Humans live in a symbiotic relationship with a massive number of microbes that dwell within us. The human microbiome, a term referring to these organisms and their genetic material, influence all manner of human physiology including immunity, inflammation, neurotransmitter production, provision of vitamins, and even epigenetically modulating the expression of the human genome.

Examine leading edge research to understand the role of microbes in charting our health destiny and examine meaningful strategies for disease treatment and the promotion of health and longevity.


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degenerative conditionsThe Role of Microbiome Diversity in Health and Disease

presented by David Perlmutter,MD,FACN,ABIHM

Immune and inflammatory mechanisms play pivotal roles in a vast array of degenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, multiple sclerosis, depression, Parkinson’s disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In general, these conditions are at best, medically managed over the lifetime of the patient with attention focused on symptom management. And these efforts are almost exclusively directed at the segment of our being that is represented by mammalian cells – on a cellular level representing only ten percent of our holobiont selves. From a purely numerical perspective, ignoring the other 90% represented by microorganisms paints a myopic approach which appears further restrictive when recognizing that our endogenous microbes leverage huge sway precisely in the areas that underlie our most pernicious disease entities – immune regulation and inflammation.

This presentation will focus on the role of decreased microbial diversity as a correlate to immune dysregulation and enhanced inflammation that characterize degenerative issues, with an emphasis on the role of modifiable challenges to the microbiome including diet, xenobiotics, stress, method of birth, antibiotics and gliadin. These modifiable factors will be explored through the lens of their effects upon microbial diversity. The important role of bowel permeability as a requisite event in this process will be explored with an introductory discussion of applicable laboratory analysis showing clinical utility.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the fundamental role of inflammation and immune dysregulation in various degenerative conditions.
  • Appreciate how various environmental and thus modifiable issues impact the microbiome from a functional perspective.
  • Understand the roles of multiple microbiota related products in both health and disease including short chain fatty acids, “small molecules,” neurotransmitters, lipopolysaccaride (LPS) and cytokines.

Recorded: February 2016

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