Gut Microbiota

While I am not an expert on this subject, I find the fact that our gut microbiome (the collective DNA of all of the bacteria and other microbes in our gastrointestinal tract) or our gut microbiota (the microbes themselves) quantitatively overshadow our own DNA by orders of magnitude, immensely powerful in terms of their contribution to our overall health. We live more or less harmoniously with an entire microbial ecosystem within us that complements and augments the things that our body, our mammalian cells, can do. Many collaborative groups of scientists are currently studying this ecosystem from all angles. We have published very little on this so far, but this system is in our radar, and clearly impacts the bioavailability of most if not all of the phytochemicals that we study. I also view our friend Helicobacter pylori as an organism which may ultimately be shown to be worthy of our attention as a partner to our gut ecosystem– something with which we can coexist peacefully, as most of the world’s population has done for almost all of human history. Dietary approaches to reducing the severity of chronic Helicobater pylori infection may suffice to reduce the risk of cancer, ulcers, and gastritis, associated with the inflammation that accompanies severe infection.

Related Publications

Fahey JW, KL Wade, SL Wehage, WD Holtzclaw, H Liu, P Talalay, E Fuchs, KK Stephenson. (2016) Stabilized sulforaphane for clinical use: Phytochemical delivery efficiency.  Molecular Nutrition and Food Research doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600766. [Article].
Fahey JW, SL Wehage, WD Holtzclaw, TW Kensler, PA Egner, TA Shapiro, P Talalay. (2012) Protection of humans by plant glucosinolates: Efficiency of conversion of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates by the gastrointestinal microflora. Cancer Prev Res 5(4):603-611. [Abstract]
Shapiro, TA, JW Fahey, KL Wade, KK Stephenson and P Talalay. (2001) Disposition of chemoprotective glucosinolates and isothiocyanates of broccoli sprouts. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prevent. 10:501-508. [Abstract] [Full Article]