Stool Analysis: A Brave New World

IMG_20141211_094833282 (2)IMG_20141211_094859068 (2) IMG_20141209_075623844 IMG_20141209_075615973 IMG_20141209_075607453

Also not shown: Negative for Clostridium Dificile, H. Pylori, and a few other bacterial infections.

Fortune Magazine says that 2015 will be the ‘Year of the Microbiome’ in their forecast for business trends.  I believe this test should be common practice for most problems, given my experience with it.

I had low levels of microbial diversity.  I am somewhat confused as to why that is.  Was my probiotic actually full of live culture?  Was I taking a ‘natural’ compound that had strong antibacterial properties?  I am not sure and am working to figure this out.

Another interesting thing was the low levels of short chain fatty acids, particularly butyrate.  I was completely unaware of short chain fatty acids prior to this test, so it has certainly opened up a new avenue for me.  I was very surprised at how closely correlated butyrate was with allergies and asthma, which may be relevant to some of you.

Fecal short chain fatty acid pattern and allergy in early childhood

High fiber diet may prevent asthma (due to the short chain fatty acid’s immune-modulating properties — fermentable fiber increases short chain fatty acid production)

Interestingly, butyrate resembles sodium valproate in structure.  Valproate is a common drug for bipolar, seizures, migraines, etc.  I think stool analyses for people with these problems could potentially reduce symptoms, or it has potential anyway (note: not a doctor, just documenting my personal experience. Interpret it as you will).  Asthma is associated with an increased risk of bipolar, so maybe this is one of the underlying mechanisms. To add insult to injury for asthmatics, high doses of corticosteroids (prednisone, advair, etc.) further increase that risk.

Relevant to acne, butyrate increases insulin sensitivity (in a mouse model) and positively affects markers of inflammation.

I have since changed my probiotic and have increased my fiber intake, particularly by eating more vegetables(5+ per day). I would imagine one could supplement sodium butyrate to achieve some benefits as well, although I would imagine it wouldn’t confer the same benefits to the colon.

I would be very curious to see other stool analyses and their potential connection to various disease states.

Also, this was on sciencedaily.com today: Connection made between gut microbiota and Parkinsons

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