Eating the right foods can lower inflammation in the body, whereas eating poor foods can cause increases in inflammation.
Your microbiome has 90 trillion bugs in it. About 800-100 families, each with good members and bad members, just like any human family.
As we know, the good (commensal) bacteria make chemicals called B vitamins, vitamin K, serotonin to keep you happy, melatonin to keep you sleeping and some super molecules like butyrate, propionate and acetate that do all sorts of wonderfully healthy things in your body. The bad guys (pathogens) make chemicals too; they are called toxins. They also make messenger RNA; that of good bacteria helps your; that from pathogens hinders, even causing message loss.
In case you think this is ‘small change’, let me tell you that right now, reading this article, 38% of the small molecules in your bloodstream come from your microbiome members – not from your own cells.
In 2011, I happened to be stuck in an extremely long immigration queue trying to get into Dubai. The man next to me was a Harvard Professor of rheumatism and arthritis. We talked for an hour about all sorts of subjects. After about 40 minutes he said, “I bet you don’t know about the microbiome!” I replied that I’d written my first article some 6 years before.
He then said, “Well the whole issue of illness is really quite straightforward. You eat these foods, they make more of these bacteria and they make anti-inflammatory molecules. However, you eat more of those foods, they make more of those bad bacteria, and they make inflammatory molecules. And this leads to arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, you name it”.
Recently, some scientists in Holland proved this to be true, looking at both foods, and food groups their research showed that this simple statement was absolutely right. So when the nurse in Hospital tells you to eat a bit of everything, or the tea lady brings you sugary tea and cake, or the NHS chemo booklet has pictures of cheese burgers and sticky donuts, science has proven them completely wrong.
My particular favourite comment was that all alcohol, save one, increase levels of bacteria causing inflammation. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Red wine helps lower inflammation.