such that, of course, I got into this world many decades ago. I’ve always had a passion for herbs and nutrition and I went into molecular biology and biochemistry to further understand that. But in 2007, I started getting interested in the microbiome, and that’s a subject that I’ll get into a little bit more. So microbiome happens to be all the organisms that we live in symbiosis with. It could be environmental, it could be within your own body, on your skin.
And as we’ve unraveled the mystery of the microbiome, we’re finding okay, good, yeah, some of the conclusions that we’re starting to reach with the microbiome are finally coming out in the latter or the last few years. So it’s an amazing journey that we’re on and we’re just at the beginning or the forefront of understanding the psycho-biome as well as other microbiome-related cases or clinical relationships.
Daniel: Very good.
Dr. Morris: That being said, we want to get going on the talk, I imagine.
Daniel: Okay. Thanks for giving us a little background. And now, Dr. Morris, please begin our presentation.
Dr. Morris: Yeah, thanks. Let’s get this going. So psycho-biome is, of course, a term that was first coined by Cryan and Dinan, 2 researchers that we know created a lot of early research in this game in the last 10 years, so it’s really a young really young science. And the psycho-biome, of course, gives us an opportunity to relate our bacteria, and I’m gonna get into that in a second.
But today what I wanna tell you is I have a lot of research that I’m gonna be throwing at all of you. And that being said I wanna kinda give you a summary before I get into a lot of the details. Because much of the detail, if you haven’t heard it before, if you’re not up on the microbiome system, there are certain things I might be telling you that need more time, that are gonna need more investment on your side and a lot of this you can really come back to my slides and, of course, you can listen to future talks I’ll be giving.
But in general, what I wanna go over is we have some research of our own but we also have the microbiome research that’s going on. And two of the predominant ones are Cryan and Dinan that I’ll be referring to quite often. And back, when we go beyond the microbiome, there’s a gut-brain axis that we’ve known about for actually centuries, believe it or not. And then we now have the microbiome-gut-brain axis that really ties in a much more complex.
So getting on to what this all means, so let’s take a step back. One of the things we know is really healthy for all of our digestive tract including, and probably more importantly, is something called prebiotic sources of fiber for a young person. And that being said we really want to then look at… Oh, goodness, it keeps kicking off the share for some reason. I hope you guys can still hear me. And I don’t know why does that but we…hopefully you guys have this back, and these are the polysaccharides that we refer to, and I’ll refer to this later.
The next piece is the gut-brain axis that we discovered. So we have…the gut-brain is first discovered by Marie Bichat in the 1700s, where there was an enteric nervous system that… She was anatomist and she had looked all through our GI and discovered that there’s nerves that really permeate every tissue in the GI tract, and they are central to the vagus nerve system so that they branched out of the vagus nerve. And then she also discovered that the vagus nerve, of course, tracks all the way back up directly into the brain, and so there’s this connection between the brain…at least in a documented sense.
And then we have the GALT system, which is the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. So now we’re moving down this linear timeline where we keep finding amazing new discoveries that relate our brain to our GI tract. And the GALT, of course, is the immune system, and our largest immune system, of course, is in the gut region or in that cavity, the GALT.
And then we started to recognize that once immunology became a new science and it has been for many, many decades, they hit a wall. And that wall was in the early, you know, the late 1990s and early 2000s, they really didn’t understand some of the immune system’s role and how it evolved and how it grew with us humans and how it dealt with things like vaccines and other pathogens. And everybody’s immune system seemed to relate differently to their environment around them as well as to nutrition.
In that moment we start looking at the microbiota. And the microbiota changed the entire game because the microbiota that lives within you and on you and around you all directed the immune system. So without the microbiota, we now have an immune system that doesn’t work properly. And how do we first discover that? Well, through animal models that we raised in a sterile environment, and those started giving us clues. And we call those animal models the clue to sense the behavior of our immune system when you don’t have the microbiota around to help teach it and guide it and train it and educate it and so on.
So that’s the amazing piece that started happening. And then we started also looking at…went to looking at this microbiota, you get the sense that it really communicates to every part of the body, not just through the systems that we used to once think it did. It wasn’t just stuck to the gut. It’s sending messengers and chemical hormones and so on all the way throughout our body. So it’s a really critical organ for us now, the microbiota.
So that second brain exploration. We now know and many of you should know this probably by heart but we have the enteric system, it innervates all the organs. We have the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. We have what’s called an afferent and efferent signaling. That’s going out to the periphery of the nervous system or back to the central, to the brain, so out and back and forth. And then we have the vagal nervous, well as the spinal cord through the CNS and the vagal nerve, and all of these things make these amazing connections.
And today what I’m going to tell you is not only are these connections amazing from us in our environment as a human person, but they’re also completely connected to the microbiome down to the individuals, believe it or not. And then finally the enteric nervous system is really about 200 million neurons so it is clearly the second largest, and it’s about the same size as a dog’s brain. So it’s a really amazing system that does nothing but control information from the GI to the brain. And that’s a pretty telling story when you realize that the brain is being controlled by the GI tract so it’s an amazing system.
And I want to show this GI wall enteric nervous system just as an illustration of how complex but how beautiful the dynamic is between your… This tissue is, of course, the lumen. You can see right here in the center if you can see my pointer. But now we have essentially the GI tract and how it’s surrounded by all of these amazing tissues as well as nerves and blood vessels. And each and every part of this and the immune system, of course, has all these avenues into the lumen. And this mucosal tissue, there’s this really amazing, beautiful dynamic that is designed specifically to create a microbial rich environment, believe it or not. So your GI is not only designed to give you nutrients, but more importantly and probably more effectively, it’s designed to create a place or a terrain that houses the organisms that live in you and on you. That’s really what it’s designed to do.
And when you look at that in more detail and you change the lens you’re looking through, you start to see as a scientist that your GI tract is actually designed to house bugs more than anything else. And the bugs provide you the essential nutrients that you need from your food. And without the bugs, you don’t get that complex need met. So really your GI system has been predominantly designed to house these organisms, which is an amazing relationship. A relationship that is now not just an opinion, it’s clearly an optimal situation we are seeing more and more of through a lot of animal studies and then finally in human studies.
As I move forward in this talk with you guys and I know it’s a lot, but I wanna give you a lot because we’re gonna revisit this subject in the future many, many times. And if you’re not hearing it from me you’re likely gonna be hearing it from other people too. But the human microbiome project that started to unravel this, I mentioned it started in about 2007, globally. In the United States, we had what’s called the Human Microbiome Project. But it changed the way we looked at health and disease models clearly, and we’ll get into that. The other thing that it does for us is, I told you the enteric or the GI is adapted really for the bugs, and why is that a benefit? Well, you have about 23,000 to 30,000 genes that make up your body and give you the option to create different things. That’s pretty amazing. It gives your hair color, your eye color, your skin and the way you, you know, your height and your bone density and so on. But that’s delimiting. When you have the GI tract that’s full of these species of organisms, you now have access to over three million genes. That helps you digest things or get you into ketosis or change your mood or change who you pick as a mate, change the way, if you’re a woman, the way your fetus develops and your hormones and so on.
So these three million genes the bacteria give you truly the difference that you have among each of us. Because we’re about 99%-plus identical as humans but your bacteria make you who you are individually. And we’ve discovered that, and it certainly up the end of the immune system here, we know the immune system is now an entirely different beast once we discover the microbiome. It brought plants and microbes into focus because we’ve always thought of plants as a certain nutrient food but that’s really not the case. Plants bring in a lot more into the microbe world to benefit you than we ever thought before, so that’s a pretty amazing piece.
And then finally, you know, we have this communication, these hormones that are directed through these channels of microbiome, they can completely change our healing trajectory. For those of us that are exposed to toxins or pathogens and so on, it gives us more tools than we ever thought we could use.
This a big slide, lots on here. But just to summarize, you guys, this is the idea that now we have this microbiome, we had to ask ourselves, “Do probiotics help or can we can we influence the microbiome through ingestion of bugs?” And the answer is becoming more and more yes. And we have just a limited number of tools, as you may know. There’s only so many organisms available. I think the last count, products on the market are for you anywhere from, you know, 2 or 1 organism all the way up to, let’s say, 25, I think is the most anybody has offered in one to cure package, and that becomes important later.
But just so you know the studies, the ongoing studies on probiotics are really generating a lot of great data. And just in summary we can…you know, they produce metabolites like fatty acid, some of those are ketones. You heard the ketogenic diet, well, that is in part based on your microbiome. If you don’t have a good microbiome it’s really hard to get in ketosis. There are other things. They modulate your immune system dramatically. They, in the brain, in the young person, in a developing young person, the microbiome helps develop the central nervous system. And when you remove the microbiome the nervous system doesn’t develop properly. Same…and that goes for the emotional side of the central nervous system or your psychology doesn’t develop without a healthy microbiome.
So we’re not only talking just the help that it gives us on a day to day, but it actually helps our bodies develop appropriately in our environment and modulates the immune system. People that have a weakened immune system, oftentimes there’s a microbiome issue that underlies that or vice versa. This is a two-way street. Sometimes an unhealthy immune system genetically can alter the microbiome, and we see that in things like autism and other disorders.
It modulates host expressions. We’re finding now that the way that your body expresses genes can be in part directed by your microbiome. We used to think that your body was in charge of your body, that’s no longer the case. The microbiome can turn genes on and off, meaning that when you start craving sugar, likely that’s the microbiome sending a signal to your brain to eat sugar because you’ve got the wrong organisms in your gut that live on sugar. It’s not your decision, it’s your microbiomes decision, and there’s more examples of that.
We know it influences hormones. We know it can influence the way your epithelium grows and changes and pathogens. I can keep going on and on. There’s other really practical things like in the bottom producing bacteriocins. A healthy microbiome is actually the best antibiotic you could ever ask for, and it keeps you protected from your pathogenic environment.
That’s where a lot of the benefits are coming from. So what do we notice if I take the opposite effect? What happens when we have a dysfunctional microbiome or dysfunctional gut-brain axis? Well, we look at leaky gut, inflammatory diseases, and these are considered chronic, by the way. Toxic assaults, you know, from the toxins in our environment. It can be as severe as cancer. We can…you know, there’s dysbiosis that people are now suffering from that we’ve now identified. Pathogens can wreak havoc when you don’t have the proper microbiome and so on. There’s a lot of factors that can be associated with this dynamic and that just sets the stage for why it’s so critical from a clinician standpoint.
So here’s a quote that I created. There is a systemic influence of the microbiome over our health. Central to this powerful and elegant relationship is how it affects all aspects of our senses, including happiness. I’m gonna stand by that because today is about psycho-biome, I’m giving you a little background. But it does, it not only affects all these aspects of our central nervous system as depicted here in this slide. It affects our thriving and our will to be happy and positive and productive and so on. It’s not just biological, it’s emotional, and that’s clear now.
This is a slide, by the way, let me just outline some few things. This layer of cells is to depict your intestinal lining, the epithelial tissue. You’ve got your microbiome down below here and then you’ve got all the different routes in which the microbiome can actually communicate with the brain, either through the vagal nerve or through other periphery like the immune system or the central nervous system. But just to give you a sense of it, so we have an enteroendocrine cell here on the left. It actually produces serotonin as directed by the microbiome. So the microbiome can produce serotonin itself and/or direct cells to produce serotonin. And we all know that serotonin is a very powerful neurotransmitter.
The second example is we have a dendritic cell communicating with the microbiome, and that releases cytokines telling your body what is the status of our gut versus our brain. And you’ll know just from anybody’s experience, when you get a pathogen in your GI tract, the first thing your brain hears is, “We’re in trouble. Let’s evacuate the entire GI tract.” So you end up vomiting and with diarrhea because that is the communication of the immune system to the brain saying, “Let’s clear out this pathogen, a potential dangerous threat.” And it’s causing…it releases a bunch of serotonin, by the way. In this next little deal you can see this high level of serotonin release. Serotonin is what causes you to have diarrhea and to throw up, so it’s an amazing, elegant system.
We also have this efferent nerve system from the spinal cord and the vagus nerves, and it actually is in direct contact with cells that are talking to the microbiota. So again we have this really beautiful dynamic that goes on between the microbiota, your enteric system or, excuse me, the endothelial tissue, and it can communicate through these other routes directly to the brain. The brain has a direct line to the GI and the bugs, so it’s very beautiful.
And here’s another example of that just so you know that it’s not just the GI. There’s some examples of publications that I will quickly go over. And I apologize there’s a lot today but I wanted you guys to have these slides so you can go back because the data is so amazing and we’re gonna revisit it in the future. But not only do we have all these different routes of communications, bi-directional communication. It also controls, and there’s mounting evidence that there’s a control from the GI all the way through the hypothalamus to the pituitary and the adrenal gland. And for those of you in the clinical world, you know that is the HPA axis. So now we have an MHPA axis, where I call the microbiome- hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. The microbiome helps control this axis because it has direct consequences to the hypothalamus. And I can’t get into details today but it does it through microglial cells in the brain and it’s an amazing, beautiful deal, and you can look into that more. But I wanted to highlight that it actually happens. These are things that can now be studied in animals as well as in humans. And a lot of the stuff I’m referring to is going to be animal studies until the human studies catch up, and they are catching.
So what does it mean in terms of psychiatric or our brain? So I told you all about this relationship, what does that actually mean? Well, what we know it can mean is we have on the left we have a series of disorders or diseases or other issues that we pretty much qualify because we have to. We’ve got to give things names. On the left side is things we associate with brain and/or psychiatric or psychological issues, where it be Crohn’s, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, bipolar, anxiety, and so on. And there are more. Parkinson’s is one, PTSD. But they’re always, always associated with something on the right-hand side, and these are all GI related issues, IBD, IBS, dysbiosis, SIBO, reflux, diarrhea.
So we know this relationship has existed for a long time and we’ve been studying it as such. But now when you throw in the microbiome piece, you start seeing that you can change the trajectory of some of these people. And hopefully in the end, after more work on this subject with new probiotics and prebiotics, we can start changing the trajectory of these people more dramatically than we have even to date. But there’s this relationship that we can’t get away from anymore. It’s a very clear, cut no longer needs to be discussed in a theoretical setting.
So as early as Hippocrates, the abdominal viscera were regarded as the principal seats of disease in mania and melancholia. This, of course, this quote you can probably all heard, and it’s true. It’s where we’ve now taken something that we were theorizing as a metaphysical and it’s now much more physical.
And so in functional psychiatry, we’re looking at the possibility of this microbiota because it does have influence on the HPA axis, as well as the frontal cortex and the medulla. In other areas, it can start changing these people’s lives pretty dramatically. We’re just touching the surface of this. We’re just starting to get involved in this. And, of course, my research is dealing on the microbial side, but we’re offering these tools to people in the world like yourselves that see patients with various issues, but we’re starting to see some really, really amazing things happen.
One of the potential mechanisms, excuse me, that we’ve suggested for this, right. Well, we know that inflammation with the IgA, your immune system IgA, IgM-mediated inflammatory responsive can certainly be part of it. We’ve already mentioned the HPA axis and, of course, there’s neurotransmitter signaling and I mentioned a little bit of that. So we know we’re starting to map the way that the microbiota communicates directly with the brain. This slide is just giving you a little bit more detail.
In 2010, we finally finished The Human Microbiome Project that started this next step of clinical world. Because the Human Microbiome Project, by the way, that just mapped all the organisms that we could map on and in the body. Then we had to ask the question since 2010. The question is, “What are these organisms doing? And how do they do what they do?” And that’s why we’re here today, we’re learning more about that.
So we know have the microbiome-gut-brain HPA axis model we know that diet has a huge influence. We know genetics has an influence because the microbiome and our genetics have to be compatible, by the way. Another quick example of that is, there have been a number of cases where infertility doctors could not get this couple to conceive of a baby. But when they gave one of the two couples an antibiotic because they suspected there was a microbial interference they then got pregnant. So we know the microbiome for your mate has to be somewhat compatible, and that makes sense in the larger scale but now they’ve demonstrated that in the clinic so it’s a pretty amazing story. So our microbiome is central to so much of what we’re going to be doing in the future.
Do they produce neurotransmitters? The answer is yes. So GABAergic receptors are involved in a number of the pathogenesis of issues. And we also know that microbiome can influence which receptors your body produces through mRNA world. That’s bullet number one. We also know that through the microbiota, enteric nervous system and brain communication, they can turn and activate different parts of the brain. I’ve mentioned that earlier. And then finally we know that certain bacteria produce, actually produce neurotransmitters like GABA. Bacillus and Saccharomyces produce norepinephrine, Candida, Streptococcus, Escheridia, and Enterococcus produce serotonin. And then others can produce dopamine and acetylcholine. So they actually produce neurotransmitters that enter our bloodstream and affect our tissues, so it’s pretty amazing.
Well, in rats, because that’s where a number of studies are happening, you see that it can impact memory. It can also impact hippocampal long-term potentiation. We know that it can change anxiety-like behavior in mice. We know that some of these bacteria can change the ability for calcium-dependent potassium channels. And for those of you that don’t get into physiology, that just means that these are nervous synapses. And the better your synapses are working, the better the neurons are working, to more efficient your central or enteric nervous system behaves. These are all being impacted by organisms in our GI. And not only that, you can actually supplement some of these things as probiotics.
Some more of these studies that I’m hitting you with. We look at the cell species modulating motility within your GI tract, so that’s good. We don’t wanna be constipated and keep that thing motile. That’s partly to do with the microbiome. It was also communication between, again, these anxiety effects from different organisms can improve anxiety through vagal-gut-brain communication.
We also know from the opposite side of the studies that things like Alistipes, which is a…it’s a genus of Bacteroidetes, when it’s over-represented in certain patients, they seem to be higher susceptible or over-represented in chronic fatigue. So what that means is you want a healthy microbiome but we’re also looking at unhealthy people and asking ourselves, what does their microbiome look like? And what we’re finding is people that are unhealthy, in this case, people that sign up that have chronic fatigue, it shows they are representing organisms that tend to be associated with chronic fatigue. So if we could replace those organisms with good organisms in animals we show that those chronic fatigues behave and get better. They actually improve in animal, now we’re working on human. So it goes both ways. You want healthy bacteria, but you’ll also notice in unhealthy people unhealthy bacteria, and that’s a really cool way to look at both sides of this coin to make decisions. I know it’s a lot, you guys. Bear with me, we’ll get to the end here soon.
What we’re talking about here now is they can produce other really amazing things like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. They can change…they transform some of the things you eat into some amazing metabolites and that’s an underrepresented piece that I hope I will at least, you know, I want you to write this down. But what you eat in your prebiotics get converted by a healthy microbiome into amazing compounds that your body just relishes, for example.
We all know about turmeric and resveratrol. There’s ongoing research that shows that these compounds aren’t as healthy for you if they’re not transformed by the microbiome into other compounds that finally exert a positive effect. If you place them in an organism that is sterile without a good microbiome those compounds don’t do any good. So the microbiome transforms things we eat into the things that we need, and that’s a critical thought process for those of us that love herbs and love our nutrients and love other things.
Now, conversely, we’re also finding in the world of pharma that these microorganisms can transform pharmaceuticals into very dangerous compounds. So people that take something like a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and those people jump off a bridge, there’s now mounting evidence that it’s their microbiome that transformed that compound into a dangerous compound and that’s the problem. So we have to think about the microbiome as another organ that can confer either health or disease to our body.
Now when you look at the psychotropic-like properties, they exist and they exist in healthy volunteers. For example, helveticus and longum can show anxiolytic-like activity in rats. And then we’re starting to look at that in healthy human volunteers, that’s where we start, and we’re starting to see positive benefits. These are organisms that you would eat to see how that would affect human behavior, and we’re getting great results.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, I highlight this guy because in the end I’m gonna tell you why I love Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. And what we found, with inter-individual variability, levels of several predominate genera were significantly differentiated between major depressive disorder and healthy controls. And what they found is that they had a higher…so major depressive disorder had a higher Enterobacteriaceae and Alistipes. You remember that Alistipes before, it’s not a good guy. And reduced levels of Faecalibacterium. And then when we looked at healthy Faecalibacterium was more prevalent in people without depressive symptoms. And also when you start feeding Faecalibacterium to animals, you reduce depressive symptoms, so that’s a pretty amazing result.
When we look at composition associates with bipolar, we find similar things. The microbiome is emerging as an important factor in mental health. We don’t know all the reasons, but again within individuals bipolar disorder Faecalibacterium was reduced. Meaning that in healthy people you had more Faecalibacterium. In people that were reporting bipolar they didn’t have as much Faecalibacterium. Suggestive, but it’s leading in animals, it’s less than suggestive, it’s actually being shown. So what we’re finding is that therapeutically increasing Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is improving the disease burden, so again an amazing result. In gastroenterology Lactobacillus farciminis reduced stress, hypersensitivity in epithelial cell cytoskeleton contraction. I’m not gonna get it all out but let’s conclude this.
L. farciminis, which is a unique organism, by the way, helped prevent stress and induced hypersensitivity, and it helped increase the behavior or the better behavior of colonic tissues. It reduced permeability and it increased other aspects of the GI tract which also led to a positive brain interaction.
This is a long one, I’m not gonna read this one to you, but just so you know that my microbial regulation of microRNAs expression in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. What that means in summary, everyone, is that our microbiota aren’t just providing a GI benefit but they’re providing a way to speak to your genes. RNA, microRNA’ get into your bloodstream and alter the way your cells transcribe and turn genes on and off. It’s another regulatory, you guys have heard of epigenetics? MicroRNA is an epigenetic phenomenon that is now being mediated by your microbiome. That’s enough. I shouldn’t have to say anymore. That’s an amazing, amazing result.
Those of us that have heard the world around the MTHFR gene and how that it changes methylation, that’s an epigenetic phenomenon. We now know that microbial world in your gut can do something similar. It behaves on the epigenetic level. That’s pretty amazing. And I wanna point out, those of you who wanna look, Dinan and Cryan are the really the foremost people in this world. So if you want to read about them, they have an amazing array of research.
So the other thing here, I know it’s a lot again, but I really want to drive this home for you guys that we have an issue of microbial colonization programs. This is another…this is a set of data that shows you that the microbial community can directly change the way our HPA axis not only develops in a young animal but how it’s maintained. So these are all critical steps in not only the development but in the maintenance of your HPA axis, and we all know the HPA axis is critical to our health and well being. Now, I need you to consider that the bacteria play a role in this and that’s the cool thing about this.
Another good example of a bug that I want to highlight, Remember the three bugs I’m highlighting today are Lactobacillus farciminis, Mycobacterium vaccae, and Faecalibacterium praunsnitzii. I know it’s a mouthful. They’re in my slides, you guys can go back and check these out. But these are the three highlights because they are central to our gut-brain microbial axis, and the research on them is pretty amazing regarding their ability to help us. So, for example, M.vaccae prevented stress-induced colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, which I know have further effects on serotonin and anxiety, so there’s this relationship again between the gut-brain. Mycobacterium has been shown to mediate a positive effect.
I’m not getting into this but there’s a pathogen model that… I don’t have time today to get into it so you can go back and read this abstract. But the pathogen model is when our GI tract or our microbiome becomes weakened, whether it be stress-induced or toxin-induced or antibiotic-induced, you become more susceptible to pathogens and pathogens do the opposite of what the microbiome does. Pathogens in your GI, and if we just take a line, for example, it persists because our immune system and our microbiome is weakened. And we have to get that strong again in order to have our body respond and get rid of a pathogen. If pathogen can persist within the body there’s a problem because you know and I know that long chronic term exposures wreak havoc on the brain, wreak havoc. And so one of the protocols that I’m going to tell you to please do is look at the microbiome, look at the immune system, of course, you may already do both. But when someone has a chronic pathogen exposure, you need to refocus on the microbiome as well as on the prebiotic-probiotic aspect of that, and that’s really the summary here.
Non-antibiotic drugs promote antibiotic resistance. I don’t wanna again spend a lot of time on this, this is kind of just a little nugget of your own information. When you see patients that are on a bunch of other pharmaceuticals, keep in mind those pharmaceuticals actually do and can be metabolized into terrible things. Furthermore, they can actually impact the microbiota. So long-term use of SSRIs and other things can impact the microbiota like an antibiotic would. So just keep in mind that there’s data suggesting that many, many forms of pharmaceutics or even things like long-term use of essential oils, I don’t recommend any of these things that become lethal to your microbiota because they can have long-term consequences.
Herbalomics, so the opposite…well, good herbalomics, I should say. There’s herbalomics that we know improve the behavior of your microbiota. For example, compounds or, excuse me, plants high in polyphenolics, high in flavonoids, high in other alkaloids, they can really help improve the behavior of microbiome and they really don’t feed the pathogen. So there’s this…herbalomics is a word that I’ve created about how herbs can influence our body but we know it works through in many instances our microbiome.
This is an example of how mulberry extract does it. Again, we can go back to this slide later. But I just wanna point out that mulberry works through a pathway that improves the microbiome’s ability to communicate, or break down the mulberry into compounds that affect you in a positive way. For example, memory enhancement, cell differentiation, proliferation, synaptic formation, and so on. We know that there are plants that do a great job but they only do it after they’ve been processed by the microbiome.
And here’s a really a summary of things like mulberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, Lion’s Mane, cordycepts, these are either plants and or fungus. The cordycepts and the Lion’s Mane are for fungus, but I wanted to summarize for you again the concept of they affect you in a positive way and many… And oftentimes that’s because the microbiome changes what you eat into things that your body needs, whether it be through neuronal growth factor release or through acetylcholine synthesis and so on. These are great aspects of consuming things like mushrooms and herbs. It’s another reason for us to do more of that. Because the microbiome…oops, the microbiome loves certain compounds, and that’s really the story I wanna tell you here. Ginkgo biloba, Vitis Vinifera, Cammelia, Theobroma, these are all probably herbs you’ve heard of. Keep in mind these all affect us in great ways you know, when you use them properly.
But they do it in many instances through the microbiome, and that’s really the summary of this slide. I know it’s a lot of acronyms, don’t worry about that. My summary that I just want to tell you again reiterating that herbs and other nutrients benefit the microbiome as much as they benefit you, which is why I want to continue to tell people to eat a nice herbal diet as well as a nutrition diet because they both have a really profound effect on your microbiome and your own health.
Well, experiments that we know, you know, go back a while. This is a little example of this. I’m gonna let you guys go back to the slide on your own. It’s just a really cute story about how our microbial relationship really is an amazing one that’s been around a very long time and we just started to understand it. There’s this little, cute story I’ll let you guys refer back to this. It’s not critical for today’s talk.
We have also some summary. Remember I mentioned that Faecalibacterium prausnitzii was one of my favorite organisms. And one of the reasons it’s one of my favorite organisms is because we’ve shown in a number of different experiments. We being a number of researchers, not just us, that it not only creates these amazing metabolites but it’s critical to the gut-brain relationship. So Faecalibacterium prausnitzii certainly has an effect on anxiety and stress, I mentioned bipolar earlier. There is this connection, we don’t know all the details, but what we’re finding is that some of the things that it can produce are amazing things. So, one, it lives off things like dextrans, arabinogalactan, xylan, citrus pectin, or peptides. These are cool things which can act as antibiotics, which can act as serotonin, and other amazing compounds that your brain and/or your GI need or other tissues.
So there’s this relationship that we’re starting to unravel even more and more. And it has a lot to do with if you’re gonna take prausnitzii as a supplement, then you want to feed prausnitzii. Because if you don’t feed prausnitzii, prausnitzii is going to leave you. And if it leaves you, you’re then worried about getting more prausnitzii because the consequences of not having that guy in you can be somewhat terrible. And so we have this really cool story of yes, we want to keep our bugs in us, but how do we do that? Well, we feed them. Otherwise they will disappear.
So the research that I embarked on back in 2008, and now you’re starting to see some of the fruits of our labor, we started taking these organisms that I have talked about today and we started feeding them different things in order to grow them. And these are the things, for example, that I have tried, glucosamine, sucrose, mannitol, trehalose, glycerol, charcoal, getting back to our research.
So the specific research that I’m gonna talk to you about today is we took all these organisms and we started growing them back in 2008 to find a way to create a probiotic. And what we discovered on this journey is we needed to feed these organisms the same kinda compounds we all know and love, things like glutathione, things like riboflavin and thiamine and these other compounds, charcoal and so on, became really critical to growing these organisms, which was amazing to us because we’ve always thought of these things as human nutrients when in fact they are microbial nutrients as well as human nutrients.
That journey began in 2007-2008-ish time, and now in 2018, we have my babies or my second family. So what you’re looking at right here is prausnitzii. I can give you a slide of all my babies, I have many of them. Some are prausnitzii, I’ve got some vaccae, I’ve got some farciminis, the three organisms, excuse me, that I talk about today. I have them, and here’s a plate. Those of you that remember microbiology, these little colonies. You can see they’re pure, and they grow and they grow well. But amazingly they need very specific antioxidants and nutrients in order to grow, something we’ve never thought about before. And that’s also why I think it’s taken me so long to grow these into quantities that can be consumed because they have been so finicky, they need really amazing, strict nutrients.
Now, that also makes me worry because in our GI tract, the reason I think some people no longer have these is that they’re eating the wrong things. They’re not feeding the bugs they need to feed, and those bugs will disappear from their GI if they’re not getting the right food. So here you’re looking at my second family, so this is real research that we do in our lab. And some of the other things we looked at, so you can see some the bugs I’m growing, I haven’t shown them all, but here’s Mycobacterium vaccae, you can see my Eubacterium limosum, down here I’ve got Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.
What this data represents is when I feed these bugs, what do they produce? So, for example, you’ve all heard of kombucha, and when you drink kombucha you kinda get a vinegar taste, well, that’s a acetic acid. So if I’m gonna grow kombucha, I’m definitely not gonna use Mycobacterium vaccae or Faecalibacterium prausnitzii because they don’t produce acetic acid. But what I did find is they produce other things like lactic acid. Both of these organisms produce lactic acid, which can be useful for your tissue and other organisms. What I also found is they don’t produce propionic acid, which is good because that’s not always a great acid to be produced in healthy people. But they…one of them produced, Mycobacterium doesn’t, but prausnitzii produces a really significant amount of butyric acid. Now, butyric acid is essentially what we think of as butyrate or otherwise known as ketones. That’s one of the ketone bodies that we can produce.
So the cool thing about these organisms is we’re finding that when I feed them various nutrients or various prebiotics, they start producing amazing compounds. Now, I also need to feed them to grow them. And if you’ve ever thought about where a probiotic comes from you have to grow it. You have to grow it in significant quantities so that you can freeze dry it, get it nice and dried into a dry powder so that you can eat it later. That whole process is very technical, very difficult, but if you don’t give them the right food which is taking us years and years to do they won’t grow. But we’re finding they are growing and they are growing well and we’re also seeing that they’re producing things that we really want them to produce for us.
The other thing that they might produce and you can see here is things like, we’ve got valeric acid, hexanoic acid, I’m not gonna get into what those mean. But again these are amazing compounds that we need as humans for various different biological functions. This is just my research. I know I could spend more time on this. I know I have you know, limited time today. But I just want to give you guys a really intense but quick view of everything we’re doing. Because it is exciting research and I wanna get you guys up to speed quickly because it can change the way we approach the clinical look at our brain and our brain health.
And the other reason I’m presenting this to you, even though it’s down at the minutia level, at the detail level, is that some of these compounds are good for the brain. They change the way our brain burns energy. You know, ketone bodies we know how that works. It also changes the way we think about our microbiome when we’re consuming probiotics. So the irony is really fun. We’re finding out a lot of amazing things about these bugs.
What does that mean in terms of what we should feed them? Well, here’s some of the things I’m feeding the three organisms I told you about. I’ve told you about Faecobacterium prausnitzii, Mycobacterium vaccae, and Lactobacillus farciminis, among others three that I’ve grown specifically. And I feed them galacto-oligosaccharide, isomalt-oligosaccharide. Some immunoglobulins help just in the media. We’ve got this DPM polysaccharide, lactoferrin, and guggulipids, and so on. So we have some really amazing things, blueberry powder, FOS, these all feed these organisms and keep them healthy. That was critical in terms of knowing how to maintain a good probiotic.
We then look at the different organisms that we know impact the brain based on current research. So a lot of the research I presented today and you can go back and look at it, these are the organisms that I’ve separated out as being neurological or psychologically most reviewed and most studied to benefit our world. And here’s this list. It’s really a relatively comprehensive list, and you can see the three unique organisms are right here in red. And again, if you were to pull up any of these you can go find individual research on how they benefit our gut-brain microbial axis.
So, in summary, you guys, I want you to realize that this whole story, this journey I have taken you through on a pretty rapid pace. We look at the microorganism and its impact on the GI tract, but then we know that the GI is intimately related to the brain via a number of systems. The vagal nerve, which is the enteric, the central nervous system as well as the immune system. All three of these systems communicate a million times a day and they’re, to some extent, controlled by the microbiome. They’re no longer just a human system. They’re are microbial human system, which is step number one.
Number two is we know that certain nutrients and/or plant-based compounds drive the way the microbiome grows and gets its help, which then contributes to your health through what it does when it converts these things you eat into medicinally or therapeutic compounds.
And finally, we looked at the idea that all these organisms can have this amazing effect on us. And when they do that, we have to look at the positive benefits of eating probiotics, that’s where I wanna summarize. I’ve done a lot of this research with the help of people from the state, our own lab, the team. And what I wanna mention before I’m done is that the three organisms that I mentioned are only now available through us. Those are not commercially available. And that’s the last of my talk.
Daniel: Okay. I wanna thank you very much, Dr. Morris. This has been extremely informative. We know most people are somewhat aware that there’s a relationship between probiotics, prebiotics, and consciousness. But I don’t think that many of us realize they were just this tightly entwined. This is far detailed than I certainly had any idea. So I wanna really thank you for bringing this information to us. We didn’t get too many questions but I did want to just ask you how significant is the enteric nervous system in anxiety and stress?
Dr. Morris: Yeah, that enteric nervous system is probably as significant as the central nervous system itself. What we’re finding is that communication that’s happening between the brain and the HPA axis is mediated to a large extent through the enteric system. Remember the enteric nervous system not only is it the vagal nerve, which is a fairly dense set of neurons, but it actually innervates every organ in the thoracic cavity.
So it innervates all the intestines, colon and stomach and so on, that means it’s getting a lot of messages from the immune system and the microbiota. And, by the way, that’s our largest production of serotonin is in the GI, so there’s a lot of information that’s traveling back and forth, so it’s critical. And when you look at the actual issues, when you look at psychological issues, they’re are always correlated to a GI issue. There’s very rare…the more they look, the more they find that a GI issue is always correlated to a psychological issue.
Daniel: I can imagine so, seeing as how the neurotransmitters involved seem to have a direct relationship with the vagus nerve and what’s going on in the microbiome. Well, finally, I understand Dr. Morris, that there’s a special offer for those who are attending today’s webinar.
Dr. Morris: Yeah, there is. So we have what’s called Neurobiotic, essentially the probiotic I showed at the very end, with the three new organisms in it and you can see a picture of it here. That is, buy five, get one free special. You can go through the landing page, I believe, to get that and contact our customer service. And you can experience the offer, and we’re pretty excited about this because it’s the first time that we have an actual probiotic that relates to this.
Daniel: Very good. And I believe there’s also a white paper that’s available for people who would like to learn more, and they can find that our website, chiroeco.com/microbiomewhitepaper, and we will also have that link.
Dr. Morris: Yeah, thank you. It helps summarize a lot of the information I went over between because I know it was intense.
Daniel: Very good. People can go to that landing site and download the white paper, and we will also have a link to that posted with this presentation on our website at webinars. Okay. Well, thank you very much, Dr. Morris.
And at this time we’d like to thank our sponsor Systemic Formulas and you, Dr. Shayne Morris, for today’s webinar. Thank you all in the audience for attending. And remember that this webinar, including this PowerPoint presentation and a transcript of it, has been recorded. And the answers to any questions that we did not get to will be posted in our website at chiroeco.com/webinar. We will alert you when the webinar is available for viewing offline. Thank you, again, for attending and we look forward to seeing you next time. Everybody, have a good day. Thank you, Dr. Morris.
Dr.Morris: Thank you.
Daniel: Take care. Bye, bye.