Dr Dingle's Blog
The most important aspect of dysbiosis is that a loss of total microbial diversity which represents the first link in the chain of events leading to the development of local and body wide inflammation. Multiple human conditions have been associated with dysbiosis, including autoimmune and auto inflammatory disorders, such as allergies, cardio vascular, metabolic disorders (diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), various cancers and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis (UC), celiac disease, and neurological disorders including autism.
Once inflammation starts it appears that these opportunistic microorganisms are able to exploit the inflamed environment and expand their numbers to become an even bigger problem.
There appear to be three types of dysbiosis that more often than not, occur together to create the problem. These include (i) loss of beneficial microbial organisms perhaps through the use of antibiotics, (ii) expansion of pathobionts or potentially harmful microorganisms as a result of too much processed foods and (iii) loss of overall microbial diversity. It is likely that dysbiosis encompasses all three of these manifestations at the same time to influence disease.
The challenge is that the Dysbiotic microbial ecosystem can become resilient over time and may become hard to alter. In one study while dieting rapidly reversed the metabolic problems associated with a high fat diet, the dysbiosis in mice after a 4-week high fat diet persisted up to 21 weeks after returning to normal chow diet. It did however change after 21 weeks.
 Milani et al., 2016.
 Chow et al., 2011.
 Baumler and Sperandio, 2016.
 Del Chierico et al., 2012.
 Konig et al., 2016.
 Spees et al., 2013.
 Petersen and Round, 2014.
 Thaiss et al., 2016.
The integrity of our gut and our gut health is so important to our health but has largely been ignored until recently. The mucous membrane absorbs and assimilates foods and serves as a barrier to pathogens and other toxic substances. When this integrity is compromised the permeability of the gut may be altered, gut function erodes and we end up with many health conditions associated with inflammation and leaky gut.
The gut lining is composed of close fitting, thin cells separated by tight junctures, like a thin protein mortar. When the barrier is disrupted the intestines permeability increases allowing larger particles, bacteria, undigested foods or toxins to cross the barrier. This intestinal permeability, called leaky Gut, is linked with virtually all the gut related disorders including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiacs disease, and auto immune conditions including inflammatory joint disease, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile onset arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes mellitus type one and primary biliary cirrhosis.
To maintain integrity and normal function of intestine, a delicate equilibrium must be reached between the microbiota and intestinal immune system. In a healthy body the immune system protects us against invasion and controls the commensal microorganisms. In return the beneficial bacteria provide essential nutrients to the gut cells and promote healthy immune responses in the gut.
A healthy microbiome contributes to the maintenance of intestinal epithelium barrier integrity maintaining the tight junctures, promoting intestinal cell repair, and even ensuring a healthy rate of cell turnover. It does this by maintenance of local cell nutrition and circulation and protection against pathogenic microorganisms.
Unlike most other cells in the body that get their energy and nutrients from the blood supply, more than 50% of the energy needs of the small intestine and more than 80% of the energy of the large intestines (where most of our microbiome is) comes directly from the food in the gut. This is not just a one off but with each turning over of gut cells which is over a period of just days, the barrier has to be continually re-established. The end result of this mutually beneficial co-habitation is a symbiotic relationship between the two partners, us and our microbiome. Any change in the relative proportions of the different bacteria alters the subsequent nutrients available and maintenance and protection for the digestive tract. If the right food and conditions are not there for a healthy microbiome then the nutrients are not available for the gut wall and the cells are damaged leading to damage to the integrity of the gut wall and leaky gut. This highlights the importance of eating the right foods for the microbiome to do their job and to maintain optimal gut health.
 Magalhaes et al., 2007.
Stress is an essential part of a lifestyle; however, it is also a major precursor to insomnia, probably the most important contributing factor. Studies have shown that a reduction of stress could lead to a 53% decline in insomnia rates. Stress and insomnia are tricky to control because if the stress is not removed and the insomnia persists it is also creating a stress on the body, and increasing the insomnia; this quickly becomes a vicious cycle.
Stimulus control is generally used in conjunction with sleep restriction, as a method of reducing time in bed. It is particularly useful in subjects who have conditioned themselves to become mentally active when they get into bed. If sleep initiation takes more than 10 minutes to achieve, the subject should then get out of bed, leave the room and do something unstimulating until they feel drowsy. This should be repeated as required. The objective of this is to disassociate bed with stimulating activity, therefore bed is strictly for sleep only (sex is permitted) so that they become conditioned to sleep in bed and nothing else. Even though sleep debt and daytime fatigue may initially increase, stimulus control (particularly in partnership with sleep restriction) can effectively decrease sleep latency. The degree of impact is significantly higher than that associated effectively decrease sleep latency. The degree of impact is significantly higher than that associated with hypnotic use.
In one study a group of self-selected subjects all reporting to be suffering from stress, insomnia and various other health issues (excessive drinking, smoking cigarettes, and the use of tranquillizers and hypnotics) met for an hour and a half a week over eight weeks to undergo stress management training. The training consisted of learning about stress theory, low-stress lifestyle principles, techniques for handling stressful events and relaxation methods. At a follow-up check twelve months after receiving the treatment there was a seventy-eight percent improvement in the insomnia.
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Another reason to add some of the cabbage family to your daily diet, preferably raw is because of their gut healing properties and how they promote gut health through the gut microbiome. The Brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, arugula (rocket), bok choy, cauliflower, collard greens, radish, turnip and others have been recognized for their gut healing and gut health properties for hundreds of years and modern epidemiologic studies have shown a frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower risk of cancer, especially cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, breast, prostate, and lung. However, only now are we recognizing that many of these benefits are mediated through the microbiome and that their frequent consumption alters the composition of the microbiome.
Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of glucosinolates a precursor to the Isothiocyanates (ITC), which exhibit powerful biological functions in fighting cancers, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and gut healing. The Isothiocyanates are a by product of specific plant enzymes (myrosinase) active during chewing or crushing when broccoli is consumed raw or lightly steamed, however, like all enzymes myrosinase is deactivated by cooking and ingestion of cooked broccoli typically provides only about one tenth the amount of isothiocyanates as that from raw broccoli. So to maximize the gut healing, gut health and overall benefits of these foods they are best eaten raw or just lightly steamed.
Instead when cooked cruciferous vegetables are consumed, gut bacteria are mainly responsible for ITC production in the gut. This is highlighted after taking oral antibiotics, the ITC’s availability and uptake decreases after eating cooked cruciferous vegetable. It also appears that there is considerable difference in the ability of individuals, due to individual differences in gut microbial community, to produce the isothiocyanates. Although, the gut community’s ability is altered over just 4 days. In one study feeding raw or cooked broccoli for four days or longer both changed the microbiota composition and caused a greater production of isothiocyanates. Interestingly, a three-day withdrawal from broccoli reversed the increased microbial metabolites suggesting that the microbiota requires four or more days of broccoli consumption and is reversible.
The lactic acid bacteria appear to have myrosinase-like activity and the fermented Brassica food products, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, are particularly rich in Lactobacillus, and a diet rich in Brassica may promote Lactobacillus growth in the colon.
Your gut microbiome has an astonishing ability to keep you healthy or ill. The list of diseases that we know of that are linked to the intestinal microbiota grows every day and these diseases are usually complex in terms of both how the disease develops and complications. Having the right balance of good microorganisms in our gut and good gut health is not only essential for good digestion but also in the prevention of or reversing chronic diseases, including.
Poor gut health has been linked with a long list of illnesses including
Asthma and Allergies
Cancers (especially digestive cancers, i.e. bowel and colon and brain tumours)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease including SIBO, Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis
Cardio vascular disease
High blood pressure
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
Skin health and ageing
Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis
Immune system function including susceptibility and tolerance to viruses and bacterial infections like cold and flu.
Colic, Constipation and Diarrhea
Celiac disease and Gluten and lactose intolerance
The list goes on. For example, even in the area of mental illness we have conditions such as
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
ADHD & Autism
Focus and memory
Learning, mental productivity and cognitive decline. As well as controlling some of our needs and desires i.e. food cravings and appetite, our relationships and our social interactions.
These are all impacted by gut health. Because of the role of inflammation, oxidation nutrition and the many functions of the gut microbiome there is not a health condition that is not influenced by the gut microbiome either directly or indirectly.
Because of the multiple functions of the microbiota dysbiosis can manifest as many and multiple health conditions often termed comormidity or multi morbidity. It is not one disease it manifests as many. For example, large studies have shown the multi-morbidity of eczema, rhinitis, and asthma. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients will also frequently suffer from rheumatologic manifestations, liver multimorbidities and lung, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma, bronchitis and other chronic respiratory disorders in the adult population, gallbladder disease, heart disease and associated morbidity and mortality, anxiety, stress and depression, as well as arthritis, psoriasis, and pericarditis. In one study of 47325 patients they reported 20 different immune mediate diseases associated with IBD including some of those mentioned above and celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
This evidence strongly shows any health condition will have many layers of disease occurring throughout the body at any one time that are related but not connected at the time of diagnosis.
Arguable the biggest health problem facing us today is gut health rivaling the current obesity crisis and tobacco smoking in its impact on our health. Every health condition is linked to gut health and gut healing either directly or indirectly through inflammation and oxidation. Historically every culture understood this and were involved in extensive practices of gut healing and even our own up until 60 or so years ago. The first thing health practitioners throughout history would do is to start to fix the gut.
Until recently the positive effects of the gut microbiome on our digestive system and health has been severely under rated. Wisdom of Chinese doctors from centuries ago, who somehow knew that the intestines were not merely a digestive organ, but the centre of health and wellbeing. Hippocrates was recorded as saying that all illness begins in the gut. Throughout history from the Egyptians till around 80 years ago medicine and the bowels were frequently mentioned in the same sentence and good health revolved around gut health.
Even today the nomadic Maasai tribes in Africa attribute most illnesses to the effect of “pollutants” that block or inhibit digestion. In these communities the plants are used to cure diseases served mainly as strong purgatives and emetics; they "cleanse" the body and digestive system from polluting substances.
With thousands of studies released each year the gut is known to play a major role in many health conditions including mental health issues, cardiovascular disease, allergies and asthma, autoimmune diseases, some cancers and even diabetes and weight gain. Many of these conditions which are now reaching epidemic proportions have been linked to a dysfunctional gut. Studies have shown a strong link between mental health issues including depression and what is called the gut brain axis. We also know the gut is the centre of our immune system and is strongly influenced by the gut microbiome. As a result the gut has a strong link with allergies and asthma. Peanut allergies for example are not caused by peanuts they are brought about by a dysfunctional gut microbiome.
Antibiotics and many gut medications used for controlling acid reflux have been shown to be devastating to gut health a healthy gut microbiome, as well as many of the chemicals we use around the homes and even the personal care products we apply to our skin. Even our activities either promote gut health and gut healing or harm it. Stress sends messages to the opportunistic (bad) microorganisms in the gut to tell them to start to take over from the good ones. Exercise promotes gut health and healing while no exercise or too much exercise does the exact opposite.
Fortunately, in animal studies we know that many of these conditions can be improved and even reversed if the gut microbiome is repaired. 50% of Parkinson’s Disease has been directly linked with poor gut health while improving the gut microbiome has been shown to dramatically improve symptoms.
The research also shows that while probiotics can be useful in gut healing, repairing the gut microbiome requires an understanding of what encourages a healthy gut microbiome in our diet and lifestyle as well as what causes a dysfunctional microbiome. We now know that all the healthy foods we eat, the vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and fruit all feed the gut microbiome which then feeds us and looks after our health. All the studies on healthy diets from the Mediterranean to the original Japanese or the low inflammatory diet (DII) benefit us because they work through the gut to promote gut health and subsequently our health.
Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of almost all other high-income countries despite the fact that they spend more money on their health care (pharmaceuticals) than any other country.
In this study adopting five major health initiatives—regular exercise, a healthy diet, moderate drinking, not getting overweight or obese and not smoking can extend your life by around 14 years. Each of the healthy lifestyles lowers your chances of getting one of the chronic health problems, such as heart disease and cancer.
This study shows that healthier lifestyles would reduce the rate of premature death from heart disease by 75 per cent, and cancer deaths by 50 per cent, the researchers estimate.
This study yet again highlights the need to focus on lifestyle and diet and not on the pharmaceutical model of health. While there is consistent evidence showing their role in extending life and the quality of life there is virtually no evidence to show pharmaceuticals extend life. However roughly 50% of the lobbyists in the capitals are from pharmaceutical companies.
Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population.
After sell out talks around Australia Dr Peter and Martine Dingle return for their long-awaited Queensland
Celebrating their release of 3 new books on Gut health and chronic illness, “Gut Secrets. A blueprint to your microbiome and your health”, “Ready, Set Gut Health” and “Overcoming Illness”.
Kingaroy. Monday June 11
Kingaroy RSL White Room. Markwell St & Short St.6.30-9.00 PM
Gympie Tuesday June 12
Gympie RSL. Orchird Room, 217 Mary St. 6.30-9.00 PM
Sunshine Coast, Marcoola Monday June 18
Surfair 923 David Low Way Marcoola. 6.30-9.00 PM
Maryborough Tuesday June 19
Maryborough RSL, 163 Lennox st. 6.30-9.00 PM
Bundaberg Wednesday June 20
Vietnam Vetrans Hall, 44 May Street, Bundaberg. 6.30-9.00 PM
Rockhampton. Thursday June 21
Rockhampton Leagues Club. George and Cambridge Streets. 6.30-9.00 PM
Gladstone. Friday June 22
Gladstone Tennis Centre. Glenlyon St, Gladstone. 6.30-9.00 PM
Toowoomba. Monday June 25
Toowoomba Golf Club. 235-323 Rowbotham Street. Middle Ridge. 6.30-9.00 PM
Irritable or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects an estimated 14.1% of the US population and 11% of the global population. IBS is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, gas, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. More than one-half of all patients with IBS suffer from depression or anxiety. Missed work, social interactions, and travel are among the top stressors for these individuals. Many studies have shown a compromised gut microbiome to be associated with IBS.
In this study a 53-y-old Caucasian patient had signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; gas/bloating, gastroesophageal reflux), fatigue, and sleep disturbances. He also noted a history of chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities, and right knee pain (3 surgeries).
Over the course of 6 mo, the patient was treated using an elimination diet, lifestyle modifications, botanicals, and dietary supplements to address the underlying cause of issues. His symptoms decreased and quality of life increased, resulting in the resolution of his IBS symptoms, improved sleep, and increased energy levels.
This case illustrates the usefulness of diet and lifestyle changes to improve and eliminate chronic gut issues.
Here is a quote from the patient
Patient Perspective. “I feel better than ever—even better than in my 20s. I went into this process with a high desire to feel better since my gut symptoms and fatigue began to impact everything I enjoy in life—golf, cycling, and the outdoors, but I was a little hesitant knowing it would involve so many changes. I thought it would be a difficult process, but it really wasn’t once I established my lifestyle, diet, and supplement routines. The hardest part of treatment was going 100% gluten free. Had I known I would feel this good, I would’ve done this long ago. Finding the root causes and making lasting lifestyle changes are the key to health. Working with a knowledgeable practitioner makes all the difference!”